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Gideon Stahlberg vs Alexander Alekhine
Hamburg Olympiad (1930), Hamburg GER, rd 3, Jul-15
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Spielmann. Stahlberg Variation (E23)  ·  0-1



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Given 28 times; par: 49 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: <Gregor Samsa Manuel> son in gambit books think prod CED
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gregor Samsa Mendel: <chrisowen>--Um, thanks, I think.
Aug-11-11  Patriot: <Gregor Samsa Mendel> <<chrisowen>--Um, thanks, I think.>

He's been this way ever since the surgery.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <Jimfromprovidence ... This all leads to a side puzzle; why does 31 Bd3, below, save white but 31 Be2, (2nd diagram) does not?>

Since the <why> part was already answered by <Once>, I will add a forced win against what I think would have been a stiffer defense:

<31.Be2> Rxf3 32.Rxf3 Rxf3 <33.Qxf3!?>

33...Bxf3 34.Bxf3 <e4!> 35.Bg4 (35.Bxe4 Qe3+, 35.Rxd4 Qe3+) Qxg4 36.Rxd4 Qe2 ... 0-1

Aug-11-11  chaosart74: No one for 31... e5e4, with after 32. Be2 Qg4
Aug-11-11  morfishine: <MiCrooks> You didn't miss anything; black's threat against white's weak back rank justify the capital expenditure of a mere queen
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: <Patriot> <Gregor Samsa Manuel> You get the fill club and throw piece 3 rf3 terrefic ooh gently QPG AM etc jetty queen unless scratch pur green again good let us vici collaborate NIM one safe is it loose leather b6 after 12.e3 cause by Scott! SIGH Fritz Evo 11.b4 novelty? Nc3 you ditto east queenside majority pawns morning Brigadier!!
Aug-11-11  srtnm: <chrisowen> If you are using a language translator to post your comments in English, the translation is not very meaningful to us. If that is true perhaps you could post in your original language and maybe someone could communicate that to you and help you find a better way to post.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <Gypsy> <Since the <why> part was already answered by <Once>, I will add a forced win against what I think would have been a stiffer defense:

<31.Be2> Rxf3 32.Rxf3 Rxf3 <33.Qxf3!?>

33...Bxf3 34.Bxf3 <e4!> 35.Bg4 (35.Bxe4 Qe3+, 35.Rxd4 Qe3+) Qxg4 36.Rxd4 Qe2 ... 0-1 >

Take a look at 32...Nxf3+ in your line, which leaves the white queen undefended.

Aug-11-11  naruto00122: <Once> hey, I just noticed that there are 'once' (thirteen in spanish) stripes on your Avatar

Is it concidence?

Aug-11-11  I play the Fred: <<Once> hey, I just noticed that there are 'once' (thirteen in spanish) stripes on your Avatar>

Once is the Spanish word for <eleven>.

Aug-11-11  stst: tired and near bed time, just offer the line before checking with Alehkine: (too much a fortress protecting f3) --

...Nf5 (ck Q) and later eyeing for g3+

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: As noted by <notyetagm>, this game won the best game prize at the 1930 Hamburg Olympiad.

Regarding 18.a4, Alekhine commented in, "My Best Games of Chess - 1924-1927", <...takes decidedly too much time and thus permits Black to build the ensuing instructive attack.>

Instead of 18.a4, Alekhine recommended 18.Qe5, with the threat of 19.Qc7. Alekhine indicated the game would then have continued with the moves: 18...f4 19.Qc7 Bxf3 20.Bxf3 fxe3 21.fxe3 Nf5, and White, according to Alekhine, would be able to protect his King.

Fritz indicates Alekhine's variation results in an equal evaluation: (.00) (22 ply) 22.Rd3 Qg6 23.Be4 Qg4 24.Qe5 g6, or (.00) (22 ply) 22.Qe5 Qg6 23 Rf1 Rc8 24.Rad1 d6.

While Fritz evaluates Alekhine's suggestion as equal, it also evaluates Stahlberg's 18.a4 as a better continuation, giving White the advantage.

Fritz indicates 18.a4 gives White an advantage, and provided the following analysis: (.70) (22 ply) 18...Rc8 19.Ne5 d5 20.c5 bxc5 21.bxc5 Nc6 22.Nf3, or (.88) (22 ply) 18...f4 19.exf4 Rxf4 20.a5 Bxf3 21.Bxf3 Rc8.

After his move 18...f4, Alekhine comments, <From now on, until the end, all Black's moves are very exactly timed. It is hardly possible to replace any one of them by a better one.>

While Alekhine finished the game very strongly, Fritz will show us that he also received a little help from his opponent.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <Jimfromprovidence> Yup, thx.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <Jimfromprovidence> Your <31.Bd3> suggestion seems to be an improvement on Alekhine's own analysis.

AAA (via Kotov) states this:

<After 31.Qd2 (relatively best) comes Bxf3 32.Nxf3 Nxf3+ 33.Rxf3 Rxf3 34.Qxg5 Rxf1+ 35.Rxf1 Rxf1+ 36.Kxf1 hxg5 37.Ke2 Kf7 38.Kf3 Ke6 39.Ke4 b5! with a won pawn end-game.>

That makes me suspect that AAA did not properly consider the 31.Bd3 defense; or he ignored it in his comments because he did not see how to break it.

Could someone run an engine on the position after the 31.Bd3?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: After 18.a4 f4, Fritz indicates it is White that has the advantage: (.78) (22 ply) 19.exf4! Rxf4 20.a5, (.72) (22 ply) 20...Bxf3 21.Bxf3 Rc8 22.Be2 d5, or (.79) (22 ply) 20...Qg6 21.axb6 axb6 22.Ne1 Nc8.

In this position:

click for larger view

Instead of playing the move 19.exf4!, White's advantage was less after: (.38) (22 ply) 19.a5 fxe3 20.Qxe3 Nf5 21.Qc3 d6 22.axb6 axb6.

Alekhine made no comment regarding the merits of 19.exf4 vs 19.a5. Certainly Alekhine must have expected that Stahlberg may respond with either 19.exf4 or 19.a5. It would have been interesting to see what evaluation and line of play Alekhine intended, had Stahlberg played 19.exf4!.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: At move 23, Alekhine comments: <If 23.Ra7, then of course 23...Rd7, threatening to win a piece by 24...Bxf3, etc.>

Based on this comment, one may think 23.Ra7 was a weak move. On the contrary, it is White's best move, and the resulting position slightly favors White: (.38) (22 ply) 23.Ra7! Rd7 24.Nd4 Qg6 25.g3 Rdf7 26.Nxf5 Qxf5 27.f3.

In addition to 23.Ra7!, another reasonable choice for White was: (.30) (22 ply) 23.Nd4 Qg6.

Instead of one of these moves, or several other moves that give an approximately equal position, Stahlberg played: (-.26) (22 ply) 23.Ne1? e5! 24.Ra7. Even Alekhine may have been surprised by 23.Ne1?, as Fritz indicates White had more than 20 other moves that were superior to 23.Ne1?.

A strange point in the game analysis by Alekhine. He appears to criticize 23.Ra7, which is actually a good move, and then he offers no evaluation of the inferior move 23.Ne1.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: After 25...Rd7, Alekhine comments in, "My Best Games of Chess - 1924-1937", <Threatening 26...Bf3, etc.>. This note does not seem to be correct. Do other sources show this same wording? After 25...Rd7, Black does threaten 26...Nxe2+ 27.Qxe2 Bf3 28.Nxf3 Rxa7, but this is not the same, as the wording noted above.

After 25...Rd7, Fritz prefers: (-.21) (22 ply) 26.Bd3 Rdf7 27.Rd2 Qc8, or (-.22) (22 ply) 26.Rd2 Rf4 27.Bd3 Rdf7 28.f3.

Stahlberg's choice, 26.Ra2, is only slightly less preferred by Fritz: (-.36) (22 ply) 26.Ra2 Qf7 27.Rad2.

Aug-12-11  LIFE Master AJ: <Aug-11-11
Once: <Jim> As ever your side puzzle squeeze the last little drop of juice from the position!>

For once, I have to agree with <Once> ... you almost always explore the side positions ... this is a good way to learn tactics AND help those less experienced than yourself. (Good job!)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: <Pawn and Two> The situation may be similar to Alekhine vs L Asztalos, 1927 Alekhine convinced the prize committee based on incorrect analysis. He did not correct it in published notes, possibly to save the embarrassment. It could be the same here.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: <Calli> That was interesting, regarding Alekhine's analysis, for his Brilliancy Prize game with Asztalos at Kecskemet. In looking at Alekhine's notes for that game, I see that he awarded two exclamation marks for 42.Nxf7 and remarked, "Only so!", although as several others have pointed out, it was clearly not the strongest move in the position.

Your theory may be correct for this game with Stahlberg, as Alekhine's analysis of it is certainly less than what I expected.

Aug-13-11  aliejin: "It could be the same here"

Yes it could be , especially if you
need it !

Aug-13-11  aliejin: "Your theory may be correct"

Why the analysis of Alekhine (or any other player) have to be perfect and withstand the test of computers a century later?

I understand that it is useful to learn how to improve the game, but not to judge as a court-martial

Any event of the past must be studied in its context, in its possibilities

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: After 26.Ra2, Fritz prefers, (-.38) (23 ply) 26...Rdf7 27.f3, or (-.36) (22 ply) 26...Qf7 27.Rad2.

With his 27th move Stahlberg set the stage for the exciting conclusion of this game. Fritz agrees that 27.f3 was the best defense, but with so many Black pieces posed for the destruction of White's king side, and with those pieces commanded by Alekhine, who could have played 27.f3 with any real confidence of survival?

Alekhine remarked regarding 27.f3, <One would suppose that this Pawn, besides being protected by its neighbor, and easily supported by 3-4 pieces, cannot possibly form a welcome object for Black's attack.>

Yet, as Alekhine points out, it was almost inevitable that White's f3 would be captured, and he stated, <It was certainly the unusualness of Black's winning stratagem which induced the judges to award to this game the Brilliancy Prize.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <18...f5-f4!

From here till the end of the game, all moves of Black are carefully calculated. It would be hard to replace any of them with a better one.>

A. A. Alekhine

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