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Alexander Alekhine vs Aron Nimzowitsch
"Excuse My French" (game of the day Dec-30-2015)
Bled (1931), Bled YUG, rd 6, Aug-30
French Defense: Winawer Variation (C15)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jan-30-12  King Death: < RookFile: Dr. Lasker would never lose a game like this. Why? Because in his openings, the two nights come out early, usually to c6 and f6, and there is a total emphasis on development, not snatching material.>

Lasker rejected dogma and played a concrete game overall, not this mindless classical development that you're claiming. Of course he often played his knights to c6 and f6 as Black, in many of the open games that was no different than any other strong player would've done then.

Jan-30-12  RookFile: I agree with the rejected dogma part. However, Lasker himself wrote that in the opening, players should concern themselves with sensible development, and nothing else.

Consider this example:

Reti vs Lasker, 1924

Reti did everything except a belly dance in the opening, while Lasker was proceeding simply and classically. It's a strong way of playing, and Lasker so no reason to deviate from it that often.

Jan-30-12  ughaibu: Early queen, eccentricly placed knights: Lasker vs Von Bardeleben, 1890

Pawn hunting, eccentic development: Lasker vs H Mueller, 1934

In any case, it's not true that Lasker would never lose a game like this, is it? This has been established by exhibition of a counter example to your claim. In short, your Nimzowitsch bashing will need to proceed less by individual example and more by generality, if it is to succeed.

Jan-30-12  RookFile: Try to focus, uggie. In context, I was saying that Lasker would never lose a <tourament> game like this. Next, you'll be bringing me the game score of where he lost to the beginner who he let give him queen odds (as a joke). Blitz games like that were just for fun and were not to be taken as seriously as tournament games.

By the way, I said that usually the knights went to their preferred squares. Usually means sometimes they didn't.

In Nimzo's game, he wasted time that he could have been developing with. Lasker didn't do that in the opening, his play was very econonical.

One more detail is that he won the two games you cited. Winning is different than losing.

Jan-31-12  SimonWebbsTiger: Nimzo had played this before, only Sir George Thomas played 7. Bf4 (Marienbad 1925).

Ray Keene in his notes mentions the entire opening concept was based on Nimzo's concept of heroic defence but that here it is too perilous. He suggested 6...Nc6.

8...Qxd4 ("absolutely consistent with the heroic defence syndrome" - Keene).

10...Qe5? ("10...Rg8! 11. Qxc7 Nc6 - Alekine - and Black can fight on." - Keene.)

Jan-31-12  RookFile: In other words, he put his head into the lion's mouth. He might have considered who he was playing.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Bishoprick: Somewhere, I have no idea where, AA mentions that the gN-e2 was a little joke of his. Joke or not, while I'm not a master and never was or will be (just a reasonable club player), I've played that move for many years, and somehow it almost always seems to work.
Mar-19-12  King Death: <Bishoprick> It isn't a bad line at club level and there are some traps as this game shows, if Black gets greedy.
Jun-09-12  Cemoblanca: He deals with us like inexperienced fledglings. - (after a 19 move loss vs. Alekhine in Bled 1931) - Aaron Nimzowitsch ;0)
Dec-13-14  Rhialto: The story behind this weird opening is interesting; Alekhine sacrifices the second pawn with 7.f3, says it is "probably correct" but recommends 7.Bf4 and 8.f3 instead - which is exactly how Thomas lost to Nimzowitsch several years earlier. Granted he did not lose because of the opening, but in that game Nimzowitsch did not take on f3, a possibility Alekhine ignores.

Why, then, did he disparage his own, more effective approach? Well, I played this opening long ago against a c player. He thought for a bit, and met 7.f3 ef 8.Qf3 with 8...Qh4+!

Somehow Alekhine fails to mention this simple resource. Now unlike Nimzowitsch who must have just missed the idea, I suspect he saw it, but in his typically self-serving annotative style neglected to inform us of the possibility. Hence his recommendation of the seemingly-less-promising 7.Bf4.

The idea, of course, is that White must either exhange queens, or play the game continuation with an "extra move" by 9.g3 Qxd4, a tempo very poorly spent, as it prevents the double attack on c7 and g7. I was not at all happy with White's position in that game and could not avoid a slight disadvantage, though I ended up winning somehow.

An important nuance to the game that nobody seems to have mentioned, perhaps because of reliance on computers; if I recall they like White's game after 8...Qh4+ 9.Qf2 Qxf2+ 10.Kxf2, but this is a mirage; White has equality at best.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Hi. (sorry for my bad English)
Dec-30-15  stst: It's quite a gem, or not!?

Nimzo should not fail to see the W Q and Bs all pointing around the h8 corner, and still played 9....Nf6 to allow Qxg7, and after Q's long castle, the two Rs and the Q-B battle group appeared too strong to repel.

Maybe the two guys were experimenting with the so-called Nimzo-Indian (doesn't look like in the opening...) Might serve some interest for historical research.... too ignorant to say more.....

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: I played this line as White and won. (But that doesn't mean it's a forced win!!) Black doesn't need to go for Nimzovich's set up. As it happens he can, as in fact Alekhine didn't play the best moves, but in general it is unwise: the best play can be found on a computer but it is easier for White to play, although I didn't win easily. A higher ranked player avoided the pawn grabbing line, and I went wrong and lost but I still like this opening and it is good (of course there is nothing wrong with the Winawar or The French it is a matter of preference): but Alekhine wanted to "punish Nimzowich for excessive cupidity" in this line, Nimzowich had played it before and won!

This and the other Alekhine penchant which he even used in his World Championship matches is the 1 e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. a3 Bxc3+ 5. bxc3 dxe4 6. Qg4 Nf6 7. Qxg7 which is equally complex but also sound enough and of course Alekhine usually won with it. But it isn't necessarily winning but is good enough, both sides have chances.

Also the Alekhine-Chatard is good in the case of 1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 Nc3 Nf6 4 Bg5 Be7 5 e5 Nd7 and if now the Alekhine gambit 6 h4 Bxg5 7 hxg5 Qxg5 8 Nh3 Qe7 (it can also go to h6 but I think this is best ...Qd8 is not good) and 9. Bf5 and there are all kinds of moves. Also Black can play if 6 h4 something such as a6 or c5 when 7 Bxe7 and then either Kxe7 or Bxe7. Taking with the King is playable and possibly better than with the B...but if Black isn't careful in that line Black goes down quickly in many games.

But as my main course I use the Tarrasch. These lines are extras or 'desserts'...

This game is in the book on this opening I have.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: I think from memory that my computer after computer cogitating for some time preferred 8. ... Qh5+ and White has a small advantage but overall there are = chances I think. But as I say although I was in this position and won, it is not easy for Black.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: I think Lasker realized quite well that the classical principles didn't always apply. His style was complex and already modern, he also, like Alekhine et al, ustilized psychology, as in his way of steering Janowski into endgames which he said he hated. It seems to have worked. He also completely out-played Marshall. He could play great combinations as well as great endings but he did know when to apply classical ideas and indeed new ideas added to those ideas: but not formulas or set ideas.

Sometimes, even in the opening where all seems equal, I have got inferior positions by castling or moving a B (or N) when something like taking a pawn or advancing one or moving a N to a better place would have lead to an almost won position.

In general, of course, quick development is good: but there are exceptions as in unbalanced lines and positions, and where a static-dynamic dialectic needs to be worked through...

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: Another of my "puns" was selected! I am honored and humbled. This is 3 or 4 for me. Don't remember the exact number.

Tears come to my eyes. Except, it is because I am laughing at my own GOTD title. Excuse me for being happy.

Dec-30-15  RookFile: Alekhine does a Morphy impersonation in this game. It's actually quite effective.
Dec-30-15  thomastonk: Much has been said and written on this game, but in my eyes it is an example of utmost naïvety: a self-proclaimed world championship contender plays against a most dangarous attacker and with the king in the center and back in developement he moved his queen's bishop in 4 consecutive moves! One need not to be Morphy or Alekhine to punish this - almost any move wins!
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: <thegoodanarchist> Good for you! It is a huge relief that we are spared another pathetically torturous & mind-numbing spin on a chess players' name


Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: If only we could be spared your daily whining about the pun of the day. This is beyond tiresome <morf>. Let it go. Really.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Nimzo is really stomped by AA
Premium Chessgames Member
  jith1207: Ha ha.. the puns and the reactions.

I have become numb for both the puns and the complaints on them. In a way, it is all fun. Let it puncture your feelings & ego either way...

Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: <OhioChessFan> Look Dude, besides the fact that this is none of your effen business, you obviously have overlooked that I was complimenting <thegoodanarchist>. Going forward, you have three options: (1) Keep your fat mouth shut (2) Put me on ignore (3) both 1 & 2

I'll repeat this since your thick skull requires it: Going forward, you have three options: (1) Keep your fat mouth shut (2) Put me on ignore (3) both 1 & 2


Oh, and Happy New Year


Dec-30-15  dumbgai: I like good chessgames kibitz-fights.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <morf> will need a cudgel to penetrate the skull belonging to that great genius of the middle country, aka <ohiyuk>.
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