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Alexander Alekhine vs Virginia Sheffield
"Yes, Virginia..." (game of the day Dec-19-2004)
Blindfold simul, 32b (1933) (blindfold), World's Fair, Chicago, IL USA, Jul-16
King's Gambit: Falkbeer Countergambit. Modern Transfer (C32)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-19-04  who: I don't get the pun.
Dec-19-04  notsodeepthought: I'm not sure "Yes, Virginia..." is appropriate here - Alekhine didn't exactly act like Santa Claus in this game.
Dec-19-04  KampongBoy: Many years ago (in the 1930s?) in the U.S. a little girl wrote a letter to a newspaper editor questioning whether or not Santa Claus existed? He wrote back a long reply and published it. The little girl's name was Virginia, and the famous line from the editor was, "Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus." I believe it was made into a least one movie and the whole story can probably be turned up by a thorough search engine.
Dec-19-04  KampongBoy: Some lively moves, but should we not question at some point whether the "pun potential" in the players' names has any weight in which game is chosen!? (A light comment for those who take life too seriously.)
Dec-19-04  Skylark: The Falkbeer counter-gambit was played incorrectly here. Black is supposed to sacrifice a pawn to gain a lead in developement, to make use of white's weakened kingside in the King's Gambit. Sheffield went for material equality and ended up with a poor position, and there's no other way of saying it. White had material equality and a huge lead in developement, and swatted his opponent as was deserved.
Dec-19-04  KampongBoy: There is, of course, no way of knowing V. Sheffield's strength. My guess would be 1600-1800. I checked the files here and there is another Sheffield, 60 yrs later, who lost two games in a grand total of 18 moves. She must be the best Sheffield on the site anyways.
Dec-19-04  Milo: IMO, not a great game by either side, although Alekhine made a few nice moves, and I certainly can't see any improvements for him. Just not GOTD material, in my unenlightened opinion.
Dec-19-04  BaranDuin: <Skylark> 3. ... exf4 going for material equality is not that bad. But after 4.Nf3 Virginia Should have played Nf6 first.
Dec-19-04  MindlessOne: In this game, black didnt play the opening correctly nor did he neutralize development on the kingside. This couldn't have been a strong player otherwise she wouldnt have played for material, and instead for position. Black wastes time on the 4th and 5th move with the queen, not to mention black didnt play aggresively the entire game. One question: Would 9...c5 be stronger than the move played, or is 10.d5 dangerous after 9...c5 is played?
Dec-19-04  ughaibu: Skylark: This isn't a Falkbeer counter gambit, it's a kings gambit accepted. Rubinstein, at least, has used the same move order to accept the gambit so there's no grounds for finding it "incorrect".
Dec-19-04  Seraphina: Charles Addams had a cartoon in the New Yorker depicting one of his weirdos writing a letter that begins with... "Yes, Virginai, there is a Boogeyman".... Just to add to the "Yes, Virginia" lore... I somehow feel the pun is more interesting than the game.
Dec-19-04  Skylark: Yes, but e4 e5 f4 exf4 Nf3 d5 exd5 Qxd5 is poo for black anyway, because his/her queen gets knocked around, without any compensation.

Better would have been 4. ... c6 IMHO playing a Nimzovitch line in the Falkbeer, instead of this disgraceful opening.

Dec-19-04  ughaibu: Reti vs Rubinstein, 1919
Dec-19-04  mahmoudkubba: I still can't see why Yes V. in the addressing of this game? is it because she had a deal with Alekhine so as to let him win fior example??
Dec-19-04  ughaibu: Mahmoudkubba: it was a simul.
Dec-19-04  Nickisimo: I think the theme is that, Yes, bad games on DO exist.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: The way black played the Falkbeer-it was like she bought a dog and barked herself! lol. It was funny to follow the knights chasing pieces all over.

Finally,after a series of exchanges-black is short a bishop.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Perhaps Virginia should have played 3...c6!? White got a nice present (yes there is a Santa Claus Virginia) in Bosscher vs L Smit, 1980 in the form of 4. fxe4?? Qh4+! .
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: White's threat of 20. Ne6! fxe6? 21. Rxe6 is decisive, since the Black Queen has no place to hide from the coming "discovered check."
Dec-19-04  ajile: White got everything in this opening and he didn't even lose a pawn! Look at whites developement. Crushing. Plus the early queen move by black gives white even another tempo with NC3.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Yes, Virginia, there is a vast right-wing conspiracy.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: From a simultaneous blindfold exhibition in Chicago, Illinois at the World's Fair on July 16, 1933.

This was for the World Record.

Alekhine scored +19=9-4.

See <American Chess Bulletin 1933>, pg. 105.

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