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Alexander Alekhine vs Efim Bogoljubov
"I lose because he's Alekhine" (game of the day Jun-03-2019)
Alekhine - Bogoljubov World Championship Rematch (1934), Baden-Baden GER, rd 2, Apr-04
Semi-Slav Defense: Meran Variation (D48)  ·  1-0



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Given 21 times; par: 42 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: 29...Bxc8 would have abolished threat Qxg2# and so white could have taken the Rook on e5.
Mar-14-08  Knight13: Black just missed 29. Rc8+.
Sep-18-09  WhiteRook48: the king hunt
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: This is one of the great combinations. Black was in a bad way and tried the Qg6 Qg3 idea but Alekhine had calculated a beautiful forced win starting with 29. Rc8+!! although I think he had prepared that a number of moves before.
May-25-14  MountainMatt: That Alekhine was brutal!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: <MountainMatt> Yes, but in Rd1 he was outplayed by Bogoljubov who, apart from time trouble was fairly clearly winning and Bogo played a great game. I have a book on that, the 2nd match.

Alekhine was good but he avoided a rematch with Capablanca.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: Maybe he should have played 13. ... a5. And 21. ... Ra7 was a bad misjudgment. Alekhine won in this game not because of his combination but by good positional play going into the middle game and a few errors by Black. With the R on a7 it was clear he had an advantage after 21. Nb6.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: After 23.Rc4 the game looks fairly level.

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Bogoljuboff now has an idea. He sees that if both e-pawns were gone, then ...Qg6 would threaten <gasp> mate. So he plays 23...f5. I've rarely seen moves like that, unforced moves of pawns in front of the player's king, turn out well.

With 26.f3 Alekhine counters the mate threat - but it is not totally dead. Bogo plays 26...Rf8-e8. He has seen something brilliant! 27.f3-f4 seems to win the bishop on e5; it is pinned against the ♖e8. But ♙f3-f4 has reopened the long diagonal a8-h1.

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After 28...Re8xe5 it looks like black has won the queen. It cannot leave the second rank owing to that mate threat on g2. And there is nowhere else to go!

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But Alekhine plays 29.Rc8+! and wins.

He may have seen that in the obvious line, after 29...Bxc8 30.Qxe5 Qxe5 31.Rxe5 it may seem as though black has 2 pawns for a piece. In fact his bishop is trapped - on an almost open board.

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Eg 31...Bb7 32.Bc4+ Kf8 Nd7#

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Aug-25-16  ToTheDeath: What a game. Rc8! along with many other stunning moves. Poor Bogo- talk about outclassed.
Jun-03-19  ndg2: Alekhine did a lot for chess.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: A quote attributed to Bogoljubov:

<"When I am White, I win because I am White. When I am Black, I win because I am Bogoljubov.".

The saying is also attributed to Chigorin, and probably originated with NN.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: when I lose it's because I sometimes drink too much beer.
Jun-03-19  jith1207: When I lose, it's because I'm myself. When I win, it's because I play like someone else much above my own ability.
Jun-03-19  seneca16: I agree that Bogo simply missed Rc8. Alekhine, however, had to see before he played F4 that after Rc8, Kf7 he could remove the mate threat while saving both rooks. Admittedly the black king looks like a clay pigeon in a shooting gallery.
Jun-03-19  TheTamale: <Phony Benoni> One of my favorite chess quotes, which I've seen attributed to Alekhine and, I think, to others as well, was in response to a question re: why his games lack the flashy sacrifices that other masters' games display. The reply: "I prefer to sacrifice my opponents pieces."
Jun-03-19  Ironmanth: Incredible game! Thanks, chessgames.
Jun-03-19  thegoodanarchist: Finally, a great GOTD with a very good "pun" as well. Not really a pun, so let's call it a good title.

It's been a while since we had a two-fer.

Jun-03-19  cunctatorg: 15. Qe2 with 16. e4 and later 29. Rc8+: Alekhine at his best!!
Jun-03-19  cunctatorg: 26. f3!! and 27. f4!! Woowww!!!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  ajk68: <cunctatorg: 26. f3!! and 27. f4!! Woowww!!!!>

Not really. f3 was a natural defensive maneuver. f4 just capitalizes on black's previous move which was a blunder.

Jun-03-19  cunctatorg: I tend to believe that 26. f3 was setting a trap... GM Efim Bogoljubov (perhaps under severe time pressure) might believe that 26. f3 was a natural defensive move, a mistaken one though because of the discovered attack after 26... Re8 plus the Qg3 move...
Jun-03-19  cunctatorg: However I do wonder if to fall into this trap is worthy of a contender of the WCC...
Premium Chessgames Member
  Breunor: As everyone has said, white has a win once 27 f4 is played, the losing move is 26 .. Re8.

1) +3.15 (25 ply) 27.f4 Bc6 28.fxe5 Rxe5 29.Rxc6 Rxe2 30.Rc8+ Kf7 31.Bc4+ Re6 32.Rxe6 Qxe6 33.Rc6 Re7 34.Rd6 g6 35.Kf2 d3 36.b3 g5 37.Bxe6+ Rxe6 38.Rxd3 Rc6 39.Nc4 Ke6 40.Rd2 Ke7 41.Rd5 Ke6 42.Rd4 Kf6 43.Kf3 h5 44.Rd8 g4+ 45.Kf4

Instead, black should play Bg3:

1) +0.31 (29 ply) 26...Bg3 27.Nd7 Rd8 28.Rxd4 Raa8 29.Rg4 Qd6 30.Rxg3 Rxd7 31.Bc4+ Bd5 32.Kh2 Qc5 33.Bxd5+ Qxd5 34.f4 Qd4 35.Qe6+ Rf7 36.Qc6 Raf8 37.Qxa6 Qxf4 38.Qe2 g6 39.Qe5 Qxe5 40.Rxe5 Ra8 41.Rb3 Rb7 42.Kg3 Rba7 43.Rxb4 Rxa5 44.Re7 Ra2 45.Rbb7

However, the score is indeed dependent on 28 Rc8!

Jun-04-19  Granny O Doul: I don't always win--but when I do, it's because I'm Bogolyubov.
Apr-27-22  Alekchess: The popular narrative about Alekhine avoiding capablanca in order to play the less capable Bogoljubov is false! Capablanca made Alekhine jump through hoops to come up with the huge money requirements in order to play him for the worlds chess championship in 1927. Alekhine was just returning the favor.
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