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Max Euwe vs Alexander Alekhine
"Making Room for Her Royal Highness" (game of the day Aug-08-2018)
Alekhine - Euwe World Championship Match (1935), Amsterdam NED, rd 2, Oct-06
Gruenfeld Defense: Russian. Accelerated Variation (D81)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Aug-27-10  sevenseaman: A great game, without doubt.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: The final move of the game brings to mind something that Botvinnik had once written regarding Euwe: he noted that what he termed Euwe's 'long moves' had given him particular trouble when they first met as top-class GMs in the 1930s.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: Purdy, in his book, "Extreme Chess - World Championships 1935 - 1937 - 1972", gave 8.Ne5 an <!>, and Euwe said that he played 8.Ne5 to get the advantage of the two bishops.

However, Euwe concluded that 8.e4 was White's best move, intending on 8...a6, to continue with 9.Qd3! Bg4 10.d5 Bxf3 11.gxf3 Ne5 12.Qd1, with an advantage for White. Fritz rates Euwe's variation as being very favorable for White. At the end of the variation Fritz prefers: (1.00) (20 ply) 12.Qe2 Ned7 13.e5 Nh5 14.Bh3, instead of, (.79) (20 ply) 12.Qd1 c6 13.f4 Ned7 14.Be3.

In 1948, Najdorf put Euwe's variation to the test in his game with Szabo: Najdorf vs Szabo, 1948

Fritz indicates that 8.e4! was White's strongest move: (.93) (21 ply) 8.e4! Bg7 9.d5 Nxe4 10.Nxe4 Bxd5 11.Nc3 Bxf3 12.gxf3 0-0. The alternative 8.Ne5 is rated by Fritz as giving White only a small advantage: (.35) (21 ply) 8.Ne5 Bg7 9.Nxc6 bxc6 10.Qxc6+ Qd7 11.Qc5 0-0.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: Euwe stated that 13.e4 was an error, <"This only allows the knight to return to d4. By 13.Be2 White keeps a small advantage.">

Fritz agrees that 13.Be2 was the best move, but only by a small margin: (.60) (22 ply) 13.Be2 Bg7 14.g4 Nd6 15.g5 Nh5 16.Bxh5 gxh5 17.e4, as compared to: (.44) (22 ply) 13.e4 Nd4 14.Be3 c5 15.Be2 Bg7 16.0-0 0-0.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: Purdy stated regarding 13...Nd6?, <"A fatal excess of caution! Back into the jaws by 13...Nd4! was the only hope of equalizing."> Euwe also stated that 13...Nd6? was an error, giving 13...Nd4! as the correct move.

Fritz agreed that 13...Nd4! was Black's best move: (.44) (21 ply) 13...Nd4! 14.Be3 c5 15.Be2 Bg7 16.0-0 0-0.

After Alekhine's 13...Nd6?, White had a strong advantage. At move 15, Purdy indicated 15.Be3!. However, Euwe correctly noted that 15.Be3? was an error, and recommended 15.fxe5! Qxe5 16.Be3!.

In the position after 14...Qe7, Fritz indicated that Euwe's recommendation was best, and strong for White:

click for larger view

(1.40) (21 ply) 15.fxe5 Qxe5 16.Be3 Nfxe4 17.Bd4 Qe7, (1.25) (20 ply) 18.Nxe4 Rg8 19.Bf6 Qxe4+ 20.Qxe4+ Nxe4 21.Bb5+ c6 22.dxc6, but not (.30) (20 ply) 18.Bxh8? Nxc3+ 19.Be2 Nxe2 20.Qxe2 Kd7 21.Qxe7+ Bxe7 22.Bc3 Re8 23.0-0 f5.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: At move 15, Alekhine played 15...Ng4?. Purdy indicated it was the only move to make a fight, but Euwe stated, <"Black fails to exploit his oppent's error and answers with a decisive blunder!">

Euwe recommended 15...exf4 16.Bd4 with a gambit, stating that after 15...exf4, 16.Bxa7 would be an error because of 16...Nfxe4 17.Nxe4 Ra8. Fritz shows Euwe's variation to be incorrect, because White could play 18.Bd4, with strong advantage.

Fritz indicates Black's best continuation was: (.23) (23 ply) 15...Nd7 16.g3 Bg7 17.Bg2 exf4 18.gxf4 0-0 19.e5 bxe5 20.fxe5 Nxe5 21.Qe2 Rfe8.

A second choice was: (.50 (23 ply) 15...exf4 16.Bxa7 Rd8 17.0-0-0 Ng4 18.Bd4 Ne5 19.Qc2.

Alekhine's choice: (.99) (23 ply) 15...Ng4? 16.Bxa7 Ra8 17.h3 Rxa7 18.hxg4, gave Euwe a considerable advantage.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: At move 21, both Euwe and Purdy give 21.a4!. Euwe stating, <White's advantage is on the Queenside, so he plays to "fix" Black's Queenside pawns.>

Fritz indicates that 21.a4 is in White's favor: (.83) (20 ply) 21.a4 Bh4+ 22.g3 Bg5 23.Qf3 0-0. The game followed this variation.

However, instead of 21.a4, Fritz preferred another move, with additional advantage for White: (1.05) (22 ply) 21.Bd3 Bh4+ 22.Kd1 Bg5 23.Qf3 0-0 24.Kc2, or (1.00) (22 ply) 21.Bd3 Bg5 22.Qe2 0-0 23.g3.

At move 24, Fritz indicated that White had the choice of several good continuations: (.82) (22 ply) 24.Rb1 Rc5 25.Rd1 Ra8 26.Bd3, or (.79) (22 ply) 24.Bd3 c6 25.dxc6 bxc6 26.Rb1, or (.77) (22 ply) 24.b4 Raa8 (.88) (22 ply) 25.Rb1 c6 26.a5 Qc7 27.dxc6 bxc6 28.Bd3. The game followed this last variation through move 24.

At move 25, Euwe did not play Fritz's recommended 25.Rb1, but instead he played 25.Ra2: (.55) (24 ply) 25.Ra2 Ne8 26.Rb2 Bc1.

Alekhine's 26...Nf6 had approximately the same evaluation as 26...Bc1: (.58) (21 ply) 26...Nf6 27.Bc4 Qd6.

After 27.Be2 c6, White's advantage was considerably reduced: (.36) (23 ply) 28.dxc6 bxc6 29.0-0.

At this point in the game Alekhine appears to have good drawing chances. However, over the next few moves, Alekhine's inaccuracies gave him a lost position.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: At move 29, Alekhine erred by playing the wrong rook to d8.

click for larger view

Euwe stated, <"Black's counter chances lie only in play on the queen file, so he hurries to occupy it">. Euwe made no comment regarding which rook should occupy the queen file.

Fritz indicates it is the rook on f8 that should be played to the queen file: (.41) (23 ply) 29...Rfd8! 30.Rb3 Rd2 31.Kh1 Kg7 32.b5 cxb5 33.axb5 Ra3 34.Rfb1 Rxb3 35.Rxb3. Instead, Alekhine played (.87) (23 ply) 29...Rad8? 30.Kg2.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: In my last posting, I had noted Euwe's comment from the book, "Euwe vs. Alekhine - Match 1935" , by Euwe & Alekhine.

In the book, "Max Euwe - The Biography", by A. Muenninghoff, Euwe added the following comment regarding 29...Rad8, <"The better idea was to play the f-rook to d8. Black doesn't want to do this, because he fears danger along the f-file.">

As noted in my comments, Fritz finds 29...Rfd8 to be clearly better than 29...Rad8.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: After 29...Rad8? 30.Kg2, Alekhine's position was very difficult.

Had Alekhine then played 30...Rd2, Euwe would have had good winning chances with: (.79) (23 ply) 30...Rd2 31.Rxd2 Bxd2, (1.15) (23 ply) 32.fxg6 hxg6 33.Qxf6 Qxf6 34.Rxf6 Bxc3 35.a5 c5, (1.42) (26 ply) 36.b5 Bxa5 37.Ra6 Bd2 38.Ra7 Kg7 39.Bc4 Bg5 40.b6 Bd8 41.Ra6 Bg5 42.b7 Bc7 43.Bd5. Fritz indicates White is winning after 43.Bd5.

Even after the move played by Alekhine, 30...Rd4, Euwe had good winning chances: (.93) (23 ply) 30...Rd4 31.b5 cxb5 32.axb5, (1.02) (23 ply) 32...Rb8 33.b6!, (stronger than Euwe's 33.fxg6), 33...Kg7 34.Nd5 Nxd5 35.exd5, (1.42) (21 ply) 35...Qd7 36.b7, and after 36...f6 37.Qb3 Rxd5 38.Ra1 Qd8 39.Bf3!, or 36...Qxd5 37.Qxd5 Rxd5 38.fxg6 fxg6 39.Bf3, White has strong winning chances.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Black's QR is unusually active. Odd that both world champions' Q-Rooks are developed the beginner's way; straight ahead instead of sideways.
Nov-12-14  tranquilsimplicity: Euwe's game was described by Capablanca as balanced and straightforward. I agree with balanced but straightforward? With clever tactics calculated to quite a depth of play? I disagree that Euwe's game is straightforward. Perhaps that why Botvinnik was uncomfortable with Euwe's "long moves"; unpredictable maneouvres. Maybe that why Euwe commented unfavourably on Capa's almost lopsided style of play.#
Nov-12-14  tranquilsimplicity: 45...Rxc4, 46.Rxh7+ Kxh7, 47.c8=Q+! The Black Queen is gone. Game Euwe.#
Sep-09-16  vsiva1: From 45 Qb7, .... moves are CHESS PUZZLE
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: these aren't puns...
Aug-08-18  Boomie: <Euwe's game was described by Capablanca as balanced and straightforward.>

We can only guess what Capa meant by balanced and straightforward. These terms probably have a precise meaning to a World Champion. We patzers can only speculate.

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Apparently, the entire game boils down to a tempo. Black would love to play 18...exf4 winning a pawn and ruining White's pawns, but 19.Qd4 forks both Rooks. So 18...Bg7, but now White has the time to attack the Ra7 and win the tempo needed to play 20.f5, securing the extra pawn and making Black's Bishop quite bad.
Aug-08-18  ChessHigherCat: <An Englishman: Apparently, the entire game boils down to a tempo.> That's why 17. h3 was such a good move. All the gains of tempo you mentioned depend on 17 ...Rxa7.
Aug-08-18  morfishine: Alekhine had a very healthy respect for Euwe's tactical acuity
Premium Chessgames Member
  OrangeTulip: Alekhine overclassed by Euwe and certainly not overwhelmed by liquor
Aug-18-18  sudoplatov: The position from about move 15 to move 19 or so loos like it should be from Alekhine vs NN (Simul). Great tactics by Euwe.
Jan-08-23  N.O.F. NAJDORF: 35...Nxe4 36. Nxe4 Rxe4 37. Rc2 Re3 38. Bc4+ Kg7 39. Qd1 Qxb6 40. Qd7+ Kh6 41. Rf7 Rh8 42. Rh2 Bd8 43. g5+ Kxg5 44. Qg4+ Kh6 45. Kg2+

35...Nxe4 36. Nxe4 Rxe4 37. Rc2 Re3 38. Bc4+ Kg7 39. Qd1 Bf4 40. Rxf4 exf4 41. Qd4+ Kh6 42. g5+ Kh5 43. Be2+ Rxe2 44. g4+ Kxg5 45. Rc5+ Kh6 46. Rh5+ gxh5 47. Qf6#

35...Nxe4 36. Nxe4 Rxe4 37. Rc2 Re3 38. Bc4+ Kh8 39. Qxb7 Rxb7 40. Bd5 Rxb6 41. Rf7

Jan-12-23  N.O.F. NAJDORF: 45...Rxc4 46. Rxh7+ Kxh7 47. c8=Q+ Qe7 48. Qxe7+ Bxe7 49. Qxc4 Kg7 50. Qe6 Bf6 51. g5 Bxg5 52. Qxe5+ Bf6 53. Qc7+ Kh6 54. Kg4 Bg7 55. Kf4 Bf6 56. g4 Bg7 57. g5+ Kh7 58. Ke4 Kg8 59. Kd5 Bf8 60. Ke6 Bg7 61. Qf7+ Kh7 62. Qe8 Bh8 63. Kf7 and 64 Qg8#
Jan-12-23  N.O.F. NAJDORF: I think a quicker finish would have been:

45. Rxh7+ Kxh7 46. Qb7 Qe7 47. c8=Q Qxb7 48. Qxb7+ Kh6 49. Bg8

Mar-23-23  N.O.F. NAJDORF: 35...Nxe4 36. Nxe4 Rxe4 37. Rc2 Re3 38. Qxb7 Rxb7 39. Rc7 Rb8 40. b7 wins

35...Nxe4 36. Nxe4 Qxe4 37. Qf7+ Kh8 38. Ra2 Qb7 39. Qxb7 Rxb7 40. Ra7 Rdd7 41. Rf8+ Kg7 42. Rfa8 Kf7 43. Bf3 Rxa7 44. Rxa7 and 45. b7 wins

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