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Alexander Alekhine vs Makarczyk / Najdorf
Consultation game (1935), Warsaw POL, Sep-03
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Classical. Milner-Barry Variation (E33)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
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  Benzol: Najdorf certainly played his fair share of World Champions.
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  alexmagnus: I wonder if this is <the> game during which the famous "you can be proud" episode occured.

The (probably apocryphal) story goes like this:

Once Najdorf played draw against Alekhine. Alekhine reached out his hand: "I congratulate you - now you can be proud of a draw against the World Champion"

Najdorf: "Pardon, but our lifetime score is 1.5-0.5 for me!"

Alekhine: "Are you kidding me?"

Najdorf: "In the 1920s you lost to me in a simultaneous exhibition in Warsaw"

Alekhine: "It cannot be, you are erring. I remember faces of everyone who ever beat me, including those who did it in simuls."

Najdorf: "Let me remind you of the circumstances under which it happened. The simul was planned for 25 boards, but you were asked to let two more teenagers in, who wanted to play such a famous player. But the number 25 was prearranged, and at first you declined. "Are you afraid of these boys?" - someone of the organizers asked you. You were enraged: "What? I'm ready to play them blindfold!" And indeed, the boys were seated at the other corner of the room, so you couldn't see the boards. The exhibition ended 26:1 for you, and the only win over you was scored by one of the boys you played blindfold. Believe it or not, that boy was me!"

Alekhine: "So it was you who sacrificed a Rook on b2 to me? And all those years I've tortured myself with the thought that I never saw the player who so masterfully beat me back then!"

Jan-03-15  1 2 3 4: why do alekhine and capablanca have so much in common?
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  MissScarlett: <So it was you who sacrificed a Rook on b2 to me?>

In other versions, the rook is sacced on a3 or a2/h2:

Let's just say that East European Jews have a tradition of storytelling.

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  alexmagnus: At least in all versions it is a Rook, and in all but one a simul with two blindfold boards. So, something about the story is probably true, it hardly appeared from nowhere.
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  TheFocus: From a consultation game played in Warsaw, Poland on September 3, 1935. A third member of the allies was Elper.

See <Szachista 1935>, pg. 168-169.

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