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Max Euwe vs Alexander Alekhine
"The Pearl of Zandvoort" (game of the day Feb-03-2016)
Alekhine - Euwe World Championship Match (1935), Various Locations NED, rd 26, Dec-03
Dutch Defense: Nimzo-Dutch. Alekhine Variation (A90)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 5 OF 5 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-03-16  andrewjsacks: I wager that Philidor would have loved White's play in this classic.
Feb-03-16  lost in space: Now I know why this game looked so familiar. This time I asked myself what the heck is wrong with the simple 20...Nf6. The answer is: nothing. not the best move but the position is close to even (+0,32, shredder 12, d=22)

Wil have a look now to the 32. and 35. move were Aljechin most probably went wrong.

Premium Chessgames Member
  piltdown man: Is this the first time this magnificent game has been GOTD? Surely you can't be serious. (I am serious, and don't call me Shirley).
Feb-03-16  1971: Wow! Power play! Going to have look at Mr. Euwe's games. Such clarity. Turned the board into a play work shop.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: As I explained elsewhere, ZAND = sand and VOORT = fort or castle so ZANDVOORT means SANDCASTLE.
Feb-03-16  Old Woodpusher: I am not really sure why - perhaps it is the barrage of central pawns bearing down on Alekhine's king, or maybe the depth of Euwe's strategy - which are variations on a theme anyway - but this has always been one of my favourite games. I don't know how many times I have played through this game over the years but I always greatly enjoy exercising my inadequate brain cells with this. Science ? Art ? I don't know. Maybe a bit of both but brilliant in either case.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Stonehenge: "Zandvoort is known to exist in 1100, called Sandevoerde (a combination of "sand" and "voorde", meaning ford)." That's ford with a 'd' :)

Feb-03-16  kevin86: White will pick up a rook and be a knight ahead.
Feb-03-16  luftforlife: Here is a link to GM Dr. S.G. Tartakower's special annotated coverage of this game through its adjournment, as published in De Telegraaf on December 4, 1935:

Here is a link to his coverage of this game through its conclusion, as published in De Telegraaf on December 5, 1935:

In neither article do I find his enduring and endearing denomination of this game as "De Parel van Zandvoort," but it is undisputed that it was he who bestowed upon this game its lasting and memorable title. Perhaps kibitzer <zanzibar> or another serious historian such as he will know exactly where and when Dr. Tartakower first gave this game its seminal name.

In his Max Euwe: The Biography (Alkmaar, The Netherlands: New In Chess 2001), Alexandr Münninghoff briefly discusses this game and its enduring moniker at pages 133-34. Here's a link:

Finally, here's more on the etymology of "voorde":

Best to all. ~ lufty

Feb-03-16  luftforlife: Apparently, Dr. Tartakower did not coin the appellation "Parel van Zandvoort" itself, for here it appears in a wholly different context in a squib with no byline published in Het volk on May 12, 1932:

~ lufty

Feb-03-16  morfishine: <piltdown man> Of course this is a great game, and yes, its been "GOTD" many times before, in fact, according to <Xeroxx> this was presented 6,345 times before today


Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Hmm, back-to-back "Pearl of ___" puns. I thought Amethyst was the birthstone of February...
Jun-17-18  CheckMateEndsTheGame: Talk about that Knight tour!
Jun-22-19  thegoodanarchist: I would play 11.Bxb7 and look for Black to prove his sacrifice.

Of course, I am not even of master strength, so I'd probably get rolled.

Jun-22-19  thegoodanarchist: 47.Ne4+ is a beautiful kill shot!
Aug-23-19  PhilFeeley: Why didn't black play bxc after 43. Nd8? The king just walked into that check on e6.
Aug-23-19  sudoplatov: After 43...bxc, White has Nf7+ and Nd6 picking up a Rook.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: White's king's knight had an amazing journey. It's fun to just click through the game and watch it, especially when it lands the killing blow to cap the epic adventure.
Sep-03-20  kenilworthian: 11. Bxb7?! Nxe2+ 12. Kg2 Nxd4 13. Qd3 Nbc6 14. Bxa8 Nxe5 15. Qxd4 Qxa8+ 16. f3 or 14. Nxc6 Nxc6 15. Bxa8 Qxa8 look very good for Black.
May-21-21  SymphonicKnight: A brilliant game sacrificing a piece for passed pawns and called the jewel of the match. Commentators claimed that 31...Qf6 was Alekhine's losing mistake, but unnoticed is that root from which Alekhine actually lost the draw and possibly the match, which was from 32...Rg7? (human commentators liked this move) when only Stockfish indicates that numerous lines are completely equal after 32...Rg6! e.g.

33.exd7 Qxf4 34.Qc3+ Kg8! 35.Qe1! Rxg5! 36.Qe8+ Kg7! (0.00)

33.Qe3 .... (0.00)

33.Qf3 .... (0.00)

33.Qh3 .... (0.00)

Nevertheless this is a great game with both players playing very well.

Jan-12-23  N.O.F. NAJDORF: Could not Alekhine have played the waiting move 36...Ree8?
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: <NOFN> 37.Rg5 and Black's defense crumbles.
Mar-13-23  N.O.F. NAJDORF: What if black replies

37 ... Re7


37 ... Rf7


Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <N.O.F. NAJDORF> 36...Ree8 37. Rg5 Re7? <38. Rf5> is an immediate win.

36...Ree8 37. Rg5 Rf7 does seem to hold out for the moment. Maybe now 38. Kg2 preparing for a queen trade and big endgame advantage for White. To paraphrase an old kibitzer, "Show us your drawing line!"

Mar-14-23  N.O.F. NAJDORF: Thanks.

38. Rf5 is a nice move in your first variation, and in your second variation, even if black tries repeating moves with the rook on f7 and f8 and plays h6 to prevent h4, h5, h6, white can force the exchange of queens and then play d6 and advance his king to d5 and the two central pawns are unstoppable.

I have always thought that 20 ... Bf6 was a mistake.

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