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Alexander Alekhine vs Theodore Henry Tylor
Margate (1937), Margate ENG, rd 3, Apr-02
Spanish Game: Closed Variations. Worrall Attack (C86)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Oct-15-19  landshark: I saw the tactic right away but struggled with the resulting endgame, missing the motif of sacrificing the passer on d6 in order to mow down black's remaining queenside pawns.
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Anyone else have doubts about 11...f5? 11...g6; 12.Bh6!?,Ng7 intending ...f5; exf5,gxf5 seems like a viable alternative, even though the Bd7 would do more good for Black on c8, allowing ...Nd7-f6.
Oct-15-19  Walter Glattke: 44.-Kf8 45.Nxh5 Ke7 46.cxd5 cxd5 47.Nf4 c4 48.Kg2 c3 49.Kf2 ++- 45.-dxc4 46.Nf4 b5 47.Kg2 b4 48.Kf2 c3 49.bxc3 bxc3 50.Ke2 ++-
Oct-15-19  newzild: Straightforward stuff:

43.Rg8+ Kxg8
44.Nxf6+ Kf8
45. Nxh5 Ke7
46. Nf4 dxc4
47. Kg2 b5
48. Kf3 b4
49. Ke4

and the King arrives in time to deal with Black's q-side pawns.

Oct-15-19  mel gibson: I saw it in 1 second.
Oct-15-19  AlicesKnight: The given position is resolved by Rg8+ followed by Nxf6+ (whether or not Black captures). For the full beauty of the finish it is necessary to go back a few moves - a splendid tactical sequence - 38.Nxg5 unleashes the final attack.
Oct-15-19  Ratt Boy: I backed up one move and sent the position to some buds. White to move: 42. ?

Way more interesting that way.

Oct-15-19  malt: 43.Rg8+ K:g8
(43...Kh7 44.N:f6# )

44.N:f6+ and 45.N:h5

Oct-15-19  1stboard: Games with pawns only are the simplest games to win ......
Oct-15-19  zb2cr: 43. Rg8+, Kxg8; 44. Nf6+, leaving White a Knight up, cries out to be played.
Oct-15-19  stacase: A two stepper second day in a row!

Was this any more difficult to see than yesterday? Fewer pieces and a Knight fork just had to be in the works. You had to see that if black declined the rook sacrifice, and moved 43...Kh7 instead, the fork still works.

Oct-15-19  whiteshark: Royal Fork in the ma♔.

--> Game Collection: 665_Tactical motif ROYAL FORK

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Alekhine's quote from <whaddayaplay>'s 2005 post indicates White should have played 7. Bxc6 dxc6 8. Nxe5 ± winning a pawn.

This suggests 6...0-0?, allowing 7. Bxc6 dxc6 8. Nxe5 ±, is not a good move.

Our Opening Explorer indicates 6...0-0?, allowing 7. Bxc6 dxc6 8. Nxe5 ±, is rarely played.

The popular and better alternative is 6...b5 = as in Black's win in M Karthikeyan vs Wei Yi, 2016.

Oct-15-19  cunctatorg: I really wonder -and I would like very-very much to know- at what move exactly Alexander Alekhine had pinpointed the 43. Rg8! sacrifice...

Alas, we never learn, we can only make a guess...

Oct-15-19  TheaN: The notes to this game are more interesting than this actual combination, where again I almost instantly saw 43.Rg8+ with a win: technically as the knight will end up behind the pawn which always wins unless it has to move to a passed pawn: 43.Rg8+ Kxg8 (Kh7 44.Nxf6#) 44.Nxf6+ Kf8 45.Nxh5 Ke7 46.cxd5 (no reason to allow Black a defended passed pawn) cxd5 47.Nf4 +- and the king can simply collect the d-pawn as the Black king can never move beyond the 6th rank.

The alternative 43.Nxf6? looks playable at first sight as Black can't cover g8, but does so with tempo: 43....Qd1+ 44.Kg2 (Rg1 Qf3+ with Qxf6 -+) Qe2+ 45.Kg1 Qxe6 -+ and Rg8+ gives Black a won endgame.

Alekhine's note is also interesting: <waddayaplay: Some notes by A.A himself from his games collection. After move 7.c3 he writes

"An exaggerated faith in the knowledge of my opponents was always the vulnerable part of my opening play; for instance, at San Remo, 1930 , I did not take a pawn on the tenth move which my opponent, Rubinstein, left en prise in an even more obvious way than in this game! It is obvious that 7. Bxc6 dxc6 8. Nxe5 could and should have been played, since Qd4 9. Nf3 Qxe4? would cost a piece after QxQ followed by Re1.">

AA is correct about 7.Bxc6 dxc6 8.Nxe5! Qd4?! 9.Nf3! Qxe4? 10.Qxe4 Nxe4 11.Re1 Bf5 12.d3 technically winning a piece, but SF9 considers after 12....Bb4! 13.dxe4! to be best (with 13....Bxe1 14.exf5 ±), instead of 13.c3!? Nc5 14.cxb4 Nxd3 15.Rd1 Nxb4 ± to ⩲

Oct-15-19  TheaN: <cunctatorg: I really wonder -and I would like very-very much to know- at what move exactly Alexander Alekhine had pinpointed the 43. Rg8! sacrifice...

Alas, we never learn, we can only make a guess...>

Good question, as a good part of White's attack is centered around g-file pressure and the loose royal pieces.

Usually it does start slightly <before> the losing move (37....Bd6?, 37....Qg6=) as it creates the combination that allows a losing move to be one. Black makes it possible with 36....d5, so my educated guess is that AA saw the Rg8 idea as he played <37.Qd2> at least. Before that it might have been an idea but no practical execution.

Oct-15-19  Damenlaeuferbauer: After long pondering, the immortal Alexander A. Alekhine finally found the combination 43.Rg8+!,Kxg8 44.Nf6+,Kf8/g7/h8 45.Nxh5 +-. The end of this game at Margate 1937 reminds me to the two epic encounters V. Petrosian - B. Spassky, Moscow (m/10) 1966 and B. Spassky - R. Fischer, Siegen (ol) 1970 nearly thirty years later. A friend of mine, Ulrich Bischoff, watched the last game together with his father almost 50 years ago in an overcrowded Siegerland hall as a child and will never forget this.
Oct-15-19  Chesgambit: 41. Kh8 puzzle
Oct-15-19  cunctatorg: @ <TheaN: ... as he played 37.Qd2 at least.> It's a really educated guess. However the simple facts are (i) that this combination of seven-eight moves, which involves a sacrifice of a Knight and the Queen, is inaccessible to mere mortals and (ii) that this very combination was more than accessible to AAA, even calculated during the 37th move!!...
Oct-15-19  TheaN: <cunctatorg> fair points but I would like to correct the difficulty purely on depth: some seven-moves are considerably easy, whilst some are not understandable for humans. As ply increases, the occurrence of the latter is more common.

This combination is a bit of a mix. The combination itself isn't really the merit of 37.Qd2. It threatens <to check on the long diagonal and play Nxg5>. Black only defends against the former with 37....Bd6? so Alekhine executes the latter. After 38.Nxg5 nothing works, and 38....Bxf4 39.Qc3+ +- simply allows White to take some pieces away from the bishop's firepower.

<Perhaps> Alekhine only saw the Qxf6/Rg8 idea after 39....R8f6: Black is not forced to play into this particular line and White doesn't have to play it so precisely, as after 40.Ne4+ Bxg3 41.Rxg3+ Kh8 <42.Nxf6> wins similarly.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <TheaN>'s remarks elucidate the difficulties we mere humans face under constraints of time, as opposed to having oceans of it, not to mention top-class silicon assistants which can show the way in such positions, and thread their way effortlessly through such morasses as the McShane-Caruana encounter from IoM yesterday and enable countless players to crow regarding McShane's missed opportunity, when in reality, matters were far harder to assess at the board, the position being so double-edged.
Oct-15-19  Whitehat1963: Easier than yesterday’s.
Oct-15-19  metroXmagnum85X: Why doesn't black take the F pawn on move 25?
Oct-15-19  zb2cr: To <metroXmagnum85X>: "Why doesn't black take the F pawn on move 25?"

Probably didn't like the looks of 25. ... Rxf4; 26. Rxf4, Qxf4; 27. Rf1, Qg4 ( if 27. ... Qh4; 28.Nf5!); 28. Rf7. To me, it looks as though Black's Bishop is lost. 28. ... Qh4 is again answered by 29. Nf5. 28. ... Bf6 gives mate in two after 29. Rf8+.

Oct-16-19  TheBish: This could have been a much better puzzle a move earlier, but just one problem: The simple 42. Nxf6 also wins. I wonder if Alekhine thought it was an easier win as played, or if he was just being flashy. I would play the queen sham sac if I saw it OTB, regardless of whether it was a quicker win. The engine prefers 42. Nxf6, which indicates it's a quicker win with queens on. But clearly less to worry about with queens off.
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