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Alexander Alekhine vs Max Euwe
Euwe - Alekhine World Championship Rematch (1937), Rotterdam NED, rd 16, Nov-11
Catalan Opening: Open Defense (E02)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Oct-12-04  aw1988: Does anyone have a game collection of blunders? Here's a very worthy candidate:

25...Qe5? 26. Bb2? Bc6?? 27. a3??

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <aw1988>:
<25...Qe5? 26. Bb2? Bc6?? 27. a3??>

Are you referring to the fact that for two moves in a row, they both missed White's little combination ♕h8+ ♔xh8 ♘xf7+ winning a pawn?

Feb-16-05  aw1988: Yes.
Jan-10-06  BabyJ: It looks like just 25...Qf5 would
be OK, similar to the game later.
An interesting game, but Alekhine's whole tactical concept beginning with 18 Rxd7 is somewhat amateurish, in that at the culmination - 21 Nxh7 -
he's basically just won one pawn, but
meanwhile allowed Black a raking QB
as evident compensation. I'm not sure
what's wrong with 36...Nxh2 either.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: 25...Qe5 Dental plan!
26.Bb2 Lisa needs braces!
26...Bc6 Dental plan!
27.a3 Lisa needs braces!
Oct-02-06  Operation Mindcrime: This one appears - with some pretty sarcastic comments - in Andrew Soltis, "The Inner Game Of Chess", as an example of a combination 99% of masters would've seen...
Oct-03-06  Starf1re: maybe alekhine felt he had better winning chances with his q on the board--who's to say he didn't see it-- not that i'm a fan of alekhine's but how long was andrew soltis world champ for
Oct-03-06  Operation Mindcrime: <Starf1re> Point well made. Alekhine did more than enough in the match's remaining games to win back his title, and as you said, he preferred more complex positions than pawn-up endings.
Oct-20-06  THE pawn: <offramp> haha!
Sep-12-07  kevin86: In a very strange circumstance,both players miss a combination where white can win a pawn,and most likely the game.

The next time I make a blunder,I will remember that TWO world champions missed this one.

Apr-08-08  Knight13: <beatgiant: <aw1988>: <25...Qe5? 26. Bb2? Bc6?? 27. a3??> Are you referring to the fact that for two moves in a row, they both missed White's little combination Qh8+ Kxh8 Nxf7+ winning a pawn?

aw1988: Yes.>

Missing a combination does not make a move blunder.

Oct-02-10  whiteshark: Immortalized under <World Championship Quality Blunders>: http://streathambrixtonchess.blogsp...
Feb-04-11  solskytz: What missed combination?
How does 26. Qh8+ Kxh8 27. Nxf7+ Kg8 28. Nxe5 Bxb4 now or next move win a pawn ??

only after 27. a3 does this combination become a real threat. Euwe covers it by 27...Bd6. The play stay balanced.

Feb-04-11  solskytz: What missed combination?

How does 26. Qh8+ Kxh8 27. Nxf7+ Kg8 28. Nxe5 Bxb4 now or next move win a pawn ??

Only after 27. a3 does this combination become a real threat. Euwe covers it by 27...Bd6. The play stay balanced.

Mar-09-11  hedgeh0g: Actually, the combination works on move 26, since now the bishop is en prise and the knight is protected at the end of the sequence. I think it's fair to say the combination was missed by both players, although calling it a sequence of "blunders" is a little harsh.
Mar-09-11  DWINS: <solskytz>, It was definitely a missed combination. You are correct that the combination starting with move 26 doesn't win a pawn, but it does lead to a winning endgame. However, the same combination played a move later is even more devastating as it does win a pawn since Black cannot play 29...Bxb4 because of the hanging bishop on c6.

<hedgeh0g>, It is most definitely a sequence of blunders. What else could it be since playing it wins the game and not playing it only draws?

In "Extreme Chess", Purdy says, "The game is remarkable for a gruesome double blunder, twice repeated by both players. It must be the worst example of a double blunder ever recorded in a match for the world championship.

Curiously enough, the oversight was also made by some of the grandmasters present as press representatives. One of them rang up his paper at 2 a.m., for he had lauded the "accuracy" of the play on both sides! The presses were stopped, and the praise was duly turned into expressions of horrified amazement."

Mar-09-11  solskytz: Hedgehog, I guess that you mean that the Black bishop in my variation is 'en prise' to the Queen on h4, which we sacrificed on h8 at the beginning of the combination, is that right?

(sometimes we are plagued in our calculations by 'shadows' of pieces long gone.. can happen to everybody.

About the winning ending... well to be quite honest only now do I notice that white is ALREADY up a pawn to start with - so of course, he is better at the ending. He has a fierce battle ahead still, as he has to fight against many pieces, coupled with a Q-side pawn majority of his adversary. The win isn't easy.

Let's not forget that at move 26 White still enjoys a material advantage, plus an aggressive placement of his pieces. He can ask a question - "why simplify?"

Then he plays 27. a3, saying, 'well, I guess I'd simplify if I can win a second pawn..."

to which his adversary hurries to answer "well, not in this game, but dream on", and so both players agree to stay in a 1-pawn-difference middle game, at least for the time being, still manoeuvering...

Mar-09-11  solskytz: Hmm, and Dwins - what I wrote above applies to move 25. Of course at move 26 the combination is brilliant and does win a pawn, as after black takes care of his hanging c6 bishop we still have time to consolidate by a2-a3, with two solid extra pawns. Good catch!
Mar-09-11  solskytz: And imho, as the game was played, a move such as 32. Kf2 would still keep a tangible advantage for white.

My conclusion: The combo isn't all that 'golden' at move 25 (though playable), but should should should be played at move 26.

Mar-09-11  hedgeh0g: <solskytz> I meant to say the combination works on move 27, since the LSB is hanging to the knight and the knight on c3 is protected by the bishop in the event of Bxb4.

<DWINS> Our opinions obviously differ regarding the definition of a "blunder". For me, a blunder represents a "??" move, i.e. a move which significantly <decreases> the evaluation of one's position and turns typically results in a lost position. Often, such moves are fairly obvious, serious mistakes.

If you're going to define every missed combination as a blunder, even what seems like a masterpiece could contain "blunders" when run through Rybka.

Jul-11-11  Ratt Boy: <Starf1re>: You're not a fan of Alekhine? Strange...he was one of the great world champs of chess history. To employ your argument: how many openings are named after you?

Look, I'm sure Soltis would be the first to concede that, in any match, Alekhine would kick his beee-hind. But that doesn't mean that his annotations to a game are pointless or gratuitous. Just as sportswriters who couldn't hit a jump shot are entitled to criticize LeBron, so Soltis should be allowed his fun without irrelevant snarky digs.

<hedgeh0g>: Of course missing a clearly winning line, which would typically be seen by players of your caliber, is a blunder. If some "masterpieces" contain be it.

Jul-11-11  aliejin: Blunder, Oversight, error , whatever, no
should divert the general concept ....

The match of 1937 was of high quality
and one of the most interesting

It's hard to find a single party that does not offer interest.

Jul-11-18  cunctatorg: Fact: Alekhine had played very dynamically (and gloriously) this game until his 26th move.

Conjecture: he made then the repeated blunders because he didn't believe that the World Champion Max Euwe was capable of such oversights! That is, he made the repeated blunders because he did trust the World Champion!!... The same should hold for Euwe's 26th move...

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