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Alexander Alekhine vs Max Euwe
Euwe - Alekhine World Championship Rematch (1937), Delft NED, rd 22, Nov-27
Reti Opening: Advance Variation (A09)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: <bg> How are you? White exposes the k with g3 and Black can force a ♕ exchg on 46.g3 ♖e7 47.♘xf7 ♕e2+
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Calli>Fine, and you?

This probably won't come as a shock to you, but... you're right. I have not found any win after <43...Rb7>. I also tried 44. Qd5 but then Black has ...Qe2 e.g. 43...Rb7 44. Qd5 Qe2 45. Ra1 Kg7, and the attack peters out.

<Must be a win earlier> It certainly looks that way. My suggestion would be 37. Re1, threatening 38. Re7. I don't see any easy defense.

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <beatgiant> 37 Re1 is an interesting suggestion.

Alekhine's own notes question 37 Rd1 with

<This attempt to repeat moves, due to a shortage of time, leads to extremely interesting complications. After the simple 37 b4 White would not have much trouble in taking advantage of from the possession of the passed pawn. For instance 37...Qc4 38 Ne7+ Kf8 39 Nc6 Rb6 40 b5! Rxb5 41 Qa3+ and wins>

However, he does not analyse the stronger move 39...Rb5! preventing that tactic, when Rybka 3 shows the best White can do is to go into a dreaded rook ending.

40 Rd1 Bb2 41 Rd6 Qc1+ 42 Kh2 Rf5 43 Qe3 Qxe3 44 fxe3 Rb5 45 Rd3 .58/25

click for larger view

White is clearly better, but has problems removing the blockade on b5 without exchanging knight for bishop, and Black's King is nearer the action than White.

So 37 Re1, with the intention to invade on e7 looks like a better try.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: <bg> I am well! Agree that 37.Re1 is a good try. The ending is difficult because of the bishop. If Black can get it on one of the center diagonals, it can hinder the passed pawn and attack White's king at the same time. For instance, after 37.Re1 Black can actually play 37...Be5 because of 38.Rxe5 Qa1+ Not sure that it's the right move, but the position remains quite unclear to me.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Calli>, <tamar> Tired of the indignity of posting blunders and having my positional evaluations instantly rebutted by engine jockies whose own chess skill is unknown, with their 20-move lines or assertions that Fritz shows move A is 0.05 of a pawn better than move B, I finally broke down and got a free download of an old version of Fritz!

Yes! Now I don't have to retire to the Rogoff page and give my plan for a balanced Federal budget and Mideast peace, or a logical proof that my socio-political, racial and religious biases are better than the next kibitzer's.

Running my first engine analysis, I found that on 37. Re1 Be5, it likes 38. Ne7+ Kf8 39. Nc6. White can trade knight for bishop whenever he wants and usually ends up with a winning ending.

On 37. Re1, it prefers ...Qd6 as the best defense. White keeps about a pawn's worth of advantage, it claims.

On move 37 for White, it prefers Alekhine's choice of 37. b4. I showed it <tamar>'s line and it gives 37. b4 Qc4 38. Ne7+ Kf8 39. Nc6 (actually it prefers <39. Qd5> there) ...Rb5 <40. Na5> and White's on top, with a main line of 40...Qc7 41. Qd3 Qb6 42. Nc4 Qd4 43. Qxd4 Bxd4 44. Ne3 followed by 45. Nc2. Black's rook can't blockade the pawn forever as Na3 will kick it out.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: Starting to be convinced, but right now I am not able to really concentrate on it. Something about looking up Carranza in bunch of books has me spaced out.

"finally broke down and got a free download of an old version of Fritz!" - Next thing you're gonna tell me that they found Bin Laden. 8-)

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <beatgiant> Welcome to the dark side.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <tamar>
<the dark side>
Engine analysis does not concur with this assessment, most lines ending with about 0.10 of a pawn advantage to the light side from the opening position. But, I'll spare you the 20 move long main line....
May-07-11  fab4: 11 < beatgiant: <tamar> <the dark side>
Engine analysis does not concur with this assessment, most lines ending with about 0.10 of a pawn advantage to the light side from the opening position. But, I'll spare you the 20 move long main line.... >

Engine .. Engine.. Engine ...

Try YOUR own analysis sometime. You might even enjoy it. You never know..

What I do know is idiots like you commenting on games played by icons using silicon tools to embellish their commentary. ...

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <fab4>
Read the whole thread. I've been posting for 7 years without an engine until I finally got one yesterday for the reasons posted above.
May-07-11  fab4: <beatgiant: <fab4> Read the whole thread. I've been posting for 7 years without an engine until I finally got one yesterday for the reasons posted above >

And your commenting on a game played in 1937... By two greats in chess.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <sigh>
Can't post without an engine, can't post with an engine.... Maybe I'd better retire to the Rogoff page after all.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <fab4> I suggest you download the engine Kibitzer 12, which will automatically translate such elements as humor, and self irony, implicit in <beatgiant>'s posts on this page.

And I disagree that it is in any way disrespectful to subject Alekhine and Euwe to computer analysis. Both were intensely interested in truth on the chessboard, and fanatical in terms of analysis themselves.

Alekhine especially, would have taken to computers like a duck to water. Is there any doubt Alekhine would use computers as a tool to sharpen his play, and to check his analysis?

Alekhine saw 37 b4 at the board, of course, but time trouble and intuition told him to try to improve the position of his rook first.

He chose 37 Rd1, but 37 Re1 suggested by <beatgiant> (on his own!) looks better than either move.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <tamar>

It's also interesting to note that after <Calli>'s improvement with 43...Rb7 44. Qf3 Bb6 45. Nd8 Qe5+ 46. g3 Re7 47.Nxf7 Qe2+, this old Fritz (ver. 5.32) still thinks White has a substantial advantage, even though <Calli> and I see it as an easy draw. Do you think endgame understanding has been improved in more recent software?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: Euwe claimed an amazing draw at move 48.

It goes 48...h5! 49.Ne2 Rd1 50.Qb7+ Kf8 51.Nxd4 Rxf1+ 52.Kh2 Bg1+ 53.Kg3 Bf2+ (h5! has g4 covered so now White must walk into a discovery in order to try for the win) 54.Kf3 Bxd4+ 55.Ke4 Bg1 .

click for larger view

Now the good Doctor says that the position is drawn because even if Black gives up the Bishop for the passed pawn, White can't make progress. Don't know about that, but certainly if you put the Rook at e6 and the Bishop at b6, it looks like a fortress.

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <beatgiant> Yeah, looks pretty dead. I think you and <Calli> are right about the draw there and Fritz 5.32 probably is programmed to give material advantage assessments when it does not see to the end of a line.

Interestingly, Kasparov seems to have doubts about the computer assessment, and tried to tweak a win after 43...Rb7 <(a 'machine' move!)> 44 Qf3 Bb6

Here he noted that the computer was finding draws against 45 Nd8, which had previously been considered winning, so he tried a human move to keep play going

<More cunning is the quiet move 45 Kh1 with a mass of diverse threats, for example 45...Rd7 46 Qg4 Rd5 47 Qb4+ Bc5 48 Qc4 Qd2 49 Nd8! (a ferocious knight!) Kg8 50 Nxf7 Qd4 and although White retains an advantage, the position is nevertheless closer to a draw; after the coming exchanges he will remain with an extra pawn that is hard to convert>

Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: Rb7 (a machine move!) - Alekhine had already considered it. So I wonder what engine AA was using back then. Anyway, it seems like a very logical move to guard f7.

In Kaspy's var, can't White just play 46...Qd2. I don't think he should fear a Q exchg with 47.Qb4+.

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <Calli> No way Alekhine found that on his own.

Alekhine was using The Turk 2.32 with Gunsburg's son in the secret compartment.

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <Or 47...Qc2 48 Ra1 and the exposed king would succumb to the combined attack of the three white pieces> Alekhine

Kasparov quotes this without comment, but I don't see it.

48...Qc7 for example pins the knight, and I don't see how White would proceed.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <tamar>
On 47...Qc2, I thought White would play 48. Nd5+. If the king goes for shelter with 48...Kf8, then 49. Nf6 continues the chase (both 50. Ne4 and 50. Nxh7+ are threatened). White's attack still has a lot of vigor.
May-10-11  DWINS: I ran 47...Qc2 by Houdini 1.5a and it agrees with <beatgiant's> computer that 48. Nd5+ is the best continuation. It looks like a winner to me after 48...Kf8 49. Nf6 Qc7+ 50. Kh1 Ba7 51. Nxh7+ Kg7 52. Qf6+ Kxh7 53. Qxf7+ Qxf7 54. Rxf7+ Kh6 55. Rxa7 (1.59).
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <Dwins> thanks, the end of that line looks winning, but I wonder if there is a hidden Euwe like draw concealed in it if Black varies, and tries for the fortress that <Calli> illustrates a few posts ago.

<DWINS: I ran 47...Qc2 by Houdini 1.5a and it agrees with <beatgiant's> computer that 48. Nd5+ is the best continuation. It looks like a winner to me after 48...Kf8 49. Nf6 Qc7+ 50. Kh1 Ba7 51. Nxh7+ Kg7 52. Qf6+ Kxh7 53. Qxf7+ Qxf7 54. Rxf7+ Kh6 55. Rxa7 (1.59)>

So instead of 51...Kg7 which allows the liquidation, try 51...Kg8 52 Nf6+ Kf8 53 Qe4 Rf2

Here Black must prove a draw against both 54 Rxf2 and 54 Qa8 both tough endgames. I will just deal with one.

Now Rybka 3 on Deep goes for the line 54 Qa8+ Bb8 55 Qa3+ Kg7 56 Ne8+ Kg8 57 Nxc7 Rxf1+ 58 Kh2 Bxc7+ 59 g3 Rf2+ 60 Kg1 Bxg3

click for larger view

This looks like a draw to me-if 61 b4 Rf4! going for a fortress- although Rybka gives 3.43 for White even after 12 minutes of thought.

<beatgiant> Check this with yours if you have the time. It might be a better answer than I can give whether software has improved much in endgames.

Dec-22-13  Stefano80: I was wondering whether 15. ... b6-b5 would have been better for Dr. Euwe in the early game, just to avoid white's activity on the a-line.

Engine analyses suggest

16. a6 Ba8 17. c5 Ne8 with the idea of moving the Knight to c7 and overdefend d5.

click for larger view

Although Black is passive, white does not seem to have any obvious idea to improved his position.

Sep-14-14  ssitimefill: Pure speculation ... but maybe Carlsen had in mind a game like this one when he played the Reti against Anand in the WC match.
Nov-29-17  Howard: Kasparov's MGP gives an extensive amount of analysis to this complex clash, but only a small portion of it is mentioned here.
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