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Alexander Alekhine vs Harry Golombek
Margate (1938), Margate ENG, rd 3, Apr-22
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Romanishin Variation (E20)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Sep-26-08  JG27Pyth: First glance: Oh d5 is screaming to be pushed.

45 minutes later: Ah yes, I believe the move is d5.

(Correspondence chess is turning me into a glacially slow player)

Philidor's Legacy has been mentioned -- which is actually from Lucena's book... not to be confused with the Lucena position, which <isn't> in Lucena's book.)

I had Nxe6 first then Bxb7... it's equivalent I believe.

It's hard to keep from second guessing oneself when you've gotten deep into the combination with just a pawn to the good and the positional advantage doesn't seem to have big pay-off.

Felt like a Saturday.

Sep-26-08  sataranj: yawn!!
Sep-26-08  YouRang: It took me a while to see the winning idea:

It requires good acting. Looking bored and tired, I play 19.g4!?, and after just the right pause, I slap my forehead and look away, muttering "pah, how could I just drop a pawn like that?".

If my opponent offers to let me take it back, I act pleased and grateful, but just as I'm about to do it, I shake my head and announce with great nobility that "it just wouldn't be right".

With a resigned look on my face, my opponent will cheerfully take the pawn with 19...fxg4?.

Now, I pounce like a cat! 20.Qxh7+ and after 20...Kf8 I sink my claws in with 21.Qh8+ Ke7 22.Qxg7+ Ke8 23.Qf7#

Today's puzzle was rather difficult because they usually don't do psychological puzzles. I bet a lot of people don't get it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  sleepyirv: Well, that wasn't easy... I spent a lot of my time trying to remove the f5 pawn. After wasting too much of my time trying to get a queen + knight attack going, I went back to square one. Got d5, didn't get much else.
Sep-26-08  mworld: nice write up TCS - i like how you explained the the logic behind the 'non-calculated' parts of your analysis.

i got the first move since I had a feeling it was the key to the whole thing, but unfortunately I couldn't calculate it out from there to understand why it was the best.

Sep-26-08  Helios727: In the final position did black resign for being 2 pawns down, or is there a more forcing win?
Sep-26-08  kevin86: What a subtle fork!! on pawn and knight.

White is ahead two pawns at the end-one a very powerful passed pawn,well away from enemy forces.

I think that pawn will queen. (You could take it to the bank)-remember when that phrase meant certainty. I hesitate to use it now :(

Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: <kevin86> You can't say "You can bet your house on it" either.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: The force of Alekhine, with no great success, Master Golombek fights too. Teaches you, the game of chess, ya do know. The answer 19.d5, tricky it is. Take it you can but 19..exd5 Bxd5 Qxd5 Rd1 Qe5 Qb3 is no good either.
Sep-26-08  zb2cr: Hi <YouRang>,

Enjoyed your little short story. Unfortunately, as I'm sure you're aware, Black isn't forced to follow that script. :(

Sep-26-08  Geronimo: Well, I'm pleased with myself that I considered d5 as one of my options. I try to check the new puzzle on the way to work (I'm in East Africa) and then - if I haven't worked it out in the morning, come back and look at it in the evening. Too bad work today killed my desire to calculate to the "finish" (here no chance, no day). Here, after seeing no immediate weakness or possible gain of material, spent time looking at 19. d5, e4 or Qc5?! I guess I intuited that the fight for the centre wasn't over.

I guess this isn't so much a tactical as strategic puzzle. What's the matter CG, tired of all of us complaining that things were "easy for a mondaytuesdaywendesday, etc..."?

Alekhine the evil genius. What a wizard on the 8x8 square.

Sep-26-08  YouRang: <zb2cr><Enjoyed your little short story. Unfortunately, as I'm sure you're aware, Black isn't forced to follow that script. :(>

You're right, of course. If psychological tactics fail, then you must resort to more forceful threats.

That's why one should bring a gun (but I stress that it should ONLY be used as a last resort.)

Sep-26-08  lost in space: I am not sure, if I found the solution.

My instinct told me, that I have a play 19. d5, but my brain was not able to find a win. So I was analysing much longer than usual on Friday to find something.

19. d5 exd5
or 19...Ne7 20. dxe6 Bxe6 21. Rd1 Qe5 22. Bxb7! Bd5 (22...Rxb7 Rxd8#) 23. Rab1 h6 24. Nf3 Bxf3 25. Rxd8 Rxd8 26. Bxf3

20. Bxd5 Qxd5 21. Rd1 Qe5 22 Qa2+! Be6 23. Nxe6 Rxd1 24. Rxd1 Kh8 25. Rd7 Qf6 or 25...Qc3 26. Rxg7 Nd8 27. Rxg5

26. Nxg7 Ne5 27. Nh5 Nf3+ 28. Kg2 Qc6 29. Qd5

Very hard for a Friday or I have been overlooking something

Time to check

Sep-26-08  Justawoodpusher: Puh..., saw initially that d5 would be the best move and that the pawn could not be taken. But I felt unable to calculate further so I decided to look up blacks next move to see the new arrangement of pieces on the board (hinding the moves at the side). The next two moves I did the same and considered whites moves correctly as the best ones. But after 21...Qe5 I did not see the winning line with Bxb7. Maybe I should have looked a bit longer. But to see all this from the beginning of the puzzle is unfortunately still beyond my calculating skills.
Sep-26-08  Kasputin: Didn't get it. I did think about 19. d5 (it was probably the first thing that I did think about) but, without any real analysis, I thought that probably this opened up the position and relieved black's cramp and allowed a trade-off of pieces and pawns that actually helped black. So I decided to look at 19. g4 (thinking that I could come back to a move like 19. d5 later on if necessary - that of course never happened). Then I started thinking about 19. e4. You will be relieved to know that I will spare all of you the details of my thoughts on these subjects. Suffice it to say that OTB I would likely have gone with 19. g4 and hoped for the best.

4 out of 5 this week - not bad - see you all on Monday.

Sep-26-08  VooDooMoves: VERY DIFFICULT!!

1 thing stood out initially: the somewhat exposed black king standing on a diagonal that white hits with Queen, Bishop and Knight. So I figured the answer would be ther somewhere, giving me the candidates 19. d5 and 19. Nxe6. However, try as I might I couldn't make them work.

A) 19. d5 and now

A1) 19...exd5 20. Bxd5+ Kf8 (20...Qxd5 21. Rd1 Qb5 22. Rab1 Qa5/e5 23.Qc4+ Kh8 and now we all know the classic smothered mating pattern starting with 24. Nf7+ Kg8 25. Nh6++ Kh8 26. Qg8+! Rxg8 27. Nf7#) 21. Nxh6+ and white wins a pawn. A pawn!!

A2)19...Ne7 20. dxe6 Bxe6 21. Rd1 Qb7 22. Rab1 Qa7 23. Bf1 and black can no longer defend the ♗ so 24. Nxe6 wins a piece, however black does better with

A3) 19...Ne7 20. dxe6 Be8 (20...Bc8 21. Nf7) 21. Qc4 h6 22. Nf7 Bxf7 23. exf7+ Kf8 and it will be difficult for white to protect his extra pawn.

B)19. Nxe6 Bxe6 20. d5 Bxd5 21. Rd1 Ne7 22. Bxd5 Nxd5 23. Qc4 just stupidly loses a piece. So I didn't get it today :(

Sep-26-08  FICSwoodpusher: Wasn't it Kasparov that said piece mobility is the most important aspect in chess?

Here the pawn move to d5 is not only tactically correct but also enhances the power of a rook on d1 and the g2 bishop.

According to Steinitz, white has the advantage here and should attack or else forfeit this advantage, i.e. the initiative.

Sep-26-08  newzild: It may just be the influence of my hangover, today's puzzle seems much, much harder than the others this week.

My pick is 19.d5

Now 19...ef runs into 20.Bxd5+! Qxd5 21.Rd1 followed by 22.Qa2+ with a Philidor mate looming.

So I think black has to move the knight to e5 or e7.

If 19...Ne7 then Bxe6 21.Rd1 Q (any) and now white can trade rooks and pick up the b-pawn.

(this is the hardest bit of the puzzle for me).

If 19...Ne5 then the same combo seems to work.

I'm sure this is it. Time to check, as dzchiel likes to say...

Time to check...

Sep-26-08  newzild: Well, I'm pretty pleased to get that one. I reckon it was tough for a Friday.

Sep-26-08  johnlspouge: Friday (Difficult): Alekhine vs Golombek, 1938 (19.?)

White to play and win.

Material: Even.

Candidates (19.): Nxe6

When I am wrong, I have noticed that I am really wrong :)

Sep-26-08  Woody Wood Pusher: < johnlspouge: Friday (Difficult): Alekhine vs Golombek, 1938 (19.?)

White to play and win.

Material: Even.

Candidates (19.): Nxe6

When I am wrong, I have noticed that I am really wrong :)>

Don't feel bad, I looked at Nxe6 as well for a bit but couldn't get it to work (seem my previous post if ur interested how it went lol)

Sep-26-08  I Offer You A Resign: The winning plan is actually:

When your opponent isn't looking, sneak queens on the board so it looks like this:

click for larger view

and hope he doesn't notice anything...


Sep-26-08  patzer2: For today's Friday puzzle solution, White begins with the decoy pawn sacrifice offer 19. d5!! In doing so, he offers up both the pawn and the Bishop to follow as a decoy and clearance sacrifice to open up the a2-g8 diagonal for a decisive attack.

In fact, the variation not played where Black accepts the pawn and offers up the Bishop is the key to this combination. After White opens up the diagonal in this line, the threat of mate or a discovered check winning material decides.

Here's a detailed look:

<19. d5!! Ne7>

If Black takes the sacrifice with 19... exd5, then White wins after 20. Bxd5+! Qxd5 21. Rd1 Qe5 22. Qb3+ Be6 23. Nxe6 Rxd1+ 24. Rxd1 Na5 25. Qa2! Kh8

[25...Kf7 26. Rd7+ Kf6 (26... Ke8 27. Nc5 Qf6 28. Qg8+ Qf8 29. Qe6+ Qe7 30. Qxe7#) (26... Kg6 27. Nf4+ Kg5 28. h4+ Kh6 29. Qf7 Qa1+ 30. Kh2 Qf6 31. Qh5#) 27. Nf4 Rf8 28. Nd3 Qe6 29. Qa1+ Kg5 30. h4+ Kh6 31. Qxg7+ Kh5 32. Qg5#;

25... b5 26. Nd8+ Nc4 27. Nc6 Qb2 28. Qxb2 Nxb2 29. Rb1 Rb6 30. Nxa7 Rb7 31. Nc6 Na4 32. Nd4 Nc3 33. Rb3 Rc7 34. Nxf5 Rc4 35. Nd4 ]

26. Nd8 Qe7 27. Rd7 Qf6 28. Nf7+ Kg8 29. Qd5 Nc6 30. Kg2 a6 31. Nd6+ Kh8 32. Rf7 Ne7 33. Qd4 Qxd4 34. exd4 Nd5 35. Rxf5 .

<20. dxe6 Bxe6 21. Rd1>

A winning alternative is 21. Qc7 Bf7 22. Bxb7 h6 23. Nxf7 Kxf7 24. Bf3 Qxc7 25. Rxc7 a6 26. Be2 a5 27. Rc5 Ra8 28. Rb1 Rdc8 29. Rxc8 Rxc8 30. Rb5 Ra8 31. Bc4+ Kf8 32. h3 g6 33. Bf1 a4 34. Bg2 Ra6 35. Bb7 Ra7 36. Rb4 .

<21...Qe5 22. Bxb7 h6>

Black might put up more resistance with 22... Bd5, but White still wins after 23. Rab1 h6 24. Bxd5+ Nxd5 25. Rxb8 Rxb8 26. Qd3 hxg5 27. Qxd5+ Qxd5 28. Rxd5 g6 29. g4 Rb6 30. gxf5 gxf5 31. Rxf5 Ra6 32. Rxg5+ Kf7 33. h4 Rxa3 34. h5 Ra6 35. f4 Rh6 36. Kf2 a6 37. Kf3 Rh7 38. Rf5+ Kg7 39. e4 Rh8 40. Ra5 .

<23. Nxe6 Qxe6 24. Qc7 Rxd1+ 25. Rxd1 Re8 26. Bf3 a6 27. Rd6 Qe5 28. Qc4+ Kh7 29. Rxa6 Rc8 30. Qf7 Rc1+ 31. Kg2 1-0>

Sep-27-08  Flicflac: As nice as it is to have seen Ne7 when in Alekhine's shoes, is it necessary to have to calculate that line? Because after all, taking is the most critical reply and if one can resolve that move to prove that it is bad, can we just stop our calculation right then and there and play the move?
May-02-11  Calli: Chess Note 7063 - "A letter from Alekhine". AA says that after " 9.d5! exd5 20.Bxd5+ Qxd5 21.Rd1 Qe5 22.Qa2+ Be6 23.Nxe6 , etc., finally winning the exchange".

click for larger view

White is winning easily after 23...Rxd1 24.Rxd1 Kh8 25.Rd7, but what about the exchange? Anybody see it?

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