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Alexander Alekhine vs Paul Keres
"Keres t'Fallen" (game of the day Jan-28-2017)
Munich (1942), Munich GER, rd 4, Sep-18
Queen's Indian Defense: Euwe Variation (E17)  ·  1-0



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Given 23 times; par: 48 [what's this?]

Annotations by Alexander Alekhine.      [77 more games annotated by Alekhine]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-28-17  morfishine: <Cole Trane> You forgot sanctuary cities and gangs. I'd love to see Trump "send in the tanks" in Chicago and put those gangs in their place.

Castro ran the mob out of Cuba with those tactics and held onto power til he died. Not that I support Castro and/or communism, but the show of force and resolve was impressive.


Jan-28-17  Jack Kerouac: Paul was quite good, but his temperament allowed him to be dominated by the elite masters. Alternate fact #14...
Jan-28-17  RandomVisitor: 14...Nxe5 15.dxc5 Bxd5 16.Bxe5 Rxc5 17.Bxd5 or 17.Bxf6 =.
Apr-25-17  visayanbraindoctor: <Jack Kerouac: Paul was quite good, but his temperament allowed him to be dominated by the elite masters.>

If I may disagree, Paul Keres was never dominated by any leading master, except for Botvinnik (and only in the 1940s upward, as he probably played stronger chess than Botvinnik in the 1930s,) and Alekhine (he could score only one win against AAA in all their meetings in the late 30s and early 40s despite the fact that Keres was in his early peak).

On the other hand, Keres played the other World Champions to about par, and he dominated both Tal and Korchnoi.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Messiah: Excellent exploitation of the structural problems by Alekhine.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: Why did Keres not play, and Alekhine not comment on 14...Nxe5 as suggested by <RandomVisitor> above?

Maybe both players were looking at an exchange sac with 14...Nxe5 15. d6?! Bxg2 16. dxe5 Bxd6 <17. exf6> Bxf1 18. Rxf1 g6 19. f4 with a kingside attack, but will White get enough compensation? Computer evals don't show it.

click for larger view

Nov-01-19  Retireborn: <beatgiant> 17.exd6, rather than exf6. Then 17...Bxf1 18.Rxf1 Rd7 19.Bxf6 gxf6 20.Qg4+ Kh8 21.Ne4 f5 22.Qh4 fxe4 23.Qf6+ is just a draw, it seems.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Retireborn>
Yes of course I also saw the draw with 14...Nxe5 15. d6 Bxg2 16. dxe5 Bxd6 <17. exd6> as you suggested, but 17. exf6 is a winning attempt.

Against a fellow amateur at the chess club, I would totally play it, because my diagram above shows a position where it's very easy to find strong moves for White, and much less obvious what Black is supposed to do about it.

Nov-02-19  Retireborn: <beatgiant> I take your point; 17.exf6 may be a good practical chance. These lines wouldn't appeal to Keres, if he looked at them. It's noteworthy that when he had the same position as White his opponent didn't choose 14...Nxe5 either.

Keres vs Ragozin, 1948

Mar-05-21  tympsa: Athmosfere on these tournaments was not relaxed and happy at all .Organizers demanded that Keres would play under Nazi Germany flag because Estonia was occupied by Germany at the time . Keres refused and demanded Estonia flag : blue-black-white . Compromise was reached : no flag at all on Keresès side of the table , just paper sign Paul Keres, Grossmeister . Keres also had some private conversations with Alechine about situation during the war . He asked : what do you think Russians would do to us if they catch us ? Alechine replied : they would cut my head off for sure and yours is not safe either if you fall into their hands . In 1944 Keres tried to flee into Sweden like 80 000 other Estonians did when Red Army reached Estonia again, but his boat did not come in time and he was forced to stay .

Rumor is Botvinnik saved his life explaining to Stalin that Keres could be very useful for him as training partner since he was the best player to help Botvinnik in possible W Ch match against Alechine. Stalin respected Botvinnik very much and wanted him to win World Champion title, so Keres`es life was saved and he could play already in 1946 in USSR-USA chess match( beat Reuben Fine again ) and in 1947 in USSR championships . Latvian chess master Petrov was not so lucky , he was killed / died in GULAG.

Oct-31-21  Margetic D: " Well put. I don't believe Alekhine was anti-semitic. He had too many Jewish friends and a jewish wife; and besides, the evidence just doesn't add up, something's definitely fishy there" <morfishine> i agree with you. My grand parent relatives knew the family Alekhine actually, Aljehin) to well, and Alexander was never a pro-nazi , but all the time he tried his best to survive the extremly terrible , dangerious situation. Alekhine was playing for France in the Buenos Aries Olympiad of 1939 when war was declared and as captain he refused to allow his team to play against Germany. On returning to Europe he joined the French army as an interpreter. At the fall of France he fled to Lisbon, where displaced European exiles took up residence during the war. In 1941, however, he fell under Nazi influence. Not only did the aforementioned regrettable articles appear in print, perhaps losing him the chance of a visa to the US, he also played in tournaments in Germany (to survive as he mentioned later in 1946 to a Belgian violin player) and occupied countries, but other did the same (like Keres, just for example ). Alekhine never agreed to become German citizen. He stayed Russian as well as French. After the war, the actions to play in Germany, were later construed as collaboration and in 1946 he was refused an invitation to the London tournament. He was also suffering from the effects of years (in the war) of hard drinking. Alekhine was, of course, still World Champion – the opportunity for matches having been severely limited by the constraints of World War Two (a fact about which Alekhine was extremly sad). However, the young challenger Mikhail Botvinnik was eager for a match to take place. This was arranged in March 1946 under the auspices of the British Chess Federation, but the day after the news was dispatched by telegram, Alekhine was found death in his hotel room, died by official version from a heart attack... But, i would rather turn to chess, i have the Grande Alekhine rather in his unique, never reached chess memories :) Today 31.October, it is Alekhine s Birthday :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Alekhine wrote vicious anti-Semitic articles and bragged about it, when he thought there would be no cause to regret them. But no, he couldn?t possibly be anti-Semitic.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: < Alekhine wrote vicious anti-Semitic articles>

I wouldn't call them vicious; my word is 'ironic.' The only thing that strikes me as borderline nasty is his take on Rubinstein - "when I came to Berlin after four years' experience of the Soviets, I found there a Rubinstein who was only half a grand-master and a quarter of a human being." But even that one could be deemed fair comment regarding Rubinstein's mental decline.

Oct-31-21  aliejin: We will never know but
the natural thing is to think, as the Nazi propaganda did, that those articles were written by ardent Nazis with chess knowledge

Besides, what could Alekhine do? go to the SS to complain?

Oct-31-21  thebully99: Weren't Alekhine's notebooks supposed to be released to the public 5 years ago?
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Every year since, I think, 2006. Frankly, I doubt such material still exists, if it ever did. Some notebooks did come into the public domain a few years back, but they were ones gifted by Alekhine during the war, so were unlikely to have any incriminating evidence.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: < aliejin: We will never know but the natural thing is to think, as the Nazi propaganda did, that those articles were written by ardent Nazis with chess knowledge Besides, what could Alekhine do? go to the SS to complain?>

I can tell you what he did not have to do: go to Spain and brag about the articles. But that is what he did.

I've never understood the compulsion to think well of someone just because he's a terrific chessplayer. This compulsion takes curious forms. <aliejin> Four years ago, you <explained> that being anti-Semitic back then was as natural as breathing and that to be a Nazi was <was as valid a position as any other> (Alekhine vs Keres, 1942 (kibitz #43)), morfishine responded "Well put" and went on to say that he didn't think Alekhine was anti-Semitic at all! The point, apparently, is not to make sense; the point is to say something, anything, nice about AAA.

Sep-25-22  aliejin: "I've never understood the compulsion to think well of someone just because he's a terrific chessplayer."

Think "good" or "bad" about a person
seems childish to me. I'm not interested.
Human beings are full of virtues and miseries.
I know there is a historical context to respect. and that it is extremely complex to form opinions about someone in particular, far away in time and distance

There is a saying that I really like:
"The road to hell is paved with good intentions"

I am interested in the work of people.
I do evaluate that. I think the same, about Alekhine, as Lasker. "Alekhine is more artist than Capablanca, with concerns, and this is the highest form of creation. especially if it was born of the figth" ( "Capablanca" Panov )

Sep-25-22  whiteshark: <13. Qe2

click for larger view

Black to move

<Qa8 ? (The rook at c7 is not secure, and this move helps white to undertake a favourable mobilization. Much better was 13...Qb8, followed by 14...Rfc8.) Alekhine>>

1) -0.16 (36 ply) 13...Ba6 14.dxc5 Nxc5 15.Rfd1 Qc8 16.Ndf3 Nfe4 17.b4 Na4 18.b5 Bb7 19.Ba1 Bb4 20.Nd4 Nac3 21.Bxc3 Nxc3 22.Qd2 Bd6 23.Rxc3 Bxe5 24.Rdc1 dxc4 25.Bxb7 Qxb7 26.Rxc4 Rxc4 27.Rxc4 a6 28.bxa6 Qxa6 29.Qc2 Bxd4 30.Rxd4 h6 31.Qd2 Rc8 32.Rd7 g6 33.Rd8+ Rxd8 34.Qxd8+ Kh7 35.Qe7 Kg7 36.Qd8 Qxa2

2) -0.08 (36 ply) 13...cxd4 14.exd4 Ba6 15.Nd3 Nb8 16.Ne5 Nc6 17.Rfe1 Qc8 18.Qd1 Bb7 19.cxd5 Nxe5 20.dxe5 Rxc1 21.Qxc1 Nxd5 22.a3 Qxc1 23.Rxc1 Rd8 24.Rd1 Ba6 25.Nc4 f6 26.exf6 gxf6 27.Bxd5 Rxd5 28.Rxd5 exd5 29.Ne3 Bb7 30.Nf5 Kf7 31.Nxe7 Kxe7 32.Kf1 Kf7 33.Bd4 Ba6+ 34.Ke1 Ke6 35.Kd2

3) =0.00 (36 ply) 13...Qa8 14.Nxd7 Rxd7 15.dxc5 Bxc5 16.Bxf6 gxf6 17.Qg4+ Kh8 18.Qf4 Qd8 19.cxd5 Bxd5 20.Ne4 Bxe4 21.Bxe4 Qe7 22.Bxh7 Kxh7 23.Qh4+ Kg6 24.Qg4+ Kh7

6.0 minute analysis by Stockfish 11 v064

Sep-25-22  whiteshark:

click for larger view

Black to move

1) =0.00 (38 ply) 14...Nxe5 15.dxc5 Bxd5 16.e4 Bb7 17.Bxe5 Rxc5 18.Rxc5 Bxc5 19.Bxf6 gxf6 20.Nc4 Kh8 21.Rc1 Rd8 22.Na5 Rd4 23.Nxb7 Qxb7 24.Rd1 Qd7 25.Rxd4 Qxd4 26.a4 Kg7 27.Bf1 Qc3 28.Qd3 Qb2 29.Qf3 Kf8 30.Bb5 Bd4 31.h3 Bc3 32.Bc4 Bd4

2) +0.13 (38 ply) <14...Nxd5> 15.Bxd5 Bxd5 16.e4 Bb7 17.d5 f5 18.exf5 Bxd5 19.fxe6 Nxe5 20.Bxe5 Rc6 21.Bxg7 Rxe6 22.Be5 Bd6 23.f4 Rxf4 24.Rxf4 Bxe5 25.Rg4+ Kh8 26.Qd3 Bh1 27.Ne4 h5 28.Rh4 Bxe4 29.Rxe4 Qxe4 30.Qxe4 Bd4+ 31.Qxd4+ cxd4 32.Rd1 Rd6 33.Kf2 Kg7 34.Ke2 Re6+ 35.Kd3 Re3+ 36.Kc2 Re4 37.Kd2 Re3 38.Rf1 h4 39.gxh4 Rh3 40.Rf2 Kg6 41.Rf4 Rxh2+ 42.Kd3

3) +0.59 (37 ply) 14...exd5 15.Rfd1 Re8 16.Ndf3 Bf8 17.Ng5 Nxe5 18.dxe5 Ne4 19.h4 h6 20.Nh3 Rce7 21.Nf4 Rxe5 22.Bxe5 Rxe5 23.Qd3 Nf6 24.b4 c4 25.Qd2 Qe8 26.a3 Bd6 27.Ne2 a6 28.Nc3 Bc7 29.Rc2 b5 30.Qc1 Qd7 31.Rcd2 a5 32.Ne2 Re8 33.Nf4 Bxf4 34.exf4 axb4 35.axb4

6.0 minute analysis by Stockfish 11 v064

Sep-25-22  whiteshark: As it looks now, this was the critical position of the game:

click for larger view

Black to move

1) -0.20 (39 ply) 15...Nxe5 16.exd5 Nd7 17.dxc5 bxc5 18.d6 Bxd6 19.Bxb7 Qxb7 20.Ne4 Be7 21.Rfd1 Re8 22.h4 e5 23.Qg4 Qc6 24.h5 a6 25.Nd2 Bf8 26.Nc4 Qe6 27.Qxe6 Rxe6 28.Re1 e4 29.Kg2 g6 30.Rcd1 gxh5 31.Rd5 Bg7 32.Rxh5 h6 33.Bxg7 Kxg7 34.Rd5 Nf6 35.Rd8 Rd7 36.Rxd7 Nxd7

2) +0.83 (39 ply) 15...N5f6 16.b4 Nxe5 17.dxe5 Nd7 18.b5 a6 19.a4 axb5 20.axb5 Qa2 21.Rc2 Ra8 22.Ra1 Qxa1+ 23.Bxa1 Rxa1+ 24.Nf1 Nxe5 25.f4 Ng6 26.h4 Rb1 27.Kh2 Rb4 28.h5 Nf8 29.h6 gxh6 30.Nd2 Nd7 31.Nc4 Rxb5 32.Qg4+ Kf8 33.Qh5 Kg8 34.e5 Bxg2 35.Kxg2 Rb4 36.Qxh6 Rc8 37.Qh5 b5 38.Nd6 Bxd6 39.Qg5+ Kh8 40.exd6

3) +1.14 (39 ply) 15...Nb4 16.d5 Bf6 17.Nxd7 Bxb2 18.Nxf8 Bxc1 19.Rxc1 Qxf8 20.a3 Na6 21.Nc4 Nb8 22.Qg4 Re7 23.d6 Rd7 24.b4 Rd8 25.b5 Qe8 26.a4 e5 27.Qe2 Nd7 28.a5 Nf6 29.Rb1 bxa5 30.Nxa5 Bc8 31.Qd3 Qe6 32.Nc4 h6 33.f4 exf4 34.gxf4 Qg4 35.f5 Qg5 36.Qg3 Qxg3 37.hxg3

6.0 minute analysis by Stockfish 11 v064

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Minor but sort of funny point in the opening.

Keres could have answered Alekhine's slightly offbeat 7.b3 with ...c5 (though there was nothing wrong with the move he actually chose).

click for larger view

Alekhine, in his notes reprinted here, and Alexander, in his notes to Batsford's collection of Alekhine's games, both point out that after 7....c5, 8.d5 isn't playable. But they give different lines. Alekhine says ...Nxd5 followed by ...Bf6. Alexander says not 8....Nxd5 (because 9.Ne5 wins a piece) but 8...exd5 9.Nh4 Ne4.

As Stockfish observes, this is all varying degrees of rubbish. After 8.d5 Nxd5, contra Alexander 9.Ne5 is more than well met by ...Qc7, and if 10.Nxf7 then ...Bf6. But contra Alekhine, 8....Nxd5 can be met simply with 9.cxd5, since if 9....Bf6 10.dxe6 Bxa1 11.Ng5! (a move that reliably flattened me every time I played the Q.I.D. against the Magnus app) 11....Bxg2 12.exf7+, and if 12....Kh8?, then after 13.Qc2 Black either has to give up his queen or be left wishing he had after ...g6 14.Bb2+.

Alexander's 8....exd5 9.Nh4 Ne4 isn't bad, but ...Nh5 is stronger.

All this is not to slag Alexander and Alekhine. I'm sure AAA in particular didn't spend a lot of time on his 8.d5 note. But it does show that even the best human annotators really aren't reliable when looking at classic games. After all, as <random visitor> and <whiteshark> pointed out, courtesy of engine analysis, Black would have been fine after 14....Nxe5 or 15....Nxe5. No human annotator seems to have considered these moves.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <keypusher>, one point which should be mentioned, and of which you may well be aware, is that Alekhine had a tendency to do much analysis for his writings sans voir; even in the pre-computer epoch, holes in published variations (in some cases fairly obvious ones) were discovered by analysts.

It is interesting that, in play, both these top-class tacticians overlooked the possibilities set out by you and <whiteshark>.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <keypusher> The point that I found hard to see was after 7...c5 8. d5 Nxd5 9. cxd5 Bf6 10. dxe6, why not 10...fxe6 first. The answer is then <11. Qc2> Bxa1 12. Ng5 flattens Black again.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <beatgiant: <keypusher> The point that I found hard to see was after 7...c5 8. d5 Nxd5 9. cxd5 Bf6 10. dxe6, why not 10...fxe6 first. The answer is then <11. Qc2> Bxa1 12. Ng5 flattens Black again.>

As I learned from the Magnus app -- Ng5! always wins.

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