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Ludwig Rellstab vs Alexander Alekhine
Munich (1942), Munich GER, rd 3, Sep-17
Queen Pawn Game: Symmetrical Variation. Pseudo-Catalan (D02)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-07-04  mjk: Alekhine, the great calculator, blunders with 50...♕g7? by not calculating his opponents moves.
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  Calli: He's dead lost at that point anyway becuase there is nothing to do about Rh5, Nxf4. Really, he could have resigned, but here he turns over the King only one move before mate.
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  beatgiant: I wonder why Alekhine didn't try ...♗xd2 on move 17 or 18? In the ensuing position with a blocked pawn structure, it looks like the knight will be better than the bishop.
Dec-09-04  drukenknight: 31...f4 looks hopeless, he is trying to get the N out there.
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  beatgiant: The pawn sacrifice 23...♘c4 looks like a miscalculation. I would expect something like 23...f4 24. ♘b2 ♕d7 25. c4 dc 26. ♘xc4 ♘xc4 27. ♕xc4 ♕d5 and it looks drawish to me.
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  Calli: <bg> Alekhine made a thousand pawn sacrifices like this one for the initiative. It was his stock and trade. He figured that he was likely to outplay his opponent from that point forward. He was right! As for this game, its hard to tell if the sac is bad or AA just didn't find the correct followup. I kind of like 24...Qh7 then if 25.Rae1 f4! and Black on top.
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  beatgiant: <Calli>:
<As for this game, its hard to tell if the sac is bad or AA just didn't find the correct followup. I kind of like 24...Qh7 then if 25.Rae1 f4! and Black on top.>

After 24...♕h7 25. ♕c1 f4!? 26. ♘xf4 ♕xc2+ 27. ♕xc2 ♘e3+ reveals some of the points of this idea. But White could try 24...♕h7 25. ♕c1 f4 26. ♖f2 ♘e3+ 27. ♔h1 which looks similar to the actual game.

If Black refrains from ...f4, we are back to <drukenknight>'s earlier comment.

The problem is that the position is rather blocked and hard for Black to break through.

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  Calli: <If Black refrains from ...f4> But if 25.Qc1 then open it up with 25...fxg4 26.fxg4 Qe4+ with reasonable play for Black.
Dec-11-04  drukenknight: yes I think you've solved this one.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Calli>:
<But if 25.Qc1 then open it up with 25...fxg4 26.fxg4 Qe4+ with reasonable play for Black.>

Yes, he has to open it, but I was considering 24...♕h7 25. ♕c1 fxg4 26. hxg4 h3+ 27. ♔h2. It's not clear how Black continues the attack, although I agree that it looks a lot more promising than the game.

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  Calli: Not claiming a win or even an advantage for Black but he gets a speculative initiative for his pawn. "Unclear" is exactly what Alekhine was aiming for in most games.
Dec-11-04  drukenknight: yes he is excellent at that, is he not? Tal sort of but not the same since inevitably w/ Tal it was sacking material, but Alek. it was something crazy, could be material. could be anything. Did you see those games were Euwe beats him? SImple positional chess.
Mar-01-06  Maynard5: The sequence of moves in the game score is probably incorrect: most likely, white actually played 14. g4, followed by 16. e4.

But Alekhine's crucial mistake here is 16. ... Bg5. Instead, 16. ... dxe4, 17. fxe4 fxg4 18. hxg4 h3+ appears superior for black. After missing this opportunity, the king side becomes blockaded, and Rellstab is able to shift the attack to the queen side.

Mar-14-10  siegbert: alekhine must have thought he was winning. many moves on the manoeuvre and all to show for it one knight in enemy territory.
Sep-15-17  Toribio3: Rellstab is a giant killer!

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