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Alexander Alekhine vs Paul Keres
Salzburg (1942), Salzburg AUT, rd 5, Jun-13
Spanish Game: Closed Variations. Worrall Attack Delayed castling line (C86)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: One of Alekhine's best games from the last few years of his life, featuring great endgame play.
Premium Chessgames Member
  SwitchingQuylthulg: Some of that great endgame play was unnecessary; as was pointed out after the game, 37.Bxf5! would have decided on the spot. If 37...gxf5 then 38.Qe6+ Kf8 39. Qe7+ Kg8 40.Nh6+ Kh8 41.Qxh7# (or 38...Kh8 39.Qh6 Ng7 40.Nf6 and Black must give up his queen to stop mate) while 37...Nxf5 loses to 38.Qe6+ Kh8 39.Ne5 and again Black must give up his queen, as 39...Nfd6 40.Qe7 leaves Black nothing but spite checks.
Mar-20-09  falso contacto: this is a nice game by alekhine.-
I dont know how to play this kind of position. any. lol.
Mar-20-09  slomarko: sad to see these two great players playing in a Nazi organised tourney.
Mar-20-09  Calli: Alekhine pointed out that he missed the quick win 37.Bxf5! Nxf5 38.Qe6+ Kh8 39.Ne5
Mar-20-09  falso contacto: didn't noticed.
May-21-10  timothee3331: slomarko, maybe it's sad, and you know it's really sad Europe was controlled by the Nazis and/or the Communists. But you know, Botvinnik, Smyslov, Kotov, and many others played under the criminal USSR political system and they weren't accused of being communist criminals. And sometimes they were very close to communist propaganda !
Sep-19-12  birthtimes: Euwe preferred 14...Nh5! 15.h3 Bxf3 16.Nxf3 Bxg5 17.Nxg5 Nf4!
Sep-19-12  birthtimes: If 21...Bxh3 then 22.Nd5! Qa7 23.g4! Nf4 24.Nxf4 exf4 25.Qf3 and Black's bishop is trapped!
Sep-16-14  ssitimefill: 47 h5! is an awesome move.
Sep-16-14  visayanbraindoctor: 25. Nd5 is a super GM move, a World Champion's move. A kind of move only an Alekhine can even think of and actually bring into fruition. Not because of itself as it is (a clearance sacrifice for the e4 square), but because AAA probably had to imagine it in his chess mind when he played

17. Ne3

Note that at this juncture, AAA was allowing the superficial 'threat' of Rxd1. If he retakes with his rook, his a2 pawn is left hanging, and to take with his Bishop, he concedes the d-file to Black. In addition, AAA was inviting Black to 'trap' his Bishop at g5 with f6.

So AAA had to calculate all the nuances of conceding his d-fie and recovering his 'trapped' Bishop even from the starting position of 17. Ne3.

At 24... ab5 chess spectators must already have been wondering why Alekhine had conceded the initiative to Keres, one of the most dangerous attacking masters in chess history; and at this point in time probably the leading World Championship contender after AVRO 1938. Black controls the d-file with the 'threat' of Rd2, and the c8-h3 diagonal with the 'threat' of Bxh3. Then boom... 25. Nd5!

I wonder if that shocked even the great Paul Keres, conqueror of 9 World Champions, bete noire of tactical wizard Mikhail Tal, and the only master of his generation to dominate Victor the Terrible Korchnoi.

For some reason Alekhine got a second wind in the years 1941 to 1942. I think he was playing the best chess in the world during these two years of his last swan's song. Had he and Botvinnik met in a WC match in 1942, i would place my bet on Alekhine winning.

Feb-25-19  Margetic D: Great endgame play ,
and as for the middle-game, i agree 25. Nd5 is an excellent move.
Premium Chessgames Member
  wtpy: 20..Nf4 seems thematic and am surprised Keres did not play it. The best reply may be the anemic looking 21 Qf1.
Apr-09-21  tympsa: Keres complained than in war years his level declined horribly. He did not have strong tournaments and his opponents were weak. In Estonian Championships he even lost some games against almost unknown players.

Alechine probably had same problem ,not enough strong tournaments, but he could somehow keep his level much better . No wonder he won in 1942 3 games in a row vs Keres, but in 1943 he could not beat him any more .

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Even before 1943, Alekhine's play had begun to decline, though his vast knowledge and experience staved off the inevitable, as with other greats.

Big Daddy Time is one hard sumbitch to fend off very long, though.

Premium Chessgames Member
  fredthebear: <Mar-20-09 slomarko: sad to see these two great players playing in a Nazi organised tourney.>

They may have feared what would happen if they did not participate. Seeing Jews rounded up and disappear would be chilling. What unarmed citizen dares to say no to a Nazi thug?

Perhaps chess was a respite during the war, if such was possible. For great players though, chess can be a burden, a meal ticket, a cloak that cannot be escaped. Good accommodations during hard times would be difficult to turn down.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <after 51...Kg7>

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Both ACB (January / February 1943, p. 2) and Chess Review (November 1942, p. 220) add the moves <52.Kg2 Ra2.> The only results of this that I can see are that the game lasts as extra move and the White ing ends up on g2.

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