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Alexander Alekhine vs Ruzena Sucha
"Sucha Shame" (game of the day Sep-14-2014)
Prague (1943), Prague CSR, rd 5, Apr-14
Formation: King's Indian Attack (A07)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-26-05  Jafar219: Alekhine played e4 more tha d4 in his last days.
Sep-14-14  waustad: She must have been in awe playing the world champion.
Sep-14-14  greed and death: Unfortunately for this pun, "Sucha" is pronounced with a guttural ch in Czech, similar to the German pronunciation of "Bach".

It would need to be spelled "Suča" for the pun to work, and CG doesn't use diacritics...

Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: Black's final position looks like some that I get myself into. What a mess!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: I wonder if there is a little more to the pun than meets the eye.

This game was played in "Praha" in 1943. In other words, Nazi occupied Prague. Presumably this is from the Prague Chess Tournament of 1943 which was won by Alekhine. Ruzena Sucha came last in the tournament.

As much as I love the game of chess, there is something incongruous about sitting down to a chess tournament in the middle of a war, and in a city where the Nazis are deporting Jews to the concentration camp.

Incidentally, googling the tournament, I found this account by Pachman:

"After [my win over Foltys], the great Alekhine invited me to his room. He got me to demonstrate my game, made a few comments, praised me, and then showed me his game, explaining several hidden combinations and also accepting praise. Mrs. Alekhine was there with her two cats. I had to hold one for a bit and the wretch scratched me, but it was a marvellous evening, something in the nature of a high-point in my life so far.

Alekhine took to inviting me in every day. We always analysed something and I soon discovered that it was no good disagreeing with him because it made him angry. So I just listened reverently to what he said. He invited me for coffee, too. In the Luxor cafe, it seemed, one could get real coffee under the counter – an expensive luxury for which I had to foot the bill. Alekhine, I discovered, made a point of not paying. Usually there was someone with him, otherwise he simply walked out of the restaurant. The waiters knew him, so they sent the bill to the tournament director. I learnt also from a very annoyed Mr. Kende that by threatening to walk out of the tournament, Alekhine had extracted a 5,000 crown addition to his original 40,000 crown fee. Luckily I was saved by an unexpected patron. He was Mr. Stork, a trader and landowner, who presented me with an enormous salami in recognition of my achievement, plus an invitation to lunch every day at his house. The meals were better than any I have eaten even in peacetime, and by doing without supper I was able to pay for Alekhine's coffee."

The game itself is a typical Alekhine rout. Maybe the shame and pity is that it was not played in different circumstances.

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheAlchemist: I'm guessing, but does sucha/suchy mean something like dry, arid? Here (spelled "suh") it also means thin.
Sep-14-14  aliejin: "Maybe the shame and pity is it That was not played in different Circumstances."

During the war people tried, to the extent that it could, And with the limited resources that were available,
to carry out activities that embellish life ....
concerts, dances, sports etc.

There is no shame in this behavior
On the contrary, shows the greatness of the human being to face the misfortune

Sep-14-14  cunctatorg: By the way, a great over-protection game (in the best Nimzowitschian tradition...) by Alexander Alexandrovich Alekhine in the Nazi occupied Prague, just after the temporal middle of WW II...
Sep-14-14  WJW147: You don't see many great "War Games" but Alekhine was playing under circumstances I can't even begin to imagine. Politics and Chess don’t mix well. See and
Sep-14-14  Strelets: Are there any other instances of Alekhine playing the Chigorin French?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <Strelets: Are there any other instances of Alekhine playing the Chigorin French?>

The only other instance in our database:

Alekhine vs V Vasilevsky, 1910

Sep-15-14  ASchultz: 11. b3 Ndxe5! seems rather annoying due to the weak diagonal.

Fritz gives Ncxd5 Nd4 Nf8 Qxe5 c5 as okay for white. Interesting tactic to get back the piece in this line.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: black is en prise!
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <Mrs. Alekhine was there with her two cats.>

Surprised to read this, because I've always had the impression that Alekhine's wartime travels were undertaken alone, with the idea that she was effectively under house arrest in Paris.

Sep-25-16  cunctatorg: My remark is that Alekhine (and Kasparov forty years later) was able to play very convicingly like Nimzowitsch (or Karpov!...) when he had the chance!!
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