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Alexander Alekhine vs Ludek Pachman
Prague (1943), Prague CSR, rd 18, Apr-27
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Classical. Milner-Barry Variation (E33)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Oct-15-08  chocobonbon: This srikes me as one of Alekhine's best games. It has a look of classic clarity, "like limpid water - with a dash of poison." He seems to play much in Pachman's style here & seems oftentimes to have done that with his opponents but almost always with the Alekhine stinger at the end.
May-03-09  computer chess guy: 22. .. ♘e4 looks like a reasonable move, but 23. g4! initiates complications favorable to White. Better was 22. .. ♘e5.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: Why not 20...Qxe3+? If the score is right, it looks like a bluff by AA.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <Why not 20...Qxe3+?>

Or <20...Qxe3+ 21.Kg2 Ng7 22.Rfe1 Qg5 23.h4 Qd8 24.Qf2> with the intent to transfer the queen to d4 with dangerous threats on the diagonal a1-h8.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: In that line, Black can put a springer at e5, 24...Nd7-Ne5. White has no f-pawn to remove it. This is much better than what happened in the game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <Calli: In that line, Black can put a springer at e5, 24...Nd7-Ne5 ...>

That is, <20...Qxe3+ 21.Kg2 Ng7 22.Rfe1 Qg5 23.h4 Qd8 24.Qf2> and now <24...Nd7 25.Qd4 Ne5 ...>

click for larger view

Optically, this looks great for Black. But the <Ng7> is out of play and, after a closer inspection, it also proves hard to coordinate the rest of Black pieces. I have looked at


where the thematic defense


does not preserve the extra pawn:

<27.g4 Re7 28.g5 Qf8 29.Bxe4 dxe5 30.Rxe5...> and maybe 30.Rae8 Rde1 ... The material is even, but White position is better. Black is against the ropes.


Of course, Pachman does not have to follow the Kotov line. For instance, 20...Qxe3+ 21.Kg2 <Qg5> ... could be tried because of <22.h4? Qxg3+>. But <22.Qf2> looks strong once again and Black coordination problems seem to persist.

My -2c-

Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: <Gypsy> Appreciate your thoughts. If 26.Qf4 then simply Nxf3 27.Qxf3 Qd7. I just think Black is much better off taking the pawn. After all, he lost in seven moves by not taking the pawn.

It might be that inverting Kotov's moves is better. 20...Qxe3+ 21.Kg2 and now 21...Qg5! immediately gives possibilities of Nf4 and f5 and White has no thought of h4.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <Calli> I think so as well. But Pachman was 17 at that time and probably got rattled when he noted that he was spoiling nicely looking position.

The key conceptual error seems to be <18...e4(?)>, opening that long diagonal. Too optimistic.

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