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Alexander Alekhine vs De Cassio
Simul, 26b (blindfold) (1944) (blindfold), San Sebastian ESP, Nov-12
Vienna Game: Anderssen Defense (C25)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Apr-08-08  kevin86: Answered this one in a flash-black's king is so hemmed in that white can beat him slowly:

12♘f6+ gxf6 ♗xf6 and mate follows via ♕h6 and ♕g7# -there is no escape

Apr-08-08  YouRang: It seemed pretty clear that we had a king assault going here. It's just a matter of getting the troops in place to support the queen -- and there's no shortage of troops (both bishops & both knights, really). The only difficulty is sorting out which pieces and how...

Moving the Bg5 looked attractive because it clears g5 for our knight on f3 -- threatening mate on h7. However the immediate 9.Bf6, while having potential (it can't be captured), doesn't seem to give a clear win since 10.Ng5 can be met by 10...h6.

But we can crack black's defense a bit first with 9.Nf6+. This forces gxf6 (or else Qxh7#), and now 10.Bxf6 clears the way for 11.Ng5, and ...h6 is no longer an issue with the g7 pawn out of the way.

Apr-08-08  jonpell: I believe 9. Nh4 10. Nf6+ is actually faster than just 9. Nf6+ (assuming black wanted to play through to checkmate). Black can drag out 9. Nf6+ for a while after 9. ...gxf6
10. Bxf6 Bxf2+
11. Kxf2 Qe6
Black would then have the position to block a quick checkmate (eventually losing of course).
Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: I hope this defense worked better for Anderssen than it did for DeCossio.
Apr-08-08  Whitehat1963: Nf6+ seems obvious once it's given in a puzzle, but how many of us would have played 9. Bf6 instead, hoping for black to play 9...gxf6? And yet, 9. Bf6 doesn't work well at all, as I show above. In fact, with best play, it might even be a loss. Can someone with a strong engine give a best play line for 9. Bf6?
Apr-08-08  Komapsimnita: I castled kingside, nice and safe :)
Apr-08-08  Whitehat1963: By the way, was this a blind simul? There's a duplicate game that says it was. That might explain the weak play by black.
Apr-08-08  Magic Castle: <jonpell> Unfortunately Bf2 is answered by Ke2 denying black queen the tempo of check when the white bishop is taken. Then as in the original theme, Qe6 can be answered by Ng5 threatening mate at h2 after Qf6. I think Kf2 might actually lose to Qf6+ followed by Qg7.
Apr-08-08  MaczynskiPratten: <MagicCastle, Jonpell> Actually after Bxf2, if White tries 11 Ke2 Black has an even more stunning rejoinder, Nf4+ winning!! But 11 Kf1 looks to win after Qe6 12 Ng5. Kxf2 seems not quite as accurate as after Qe6 White must play the prosaic Bxe6.
Apr-08-08  MaczynskiPratten: <Whitehat1963> Ah, could BMX mean blindfold simultaneous exhibition? (rather than a popular time of British kids' bike:-) It figures. 4..Ne7 and 5 ..0-0 hardly look master strength moves either.
Apr-08-08  DarthStapler: Got it
Apr-08-08  jonpell: <maczynskiPratten>
Indeed, but not taking the bishop (11 Kf1) invites 11...Be3 rather than 11...Qe6 allowing black to temporarily defend h6 square from white queen, running white around some more. My point was just that this seems nice and neat to me with no recourse for black to lengthen the game:

9.Nh4 Nge7 10.Nf6+ gxf6 11.Bxf6 Ba5+ 12.c3 Nd4 13.Qh6 Ne6 14.Bxe6 Bxc3+ 15.bxc3 Nf5 16.exf5 dxe6 17.Qg7#

Apr-08-08  Xuorarch: After 9. Nf6 gxf6 10. Bxf6, we forgot to mention a very challenging move:


[10...Qd8 11. Ng5 Re8 12. Qxh7+ Kf8 13. Qg7#]

11. Ng5

[11. Qh6 Qxf6 and there might not be mate]


[11...Bxf2 12. Kf1! leads to the same lines]

[11...Re8 12. Qxh7+ Kf8 13.Qg7#]

12. Qxh7+ Kf8 13. Qg7+ Ke8 14. Bxf7+ Qxf7 15.Qxf7#

There's also another line:


But after this move, black must follow up with 11...Qe7 (threatening to take the bishop on f6 or check via the a3-f8 diagonal). White can simply take the queen with good mating chances. Also note: 10...Bxf2 Kf1? 11.Be3 helps defend black's kingside and prevents mate.

Apr-08-08  patzer2: For today's puzzle solution, 9. Nf6+! exploits the weakened Black castled position with a mating attack.
Apr-08-08  panthercat: <jonpell> After 10...Bxf2+ 11. Kxf2 Qe6 Black cannot avoid mate after 12. Ng5. For example:

12. Ng5 Qxf6 13. Qxh7#
12. Ng5 Rd8 13. Qxh7+ Kf8 14. Bxe6 with mate to follow on f7 or h8.

<znprdx> White can't play 9. Kh1, since the White king is still on e1. If you meant 9...Kh8, then 10. Qxh7#. As for the possible continuation 9. Nxf6+ gxf6 10. Bxf6 Nf4, White simply plays 11. Qg5+ Ng6 (forced) 12. Qh6 followed by 13. Qg7#.

Apr-08-08  Xuorarch: 10...Bxf2+ 11.Kxf2 Qe7 (or e6) 12.Ng5? Qxf6+. White must move the king.
Apr-08-08  MiCrooks: I find all of the discussion of this position a bit humorous! People actually suggesting playing on after Qe6 agains Alekhine? You don't need an immediate mate here. And moves like Bxf2, unless they lead to a playable position due to the exposed king, are a waste of time.
Apr-08-08  wals: Static Evaluation: White's King is still uncastled but otherwise is ahead in development.

Dynamic Evaluation: Knight to f6+ leaps out from the page,gxf6, Bxf6, should be enough for this puzzle.


Yes, good enough.

Apr-08-08  panthercat: <Xuorarch> Ah, good point. 12. Bxe6 first, then. :)
Apr-08-08  jonpell: <panthercat>
in your first example remember that 12. ...Qxf6 is actually ...Qxf6+ (white king is on f2 from 11. Kxf2) gaining black a tempo and a chance to delay checkmate several moves. <miCrooks> Certainly, black's position is completely hopeless and no one would play it. My point was just that if 9. Nh4 leads to a quicker mate, does it not then make a more elegant move than 9. Nf6+?
Apr-08-08  MaczynskiPratten: <jonpell> Yes, I reckon you are quite right about 10..Bxf2+ 11 Kf1 Be3! I'd missed that. But is 9 Nh4 winning quicker in every line? Nge7 isn't forced as a reply. White gets the extra options of Nxg6 and Nf5 lines but has lost Ng5. Black seems to be able to play similar lines to the game with 9..d6 followed by Qe6, or even an immediate 9..Qe6. Then there is 9..Nf4, although White still seems to be able to play 10 Nf6+ gxf6 11 Qh6 and now moves like Nd4(-e6), d5 or Qe6 might be tried (though not fxg5 12 Nf5 and 13 Qg7#). White is still winning of course, but maybe no faster on average than 9 Nf6. As <miCrooks> points out, we are looking at this more like a problemist (mate in as few moves as possible) than an OTB player (1-0 is all that matters).
Apr-08-08  zenpharaohs: I spent a lot of time looking at Bf6 because Nf6+ seemed complicated, but Bf6 ended up more complicated and less winning.

This was a more difficult problem than it's rating because of complexity of the threats - the trapped queen and the odd mating patterns.

Nov-23-08  YoungEd: it may be pointless to ask, but why 3. ...Ne7 instead of Nf6?
Nov-23-08  Phony Benoni: <YoungEd> Probably, Black was just trying the old <Confuse the Blindfold Player> gambit. It rarely works.
Nov-09-15  TheFocus: From a simultaneous exhibition at San SebastiĆ”n, Spain on November 12, 1944.

Alekhine scored +23=1-2. He played two games blindfold, of which this game was.

See <A. Alekhine>, pg. 236-237.

Skinner and Verhoeven give the further moves 9...gxf6 10.Bxf6 1-0.

See <A. Alekhine>, pg. 261-262.

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