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Alexander Alekhine vs Ricondo
Blindfold simul, 4b (1945) (blindfold), Santander ESP, Jul-03
Spanish Game: Closed Variations. Morphy Attack (C78)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Dec-28-11  CHESSTTCAMPS: In this early middle-game position, black has the two bishops, but white has the better center, superior mobilization on the king-side, and strong indirect pressure on weak points f6 and f7. Black's doubled c-pawn indicates an earlier swap of white's LSB on c6, from which we can infer that the opening was a Ruy Lopez. Black would like to relieve pressure with 14... h6, but white can execute an early finish with

14.Nh6+! and there is no good answer:

A) 14... Kh8 15.Nxf7+ wins the BQ, exploiting the weak f7.

B) 14... gxh6 15.Bxf6 Qc8/b8/d7 (or Re7) 16.Qg3+ Bg7 17.Qxg7#

B.1) 15... Be7 16.Qg3+ Kf8 17.Qg7#

B.2) 15... Qxf6 16.Qxf6

B.3) 15... other 16.Bxd8

Time for game review...

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Nice move. I didn't even consider a knight move.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <xthred: "blindfold"? So these guys played without looking at the board?>

Alekhine, the reigning world champion, did. Ricondo probably did not.

Dec-28-11  sevenseaman:

click for larger view

White to play. Bread and butter of chess! Its not as simple as it looks but not as tough as you might be led to believe.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: One of four simultaneous blindfold games played by Alekhine in Santander, Spain, on July 2, 1945.

This game can be found in Pablo Moran's book, "A. Alekhine - Agony of a Chess Genius".

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: A hobson's choice for black:

If 14...♔h8 15 ♘xf7+ wins the queen

or 14...gxh6 15 ♗xf6 and forces mate or wins the queen

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <sevenseaman> 1.Rf3+ Kg7 (1...Ke6?? 2.e8(Q)+) 2.Rg3+ Kf7 3.Rxg2 Rxe7 (3...Rxg2 4.e8(Q)+) 4.Rf2+ Ke6 5.Re2+ Kd6 6.Rxe7 and wins. Black's best chance to resist is 2...Kf6! 3.Rxg2 Rxg2! 4.e8(Q) Rd2+ with rook against queen.
Dec-28-11  dzechiel: White to move (14?). Material even. "Medium/Easy."

This one is pretty straightforward. White wins big material after

14 Nh6+ gxh6

On 14...Kh8 15 Nxf7+ Kg8 16 Nxd8 puts the game away.

15 Bxf6

Black is finished here. The queen is attacked, but should she move, say...



16 Qg3+

forces mate. A pretty little ending.

Dec-28-11  jackpawn: Found basically immediately. It's a standard pattern.
Premium Chessgames Member
  sleepyirv: A bland looking position. A reminder that such things may be poison. 14. Nh6+ removes the defender either mate or the queen is taken.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: I had an IPA in memory it is top Alekhine in pole position I

net bb7 as trouble got in would qd7 marry hold in.

I peeked at eradiate rook over slumping light rays h6 it

support in Surge my Ricondo too delighted going down sac

knight take network bishop out.

Whats your bb7 in?

C6 doesn't it just loose atempo distribute it area me get why

tighter e7?

I used queen sortie in my it earlier days but could get kicked

around too explorative bishops one drab?

Here see bab grog bloody nuisance in time again.

Dec-28-11  BOSTER: According to Nimzowitsch the important squares should be overprotected.

Before one move the position on <POTD> black removed his most important defender bishop from e7 to f8, weakening the defence his knight on f6. Even blindfolded can see that this knight now under attack by the bishop g5 and the queen f3 through knight f5, and if you take away pawn g6 ,this knight will be unprotected.

So, Nh6+ and game is over.

And this is the position for entertainment.White to play.

click for larger view

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gilmoy: <Once: This site focusses on the end of a chess game.> Well, the PotD leans that way, if we only try to solve it from the diagram :) Hence I now try to solve an earlier puzzle-before-the-puzzle: <when did the winner see it?> N.B. This approach works in non-puzzle games, too.

<Put your bits on good squares.> But this is par; hence even doing this peters out against an opponent as sound as you. Super-GMs do this against each other, get perfectly fine development, and then struggle for 30 moves over ideas we still don't grok.

Conversely, a miniature already implies some fundamental unsoundness from at least one side. Let's restrict to the case of the mismatch, e.g. a GM simul, or a 2600 vs 1900 wherein we say "rating difference, uh huh". How does the pro overwhelm the weekender?

Clearly, <good squares> is a start; let's call that <Phase I>. Beyond that, I add a tier of thinking: <supports many plans> (or "matches many patterns", which is probably highly correlated -- and that could be an eureka item itself.)

- I borrow your suggestion of working backward. A winner-by-force finishes the game in what we may call <Phase III: Lock-on Autopilot> mode, where he's already calculated it to a win, and he's just skiing down the ply-tree. Spielmann skis as well as Alyekin.

- Assume you have all necessary firepower, i.e. a winning plan exists, but you must find it. How do you know to look? Here, I think good players stratify through <intuition, pattern recognition, experience>, or sometimes outright home (prep) cooking. You must know all the mates; you must evaluate endgames correctly (to cover all side branches); it helps to have seen hundreds of similar positions, attacks, sacs, and wins. A noob never sees it (on either side), a tyro thinks "there's gotta be something like THAT sac", a master thinks "X-Y 1907, also G-H 1923, you missed a draw". (Nakamura says "done that, what's for dinner", he's already in Phase III.)

- By definition, then, Phase II is when you <don't> have a win-by-force all calculated out (but you've completed Phase I). This seems to me to be exactly the newbie's "what now?" fog, through which we've all gone (and not all passed :) A general corollary is: <improve your pieces>, i.e. move from their good squares to(ward) better ones. But <good> by what?

I surmise that a master relies again on his experience/intuition: that <many successful attacks> flowed from a positional characteristic (c.f. Nf5 in Ruy/Spanish!!). Over a corpus of thousands of games, you can rank piece-outposts (and thus repositionings, tours, mini-plans) based roughly on the average outcome of games in which they occurred. (From other sports, sabermetrics and Billy Beane's Moneyball did this in baseball, and ESPN/NFL just did it for the NFL QB rating system.)

Hence we park Bs on diagonals, get Rs to the 7th, plant Ne5/Ne6/Nf5, Qg3/Qg6 and rook lifts, and push our Ps to 6 or 3. Call these <fertile outposts>, from which tactics flow -- e.g. the knee-jerk Ne5 always threatens Nxf7!!, which has bamboozled even an Aronian. Hence, I think what a GM does in 3 seconds during a simul is to judge: what would be useful across the <largest swath of possible game-continuations>? That's a race, too: if your opponent just lets you amass these advantages without booting them out (e.g. Breyer g6 to deny Nf5), then at some critical mass you reach your Phase III transition -- which see.

<In today's game, Alekhine whips up a killer tactic by move 14 because he puts his pieces on better squares than his opponent.> The Nf5-Bg5-Q*3 complex is thematic in Spanish (which is an experience-lesson). The key idea of deflecting g open when Q-sees-g is the sting in the theme. Even the thrust <8.d4>, enjoying the mobile recapture <9.Nxd4>, is straight out of Sicilian theory. Black went wrong by allowing this, and then not contesting Nf5: his corpus is smaller than Alekhine's corpus, and his danger-sense was more rudimentary than Alekhine's lockon-sense.

The upshot of all this seems to be: play through many games to broaden your corpus. Pure calculation solves the II-III phase transition, but it doesn't get you <to> it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <BOSTER> I'm thinking 1. e5 to open a mate threat against h7. Then if black replies with 1...Nxd3 we play 2. Bf6 with an unstoppable mate on g7.

Or 1...f5 2. ef (ep) and we are threatening mate on g7 and h7.

Good puzzle.

Dec-28-11  Nullifidian: 14. ♘h6+ to win the queen.

If Black plays ♔h8 then ♘xf7+ forking queen and king, and if ♙gxh6 then ♗xf6.

Dec-28-11  BOSTER: <Once> <Good puzzle>.

But 1.e5 is wrong.

Dec-28-11  BOSTER: <Once> <1.e5 f5 2.exf we are threating mate on g7 and h7>.

Look at the queen on c7.

Dec-28-11  morfishine: Clearly Black erred with 9...Bb7??

9...Bd7 is correct, covering <f5> and <c6>

Dec-28-11  sevenseaman: Its 29 Dec here. Good morning. looked at <BOSTER>'s puzzle first thing. <1. Bxf4 > does the trick.

<1. Bxf4 Qc6>(what else) <2. Bd6> (Mate threat at f8 <2...Qxd6 3. e5> 1-0 Or <2...Re8 3. Bxc5 Qxc5 4. e5 Qc7> (mate threat at h7> (4...Bf5 or f4 will be inadequate to stop Qh7)< 5. Nd4> 1-0

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Dig clear it you in lip nh6 sinking ode to a stubbed toe

Ricondo mini set back hinder cleric a pit saint out it allez

Bishop black tie true teeth it original mishap either bd7 rook

<e8> in or dent shine <c5> low king Alekhine pitching knight over 14 side.

Dec-28-11  PinnedPiece: Well I guessed 14. Nh6 after about 2 minutes of study, but never imagined Black would simply give up after that...



Dec-28-11  BOSTER: <sevenseaman> <1.Bxf4 does the trick>.

I don't want to disappoint you,but your solution is wrong too.

Dec-28-11  BipolarChessorder: Boster, I think
1. Bf6! does the trick
2. e5! Nxd3
3. ef and Black has only a few spite checks.
Dec-28-11  stst: 14.Nh6+ gxh6 (else if ..Kh8, 15.Nxf7+ forks and Bk Q is lost) 15.BxN+ Kg8 (if Bg7, 16.BxQ with overwhelming attack) 16.Qg3/g4+ Bg7
Nov-09-15  TheFocus: From a simultaneous blindfold exhibition in Santander, Spain on July 3, 1945.

Alekhine's score against the four opponents is not known. This is the lone surviving score.

See <A. Alekhine>, pg. 263.

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