Members · Prefs · Laboratory · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing
Conel Hugh O'Donel Alexander vs Mikhail Botvinnik
"Solving an Enigma" (game of the day May-21-2018)
GBR-URS Radio Match (1946), London ENG / Moscow URS, rd 2, Jun-21
French Defense: Winawer. Poisoned Pawn Variation General (C18)  ·  1-0



explore this opening
find similar games 4 more C H Alexander/Botvinnik games
PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

TIP: You can get computer analysis by clicking the "ENGINE" button below the game.

PGN Viewer:  What is this?
For help with this chess viewer, please see the Olga Chess Viewer Quickstart Guide.


Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Oct-14-09  SirChrislov: wow, thanks for the such-in-detail anaysis of this game <tamar> and <Pawn and Two>.
Apr-02-12  LoveThatJoker: Good Game!


Apr-02-12  SimonWebbsTiger: the book of the match by E.Klein and W. Winter (<the Anglo-Soviet Radio Chess Match>; Pitman and sons, 1947) is a terrific little book.

Interestingly 21...Nc4 22. Bxc4 dxc4 23. Qf1 was a suggestion of Alexander's at the time. "23...Qd5!" is given by Klein -- to add an historical note to the analysis given below.

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: 9..Qa5?! was new and has only rarely been repeated and seems inferior to the standard 9..Qc7. It was pointed out that 14..Nxe5 would not have been an improvement for Black due to 15 fxe..Qxe5+ 16 Be2..Rxg5 17 Bxg5..Qxg5 with either 18 Qh8+ or 18 0-0 being strong for White. 19..Qd6 was suggested as an alternative with unclear consequences. A typically tough Winawer game.
Sep-07-17  RookFile: Brave play by Alexander. Certainly there were plenty of chances for him to go wrong.
Jan-08-18  Whitehat1963: Excellent game!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: You need to know that Alexander was a member of the British Secret Service during World War II, working on breaking code devised by the German Enigma Machine.

Now enjoy the game.

May-21-18  ChessHigherCat: Yes, if I hadn't know that Alexander was working on Enigma, I wouldn't have understood why he seemed to be playing battleship instead of chess. He certainly sunk Botvinnik at any rate.

I read yesterday that there were lots of strong chess players at Bletchley Park, although the women were mostly chosen for the crossword puzzle skills (and who knows what other lewd criteria). One thing I didn't know was that the Poles supposedly cracked the code before Alan Turing and handed all their findings over to the Brits shortly before the start of the war.

May-21-18  not not: polish mathematicians broke enigma code in 1932 (decipheration rate was 75%) thanks to help of french secret services who stole two months worth coding sheets from Germans

however, in 1938 Germans improved Enigma to the point that polish secret services could not afford to decipher it money-wise: Germans added extra two turbines to exisiting three

only in 1939, with invasion looming, polish authorities share the knowledge with french and british; both were given copies of enigmas and the calculation sheets

the day enigma was given to british is celebrated in Poland with british ambassador usually present

thats his blog

Premium Chessgames Member
  piltdown man: Brilliant, esoteric pun!
May-21-18  SpiritedReposte: A possible <24.Rxe3!?> After bxe3 Bxb3 looks interesting.

click for larger view

Black to play. Maybe missing an obvious defense but whites pieces look menacing.

May-21-18  Ironmanth: Have always enjoyed C.H.O.D. Alexander's games, history, and especially name! Always saddened that he was never given the chance to get the GM title, and as well, not living longer. Thanks for this great game!
May-21-18  morfishine:


Premium Chessgames Member
  takchess: A crossword enigma and WWII
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: Botvinnik himself praised Alexander's abilities. This was according to Leonard Barden introducing one of his games.

The belief is, had he been allowed more freedom after WWII to travel he could have competed more say with the Soviets etc. Also that he may have become one of the World's great players of his time. The restriction was by the British authorities even some time after the war for security reasons. Although what they were at the end of the war I have no idea...

May-21-18  ChessHigherCat: < takchess: A crossword enigma and WWII

The headline should be:
<Crossing Swords with Cross Words over Crosswords>

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: He should have been a Colonel: Colonel Conel O'Donel. A bit like Major Major Major.
May-21-18  Strelets: What a bloodcurdling game. Alexander takes on the French's strongest advocate at that time and wins!
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Very subtle pun!

One of the very first chess books I owned was Alexander's book about the '72 Fischer/Spassky match:


Terrific book cover, IMO. Good stuff too, background and analysis.

May-21-18  Dionysius1: Same here. And at a time when there weren't many images of chess events readily available it was marvelous to have so many photos in the book.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: <offramp: He should have been a Colonel: Colonel Conel O'Donel. A bit like Major Major Major.> ! Yes! As in 'Catch 22'...
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: Botters certainly played lively chess in that game...
Apr-19-19  cunctatorg: Botters?!? What is the meaning of the word "botters"? If you reveal that to me, I'll understand the whole sentence of yours...
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: ***

'Botters', 'Kaspy', 'Karpy', 'Kramy'...

It drive me up the wall as well but cunctatorg you will have to get use to it. Over at the Alpha Zero thread they are calling it Alfie. (nothing is sacred.)


Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: The Great BOT avoided Fischer.
search thread:   
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>

NOTE: Create an account today to post replies and access other powerful features which are available only to registered users. Becoming a member is free, anonymous, and takes less than 1 minute! If you already have a username, then simply login login under your username now to join the discussion.

Please observe our posting guidelines:

  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, or profane language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, duplicate, or gibberish posts.
  3. No vitriolic or systematic personal attacks against other members.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. No cyberstalking or malicious posting of negative or private information (doxing/doxxing) of members.
  6. No trolling.
  7. The use of "sock puppet" accounts to circumvent disciplinary action taken by moderators, create a false impression of consensus or support, or stage conversations, is prohibited.
  8. Do not degrade Chessgames or any of it's staff/volunteers.

Please try to maintain a semblance of civility at all times.

Blow the Whistle

See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform a moderator.

NOTE: Please keep all discussion on-topic. This forum is for this specific game only. To discuss chess or this site in general, visit the Kibitzer's Café.

Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of, its employees, or sponsors.
All moderator actions taken are ultimately at the sole discretion of the administration.

This game is type: CLASSICAL. Please report incorrect or missing information by submitting a correction slip to help us improve the quality of our content.

<This page contains Editor Notes. Click here to read them.>

Featured in the Following Game Collections[what is this?]
7. Qg4 cxd4 8. Qxg7 Rg8 9. Qxh7 Qa5?!
from Ideas In The French Defense by oao2102
Match Botvinnik!
by amadeus
by auldoxon
Chessgames used my pun
by belgradegambit
1946. USSR vs GB (Radio match)
by vsadek
Mil y Una Partidas 1932-1949
by K9Empress
Kállai's selected games
by Dougie39
Internal Server Error
from A B C Players of Yesteryear Stan by fredthebear
a stirring upset againist a future world champion.
from 22 most instructive games ever played by sydfhd
Cormac Macart's favorite games
by Cormac Macart
Winawer. Poisoned Pawn Variation General
from MKD's French Defense by MKD
The French
by Zhbugnoimt
from Fight or Flight: Let's Test Their Metal by fredthebear
May 21: Solving an Enigma
from Game of the Day 2018 by Phony Benoni
Game 172
from World's Great Chess Games (Fine) by Qindarka

Home | About | Login | Logout | F.A.Q. | Profile | Preferences | Premium Membership | Kibitzer's Café | Biographer's Bistro | New Kibitzing | Chessforums | Tournament Index | Player Directory | Notable Games | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | Privacy Notice | Contact Us

Copyright 2001-2023, Chessgames Services LLC