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Salomon Flohr vs George Alan Thomas
London (1932), London ENG, rd 1, Feb-01
Queen's Gambit Declined: Modern. Knight Defense (D51)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

Annotations by Alexander Alekhine.      [77 more games annotated by Alekhine]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Feb-24-05  minimaxing: 39. Rxc6

I saw this won a pawn by the fork tactic mentioned in the text. Wasn't sure how black would continue after this, since play wasn't forced, so I didn't calculate any further.

43. Re7 is the killer.

Feb-24-05  Eric Xanthus: I only saw this one in pieces--I could see the knight had some forking chances, and I could see that maybe there was some action on that c pawn, but I couldn't put it together with the e7 square. A bit outside my reach.
Feb-24-05  minimaxing: 40... Nd8 isn't the suggested move. Chessmaster suggests g5, which yields a position where white's only up half a pawn. Moves 41 and especially 42 were also suboptimal for black.
Feb-24-05  2ndNature: The sequence:
39.Ng6+ Kh7 (39... Kg8 40.Rxc6 with a fork motif from the game) 40.Ne5+ Kg8 41.Nxc6

looks good to me too. In either case White is winning the pawn on c6 and that should be enough to win the game.

2ndNature

Feb-24-05  2ndNature: For those about 43.Rc7 - what would White play if:
40... g5 (instead of 40... Nd8)

something like:
41.Ng6+ Kg7 42.Rc7 Rc8!?

but then, what might have followed is not necessarily winning.

2ndNature

Feb-24-05  a.dehaybe: 39.Qg6 to free the d3 square for the Knight and regroup White's forces.
Feb-24-05  Marvol: Not very satisfying AFAIC... I did see the capture at c6, followed by a possible knight fork via g6, but since Black does not seem to play optimal (Fritz also suggests 40. ... ♙g5), and nothing is really forced, too, I can't call this a winning combination.

Ending up one pawn up may be enough to win for white (My Fritz 8 even says less, about 0.8 pawn) but 'forced', no way.

Feb-24-05  euripides: White's Na4 here is rather like Black's Nh5 against g5 in the English attack, though of course better because c5 is under control. Nice to see Alekhine's notes on this variation, which is still viable seventy years on.
Feb-24-05  rochade18: Why didn't Thomas take the g-pawn with the queen (move 27-29)? I assume the g-file would be too promising for a white attack!?
Feb-24-05  patzer2: The 39. Rxc6!? solution to today's puzzle wins a pawn with advantage due to the threat of a Knight Fork or Discovered Check after 40...Qxc6?? 41. Ng6+.

However after Fritz 8's surprise defensive move 40...g5!, it is questionable whether White gets any more than equality:

40...g5! 41.Ng6+ Kg7 42.Rc7 Rc8 43.Rxc8 Qxc8 44.hxg5 hxg5 (44...fxg5 45.Ne7 Qxg4 46.Nf5+ Kg6! 47.Nd6+! Kf6 48.Nxf7 Kxf7 49.Qh7+ Ke8 50.Qg8+ Ke7 51.Qg7+ Kd8 52.Ka2 b3+ 53.Ka3 Qe6 54.Qf8+ Kd7 55.Kxb3 Qc6 56.Qf7+ Kc8 57.Qf5+ Kc7 58.Qe5+ Kc8 59.Ka3 Qc4 60.Qe6+ Kb7 61.Qd7+ Ka6 62.Qd6+ Ka7 63.Qe7+ Ka6 64.Qf6+ Kb7 65.Qg7+ Kc8 66.Qf8+ Kc7=) 45.Ne7 Qxg4 46.Nf5+ Kg6! 47.Nd6+ f5 48.Nxf7 Kxf7 49.Qb5 Qd1+ 50.Ka2 Qc2 51.Qxd5+ Kg6 52.Qb5 Qxf2 53.Qe8+ Kg7 54.Qe5+ Kg6=.

Feb-24-05  euripides: <rochade> both players and Alekhine seem to have assumed taking the g pawn was too risky, but I don't know whether they were right.

<patzer> interesting. So perhaps 39 Ng6+ as others have suggsted is more accurate. If 39... Kh7 or 39...Kg8 White can play 40 Rxc6 as in the game, using the fork or the discovered attack to prevent Black recapturing with the queen. Maybe Fritz will refute this as well ;)

Feb-24-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <So perhaps 39 Ng6+ as others have suggsted is more accurate.> What after this: 39.Ng6+ Kg8 40.Rxc6 Rxc6 41.Rxc6 Nh8!

The 40...g5! intermezzo is a great retort. It has been missed by Thomas, Flohr, Alekhine(!), and so many others!

Feb-24-05  Timetraveller: <Gypsy What after this: 39.Ng6+ Kg8 40.Rxc6 Rxc6 41.Rxc6 Nh8!> That's a cool try, but White still gets away with his extra pawn after 42. Rc8, taking advantage of another fork square.
Feb-24-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: < Timetraveller: ... That's a cool try, but White still gets away with his extra pawn after 42. Rc8, taking advantage of another fork square. > Thanks for looking at it! Are we in the same line, however? I see 42.Rc8 Rxc8.
Feb-24-05  Timetraveller: <Gypsy> Sorry, you're right, got my lines mixed up.
Feb-24-05  euripides: <gypsy> yes - hard to believe that Nh8 can be such an tactically powerful move. Material for a game collection, perhaps.
Feb-24-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <Timetraveller> No worries, I'v done plenty of those. Thx again!
Feb-24-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <euripides> Yes. I'v always viewed intermezzos as being a fine spice of tactics. And this intermezzo pair (g5 Nh8) is especially charming.
Feb-24-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: I didn't get this one;it was ingenious how white set up the "second degree" fork-through a pseudo-sacrifice.
Feb-24-05  tjshann: Like others, I saw the combo ending in the fork, but am puzzled by Nd8. A game with a declined sacrifice that leads to a murky position with best defensive play (g6) doesn't appear to be a good candidate for a puzzle.
Feb-24-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: Well, I find it kind of cool that guys here found a solid defense that so many, including for instance Alekhine, missed. Maybe I am just looking for different things from the puzzles -- solve it or bust it if you will, just as long as the ideas are creative and fun! (Btw, I did not see the g5 intermezzo; but I like it a lot.)
Feb-24-05  patzer2: <Gypsy> <I like it a lot.> Me too!
Feb-24-05  patzer2: <euripides> It would appear <39.Ng6+!> Kg8 40.b3 (40.Rxc6?? Rxc6 41.Rxc6 Nh8!+ makes for an amusing and decisive double attack) 40...Nd8 41.Qf5 Ra7 42.h5 Ne6 43.Nf4 Nxf4 44.Qxf4 Re6 45.Rc5 Ra6 46.Qf5 Re4 47.Rxd5 gives White a decisive advantage.

However, White might do just as well with the more positional 39.b3! Kg8 40.Qf5 Rd7 41.Rc5 Nd6 42.Qc2 Ne4 43.Rxc6 Nc3 44.Qf5 Qf7 45.h5 Rdd8 46.Rc5 .

Dec-02-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: In the Better Late Than Never Category:

<Feb-24-05 rochade18: Why didn't Thomas take the g-pawn with the queen (move 27-29)? I assume the g-file would be too promising for a white attack!?>

Because it wasn't hanging. There's an error in our score; White actually played <25.g3> instead of <25.h3>. (Tournament book, p. 4).

Dec-03-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: At move 39 SF likes Kb1, Qg6, and patzer2's b3 equally (+1.60, 42 ply), but with a lot of indecisive tacking back and forth afterwards. So the game was a long way from won at that point.
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