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Alexander Alekhine vs Ronald MacKay Bruce
Plymouth (1938), Plymouth ENG, rd 3, Sep-06
Caro-Kann Defense: Two Knights Attack (B10)  ·  1-0



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Given 46 times; par: 20 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jul-29-03  WhiteKnight: You just have to love Alekhine's games
Jul-29-03  popski: Yea, indeed. Great! I wonder if you compare chess Grand Masters with music Grand Masters who would be like who? Alekhine was maybe like Beethoven, with his great music pieces and his heavy life or maybe even like Chopin... Capablanca was like Mozart and Lasker looks to me like Bach in some marathon way. Hmm, who is like Fisher,Tal or Kasparov then? Hehe, Smyslov could be like Klaus Nomi, he liked opera too ... :)
Jul-29-03  hickchess99: i'd say fischer is more like pearl jam; tal would be master p; early kasparov is jimmy hendrix, but as of late he is more of an nsync
Jul-29-03  popski: Hehe, Kasparov like Hendrix! Good compare. Then is Kramnik like Philip Glass or Kraftwerk ... :) and Judit Polgar have to be like Laurie Anderson.
Jul-29-03  refutor: naw, i'd say definitely morphy would be hendrix...the paul morphy experience has a nice ring to it ;)
Jul-29-03  PVS: Morphy might be Brain Wilson (a reclusive genius) and Fischer early Bob Dylan (Both lived in the Village, had less than endearing personalities and a cult following), Tal was Hendrix. I like Capablanca as Mozart. Lasker as Bach seems dead wrong however. Someone wrote a book comparing the chess greats to classical musicians about 25 years ago.
Jul-29-03  PVS: Fischer may have become Johnny Rotten in the seventies, and then degenerated into Sid Vicious.
Jul-29-03  Brian Watson: I'm totally missing where black first went wrong . . .
Jul-29-03  xu fei: 7...Bh7 allows white to develop an attack, while black is forced to defend with weakening pawn moves. So we could criticize this move as being a mistake.
Jul-29-03  fred lennox: ...Bf5 to me is a mistake. White has the initiative - 1/2 point. Now Ng3 gain of tempo - 1 point. Ne5 another gain of tempo, central control, an extra piece developed. It isn't so well known how critical it can be for bishops to be harried by the knights in the opening.
Jul-30-03  bishop: Fischer talked about this opening in his book. I recollect he wrote that the move order 3.Nf3 instead of 3.d4 renders the move 4...Bf5 questionable and that 5...Bg6 was outright bad. The rout in this game explains why. I think Fischer recommended 4...Bg4.
Jun-30-05  Bishop Beater: CHO Alexander in his book on Alekhine annotates this game. 4...Bf5 is bad; Alexander recommends 4...Bg4. The point of White's move order is that he omits d4, gaining even another tempo in his attack while Black plays the opening rather than the position.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: This is quite well-known opening trap and it had been played several times before this game. For example, Lasker played this in one simul game in 1908 and it had occurred at least once even in serious tournament game though black defended there a bit better playing 11...Qe7. See Hromadka vs J Dobias, 1937
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: As Honza Cervenka notes, Lasker played this trap 30 years before in <Lasker vs Radsheer, 1908;

3...Bg4! is much better than the game continuation. Fischer had a notoriously bad record against that move: draw vs. N. Kampars at the 1957 New Western Open; draw vs. Raymond Weinstein at the 1959/60 U.S. championship; draw vs. Larsen at Zurich 1959; in the 1959 candidates tournament, losses to Petrosian and Keres, draws with Smyslov and Petrosian (in another game); draw vs. Keres at Bled 1961.

Fischer only won twice against 3...Bg4: against Benko in the 1959 candidates tournament (Fischer's only win with the line there), and against Cagan at Netanya 1968. That's a total lifetime score for Fischer of +2 =6 -2 against 3...Bg4, much worse than his usual record as White.

If one must play 4...Bf5?!, then 7...Qd6, as someone once played in a tournment game against my friend Tom Mayka, ultimately drawing the game, is probably better than 7...Bh7, which leaves Black with a horrid position even if he avoids Nxf7! 5...Bg4 6.h3 Bxf3 7.Qxf3 Nf6 is also much better than the game continuation; White gets the bishop pair, but Black has a very solid position.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: I'm pretty sure Black was not "Ron", but Rowena Bruce, a British woman. IIRC, she set a world record of sorts by losing to two world champions in the same day, also losing to women's world champion Vera Menchik.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Apparently it was indeed Ron, not Rowena, who lost this game. See the comments at Rowena Mary Bruce. There is a very interesting biography of her at Rowena M. Dew married Ron M. Bruce, taking his surname, and they later adopted a girl, whom they named "Rona Mary" - making their household three "R. M. Bruce"s.
May-15-11  DanielBryant: <FSR> Thanks for looking into it; interesting stuff indeed.
Aug-16-12  LoveThatJoker: Guess-the-Move Final Score:

Alekhine vs R Bruce, 1938.
Your score: 21 (par = 17)


Premium Chessgames Member
  fearlessone: 10 Nf6 looks like a horrible move. What about qc7 d4 Bd6 f4 Bxe5 fe5 still looks bad but game would probably last longer.
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: <FSR>Apparently it was indeed Ron, not Rowena, who lost this game.

The Plymouth tournament consisted of 7 rounds, but there were only 6 days available (5th-10th September). As a result, two rounds were played on Tuesday, the 6th of September, and by the luck of the draw, Ronald Bruce was paired to play the Men's World Champion (Alekhine) in the morning round, and the Women's World Champion (Menchik) in the afternoon round, thus leading to his record of losing to two world champions on the same day.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <GrahamClayton> I take it that is a quote from someplace? One reason that Rowena can't have been the one who played the game against Alekhine in 1937 (Alekhine-Bruce) is that she was still named Dew, not Bruce, at the time of that game. The biography of her that I mentioned indicates that she married Ronald Bruce on 13th July 1940.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <fearlessone> Yes, Black would have a horrid game, but clearly that would have held out longer than 10...Nf6?
Jun-06-18  micahtuhy: This game is featured in the warming up section of the book “masters of attack” With a puzzle after black’s 10th move (10...Nf6). In the book the player with the black pieces is listed as “Bruk” instead of Bruce. This is probably just a misprint on their part, but I’m curious if there is any other explanation for this, could Bruce simply be the Anglicized translation?
Jun-06-18  micahtuhy: If you’re curious where the puzzle is, it’s number 5 In the first section on Alekhine.
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