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Alekhine's Defense (B03)
1 e4 Nf6 2 e5 Nd5 3 d4

Number of games in database: 4121
Years covered: 1893 to 2023
Overall record:
   White wins 42.0%
   Black wins 31.5%
   Draws 26.5%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Viktor Kupreichik  16 games
Dusko Pavasovic  14 games
Andrew Soltis  13 games
Alexander Baburin  47 games
Vladimir Bagirov  32 games
Mihail Kopylov  30 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
Bronstein vs Ljubojevic, 1973
Fischer vs H Berliner, 1960
Tal vs NN, 1973
J Vetemaa vs Shabalov, 1986
Spielmann vs Colle, 1928
B Gamback vs R Nevanlinna, 2001
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 page 1 of 165; games 1-25 of 4,121  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. S Ward vs J E Hall  0-1351893Yorkshire chB03 Alekhine's Defense
2. V I Lenin vs M Gorky 0-1261908CapriB03 Alekhine's Defense
3. E Steiner vs Alekhine 0-1621921BudapestB03 Alekhine's Defense
4. Euwe vs Kostic ½-½491921The HagueB03 Alekhine's Defense
5. G Marco vs Kostic  ½-½351921The HagueB03 Alekhine's Defense
6. Rubinstein vs A Selezniev 1-0441921TribergB03 Alekhine's Defense
7. Hromadka vs Gruenfeld ½-½701922Bad PistyanB03 Alekhine's Defense
8. H Wolf vs Gruenfeld 0-1501922Bad PistyanB03 Alekhine's Defense
9. J Mieses vs G Oskam 1-0251922RotterdamB03 Alekhine's Defense
10. Tarrasch vs V Vukovic 0-1401922ViennaB03 Alekhine's Defense
11. H Wolf vs Bogoljubov  1-0421922ViennaB03 Alekhine's Defense
12. N Grigoriev vs Y Vilner  1-0381923USSR ChampionshipB03 Alekhine's Defense
13. Carl Hauck vs A Kramer  1-0281923Morphy CC ChampionshipB03 Alekhine's Defense
14. Lasker vs Tarrasch 1-0471923Maehrisch-OstrauB03 Alekhine's Defense
15. Znosko-Borovsky vs G Oskam 1-0221923ScheveningenB03 Alekhine's Defense
16. H N Hansen vs G Oskam  ½-½391923ScheveningenB03 Alekhine's Defense
17. K Emmrich vs A Becker 0-134192323. DSB KongressB03 Alekhine's Defense
18. S Mlotkowski vs A W Ryder 1-041192324th Western ChampionshipB03 Alekhine's Defense
19. J H Goud vs G Oskam  ½-½121923Utrecht-NRSVB03 Alekhine's Defense
20. K Opocensky vs Gruenfeld  ½-½511923ViennaB03 Alekhine's Defense
21. Spielmann vs S Takacs  1-0491923ViennaB03 Alekhine's Defense
22. M Kagan vs Yanchuk 1-0301924Tournament of Cities (sf) B-1-2B03 Alekhine's Defense
23. Maroczy vs Tartakower  ½-½291924New YorkB03 Alekhine's Defense
24. V Kondybin vs A G Khrustalev  1-0291924Volga Region championshipB03 Alekhine's Defense
25. J Kleczynski Jr vs Duchamp 0-1391924Paris Unofficial OlympiadB03 Alekhine's Defense
 page 1 of 165; games 1-25 of 4,121  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 11 OF 11 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Sep-17-07  refutor: <re : 1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.d4 d6 4.c4 Nb6 5.f4 dxe5 6.fxe5 c5 7.d5 g6>

it is the recommended line v. the four pawns in andrew martin's new DVD on the alekhine

Sep-18-07  AgentRgent: <refutor> Interesting, although he does his students a big disservice by ignoring/missing the Movsesian-Varga game.
Sep-18-07  savagerules: 1 e4 Nf6 2 e5 Nd5 3 c4 Nb6 4 a4!? is an annoying move for Black, I managed to lose to somebody 200 points lower than me when i played 4...a5 5 c5 Nd5 6 Nc3 and White has a nice advantage. 4...d6 probably best then 5 a5 N6d7 6 e6!? is sharp line for white.
Dec-31-07  Recoiler: Hello everyone!

Could someone tell me what's wrong (if anything) with 1. e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.d4 d6 4.c4 Nb6 5. Nf3?! ? This seems inaccurate, but is there any way black can punish white's early c4 in this variation?

Thanks in advance.

Dec-31-07  Buddy Revell: <Recoiler> I don't think there's anything wrong with that line. It can transpose to the Modern Variation (1 e4 Nf6 2 e5 Nd5 3 d4 d6 4.Nf3), for instance.
Dec-31-07  MaxxLange: <1 e4 Nf6 2 e5 Nd5 3 c4 Nb6 4 a4!? is an annoying move for Black> the so-called Emory Tate variation. Big fun, but probably not a good choice for a serious friends and I used to be obsessed with this line and played many blitz games in it. Our conclusion: against ...a5, White doesn't get much against correct play.

<4...d6 probably best then 5 a5 N6d7 6 e6!? is sharp line for white> the pawn sacrifice e6 is indeed dangerous, and Black has to defend carefully. If the attack doesn't go through, White is worse of course

Dec-31-07  whiteshark: <MaxxLange:> Looks interesting, this <Emory Tate variation> Opening Explorer
Jan-28-08  nescio: <Recoiler: Could someone tell me what's wrong (if anything) with 1. e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.d4 d6 4.c4 Nb6 5. Nf3?!>

Two games to give you some ideas:

Alekhine vs Euwe, 1935 10...Nc6! instead of 10...axb6. Black is much better.

Alekhine vs Reshevsky, 1937 10...Qxd7! instead of 10...Nxd7.

Jan-28-08  MaxxLange: <whiteshark> E Tate vs Manfred Herfel, 1991 Shows both the ...Ra3-g3 idea and the pawn sac on e6. The e6 sac is older than this weird a4 line; Alekhine analyzes a nice game in his book about chess in 1939-1945, where White wins against the Alekhine with a beautiful attack. Black has obvious difficulty developing after 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3 Nf3 d6 4 d4 Nc6 5 e6 fxe6. That game was in Buenoes Aires 1939, can't remember the players but I think White was from a Scandanavian country.
Apr-03-08  get Reti: Interesting is the variation 1 e4 Nf6 2 e5 Nd5 3 d4 d6 4.Nf3 <Nc6>. The game may continue 5.c4 Nb6 6.<e6> or <exd6>. After 6.e6 fxe6, black plans to play ...e5 and Nd4. Can black hold on to the extra pawn? It looks possible to me. After 6.exd6 exd6, it branches into 7.Be2 and h3. 7.Be2 Bg4 8.0-0 Be7 9. b3 0-0 10.Nc3 Bf6 11.Be3 d5 looks ok for black. So does 7.h3 Be7 8. Nc3 0-0 9. Be2 Bf5 10. 0-0 Bf6 11. Be3 Re8 12.b3 d5.
Aug-10-08  drukenknight: The perfect storming attack. Alekhines defense meets Lasker's var., transposes into French defense, then into Albin Chatard attack...It's amazing how many various openings/defenses that flash before your eyes

1 e4 Nf6
2. e5 Nd5
3. Bc4 (I think Lasker espoused this move)
3... e6
4. d4 a6 (apparently a novelty)
5. h4 (since it now looks like a French, I decide to play the move that defines the Albin Chatard attack)

5... b5
6. Bg5 exd5
8. Nh3 O-O
9. Nc3 Bxg5
10. Nxg5 d6?! (f6 maybe better?)
11. Qh5 h6
12. Nxd5 hxg5 (?)
13. hxg5 f5
14. Nf6+ Rxf6 1-0

Okay that was kindof fun, but of course there is always a serious question and that is how does black hold this:

Position after 12 Nxd5. Black to play, can you hold this?

click for larger view

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Hey, drukenknight, a pleasure to see you as always.

1. e4 Nf6
2. e5 Nd5
3. Bc4 (I think Lasker espoused this move)

<He played both 3. c4 Nb6 4. c5 and the Four Pawns Attack, but not this move as far as I or the database know. But maybe he wrote about it somewhere.>

3... e6

<Best for Black seems to be 3....Nb6 4. Bb3 c5.>

4. d4 a6 (apparently a novelty <and unlikely to be repeated. :-)>)

5. h4 (since it now looks like a French, I decide to play the move that defines the Albin Chatard attack)

5... b5
6. Bg5 exd5

<A move is missing -- I think it went 6. Bg5 Be7 7. Bxd5 exd5 8. Nh3.>

8. Nh3 O-O
9. Nc3 Bxg5
10. Nxg5 d6?! (f6 maybe better?)

<Yes, ...f6 looks OK.>

11. Qh5 h6
12. Nxd5 hxg5 (?)

<Black has to play 12....dxe5 when it seems like the knight on d5 has to retreat. After 13. Ne3 exd4 14. 0-0-0 White obviously still has an attack, but at least he doesn't have a forced mate!>

13. hxg5 f5 14. Nf6+

<It hardly matters, but 14. g6 is a little quicker.> 14... Rxf6 1-0

Nice game!

Aug-10-08  ughaibu: The Druke! Online! Fantastic!
Aug-10-08  drukenknight: Keypusher:

A) yes I think you are right, I forget to show: 6...Be7 7. Bxd5 exd5

B) Does black still lose after: 12.....dxe5
13. Nc3 hxg5
14. hxg5 Bh3
15. Qxh3 f5
16. g3 exd4
17. Qh7+ Kf7
18. Qxf5+ Ke8
19. Qg6+ Ke7
20. O-O-O

C) Check out the other ALkehines game we kibitzed about...

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: drukenknight:

In your line (B),

12....dxe5 13. Nc3, after 13....hxg5 14. hxg5 Bh3 15. Rxh3 (or 15. Qxh3) 15....f5, I think 16. g6 just forces immediate mate. What does Black have against Qh8#?

But on the other hand, why doesn't Black play 13....exd4 instead of ...hxg5? I don't think Black is under any compulsion to take the knight on g5, since White isn't threatening anything immediately if he doesn't. After 13....exd4 14. 0-0-0 Black could perhaps try ...Bf5, with ...Bg6 to follow. Of course he's not out of the woods by any means, but I think I would still rather be Black.

Re (C), can you remind me where that kibitzing is?

Came across one of your old posts in this game: Janowski vs Lasker, 1914 . 48. Qf3 was a great idea!

OK, I have to go write a brief. I'll try to check back here and whereever the other Alekhine kibitzing is tonight.

Aug-10-08  drukenknight: keypusher the easiest way to find the other thread about alek defense is to just go to recent kibitzing from the home or:

Alekhine's Defense (B02)

Thanks for compliments on that Janowski game, sometimes I look back at these old posts and somethngs I say are just stupid, so it's nice when something actually works.

Jul-02-09  Knight13: 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. c4 Nb6 5. exd6 cxd6 6. Nc3 g6 7. Be3 Bg7 8. Rc1 O-O 9. b3 Nc6 10. d5

click for larger view

White has 66.7% win and Black virtually has NONE!

How do you play Black on this then!?

Nov-06-09  shaqcosteau: Knight13:

The idea is on 10...Ne5 white can play 11. Be2 and the knight is likely to get trapped after f4.

This is probably the sharpest line against 5...cxd6, and is the reason for many players choosing the more solid 5...exd6. Black usually doesn't let white get the bind with d5 by playing 9...e5 instead of Nc6.

Mar-06-11  notyetagm: I need a line against the Alekhine Defense. I am thinking of learning the <MODERN EXCHANGE> line, with 5 e5xd6.

5 e5xd6

click for larger view

Could a strong player please comment on the pros and cons of this line?


Jul-11-11  ventricule: Hello fellow kibitzers, I've been wondering something for a while about the Alekhine defense.

The starting move order is usually 1.e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6

And then, none of the common variations use 4. exd6 (the Exchange Variation only starts after 4. c4 Nb6). In fact, in isn't even mentionned in Cox's book about the Alekhine.

Is there something bad about it ? Looking at the game statistics, it looks like it is worse for white than the usual lines, but I don't see why it wouldn't naturally transpose to the usual exchange variation..?

Aug-05-11  The Rocket: <notyetagm:> Pros:white has space advantage, thanks to having controll over the center and can develop nicely without having such a closed black structure which the alekhine player can later creatively create counterplay from. This is a more balanced variation in that way

cons:because of what I mentioned above black is less cramped than in the main lines(even though an alekhine player knows very well how to handle those type of positions as well).

the exchange variation is a karpov like advantage compared to the mainlines that follow chessprinciples more closely and is a an attempt to just develop and show that black is worse of with his first move.

Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Has anyone been brave enough to try the De Milliano variation at move 5 with 5.e6?!. White sacrifices material to hamper Black's development.
Premium Chessgames Member
  OBIT: <ventricule> After 1.e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6, the immediate 4. exd6 gives Black the additional option of playing 5...Nf6 (as well as 5...Nb6) if you play 5. c4 next, whereas after 4. c4 Nb6 5. exd6 you know which square the knight is on. If nothing else, that means 4. c4 Nb6 5. exf6 is easier to prepare for White, since ...Nf6 does not have to be considered. I suppose it also means 4. exd6 can't be theoretically better than 4. c4 Nb6 4. exd6, since having both ...Nf6 and ...Nb6 available can't be worse than having only ...Nb6 available.

In short, 4. exd6 gives Black options not available after 4. c4 Nb6 5. exd6. From a competitive standpoint, however, is giving the opponent more playable options necessarily a bad thing? If you have a plan for ...Nf6 as well as ...Nb6, giving Black all this latitude may actually work in your favor. After 4. exd6, your opponent can now consider 4...exd6, 4...cxd6, and even 4...Qxd6. (Regarding ...Qxd6: after 4. c4 Nb6 5. exd6 Qxd6 is hard to justify after 6. c5, forcing the awkward 6...Qe6+, but if the knight is on f6, the c5 advance is not a big deal.) As for playing ...Nf6 instead of ...Nb6 if you then play c4, your opponent will be thinking f6 may well be a better square for the knight, but his preparation was for ...Nb6 - should he play the move that is more likely better, or should he go into a position he knows? Finally, your opponent has to wonder if you plan to play c4 at all. And, if your opponent takes his time mulling over all these possibilities, you gain a nice advantage on the clocks. As I said, sometimes giving your opponent more options can actually work in your favor.

Jan-10-14  parisattack: Books on the Alekhine. (The Siebenhaar volumes are awesome.):

Bagirov - Alekhine's Defense
Bogdanov - Play the Alekhine
Burgess - New Ideas in the Alekhine Defense
Burgess - The Complete Alekhine
Chess Digest - Alekhine's Defense
Christiansen - Alekhine's Defense As White: The Four Pawns Attack Cox - Starting Out: Alekhine's
Davies - Alekhine's Defence
Dunworth - Developments in the Alekhine 1985-1987
Eales and Williams - Alekhine's Defence
Greet - Beating Unusual Chess Defences
Hort - Alekhine's Defence
Hort and Keene - Alekhine's Defence
Lane - Alekhine Defence
Lonsdale - Alekhine Defence: 3. d4 Against the Brooklyn Variation Lonsdale - Alekhone Defence: Larsen Variation
Martin - Trends in the Alekhine 2
McDonald - Trends in the Alekhine 1
Sawyer - Alekhine Defence Playbook
Schwarz - Alekhine Verteidigung
Siebenhaar, Et Al - Die Aljechin Verteidigung B1
Siebenhaar, Et Al - Die Alejechin Verteidigung B2
Smith and Hall - Alekhine's Defense
Soltis - Beating the Alekhine Defense with the Exchange Variation Taylor - Alekhine Alert!
Tucker and Long - Alekhine's Defense: Bronstein-Ljubojevic Weinstein - The Alekhine 1977

Please feel free to add to the list!

Premium Chessgames Member
  technical draw: Alekhine's Defense is still just a club players opening. Or a GM might use it against a really lower rated player. I have never played it. (and that's in 50 years!)
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