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World Championship Match (Seventeenth Game) 's Gravenhage - November 14, 1937 QUEEN'S GAMBIT DECLINED

(Notes by Fred Reinfeld) Dr. M. Euwe Dr. A. Alekhine

White Black

(The notable features of this game are Euwe's clever Pawn sacrifice in the opening and his skilful handling of the endgame.)

World Championship Match (Seventeenth Game) 's Gravenhage - November 14, 1937 QUEEN'S GAMBIT DECLINED

(Notes by Fred Reinfeld) Dr. M. Euwe Dr. A. Alekhine

White Black

(The notable features of this game are Euwe's clever Pawn sacrifice in the opening and his skilful handling of the endgame.)

2 P-QB4

3 Kt-KB3

4 Kt-B3

5 P-QR4

P-QB3 Kt-B3 PxP B-B4

7 BxP

If instead 10 . . . KtxKt; 11 PxKt, BxP; 12 R-Kt.1, P-QKt3; 13 BxB, PxB; 14 Q-Q3 regaining the Pawn advantageously. Alekhine has improved here on his play in the 9th and 13th games by castling instead of playing . . . QKt-Q2. Thus in these former games, the Pawn sacrifice was based primarily on the prevention of Black's castling; but here the sacrifice has its roots in purely positional considerations.

11 PxB

12 Q-B2

13 QxB

14 B-R3

15 QR-Kt1

KtxQBP BxB Kt-Q4 R-K1 P-QKt3

Now we see the point of Euwe's enterprising and far-sighted sacrifice: Black's Q side is subjected to well-nigh unbearable pressure. The text is a weakening which can hardly be averted, for instance 15 . . . Q-Bl; 16 Q-Kt3, P-QKt.3; IT P-K4, Kt-B3; 18 P-K5, Kt-Q4; 19 Kt-Kt5 followed by Kt-K4-Q6.

Black is in a quandary; even returning the P by 16 . . . Kt-Q2; 17 RxP would not propitiate White, who could proceed with moves like P-K4 and R-Q6, or else doubling the Rs on the QB file. But the text results in a perceptible weakening of Black's position.

17 Kt-K5 Kt-Kt5

18 BxKt PxB

This maneuver, with which Alekhine has plagiarized on his previous play, does not lead to the desired simplification (19 RxP, P-QB1!), &s Euwe has a stronger line available.

19 KtxQBP! KtxKt

20 RxKt P-K4

There is a plausible idea behind this move, namely that an ending with four Ps to three—

all on the K side—will doubtless result in a draw (with all the Q side Ps having been exchanged off). Alekhine fears that if he plays 20 . . . RxP instead, there would follow 21 Q-Kt5, winning both QKtPs, and leaving an endgame with five Ps to four which White should win ultimately by creating a passed QP. But this is the ending that Black should have played for, as it would have allowed many drawing chances, and in any event would have been extremely laborious. The flaw in Alekhine's speculations regarding the text, is that the Q side Ps are not dissolved; and when the player with the material advantage has weaknesses on both sides to work on, the win is fairly certain,

21 QRxP PxP

Praying for 22 QxP, QxQ; 23 RxQ, P-QKt4! regaining the Pawn.

22 RxQP Q-Kt1

Alekhine is as resourceful as ever, even in this miserable position! White can easily go wrong here, for example:

II 24 RxP? R-B8eh and wins.

III 24 R(4)-QB4, RxR; 25 RxR, Q-R2; 26 Rx P, P-Kt3! winning the QRP. This is just the kind of ending that Alekhine wants,

25 QxR P-R3

Alekhine is said to have meditated on this move for more than half an hour. Of course if 27 , . . R-R4 ? ? 28 QxR. If 27 . . . Q-QB1; 28 R-K4! K-Bl (or 28 . . . K-R2; 29 R-K8, Q-Kt2; 30 Q-B5ch, P-Kt3; 31 Q-B6); 29 R-QBl, Q-Kt2; 30 Q-KB5! and wins. Euwe's skilful play with the heavy pieces hereabouts is beyond praise.

White threatened to win outright with Q-Q3! The text provides for « . . R-Rl.

Hoping perhaps for the seemingly formidable

31 . . . K-Kil; 32 Q-Kt6); 32 Q-Q4, Q-Bl; 33 R-Kt7 winning easily. The rest is a luxury for Black, but he is so preoccupied with time pressure that he plays on.

31 QxP

32 K-Kt2

33 Q-Q4

34 P-K4

35 R-K5

36 P-R5

37 Q-Q5

38 QxP

39 K-B3

40 K-B4

41 K-Kt4

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