Alexander Alekhine

Many critics hold that the present champion is strongest in the mid-game—particularly in positions where the opposing forces are equally balanced. Up to the last few years he was not considered particularly formidable in the end-game, though the depth of his play generally and of his knowledge of the openings was recognized.

Not only has Dr. Alekhine developed remarkably in every phase of the game since 1927, but a careful examination of his tournament record dispels the notion that he at any time excelled only in combinations. On the contrary we find endings of the highest type, that indicate he was fully alive to the importance of the end-game and conversant with its most subtle complexities. It is true, however, that even here Alekhinc's style is aggressive and combinative rather than positional and simple. Frequently his end-games are mid-games in miniature.

It is worthy of note that the champion carries with him at all times an exhaustive treatise on this subject.

black (yates)

black (yates)

white (alekhine)

white (alekhine)

A simple rook ending from the Hamburg Tournament of 1910,

very neat

41 PxR K-K2

The play in the following early game from the Stockholm Tournament of 1912 is not convincing.

WHITE (ALEKHINE)

WHITE (ALEKHINE)

This is noted as a strong move by Alekhine in his collection of his best games. He also states that Black probably expected Kt (Q 4)—

K 6, upon which R—Kt would have been sufficient.

28 KtxQ B P RxR P

To be considered also was 29 KtxP, ch., B x Kt. 30 R x B, R—K 8, ch. 31 K—R 2, R (K 8)— K 7. 32 R (B 7)—B 8, RxP, ch. 33 K—R, P—R 3. 34 R x Kt, ch., K—R 2 but the win is not clear.

31

R—Q 8, ch.

B—K

32

Kt x B

K—B

33

Kt—Q 6, ch.

K—K2

34

R—K 8, ch.

K—Q2

35

RxR

PxR

36

Kt—B 4

K—B 3

37

Kt—K4

R—R 8, ch.

38

K—B 2

K-Q4

39

K—B 3

Simpler would be 39 Kt (B 4)—Q 2 followed by 40 K—K 3 with the threat of 41 Kt—Kt and 42 Kt—B (Kt)—B 3, ch. (A.).

Pretty but scarcely logical (A.).

The position merits study.

white (alekhine)

white (alekhine)

"I had not provided against this advance as I thought that the following variation would win."

I noticed, in time, however, that on the 41st move Black could capture the Kt at K 4. On the other hand 41 Kt—B 3, ch., KxP. 42 KtxP, ch., K—Q 5. 43 Kt (R 4)—Kt 2 would draw easily But White was playing to win, and hence took risks." (A.)

Here Black throws away winning chances. K—B 5 would have rendered White practically helpless.

48

K-Q3

R—K B 8

49

P—Kt3

P—R4

50

K—B 4

P—R5

51

P—Kt 5, ch.

K—Q 2

52

PxP

R—B 5, ch.

53

K—Q5

RxP

54

P—B 6, ch.

K—B 2

55

K—B 5

RxP

56

P—Kt 6, ch.

K—Kt

57

Kt—Kt 5

Resigns.

From the International Russian Tournament at St. Petersburg, 1914:

black (marshall)

From the International Russian Tournament at St. Petersburg, 1914:

black (marshall)

white (alekhine)

white (alekhine)

Alekhine's conduct of the game from this point deserves special study:

Black dare not exchange Rooks.

To prevent 29 R—Q B 5, but creating new weaknesses.

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