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  Welcome to MY web page on the 4th greatest game of chess ever played. Many hours of work went into bringing you this page. I hope you enjoy it.  (page-banner, bog-ale1.gif; 05KB)


Efim D. Bogoljubow (2700) - Alexander A. Alekhine (2735)
Hastings, England (Rd. #11), 1922

[A.J. Goldsby I]

 (Note: There are close to half a dozen different spellings for Bogo's name. 
 Don't be confused by the differences. For instance, "Bogoljubov," "Bogoyuboff," and many others ...) 

 You definitely will need a chess set to play over this game. 
 ( There are NO diagrams. )  

    Click  HERE  to go to a page with this game on a js re-play board.    
  (Click HERE - to see a new version of this game.)   

(See the bottom of this page for escape links, or 
click the "Back" button on your web browser.) 

(The ratings above are based on 2001 approximations of the player's ratings,
for the year that this game was actually played, 1922.)  

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 The 4th Greatest Chess Game Ever? 

One of the finest games of chess ever played. Many writers and editors, such as Chernev, Reinfeld, Horowitz, Golombek, Kirby, and Coles; have all ranked this game as easily being in the "Top Ten" list of the best games of chess ever played. 

GM Andy Soltis, in his [awesome] book, "The 100 Best," Soltis ranks this as the fourth best game of chess ever played. 

The late, great writer, Irving Chernev,  [repeatedly] called this game quite simply the best and grandest Master game of chess ever played. 

FM G. Burgess considers this one of the best games of the year, 1922. He annotates this game (partially) ... in his book,  "Chess Highlights Of The 20th Century." 

Alekhine considered this game, along with his game against Reti,  (Baden-Baden, 1925); his two most brilliant games. 

GM Ruben Fine considers the collection of Alekhine's games to be models of technical precision and great beauty. He considers the only two players who are worthy to even have their game collections to be placed along-side Alekhine's, are Fischer and Lasker. 
( See Fine's book, "The World's Great Chess Games." ) 

Fine also considers this game to be one of the greatest and most beautiful ever played on the chess board. (Although I can find no indication of which games he would give - in his own list - of, "The Ten Best.") 

Botvinnik, writing for various Soviet magazines, called this one of the greatest accomplishments ever achieved on the chess board. 

Dozens of Masters have told me this is the best, in response to my question of: 
"What is your favorite game, or which game do you consider to be the best game 
of chess ever played?" (Many other Masters have also mentioned the Reti-Alekhine game, or games of Capa's when pressed for their choice of, "The Best Game Ever.") 

In several surveys conducted in chess magazines in the former Soviet Union, this game was always listed highly ... when the readers were asked to name their favorite game of chess. 

I have the following story on basically a first-hand report. (From a Master who was there. It was also verified by Jack Collins - Fischer's former teacher and mentor.) The story goes that Fischer was analyzing this game as a very young {emerging} Master. (Like age 11-12.)  Players like Evans,  The Byrne brothers,  Lombardy, etc; were all regular attendee's of the New York chess clubs in those days. Fischer apparently spent days analyzing this one game and afterwards referred to it as, ... 
"One of the great Masterpieces of the Chess- Board." 

Fischer was also to later always name the games of Alekhine as one of the players who inspired him. Kasparov has also mentioned Alekhine many times as a creative and formative influence in his career. 

Kasparov also referred to this combination as,  "something immortal."  

Easily one of the best games of all times. Alekhine's conception is so grand that it reaches across the breath and depth of the chess board. The combination is so grand as to transcend the normal and mundane. One of the greatest games of chess ever played. 

(My annotations are based primarily on  GM A. Soltis's  annotations from his book, 
"The 100 Best.")

1. d4 f5; ('!?') The Dutch Defense. 

Alekhine had not previously used this [risky] defense very much in 'serious' games. 

(Alekhine was trailing Rubinstein by half a point in this tournament, and 
 needed to score a full point to try to catch up in the standings.)

[ The traditional way to meet the Queen's Pawn is: 1...d5;  which is Classical theory. 
(Traditionally, [formerly] Pawns are [were] primarily used to control the center.);  

The Hyper-modern way to meet the QP, is with the move: 1...Nf6;  which keeps
 more of Black's options open. (And if he is so-minded, he can transpose back to 
 a Queen's Gambit Declined.)  {With 2.c4 e6; 3.Nc3 d5; etc. } 
The move 3...Bb4; here leads to a Nimzo-Indian Defense. ] 


2. c4 Nf6;  3. g3,  Why the fianchetto now? 

Rubinstein was first player to demonstrate that the best defense to the 
Dutch Defence for White was a fianchetto of the King-side Bishop. 

Alekhine notes that it is best to play g3 before Nc3, as it was discovered 
that it is good for Black to play the pinning move,  ...Bb4. 



3...e6;  The Classical Dutch. 

One of the main ideas for Black in the Dutch, as he captures space on that side of 
the board, is to later attack on the King-side.  This is seen in many lines of the Dutch. 

[ The move 3...g6!?;  is known as, "The Leningrad Dutch." 

Many modern Masters prefer this line. 
(This line is more in the hyper-modern vein.) 

This line continues: 4.Bg2 Bg7;  5.Nf3 0-0;  6.0-0 d6;  7.Nc3 Qe8; etc.   (7...c6!?; 
8.Re1 h6;  9.b3 Qf7;  10.Qd3 Nc6;  11.Ba3 Ne4;  12.Nb5 e6;  13.Rad1 Re8; 
14.d5 Nd8; "="  (Maybe - "+/=") The end of the column.  (Col. # 4, page # 483.) 
Farago - Mainka;  Altensteig, 1994. 

"Now 15. dxe6, instead of 15. Nd2,  [as played in the game]  would leave White 
with slightly better chances." - GM N. DeFirmian. 
[ See MCO-14; pg.'s 483-484, col's 01-06, (Mainly column # 04 here.), 
and notes (a.) through (u.). {Mainly note # (m.) here.}  ].  ].  


4. Bg2 Bb4+;  (Maybe - '!?')  Why does Black check here? 

The line of 4...Be7+;  is much preferred today. 

There is nothing fundamentally wrong or unsound with the move, 4...Bb4+!?. 
It is just that 4...Be7; is probably more flexible and a little more dynamic. 

The exchange of the Bishop MIGHT leave Black with minorly weakened dark-squares. 
But the main reason modern theory avoid this line today is that the exchange robs Black 
of many of his options and leaves him with a less dynamic and slightly sterile game. 
(But its a good line if a lower-rated player is looking for a draw.) 

[ A sample line of a modern variation runs: 4...Be7;  "The Ilyin-Zhenevsky Variation." 
5.Nf3 0-0;  6.0-0 d6;  7.Nc3 Qe8;  8.b3,   (Or 8.Re1!?)   8...a5; "~" etc.  {Unclear.}  
MCO gives the line: 9.Bb2, "+/=" 9...Na6;   (Or 9...Qh5!?)   10.a3 Bd7; 11.Ne1,  
 (Or 11.Qd2!?)  11...c6; 12.Nd3 Bd8; "~"  (Maybe - "+/=")  
"After 12...Bd8;  the chances are roughly even, as Black has the possibility of 
advancing in the center." - GM N. DeFirmian. 
Farago - Lucaroni;  Marostica, 1997.  

[See MCO-14; pg.'s 487 - 488, col's 13-18, (Mainly column # 18 here.), 
and notes (a.) through (r.). {Mainly note # (r.) here.} ]. 


Another very popular line runs: 4...d5;  The so-called  "Stonewall Variation."  
5.Nf3 c6;  6.0-0 Bd6;  7.b3 Qe7;  8.Bb2 b6!?;  9.Ne5 Bb7; 10.Nd2 0-0; 11.Rc1 a5; 
12.e3 Na6; The end of the column of MCO. (MCO-14, pg. # 487, col. # 13.) 
13.Qe2 a4!?;  14.bxa4!? Bxe5;  15.dxe5 Nd7;  16.a5!,  "+/=" 
Sturua - Vaisser;  Yerevan Olympiad, 1996. 

[ See MCO-14; pg.'s 487-488, col's 13-18, (Mainly column # 13 here.), 
and notes (a.) through (r.). {Mainly note # (c.) here.}  ].  

Or 4...c5!?;  5.d5 exd5;  6.cxd5 d6;  7.Nf3 Nbd7;  8.Nc3 Be7;  9.0-0, "+/="  
Analysis line. {A.J.G.}   ] 


5. Bd2 Bxd2+;  Black prefers to exchange, than retreat and lose time. 

GM A. Soltis  writes: 
"In the 1920's White began to avoid Nc3 in the Dutch because of the effectiveness 
 of the pinning move, ...Bb4. (See Game # 27.) Black's fourth move was a counter - 
 finesse, trying to misplace White's QN after 6. Nxd2." 


6. Nxd2!?,  Natural looking, but probably incorrect! 

White's Knights will have difficulty for the rest of the game. 

"This move decentralizes the Knight, and blocks the queen-file."  - Irving Chernev. 

[ Better is: 6.Qxd2!,  - Irving Chernev. (And GM A. Alekhine.) ].  


6...Nc6;  7. Ngf3 0-0;  8. 0-0 d6;  9. Qb3 Kh8;   Run and hide. 

A nice piece of preventative medicine. White occupies the a2-g8 diagonal 
with his Q, so Black naturally hides his King in the corner. 


10. Qc3!?,  This looks rather artificial. 

White makes seemingly logical-looking moves, but winds up (eventually) with a 
very incoherent position. 

"Bogolyubov may have thought he was preventing 10...P-K4; (...e5) as he had 
  three pieces trained on that square."  - Irving Chernev. 

[ Maybe White should play : 10.Rfc1,  (Maybe - '!') when Black would play: 10...e5; "=" ]. 


10...e5!,  A nice center break. 

GM A. Soltis  writes: 
"This equalizes play in the center. White cannot capture three times on e5  
  because his d2-Knight would hang." 

'!' - GM A. Soltis. 
'!' - Irving Chernev. 
'!' - GM A. Alekhine. 
'!' - GM Garry Kasparov.

[ 10...Ne4!?; ]. 


11. e3,  (I don't know about this.) 

This looks - and is - a little clumsy. 

[ The line: 11.dxe5! dxe5;  12.Rfd1,   (Not 12.Nxe5?? Nxe5; 13.Qxe5 Qxd2; "-/+"
12...Qe8;  This looks best. And now 13.e3,  produces a totally equal, 
 but sterile position. "=" ].  


11...a5!;  Well-played. 

 "This restrains any counteraction on the Q-side by 12. P-QN4. (b4)"  -  Irving Chernev.  

(Soltis does not give Black's 11th move an exclam. 
  But I don't dare disagree with Chernev. Not here, anyway.)

'!' - Irving Chernev. 
'!' - GM A. Alekhine. 
'!' - GM Garry Kasparov.


12. b3,  (Maybe - '!?')  Hmmm.  

Supports c4, but maybe White ought to be thinking 
about playing the pawn advance, e3-e4. 

[ 12.Rae1!?;  Not 12.a3?! a4;  and White cannot advance his 
pawns on the Q-side without breaking them up. ].  


12...Qe8!?;  (Maybe - '!')  Nice ...  and typical at the same time.  

(It's normal for Alekhine to play brilliantly ... to find the best move, however well hidden. 
Also - Black normally plays aggressively on the K-side in the Dutch.) 

Black positions his Queen to hit a4 and also move to the K-side, if necessary. 

(Many annotators have given this move an exclam.).  

'!' - Irving Chernev. 
'!' - GM Salo Flohr. 
'!' - GM Alexander Alekhine.  
'!' - GM Garry Kasparov.

[ 12...Bd7!?; ].   


13. a3 Qh5!;  Here he comes! 

Soltis  writes: 
"Black intimidates his opponent with thoughts of 14...e4; and/or 14...Ng4." 

"To build up threats on the other wing." - GM R. Fine.  

"A very thematic move for this variation of the Dutch."  - J. Scott Pfeiffer. 
(A good friend of my early playing days, and at one time, THE strongest player 
on the U.S. Gulf Coast. And a strong proponent of the Dutch.).  

Soltis does not give this move an exclam, but several other annotators, such as 
GM R. Fine, do award this move an exclamation point. 

'!' - Irving Chernev.  
'!' - GM A. Alekhine. 
'!' - GM Garry Kasparov.


14. h4!?,   Hmmm, again.  

I am not sure if this weakening of White's Kingside is wise. 
(I also think that White was concerned with long-term threats to his KRP.) 

"Threatening PxP."  -  GM R. Fine.  

"A good defensive move... " says Alekhine. 

[ Best is: 14.dxe5! Nxe5;  ( Or 14...dxe5!?; 15.Nh4!?, "="  
 (Definitely NOT: 15.Nxe5? Nxe5 ; 16.Qxe5 Ng4!;  "-/+" 
threatening mate on h2 ... and White's Queen on e5.
15.Nd4!, "="  This position is equal, White has no real worries. 
E.g., 15...Neg4!?;  (Maybe - '?!') 16.h3 Ne5;  17.Nb5!, "+/="  

Maybe 14.Nh4!?, "~" 

Not 14.b4? e4;  15.Ne1 axb4;  16.axb4 Rxa1;  17.Qxa1 Nxb4; "-/+"  - GM A. Alekhine. ].  


14...Ng4;  (Maybe - '!')  A sharp response by Black.  

No less an authority than GM R. Fine wards this move an exclam. ('!' - Fine.) 

Black makes an exploratory foray into White's King-side. 
(Having Alekhine beginning to mass pieces around your King would be 
enough to make anyone nervous!) 



15. Ng5!?,  (White is preparing f3.) 

GM Ruben Fine provides the following penetrating, and very telling, comment: 
"This is a game where it is all too easy to criticize White's play but difficult to 
  suggest satisfactory alternatives." 

"White seeks to dislodge Black's Knight's at once by 16. P-B3."  
 - GM A. Alekhine. 

Perhaps b4 was a tad better.

'?!' - GM Garry Kasparov.

 [ 15.dxe5!? dxe5; 16.Rfd1 e4; "+/=" ].  


15...Bd7;  (Maybe - '!')   Black continues his development. 

Many players want to play the move ...e4; here,  but Alekhine shows 
admirable restraint. 



16. f3!?,  (Maybe - '?!')  White boots the troublesome piece. 

White weakens his King-side. This move will have grave consequences. 

Many players have said White was obligated to this course of action, but I disagree. 

[ Probably best for White was 16. Bxc6. ('!') 16.Bxc6 Bxc6;  17.f3 exd4; '!' - GM A. Alekhine.  
 18.fxg4!?,  (Maybe - '?!')   ( A better line seems to be: 18.exd4! Nf619.Ne6 Qg6;  "= "  
   and according to the computer, this position is completely equal. (White can play Kh2,  
   or g4!?, or even Rf2.) )   18...dxc3; 19.gxh5 cxd2; "=/+"  - line by GM Soltis. 
 ("With the better endgame for Black." - GM A. Alekhine.)  ].  


16...Nf6; "=/+"  17. f4!?,  (Maybe - '?!')  White prevents Black from 
advancing his f-pawn.  

After this move, White's King-side becomes VERY porous.  
(Yet many players felt this move was forced!). 

"Played to prevent ...f5."  - GM R. Fine.  
(Chernev made a similar comment to this, in his book, "The Golden Dozen.").  

"Already compulsory, in view of the threatened 16...P-B5!"  - GM A. Alekhine. 

(The computer program, Fritz 6; after over 10 minutes of thought, 
 also picks the move 17. f4.) 

[ I think the best line for White is: 17.dxe5!,  (trying to, or)  transposing to the note above. 
The continuation: 17.d5!? Nd8;  18.Rae1 h6; "=/+"  19.Nh3 Qg6;  "--->"  leads to a 
very strong attack for Black. ].  


17...e4;  Black slams the door. 

White's King Bishop is now shut out ... Black's advantage grows with every move.


18. Rfd1!?,  Rooks belong in the center. 

(Normally, anyway.) 

Soltis  writes: 
"White's most serious error in this game is failing to change the pawn structure for the 
 benefit of his rooks and minor pieces, which he could do with 18. d5!"  - GM A. Soltis. 
(Alekhine made a similar comment in his book of his games.)  

Not withstanding what GM Soltis has said, Black still has a clear edge. 

[ Probably the move, 18.d5!?,  (Probably - '!')  is the most accurate. ]. 


18...h619. Nh3,  "A Knight on the rim is grim." 

Almost imperceptibly, White manages to always choose a 'second-best' continuation. 

[ White must make the best of a bad situation and play: 19.d5!,  - GM A. Alekhine. ].  


19...d5!;  Black grabs some center. 

Soltis also gives this move an exclam. 

'!' - GM R. Fine.  
'!' - Irving Chernev.  
'!' - GM A. Alekhine. 
'!' - GM A. Soltis. 
'!' - GM Garry Kasparov.

Many players subsequently thought this move (19...d5) was a mistake,  
as Black makes his QB a very bad-looking piece indeed. 

But the move is the correct one, as it bolsters Black's center and gains space. 


20. Nf1 Ne7;  Where is he going? 

"Preparing 21...P-R5!"  - GM A. Alekhine.  


21. a4!?,  More concessions. 

Soltis  writes: 
"To prevent 21...a4; White had to allow Black's Knight to reach b4." 

'!' - GM Garry Kasparov.



21...Nc6!;  (Maybe - '!!')  Black re-deploys. 

Soltis also gives this move an exclam. 

'!' - GM R. Fine.  
'!' - Irving Chernev.  
'!' - GM A. Alekhine.  
'!' - GM A. Soltis. 

This move is very nice. Even today, I might be tempted to play ...c6; here. 
(The Knight is now headed for b4.).  

Soltis  writes: 
<<  Most of the praise for this game has been heaped on Black's combination 
at moves 28-31. But that misses Alekhine's achievement in the opening and 
early middlegame: despite having made his Queen's Bishop "Bad," he has 
reached a strategically won game  - with Black in the much maligned Dutch Defense - 
against a world-class opponent. 

"Very interesting in both a strategic and tactical way," 
Siegbert Tarrasch said of the game.  >> 

I concur with GM Soltis. Alekhine's method of getting a very advantageous position, 
against a player who for the period from 1922 until the end of the decade -  
was probably # 2 or # 3 in the world; was an impressive accomplishment.  
Additionally, Alekhine was Black, and he has done all this in less than 25 moves! 

As another player once commented: 
<< Alekhine's combinations are not that hard to find; if I had the positions he gets,  
I would find the combinations as easily as he does. The real trick to his games is:  
"How does he get the positions he manages to wind up with?" >> 
(I believe it was Bogolyubov that said this!) 


22. Rd2,  Prevention? 

I am not at all sure what White is doing here, unless he wanted to cover the e2-square  
against an invasion by the Black Queen. 

[ 22.Nf2!? ].  


22...Nb4!?;  (Maybe - '!')  Nice. 

The most precise. 

Several annotators have praised this move. 
(And even awarded it an exclam.) 

Soltis does not award this move an exclamation point. 

I do not think it really deserves an exclam. The Knight just 
occupied a somewhat obvious square.  

[ 22...Qg6!?;  or 22...Ra6; ].  


23. Bh1,  Poor Bogo. 

"Bogolyubov is going through the exertions of a contortionist to 
get some counterplay; but it is in vain." - GM R. Fine. 



23...Qe8!;  (Maybe - '!!')  Richochet.  

Just when it looks like Black has something cooking, he drops the ball and runs home. 
(And starts the war on a new front.) 

Soltis also gives this move an exclam. 

"Virtuosity in attack."  - Irving Chernev.  

'!' - GM R. Fine.  
'!' - GM V. Smyslov.  
'!' - Irving Chernev.  
'!' - GM A. Alekhine.  
'!' - GM Garry Kasparov. 

Soltis  writes: 
"Black transfers the attack to a4 and c4. White now begins contortions that   
  appear aimed at engineering the advance g3-g4."  


24. Rg2,  Hmmm. 

Preparing g4. 

[ 24. c5!? ].  


24...dxc4;   "/+"   (Black is much better.)  

Very nice. 

Black opens up the game and changes the pawn structure favorably. 
He is also preparing an invasion - via the Q-side squares. 



For the next few moves, both sides are trying to implement their plans. 
White tries to get some play for his pieces by getting ready to advance g4,  
while Black methodically continues on the Queen-side. 
25. bxc4 Bxa4
26. Nf2 Bd7;   Strategic retreat. 

"Alekhine is a pawn ahead. For other Masters, there would still be a note 
 on 'technical difficulties,' but he is in his element."  - GM R. Fine. 


27. Nd2 b5!;  An explosion. 

Black continues his Q-side play. (And blows open a few key lines.)

"Opening lines on the Q-side and trying to clear the d5-square for his N's." 
 - GM V. Smyslov. 

Soltis also awards this move an exclam. 

'!' - GM R. Fine.  
'!' - Irving Chernev.  
'!' - GM A. Alekhine. 
'!' - GM A. Soltis. 
'!' - GM Garry Kasparov.

 [ I checked this game against some of the best computer programs in 1998. 
   ... None played ...b5. (!) 
  Most machines wanted to play: 27...Qh5!?;  or  27...Qg6;  or 27...b6. ].  


28. Nd1,  Those poor Knights! 

White is struggling mightily in this game. One of his biggest problems is 
a lack of quality maneuvering space - and useable squares - for his Knights. 



FM Graham Burgess notes that: 
...  "Alekhine has established a commanding position."  ('!')  (To say the least!) 
;  Outpost ... and indirectly menacing the White King. 

Soltis does NOT give this move an exclam, but (former) World Champion, 
Garry Kasparov does. 

"Alekhine of course doesn't allow any activity on the part of his opponent. Now 
 White can restore the material balance, but his forces are doomed to die inside 
 their own camp."  - GM Garry Kasparov. 

"This begins a winning combination."  -  GM A. Soltis.  

"Preparing for the ensuing combination."  -  GM A. Alekhine. 

'!'  - GM R. Fine.  
'!'  - GM A. Alekhine.  
'!'  - GM G. Kasparov

[ The primitive: 28...bxc4!?; allows counterplay after ...  29. Nxc4, says Kasparov.
Or Black could try: 28...Qg6!?  
The computer wants to play: 28...Qh5!?;  29.Nb3 bxc4; "-/+" ].  


29. Rxa5!?,  (Maybe - '?!')  Is this forced? 

(Several annotators have said that 29. Rxa5,  is now forced.) 
But I am not sure if this move is the best. 
[ The computer prefers 29. cxb5[],  as forced. ]

As far as I know, no other annotator questioned this move.  (!) 

[ 29.cxb5!?,  (This looks forced.)  29...Bxb5;  30.Rxa5 Nd5!?;  .........  
" gives Black an overwhelming attack." - GM Soltis.    (30...Qh5!? "-/+")  
Or  31.Rxa8 Qxa8;  32.Qb3 Ba4; "/+" etc. (Maybe - "-/+") ].   


29...b4!;  Very nice, sharp and accurately calculated. 

Soltis gives this an exclam, as does GM Ruben Fine. 

Soltis  writes: 
"This is based in part on White's inability to safely play 30. Qa1, Rxa5; 31. Qxa5, Qa8!; 
  since Black's Rook would invade powerfully in the ensuing endgame."  

'!' - FM G. Burgess.  
'!'  - Irving Chernev.  
'!'  - GM A. Alekhine. 
'!' - GM Garry Kasparov.

[ Many players I have shown this game to want to pick the move: 29...bxc4?!;  here ...  
  which is VASTLY inferior to the pretty little move that Alekhine picked at this point 
  in the game.  

 A great many players may have chosen the move: 29...Rxa5!?;  30.Qxa5 Qa8; "-/+" 
 and Black is clearly better. ].   


30. Rxa8,  Not much choice here. 

White's course of action is pretty much forced. 
(He eats as much material as he can.) 

[ Too simple is: 30.Qa1?! Rxa5;  31.Qxa5 Qa8; "/+"  (Maybe ... "-/+")  
  and Black should win without any problem. ].  


The average player would  NOT  find the next move. 
;  A pretty move that even the computers don't find. 

GM Soltis did  NOT  award this move any mark at all. 

 '!!' - GM Garry Kasparov.   
'!!' - GM Ruben Fine.  
'!!' - GM Salo Flohr.  
'!' - Irving Chernev.  
'!' - GM A. Alekhine. 

"The Alekhine touch. This and the following moves, he must of course 
  foresaw some moves back."  - GM R. Fine.  

 "It is not often that one distinguishes the capture of a Queen by awarding it 
  an exclamation mark, but in this case Black sacrifices his Queen and both 
  Rooks in   Return."  - Irving Chernev. 

This move, (30...bxc3;) is so brilliant that many of the best computer programs, 
even in the year 2001, do NOT  immediately find this move. 
(Fritz 6, after nearly ten minutes of computing time, does not give this 
 move in its top 2 choices.) 

[ "Jetzt hätte 30...Qxa8;  - GM G. Kasparov.  31.Qb3,  
  31...Qa1;  32.Qb1 Ra8; "-/+"  would have forced White's resignation in a few moves.  
 But Alekhine was not satisfied with this prosaic demolition - he was after something immortal!" 
  - GM Garry Kasparov.  ]


31. Rxe8 c2!!;   (Maybe - '!!!')  Super Brilliant. Ultra - Brilliant. 
(A move that nearly transcends the written words' ability to describe them!) 

 '!!!' - GM Ruben Fine.   (A TRIPLE exclam was awarded here by Fine.) 

'!!' - GM A. Soltis. 
'!!' - GM Vassily Smyslov. 
'!!' - GM Salo Flohr. 
'!!' - GM Irving Chernev. 
'!!' - GM A. Alekhine. 
(To the best of my knowledge, nearly 2 dozen other 
annotators have given this move a double exclam.). 

"The point of Alekhine's wondrous combination. The pawn cannot be prevented from 
  queening, and a new phase begins."  - The (late) [great]  Irving Chernev. 

GM A. Soltis  writes:  
<<  "The triumph of the soul over material, "  Vassily Smyslov said of this game. 
 This move is the final sparkle to the combination that Alekhine calculated with 28...Nd3. 
 He will temporarily be TWO (!) rooks down but the c-pawn must promote.  >> 

"The point. Black must queen."  - GM R. Fine. 

[ 31...Rxe8?; 32.Nxc3, "=" ].  


32. Rxf8+ Kh733. Nf2 c1Q+34. Nf1 Ne1!;  Cute. 

Soltis also awards this move an exclam. 

'!' - Irving Chernev.  
'!' - GM R. Fine.  
'!' - GM A. Alekhine.  
'!' - GM A. Soltis. 
'!' - GM Garry Kasparov. 

"Threatens a picturesque smothered mate."  - Irving Chernev. 

"White's Rooks are helpless."  - GM A. Soltis.  

"Theoretically the material is still even:  White has two Rooks and a pawn for  
  the Queen, but Black's attack is decisive."  -  GM R. Fine.  


35. Rh2 Qxc436. Rb8,  (Forced.)  Deeee - fence. 

Soltis  writes:  
"White must find a way to give up the exchange before Black crushes 
  through with 36...Bb5; and 37...Qxf1+." 

[ Not 36.Rd8?? Bb5;  37.Bg2 Nxg2; "-/+" and resignation is in order. ] 


36...Bb537. Rxb5,  Forced. 

"Alekhine has played this game with great foresight."  - GM R. Fine.  

[ If 37.Nd2 Qc1;  38.Rxb5 Nf3+;  39.Kg2 Qg1+;  40.Kh3 Qxh2#  - line by  GM R. Fine. ]. 


37...Qxb538. g4;  Poor White. 

"Desperation."  - GM R. Fine. 

[ 38.Nd2 Nd5;  39.Nd1 Qd3; "-/+" ].  


38...Nf3+!;  Nice. 

This leaves a Black Pawn on f3 that could become a target, but Alekhine is unafraid. 
(Plus Alekhine will have to sacrifice more pawns.)

Soltis does not award this move an exclam, but Chernev does. 

"Another surprise move, and there is more where that came from."  - Irving Chernev. 

'!' - Irving Chernev. 
'!' - GM A. Alekhine. 
'!' - GM Garry Kasparov.


39. Bxf3 exf340. gxf5 Qe2!(Maybe - '!!')  Cool. 

Soltis gives no comment here, but also awards this move an exclam. 

The idea behind 40...Qe2; is to restrain all of White's pieces and keep them bottled up. 

"Ties White up completely."  - Irving Chernev. 

'!' - GM A. Soltis
'!' - GM R. Fine.  
'!!' - Irving Chernev.   
'!!' - GM A. Alekhine. 
'!!' - GM Garry Kasparov.

[ Fritz 5.32  wanted to play the move: 40...c5; "=/+" with a small, but fairly 
secure advantage to Black.  Or 40...h5!?, "/+" ].  


41. d5,  Give-away? 

Soltis  writes: 
"Or 41. Nh3, Ne4!; and wins. Note how Black does not try to use his Queen to 
  break into White's position but instead runs his opponent out of pawn moves." 

[ 41.h5, Now  Junior 6.0:  41...c6;  Black is winning. Now 42.e4 Nxe4;  "-/+"  - 2.47/16 ].  


41...Kg8!;  (Zugzwang.) 
Soltis provides no comment here, but does award this move an exclam. 

"Care is needed when you have a won game."  - Irving Chernev. 

'!' - Irving Chernev. 
'!' - GM A. Alekhine. 
'!' - GM Garry Kasparov. 

[ Not 41...h5!?;  when White nearly escapes with: 
42.Nh3 Ng4;  43.Ng5+ Kg8;  44.Rxe2 fxe2;  45.Nf3!, "~" - Irving Chernev. ] 


42. h5 Kh7;  43. e4,  Too late! 

Soltis  writes: 
"If the Rook goes to h3 or h4, then 43...Ne4; 44. Rh2, Nd2; decides." 



43...Nxe4;  44. Nxe4 Qxe4;  45. d6 cxd6;  46. f6,  He's flailing. 

"Unable to save his pawns, White sells their lives dearly, by breaking 
  up his opponent's pawns." - Irving Chernev.  



46...gxf6;  47. Rd2,  Trying to activate the Rook.  

The experienced player knows that such simplified positions present a great danger, 
in that with
play - White may draw. 

     [ 47.Kf2 Qxf4; "-/+" ]. 


Many/most players would probably [now] capture on f4 in this position.  
;  (Maybe - '!!')  The great Alekhine amazes the audience. 

Soltis also awards this move an exclam. 

Soltis  writes: 
"Black, who sacrificed a second Queen, does it again to create a third." 

"Exact to the end!"  - GM R. Fine. 

"A pretty finish, worthy of this fine game."  - GM A. Alekhine. 

'!' - GM R. Fine. 
'!' - Irving Chernev. 
'!' - GM A. Alekhine. 
'!' - GM A. Soltis.
'!' - GM Garry Kasparov. 



48. Rxe2,  White is in complete Zugzwang. 

Although he does not want to, he is bullied into taking the Black Queen. 

     [48.Rxd6?? Qg2#].  


48...fxe2;  49. Kf2 exf1Q+;  50. Kxf1 Kg7;  
51. Ke2 Kf7
;  52. Ke3,  Sad.  (Hope burns eternal?)

White is completely lost.

     [ 52.f5 Ke7;  53.Ke3 d5;  54.Kd3 Kd6;  55.Kd4 Kc6; "-/+" - Chernev. ] 


52...Ke6;  53. Ke4 d5+White Resigns.  0 - 1.  (53 actual moves.) 

(Black has a fairly simple K+P endgame win.) 

     [ "Bogolyubov does not care to see the continuation: 
         53...d5+;  54.Kd4 Kf5;  55.Kxd5 Kxf4;  56.Kd4 f5;  57.Kd3 Kg3;  
         and Alekhine will soon have a fourth Queen on the board." 
        (The witty) - Irving Chernev. ]  



Soltis  writes: 
<< Smyslov cited only this game in answer to Isaak Linder's third question, 
 about what game made a lasting impression on him. 
 "The depth and - in the best sense of this word - the romanticism of chess 
  is revealed," he said. 

Savielly Tartakower called it, "The most beautiful game of the new epoch." >> 
(Soltis goes on to quote Chernev, which I give below.) 


"It is this writer's deeply considered opinion, based on a lifetime of study of 
master chess, that this brilliant effort of Alekhine's is the greatest masterpiece 
ever created on a chessboard."  - Irving Chernev. 

"A feature of this magnificent game is the bi-lateral effect of Black's attack. 
 The finish is of quite exceptional charm."  - Tartakower and Du Mont. 

  I consider this game to be the fourth greatest game of chess ever played.  



Bibliography:  (These were the main books that provided material for this book.)
(I also consulted many magazine articles on Alekhine. 
 "Chess Life,"  "Inside Chess,"  "Player's Chess News," [Annual];  etc.)  

# 1.)  "The 100 Best"  ("The 100 Best Games of The 20th Century, Ranked."); 
by GM A. Soltis. 

# 2.)  "The World's Great Chess Games,"  by  GM Ruben Fine. 

# 3.)  "The Golden Dozen,"  ('The 12 Greatest Chess Players Of All Time,' 
Selected annotated games.);  by  Irving Chernev. 

# 4.)  "500 Master Games of Chess,"  by  GM S. Tartakower and J. Du Mont. 

# 5.)  "My Best Games of Chess,  1908-1923,"  by  GM A. Alekhine. 

# 6.)  Chess Highlights Of The 20th Century,"  by  FM Graham Burgess.

# 7.)  "Selected Annotated Games,by  Vassily Smyslov.  (In Russian.)

# 8.)  ChessBase's analysis of this game by GM Garry Kasparov. 

# 9.)  "My Great Predecessors," (Part I);  by GM Garry Kasparov.


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