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Alexander Alekhine vs Vladas Mikenas
"Mikenas Work Overtime" (game of the day Jan-15-2022)
Kemeri (1937), Kemeri URS, rd 4, Jun-20
Neo-Grünfeld Defense: Delayed Exchange Variation (D74)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Nov-27-02  drukenknight: perhaps I am missing something why wouldnt black capture with the rook: 23 Rxe2?
Nov-27-02  pawntificator: 23...Rc2 is a brilliant move!!

By the way, the rook isn't on e1 in the 22. Nd4 variation so 23 Rxe2 can't be.

Nov-27-02  drukenknight: oh you're right, what the hell am I thinking. Sorry about this.
Nov-28-02  pawntificator: Don't feel bad. Patzer. heh heh, kidding. I couldn't help myself. I respectfully apologize and beg not to be ostracized from the chessgames community for personally attacking DK here. Sorry.
Nov-03-03  Resignation Trap: There is a photo taken at this game in Kemeri:

Dec-23-03  Resignation Trap: Alekhine thought about his 17th move for 50 minutes. During this spell, he went to put a sugar cube into his coffee, but he dropped a white pawn into it instead! Alekhine had poor eyesight, but unlike Botvinnik, he didn't like to wear his glasses. Photographs rarely show him with his glasses.
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: It's rumored Alekhein moved twice in a row in this game:
Sep-23-07  Karpova: <5181. Two moves in succession (C.N. 3202)

C.N. 3202 (see page 281 of Chess Facts and Fables) discussed the claim that in a game at Kemeri, 1937 Alekhine played two moves in succession. His encounter with Vladas Mikėnas has been mentioned in that context, but Sandro Litigio (Como, Italy) writes:

‘An article “How I outplayed Alekhine!” by Mikėnas on pages 52-54 of the January 2006 CHESS has his detailed comments on the game against Alekhine at Kemeri, 1937. As Mikėnas mentions no double move, it would seem that any such incident must have occurred in a different game.’>

May-15-08  outsider: i had a chance to talk to Mikenas several times, and i must assure you that he never mentioned such a fact. besides, he never wrote anything like that of what i have read [this implies i have read a lot of what he wrote]. by the way, the bald guy in Trap's photo is Fricis Apsenieks, a very interesting Latvian player, another participant in that tournament. Future generations should know that this was a game of round 4, and Mikenas had lost his three initial games to the players who later came last, second last and third last in that tournament. in the evening before the game, Mikenas was dining, and Alekhine came to him and wished him victory in the next round. only then, did Alekhine enquired who Mikenas was playing in round 4, and having received the answer "You, Sir" [not sure of wording, but more or less something like this], got very annoyed. After Mikenas missed the opportunity to win at move 22, Alekhine remarked it (young man, you had a chance to win; mikenas replied "Well, then i'll try to win for the second time") and Mikenas took it as an insult as he considered it to be impolite to give remarks in the process of play (source: comments by Mikenas)
Feb-25-11  wordfunph: GM Vladas Mikenas after winning 0-1..

"Our relations had always been good but after this game, Alekhine would not speak to me for three days. Great chessplayers do not like to lose."

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <muayad ali: Mikenas could have forced Alekhine to resign on move no.23.....Rc2 24 Qc2 Qf3+ 25 Kg1 Bh3 and mates.>

This is indeed winning for Black, and should provide a POTD.

Jul-13-12  wordfunph: game sidelight..

<The evening before, Alekhine by chance sat down at the same restaurant table as Mikenas. He was not in a great mood, but when Mikenas suggested that a little drink would make things look better, he rejected categorically: 'No, thank you, I only take milk nowadays. It is precisely because of these damned drinks that I lost my title to Euwe!' Mikenas wished him all the best for the return match, which was scheduled later that year, and this improved Alekhine's mood quite a bit. When leaving the table, the exchampion wished his companion good luck for his next game, apparently forgetting that he was going to be his opponent!>

*NIC Magazine 2012 01

Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <muayad ali: Mikenas could have forced Alekhine to resign on move no.23.....Rc2 24 Qc2 Qf3+ 25 Kg1 Bh3
and mates.>

According to Neishtadt, after Mikenas played <23. … Bxe4>, “Alekhine could not refrain from exclaiming ‘Young man, you could have mated in three!’. *** ‘Never mind’, said Mikenas, overcoming his disappointment, ‘I will win it over again.’” (<Improve Your Chess Tactics>, by NEISHTADT, Yakov, New in Chess ©2012, at page 187.)

Oct-03-13  jerseybob: ResignationTrap: Something bothers me about this picture: white very clearly has a queen on a4, and black a knight on c6, yet neither of those placements occurs in this game! I went through all of Mikenas' blacks from Kemeri and from his games with Alekhine, and can't find a match. This appears to be a Catalan or maybe a Ragozin. They may have been analyzing or blitzing.
Jul-30-14  GumboGambit: <muayad ali: Mikenas could have forced Alekhine to resign on move no.23.....Rc2 24 Qc2 Qf3+ 25 Kg1 Bh3 and mates.>

Then we can say "Mikenas Work Overtime".

Jan-02-18  WorstPlayerEver: 16. Nbd2 is a blunder. 16. Nc3 is better.
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Of course, we could mention the move that Mikenas *did* see, 16...Nef4!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: That's a rather late en apssant capture on move 47.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Another interesting moment occurs after <41.Kh3>:

click for larger view

What Black would like to do is jump his Rd2 over his Rc2, when the WR on e1 cannot save both itself and the Ne2. That being impossible (even for the resourceful Mikenas), he must instead clear the Rc2 out of the way.

But be careful! After 41...Rb2 42.Kg4 Rdc2, White escapes with 43.Nd4.

Instead 41...Ra2 was correct, as White's counter attack with 42.Kg4 Rdb2 43.Nc1 Bxe1 44.Nxa2 fails to 44...Bd2! and the trapped knight will fall.

Premium Chessgames Member
  fredthebear: I'll never see that happen again!

<Phony Benoni: That's a rather late en apssant capture on move 47.> Obviously, PB was in a hurry to post but his thoughts were clear.

The en passant capture occurs after 45...f5+ 46.exf6+. Both pawn moves were CHECK! (What's more, the move number and the squares match!?!)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: 16...Nef4!! was an ugly surprise for AAA.
Jul-08-21  TheBish: Another nice point is that after 20. Ng5 (not a blunder according to the engine, as White is already losing), Black has a nice shot. I will post a diagram (spoiler alert: solution below) for those who want to solve it.

click for larger view

Black to play (20...?)

(Here is where you hide the solution below if you want to solve it. Even if you know the next move, it's a good exercise to analyze and work out variations in your head from the diagram or board if you want to set it up.)

After 20...Ne3! there are three main lines:

(a) 21. Nxh3 Nxc4 22. Nxc4 Bxc4 23. Rfd1 Bxb5 and Black has won a pawn.

(b) 21. fxe3 Qxh2+!! (Who looks for stuff like this? Grandmasters and engines! Both 21...Rxd2 and 21...Bxc4 are equally good according to Stockfish, but this is the top choice) 22. Kxh2 Rxd2+ 23. Rf2! (other moves are worse) Rxf2+ 24. Kg1 Bxc4 25. Kxf2 Bxb5 and Black is up two pawns, with White's kingside pawns in tatters.

(c) 21. Qe4 Nxf1! (by far the strongest, but 21...Rxd2!? 22. Nxh3 Bd5 is also better for Black, while 21...Bd5 is only equal) 22. Nxh3 Nxd2 23. Qh4 Bd5+ 24. f3 Nxf3 25. Qxe7 Nxe5+ 26. Kg1 Nf3+ 27. Kf2 Bxb2 and Black has rook, two bishops and a pawn (12 points) for a queen (9 points).

Amazing tactics!

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: **Coming Soon! **

Tata Steel 2022 Moves Prediction Contest. Conducted by the Legendary <chessmoron> and hosted at Graceland, home of Elvis. Click on Elvis for details.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Teyss: Black magnificently played the opening (16...Nef4!) but as said above missed the winning move after taking the fianchettoed B and dominating the white squares. What happens after 23...Rc2!_?

click for larger view

If 24.Qxc2? Qxf3+ 25.Kg1 Bh3 White could try 26.Nf6+!? exf6? 27.Qe4 Qxe4 28.Rxe4 fxe5 even though Black is much better. But of course 26...Nxf6! and now mate is unavoidable. So White has nothing else than 24.Qd3 Rxb2 winning.

After 23...Bxe4? 24.Qxe4 Qxe4 25.Rxe4 Black only has a minor advantage. Very strange to give back the excellent LSB and the dominating Q. White then let it slip away by allowing the 2 BRs to control the 2nd rank with the final pasodoble manoeuvre explained by <Phony Benoni>. A game full of plot twists.

Jan-15-22  Ironmanth: A most excellent win for Mikenas! Thanks, chessgames. Y'all stay safe out there and enjoy Tata Steel!
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