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Rudolf Spielmann vs Alexander Alekhine
New York (1927), New York, NY USA, rd 2, Feb-20
Sicilian Defense: French Variation. Normal (B40)  ·  0-1



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Given 5 times; par: 113 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-16-04  drukenknight: you think these old guys didnt know how to play sicilian...?
Feb-16-04  Stavrogin: Well, it is one of those openings that were treated in a novice kind of way those days... Morphy always played 2. D4 against the sicilian, just as an example... And Reti gives the opening little attention in his bookk Matsers of the chessBoard... While giving other openings a lot of good analysis... It wasn´t yet discovered that this is the move (...c5( that perhaps give black the most different, promising prospects...
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: Can White save it with 58. Rf8 f5 59. h7 Rxh7 60. Kd3, gaining time to get his king to the kingside before Black's does?
Mar-08-05  Calli: Alekhine says 62.Rf4? is the error and that 62.Ke2 draws.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: Did Alekhine comment on 42...Rxb4? The pawn ending after 42...Rxb4 43. Rxb4 cxb4, with two outside passed pawns for Black, certainly looks won to me.
Mar-09-05  Calli: First, AA claims he erred with 40...Ke7? and that Ke6 was winning. He gives no lines. He doesn't like 42...Rxb4, but says it would draw:

"After 42...Rxb4 43. Rxb4 cxb4 44.Ke2, Black would even had some difficulties. Correct for him would be the following:44...Ke6 45.Kd3 Kf6! 46.Kc4 Kg7 47.Kxb4 Kh6 48.Kb5 f5! 49.f3 fxg4 50.fxg4 Kg7 51.Kb6 Kf6 52.Kxb7 Ke5 53.Kc6 Kf4 54.h5 gxh5 55.gxh5 Kg5 --draw" (Alekhine]

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Calli>

What I missed was 42...Rxb4 43. Rxb4 cxb4 44. Ke2 Ke6 45. Kd3 Ke5 46. Kc4 Kf4 47. f3 f5 48. g5! saving the kingside, because 48...Kxf3 49. h5 breaks through.

It is this g5 resource that forces Black to first migrate his king to h6 before playing the ...f5 break (to be able to answer g5 with ...Kh5), and this loss of time compensates for Black's outside passed pawns and leads to a draw.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Calli>
<AA claims he erred with 40...Ke7? and that Ke6 was winning. He gives no lines.>

The idea may be 40...Ke6 41. Re4+ Kd5 42. Re7 Rxb4 43. Rxf7 a4, when Black at least has a big advantage with two connected passers and an active king.

Oct-16-08  chocobonbon: <drukenknight> About the "old guys" playing the Sicilian: When Fischer played Spassky in '72 he consciously borrowed an idea of Anderssen's for the Black side of the Sicilian. I believe that was pointed out in Gligoric's book of the match although it might have been Alexander's book. An aside: Fischer was studying Spassky & Anderssen in the leadup to the match (the Weltegeschicte[?] books, I think.
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: I have a pretty good library but even an innocent move like 4..Nf6 takes the game out of mainline theory (4..Nc6 and 4..a6 are more popular). 6..bxc is more often played but Alekhine thought it was inferior although he admitted that after his 6..dxc he was anticipating an early draw. 21..gxf 22 exf..Qxf2+ 23 Qxf2..Nxf2 24 Kxf2..Bd5 25 f6!..Re8 26 Bf5! would have been strong for White. After 27 cxb White offered a draw which Alekhine admitted he should have accepted. 30 Rb3 would have been better with a slight edge to White. Alekhine identifies 36 Re1? as the losing move recommending 36 Rb3..Ke5 37 Re3+..Kd5 38 Rf3..f5 39 h5!..gxh 40 Rxf5+..Kc4 41 Rxh5..Kxb4 42 g4. Alekhine later gave White drawing chances but avoided the trap 48..Kb7 49 Rc5..b4? 50 Rh5!.

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