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Aron Nimzowitsch vs Alexander Alekhine
New York (1927), New York, NY USA, rd 6, Feb-26
Zukertort Opening: Nimzo-Larsen Variation (A04)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jun-09-03  clifford: why resign here?
Jun-09-03  jmchess: Clifford - is the actual game this -

Nimzowitsch,A - Alekhine,A [A05]
New York New York (2), 1927

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.b3 d6 3.g3 e5 4.c4 e4 5.Nh4 d5 6.cxd5 Qxd5 7.Nc3 Qc6 8.e3 a6 9.Bb2 Bg4 10.Be2 Bxe2 11.Nxe2 Nbd7 12.Rc1 Qb6 13.0-0 Bd6 14.f3 Be5 15.Bxe5 Nxe5 16.fxe4 Nd3 17.Rc3 0-0-0 18.Qb1 Nxe4 19.Rxd3 Nxd2 20.Rxd8+ Rxd8 21.Qf5+ Kb8 22.Re1 Qxe3+ 23.Qf2 Qd3 24.Nf4 Qc3 25.Re3 Qc1+ 26.Kg2 Qc6+ 27.Nf3 g5 28.Nd3 Nxf3 29.Qxf3 Qc2+ 30.Nf2 f5 31.Re2 Qc5 32.Nd3 Qd4 33.Ne5 f4 34.Nc4 fxg3 35.Rd2 Qh8 36.Rxd8+ Qxd8 37.hxg3 Qd4 38.Qf8+ Ka7 39.Qf2 Qxf2+ 40.Kxf2 h5 41.Ke3 c5 42.a4 b5 43.axb5 axb5 44.Nd2 Kb6 45.Ne4 h4 46.g4 h3 47.Kf3 b4 48.Nxg5 c4 49.Ne4 cxb3 50.g5 b2 51.Nd2 Kc5 52.g6 h2 53.Kg2 Kd4 54.g7 Kd3 55.g8Q Kxd2 56.Qa2 Kc2 57.Qc4+ 1-0

Apr-07-05  delterp: Well, black's b4 pawn is history and the h2 pawn is dead too. The fight revolves around saving and perhaps promoting the white b2 pawn. Alas it can not be saved. 57) ...Kb1, Kd1, or Kd2
58) Qxb4 all the same
Then white simply checks black and forces the king under the b2 pawn (i.e. Kb1). White then takes the tempi for black's king to come out from under the b2 pawn to a) eliminate the h2 pawn and b) walk the king over to the b2 pawn and eliminate it. For instance
58) Qxb4 Kc2
59) Qc4+ Kd1 [if 59) ...Kd2, then 60) Qb3 with same result] 60) Qd3+ Kc1
61) Qc3+ mission accomplished
Black must duck under with 61) ...Kb1 allowing 62) Kxh2. Now it is simply a matter of walking the white king over to the b2 pawn, checking with the queen all the while to drive the black king under the b2 pawn, and win the pawn. Since the queen can own the squares c3 and a5, a win is inevitable.
Apr-07-05  paladin at large: Alekhine, in seeking middle game counterplay, must have overlooked White's 21. Qf5+, which secured White lasting advantage. Cool play throughout by Nimzowitsch. Someone posted elsewhere that Alekhine, when later champion, ducked a match with NImzo.
Apr-07-05  Shams: <Paladin at large> Alekhine had a huge record against Nimzowitsch and it is very unlikely he was afraid of him. You are most likely thinking of Capablanca, who lost the title to Alekhine and was never granted a rematch.
Apr-07-05  paladin at large: <Shams>No, it was during a thread somewhere else about Alekhine avoiding Capablanca after 1927 (not just in a match, but in tournaments, too), that someone mentioned that Alekhine "ducked" Nimzowitsch, too, for a title match. I am unaware of the details behind the assertion.
Apr-07-05  Shams: sounds like rubbish...Alekhine had Nimzo's number. but who knows.
Apr-07-05  AgentRgent: <paladin at large> <Shams> While Alekhine didn't exactly "duck" Nimzowitsch, he insisted on a Very large prize fund that the challenger was required to provide. Nimzowitsch, was quite poor and unable to find a sponsor.
Apr-07-05  Shams: larger than he insisted for other matches? I can guess who you would favor, <AgentRgent>, but do you think Alekhine feared Nimzowitsch? That's the question, isn't it?
Apr-07-05  Calli: A little. After this game, Alekhine's lifetime edge was only 4 wins to 3. AA went on to win 5 more and Nimzo none.
Apr-08-05  AgentRgent: <Shams> Given that Alekhine's record against Nimzowitsch was only 5-3-9 at the time of Aron's incredible +10 =10 -1 result at Carlsbad 1929, I'd say he was justifiably "concerned". However, it appears that this was to be Nimzowitsch's zenith. He played only 82 games afterward, including losing his next four games against Alekhine.
Apr-08-05  notyetagm: <AgentRgent: He played only 82 games afterward, including losing his next four games against Alekhine.>

These last four Nimzovich losses to Alekhine include these two unmitigated disasters:

Alekhine vs Nimzowitsch, 1930
Alekhine vs Nimzowitsch, 1931

Sep-19-05  Kingsider: 24...Qc2 black would have won a third pawn,increasing white's trouble's considerably.-Reinfeld
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: Well, Nimzo died in 1935, probably of cancer. Alekhine-seeded rumors were that "...the cancer was syphilitic in origin". (Source is Kmoch) Either way, it seems that Nimzo passed of a debilitating desease, latent to the outside world, but inhibiting nonetheless. (There are hints in Nimzo's writings that he has been seeking medical help for years.) I am beginning to discard the last five or so years of a player's life as not competitively very indicative of true strength. In those years good, lucid days are often intermixed with times where just to show up for play must have been an act of personal bravery.

Do not misunderstand me: I am grateful for those last games of Steinitz, Chigorin, Pillsbury, Capablanca, Nimzo, Tarrasch, Petrosian ..., but I am grateful for their creative aspects, not competive ones. Perhaps we should not only consider how old was player when a particular game was played, but also how many years of life they still had left? The same way as we may competively disregard player's learning, teenage years, we may disregard his fading times.

Sep-20-05  euripides: the greatest rope-a-dope game in the history of chess ?
Dec-14-05  aw1988: <ughaibu> This isn't a miniature.
Dec-17-07  norcist: <shams,agent,ect>

For anyone concerned (and after 2 years i'm sure they are few and far between) in spielman's famous letter to alekhine admonishing his "dictatorship" of the world championship, he mentions that alekhine had indeed worked to exclude nimzowitsch (as well as capablanca) from several prominent events.

As agentrgent alluded to earlier i think we tend to forget just how fearsome nimzowitsch was at his peak.

Nov-29-12  Ulhumbrus: After 50 g5 White's knight keeps Black's b pawn back, White's king keeps Black's h pawn back and Black's king can no longer enter the square of White's g pawn and so keep it back
Nov-18-15  PhilFeeley: Watson says Alekhine's comment on this game was: "So, the purest <hypermodernerei>. In this game it would certainly have brought White no laurels if his opponent had not overestimated his position and imagined that such a set-up could be refuted by any means." What do we read in this miffed tone? Alekhine was a bit too smart to truly believe that b3 and g3 was refutable; he was simply irritated that anyone could actually play this way and beat him! On move six, suggesting an improvement for Black (which is accompanied by some poor analysis), he goes on to say: "In that case [after his suggested move - JW] ... the 'double-hole' opening would once again have been reduced <ad absurdum>." This was a reference to Teichmann, who had described Reti's (double-fianchetto) opening as 'the stupid double-hole variation', reflecting the feelings of many traditionalists.
Dec-23-15  Howard: Any doubts as to whether the final position is a win for White? Just check the six-piece tablebase---it's mate in only about 20 moves at the most.
Dec-23-15  RookFile: No doubt. The key idea is that white's queen can force the black king, at will, to b1, otherwise black loses the b2 pawn and any hopes he may have. With the king repeatedly forced to b1, white's king can gobble the h2 pawn, then in subsequent moves approach the queenside to deliver checkmate.
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Game leaves theory in the first few moves transposing into an offbeat version of the English (Reversed Sicilian). Alekhine's lack of respect for the formation seems misplaced - White's opening play seems like a perfectly reasonable way of avoiding mainline theory. Alekhine thought that his pawn sacrifice 14..Be5 was best; Nimzovich considered it to be unsound. As mentioned above 24..Qc2 would have won the a-pawn increasing White's drawing chances. Alekhine had missed that after Nimzovich's 25 Re3! he could no longer take the a-pawn with 25..Qa1+ 26 Kg2,,Qxa2 due to 27 Nf3 followed by Nd3.
Sep-12-19  Albion 1959: I had a look for a few minutes at the final position, before realising that Alekhine's was a total loss: A possible continuation could have been

57. Qc4+ Kd1 (Kb1 is met by Kxh2)
58. Qxb4 Kc2
59. Qe4+ Kc1
60. Qc4+ Kc2
61. Qb3 Kc1
62. Qc3+ Kb1
63. Kxh2 After which The white king moves across to the queenside to help the queen, her role will simply to pin the black pawn, whereupon the black king will have to move to b1, thus allowing the white king tempo moves to pick off the last pawn, then force checkmate in the corner. This should take about 15 moves approx, to enact. Yes white was winning, a grandmaster resigns these types of positions earlier than perhaps a lower rated player. Alekhine knew the game was a lost cause:

Sep-14-20  FellowChessPlayer: 18..Nxe4 trades a knight for two pawns and now black is losing. 37..Qd4 allows a queen trade. From this point on the game is a complete loss. Engine hits tablebases and shows a win for black.

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