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Alexander Alekhine vs Salomon Flohr
Nottingham (1936), Nottingham ENG, rd 1, Aug-10
French Defense: Winawer. Fingerslip Variation (C15)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  wwall: If 41...Bxc4 42.Nxc4, now not 42...Nxg4?? 43.Nb6+ axb6 44.Ra3 mate. If 42...Rh8 43.Ne5 since 43...Rxh4?? 44.Rd8+ leads to mate.

Perhaps 45...Rdb7 (or 45...Rh8) 46.Bb3 Rb5 47.Rc3 Rh8.

If 46.h6, then 46...gxh6 47.gxh6 Rb4 48.Rh3 Rh7 should hold for Black. If 46.g6, then 46...Rf6 47.Rh3 Rg8 should hold for Black.

The 48th move for Black should be 48...Re8 according to Alekhine.

The 50th move for Black is wrong here. It should be 50...Rg7 (if 50...Rg8 as in this game, then 51.Bxg8) Alekhine says that if Black plays 50...Rf8, then 51.f5 Rxf5 52.Rd8+ Rb8 53.Rxb8+ Kxb8 54.g7 wins, but after 54...Rxc5+ 55.Kd2 Rg5 56.g8=Q+ Rxg8 57.Bxg8 Kc7 and perhaps not a clear win.

If 52.f6 Rxf6 53.Rd8+ Rb8 54.Rxb8+ Kxb8 55.g7 Rg6 56.g8=Q+ Rxg8 57.Bxg8 and a long endgame, which should still win for White.

Perhaps 53...h4 54.f6 h3 55.g7 Rg8.

Or 56.g7 and 57.Bb3.

After 57.Rd7, if 57...Rg1 (57...h3 58.g7), then 58.Be4 Kb8 59.Re7 and 60.Re8.

Apr-10-07  olav dalkeith: Alekhine is seen playing this game (after black's 4th move) on a photograph at:
look for: "4935. Photographs of Nottingham, 1936"
Mar-19-09  ROO.BOOKAROO: Raymond Keene offers 6 pithy comments in his "latest challenge" for March 19, 2009 (London Times)

Mar-19-09  WhiteRook48: and Black falls on the Flohr
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <wwall>
At first glance, your suggested 45...Rdb7 allows <46. Rb3> leading to a trade down to a winning rook and pawn ending for White.
May-21-09  vonKrolock: Soltis: quote <"he made a 'lapsus manus' or as we might call it, a mental mouse-slip. He played 4.♗d2 (after 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.♘c3 ♗b4) rather than 4.e5 c5 5.♗d2, as he intended"> Funny, but it was rather 'Marshall's fingerslip' Marshall vs Chigorin, 1901 , and again before his eyes A Speyer vs Alekhine, 1910

<4...dxe4> Alekhine (from the comments in the Speyer game): <"the complications resulting from 4...dxe4 5.♕g4 would give White attacking chances: e.g.: 1) 5...♘f6 6.♕xg7 ♖g8 7.♕h6 ♕xd4 8.O-O-O, Δ 9.♗g5. 2) 5...♕xd4 6.♘f3 ♕f6 7.♕xe4 followed by O-O-O with good attacking chances for White.">

Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Alekhine made the following comment about his exchange sacrifice 46.♖e6 in the tournament book:

"One of the combinations that an experienced player does not need to calculate to a finish. He knows that under given circumstances, the kingside pawns must become overwhelming."

Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: White gets a huge lead in development after 7...♕d8. Maybe the pawn grab with 7..♕b2 was playable? Does Alekhine have enough compensation for the two pawns?
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: Is 50...Rg8 here a misprint? (Otherwise both grandmasters overlooked a hanging rook.)
Jul-21-10  zanshin: <beatgiant: Is 50...Rg8 here a misprint? (Otherwise both grandmasters overlooked a hanging rook.)>

Good point. Both chessbase and chess365 report the same move score, but I think <wwall>'s first comment that it is a mistake makes sense.

Feb-09-11  geneven: BTW: The paragraph above by wwall ending "and perhaps not a clear win" is wrong; it is a clear win at the end of the line. The White Bishop guards the h-pawn and can help gang up on the c-pawn as well. That White Bishop is quite versatile, blockading and losing tempos and generally helping to drive Black's King where it doesn't want to go.
Feb-09-11  geneven: I think that 50....Rg8 may have just been a little joke born out of despair. The pawns are so overwhelming that 50...Rg7 has little point; the response 51. f5 followed soon by moves like Bc2 and f6 is quite easy, and if Black tries to march his h pawn White always has Rd1 followed by Rh1 in reserve.

This is a corrected comment. I first recommended that White surround the Black Rook soon with Bf7 but then realized that Black sacking the Rook for the Bishop would ease Black's situation.The Bishop is stronger back on c2.

Jul-10-13  jerseybob: GrahamClayton: 7..Qb2 8.Rd1! seems more than enough compensation. Not sure that 7..Qd8 was black's best though.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: In the tournament book, I believe Alekhine gave 7.....Qd8?, noting that on 7.....Qxb2 8.Rd1 Nd7, 'Black would have every hope-with careful play-of keeping his two extra pawns.'

My recollection could well be wrong, though-been years since last reading that work.

Jul-10-13  jerseybob: That could be true, but as the further course of this game shows, Flohr may not have been the man for the job.
Premium Chessgames Member
  jessicafischerqueen: <perfidious> good heavens your memory appears to be prodigious. Do you also remember all of your own game scores by heart?

<Alekhine> did indeed award 7...Qd8 with a QUESTION MARK, and went on to say:

<By 7.....Qxb2 8.Rd1 Nd7, Black... would have reasonable hopes, by careful play, of taking full advantage of his two extra pawns.>

--Alexander Alekhine
The Book of the Nottingham Chess Congress
Dover, 1937

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <jessicafischerqueen: perfidious.... Do you also remember all of your own game scores by heart?>

Afraid not-am actually hard put to remember any of them, though there are snippets from many of the 2000+ serious games I played which come to mind now and again.

Recall is a strange animal, and I do not pretend to understand any or all its finesses, discrete as mine happens to be.

Jun-11-15  JENTA: In Hague-Moscow 1948, Keres played <4. Bd2> against Botvinnik in their last game:

Keres vs Botvinnik, 1948

Keres won. It was his only won against Botvinnik in that tournament - all 4 previous games Keres had lost. At the moment of that last game Botvinnik was already a winner of the tournament and, therefore, the champion of the world.

In his book "World Championship Tournament Hague-Moscow 1948" (1949 - in Estonian; 1950 - in Russian) Keres writes about the move <4. Bd2> that it is "Alekhine's ingenious invention".

Perhaps Keres kept in mind the present game here Alekhine - Flohr 1936.

However, Alekhine writes about his "ingenious invention" that actually he wanted to play <4. e5 c5 5. Bd2>, but by accident played immediately <4. Bd2> (Panov, "300 Hundred Selected Games by Alekhine", in Russian).

And, to be sure, Alekhine is not the introducer of the move <4. Bd2>, even not among strong chessplayers.

And Alekhine had seen that move on the board earlier.

Unfortunately, after the II World Wor, people did not have the internet and electronic chess databases...

Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Cook's tour by Alekhine's rook - 10. Rhe1, 11. Re4, 12. Rg4, 13. Rf4, 15. Rf5, 16. Ra5, 21. Ra3, 33. Re3 and 46. Re6.

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