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Alexander Alekhine vs Samuel Reshevsky
"The Knights of Nottingham" (game of the day May-14-2020)
Nottingham (1936), Nottingham ENG, rd 7, Aug-17
Queen Pawn Game: Colle System (D04)  ·  0-1



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Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <Benzol> <Resignation Trap> <Calli>

Don't forget a Swedish Grandmaster of the 40'/50', what's his name... ?

Premium Chessgames Member
  SwitchingQuylthulg: <whiteshark> Do you mean Gosta Stoltz or Gideon Stahlberg? Both fit your description :)

I'm afraid that a lot of Nordic GMs are heavy drinkers, perhaps it's the cold, dark winter days with nothing else to do...?

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Thank you <SwitchingQuylthulg>!

Yes, I meant <Stoltz>, wasn't sure about the 2nd GM.

In addition to it, <cold, dark winter days with nothing else to do> applies to all people living in northern countries, not saying that all <are heavy drinkers> :D

Dec-11-07  SuperPatzer77: Reshevsky's two black knights really baffled Alekhine although Alekhine was drunk. I show you something interesting - after 58...Nxe5! (instead of Alekhine's reply of 59. Ng2) below:

59. Nxg6 Nxg6, 60. Bxh6 Ne5! (threatening Nc3+), 61. Bd2 Nc4!, 62. h4 Kd4!, 63. h5 Nc3+, 64. Bxc3+ Kxc3 (threatening b2 - b1=Q), 65. Kc1 b2+, 66. Kb1 Kb3, 67. h6 Na3# .

59. Nxg6 Nxg6, 60. Bxh6 Ne5!, 61. Bc1 (only move) Nxc1, 62. Kxc1 Nc4!, 63. h4 Kd4, 64. h5 Kc3, 65. h6 b2+ 66. Kb1 Kb3, 67. h7 Na3# .

Dec-15-07  SuperPatzer77: Addition to the previous analysis: 58...Nxe5! (instead of Alekhine's reply of 59. Ng2), 59. Nxg6 Nxg6, 60. Bxh6 Ne5! (threatening Nc3+), 61. Bd2 Nc4!, 62. Bc1!? Nxc1, 63. h4 b2!, 64. Kc2 Ne2!, 65. h5 Nc3! (with idea of 66...b1=Q) .

58...Nxe5!, 59. Nxg6 Nxg6, 60. Bxh6 Ne5!, 61. Bd2 Nc4!, 62. h4 Kd4! (threatening 63...Nc3+), 63. Bc1!? Nxc1, 64. h5 b2!, 65. Kc2 Ne2!, 66. h6 Nc3! (with idea of 67...b1=Q#) .

What two Black beauties! - Sammy Reshevsky's two Black knights really baffled Alexander Alekhine. Alekhine showed all of us what Alekhine analyzed in this game so, it is not my analysis - just Alekhine's.

Dec-15-07  Calli: <SuperP> After 59.Nxg6 Nxg6 60.Bxh6 , the simplest is just 60...Nc3+! 61.Kc1 Ne5 winning
Dec-17-07  SuperPatzer77: <Calli: After 59.Nxg6 Nxg6 60.Bxh6 , the simplest is just 60...Nc3+! 61.Kc1 Ne5 winning> Calli, you're right.

After 59. Nxg6 Nxg6, 60. Bxh6 Nc3+!, 61. Kc1 Ne5!, 62. Kb2 Kc4, 63. Bc1 Nd3+, 64. Ka3 Nxc1, 65. h4 Nd3!, 66. h5 b2, 67. h6 b1=N#!!! - Three Black knights keep White King at bay!!!

Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: The way Sammy used his two steeds is as noteworthy as it gets.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: Alekhine is excoriating in his criticism of his 49. Ba3? in the following position

click for larger view

He wrote as follows regarding 49. Ba3? in the tournament book (“Nottingham 1936”, by Alekhine, Alexander, Russell Enterprises, Inc. ©2009, at page 87):

"Another terrible move! - instead of which 49. Bd4 was still good enough for a draw, as the exchange at d4 would lead to the loss of Black's passed pawn. From now on to the end Black’s play is of high class."

Of Reshevsky's reply, 49. … e5!, Alekhine says: “White should never have allowed this advance.” (Ibid., page 87.) Alekhine seems to assume that White’s position is now lost, and he does not comment on his 50. Ke3 (although he does comment regarding 52. Nh4 as follows: “Black would also have had excellent winning chances had White exchanged on e5.”)

To return to the position after 49. … e5!, I wonder if White might have had some chance to hold by exchanging immediately on e5 with 50.fxe5 (instead of 50.Ke3?). After 50. fxe5, the continuation Ndxe5+ 51.Nxe5+ Nxe5+ 52.Ke4 Ke6 53.h3 h5 54.Bf8 would have left Black with the following position:

click for larger view

which is difficult, but perhaps not yet lost.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: As an illustration of how White might defend from the position posted above (after 54.Bf8), play could continue:

54. ... Nf7 55.Kf4 Kd5 56.g4 hxg4 57.Kxg4 Nd6 (or 57...Kc4 58.h4 b4 59.Bxb4 Kxb4 60.h5 g5 61.h6=) 58.Kg5 b4 59.Kxg6 b3 60.Bg7 Nc4 61.Bc3, and Black should hold from this position without great difficulty.

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: <Benzol>, if you still seek games for the "Drink Like A Grandmaster" collection, look at the games of Alexander Tolush during the 1953 Budapest. According to an old friend of mine, he was passed out drunk before at least one of the matches.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <An Englishman> Thanks for the tip. The collection is on hold at the moment and will be for some time. When I finally get through all of <Richard Taylor>'s magazines then I might be able to devote some time to it.


Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: In Colle-Rubinstein Rotterdam 1931 White played 9 e4 and went on to win; Alekhine's 9 Qb3?! was weaker and resulted in an isolated pawn middle game where the white queen knight was passive on d2. 27 Nc5..Nd6 would have favored Black. 28..Nc7! was clever avoiding White getting an advantage with Rxd5 and Nf6+. 36 Bc1? was an error in time trouble; 36 exf+ or 36 f4 would have maintained the balance. Alekhine had not considered Reshevsky's 37..Nc2 though Reshevsky thought he would also have retained an advantage after 37..Nxb4 38 Bb2..Ndc2 39 Ke2..Nd5 40 Kd3..Ncb4+ 41 Kd4..Na6!. As mentioned above 49 Ba3? was a positional blunder (really a tough move to understand) allowing 49..e5 break after which Black was winning; 49 Bd4 would have kept White in the game. Black did not fall for the trap 58..b2 59 Kc2..Nxd2 60 Kxb2..Nb4 61 Kc3 with a draw.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Alekhine, as I recall, was critical of 9.Qb3 in his annotations and mentioned Colle's move as being better than the game continuation.
Jan-07-17  newzild: <plang>

<49 Ba3? was a positional blunder (really a tough move to understand) allowing 49..e5 break after which Black was winning>

It's a positional blunder to allow 49...e5 for the following reasons:

1) Black exchanges a weak isolated pawn for a strong member of White's kingside pawn chain.

2) Black's king can advance into the centre via the light squares, now that e6 has been vacated.

Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: 11. a5 looks like it wins a piece, but...d4xe3, 12. f2xe3, Nc5, 13. a5xN, NxQ, 14. b6xQ, NxR, is good for black. Or 12..Nc5 13. Qb6+ N(b)d7 doesn't lead to anything either.
May-14-20  goodevans: <The Knights of Nottingham> is a medieval reenactment troupe. That seems a bit niche or is there also some other reference?
Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: Curious. I thought 45 Ne5+ was the obvious way for Alekhine to try and save the game. Even with the extra (passed) pawn, I think it would have been uphill work for Reschevsky to win with the N against a B controlling the a1-h8 diagonal.

My engine prefers it only very slightly over Kd3, which probably should have been OK with good play. But the real problem for W was there were ways to wrong against the 2 N's working in tandem, which happened with 49 Ba3? It looks plain wrong to cede control of e5

May-14-20  Brenin: <The Knights who say "Ni!">? Alekhine seems to have as much trouble with Reshevsky's knights as King Arthur did with those knights in the Monty Python film.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Don't spend a lot of time on the title. I just liked the game, and was thinking of any possibility to get it considered.
May-14-20  Ironmanth: A fantastic and intense game from a legendary tournament; sure to repay study of the endgame with the great maneuvering of the knights. Bravo, Sammy! Thanks chessgames; y'all stay safe out there in the chess ether.
May-14-20  Jack Kerouac: <Benzol> Me.
May-14-20  ajile: So it only took 8 decades for players to learn and use the better version of this with the DSB OUTSIDE the pawn chain. (ie London System)


Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <Jack> You certainly qualify. LOL.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Alexander was found a-lackin'
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