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Alexander Alekhine vs Grigory Levenfish
"St. Petersburg Spilled Blood" (game of the day Sep-28-2011)
St Petersburg (1912), St Petersburg RUE, Mar-14
Benoni Defense: Benoni-Indian Defense (A43)  ·  1-0



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Given 78 times; par: 33 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Feb-11-02  knight: Alekhine advances his center pawns quickly,creates a "pawn nail" on the sixth rank,breaking the communication between the black forces. He finishes the game brilliantly with a double rook sacrifice.
Mar-13-05  hintza: This is an old favourite of mine, I just love the sacrifice of the two rooks with 15.Nb5! and the following attack.

In the algebraic edition of "Alexander Alekhine's Best Games" (with annotations by Alekhine himself), the game score is slightly different: Black resigned after 19.exd7 according to the book, although the finish shown by the game score on this page is given by Alekhine in his analysis of the position after 19.exd7, which is as follows:

<The threat is 20.Ne6#, and if 19...e5 (19...Nxd7 20.Be6), then White replies 20.Ne6+ Ke7 21.d8=Q+ Rxd8 22.Qxd8+ Kf7 23.Nxf8+ Kg7 24.Qe7#.>

Mar-13-05  Calli: Levenfish resigned after 19.exd7 1-0

Source: Skinner and Verhoeven who trace the score to the original publication in Novoe Vremya on 21 March 1912.

Mar-14-05  hintza: OK then, so we have more or less confirmed that Black resigned after White's 19th move. The game score really ought to be changed then. Thanks <Calli>! :-)
Mar-14-05  Calli: Well, I submitted the correction, but for some reason seem to get no response on recent submissions.
Mar-14-05  Champ Supernova: doesn't this remind everyone A LOT of anderssen-kiesiertzky? the double rook sacrifice and the minor pieces attacking the king in a crowded center? The aggressive knight move that started it all? This chess game thingie, it gets repetitive.
Jun-05-05  Heavy Metal Thunder: It never gets repetitive with a player like Alekhine, his offensive resources seem to know no limits. Wonderful game.
Jun-05-05  Kangaroo: Interesting enough, but a year later Alekhine himself was defeated by the same opponent, see Levenfish vs Alekhine, 1913
Jul-27-05  A.Alekhine: Levenfish really go wrong on 13...Qb6.He should have played 13..b3 instead..
Aug-21-06  Timothy Glenn Forney: Here's the ending if black makes the best possible moves.Mate in 7 forced:19...♘e4+ 20.fxe4 ♕xe4 21.♘e6+ ♕xe6 22.♗xe6 a5 23.♕d5 ♗g7 24.♕xc5 ♗d4+ 25.♕xd4 ♖f8 26.♕b6#
Sep-19-08  Dr. Siggy: <A.Alekhine>: After 13...b6 14.Qxd8+ Kxd8 15.0-0-0+ Ke8 16.Nd5, Black is as good as lost.
Nov-13-08  seagull1756: John Nunn points out that 11. h3 Nf3+ 12. Qxf3 Nf6 13. exf7+ Kxf7 14. Bc4 gives white 'a clear advantage at no risk' Not really Alekhine style, though, especially considering the game was played in 1912
Nov-14-08  KingG: <seagull1756> I assume you mean 10.h3, etc.
Dec-28-08  battleaxe: So if 19. Nxd7 was the plan 20. Be6 ?
Dec-28-08  visayanbraindoctor: First time I have seen this game; so much like the Immortal Game Anderssen vs Kieseritsky.

Anderssen vs Kieseritzky, 1851

Whatever else can be said about him, Alekhine was a brilliant monster of an attacker. Material for him took second place to the attack; and he was always more than willing to give up material rather than defend and allow the initiative to slip away. If anyone wants to learn all about keeping the initiative, Alekhine's games are a model; he was always striving to find threats, and more often than not found them.

Jul-20-09  LIFE Master AJ: I have (briefly) annotated this game. Its also a js-replay page, so you can actually play over the moves as well. (
Jul-20-09  LIFE Master AJ: An interesting idea, but one that Chernev does not consider is: 19...Ne4+!?; 20.fxe4 Qxe4; 21.Nxa8!, The best, although the reason for this move is NOT apparent at the first glance. (Also winning for White is: 21.Ne6+ Qxe6; 22.Bxe6, " " ) 21...Qd4+, This looks like it kills White's attack. (Hopeless is: 21...Qxf4+; 22.Qxf4, " ") However, after 22.Qxd4 cxd4; 23.Be6, ('!') and (now) Black is strangely helpless to prevent mate on c7.
Mar-18-11  Llawdogg: So, is this Alekhine's Immortal Game? Levenfish was a very strong player. And Alekhine attacked like Anderssen. So, maybe.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Had to look this one up. "St. Petersburg Spilled Blood" refers to a cathedral built on the site where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated in 1881.

You can speculate on how that relates to the game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Is this the anniversary of St. Pete v. Moscow chess? The two cities have played many times over the past 100 or so years. I think the first match was played at the Chigorin chess club in St. Pete. Perhaps this Alekhine game was part of a team match? Alekhine had yet to leave Russia.
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: Levenfish played like a fish. Why was wrong with 10...Bg7 ?
Sep-28-11  visayanbraindoctor: <HeMateMe: Is this the anniversary of St. Pete v. Moscow chess? The two cities have played many times over the past 100 or so years. I think the first match was played at the Chigorin chess club in St. Pete. Perhaps this Alekhine game was part of a team match? Alekhine had yet to leave Russia>

Good question. Does any one know the answer?

Was this played under classical time control?

How about the above 2011 Moscow vs St. Petersburg match; are the games played under classical time control?

Sep-28-11  I Like Fish: al wazir ...
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: The event was a "1st Category" tournament in St. Petersburg, held in March-April 1912. Alekhine won with 7.0, ahead of Levenfish (6.5), Ilya Rabinovich and Peter Romanovsky (6.0).
Sep-28-11  KingV93: Wow! Talk about attacking chess! This is a 20 move demolition. The confidence displayed in the depth of his calculation and the bold sacrifices is truly amazing.
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