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Alexander Alekhine vs Adolf Georg Olland
Stockholm (1912), Stockholm SWE, rd 7, Jul-02
French Defense: Exchange. Svenonius Variation (C01)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: Alekhine was famous mainly for many deep and beautiful combinations with brilliant sacrifices but what I really appreciate on his play it is his ability to keep long-term initiative with relatively simple tactical and positional means. This pretty game is quite typical example.
Apr-27-06  euripides: <Honza> thanks for drawing attention to this game. I don't remember seeing a game by Olland before.

After Alekhine's pawn sacrifice, Black's position is full of holes, but he comes out fighting very imaginatively. The game ends up feeling strikingly modern, like some games in the Sicilian where both sides' positions look a bit loose but the side with the safer king eventually wins.

Apr-28-06  Calli: and why not 16...Nxd4
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: <Calli> 16...Nxd4 looks best for Black and maintains his advantage. However, Olland's 16...Bd6, also gives Black an edge.

In his book, "100 Instructive Games of Alekhine", F. Reinfeld states, <"Olland was afraid of opening up the game with 16...Nxd4, although one cannot see any direct risk in the capture">.

Fritz 9 evaluations after 16.gxh3:

16.gxh3 (-1.08)(16 ply) - if Nxd4 17.0-0-0 Bd6 18.Rhf1 Bxf4 19.Rxf4 c5 20.Nb5 Nxb5 21.Bxb5+ Kc7.

16.gxh3 (-.95)(16 ply) - if Bd6 17.Nb5 Ne4 18.Bxe4 Rf6 19.Nxd6 Qh4+ 20.Kd1 cxd6.

At move 21, Olland had the very strong move, 21...Kc7! available. After 21...Kc8?, White gets the advantage, as he will now get the threat 23.Ne7+.

If 21...Kc7!, Olland appears to have a winning position. Fritz 9 rates Black's position as winning (-1.98) (15 ply) and gives the following line:

21...Kc7! 22.Nf4 Qh8 23.Ne6+ Kb8 24.Qe3 Re8.

Fritz 9's evaluation is now (-2.40) (16 ply). If 25.0-0-0 Rxh3 26.Qf2 Rxe6.

Or (-2.43) (16 ply), if 25.Bf5 Ne7 26. 0-0-0 Nxf5.

Both players were on thin ice in this game.

Reinfeld said the following about this game: <To get the most pleasure out of games like this one, we must remember that both players want spirited chess, that a Pawn more or less is not the sum of existence to them. With Scott they believe that "one hour of life, crowded to the full with glorious action, filled with noble risks, is worth whole years of those mean observances of paltry decorum.">

Apr-29-06  Calli: I don't know about Reinfeld's remarks. The game looks like a series of mistakes to me! Besides 21...Kc7, he can also play simply 21...Rxg6 22.Bxg6 ( or 22.Qxg6?? Qf8 ) 22...Ne7 23.0-0-0 Nxg6
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: <Calli> In your suggested line, 21...Rxg6 22.Bxg6 Ne7 23.0-0-0 Nxg6, Fritz 9 strongly preferred 23...Qxg6. Fritz also preferred 23.Qe3 for White.

However, after Fritz's preferred move of 23.Qe3, it looks like we would obtain the same position as you are leading up to, after 21...Rxg6 22.Bxg6 Ne7 23.Qe3 Nxg6 24.0-0-0 Ne4 25.Rg4.

The position after 25.Rg4, is certainly in favor of Black, but White can put up resistance. As indicated before, Fritz 9 considers Black's strongest move to be 21...Kc7.

At move 24, Olland could have kept the game very close to equal by playing 24...Rxg1 25.Rxg1 e5 26.Rg6 Qxf4 27.Qxf4 exf4 28.Rxf6 Kc7 29.Rxf4 Rxh3.

At move 29, Olland got a significant disadvantage with 29...Ne4. Instead, he still may have been able to hold the game by playing 29...Kb8. Fritz 9's evaluation (.45) (17 ply) with 30.h4 Rg8 31.h5 indicated as a possible continuation.

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