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Alexander Alekhine vs Robert L Bornholz
Clock simul, 9b (1929) (exhibition), Manhattan CC, New York, NY USA, Mar-23
Slav Defense: Exchange. Schallopp Variation (D12)  ·  1-0



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Given 21 times; par: 17 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has the bishop pair for a bishop and a knight.

Black would probably consider ... Be7 followed by ... Bh4, trying to get some counterplay.

The light squares near the black king look weak. This suggests 14.Nxd5, weakening them further:

A) 14... exd5 15.Qf5 (with the triple mate threat 16.Qxd5#, 16.Qe6# and 16.B(Q)f7#, and 16.Qxg4) 15... Rh7 16.Bxh7+ Kh8 17.Qxg4 Kxh7 18.Qf5+ Kh8 19.Qxd5 + - [R+2P vs N].

B) 14... Tc8 15.Qe4

B.1) 15... Qa5+ 16.Nc3 Qb6 17.Qxg4 + - [N+P].

B.2) 15... Be7 16.Qxe6+ Kf8 17.Qf7#.

B.3) 15... Rh7 16.Qxe6+ Kh8 17.Qxg4 + - [B+2P].

B.4) 15... exd5 16.Qxd5#.

C) 14... Ngf6 15.Nc7 Rc8 16.Nxe6 Rxc2 17.Nxd8 followed by 18.Nf7 + -, winning the exchange.

D) 14... Qa5+ 15.Nc3 with the threats 16.Qe4 and 16.Qb3 followed by 17.d5.

E) 14... Nb6 15.Nf4 + /- with several threats (16.Nxe6, 16.Qb3, 16.Qe4, etc.).

Dec-08-11  polarx: Happy to say that I got it today. Don't know how black fell in the trap. Very lame. Alekhine, or anyone, wouldn't so blatantly offer a knight if there wasn't a catch somewhere. I think 14...Ngf6 was the answer.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: White's 15th move threatens mate in FOUR ways. The knight sac really opens the doors.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Willber G: What is wrong with 14.Nxd5 Qa5+ 15.Nc3 Qb6 for black?
Dec-08-11  BOSTER: The strange puzzle. 14.Nxd5 Qa5+ 15.Nc3 if 15.Bd2 Qxd5.
Dec-08-11  mworld: <FSR> Seems like the right move tends to be right for the wrong reasons today.
Dec-08-11  polarx: Wow, checked other posts and there's so much to this position. Still, black played the worst possible moves. Checked the other games by black player on this site and there's only one win... against Marshall. Amazing.
Premium Chessgames Member
  LIFE Master AJ: 14.NxP/d5! and 15.Qf5. (Got it.)
Dec-08-11  M.Hassan: <FSR: I'm amazed by how many poeple think that white forces mate after 14.Nxd5 exd5 15.Qf5, missing 15...Bb4+ followed by...Qe7. Not that I don't sometimes miss obvious things myself> That's a shot on the goal and exactly what I thought
Dec-08-11  TheChessGuy: Moral of the story: when playing Alekhin between about 1925 and 1932 don't accept material!
Dec-08-11  BOSTER: <AJ> <14. NxP/d5 and 15.Qf5 . (Got it)>.

How can you play 15.Qf5 when your king is under check after 14...Qa5+?

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: What depart in from it nd7? Sure fire miss the cannon c6 or e6 must have more pepe Alekhine load e5 pining bishop off h6 the rest very much in his style rock the casbah a superflous dismantling one after a not he rook kept safe in tease both a/h in ceeding point ment 15bb4 is ease monster drawback I deploy it in zip qf6 for black is it holding free wulf!
Dec-08-11  morfishine: <Willber G> On your comment: <What is wrong with 14.Nxd5 Qa5+ 15.Nc3 Qb6 for black?> Nothing, its probably the best way for Black to give up the d-pawn. Of course, White's position is still overwhelming what-with Black's King in a horrible spot.
Dec-08-11  TheBish: Alekhine vs R Bornholz, 1929

White to play (14.?) "Medium"

Material is even, but Black's king position is hideous. White needs only to get his queen to f7 or e6 to deliver mate, and the Ng4 is loose. Combining these factors, we arrive at the solution.

14. Nxd5! exd5

After 14...Nde5!? I didn't see a good reply right away, but then I found 15. Nf4 Nxg6 16. Nxg6 Rh7 and White is better.

15. Qf5 Bb4+ 16. Ke2 Qe7 17. Qxg4 and White has won a pawn, but there is still a lot of play left.

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: Am I the only person who played 14. f3 intending 15. Qg2 or 15. Rg1?
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: As for the opening, I have no idea why Black would play Nbd7. Nc6 was fine if only for development, but also to keep an eye on e5, and e7 was a good spot for the Queen to defend the rather helpless Bishop. I checked out Opening Explorer, and there were 3, 4, or 5 games where Black played Nbd7. Not sure exactly because of transpositions. All were wins for White. 2 of them tried 12. Qf3, which looks to me to be better than Alekhine's 12. Qc2.
Dec-08-11  Marmot PFL: I found the combo 15 Nxd5 ed 16 Qf5 threatening 3 different mates in 1 as well as Qxg4. Black could escape the worst with 16...Bb4+ and 17...Qe7 but blundered with 16...Qf6?
Dec-09-11  CHESSTTCAMPS: White has the two bishops and a much safer king. The Bg6 highlights black's light square weakness and traps the black king in a box, effectively tying down the black kingside. White would like to play Qf7# or Qxe6#, but how do we get the queen there?


The first try that occurred to me, but I was initially dissatisfied by the apparent absence of a pressing threat if the sac is declined. But white has snatched a pawn, with a real threat (and weakening of black's position), and there is a quick finish if black accepts:

A) 14... exd5? 15.Qf5 and black can only delay the multiple mate threats (Qf7, Qe6, and Qd5) with spite checks.

B) 14... Rc8? (,h5 and some other plausible moves) 15.Qe4 Qa5+ 16.Nc3 and the double threat of Qxe6# and Qxg4 wins a piece.

C) 14... Qa5+ 15.Nc3 Bb4 16.Qb3! Bxc3+ 17.bc Qb6 18.Qxb6+ with an extra pawn, 2 Bs and much better pawn structure.

D) 14... Ngf6 15.Nf3 followed by 16.Qb3 with extra pawn and strong pressure on e6 looks strong.

I think I'll leave it there. Time for review....

Dec-09-11  CHESSTTCAMPS: I missed the 14... Nde5! defense suggested by some and I'd wager that Crafty would choose this. Will check it out later.
Dec-11-11  ReikiMaster: I guess in those days a gentleman would not ruin a nice combo and continue with a pawn down against a famous opponent like <Willber G> proposed.
Apr-21-14  notyetagm: Alekhine vs R L Bornholz, 1929



Apr-22-14  aliejin: Yes, it was.
Apr-22-14  morfishine: FWIW: Bornholz has 5-games in the <CG> database: 4 losses and 1-win; but the win was against none other than Frank Marshall: R L Bornholz vs Marshall, 1923


Oct-03-15  TheFocus: From a simultaneous clock exhibition in New York, New York at the Manhattan Chess Club on March 23, 1929.

Alekhine scored +6=2-1.

See <The New York Sun>, March 29, 1929.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Alekhine was on auto-pilot; he would've known the game: Bogoljubov vs S Gotthilf, 1925
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