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Alexander Alekhine vs Samuel Reshevsky
Pasadena (1932), Pasadena, CA USA, rd 5, Aug-20
Queen's Gambit Declined: Exchange. Saemisch Variation (D35)  ·  1-0



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Given 7 times; par: 161 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
May-01-04  Calli: After much woodpushing, AA finally plays 51.e4. Reshevsky immediately gives up a pawn. Why? Is the position after 51...dxe4 52.Qxe4 totally lost?
May-01-04  Calli: <Gypsy> Looks lost to me - for White! 51...dxe4 52.Qxd6 Rxd6 53.Rxc6 Rxc6 54.Rxc6 e3 wins
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  Gypsy: Of course, <calli>. I got distracted and fouled something up. Sorry bout that!
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  Gypsy: No, there is no win for White. After 51...dxe4, Black can either hold his fortress, or march his c-pawn forward (52.Qxe4 Qd6 or 52...c5). And in case of 52.Qxd7 Rxd7 53.Re3 Rd4 54.R1e1 c5, Black seems slightly better, though it should still end a draw. (Perhaps Reschevsky also got distracted?)
May-02-04  Calli: <Gypsy> I think White still has a substantial edge after Qxe4, but at least Black is still playing.

Alekhine missed an interesting win earlier when Sammy plays 47...Rd8? then 48.Qa5! (threatens Rxc6). Now black can't go back with 48...Rd7 because of Rxc6 and Qa8+ and if he moves, say, 48...Rf1 then 49.Qb6 picks up the pawn.

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  Gypsy: <I think White still has a substantial edge after Qxe4, but at least Black is still playing.> Initially I also thought so, but I do not see how to make progress for White. Thus I concluded that white edge is mostly optical. Without any particular order, these I see as the main strategic features. (1) White king seems a bit better covered, but it too can come under a serious attack, should the White queen (and maybe one rook) go on a hunting expedition. Also, the b2 pawn beter stays put at least untill two heavy piecess get exchaged. (2) Black king position looks a bit draftier, but as long as Black heavy piecess cover the main entrances, and as long as they are also ready for a counterstrike, the king is fine. In the mean time, the king is performing useful light duty defending h7. (3) In the case of exchanges, Black king is the one more ready for action in the center. (4) Because of the strong pawn e5, White is not in a danger in a pawn ending, White pawn f4 would be practically untouchable. (If the pawn structure not change in the mean time!) (5) Black pawn c6 does look like a weakness, but it is adequately defended and White can not summon any reserves for an attack of it. Moreover, the c6 pawn is not fixed and could march c6-c5 and even c5-c4. The position on c4 would prove to be a liability in case of a pawn ending, however. Since the Black king has to guard the pawn e6, White king would easily pick off the Q--side pawns. (6) Pawn h7 is a serious weakness, but, again, one that is adequately defended. (7) Pawn f4 is a bit of a White liability.

So, here it seems that White has an edge: he has a technical win in a pawn ending, probably fair chancess in a queen ending, and probably not much in a rook ending. But I do not see how to make progress without giving up White structural advantages: Manouvers of the piecess can not do it alone. King beter stays put. Pawn b2 better stays put. And, the key, f4-f5 changes a winning pawn-endgame structure into a loosing one!

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  Gypsy: Although I think Black can always find a countermeasure, he does need to be careful. White can administer some additional tactical torture associated with the configuration commonly known, curiously, as the Alekhine pistol. If White arranges his piecess Rc5, Rc3, and Qc1, then Black has to watch for Rxb5; Black need to keep his Rb7 adequately protected. Similarily, Black has to mind the power of the pistol if it moves to the h-file.
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  Gypsy: <Alekhine missed an interesting win earlier when Sammy plays 47...Rd8? then 48.Qa5!> You are right, 47...R7d8? and 48.Rc5? traded 0.5-pt. errors (I think they were .5 errors), while after 47...R7c7 the game would have gone on as scheduled. We can only speculate: Was there a time pressure involved? There definitely were some 45-move timecontrol tournaments played at that time. If that was the case, players could have run over, while they were not recording their moves, all the way to the move 47, even to the move 51. That may also explain Sammy's other 0.5-error, 51...Rd8?
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  ray keene: 33---Qxg4 is there anything convincing for white after this?
Jul-17-06  Calli: <ray keene> 33...Qxg4 34.Rxh7 Kxh7 35.Rh1+ Kg8 36.e6 is diabolical
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  ray keene: <calli> thats a lovely variation-i didnt believe it cd work at first what with black q checks and so on--this game is very little known-alekhine never annotated it as far as i know-what do you think is the overall verdict on it?
Jul-18-06  Calli: <Ray Keene> Some good points were covered in previous kibitzing. Not really sure what you mean by "overall verdict" ...
Dec-31-11  fokers13: after analysis of my own(and because of secondguessing myself) Houdini the resulting position is drawn.White has no winning plan simply put and it seems like this is another case of a premature resignation.
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  beatgiant: <fokers13>
<premature resignation> I played it out against an engine and won with the simple plan of pushing the e-pawn, trading it for the b-pawn, and then piling up on the a-pawn.

Example: 57...Kg7 58. e6 Re1 59. Rf7+ Kg8 60. Rb7 Rxe6 61. Rxb5 Ra6 62. Rb4 Kg7 63. Kb1 etc.

Can you post a line to show what defense Houdini came up with?

Oct-25-16  Retireborn: <beatgiant> More than a year later(!), but Houdini replaces your 58...Re1 with 58...h5! As White can't capture en passant without losing Rf6, presumably the passed h-pawn gives Black enough counterplay to hold on.

However it seems this is a case of incomplete score, rather than premature resignation. The game actually went on to move 96.

Oct-25-16  Retireborn: Here are the remaining moves as given in Chessbase Big Database 2002:

57.Rf6 Kg7 58.b4 Rf2+ 59.Kb1 Rf3 60.Rb6 Rxf4 61.Rxb5 Rf5 62.Rb7+ Kf8 63.Rxh7 Rxe5 64.Ra7 Rxg5 65.Rxa4 Ke7 66.Kb2 Kd7 67.Ra6 Rg3 68.b5 Kc7 69.Rc6+ Kb7 70.a4 Ka7 71.Rc3 Rg2+ 72.Ka3 Rg4 73.Kb3 Kb7 74.Rc4 Rg3+ 75.Kb4 Rf3 76.Rc6 Rf7 77.Rxg6 Rh7 78.Rc6 Rg7 79.a5 Rg4+ 80.Rc4 Rg7 81.a6+ Ka7 82.Ka5 Rg5 83.Rc7+ Kb8 84.Rb7+ Ka8 85.Rd7 Kb8 86.Kb6 Rg8 87.Kc6 Rc8+ 88.Kd6 Rc1 89.Rb7+ Kc8 90.Rf7 Kb8 91.b6 Rd1+ 92.Kc5 Rc1+ 93.Kd4 Rd1+ 94.Kc3 Rd8 95.Kc4 Rh8 96.Rf5 1-0

I assume they're from Brandeth's tournament book, but somebody should probably check that.

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  beatgiant: <Retireborn>
Thanks. I agree that my suggested move e6 with Black's king on g7 does allow the <...h5> counterplay. White needs more patient technique, as Alekhine well demonstrated in the rest of the moves you posted.

I had underestimated White's <b4> as in the game. Black can take en passant to trade off one of the overextended queenside pawns, but then his b-pawn soon falls, White's a-pawn will cost Black's rook, and I don't see a way for Black to get enough kingside counterplay in time.

For example, after 57. Rf6 Kg7 58. b4 axb3(e.p.)+ 59. Kxb3 Re1 60. Kb4 Re3 61. Rb6 Re4+ 62. Kxb5 Rxf4 63. Rb7+ looks pretty hopeless for Black.

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