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Alexander Alekhine vs Pablo de Unamuno
Simul, 30b (1944), Salamanca ESP, Apr-03
French Defense: Tarrasch Variation (C03)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-18-02  Kulla Tierchen: Drunken Exhibition

"One of [Alekhine's] most tumultuous exhibitions…where he stumbled into the playing hall, confronted 30 opponents, and after several hours won 17 games, drew 8 and lost 5."

After 10…Bb7 Alekhine castled with his queen! When informed of the illegal move, he took it back and played 11. Rc1 as he had touched that piece first.

Dec-18-02  Sylvester: This is way cool. I thought stuff like this only happened in movies.
Dec-19-02  Sabatini: It is a great shame that JR Capablanca had to lose to such a man.
Dec-19-02  PVS: Is this Unamuno related to the philosopher?
Dec-19-02  Kulla Tierchen: Yes, he is the son of the man who wrote The Tragic Sense of Life.
Dec-19-02  Kulla Tierchen: PVS, your profile says you are a philosopher and logician, so this is perhaps not your cup of tea, nicht wahr?
Dec-19-02  PVS: You are correct insofar as I never got into Unamuno, although I had an existentialist period as an undergraduate. I still read Sartre and especially Nietzsche from time to time
Dec-01-03  jaime gallegos: drunken exhibition ? are there other games to observe ?
Jan-13-05  aw1988: <It is a great shame that JR Capablanca had to lose to such a man.> Alekhine was cold sober in 1927, and I believe the only reason Capablanca lost to Alekhine was because Capa took the match too lightly. Had Capa taken it as seriously as Alekhine, (the latter tried to dispel Capablanca's theories) he would have won. Not a blowout score, but a solid win.
Dec-22-05  alicefujimori: <aw1988> took <Sabatini> 3 years to get a reply from

Even though 11.Rc1 was played in the "drunk" state, it wasn't really bad. In fact, it seems qite logical.

Dec-22-05  LancelotduLac: I agree that things might have been different if Capablanca had prepared more seriously for the match, but that would have required a major change of character. Capablanca was notoriously lazy, whereas Alekhine was an obsessively hard worker. There is no doubt that Capablanca was the more talented of the two, but he had too much confidence in his own strength; he fell victim to the widespread belief (at that time) of his own invincibility. I don't think it ever crossed his mind that he could lose the match until, perhaps, the wake-up call in the first game. But by that point Alekhine was so well prepared and so determined that I think it was already too late. And the final score reflects this: 6 wins for Alekhine to only 3 for Capablanca... The match was hard-fought, the quality was very high, but Alekhine's win was convincing and well-deserved, in my opinion.
Dec-22-05  ughaibu: Birds evolved from cephalopods.
Dec-22-05  Central Control: <ughaibu> Um, thanks.
Dec-23-05  ughaibu: Thanks for the thanks.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <After 10…Bb7 Alekhine castled with his queen!> Probably Alekhine's most original move.

Well, he was drunk as always, etc...

Jun-02-12  romni: Alekhine had never won a game against Capablanca before the World Championship fact tha same situation as later in Fischer V Spassky.....Spassky, like Capablanca was a 'natural' chess talent , but didnt work hard at the game. many of the comments people have made here are spot on!
Sep-30-15  QueensideCastler: After 10...Bb7, - At this moment, under the influence of alcohol Alekhine must have mistaken his queen for a king, otherwise the following incident cannot be explained. The world champion moved his rook to c1 and automatically placed his queen on b1.

Of course this could not pass muster and Alekhine was kindly requested to replace this inverted "kingside" castling by a move with his rook. This became 11. Rc1, but you will not be surpised to hear that eventually black mangaed to end the game in his favour. The moral is clear: don't drink and play chess.

Source: Startling Castling by Robert Timmer [1997]

Nov-09-15  TheFocus: From a simultaneous exhibition in Salamanca, Spain on April 3, 1944.

Alekhine scored +17=8-5.

See <A. Alekhine>, pg. 24-25.

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