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Efim Bogoljubov vs Edward Lasker
New York (1924), New York, NY USA, rd 14, Apr-05
Spanish Game: General (C60)  ·  1-0



Annotations by Alexander Alekhine.      [77 more games annotated by Alekhine]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  pittpanther: An interesting endgame. I did get the correct idea due to the opposite colored bishops. b4 follwed by Ba6 is the only way to get the white pawns fixed on dark squares. There are plenty of these hard puzzles I miss but fortunately I had a good day today.
Sep-27-09  MathMage: <OBIT (38...b3 39. a4! looks very promising)>

39. a4?? Kf6 and wins. If 36. ...Rxc7 37. Rxc7 b4 38. Kf2, then 38. ...b3 39. Be5+ Kf7 seems to leave Black with good chances because White's bishop cannot leave the long diagonal. Black can connect his queenside pawns whenever he wants, and the King and Bishop may be enough to stop the center pawns with the restriction on White's bishop. A possible continuation would be 40. Ke3 Ke6 41. Bc3 a5 42. d4 (42. Bxa5?? b2; 42. a4?? Bc6) a4. Does Black survive after trading his Bishop for the passed pawns?

Premium Chessgames Member
  OBIT: <MathMage>After 37...b4 38. Kf2 b3 39. a4 Kf6 40. Ba5 keeps the pawn from going anywhere (40...b2? Bc3+). The plan from here is Bc3 followed by a5 and Bb2. On b2, the bishop can go to a3 to chase the Black king off d6, and I think that should be enough to win.
Premium Chessgames Member
  OBIT: Looking at 37...b4 38. Kf2 b3 39. a4! Kf6 40. Ba5 a little more, I'm convinced White wins. From here, 40...Ke6 41. Bc3 a5! prevents White from playing a5 himself, but even this positional advantage is not enough to hold the draw: 42. Ke3 Bc6 43. Bb2 Bxa4 44. d4 Bb5 45. d5+ Kd6 46. Kd4 a4 47. e5+ Kd7 48. e6+ Kd6 49. Ba3+ Kc7 50. Ke5 wins.

After 37...b4 38. Kf2, Black's only move is 38...bxa3. The point is that the bishop has to stay on the a1-h8 diagonal to watch a1, and from there it is harder for the bishop to support the advance of the center pawns.

Sep-27-09  TheBish: Bogoljubov vs Ed Lasker, 1924

Black to play (36...?) "Insane"

From what I know about opposite-colored bishop endgames, they are often drawn if the pawns can be blockaded. Thus...

36...Rxc7 37. Rxc7 b4! 38. axb4 Ba6

If the White king were closer to the d-pawn (like on f2 or f1), then White would win.

39. d4 Bd3! 40. e5 Bc4 and Black can blockade the center pawns, i.e. 41. Kf2 Kf7 42. Bb8 a6 43. Ke3 Ke6 and Black needs only to safeguard his kingside pawns and the draw is secure.

Sep-27-09  WhiteRook48: I got the first two half moves
Sep-27-09  Athamas: Reading the comments and then looking at the position again... My initial reaction was similarly b3 or possibly a5 or Kf6, but they all seem sub-par to just accepting the pawn. Ke2 easily squelches black's chances if you push to b3. However, I think black still has decent drawing chances with his doubled passed pawns.

38. Kf2 bxa3 39. Be5+ Kf7 40. Ke3 Ke7 41. Ba1 a2 42. d4 Kd6 43. d5 Kc5

This is about as much as I can see... still looks like black has some decent drawing chances

Sep-27-09  MathMage: <OBIT> Oh, I see. Thanks! But what about 44. ...Bc6 anticipating 45. d5+ Bxd5 46. exd5 Kxd5? It seems like Black has a drawn endgame from there, at worst.
Sep-27-09  Old Wolf: after ..b4; Kf2 bxa3; Be5+ Kf7; Ke3 Ke6!; Bc3 a2; d4 Kd6.

Now if White ever plays d5 then Black has Kc5, which looks like a draw because White can't get e5 in now, and the WK can't leave the defense of the pawns.

Sep-27-09  DarthStapler: I didn't get it
Sep-27-09  johnlspouge: < <BOSTER> wrote: [snip] But chess is not a checkers, it is not necessary to take a pawn. This is why all analysis by <johnispouge> and Co. is not very correct. [snip] >

Not very correct or not, I should point out that the analysis is more properly attributed to <Alexander Alekhine> and Co.

Sep-27-09  njchess: I've studied this game and, in particular, the 36th move sequence where Bogojubov gives Lasker a chance for a draw, but which Lasker fails to capitalize. Great game though.
Premium Chessgames Member
  OBIT: <MathMage>I don't think White has any trouble winning if Black gives up his bishop for the two center pawns. To get started, he'll run his king to the queenside to dispose of Black's a-pawn and b-pawn. Presumably, Black will react by sending his king to the kingside, hoping to trade off White's last two pawns, but White only needs to hang onto one of them to win. Note that the h-pawn is the right color for the bishop, so Black can't get to one of those drawn bishop + rook pawn endings.

<Athamas><Old Wolf>I think 37...b4 38. Kf2 bxa3 is drawn also, but White can make some serious winning attempts. For example, after 39. g4!? a2? 40. Be5+ Kf7 41. g5! should win, the idea being 41...Ke6 42. Bc3 Ba6 43. Ke3 Bb7 44. d4 Kd6 45. d5 Kd7 46. Kd4 Kd6 47. e5+ Ke7 48. Kc5 Kd7 49. e6+ Ke7 50. Bf6+. However, the key to this maneuver is getting the pawn to g5 first, and White can't force this. IMO, the simplest reaction to g4 is ...g5. Find a way to win if Black plays ...g5, and this position is 1-0.

Sep-27-09  RandomVisitor: Efim Bogoljubov - Edward Lasker

New York New York, 1924

[Rybka 3 ] <3 minutes per move>

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 last book move

3...Qf6 0.46/17
4.Nc3 0.31/17
[Rybka 3 : 4.0-0 a6 5.Bxc6 dxc6 6.d4 exd4 7.Bg5 Qd6 8.e5 Qd5 9.Nxd4 Bc5 10.Nb3 Qxd1 11.Rxd1 Be7 12.Bf4 Bf5 13.c3 Bc2 14.Rd2 Be4 0.46/17 ]

4...Nge7 0.45/18
[Rybka 3 : 4...a6 5.Nd5 Qd8 6.Bc4 Nf6 7.0-0 d6 8.d4 Bg4 9.c3 Be7 10.Ne3 0-0 11.Nxg4 Nxg4 12.h3 Nf6 13.Qe2 0.31/17 ]

5.d3= 0.17/17
[Rybka 3 : 5.0-0 Nd4 6.Nxd4 exd4 7.Ne2 Ng6 8.Bc4 Bc5 9.c3 dxc3 10.bxc3 Ne5 0.45/18 ]

5...Nd4 0.38/20
[Rybka 3 : 5...a6 6.Ba4 Nd4 7.Nxd4 exd4 8.Ne2= 0.17/17 ]

6.Nxd4 0.38/20 exd4 0.38/20
7.Ne2 0.28/18 c6 0.38/19
[Rybka 3 : 7...g6 8.Bd2 Qb6 9.Bc4 Bg7 10.c3 dxc3 11.Bxc3 0-0 12.0-0 d6 13.Nf4 Bd4 14.Qd2 Bd7 15.h3 Qc5 0.28/18 ]

8.Ba4 0.30/18 d5 0.61/18
[Rybka 3 : 8...Ng6 9.0-0 Bc5 10.c3 dxc3 11.bxc3 0-0 12.d4 Bb6 13.e5 Qe7 14.Bc2 Re8 15.Re1 d5 16.Nf4 Nxf4 17.Bxf4 Be6 18.h3 0.30/18 ]

9.0-0 0.45/16 g6 0.82/17
[Rybka 3 : 9...Be6 10.f3 0-0-0 11.c3 dxc3 12.bxc3 Ng6 13.Be3 Bd6 14.Bxa7 Qg5 15.Bb3 dxe4 16.fxe4 c5 17.Bxe6+ fxe6 18.Bb6 Rdf8 19.Qb3 Re8 0.45/16 ]

10.b4 0.66/17 Qd6 0.93/16
[Rybka 3 : 10...Bg7 11.Bb2 Qd6 12.a3 0-0 0.66/17 ]

11.a3 0.66/18 Bg7 0.89/17
12.Bb2 0.69/15 b5 0.99/18
[Rybka 3 : 12...0-0 13.Bxd4 a5 14.c3 Be6 15.Bc2 b5 16.Bxg7 Kxg7 17.f3 Ra7 18.Qc1 Rfa8 19.Qb2 0.69/15 ]

13.Bb3 0.89/15 c5 0.99/17
14.bxc5 0.72/18 Qxc5 0.90/17
15.Rc1 0.38/18
[Rybka 3 : 15.c3 dxc3 16.Nxc3 0-0 17.Rc1 d4 18.Na4 0.90/17 ]

15...0-0 0.72/19
[Rybka 3 : 15...Bg4 16.h3 Bxe2 17.Qxe2 0-0 18.e5 Rac8 19.c3 dxc3 20.Rxc3 Qb6 21.Rxc8 Rxc8 22.Qe3 Qe6 23.Qxa7 Nc6 24.Qc5 Nxe5 25.Qxb5 Nf3+ 26.gxf3 Bxb2 27.Bxd5 Qf5 28.Bxf7+ Qxf7 29.Qxb2 Qxf3 30.Qb3+ Kg7 0.38/18 ]

16.c3 0.56/17 dxc3 0.90/19
[Rybka 3 : 16...Qb6 17.cxd4 Bb7 18.e5 Rfc8 19.Rxc8+ Rxc8 20.Qd2 Nf5 21.Rc1 Rxc1+ 22.Qxc1 Bf8 23.g3 h6 24.Ba2 a5 25.Nf4 0.56/17 ]

17.Nxc3 0.83/16 d4 0.90/18
18.Nd5 0.52/18
[Rybka 3 : 18.Na4 Qd6 19.Nc5 Qf4 20.g3 Qb8 21.f4 a5 22.Qe1 Bh3 23.Rf2 Qa7 24.Rfc2 Rac8 25.a4 bxa4 26.Bxa4 Rfd8 0.90/18 ]

18...Qd6 0.64/16
19.f4 0.45/21 Nxd5 0.45/20
20.Bxd5 0.45/19 Rb8 0.54/17
21.Rc6 0.45/19 Qd8 0.64/16
22.Qb3= -0.04/22
[Rybka 3 : 22.Rc5 Be6 23.Bxe6 fxe6 24.g3 Qd7 25.Qb3 a6 26.f5 0.64/16 ]

22...Bb7 -0.04/20
23.Rc5 -0.04/21 Qd6 -0.04/19
24.Qc2 -0.04/20 Rfc8 -0.04/19
25.Rc1 -0.04/19 Bf8 -0.04/18
26.Bxd4 -0.17/17 Qxf4? 2.08/21
[Rybka 3 : 26...Qb6 27.Bxf7+ Kxf7 28.Qa2+ Qe6 29.Rc7+ Be7 30.Qb2 Rxc7 31.Rxc7 Bc6 32.Rxa7 Bd7 33.h3 Qc6 34.Qa2+ Kf8 35.Qf2 Rc8 36.Be3 Ke8 37.Qa2 Qe6= -0.17/17 ]

27.Rf1 2.08/22 Bxc5 2.08/21
28.Bxc5 2.08/19 Qe3+ 2.08/24
29.Bxe3 2.08/23 Rxc2 2.08/23
30.Bxf7+ 2.08/23 Kg7 2.08/21
31.Bb3 2.08/21 Rc7 2.08/20
32.Bf4 2.08/18 Rbc8 1.95/17
33.Be6 1.35/18
[Rybka 3 : 33.Bxc7 Rxc7 34.e5 a5 35.d4 Kh6 36.Rb1 Kg5 37.e6 Kf6 1.95/17 ]

33...Re7 1.94/22
[Rybka 3 : 33...Kf6 34.Bg4 Ke7 35.d4 h5 36.Bxc8 Rxc8 37.Bg5+ Ke8 38.Rf6 Rc6 39.Rxc6 Bxc6 40.d5 Ba8 41.Kf2 Kd7 42.Kf3 Kd6 43.Bd2 Kd7 44.Kf4 Ke8 45.Be3 a6 46.Ke5 Kf7 47.Bg5 1.35/18 ]

Sep-27-09  RandomVisitor: continuation:

34.Bxc8 1.94/21 Bxc8 1.94/20
35.Rc1 1.75/18 Bb7 1.97/21
36.Rc7 0.95/23
[Rybka 3 : 36.Kf2 Rd7 37.Ke3 a6 38.Rc5 h6 39.d4 g5 40.Be5+ Kf8 41.d5 Rf7 42.Rc2 Ke8 43.Bc7 Rf1 44.Bb6 h5 45.Kd4 1.97/21 ]

36...Kf7 1.80/25
[Rybka 3 : 36...Rxc7 37.Bxc7 b4 38.axb4 Ba6 39.d4 Bd3 40.e5 Be4 41.Kf2 Kf7 42.g3 Ke6 43.Ke3 Bf5 44.Bd6 a6 45.Kf4 Kd5 46.Bc5 h6 47.g4 Bc8 48.h3 h5 49.gxh5 0.95/23 ]

37.Rxe7+ 1.80/26 Kxe7 1.80/24
38.Bd2 1.60/22 Ke6 2.17/25
[Rybka 3 : 38...a6 39.Kf2 Kd6 40.Bb4+ 1.60/22 ]

39.Kf2 2.17/22 Kd6 2.17/23
40.Ke3 1.80/25 Kc5 1.80/24
41.Ba5 1.80/21 Bc8 1.80/23
42.Bd8 1.80/20 Bd7 1.98/22
43.Ba5?= 0.00/33
[Rybka 3 : 43.Be7+ Kb6 44.d4 a5 45.d5 b4 46.Bxb4 axb4 47.axb4 Bc8 48.e5 Kc7 49.Kd4 Kd7 50.b5 Bb7 51.Kc5 Ba8 52.h4 Ke7 53.b6 Bb7 54.g3 Kd7 55.g4 h5 1.98/22 ]

43...g5? 1.86/23
[Rybka 3 : 43...Bc8 44.Kd2= 0.00/33 ]

44.Bc3 1.75/21 h5? 3.79/25
[Rybka 3 : 44...a6 45.Bb4+ Kb6 46.d4 a5 47.Bc3 Bc8 48.d5 Kc5 49.Bxa5 Kc4 50.Bb4 Bd7 51.Be7 g4 52.Bb4 1.75/21 ]

45.Bd4+ 3.59/24 Kd6 3.38/24
46.Bxa7 2.98/22 h4? 4.70/23
[Rybka 3 : 46...Kc6 47.d4 g4 48.d5+ Kd6 49.Kd4 2.98/22 ]

47.Bd4? 2.82/22
[Rybka 3 : 47.d4 h3 48.Bc5+ Ke6 49.gxh3 Kf6 50.d5 Bxh3 51.Bb4 Kg6 52.e5 Bg4 53.Kd4 Kf5 54.e6 Bh5 55.Bc3 4.70/23 ]

47...Ke6? 5.04/22
[Rybka 3 : 47...g4 48.Bc3 Be6 49.Bb4+ Kd7 50.Kf4 g3 2.82/22 ]

48.Bc3 5.12/22 Kf7 5.04/22
49.d4 4.35/19 Kg6 5.12/21
50.d5 5.12/20 Bc8 4.35/21
51.Ba5 4.14/18 Bd7 4.94/20
52.Bd8 4.14/19 h3 4.94/19
53.gxh3 4.14/18 Bxh3 5.12/20
54.Kd4 5.12/17 Bd7 5.48/16
55.e5 5.36/16 Kf5 5.56/15
56.e6 5.82/15 Be8 5.95/14
57.Bxg5 5.82/14 1-0

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <Obit><Athamus><Old Wolf> Thanks for the analysis of 36...Rxc7 37. Bxc7 b4! 38. Kf2 bxa3 =. You've convinced me best play is likely a draw. So it would seem Alekhine was correct in suggesting 36....Rxc7 37. Bxc7 b4! as a game-saving resource for Black.
Premium Chessgames Member
  LIFE Master AJ: I recognized this one ... having read about it in a book many years ago.

Once in a while a CG problem is familiar to me. This is just a result of having spent my entire life studying chess!

Sep-28-09  RandomVisitor: After the proposed improvement 14.a4!

1: Efim Bogoljubov - Edward Lasker, New York 1924

click for larger view

Analysis by Rybka 3 : <22-ply>

1. ± (1.07): 14...cxb4 15.Nxd4 0-0 16.Nxb5 Qc5 17.Bxg7 Kxg7 18.Qc1 dxe4 19.Qb2+ Kg8 20.dxe4 Be6

2. ± (1.28): 14...c4 15.dxc4 bxc4 16.Bxd4 Be5 17.Bxe5 Qxe5 18.Ba2 0-0 19.Qd4 Qxe4 20.Qxe4 dxe4 21.Bxc4 Bf5 22.Nd4 Rac8 23.Bb3 Nc6 24.Nxc6 Rxc6 25.b5 Rc3 26.Rad1 Kg7 27.Rd6 Rb8 28.Rfd1

Sep-28-09  MathMage: <OBIT To get started, he'll run his king to the queenside to dispose of Black's a-pawn and b-pawn. Presumably, Black will react by sending his king to the kingside, hoping to trade off White's last two pawns, but White only needs to hang onto one of them to win.>

If Black sends his King to the queenside, can White threaten the a pawn? It doesn't seem like it. Consider: 44. ...Bc6 45. d5 Bxd5 46. exd5 Kxd5 47. Kd3 a4 48. Kc3 Kc5. White could try 45. Kd4, but after ...a4 46. e5 Bb5+ 47. Kc3 Kd5 48. Kb4 Bc6 the position is drawn again.

And if White sends his King to the kingside, the position is lost as his Bishop cannot stand against the King and two pawns.

Premium Chessgames Member
  OBIT: <MathMage>After 44. ...Bc6 45. d5 Bxd5 46. exd5 Kxd5 47. Kd3 a4 48. Kc3 Kc5, White wins with 49. Ba3+, with two main lines:

49...Kb5 50. Kd4 Ka5 51. Kc5 soon wins the a-pawn. Or, if 50...b2 51. Bxb2 and wins - the bishop waits on the long diagonal for the pawn to reach a1, then takes the promoted pawn. Meanwhile, the king heads to the kingside to pick off the remaining Black pawns.

49...Kd5 is better, as it gives Black some cheapo potential: 50. Kb4 Ke4 51. Kxa4 Ke3, and now 52. Kxb3? Kf2 53. g3 Kg2 54. Bd6 Kxh2 escapes with a draw. However, 52. Bc5+! Ke2 53. Kxb3 Kf1 54. g4 Kg2 55. g5 Kxh2 56. Kc4 Kg3 57. Kd5 Kf4 58. Be7 wins.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Old Wolf>
<after ..b4; Kf2 bxa3; Be5+ Kf7; Ke3 Ke6!; Bc3 a2; d4 Kd6.

Now if White ever plays d5 then Black has Kc5, which looks like a draw>

What if White tries to outflank on the kingside via Kf4? For example, 36...Rxc7 37. Bxc7 b4 38. Kf2 bxa3 39. Be5+ Kf7 40. Ke3 Ke6 41. Bc3 a2 42. d4 Kd6 43. d5 Kc5 44. Kf4 Kd6 45. Kg5 looks like a win to me.

Premium Chessgames Member
  OBIT: <beatgiant>This is one of the ideas I considered when I tried (really hard!) to find a win for White. However, it seems Black does not have to be timid about leaving his kingside pawns where they are, since the Black bishop can't leave the long diagonal. After 43. d5 in your line, I'd suggest 43...g5, and if 44. Kf3 both 44...h5 and 44...Bc8 seem fine, keeping the White king out. It doesn't matter that the g-pawn is on the same color as the White bishop so long as this bishop has to watch a1.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <OBIT>
Agreed, even with this idea it may still be drawn, but just not as simply as <Old Wolf> posted.

I have some more lines, including (after 36...Rxc7 37. Bxc7 b4 38. Kf2 bxa3 39. Be5+ Kf7 40. Ke3 Ke6 41. Bc3 a2) <42. Kf4> h6 43. h4 preventing your suggested ...g5 defense, but on further examination I haven't found a win for White in this case either. White can't outflank Black for free here.

Mar-04-19  sonicboom: A man ahead of his time. At the past, we hadn't our super engines to evaluate so deeply chess positions. But A. Alekhine did it without chess engines. Amazing how is so accurate his evaluations
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: 3..Qf6 is a fringe line; all 17 games in the database with 4 Nc3 have been won with White. 5..h6 had been played once before; 5,,Nd4 was new but seems inferior leading to a bad version of Bird's variation (3..Nd4). 22 Qb3?! was inaccurate as after 23..Qd6 24 Rxb5? was not possible due to 24..Bxd5. With 26..Qxf4?! Black won the exchange but not under favorable conditions.
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