29 July 2006

Alekhine - Asztalos, Kecskemet 1927

Continuing with Alekhine's annotated brilliancies, the present game is one of the most interesting yet. Alekhine achieved a small edge in the opening, which he used to keep Black's Queenside bottled up. His opponent managed to free his pieces through a few clever moves, but Alekhine built on his advantage to improve his position each time.

In the diagram Black has the Bishop pair, but the Be8 is out of play. White dominates the center.

Kecskemet 1927
Asztalos, Lajos

Alekhine, Alexander
(After 36...Rab8)
[FEN "1r1rb1k1/2q2pb1/2p1p1p1/2P1N3/p1BP1Q1P/P7/5P2/3RR1K1 w - - 0 37"]

Alekhine played 37.h5!, sacrificing a Pawn to open the g-file. The White King will take shelter on the h-file. Other than the notational '!', Alekhine made no comment on this move. The game continued 37...gxh5 38.Kh1 Rb7 39.Rg1 Qe7 40.Rxg7+!. Here Alekhine commented,

Black hoped that he had defended himself against this possibility by his last move. Yet the combination still works because of the unexpected point at the 42nd move.

40...Kxg7 41.Rg1+ Kh7 42.Nxf7!! Alekhine:

Only so! If now 42...Qxf7 43.Bd3+ Qg6 44.Bxg6+ Bxg6 45.Rxg6 Kxg6 46.Qe4+ Kg7 47.Qe5+ and Black, after a few further checks, would inevitably lose one of his Rooks.

Black resigned. In fact, Black can keep both Rooks by playing 47...Kg6 48.Qxe6+ Kg7, but after 49.f4 (49.Qxc6 Rb1+ 50.Kg2 Rxd4) 49...Rbd7 50.Qe5+, the game is still lost. The game featured very impressive play by the great master of attack.

To play through the complete game see...

Alexander Alekhine vs Lajos Asztalos, pre-A 1927

...on Chessgames.com.

No comments: