21 July 2006

Alekhine - Marshall, New York 1927

After a few posts looking at other topics, I'm returning to Alekhine's annotated brilliancies. This game is from the great New York 1927 tournament, won by Capablanca. Each of the six participants played four games against the others. Alekhine beat Marshall twice with the White pieces and drew twice with the Black pieces.

The first moves were 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Ne4. On Black's third move, Alekhine commented,

This unnatural and time-wasting move can be succesfully answered in different ways. One of the simplest is 4.Qc2.

He played instead 4.Nfd2. The players eventually reached the following position, where White's advantage in development is obvious. Watch how Alekhine converts this to an irresistible Kingside attack.

New York 1927
Marshall, Frank

Alekhine, Alexander
(After 16...e6-e5)
[FEN "r1bq2k1/pp1n2pp/2p5/3pp3/2PPP3/P1N5/1PQ1B1PP/5RK1 w - - 0 17"]

Here Alekhine played 17.Qd2! (the '!'s are all from Alekhine's notes), and wrote, 'The initial move of the decisive maneuver'. After 17...c5, he commented, 'Trying to increase the tension at any cost, as the Pawn exchanges would have proved rapidly disastrous.' 18.dxe5!. Alekhine: 'Erroneous would have been instead 18.Nxd5 cxd4 19.Qb4 because of 19...Nf6.' 18...d4 19.Qf4!. Alekhine:

This sacrifice in connection with the "quiet" 21st move is doubtless the safest and quickest method to force a victory. Not 19.Nd5 because of 19...Nxe5 followed by 20....Qd6. 19...dxc3 20.Qf7+ Kh8.

21.bxc3! Alekhine:

This alone proves the correctness of the sacrifice. Tempting, but premature, would have been instead 21.e6 because of 21...Nf6 22.e7 Qg8 23.Rxf6 Bg4! 24.Qxg8+ Kxg8 25.Rd6 Re8, etc., with advantage to Black.

After 21...Qg8 22.Qe7 h6 23.Bh5! a5 (23...Qxc4 24.Bf7) 24.e6 g6 25.exd7 Bxd7 26.Rf7, Black resigned. To play through the complete game see...

Alexander Alekhine vs Frank James Marshall, New York 1927

...on Chessgames.com.

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