03 July 2006

Alekhine - Wolf, Pistyan 1922

Continuing with Alekhine's annotated brilliancies, I looked at the opening of this game in A lesson in chess logic. After the 11th move, Black's King was caught in the center.

Black then struggled to develop his Queenside, while White occupied the center. In the following position, note that the b-Pawn attacking the Knight on c5 is pinned by the Rook on a4.

Pistyan 1922
Wolf, Heinrich

Alekhine, Alexander
(After 19...Nb8-d7)
[FEN "3qk1r1/3npp1p/1p4p1/1pnP4/rP1Q4/P4N2/3N1PPP/R4RK1 w - - 0 20"]

Alekhine continued 20.Rfe1 Kf8 21.d6! and commented, 'A preparation for the following sacrifice.' Black was forced to play 21...Ne6. If 21...exd6?, the Knight is lost after 22.Qxd6+ Kg7 23.bxc5. Alekhine also noted, 'If Black replies with 21...e6 the continuation would be 22.Qe3 Nb7 23.Qd3 Ra8 24.Ne4'. In this last line if 23...Nf6, then 24.Qxb5 Ra8 25.d7.

Now Alekhine played the sequence for which he probably earned the brilliancy prize: 22.Rxe6! fxe6 23.Ng5 Qb8 Alekhine: 23...e5 24.Qd5 Qe8 25.Ne6+ Kf7 26.Nc7+ e6 27.Qf3+. 24.Nxe6+ Kf7. Alekhine: 24...Ke8 25.Ne4. Now after 25.Ng5+ Kf8 26.Qd5! Rg7 27.Ne6+ Kg8 28.Nxg7+ Kxg7 29.dxe7, White regained the exchange and the 2-3 extra Pawns guaranteed the win. A few moves later there was a cute tactic in 32.e8=N+, underpromoting to a Knight which forked King, Queen, and Knight!

To play through the complete game see...

Alexander Alekhine vs Heinrich Wolf, Bad Pistyan 1922

...on Chessgames.com.

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