18 May 2006

Tartakower - Alekhine, Nottingham 1936

Following up my previous post, Alekhine's annotated brilliancies, I'm going to look at some of the interesting positions from Alekhine's brilliancies. I'll take the last game first because I'm curious to know what a Quality Prize is. The game is from Nottingham 1936, one of the greatest tournaments of all time. Alekhine finished in 6th place (+6-2=6, 9.0/14) behind Botvinnik, Capablanca (both 10.0), Euwe, Fine, and Reshevsky (all 9.5). Alekhine suffered losses to his arch-rival Capablanca and to Reshevsky.

The tournament book, also annotated by Alekhine but with substantially different notes for this game, said that it 'was awarded a special prize for the best game in the 14th round.' The introduction explains that there was a special prize for 'the best game in each round of the last week' (rds. 12-15) .

Now that I know what a Quality Prize is, here is a key position from the game.

Nottingham 1936
Alekhine, Alexander

Tartakower, Savielly
(After 19.Nb1-c3)
[FEN "r4rk1/p3bppp/2p5/8/2P2Bn1/2N2QPq/PP3P2/R2R2K1 b - - 0 19"]

Alekhine wanted to play 19...Bc5, attacking the f-Pawn, but this is easily answered with 20.Ne4, attacking the Bishop and defending the f-Pawn. To stop the Knight move, he played 19...f5!. The game continued 20.Qg2 Qh5 21.Re1 (preparing the next move) 21...Bc5 22.Nd1 g5! 23.Be5 Rad8. Now Black threatened 24...Rxd1, removing a defender of the f-Pawn. White has no defense to this threat.

A few moves later Alekhine played a nice concluding combination, and the game was his. To play through the complete game see...

Savielly Tartakower vs Alexander Alekhine, Nottingham 1936

...on Chessgames.com.

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