A. Alekhine - G. Levenfish, 
St. Petersburg, 1912.









Alexander A. Alekhine (2815) - Gregory Levenfish (2675) 
[A43]
City Championship, St. Petersburg,  
1912 
***

    [A.J. Goldsby I]  


   Chernev writes: 
   " So powerful was the impact of Capablanca's genius and so vibrant 
      was his personality that the chess world paid little attention to anyone 
      else's accomplishments. How were they to know that the gems created 
      by a contemporary of his named Alekhine were not just sporadic 
      inspirations, but part of the greatest collection of chess masterpieces 
      ever to be turned out by any man?" 

 (The great {late} Irving Chernev in his book: 
 "The 1000 Best, Short Games of Chess."
Game # 617, page # 313.) 

***

 For my part, I must say this game is exceedingly and exorbitantly brilliant, and it 
 stands up well to modern theory and computer analysis. A little-known fact is that 
 G. Levenfish
was also one of the strongest players in all of Russia at that time!
 
 This game is truly a treasure and a piece of chess art.
  - LIFE Master A.J. Goldsby I

  1. d4 c5
!?2. d5 Nf63. Nc3 d64. e4 g65. f4,  (Maybe - '!') 
 White goes for the simple ... but effective! ... advance of the Pawn at e4 to e5. 

[Also good for White is: 5. Nf3, but this is nowhere near as strong as 
  Alekhine's move.].

 

5...Nbd76. Nf3 a6!?; 7. e5! dxe58. fxe5 Ng4;  
9. e6!
Nde5; 10. Bf4!, (Maybe - '!!') 10...Nxf3+;  11. gxf3! Nf6; 12. Bc4! fxe6

[ Not 12...b5?!; 13. Nxb5! axb5; 14. Bxb5+, and White is much better. ("+/") ]. 

13. dxe6 Qb6; 
Black plays sharply hitting b2 and e6. 

The line, 13...Qxd1+; ("?!/?")  14. RxQ/d1, results in a very clear 
 advantage for White. ("+/=" or "+/")

 

White now plays one of the most brilliant and startling combinations in all of chess.
(It involves a sacrifice of both Rooks!)

14.Qe2!! Qxb2; 
Black may as well take, there are few viable alternatives to offer now. 
If Black really wishes to improve, he must go back much earlier.

 

White's next move is also a shocker had to be foreseen by White well in advance. 
(If it were to fail, White could be in a very bad way.) 
15. Nb5! Qxa1+16. Kf2 Qxh117. Nc7+ Kd8; 18. Qd2+ Bd7; 
19. exd7!
,   Black Resigns,  1-0. 

 

(Black is helpless against the threat of Ne6#). 
One of the most brilliant miniatures ever played. 
(Also - one of the prettiest darn games of chess you are ever likely to see, period. 
But unfortunately Black's play is less than perfect ... maybe a little too 
greedy. And taking the QNP with your Queen is a classic chess mistake.) 

[Also winning may be 19. NxR/a8!?, ("+/") but Alekhine's move is obviously superior.].

19...b5
; Black's position is hopeless. 

 [ Black can also play the following variations:  
 
Var. # 1.) 19...Nxd7; 20. Be6, "+/-" and its like mate in four.

 Var. # 2.) 19...e5; 20. Ne6+ Ke721. d8Q+ Rxd822. Qxd8+ Kf7; (White's next  
 move is discovered check!) 23. Nxf8+ Kg7; 24. Qe7#
 (This line is also given by Alekhine in his book.); 

 Var. # 3.)  An interesting idea, but one that Chernev does not consider is: 19...Ne4+!?;
  20. fxe4 Qxe421. Nxa8!, The best, although the reason for this move is NOT apparent 
 at the first glance.  (Also winning for White is: 21. Ne6+ Qxe6; 22. Bxe6, "+/-" )  
 21...Qd4+
,  Looks like it kills White's attack. (Hopeless is: 21...Qxf4+; 22. Qxf4, "+/-")
 22. Qxd4 cxd4; 23. Be6, ('!') and Black is strangely helpless to prevent mate on c7. 
 This is an amazing and very pretty variation. And I think I am the first to 
 point this line out!
{A.J.G.} ].

 

  20. Ne6#  

 

   1 - 0


 Page first posted in approximately 2000. Modified:  Saturday, July 13, 2002.  


Copyright A.J. Goldsby I, A.J. Goldsby, 2001.


Bibliography - I used/consulted both Alekhine's book of his best games, 
("My Best Games of Chess," Vol. I) 
and Chernev's book, ("1000 Best Short Games of Chess")
in preparing my annotations to this game. (I have also seen this game dozens 
of times in other books and magazines. Unfortunately the list is far too long, 
and I cannot possibly remember all of the many different places and times I 
have seen this game mentioned.)


This is a  MUCH  shortened version, (both in terms of analysis and the 
amount of verbiage); of the game, than the version of the one-as it exists in my database on my computer.
***
(I had to do this in order to be able to get a presentable web page. It is 
my goal to annotate close to {or over} 200 games in my search for the List, 
"The Ten Prettiest (& best) Short Games (miniatures) 
of Chess Ever Played."
In order to do this, I have had to get a system to be able to present games that are very attractive, pretty, make their point quickly and well, and are relatively easy to produce.) 
***
You should also understand I have seen these games many times. I played over many of the games in this collection more than 20-30 years ago. Some I have annotated multiple times. (I used to have a set of notebooks where I had annotated several hundred games of chess, many of these games are considered to be the classics of chess literature. Unfortunately, I no longer have this collection, but I can often remember many of the comments - and even some of the lines - that I wrote when I first attempted to annotate these wonderful games.)  A few of these games were already annotated by me on my computer, but I went back and took a second look at all of them before attempting to publish any of them in HTML form. 
***
 This game is annotated to a great depth, maybe in much greater depth and more thoroughly than anyone has attempted to do so before. If you would like a copy of this game in its original format, (the way it exists on my computer, before it was shortened), please contact me.


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  Copyright A.J. Goldsby I,  
   Copyright A.J. Goldsby 1991-2006,  
 Copyright A.J. Goldsby, 2007. All rights reserved.  


I have received several (favorable) comments, especially from lady players,
about the color combinations of this page.

As much as I would like to take credit for this - I cannot. The simple truth is that my four-year-old daughter, 
(She was barely four when we did this together!); 
Ailene
chose the colors for this page.  So this is her web page.

  This is here because Ailene's favorite new animal is FROGS!  (Sat. July 13, 2002.)
Ailene's new favorite animal! (Frogs!)

***

  (Page last edited or updated:  Sunday, March 04, 2007 10:12 PM .)