Saturday, June 23, 2018

Richard Reti X Alexander Alekhine - Baden-Baden 1925

[Event "Baden-Baden"] [Site "Baden-Baden"] [Date "1925.04.25"] [Round "1"] [White "Reti, Richard"] [Black "Alekhine, Alexander"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A00"] [WhiteElo "2563"] [BlackElo "2649"] [Annotator ""] [PlyCount "84"] [EventDate "1925.04.16"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "20"] [EventCountry "GER"] [EventCategory "11"] {The Players Richard Réti (1889-1929) was born in what was then Hungary but he later adopted Czechoslovakian nationality. Réti was one of the leading figures in the “Hypermodern” school of chess, which revolutionized chess thinking in the period after the First World War. The new ideas introduced by the Hypermoderns had a particular impact on opening play. It had always been accepted that opening play had three main objectives: to develop the pieces, bring the king into safety and control the centre. This last had been taken to mean occupying the centre with pawns, and the ideal central formation was thought to be pawns on d4 and e4 with White, or d5 and e5 with Black. The Hypermodern school held that central control was possible without the physical occupation of the centre by pawns; instead, the pieces would exert control from a distance. In keeping with this theory, Réti favoured openings involving the fianchetto of the bishops (i.e. b3 + Bb2 and g3 + Bg2 with White, and the analogous development with Black). From b2 and g2 the bishops would exert an influence on all four central squares (d4, e4, d5 and e5). If Black tried to occupy the centre with his own pawns, the idea was that the persistent pressure exerted by the bishops would cause the enemy centre to collapse, opening the way for White’s own pawns to advance in the centre without resistance. These new theories proved controversial, and would never have gained any credence had they not been backed up by practical successes. Although Réti was one of the world’s leading players in the early 1920s, he was never in a position to challenge for the world championship and his early death deprived the chess world of one of its most profound thinkers. He left behind two classics of chess literature (Modern Ideas in Chess and the unfinished Masters of the Chess Board) and a collection of games bearing the hallmarks of a great chess artist. The ideas of the Hypermoderns were gradually assimilated into chess thinking; one of their theories which has gained universal acceptance is that a pawn-centre which is insufficiently supported by pieces is not strong, but weak. Many opening systems have been developed with the specific purpose of luring the opponent into a premature central advance; this over-extension is then punished by a vicious counterattack. Alexander Alekhine (1892-1946) was one of the greatest players of all time and held the World Championship from 1927 to 1935 and from 1937 until his death in 1946. Born into the Russian aristocracy, he was taught chess by his mother and soon displayed a remarkable talent for the game. After some successes in relatively minor tournaments, he was invited to play in the famous 1914 St Petersburg tournament, which included all the world’s leading players. Alekhine’s third place indicated that he had arrived among the chess elite. The First World War and the Revolution interrupted Alekhine’s career, but after he left Russia in 1920 he started a run of impressive tournament successes, which led to a challenge for the World Championship in 1927. Few expected the almost unbeatable Capablanca to lose, but Alekhine’s preparation was better and, aided by his ferocious will-power, Alekhine gained the title after a marathon battle of 34 games. Unlike many world champions, actually gaining the title did not undermine his determination and over the next few years Alekhine dominated the chess world. He successfully defended his title twice against Bogoljubow, but Alekhine seemed reluctant to face his most dangerous challengers and never allowed Capablanca a return match. A fondness for alcohol cost Alekhine the title in 1935 when he faced the Dutchman Euwe. The gentlemanly Euwe offered Alekhine a return match and, after giving up the bottle, Alekhine regained his title in 1937. Alekhine’s results just before the Second World War were definitely less impressive than formerly, and had a projected match with Botvinnik taken place he might well have lost the title. The war intervened, and during the war years Alekhine played in a number of (not very strong) tournaments in German-occupied territory. After the war, negotiations for a match with Botvinnik resumed and terms were agreed, but Alekhine died of a heart attack before the match could take place. Alekhine had a preference for attacking play and tactics, but he could handle all types of position well. The games produced while he was at his peak are models of attacking play; he had the rare ability to confront his opponents with all sorts of problems without risking his own position. The Game Alekhine was famed for his attacking powers and they are never more evident than in this game. A slightly lax opening by Black allows White some positional pressure. Rather than defend passively, Alekhine, typically, chooses to counterattack. At the critical moment he hurls a rook into White’s position. Faced with a thicket of enormously complex variations, Réti chooses the wrong move and falls victim to a tactical storm which continues right into the endgame. The fact that the new annotations below tell a different story to the generally accepted version in no way detracts from Alekhine’s genius.} 1. g3 e5 2. Nf3 e4 3. Nd4 d5 4. d3 exd3 5. Qxd3 (5. cxd3 {and the P-position would be more compact. But Reti plays for development which is furthered by getting the Q out of the way of his R's. (L)}) 5... Nf6 6. Bg2 Bb4+ {The idea is to block the point c3.} 7. Bd2 (7. c3 Be7) (7. Nd2 $142 {was probably better. The Black Bb4 is already in some little danger and White is not well advised to exchange his fine Bc1 for it. (L)}) 7... Bxd2+ 8. Nxd2 O-O 9. c4 $1 Na6 (9... c5 10. N4b3 $1 {(Kotov)}) 10. cxd5 Nb4 11. Qc4 Nbxd5 {The development is accomplished. White has somewhat the better of it in the centre, but Black has brought his pieces more rapidly to the scene of action. (L)} 12. N2b3 {White espies a weakness of Black's on c5, accentuated by the Bg2 which retards -b6. (L)} c6 {Black with this move admits the weakness of his c5. (L)} 13. O-O Re8 14. Rfd1 Bg4 15. Rd2 (15. h3 $6 Bh5 { /\ Bg6-e4}) 15... Qc8 {Black seeks compensations by exerting pressure on the K side. (L)} 16. Nc5 {/\ b4-b5} Bh3 $1 17. Bf3 (17. Bxh3 $2 Qxh3 18. Nxb7 $2 Ng4 19. Nf3 Nde3 $1 20. fxe3 Nxe3 21. Qxf7+ Kh8 22. Nh4 Rf8 $19 23. Nd8 $8 Rxf7 24. Nxf7+ Kg8 25. Ng5 Qg4 26. Ngf3 Rf8 $15) 17... Bg4 $1 {Black is ready to cosent to a draw. (L)} 18. Bg2 Bh3 $1 19. Bf3 Bg4 $1 20. Bh1 {In relying upon the strength of his advance post on c5, White refuses a draw. (L)} h5 $1 (20... a5 {Here Black could have prevented the attack by White's Q side pawns, which, of course, he saw coming. He re solves, however, to allow the storm to break because he senses as it were, a profound combination, directed against the White K. (L)}) 21. b4 a6 22. Rc1 h4 23. a4 hxg3 24. hxg3 Qc7 {Kasparov: 'Forced to fight against Reti's special weapon Alekhine has almost equalized, but his opponent, playing with ongoing inventiveness, has managed to retain the initiative. He has a positional edge because of his superiority in the centre and on the queenside, with Alekhine obviously looking for counterchances on the kingside.} 25. b5 $2 {White here is too impetuous. On the one hand, he should not have aided the development of Black's Ra8; on the other hand, he had to drive the Black Nd5 from its strong post sooner or later, and the right moment had now arrived. There was no cause for holding Pe2 back, it should now have its say. (L)} ({Kasparov: Eine solide positionelle Alternative war} 25. e4 $1 Nb6 (25... Ne7 {where the N has a better post than on b6, White had time for} 26. f3 {upon which} (26. a5 {strengthening the knight on c5 was a solid positional alternative, but Reti wanted to create weaknesses on c6.}) 26... Qxg3+ {, of course, would not be playable, and the Black B would become embarrassed. All in all, with 27.e4 White had slightly the better of it and kept the initiative. But from the moment that White omitted that move Black took the initiative out of White's hands. (L)}) 26. Qb3 (26. Qc3 Rad8 27. Ndb3 $16 {White had a favourable position, for instance} Rxd2 28. Qxd2 Rd8 29. Qf4 Qc8 30. a5 $16 {(L)}) 26... Nbd7 $1 $13) 25... axb5 26. axb5 {Kasparov: 'White's strategy seems to be working very nicely. The isolated black pawn is doomed to fall within a few moves. But Alekhine wasn't going to passively wait for destruction. He finds a way to completely change the unwanted course of the game. '} Re3 $3 {Kasparov: 'All of a sudden the white king feels insecure. The audacious rook cannot be taken:} 27. Nf3 $2 $19 {Still White is unwilling to simplify. 29.Bf3 was bitterly needed. Now the N is missing on the Q's side. (L) Kasparov: 'From now on Alekhine makes a series of moves that sweep White off the board.} (27. Kh2 $2 {Kasparov: 'Black will continue to apply pressure on g3: '} Raa3 $1 {Kasparov: 'and the rook still cannot be touched' Kasparov: 'der Turm ist immer noch tabu'} 28. Ncb3 $1 (28. fxe3 $2 Nxe3 {/\ -Nf1+ -+} 29. Qb4 Nf1+ $1 30. Kg1 Qxg3+ 31. Bg2 (31. Kxf1 Bh3+) 31... Ne3 {and mate. But the quiet 28.Ncb3 would have given White the upper hand. However, confronted with Alekhine's dramatic assault Reti panicked - unfortunate for him, lucky for the world of chess! !}) 28... Qe5 $1 29. bxc6 bxc6 $19 30. fxe3 $2 Qh5+ 31. Kg1 Qh3 $1 32. Bxd5 Nxd5 (32... Qxg3+ $4 33. Bg2 $18) 33. Nf3 Qxg3+ 34. Kh1 Bxf3+ 35. exf3 Qxf3+ 36. Kh2 Qxe3 37. Qg4 (37. Qxc6 Qf4+ 38. Kg1 Rxb3 39. Qc8+ Kh7 40. Rh2+ Kg6 41. Rc6+ Kg5 42. Qd8+ Nf6 43. Rg2+ Rg3 44. Rcc2 $11) 37... Qxb3 38. Qc8+ Kh7 39. Qf5+ Kh6 40. Rg2 g6 41. Qxf7 Qh3+ 42. Kg1 Qe3+ 43. Kh2 $11) (27. Bf3 $1 Bxf3 28. exf3 {Kasparov: 'ending Black's activity; or even by the cold-blooded} cxb5 29. Nxb5 Qa5 $1 $17 30. Rxd5 $2 {an } Re1+ 31. Rxe1 Qxe1+ 32. Kg2 Ra1 (32... Nxd5 $8 33. Qxd5 Ra1 34. Qd8+ { with an immediate draw, which seems to be the correct result of the whole combination (Nunn).}) 33. Rd8+ Kh7 (33... Ne8 34. Kh3) 34. Qh4+ Kg6 35. f4 $18 {Nunn}) (27. fxe3 $4 Qxg3+ {'with mate; and even after '} 28. Bg2 (28. Kf1 Nxe3#) 28... Nxe3 $19) ({und auch nach} 27. Bg2 Rxg3 $1 28. fxg3 $2 ({Hier ist } 28. e3 $1 {is much stronger, but Black still has sufficient compensation for the sacrificed material:} Nxe3 29. fxe3 Nd5) 28... Ne3 29. Qd3 Qxg3 {wins. In the last variation 28.e3! was much stronger... (see above). Alas Alekhine's original attempt to complicate the position could have been met by simply}) 27... cxb5 $1 {The introduction to one of the most charming combinations known to chess.} 28. Qxb5 (28. Qd4 Ra4 $1) 28... Nc3 $3 {'Now the black pieces are swarming'} 29. Qxb7 {There is nothing else. (L)} (29. Qc4 $6 {'doesn't help:'} b5 $1 $19) 29... Qxb7 (29... Nxe2+ $2 30. Rxe2 Qxb7 31. Rxe3 $1 {with a possible draw. (L)}) 30. Nxb7 Nxe2+ 31. Kh2 (31. Rxe2 $2 Rxe2 $19) (31. Kf1 { Kasparov: 'is hopeless too:' Kasparov: 'ist ebenfalls hoffnungslos:'} Nxg3+ 32. fxg3 Bxf3 33. Bxf3 Rxf3+ 34. Kg2 Raa3 {Kasparov: 'etc. White's position has lost its attraction, but how can Black make something serious out of that? Both 31...Nxc1... (see below) '} 35. Rd8+ Kh7 36. Rh1+ Kg6 37. Rh3 Rfb3 $1 $19) 31... Ne4 $3 {To have captured Rc1 would have profited nothing, but if now fe: Nd2: and wins the exchange or a piece. (L) Kasparov: 'What a move! This new member of the cavalery regiment will turn White's defence lines into dust. Now White's best chance was 32.Rd8... (see below)} ({Sowohl} 31... Nxc1 {and}) ({ wie auch} 31... Rxf3 32. Rxe2 Rf5 33. Rb2 {lead to an obvious draw.}) 32. Rc4 $8 {White is equal to the task; play and counter-play are on the same high level. (L) Kasparov: 'Reti, using nice tactical tries, desperately hopes he will be able to exchange the terrifying black pieces. 32...Bxf3... (see below)} (32. fxe3 $2 Nxd2 {Kasparov: 'loses right away.' Kasparov: 'verliert sofort'} 33. Nxd2 Nxc1 $19) (32. Rd8+ Rxd8 33. fxe3 {although after obwohl nach} Rd5 $1 {Black wins the pawn while his pieces still dominate the board.}) 32... Nxf2 $1 {Now the K becomes the target. (L) Kasparov: 'The simple refutation - Black takes the key pawn on f2 and keeps all threats alive.} (32... Nxd2 $2 { Kasparov: 'also doesn't work'} 33. Nxd2 $1 {(Alekhine)} Rd3 34. Nc5 {(L) '!' Kasparov.}) (32... Rxf3 $2 33. Rxe2 {(Kotov)} Rxf2+ 34. Rxf2 Nxf2 $17 {(Fritz 3)}) ({Kasparov: Nach} 32... Bxf3 $2 {Kasparov: 'is met by'} 33. Rxe4 $1 { '!!' Kasparov.} Bxe4 34. fxe3 Bxh1 35. Kxh1 Nxg3+ 36. Kg2 Ne4 37. Rd8+ Rxd8 38. Nxd8 {with good drawing chances. mit guten Remischancen.}) 33. Bg2 {This B is too valuable for defence to allow its exchange. (L) Kasparov: 'Black is clearly winning, but Alekhine's final combination makes this game a true masterpiece.'} Be6 $1 34. Rcc2 $8 {-Ng4+ Kh1 Ra1 -+} Ng4+ 35. Kh3 Ne5+ 36. Kh2 Rxf3 $1 37. Rxe2 Ng4+ 38. Kh3 {Kasparov: 'Neither now nor before could the white king move to the first rank because of the deadly check on a1'} Ne3+ 39. Kh2 Nxc2 40. Bxf3 Nd4 $1 {I consider that this and my game against Bogoljubow at Hastings 1922 are the most brilliant tournament games of my chess career. And by a peculiar coincidence they both remained undistinguished as there were no brilliancy prices awarded in either of these contests. (Alekhine) White resigned. The play in this combination was rich in invention and variety by both winner and loser. (L)} 41. Rf2 Nxf3+ 42. Rxf3 Bd5 $1 {Kasparov: 'and the abandoned knight on b7 is lost. The endgame with a piece less is hopeless, so Reti resigned. I think there is reason to nominate this game the most beautiful ever played in the history of chess. Lessons from this game: 1) A fianchettoed bishop combined with a pawn advance on the opposite wing is a standard technique for exerting strategic pressure. 2) Active counterplay is better than passive defence. 3) In order to play a game such as this it helps if you can calculate at least ten moves ahead!} 0-1

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Richard Reti X Efim Bogoljubow - New York 1924

[Event "New York"] [Site "New York"] [Date "1924.04.02"] [Round "12"] [White "Reti, Richard"] [Black "Bogoljubow, Efim"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E01"] [WhiteElo "2555"] [BlackElo "2590"] [Annotator ""] [PlyCount "49"] [EventDate "1924.03.16"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "20"] [EventCountry "USA"] [EventCategory "14"] {The Players Richard Réti (1889–1929) was born in what was then Hungary but he later adopted Czechoslovakian nationality. Réti was one of the leading figures in the “Hypermodern” school of chess, which revolutionized chess thinking in the period after the First World War. The new ideas introduced by the Hypermoderns had a particular impact on opening play. It had always been accepted that opening play had three main objectives: to develop the pieces, bring the king into safety and control the centre. This last had been taken to mean occupying the centre with pawns, and the ideal central formation was thought to be pawns on d4 and e4 with White, or d5 and e5 with Black. The Hypermodern school held that central control was possible without the physical occupation of the centre by pawns; instead, the pieces would exert control from a distance. In keeping with this theory, Réti favoured openings involving the fianchetto of the bishops (i.e. b3 + Bb2 and g3 + Bg2 with White, and the analogous development with Black). From b2 and g2 the bishops would exert an influence on all four central squares (d4, e4, d5 and e5). If Black tried to occupy the centre with his own pawns, the idea was that the persistent pressure exerted by the bishops would cause the enemy centre to collapse, opening the way for White’s own pawns to advance in the centre without resistance. These new theories proved controversial, and would never have gained any credence had they not been backed up by practical successes. Although Réti was one of the world’s leading players in the early 1920s, he was never in a position to challenge for the world championship and his early death deprived the chess world of one of its most profound thinkers. He left behind two classics of chess literature (Modern Ideas in Chess and the unfinished Masters of the Chess Board) and a collection of games bearing the hallmarks of a great chess artist. The ideas of the Hypermoderns were gradually assimilated into chess thinking; one of their theories which has gained universal acceptance is that a pawn-centre which is insufficiently supported by pieces is not strong, but weak. Many opening systems have been developed with the specific purpose of luring the opponent into a premature central advance; this over-extension is then punished by a vicious counterattack. Efim Bogoljubow (1889–1952) was born the same year as Réti, in Ukraine, but became a German citizen in 1927. Although his career was far longer than Réti’s, his greatest achievements were also in the 1920s. His best result was victory in the Moscow 1925 tournament, where he took first prize by a massive 1½ point margin over a field that included all the leading players of the time with the exception of Alekhine. This and other successes led him to challenge Alekhine for the world championship in 1929, but he lost decisively (+5 =9 –11). A second world-title match against Alekhine in 1934 again ended in defeat (+3 =15 –8). Although Bogoljubow continued to compete with some success during the late 1930s, his results gradually declined, although he won the German Championship as late as 1949. The Game The current game, which won the first brilliancy prize at the extremely strong New York 1924 tournament, is one of the most elegant examples of Hypermodern opening play. White’s opening appears modest, but its latent power is revealed when Réti opens the position up and his bishops suddenly develop tremendous power. Bogoljubow tries to free himself tactically, but is demolished by a refined combination.} 1. Nf3 d5 2. c4 e6 3. g3 Nf6 4. Bg2 Bd6 5. O-O O-O 6. b3 Re8 7. Bb2 Nbd7 8. d4 $1 {Auf diese Weise bekommt der Nachziehende Schwierigkeiten mit der Entwicklung seines Damenläufers.} c6 9. Nbd2 Ne4 {Der von Bogoljubow gewählte Zug führt zum Abtausch des Springers, aber das bedeutet nicht, dass sich seine Lage verbessern wird.} (9... Bb8 10. Qc2 a5 11. a3 b5 12. c5 e5 13. dxe5 Nxe5 14. Nd4 Bd7 15. e4 a4 16. b4 dxe4 17. Nxe4 Nc4 18. Nxc6 $1 $18 { 1-0 Winants,L-Cosma,E/Cappelle 1993/TD (22)}) ({Ein Versuch des Nachziehenden seinen schwachen Läufer c8 zu befreien wäre:} 9... e5 {aber danach folgt:} 10. cxd5 cxd5 11. dxe5 Nxe5 12. Nxe5 Bxe5 13. Bxe5 Rxe5 14. Nc4 Re8 15. Ne3 { [%cal Yg2d5,Ye3d5]} Be6 16. Qd4 $1 $14 {[%cal Yf1d1,Ya1c1] Und Weiß bekommt einen kleinen aber dauerhaften Vorteil.}) 10. Nxe4 dxe4 11. Ne5 f5 12. f3 $1 { Richtiger strategischer Zug. Wenn Schwarz schon seine Stellung im Zentrum schwächt, muss man dringend das Spiel öffnen um den weissen Entwicklungvorsprung auszunützen.} exf3 13. Bxf3 $1 Qc7 (13... Nxe5 14. dxe5 Bc5+ 15. Kg2 Bd7 (15... Qxd1 16. Raxd1 $16 {Nach dem Damenabtausch kommt der Läufer c8 überhaupt nicht mehr ins Spiel.}) 16. e4 $1 $16 {Weiß hat grossen oositionellne Vorteil.}) 14. Nxd7 Bxd7 15. e4 e5 {Sonst folgt 16.e5 nebst weiterem Durchbruch d4-d5 oder g3-g4. Nach dem Zug in der Partie scheint es als ob der Nachziehende seine Probleme gelöst hätte. Aber Reti spielt eine Reihe ganz feiner Züge, um die versteckten Möglichkeiten seiner Stellung auszunützen.} 16. c5 $1 Bf8 17. Qc2 $1 {Weiß greift die schwarzen Zentralbauern an.} exd4 ({Schwarz ist in seinen Möglichkeiten gehemmt. Zum Beispiel:} 17... fxe4 18. Bxe4 $18 {[%cal Yd4e5,Ye4h7] Und Schwarz verliert einen Bauern.}) 18. exf5 Rad8 (18... Re5 19. Qc4+ Kh8 20. f6 $1) 19. Bh5 $1 { Anfang eines genau berechneten entscheidenden Manövers, das schließlich zu einem sehr schönen Schlag führt.} Re5 20. Bxd4 Rxf5 (20... Rd5 21. Qc4 Kh8 22. Bg4 {Und Weiß verbleibt mit Mehrbauer und besserer Stellung.}) 21. Rxf5 Bxf5 22. Qxf5 Rxd4 23. Rf1 $1 Rd8 (23... Qe7 24. Bf7+ Kh8 25. Bd5 $3 {[%cal Yf5f8]} Qf6 26. Qc8 $18) 24. Bf7+ Kh8 25. Be8 $3 {Schönheitspreis des Tuniers. Lessons from this game: 1) Central control is an important objective of opening play, but this does not necessarily mean the occupation of the centre by pawns; control can be exerted by pieces from a distance. 2) A single badly-placed piece can poison one’s entire position. In this game Black never really recovered from his handicap of an inactive light-squared bishop. 3) Stay flexible. Be ready to transform advantages from one type to another, or to switch from positional play to attack.} 1-0