An Alekhine Defense Game With A Striking Finish!

Post date: Aug 08, 2010 2:56:23 PM


I have been in a chess slump during the last couple weeks. I have lost most of my recent games with Ken Henkelman. Most of these losses involve Ken defeating me in the endgame, bolstered by an advantage of one or two pawns. Sometimes, I lost the game because of one "spectacular mistake" move. It seems like the wind is not blowing right for me at the chessboard, although Ken's superior talent is the primary reason.

Last night brought more frustration . I played a memorable Alekhine Defense game with Paul Hagelstein, who is "in training" for an upcoming simul chess game with Chess World Champion Anand in India later this month. Paul teaches Mathematics at Baylor, and has been a wonderful addition to our chess club in recent weeks. Paul played Alekhine Defense (-1- e4 Nf6) with Black. The game features two spectacular goofs by me - the last howler move cost me a sure victory. Our game ended in a draw. Still, the game is worthy of close review and inclusion in the "Waco Chess Club Archives". It was very interesting, because my other chess opponents never play Alekhine Defense when I open with e4. I present this game for your consideration.


Casual Chess Game - August 7, 2010

Waco, Texas - Barnes & Noble

Alekhine Defense

WHITE (DeVries) BLACK (Hagelstein)

-1- e4 Nf6

-2- e5 Nd5

-3- c4 Nb6

-4- c5 Nd5

I chase Paul's Knight all around the chessboard.

-5- Bc4 e6

-6- d4 b6

-7- B x N P x B

I have a strong central pawn presence, but it can be challenged.

-8- b4 Be7

-9- Nf3 Ba6

Black's 9th move causes problems for me for the next ten moves.

It keeps me from castling (at least temporarily).

-10- Nc3 c6

-11- Be3 h6

-12- a4 P x P b6 x c5

-13- P x P b4 x c5 Bc4

-14- Qc2 a5

-15- Nd2 Ba6

-16- Rb1 0 - 0

-17- Rb6 Bg5

I'm not sure White 17th move is that good - it later turns into

disaster because of a spectacular oversight by White.

-18- Nd1 Re8

-19- Nb3 Bc4

-20- Qc3 B x N

-21- Q x B B x B

-22- N x B g6

The exchange of Black's light squared Bishop is very good for White.

White can castle. Black's 22nd move keeps White Knight off f5 and d6.

-23- 0 -0 Qc7

-24- Ng4 Kg7

-25- Rb7 Qc8

-26- f4 Na6

-27- Nf6 Rd8

-28- f5 Nb4

At this point, I go blind - all I need to do is -29- Rb6 to save the rook.

Instead, I make a ???! move.

-29- P x P ???! Q x R

To my credit, I do not give up. I keep putting pressure on Paul's Kingside.

-30- P x P K x P?

I think Black's 30th move was a mistake. It allows a discovered check.

Black had two rooks on the eighth rank - enough to stop the queening of the

White pawn. I don't think that Black should have captured the White pawn

on f7 with his King (move 30).

-31- N x P check Kg7

-32- Qg3 check Kh8

-33- Rf6 d6

Move 33 is a really nice move by White that threatens mate in 1 and

forces Black to trade Queen for Rook, thus destroying Black's

material advantage that was gained by the tremendous error by

White on Move 29.

-34- R x P on h6 check Qh7

-35- R x Q check K x Q

-36- Nf6 check Kh6

At this point, White has Queen & Knight + 6 pawns, while Black

has two Rooks, Knight and three pawns. White has 18-16

material advantage, but it is White's extra pawns that should

win for White, and Black has not yet moved his Queen Rook.

-37- P x P e5 x d6 Nd5

-38- h4 N x N

White's 38th move was artistic. I think it marginally increased

my chances of victory.

-39- Qg5 check Kh7

-40- Q x N R g8

-41- Qe7 check Rg7

-42- Qe4 check Kh8

-43- Q x P at c6 R on a8 to g8

-44- d7 Rd8

-45- Qh6 check Kg8

-46- c6 Rh7

-47- Qe6 check Kf8

-48- Qf6 check Rf7

-49- Q x R at d8 check Kg7

-50- Qg5 check Kh7

My well deserved victory, even with the unnecessary loss of my

rook on Move 29, is very close. I am cruising. I am asleep.

-51- d8 Queen ?? Rf1 check !!!

White's 51st move looks perfectly reasonable - who can argue

with getting another Queen? However, it was the completely wrong move.

(-51- Kh2 would have been totally decisive for White)

I did not carefully examine the board - I thought that Paul

was "giving up". The possibility of stalemate did not cross

my mind. So......I confidently played -52- K x R and.....

-52- K x R ?????