01 July 2015

Solve This

As I am working through Anderssen -- Paulsen, Vienna 1873, which is in GM-RAM: Essential Grandmaster Knowledge, I came across a reference game from a simul conducted by Alexander Alekhine in 1933.

White to move

Alekhine found the winning tactical shot here.


  1. Not easy to find for a simul, but after having looked at different possible shots, best seems 1.g6 Qxg6, 2.Qc4+ d5, 3.Rh8+ Kf7, 4.Ne5+ Ke8 (else 6.NxQg6+) but then 5.RxRf8 KxR, 6.NxQg6+ Kf7, 7.Ne5+ followed by 8.Qc3 and White has won the queen for a pawn!

  2. 1.Qc4.
    if 1...Qxc4, then 2.g4 and 3. Rg8++
    if 1...d5, then 2.Nf3, forcing 2....Qxf3 3.g4 and 4.Rg8++
    if 1...Bd5, then 2.Qxd5 Qxd5 3. g4 followed with 4.Rg8++
    the point is to lure out the only defender of g6 square (black's queen, and possibly rook on a8 if black play 1...Rae8) using queen or/and knight sacrifice, and strike with g4 followed with Rg8++

  3. 1.Qc4?? doesn't work. 1...QxQ, 2.g6 Qc1+! 3.RxQ (forced) Nf6, 4.Rh3 BxNf3, 5.Rf1-h1 Bh5 with Bxg6 coming is easily winning for Black, else Black started off this series up a piece as well (recapturing the bishop on f3 is fine for Black who is a solid piece up and White is down that piece when it comes to finding tricks).