Alexander Alekhine - Alexander the Great
The fourth World Champion, Alexander Alekhine is widely regarded, together with Mikhail Tal and Garry Kasparov, as the World Champion with the most combative, tactical and attacking style.
Although he was a sort of late bloomer, after his surprising victory over Jose Raul Capablanca, he dominated world chess for decades, won a number of tournaments and left a very rich chess heritage.
His games are full of rich tactical ideas, beautiful combinations and flights of imaginations. But his combinations didn't arise from the thin air; his strategical understanding and his endgame skills were also superior then those of his contemporaries.
However, he is rightly famous for his cominative vision and his fighting chess over the board. With this choice of ten games, I have tried depicting it to an extent. And even though the policy of this blog is not to focus on the maisntream games, some of Alekhine's gems very much deserve recognition.
1. Bogoljubow - Alekhine, Hastings, 1922
One of those grandiose Alekhine canvases that granted him permanent immortality.
2. Alekhine - NN, Moscow, 1915
Another flight of fantasy; a famous five queen game. It is debatable whether this game was actually played, or merely invented by Alekhine, but to tell you the truth, I don't really care.
3. Alekhine - Flohr, Bled, 1931
A game from the "Golden Era". The best example of Alekhine's strategical mastery. A beautiful positional win against Salo Flohr, who was a great positional master himself.
4. Alekhine - Yates, London, 1922
Game I first picked up from Irving Chernev's The Most Instructive Games of Chess Ever Played (see this post for more details). Perhaps not the most spectacular game, but highly instructive one. The final combination is also worth taking another look.
5. Alekhine - Reti, Vienna, 1922
The so called Immortal Draw. See for yourself why.
6. Vidmar - Alekhine, San Remo, 1930
Another vintage Alekhine game and another demonstration of great chess he played in the early 30s.
7. Alekhine - Tartakower, London, 1932
What happens when you try incorrect gambits against Alekhine.
8. Alekhine - Hoelscher, Simul, 1933
Not an outstanding game by Alekhine's standards, but the final combination is extremely pretty.
9. Pirc - Alekhine, Bled, 1931
What happens when Alekhine plays incorrect gambits against you.
10. Reti - Alekhine,Baden-Baden, 1925
One of the most celebrated and famous games of the 20th century. (Commentary by Kasparov taken from My Great Predecessors Part One).