Alekhine’s Defense

 

I have a great record against this defense; it doesn’t seem to matter which system I use.

I just seem to feel at home in the tactics that usually arise.

Lately I have been playing the variation I introduced against Vitaly Kanzaveli in 1992.

 

Mike Splane

Vitaly Kanzaveli (2424)

3-7-1992

Comments:

This game was the runner up for the brilliancy prize. I invented this opening over the board during this game. 

1

e4

Nf6

2

Nc3

d5

3

ed

Nd5

4

Nd5

Qd5

5

d4

Nc6

6

Nf3

Bg4

7

Be2

Rd8

8

Be3

e6

9

0-0

Be7

10

h3

Bh5

11

c3

0-0

12

Qb3

Qd6

13

Rfe1

b6

14

Rad1

Bf6

15

Qb5

Bg6

16

Bg5

a6

17

Qa6

Bg5

18

Ng5

Ra8

19

Qc4

Bc2

20

Rc1

Ra4

21

b4

Bg6

22

Bf3

Ne7

23

Qb3

Qd7

24

Ne6

fe

25

Re6

Kh8

26

Rce1

Ng8

27

Bc6

Qf7

28

Qa4

Qf2+

29

Kh1

Qd2

30

Qa3

Nf6

31

b5

Kg8

32

R6e2

Qd3

33

Re3

Qc2

34

Qe7

Bf7

35

Rf1

Qa2

36

Qc7

Bc4

37

Rf6

Rf6

38

Re8+

Rf8

39

Qd8

Qa3

40

Bd5+

Bd5

41

Qd5+

Kh8

42

Qf7

Qc1+

43

Kh2

Qf4+

44

Qf4

Re8

45

Qc7

1-0

 

Analysis: 

If   25. …. Bf7  26. Re7

26. Rce1! avoids the draw Vitaly expected after 26. Re7? Qe7  27. Qa4 Rf3  28. gf  Qg5+  29. Kh2 Qf4+

35. Rf1 threatens 36. Nf6 gf    37.Rg3+ Bg6   38. Bd5+

 

 

Mike Splane

Agnis Kaugars (2170)

11-28-1993

Comments:

Agnis thought for over half an hour on move 31 and set a nice trap which I fell into. On move 35 it was my turn to think for over half an hour. The analysis was the deepest and most complicated I ever had to do in my entire playing career. I was so pleased with this effort I dropped out of the tournament so I would have the rest of the day to savor the victory

1

e4

Nf6

2

e5

Nd5

3

d4

d6

4

c4

Nb6

5

f4

de

6

fe

Nc6

7

Be3

Bf5

8

Nc3

e6

9

Nf3

Be7

10

Be2

0-0

11

0-0

f6

12

ef

Bf6

13

Qd2

Qe8

14

c5

Nd5

15

Nd5

ed

16

Rae1

Qg6

17

b4

Rae8

18

b5

Nb4

19

Rd1

Bc2

20

Rc1

Bd3

21

Rc3

Be2

22

Qe2

c6

23

Rfc1

cb

24

Rb3

Nc6

25

Qb5

Rf7

26

Bf2

Ref8

27

Qe2

Re7

28

Qb2

Na5

29

Rb5

Nc4

30

Qb3

a6

31

Rb7

Re2

32

Rb8

Rb2

33

Rf8+

Kf8

34

Qa4

Ne3

35

g3

Qe4

36

c6

Rf2

37

c7

Rg2+

38

Kh1

Rc2

39

c8/Q+

Rc8

40

Rc8+

Kf7

41

Qd7+

Kg6

42

Qe8+

Qe8

43

Re8

Nc2

44

Rc8

Nd4

45

Nd4

Bd4

46

Rd8

Bc3

47

Rd5

a5

48

Kg2

Kf6

49

Kf3

Ke6

50

Ke4

Be1

51

Rb5

Bb4

52

Rb6+

Kf7

53

Kf5

g6+

54

Ke5

Bc3+

55

Kd5

Be1

56

Rb7+

1-0

Analysis: a) I missed 18. … Nb4 and had to scramble to survive the immediate threats.

b) Agnis was planning to play 31. … Na5 but as his hand was over the knight he saw 32. Qd5+.

c) He deliberately played the bad move 31. … Re2, since his game was already lost. Overconfident and playing quickly, I missed the decisive 32. Rc4. Agnis showed it to me after the game!

d) 34. … Ne3 was a complete shock to me. The following variations were analyzed before I made my 35th move.

e) If 36. … Qf3  37. Qa3+ and 38. Qe3.

f) If 37 Kf2 Ng4+  38. Kg2 Qe2+  39. Kh3 Qf3 when 40 … Nf2 or 40. Ne3 wins

g) If  38. … Rh2+ 39. Kh2 Ng4+  40. Kh3 Nf2+  41. Kg2 escapes the checks.

h) If 38. … Rf3 40. c8/Q+ Kf7  41.  Qd7+ Be7  42. Q8e8+ Kf6  43. Rc6+ Kg5  44. h4+ Qh4  45. Q8e7+

i) If 41. … Be7  42. Qe8+  Kf6  43. Rc6+ Kf5  44. Qh5+ g5  45. Qh3+ any  46. Qh7#

 

 

Mike Splane

Russell Wong (2200)

7-4-1999

Comments:

This game features an over-the-board improvement on theory. In other games White played 7.a3 to prevent 7…Nb4, but the knight move loses by force! After the queens come off, all White has to do is make sure Black can never develop his king bishop.

1

e4

Nf6

2

Nc3

d5

3

ed

Nd5

4

Nd5

Qd5

5

d4

Nc6

6

Be3

Bf5

7

Nf3

Nb4

8

c4

Qa5

9

Bd2

Qb6

10

Qa4+

Nc6

11

Bc3

Qa6

12

Qa6

ba

13

d5

Nb8

14

Nd4

Bg6

15

f4

Be4

16

0-0-0

Nd7

17

Re1

Nc5

18

Kd2

f5

19

b4

Na4

20

Ne6

Nc3

21

Kc3

Kf7

22

Bd3

Bd3

23

Kd3

Rc8

24

Nd4

g6

25

Nc6

Ra8

26

Re6

Re8

27

Rhe1

Rg8

28

h4

Rg7

29

g3

Kg8

30

c5

h6

31

d6

cd

32

cd

1-0

Analysis: a)  If 11. d5? Qb2 Black is ok. After 11 Bc3 both the knight and queen are threatened with loss, so Qa6 was forced. 

b) 16. Kd2 was better, saving a tempo over the game.

 

 

Mike Splane

Gary Lambert (1965)

10-18-2001

Comments:

Because this was only my third chess game in 4 years I didn’t know if I could still analyze well.  To my surprise I was able to analyze one of the longest combinations of my career. Starting on move 17 I foresaw the rest of the game.  This game was published in the California Chess Journal.

1

e4

Nf6

2

Nc3

d5

3

ed

g6

4

Bb5+

Nbd7

5

Nf3

Bg7

6

0-0

0-0

7

Re1

Nb6

8

d4

a6

9

Bf1

Re8

10

h3

Bf5

11

g4

Bc8

12

Ne5

Nfd5

13

Nd5

Nd5

14

Qf3

Rf8

15

c4

Nf6

16

Be3

Nd7

17

Rad1

Be5

18

de

Ne5

19

Qe4

Nd7

20

Bh6

Re8

21

Qd4

f6

22

Qd5+

e6

23

Re6

Re6

24

Qe6+

Kh8

25

Qf7

Qg8

26

Rd7

Qf7

27

Rf7

Be6

28

Re7

1-0

Analysis: a) Guillermo Rey suggested 15. … Nb4 as an improvement for Black.

b) If 21. … e5  22. Re5.

c)  25. Rd7 also won, but at this point I was just playing out the moves I had already analyzed.

d) If 28. … Bg8  29. Bg7# so White wins a second piece..

 

 

Mike Splane

John Bidwell  (2141)

12-1-1982

Comments:

I had good results with the two pawns variation. John gets a little too fancy, misses White’s 13th move, and loses a piece. I had a great record against John; I usually saw more tactically than he did.

1

e4

Nf6

2

e5

Nd5

3

c4

Nb6

4

c5

Nd5

5

Bc4

c6

6

Nc3

Qa5

7

Qf3

Qc5

8

Nd5

cd

9

Bd5

Nc6

10

Qf7+

Kd8

11

Nf3

Ne5

12

Ne5

e6

13

d4

Qa5+

14

Bd2

Bb4

15

Qf4

Ke8

16

Bf3

1-0

Analysis: 13. … Qd5 14. Bg5+ Kc7  15. Rc1+ Kb6  16. 0-0 is obviously hopeless.

If  13. … Qd4  14. Bg5+ Kc7  15. Rc1+ Bc5  16. 0-0 Qd5  17. Rfd1

 

 

Mike Splane

Chuck Bradshaw  (1829)

7-11-1983

Comments:

This game was played two months before I obtained the Master title. I castled late in this game; I’ve had a tendency to delay castling ever since.

1

e4

Nf6

2

e5

Nd5

3

c4

Nb6

4

c5

Nd5

5

Bc4

e6

6

Nc3

Nc3

7

dc

Nc6

8

Bf4

Bc5

9

Qg4

g5

10

Qg5

Qg5

11

Bg5

Rg8

12

Bf4

d5

13

Bd3

h5

14

Nf3

Be7

15

h4

Rg4

16

g3

b6

17

Ng5

f6

18

ef

Bf6

19

Bg6+

Ke7

20

f3

e5

21

fg

ef

22

gh

fg

23

0-0

Bg4

24

Rae1+

Be5

25

Nf7

Ke6

26

h6

1-0

 

Analysis: a) 10. Bg5 is book, but I didn’t know book, a typical weakness in my play at that time.

b)  11. … Ne5  12. Bf6 Bf2+ 13. Ke2 Nc4  13. Bh8 Bg1  14. Rhg1 Nb2 looks ok for Black.

c)  12 .d5 was a mistake, giving White a free hand on the kingside.