Traps, Tricks & Mistakes: Wrong Alekhine

This post was possible thanks to Mr Andrew Crosby’s help. Andrew is an expert in chess gambits and successfully plays them in his games. He is also an active member of our virtual club where he frequently plays in online tournaments and team matches.

In today’s game, Bobby Fischer, playing the white pieces, faced Bent Larsen in a blitz game in 1966. At that time, there were no engines available for analyzing chess games. Players’ homework was extremely important in preparation for matches.

Fischer was already known in chess circles for his victories in international tournaments. He showed impressive opening knowledge and many new ideas in popular lines. As the Russian GM Yuri Averbakh pointed out: “I was especially struck not even by his extensive opening knowledge, but his striving everywhere to seek new paths. In Fischer’s play, an enormous talent was noticeable, and in addition, one sensed an enormous amount of work on the study of chess“.

By the time of today’s game, the Danish GM Bent Larsen was among the 10 best players in the world. However, Fischer crushed him in only 20 moves!

As you see, Larsen played the variation 5…Nd7 one year before against Tal in a Candidates match. Apparently, experts at that time believed that White only gets a draw for the knight sac. However, in the modern era and working with engines, players have discovered a refutation that involves devilish combinations. Check yourselves in the following diagram which shows some variations:

You will agree that to find all those combinations in an OTB game is impossible for a human player. Especially impressive is the motif of leaving the white queen trapped on f7 for many moves.

No wonder that Tal did not dare to go for the knight sac!

For those who want more information about this line of the Alekhine, visit GM Mikhail Golubev’s extensive analysis.

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