Monday, November 21, 2011

Tactics Alekhine Four Pawns Attack

The Alekhine Defence has interested me since the 1972 Spassky-Fischer match where Bobby played it a couple times. Overall my database has 15 games were Bobby Fischer played the Alekhine Defence: 8 as White and 7 as Black.

My oldest recorded game playing the Alekhine was as White against Mike Eldridge. I was reminded of that when he posted a comment to my King's Gambit blog on the Cooper Principle. Mike played the Alekhine Defence against me in a tournament game from 1974. Some week I will blog the games from that event.

I started playing the Alekhine Defence as Black in 1981. Against 1.e4 I have played 1...e5 or 1...Nf6 about half the time and all other moves the other half. Thus I have played both 1...e5 and 1...Nf6 thousands of times each in recorded games.

Today I play Black against the computer Rookie in a wild Four Pawns Attack blitz game. Black has four targets to aim at in the center, so in my 2000 book the Alekhine Defense Playbook I wrote: We could call this variation the Four Targets Attack.

Rookie chose the aggressive 10.d5 line where White sacrifices a rook on h1 to get a pawn to e7. Black can make threats against the White king and the advanced e-pawn while offering to exchange material leading to a winning endgame. In this game, I do manage to get to such an ending.

Rookie-Sawyer begins 1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.d4 d6 4.c4 Nb6 5.f4 [The Four Pawns Attack.] 5...dxe5 6.fxe5 Nc6 7.Be3 Bf5 [Rapid development is essential for Black.] 8.Nc3 e6 9.Nf3 Be7 [The traditional main line, but there are several alternatives. 9...Bg4; 9...Bb4; 9...Nb4; 9...Qd7] 10.d5 [10.Be2 0-0 11.0-0 f6 12.exf6 Bxf6 is the alternative line.] 10...exd5 11.cxd5 Nb4 12.Nd4 Bd7 13.e6 fxe6 14.dxe6 Bc6 15.Qg4 Bh4+ 16.g3 Bxh1 17.gxh4 0-0 18.Qg5? [The losing move. Black is not going to just sit there and let White carry out the threatened 19.e7. Undoubling the h-pawns is not a good enough reason to swap queens. On 18.0-0-0 Qf6 is the correct line.] 18...Qxg5 19.hxg5 c5 20.0-0-0 cxd4 21.Bxd4 N4d5 22.e7 Rfe8 23.Bxb6? Nxb6 24.g6 hxg6 25.Bh3 Bc6 26.Be6+ Kh7 27.Re1 Bd7 [27...Rxe7 28.Bg8+ Kxg8 29.Rxe7 Nd5 30.Nxd5 Bxd5-+ Black is up a piece in the endgame.] 28.Bxd7 Nxd7 29.Ne4 Rec8+ 30.Kb1 Nf6 31.Nd6 Rcb8 32.Re3 Ne8 33.Ne4 Nf6 34.Nd6 Ne8 35.Nf7 Kg8 36.Ne5 Nf6 37.Nxg6 Kf7 38.Ne5+ Kxe7 39.Nc6+ Kd6 40.Nxb8 Rxb8 41.Ra3 a6 42.Rg3 Rg8 43.a4 g5 44.Rb3 Kc7 45.Rg3 g4 46.Rc3+ Kb8 47.Rc4 g3 48.hxg3 Rxg3 49.Ka2 Nd5 50.Rd4 Ne7 51.Re4 Nc6 52.b4 Rd3 53.b5 axb5 54.axb5 Rd4 55.Re8+ Rd8 56.Re4 Nd4 57.b6 Kc8 58.Re3 Kd7 59.Rc3 Kd6 60.Kb1 Kd5 61.Rc7 Rb8 62.Rc1 Nc6 63.Rc2 Re8 64.Kb2 Re4 65.Ka3 Rb4 66.Rxc6? Desperation. 66...Kxc6 0-1

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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