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LCB, Issue #075 --, Watch as Two Giants Get In a Tactical Tear-Up
September 01, 2021

Two Giants In a Tactical Tear-Up

Lapoc Chess Board, Issue #075 -- GOTM #45

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Chess history has many times seen breath-taking skills from the great masters down through the ages. The very greatest games are those contested between two legends. Two giants of the game arriving in the chess hall in the mood to fight.

It's a joy to watch as these great minds pit their wits against each other. Combinations unfathomable to mortal minds find their way on to the board and into the annals of chess history.

One such legendary game came into being in a chess hall in Baden-Baden, Germany in 1925. Two famous masters of the day, Richard Reti playing with White, and Alexander Alekhine, playing with Black, did battle that day. The game they played is still one of the most famous in the history of the game.

Two Giants In a Tactical Tear-Up

Reti, Richard - Alekhine, Alexander [A00]

GotM #45 - Baden-Baden, 1925
[Connaughton, Ken]


King's Fianchetto Opening, also sometimes called Benko's Opening, Hungarian Opening, Barcza Opening or Bilek Opening. This can lead to the English Opening, King's Indian Attack or a number of other openings.

1...e5 2.Nf3 e4 3.Nd4 d5 4.d3 exd3 5.Qxd3 Nf6 6.Bg2 Bb4+ 7.Bd2 Bxd2+ 8.Nxd2 0-0 9.c4 Na6 10.cxd5 Nb4 11.Qc4 Nbxd5 12.N2b3 c6 13.0-0 Re8

Game position after 13...Re8

The dust has settled after the opening and what do we see? White will probably try a minority attack on the Queenside? Black's possibilities are less clear but he will probably be trying to prepare a Kingside attack.

14.Rfd1 Bg4 15.Rd2 Qc8 16.Nc5 Bh3 17.Bf3 Bg4 18.Bg2 Bh3 19.Bf3 Bg4 20.Bh1

White is determined to keep his lightsquare Bishop on the board.


Black is happy to invest his h-pawn in the attack.


White ignores the other wing and continues his assault on Black's Queenside.

21...a6 22.Rc1 h4 23.a4

White does not believe Black's threat is fast enough to warrant an immediate response.

23...hxg3 24.hxg3 Qc7

This move is designed to weaken White's control of e3. The overloaded f-pawn will have to favor the defense of g3.

25.b5 axb5 26.axb5

It looks like Black's pawn majority on the Queenside is about to be reduced to a solitary weak pawn whose long term defense would likely be futile. He needs to find an idea to gain impetus or soon he'll be fighting for a draw.


Game position after 26...Re3!!

And here it is. The previous move made this invasion possible.


Bf3, Kh2 and Bg2 were a little better, the text move is a slight error and the position requires more precision now.

(27.fxe3?? Qxg3+ 28.Bg2 Nxe3-+ and ...Qxg2# can't be delayed for very long.; 27.Bf3+/=; 27.Kh2=; 27.Bg2=)


Black decides to resolve matters on the Queenside and simplify the position.

28.Qxb5 Nc3 29.Qxb7 Qxb7 30.Nxb7

Black accepts the elimination of his Queenside majority but he has a new idea.

30...Nxe2+ 31.Kh2 Ne4!

(31...Nxc1 32.fxe3=/+ But White can defend this.)

32.Rc4 Nxf2

(32...Nxd2? 33.Nxd2=)


Game position after 33.Bg2

White preserves his Bishop but believe it or not Black has a forcing line in this position that wins the game.


Black wins a tempo to get his e2-Knight off the second rank. The Knights are a little vulnerable lined up like this so he solves this problem with the text move.


White decides to threaten the Knights.

(34.Rb4-+; 34.Rc5-+)

34...Ng4+ 35.Kh3

(35.Kh1?? Ra1+-+)

35...Ne5+ 36.Kh2

(36.Kh4?? Re4+)


The long diagonal provides the basis for this decisive combination.

37.Rxe2 Ng4+ 38.Kh3 Ne3+ 39.Kh2 Nxc2 40.Bxf3

It seems like White's position is okay, he is just a pawn down and should hold relatively easily.


No problem right?


Problem solved.

41...Nxf3+ 42.Rxf3 Bd5

Game position after 42...Bd5

And now we see what Alekhine saw after 33.Bg2. This forcing combination compels Reti to resign here.


Reti - Alekhine, Baden-Baden (1925)

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