Kindred’s View From His Perch

This returns me to my youth, discovering my steps in creating what I term Square Count. This game as well as select others from the works of Alekhine and Capablanca verified what my thoughts came to formulate what some might call radical but certainly to a degree to run contrary to known book dogma regarding its teachings.

Many of my lesson games reflect the correctness of the square count theory which was simply meant to create in graph form on the ups and downs of chess games.  I feel it also suggests who has plus in the position which dictate to a degree the need for the player with less count to formulate an active counterplay.  This, of course, was meant for students to answer the old question: I find chess too hard.  Also, the comment by Reti who I believe stated that he could play the mating attack but was not able to achieve that position on the board so he could exhibit such level of skill.  That was in reference to a consultation game where he teamed with Capablanca.

St. Petersburg was the host to many strong tournaments and this following game took place in 1912 when Alekhine was just climbing the ladder to greatness.  His opponent was G. Levenfish, much his senior but a very strong attacking player who produced many fine wins during his career.  In a sense, it was the old story repeated many times in chess history of youth conquering the old guard.

White:  Alekhine   vs.  Black:  G. Levenfish   Opening: Queen Pawn- Irregular

1. d4  c5  2. d5!  Usually black blocked the d-pawn by ..d5 or …Nf6 or…e6.  One could point to Nimzowisch’s MY SYSTEM or CHESS PRAXIS that might stir the student juices for additional type formations.  This today is called the Schmid  Benoni?!

2…Nf6  3. Nc3!? This has the merit of getting the  knight into the game with pressure on the center.  3. c4 would be an alternative but lead to a different type of game.

3. … d6  4. e4  g6  5. f4  Nbd7?  He might have continued with Bg7 but hard pressed now because of his odd pawn sortie c5 so early.

6. Nf3  This square count move is the correct choice.

6. … a6?!  Probably to keep the enemy from setting up shop on b5.  Maybe he had a glass of vodka before starting play.  The result of this turns on White’s square count.

7. e5  d:e5  8. f:e5  Ng4  9. e6  Nde5  10.  Bf4  Look at those squares add up!  But it carries a very dangerous threat.  If now, 10. … Bg7? 11. h3  N:f3+ 12. Q:f3  Ne5  13. B:e5 wins because of the mate threat at f7. This is another example of the importance I placed on analyzing the chess board at the beginning in 2007.

10. … N:f3  11. g:f3!! Alekhine has his sights on attack but may well have envisioned what brings about a splendid double Rook sacrifice!

11. … Nf6  12. Bc4  Taking aim at the weak f7 square.

12. … f:e6  13. d:e6  Qb6  14. Qe2  Q:b2  15. Nb5!  Q:a1+  16.  Kf2  Q:h1

A double Rook sacrifice is rare.  But White  now uses a pesky knight to slay the dragon.

17. Nc7+ Kd8  18. Qd2+  Now, on 18…Nd7, crushing is 19. e:d7 B:d7 20. Be6++.

18. … Bd7  19. e:d7  Black is caught in a boa strangling mate!  On 19…e5  20. N:e6+ Ke7 21. Pd8Q+ R:d8 22. Q:d8+ Kf7 23. N:f8+ Kg7  24. Qe7 checkmate.

In all mates, the squares are eliminated from safety moves either by attack or being blocked by the square occupied by one of the defeated King’s own men.





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