Alekhine – inspirational mastery in attack and initiative

by ChessBase
2/18/2009 – In 1923 at the Carlsbad tournament Alexander Alekhine played a wonderful game against the legendary Akiba Rubinstein. It contains creative opening and middlegame play, and brilliant combinations leading to a decisive advantage. In his Playchess lecture Dennis Monokroussos explains why such games are an inspiration to contemporary players. Be there at 9 p.m. ET.

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Dennis Monokroussos writes:

When it comes to mastery in attack and in utilizing the initiative, few players in chess history can hold a candle to the Russian-French great Alexander Alekhine, the fourth world chess champion. An inspiration to Kasparov, Shirov and many others, Alekhine's ability to whip up complications was without parallel in his day, and equaled by few after him.

Alexander Alekhine, the great Russian World Champion (picture: Edward Winter)

Alekhine produced sparkling games against opponents of all levels, from local players who couldn't hold a candle to him all the way up to the best of the best. Case in point: Alekhine's game from the 1923 Carlsbad tournament against the legendary Akiba Rubinstein. Rubinstein was among the very best for well over a decade, and at one point was probably the strongest player in the world. Unfortunately, he never got the chance to play for the title, but he is rightly famous even today as one of the all-time greats.

Rubinstein defeated Alekhine in some beautiful games too, but not this time. Here we see Alekhine at his finest: creative play in the opening, middlegame play all over the board (this is an Alekhine trademark), and brilliant combinations leading to a decisive advantage. It's a power performance, and like many of Alekhine's games it offers a little clinic on attacking chess.

I hope you're curious about this game; if so, you're heartily encouraged to tune in tonight when I present it on the Playchess server. The show begins at 9 p.m. ET Wednesday night (that's 3 a.m. Thursday morning, CET) and is free to Playchess members. To watch, log on at the right time, go to the Broadcast room, find Alekhine-Rubinstein under the Games tab, double-click and you're there. See you soon!

Dennis Monokroussos' Radio ChessBase lectures begin on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. EST, which translates to 02:00h GMT, 03:00 Paris/Berlin, 13:00h Sydney (on Thursday). Other time zones can be found at the bottom of this page. You can use Fritz or any Fritz-compatible program (Shredder, Junior, Tiger, Hiarcs) to follow the lectures, or download a free trial client.

You can find the exact times for different locations in the world at World Time and Date. Exact times for most larger cities are here. And you can watch older lectures by Dennis Monokroussos offline in the Chess Media System room of Playchess:

Enter the above archive room and click on "Games" to see the lectures. The lectures, which can go for an hour or more, will cost you between one and two ducats. That is the equivalent of 10-20 Euro cents (14-28 US cents).

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Dennis Monokroussos is 41, lives in South Bend, IN, where he teaches chess and occasionally works as an adjunct professor of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame and Indiana University-South Bend.

At one time he was one of the strongest juniors in the U.S. and has reached a peak rating of 2434 USCF, but several long breaks from tournament play have made him rusty. He is now resuming tournament chess in earnest, hoping to reach new heights.

Dennis has been working as a chess teacher for ten years now, giving lessons to adults and kids both in person and on the internet, worked for a number of years for New York’s Chess In The Schools program, where he was one of the coaches of the 1997-8 US K-8 championship team from the Bronx, and was very active in working with many of CITS’s most talented juniors.

When Dennis Monokroussos presents a game, there are usually two main areas of focus: the opening-to-middlegame transition and the key moments of the middlegame (or endgame, when applicable). With respect to the latter, he attempts to present some serious analysis culled from his best sources (both text and database), which he has checked with his own efforts and then double-checked with his chess software.

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