Simon Says: Alekhine's influence on modernising attacking play

by Johannes Fischer
6/29/2020 – In this "Simon Says" English Grandmaster Simon Williams looks at some of Alekhine's best attacking games and discusses how attacking play developed due to his influence on the game. | Watch "Simon Says" for free and on-demand (for a limited time, or forever with a ChessBase Premium account). (Normally 16:00 UTC (18:00 CEST / 12 Noon EST). | Photos: Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

London System with 2.Bf4 Reloaded and Tactic Toolbox London System London System with 2.Bf4 Reloaded and Tactic Toolbox London System

Simon Williams presents the London System, providing the theory you need for your games (7 h 16 min). In addition Williams also introduces into typical tactics and patterns in a seperate product. (53 games, 96 training questions and 3h 14 min)

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Alexander Alekhine

Who else in chess history has won so many serious games with the help of brilliant tactical strokes? (Garry Kasparov an Alexander Alekhine)

Alexander Alekhine (October 31, 1892 - March 24, 1946) had a restless and unsteady life. He was born as the third child of a wealthy and influential Russian family but in the turmoil of the Russian Revolution Alekhine lost all his material possessions.

At the outbreak of World War I Alekhine played a tournament in Mannheim and was interned by the Germans. In September 1914 he was released and went to Switzerland but in 1916 he returned to Russia where he served in the Red Cross and was severely wounded at the Galician frontline during the war. In 1921, Alekhine left Soviet Russia with his second wife, the Swiss journalist Anneliese Rüegg but the marriage did not last long and Alekhine finally settled in France, which he represented after 1925.

Alekhine passionately worked on his chess and in 1927 he became the fourth World Chess Champion after defeating José Raúl Capablanca in their World Championship Match in Buenos Aires.

But in 1935 Alekhine lost the title to Max Euwe because he was drinking too much and had neglected to work on this chess. However, after the loss of his title Alekhine changed his life-style and won the rematch in 1937.

Alexander Alekhine, portrait by Man Ray

During World War II Alekhine supported the Nazis who had occupied France, and in March 1941, a series of viciously antisemitic articles appeared under Alekhine's name in the Pariser Zeitung, a German-language newspaper published in Paris.

After the end of the war Alekhine was discredited and did not get invitations to tournaments though he was still World Champion. He died on March 24, 1946, in a shabby hotel room in Estoril, Portugal under mysterious circumstances.

Alekhine was famous for his combinations and his attacking skills and he is still considered as one of the greatest attacking players of all time.

Here's a little warm-up for the show:

 

Black has just played 17...Nd7. How did Alekhine keep the attack going?

(See the full game and the solution below)

This week's show

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Simon is on air most Mondays at 16:00 UTC (18:00 CEST / 12 Noon EST)

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About Simon Says

In early 2015 Simon Williams launched his own show called "Simon says" after producing the first of his ChessBase video series. On a weekly basis (with breaks for tournaments and chess events) Simon entertains the chess world with attacking ideas, play strategies and witty manoeuvres on the chess board.

ChessBase Premium members have permanent access to the videos in the archive. Over 60 shows and counting have been published to date. Their lengths differ but most of them run for about 60 minutes.

Read more in Meeting Simon Williams.

Much more from Simon's shows in the archive at Videos.ChessBase.com

Recent Simon Says shows

Still more Simon

Simon's latest DVD series duo the "London System Reloaded" and the "Tactic Toolbox London System" are now available. Check them out, starting with the sample below: 

Video sample


Alekhine attacks

 

London System with 2.Bf4 Reloaded and Tactic Toolbox London System

Simon Williams presents the London System, providing the theory you need for your games (7 h 16 min). In addition Williams also introduces into typical tactics and patterns in a seperate product. (53 games, 96 training questions and 3h 14 min)


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Topics: Simon Says

Johannes Fischer was born in 1963 in Hamburg and studied English and German literature in Frankfurt. He now lives as a writer and translator in Nürnberg. He is a FIDE-Master and regularly writes for KARL, a German chess magazine focusing on the links between culture and chess. On his own blog he regularly publishes notes on "Film, Literature and Chess".
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