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  1. Subscriber Marinkatomb
    wotagr8game
    12 Jan '14 19:15 / 2 edits
    I've recently started playing this opening with black and i have to say, i think i'm in love. I've been playing a sort of Pirc/Philidor hybrid opening for about 10 years now, but it just isn't sound enough.

    Anyway, why am i posting this? I am keen to see any topical game in this opening (any variation is fine). Do any of you play this opening? Any tips or study suggestions gratefully received. 🙂

    Here's a nice game i played the other day. I think i misplayed the opening slightly (Nd5-f4 looks dubious now that i look over it) but it's quite a nice strategic win which is the sort of style i'd like to play in more often...

  2. 12 Jan '14 23:25
    I don't know who this Alekhine fellow is but he better learn to develop his pieces quickly in the opening.
  3. 12 Jan '14 23:32
    Serious post, what about 17... c5?
  4. Subscriber Marinkatomb
    wotagr8game
    12 Jan '14 23:52
    Originally posted by mcreynolds
    Serious post, what about 17... c5?
    Well i think that opening the position before i've castled is somewhat dangerous. I did consider it, but rejected it on that basis. It would also leave a hole on d6 which could possibly end up providing a rather nice home for a knight. I didn't like the idea of being forced to trade off my dark squared bishop should a knight make it there.

    I did intend to play c5 at some point though. I played my rook to c8 in preparation for that eventuality but the game took other avenues. My opponent was running short of time towards the end and went in for a dubious attack (Rh7 is just a blunder, i can't see how anything can be forced). I think, given more time they might have abandoned the whole h-file idea and focused on meeting the threat of ..c5 and the subsequent pawn advances.. 🙂
  5. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    13 Jan '14 02:53
    Look up the games of GM Edvins Kengis. If you did nothing but pull his games from a database and play through them, you would have a good feel for the opening.

    There's also a New Zealand player, Russell John Dive (not sure if he is an IM or not) who has played some awesome games in Alekhine's Defense. I have used his games as a model for my solution to the Voronezh Variation, but I have been sitting on it OTB for years, as no one plays into it!

    As an added plus, if you already have experience with the Pirc and the Philidor, that gives you some very nice options when you play the dodgers who sit at the board for 10 minutes at move 2, then play Nc3.
  6. Standard member ChessPraxis
    Cowboy From Hell
    13 Jan '14 02:58
    Originally posted by mcreynolds
    I don't know who this Alekhine fellow is but he better learn to develop his pieces quickly in the opening.
    That's not very nice, he speaks quite highly of you.
  7. Subscriber Marinkatomb
    wotagr8game
    13 Jan '14 03:01 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Paul Leggett
    Look up the games of GM Edvins Kengis. If you did nothing but pull his games from a database and play through them, you would have a good feel for the opening.

    There's also a New Zealand player, Russell John Dive (not sure if he is an IM or not) who has played some awesome games in Alekhine's Defense. I have used his games as a model for my solutio ...[text shortened]... options when you play the dodgers who sit at the board for 10 minutes at move 2, then play Nc3.
    Thanks Paul, i'll definitely look into that. Speaking of dodgers, i've been trying out this line..

    1.e4 ..Nf6 2.Nc3 ..d5 3.E5 ..d4 4.exf6 ..dxc3 5.exg7 ..Bxg7. Here's a game i played earlier. I lost in the end but it had nothing to do with the opening, i think black gets a great game!

  8. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    13 Jan '14 13:08
    Originally posted by Marinkatomb
    Thanks Paul, i'll definitely look into that. Speaking of dodgers, i've been trying out this line..

    1.e4 ..Nf6 2.Nc3 ..d5 3.E5 ..d4 4.exf6 ..dxc3 5.exg7 ..Bxg7. Here's a game i played earlier. I lost in the end but it had nothing to do with the opening, i think black gets a great game!

    [pgn][Event "Casual game"]
    [Site "http://lichess.org/oxagnj9w"] ...[text shortened]... 5 18. d5 Be5 19. Qb3 b6 20. c5 Bxh2+ 21. Kxh2 Rg8 22. g3 Qh5+ 23. Kg1 Rdg6 24. Bf4 1-0

    [/pgn]
    I played that line OTB several times with excellent results against people at my own level, but when I played it against then-NM-but-now-GM Danny Ludwig, he ate my lunch, right out of the opening.

    Kengis also played it, so you will see it again!
  9. 13 Jan '14 15:01 / 1 edit
    Hi Marinkatomb

    A couple of other 'dodger' lines are 2.Bc4.


    Intending to answer 2...Nxe4 with 3. Bxf7+ winning back the piece and pawn with Qh5+.

    I've seen this mentioned in a few opening books. In some cases not at all.
    (I browsed opening books at book stalls looking for the small print lines.
    I never bought the bloody things unless it was going to be serious part of my rep.)
    They quite rightly IMO condemn it but my OTB DB comes out with more White wins than Black.

    On here the ratio is close White wins 42 v Black Wins 35 but still a White +.

    You should handle the 'attack' OK but you are a Pirc player so 2....d6.
    I've lost faith in the Bc4 lines v the Pirc and enjoyed seeing it as Black.

    My line 2.f3


    Intending to answer 2...e5 with 2.f4! has scored well. (It's a Latvian in reverse)
    I know this. Often my opponents do not.
    I have lost a few, (one was printed in the Black is OK series by Adorjan)
    but that was me playing a combo before tucking my 0-0-0 King away onto b1.
    Some you win...some you lose.


    These days It's a rare bird at the tip-top level and though I usually mistrust GM games
    regarding theory, the Alekhine, by it's forced nature of moves, one can
    surmise up there in the world frequented by the super-duper GM's, there is
    a solid line for White that gives Black nothing to look forward to except maybe a struggling ½ point.

    I know comments on here are often throw away lines but still they must
    be looked at, like you do a chess move.

    I don't think you can class the first game as a strategic win. The game was too short.
    White blundered into a standard removing of the guard tactic and lost a piece. Game over.

    A strategic win (to me anyway) is where a long term middle game plan
    has been carried out. (Yours were waiting in the wings.)
    The tying down of defensive units gaurding a pawn or square.
    Piling on the pressure, creating another weakness, creeping forward till it
    ends with a material winning or mating combination.

    " I think, given more time they might have abandoned the
    whole h-file idea and focused on meeting the threat of ....c5"

    Never abandon the h-file v a castled King. Especially in this position.


    If White tries to fight Black on the Queenside or in the centre then that
    would be (IMO) the wrong decision.

    White can play with gay abandon and cook up things down that h-file.
    It's is where his chances lay. OTB I'd be happy because I have no choice
    but to go for the King. (it's what I do best).
    My instinct is shifting about. Yes it works, no it won't. Maybe it will.
    But White has no choice and go for it.

    The h-file bristlers with simple ideas.
    One sample, 'off the top of my head fantasy line' just to show that Black
    needs to be careful and abandoning the h-file attack would have been wrong.

  10. 13 Jan '14 17:07 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by mcreynolds
    I don't know who this Alekhine fellow is---
    A lawyer without an office, struggling film actor, bachelor who likes to be supported by fat elderly ladies, gourmet and snaps lover, probably an agent of KGB, German secret service and CIA at the same time.

    if you hate your mother-in-law - as most men do - send her to him.
  11. Standard member ChessPraxis
    Cowboy From Hell
    13 Jan '14 17:31
    I've had tremendous success against The Alekhine's Defense with the old 4PA. I'm not sure if you've played against it very much.
  12. 13 Jan '14 17:33 / 3 edits
    Originally posted by Marinkatomb
    Thanks Paul, i'll definitely look into that. Speaking of dodgers, i've been trying out this line..

    1.e4 ..Nf6 2.Nc3 ..d5 3.E5 ..d4 4.exf6 ..dxc3 5.exg7 ..Bxg7. Here's a game i played earlier. I lost in the end but it had nothing to do with the opening, i think black gets a great game!

    [pgn][Event "Casual game"]
    [Site "http://lichess.org/oxagnj9w"] ...[text shortened]... 5 18. d5 Be5 19. Qb3 b6 20. c5 Bxh2+ 21. Kxh2 Rg8 22. g3 Qh5+ 23. Kg1 Rdg6 24. Bf4 1-0

    [/pgn]
    Black should have won here.
    I played same variation numeropus times as Black.
    First impression - instead of Bxh2+, - Qh5, threatening checkmate and after White playes g3, Black moves ...f4!
    It looks so good for Black.
  13. Subscriber Marinkatomb
    wotagr8game
    13 Jan '14 18:24
    Originally posted by vandervelde
    Black should have won here.
    I played same variation numeropus times as Black.
    First impression - instead of Bxh2+, - Qh5, threatening checkmate and after White playes g3, Black moves ...f4!
    It looks so good for Black.
    Yes, i was playing with a rotten hangover at the time and started confusing myself as there were so many attractive moves in the position. I should have played the Rook to d7 when it was attacked as well, i don't know what i was thinking putting it on d6?? A terrible move.😳
  14. Subscriber Marinkatomb
    wotagr8game
    13 Jan '14 18:53
    Originally posted by greenpawn34
    Hi Marinkatomb

    A couple of other 'dodger' lines are 2.Bc4.

    [fen]rnbqkb1r/pppppppp/5n2/8/2B1P3/8/PPPP1PPP/RNBQK1NR b KQkq - 0 2[/fen]
    Intending to answer 2...Nxe4 with 3. Bxf7+ winning back the piece and pawn with Qh5+.

    I've seen this mentioned in a few opening books. In some cases not at all.
    (I browsed opening books at book stalls looking for ...[text shortened]... 2... Qd8 {Anything else. I cannot see any idea except getting rid of the f6 pawn.} 33. Qh4[/pgn]

    Intending to answer 2...Nxe4 with 3. Bxf7+ winning back the piece and pawn with Qh5+.

    Can't black just play 2..d5? One thing i do like about the Alekhine is that i can bail out in these sort of positions and transpose into other things i know. As it happens i often do make this transposition once white has brought his knight to f3 which avoids all the tricky cramped positions that are often reached after f4. I think i prefer facing the 'four pawns attack' in an Alekhine structure rather than a pirc.

    by it's forced nature of moves, one can
    surmise up there in the world frequented by the super-duper GM's, there is
    a solid line for White that gives Black nothing to look forward to except maybe a struggling ½ point.


    I have seen engine games (Rybka v Houdini WC match) where Houdini won with the Alekhine, but the game is so complex no human player would ever manage that sort of level of accuracy. The thing i like about it is that despite losing a few tempi, black has good squares for everything. In the Pirc/Philidor there is always a struggling piece somewhere (Bc8 for example).

    I don't think you can class the first game as a strategic win. The game was too short.

    Yes ok, you are right that white doesn't really handle the position correctly. I though that positionally my play was quite good (by my standards anyway). White doesn't have anywhere to target. I used the word strategic mainly because of the comment i made in the original post about securing pawns on dark squares and then exchanging light squared bishops. That is quite a strategic idea imo, i had set further aims which looked promising too but white committed suicide.

    Never abandon the h-file v a castled King

    Absolutely! Whites main threats are obviously down the h-file but black has that covered. See comments...

    [/b]
  15. 14 Jan '14 03:17 / 1 edit
    Hi Marinkatomb,


    2...d5 or 2...e5 and go into a Bishop's opening.

    But why not just take the pawn. I pointed out this line so you would not waste
    10 minutes of your life at the board wondering if after 2..Nxe5 3.Bxf7+ Kxf7 4.Qh5+
    you can hang onto the Knight with Kf6/Ke6 like the early computers used to do.

    2...d5 (just take the e4 pawn.)
    And you could end up with a bad c8 Bishop, even worse than the one
    you fear getting in the Pirc.



    That Kingside attack, even with your improvement, is still showing fangs.
    It's the blocked centre that is doing it.
    I was just a wee but worried about you saying he should perhaps forget it.
    Black is going to have to time his replies and captures spot on.