1938: On Mount Olympus

Game Mallison,HV - Alekhin, Dr. A, Plymouth International, Sept 8th, 1938

An encounter on Mount Olympus

It is given to many players to contest against a World Champion in a simultaneous display; it is a privilege to face one on equal terms over the board.  Ron Bruce claimed after this tournament that he was the only player ever to have played two tournament games against reigning world champions on the same day, with equal success! Ron lasted just 12 moves with Black against Alekhin, but HVM has White... -- DR

Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defence

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 d6 5. c3 Nf6 6. d4 Bd7 7. O-O Be7 8. Re1 O-O 9. Nbd2 Be8

The Kecskemet Variation, first introduced by Dr. Alekhin at that tourney. 

10. Nf1 Nd7 11. Ne3 Nb6

[11...f6 was the move previously played 12. Bb3+ Bf7 13. Bxf7+]

12. Bb3 Kh8 13. Nd5 Bd7 14. Nxe7

[14. h3 here, or on the next move, was better to restrain Black's Queen's Bishop]



15. Be3

[15. Ng5! Black indicated after the game this was awkward to meet, threatening Qh5 [15...f6? 16. Nxh7] but 15...g6 provides an adequate defence]

15...Bg4 16. h3 Bh5 17. d5

[17. Qe2] [17. Rc1]

17...Nb8 18. g4 Bg6 19. Bg5

to provoke ...f6, but this proved a valuable defensive move for Black

[19. Nd2 would have been better, followed by Rc1 or Bxb6 and Nc4-e3-f5. ]

19...f6 20. Bd2 Bf7 21. Kh2

a loss of time

[21. Qe2 idea Nh4]

21...N8d7 22. Qe2 c6 23. c4

[23. dxc6 bxc6 24. Bxf7 Qxf7 threatening ...d5]

23...a5 24. Bc2 Rfc8 25. Bc3 cxd5 26. cxd5 Nc5 27. Rg1

The danger is on the Queen's-side

[27. Nd2]

[27. Qb5 Be8 28. Qxb6 Ra6 winning the Queen, was pointed out by Black]

[27. Rac1]

27...Nba4 28. Bxa4 Nxa4 29. Qe3 b5 30. a3 Nxc3 31. bxc3 Qa7 32. Rge1 Qc5 33. Qxc5

[33. Rac1 Qxe3 and White loses a Pawn on e4 or c3]

33...Rxc5 34. Re3 Rac8


35. a4

This move, which White had counted on to save the Queen's-side Pawns, proves insufficient. 


[35...bxa4 36. Rxa4 Be8 37. Ra3]

36. axb5

[36. Nh4 preventing ...f5 would have given better chances]

36...Rxb5 37. Ng1 f5 38. f3 f4 39. Re2

[39. Rd3? Rb2+ 40. Kh1 Rc2 41. Rxa5? Rb8 wins]

39...Rxc3 40. Rea2

Hoping for

[40...Rcc5 when the position would be blocked]

40... a4 41. Kg2

[41. Rxa4? Rb2+ 42. Kh1 Rcc2 wins]

41...Be8 42. Ne2 Re3 43. Rc1 a3 44. Rc8

[44. Rcc2 Rbb3 45. Ng1 Bb5 and ...Bc4]

44...Rb2 45. Rxe8+ Kg7 46. Rxb2 axb2 47. Nc3 Rxc3 48. Rb8 Rc2+

[48...Rc2+ 49. Kf1 Rc1+]


[Notes by HV Mallison]

Chess Quotes

"When it is so freely asserted that Morphy's style was all genius and inspiration ... Morphy possessed that most profound book knowledge of any master of his time, and never introduced a single novelty, whereas since his day the books have had to study the players...

 We may all learn from Morphy and Anderssen how to conduct a King's side attack, and perhaps I myself may not have learnt enough.

— Wilhelm STEINITZ