Alexander Alekhine and his Two Greatest Games

  • GM Julio_Becerra
  • | Jun 10, 2009

When I was writing my last article about brilliancy prizes, I remembered the observation made by Alekhine about his two best games. “I consider this (Reti-Alekhine, Baden-Baden 1925) and the game against Bogoljubow at Hastings, 1922, the most brilliant tournament games of my chess career. And by a peculiar coincidence they both remained undistinguished as there were no brilliancy prizes awarded in either of these contests!” Alekhine

To talk about the best two games of Alekhine, is almost equivalent to talking about the best two games in chess! These games: Bogoljubow-Alekhine, Hasting 1922 and Reti-Alekhine, Baden-Baden 1925, were both played as black by Alekhine.

From my point of view, Alekhine was the most brave chess player of the history of the game, perhaps the only comparables being Fischer and Kasparov. Nowadays Topalov could be included in this select list. Also, as Alekhine is considered ones of the best chess writers, I will include his own comments in the key moments.

I hope you enjoy the next two games, like I enjoyed them!










  • 12 months ago


    26...Re3 is a sweet move, but what if Reti had tried 27.Bf3 instead?  Is there any clever follow up for Alekhine?

  • 7 years ago


    i don't see any comments of Russian players... there's nothing bad in that, because Alekhine was an emigrant which knew a lot of languages.

    the given games are both great compositions that everybody in the whole world might understand.

    thx :)

  • 7 years ago


    I wonder what would happened in Reti-Alekhine if Reti had played 22.e4 instead of Rc1? Please no Engine talk, I just wanted to think about the possibility playing in the center with white instead on the wing (maybe even followed by f4 and pressure).

    Anyone an idead about that?

  • 7 years ago


    The games speak for themselves.

  • 7 years ago


    I believe Alekhine to be the best player chess has ever produced. You must think, in his era there were no chess programs, only players. In our day and age, there are computers and so much material to study and produce excellent players with those 2 things combined. Anyway, I love how Alekhine lets Bogo clear his back rank to obtain a queen position at the time, the first time i saw that game i was apalled that someone would do that. Now i understand a bit more it was JUST a queen position....

  • 7 years ago

    IM Satea_Husari

    I think Alekhine was better than me for sure but I really do not see that those two games were historical,I have seen many stronger games - - - .

  • 7 years ago


    Wow, truly Alekheine was a superb player. I still prefer Tal though. =)

  • 7 years ago


    al was quite a good player but i think it shouldn't go unmentioned that Reti usually lost games because he was an idealist (in this game he did not go for the draw because it would have achieved nothing in terms of gaining more knowledge about the position). it is said he once lost a won game because he started going through an endgame composition over the board and all through the night instead of thinking about the game.

  • 7 years ago


    the second game was pretty amazing.

  • 7 years ago


    Its a novelty!

  • 7 years ago


    I absolutely love the 2nd game (Reti, Richard vs. Alekhine, Alexander).

  • 7 years ago


    Thanks for great article

  • 7 years ago


    The Reti game is a classic, Re3 is Morphy-esque.  Alekhine was a marvel and his games are great learning tools . . . BUT, he hid from Cappy for a reason - he could never have matched Capablanca over the board and they both knew it. 

  • 7 years ago


    i think the re3 move in thte reti game might be my favorite move in chess history, its up there with frank marshal's Qg3 in the golden coins game. 

  • 7 years ago


    very nice!

  • 7 years ago


    In the end he was a great chess player. The games will live forever.

  • 7 years ago


    Well Alekhine is long dead: his games can be learnt from. May be Pythagorus beat his wife: who knows? Still, in euclidean space you'd better believe that the theorem that goes by his name is true...

  • 7 years ago


    every time I see the name of Alekhine I go in goose pimples. He was yes a good player, but he was alcholized in the last part of life, antisemitic and avoided to play against Capablanca to make a revenge and to play against Nimzowitch at the top of his form. Maybe a good player but really a bad bad man, really not worthy to be remembered.

  • 7 years ago


    Very nice: a display of superb positional understanding from which these deep combinations flow [to convert the positional advantage into a win] (and, of course, spotting those incredibly complex combinations!) - but -many people are have the following concerns about brilliancies, and so do I:

    Will computers deflate the games? Has someone run say rybka 3 on the critical moves long enough? May be there was a more routine win in both games? May be both sides made mistakes (objectively speaking)?

    (Engines do sometimes deflate all the mystique and often deflate some of it ... There are exceptions, e.g. R. Byrne - Fischer 1963-64: that one, including the losing mistake of Byrne (15.Qc2 ??)was well understood (the '??' is objectively speaking) long before chess computer programs became good enough to only confirm it...)

  • 7 years ago


    Mr. Becerra, tkanks for posting. Hope you continue to help us ( simple "mortals", morons ) to understanding the game of games. Peace and Harmony.

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