The Alekhine Defense by GM Arun and GM Magesh

The Alekhine Defense by GM Arun and GM Magesh‎

GM gmarunchess
20 | Opening Theory

Alexander Alekhine is undoubtedly one of the strongest chess players of all time. His games have been a source of study for most of the young and upcoming players. One of his big contributions other than the brilliant games he has given to the chess world was the “Alekhine Defense”. It marked the beginning of the hypermodern era that challenged the Classical School of Chess in all possible ways.


Today we will take a look at this opening and study some of the core ideas behind it. To begin with, Black does allow his knight to be chased away a few times, thereby allowing White to build a strong center, but the whole idea behind Black's knight maneuver is to create some potential pawn weaknesses in White's camp. Even the mighty Bobby Fischer tried this idea in the epic World Championship battle in 1972 against Boris Spassky with great success. However, in modern days, White has been able to establish good advantage against this defense and that is the reason you do not see much of this opening in the top level. There are a few exceptions-- Carlsen and Ivanchuk have tried this opening occasionally in recent times with reasonable success.


Let us begin with the game where it all started. Though the move 1...Nf6 had been tried several years before, none of the games were played with Alekhine's ideas behind this move. Alekhine introduced his new ideas in 1921 against Endre Steiner in the Budapest tournament.





Our second game is from the World Championship match between Fischer and Spassky that we  discussed earlier. Some of the unconventional ideas used in this opening can be very useful when combined with the surprise value of it. This was the 13th game in their match and Fischer was well ahead of Spassky with a score of 7-5 after 12 games.




Four pawns against a Rook with one rook completely tied down to the g8 square! It was a pretty finish, though it had a few inaccuracies from the players. Our final game today is a recent one played by the World's top rated (live) player Magnus Carlsen.





That was good opening choice and execution from Carlsen. We hope our readers have gained a good perspective of the Alekhine's defense for the Black side, next week we will look at our top GM's using different ideas to gain advantage with White.

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