Alekhine Explains His Greatest Positional Masterpiece - Best Of The 20s - Alekhine vs. Yates, 1922

Alekhine Explains His Greatest Positional Masterpiece - Best Of The 20s - Alekhine vs. Yates, 1922

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Alexander Alekhine had an absolutely incredible decade in the 1920s. At the decade's outset, he was certainly an important challenger to Lasker and Capablanca, but few would have ranked him above those illustrious masters.

Throughout the 1920s, Alekhine's reputation and successes grew, as did his list of brilliant victories. Alekhine's victories over Bogoljubov, Reti, and Gruefeld (all with black incidentally) are each widely ranked among the greatest attacking games of all time.

By 1927, Alekhine deemed himself ready to challenge Capablanca, and he was proven correct with an amazing match victory over Capablanca in which he regularly beat the Cuban genius in his own smooth and positional style, eschewing his famed bloodthirsty, attacking methods.

My number-one games of the 1920s also demonstrates the universality of Alekhine's skills. In my view, his victory over Yates is possibly the most instructive masterpiece ever played. Alekhine perfectly demonstrates use of the open file and seventh rank, knight outposts, active king, and the game even finishes with a pleasing tactical conclusion. What more could one ask for?! A student that truly understands this game will have a firm grasp on all of the fundamentals of chess strategy!

Top 10 Games of the 1920s

The game began in a quite standard fashion until 11...f5?, a positional error from which Yates never recovered. The move weakened e5 permanently and allowed Alekhine to pry open the c-file. In truth, the e5-outpost, and the open file are likely enough for Alekhine to win, but as always, the devil is in the details - here Alekhine perfectly masters the details, playing with precision and purpose and soon securing the full point with a fine king maneuver.

Notes from Alekhine's deservedly renowned "My Best Games of Chess" are included below. [Amazon link supports the content.]

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