Alekhine's Opening Tastes

Alekhine's Opening Tastes

Mar 20, 2016, 7:00 AM |
Chessbase Master Class Volume 3 on Alekhine contains an excellent opening survey by GM Dorian Rogozenco.
He covers the ideas introduced by Alekhine in the opening. Specificallly
French Defence as White, playing h4 to sacrifice a pawn opening the h-file, followed up by Nh3
Ruy Lopez as White, using a Qe2 idea combined with h3 and g4 should Black prematurely castle
Ruy Lopez as White, using Qe2 combined with c3, Rd1 preparing d4
Queens Gambit Declined as White Ne4 idea to avoid exchanges, illustrating difficulties for Black to equalise in an ending
Queen's Gambit Declined as Black, using ideas of ... h6 with ... b5, a6 and ultimately ... c5
Queen's Gambit Accepted as White, employing Nf3 to sacrifice a piece against Euwe in the World Championships
Alekhine's Defence as Black, the classical plan of undermining the White pawn centre
Alekhine's Defence as Black, the ... d5 strike to provoke c5 and secure the light squares at c2/d3 with Bf5
Queen's Gambit Accepted as Black, 4. ... Bg4 with ideas to prepare ... e5
Nimzo Indian as Black, 4. ... Nc6 with ideas of ... e5 and ... Bf5
Semi Slav as White, 6. e4 as the most aggressive option
Semi Slav as White, 12. cxd4 with pin on c-file and activation of Rook along 3rd rank
French Winawer as White, the 6. Qg4 first employed in World Championship
Chigorin Defence as White, 4. Qa4 exploiting the absence of Bc8
Ruy Lopez Steinitz Variation as Black, idea of ... Be8 combined with Nd7, f6 fortifying e5 and transferring with Bg6/h5
Dragon Variation as Black, playing ... a5 to induce a4 and weaken the b4 square

Alekhine's Attack in the French Defence as White

Alekhine was willing to sacrifice a pawn or two if it gave him strong initiative

Ruy Lopez for White: Qe2 setups
We see the dangers of castling too early for Black, as the light squared Bishop can get shut out.

Ruy Lopez for White: Qe2 setups with c3, Rd1, d4 and targetting the d5 outpost
Model game against Keres in the Qe2 setup

Queen's Gambit Declined White
Avoiding the Knight exchange
As White, Alekhine showed preference to 11. Ne4 to avoid the exchange of Knights and illustrate difficulties for Black in the endgame.

Queen's Gambit Declined Black
h6 idea followed by b5, a6 and c5

Queen's Gambit Accepted White
Piece Sacrifice
Alekhine unleased 6. Nf3 in the 6th game of the return match against Euwe. Euwe feared home preparation and did not take the piece, though a refutation was later found based on the idea of forcing exchange of Queens for Black.

Alekhine's Defence as Black
The classic undermining of the White Pawn Centre
The original game showing Alekhine's ideas of undermining the White pawn centre

Alekhine's Defence as Black
The ... d5 strike in order to obtain a grip on light squares

Queen's Gambit Accepted for Black
Alekhine's idea of 4. ... Bg4 connected with playing for ... e5
Alekhine came up with this setup of Nc6, Bd6 all to prepare ... e5 rather than ... c5

Nimzo Indian with Black
7. ... Nc6 preparing ... e5

Semi Slav as White
Alekhine's idea of 6. e4

Semi Slav as White
Alekhine's 12. cxd4 idea exploiting the c-file pin

French Winawer as White
Alekhine's 6. Qg4

Chigorin Defence as White
Alekhine's 4. Qa4 idea against Colle

Ruy Lopez Steinitz Variation as Black
Alekhine's 9. ... Be8 idea to play Nd7, f6 and either Bg6 or Bh5

Dragon Variation as Black
Alekhine's 9. ... a5 idea