Tuesday, February 3, 2009

More on Bogoljubov

This morning I was trying to declutter my office (aka, my bedroom) a bit, removing books from a table in search of its surface, when I picked up a copy of Chess Sacrifices and Traps by Alfred Emery, a little book of 118 pages first published in England in 1924. My copy is a fifth edition, 1937, which I found on eBay a couple of years ago. Unfortunately, I have a hard time picking up a book without also wanting to browse through it. In a section of the book on "Middle-Game Sacrifices" I once again came across the game Bogoljubov-Mieses from the great 1925 Baden-Baden tournament. Alekhine won it without losing a game, ahead of Rubenstein, Saemisch, and Bogoljubov, who came in fourth ahead of seventeen others, including such greats as Tartakower, Marshall, Gruenfeld, Nimzowitch, Reti, Spielmann, Tarrasch. Here's the game: Bogoljubov,Efim - Mieses,Jacques Baden-Baden, 1925 Dutch Defense 1.d4 f5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 e6 4.Nf3 d5 5.0-0 Bd6 6.c4 c6 7.Nc3 Nbd7 8.Qc2 Ne4 9.Kh1 Qf6 10.Bf4 Bxf4 11.gxf4 Qh6 12.e3 Ndf6 13.Ne5 Nd7 14.Rg1 Nxe5 15.dxe5 Nxc3 16.bxc3 Bd7 17.Rad1 b5 18.Qb2 0-0 19.Qa3 Rfd8 20.cxb5 cxb5 21.Qa6 Qh5
22.Bxd5! exd5 23.Rxg7+ Kxg7 24.Qf6+ Kg8 25.Rg1+ Qg4 26.Rxg4+ fxg4 27.f5
How far ahead does a master see? Since this line is almost forced once the sac is accepted I think Bogoljubov must have seen to this point, knowing he would at worst have the connected passed pawns and his King relatively secure. 27...Rdc8 28.e6 Bc6 29.Qf7+ Kh8 30.f6 Rg8 31.Qc7 Rac8 32.Qe5 d4+ 33.Kg1 Bd5 34.f7+ Rg7 35.Qxd5 1-0
"Countless masterpieces of play remain to assure him the immortality he sought," wrote Diemer.