(30) Alekhine,Alexander - Bogoljubow,Efim [D31]
World Championship 15th Germany (4), 11.04.1934
[Llewellyn, Alan]

Alexander Alekhine would not defend his crown against the strongest competitor, namely, Capablanca due to the fact he might lose so he picked the next strongest competitor who was Efim Bogoljubow and who was also no match for the great Alexander. Here in the return match between these two Alexander plays really badly in the opening and middlegame but still Efim cannot break through and in the end secumbs to a bolt from the Blue.

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e3 e6
The Semi-Slav Defence

5.Bd3 Nbd7 6.f4 dxc4
this is well known today as the Meran variation of the Semi-Slav Defence.

7.Bxc4 b5 8.Bd3 Bb7 9.Nf3 a6 10.a4 b4 11.Ne2 c5 12.0-0 Be7 13.a5?!
The pawn is just a target there.

13...0-0 14.Ng3 g6 15.Qe2 cxd4 16.exd4 Nb8 17.Ne5 Nc6
[17...Qxd4+?! this move just mobilises Whites pieces at the cost of a pawn notice how the b6 squaer becomes a thorn in Blacks side after this gambit. 18.Be3 Qd6 19.Rfd1 Nd5 20.Bc4= ]

18.Nxc6 Bxc6=/+ 19.Bc4?!
this allows the h5 move which is a pawn sacrifice to gain a battering ram against the White position. [19.Bxa6 h5 20.Bc4 h4 21.Nh1 Qxd4+ 22.Be3 Qe4 23.Bd3 Qd5 24.Bc4 Qf5 25.Bd3 Qd5= Blacks Queen has nothing better than to move back and for because the counter attack by White may be fierce otherwise. The threat of h3 prevents White himself from taking advantage of the open centre.]

[19...h5 20.Rd1 Qd7 21.Nf1 h4 22.Ne3 h3 23.gxh3 Qb7 24.Rf1 Rfc8 25.Ng4 Be4 26.Ne5 Kg7 27.Re1 Bf5 28.Be3 Bxh3-/+ ]

20.Be3 Qd6 21.Rad1 Rfe8 22.b3 Bf8 23.Rd3 Qc7 24.Qa2 Bd6 25.Bd2 Qc6 26.Be1 Rad8 27.Rd2 Be7 28.Qb2 Rd7 29.Rc2 Qd6 30.Ne2 Nd5 31.Qc1 Bd8 32.Bg3 Qe7
[32...Bxa5 33.f5 e5 34.Bxe5 Rxe5 35.dxe5 Qxe5 36.Bxd5 Qxd5 37.Ng3=/+ ]

33.Ra2 Qf6 34.Qd2 Qf5 35.Bd3 Qf6 36.Bc4 Be7 37.Qd3 Red8 38.Be1 Qf5 39.Qd2 Qe4 40.Bd3 Qe3+ 41.Bf2 Qxd2 42.Rxd2 Rc8 43.Bc4 Kg7 44.g3 Rcd8 45.Rc1 h6 46.Bd3 f5 47.Rdc2 g5! 48.g4!!
pure Alekhine!!! complicating to defeat his opponent.

[48...Rf8-/+ ]

49.Nxf4 gxf4 50.gxf5 e5
[50...Bd5 51.Bxa6 Bxb3 52.Rc7 Kf8 53.Bb7 Bd5 54.fxe6 Rxc7 55.Rxc7 b3 56.Bxd5 Rxd5 57.Rb7 Rxa5 58.Rxb3 Rd5+/- and Efim may have held on for the draw.]

51.Re1 exd4??
[51...Rxd4 52.Bxd4 Rxd4 53.Rc7 Kf6 54.Rxe5 Rxd3 55.Re6+ Kxf5 56.Rcxe7 Bd5 57.Rxa6 Rxb3 58.Rxh6 Bc4 59.Rh8 Kg4 60.Rg7+ Kf5 61.Rc7 Bd3 62.Rf7+ Ke4 63.Re7+ Kf3 64.Re1 Kg4 65.Ra1 Ra3 66.Rd1 Ba6+/= and again Efim may have held a draw.]

A wonderfull bolt from the Blue. In a seemingly even position Alexander finds the correct series of tactics.

52...Rxe7 53.Bh4
[53.f6+ Kxf6 54.Bh4+ Kf7 55.Bxe7 Kxe7-/+ ]

53...Kf7 54.Bxe7 Kxe7 55.Rc7+ Rd7 56.f6+!! Ke8
[56...Ke6 57.f7 Rxf7 58.Bc4+ Kd6 59.Rxf7+- ; 56...Kd6 57.f7 Kxc7 58.f8Q+- ]

57.Bg6+ Kd8 58.f7 Kxc7 59.f8Q f3
Efim plays on obviously out of shock and disapointment. [59...d3 60.Qxf4+ Kc8 (60...Kd8 61.Qb8+ Ke7 62.Bxd3 Rxd3 63.Qxb7+ Kd6 64.Qxa6+ Kc5 65.Qxd3+- ) 61.Bf5+- ]

60.Qxb4 Rd6 61.Bd3
its a hopeless struggle against a top player a Queen to a Rook down nevermind someone of Alexanders strength. So Efim resigned there. 1-0