Tuesday 23 September 2014

Could you pull this off today?

When I was younger one of the more interesting chess games I played over was an Alekhine v Euwe game from the 1937 World Championship. Alekhine played a completely unexpected novelty in the opening, and while is was just a total bluff, Euwe missed the best lines and went down to a quick defeat.
Apart from the 'what if'' question in the case of Euwe playing the refutation, there is another question for more modern times. Would such an opening bluff even work today? I very much doubt it, as opening prep is much more comprehensive and computer driven, at the top level. Given the position was quite early in the opening it could safely be assumed that it would have either flashed across the screen while a world champion or challenger was checking their analysis, or would be considered unsound if it turned up at the board. Certainly I would expect such a tactical line to set the alarm bells ringing, and as a result, the chances of finding a refutation at the board would be high.

Alekhine,Alexander - Euwe,Max [D10]
World Championship 17th Netherlands (6), 16.10.1937

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