Wednesday, March 13

Alekhine-Levitsky match, Game 6: Alekhine wins protracted battle, leads 4-2

Alekhine Alekhine defeated Stepan Levitsky in the sixth game of their match at St. Petersburg, forcing him opponent's resignation after 90 moves in a contest marked by much maneuvering, broken on occasion by episodes of thrust-and-parry on various sectors of the board.  Alekhine now leads the race to seven victories by a score of 4-2; the two chess gladiators are yet to record a single draw.

Alekhine, playing White, chose the Vienna Game, and an early exchange of several minor pieces brought about after a dozen moves a position in which each side remained with Queen, both Rooks, and a full complement of eight pawns, the first player possessing in addition a Bishop against his opponent's Knight.  There followed a long period of probing, with Alekhine, who held a slight initiative, seeking inroads on the opposing King-side, and directing his fire primarily against his opponent's weak pawn on f6 - an plan that fell short of the desired result.  The later appearance of a weak White pawn on g3, whose defense required the attention of four pieces, further complicated the first player's attempts to make progress, and the fact that no pieces, and only a handful of pawns, were exchanged between the 13th and 73rd moves provides telling evidence of the nature of the play.  At length, however, White succeeded in breaking through via an advance on the Queen-side, in which zone the Black King had taken shelter, and Alekhine with a concluding attack achieved an advantage sufficient for victory, though in the opinion of the winner both White's offense and Black's defense in this final phase might have been materially strengthened, an understandable circumstance given the duration of the contest.

We present the game, with commentary by Alekhine:

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