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1. e4 nf6
I'm taking it up, I just wondered if any experienced players from the white or black side can point me at good reading literature, online or books? The wordier the better. An opening tree woudl be nice to determine what I am dealing with.
Also, are there any trappy deviations from the mainlines, hard to solve lines for white that black can make?
And what about 2. Nc3, whats the clearest transposition black can try to make?
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Checking the GK database would be a good start
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The best (and only?) site for Alekhine's Defense info I've been able to find: -> www.geocities.com
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I'm not sure, but Nc3 d5 is meant to be decent for black. e5 is by far the better move after Nf6.
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Be aware of 1.e4 Nf6 2.Bc4 Nxe4 3.Bxf7+ lines. It's what I would play against the Alekhine.
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Warning: That Last Line Favors Black
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I used to play this...
... 1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.Nc3
After 3...Nxc3 I usually played 4.dxc3 with good success. I did try 4.bxc3 and though I lost horribly (the circumstances were not favorable for trying an unfamiliar line) it is quite playable.
From White's point of view, this is a restrained line - fairly safe and comfortable to play, but it doesn't place very much pressure on Black's game.
On GK I've had the Alekhine played against me once. I played the Four Pawns' Attack with this interesting game ensuing:
1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.c4 Nb6 4.d4 d6
5.f4 dxe5 6.fxe5 Bf5 7.Nc3 Nc6 8.Be3 e6
Black is developing his pieces in the interstices of White's central pawn position; White hastens to catch up with his piece development...
9.Be2 Bb4 10.Nf3 f6!?
Apparently weakening, but it doesn't turn out so badly for Black...
11.exf6 Qxf6 12.0-0 Bxc3 13.bxc3 0-0 14.Bg5 Qf7
15.Nh4 h6 16.Bd2 Na5 17.c5 Nbc4 18.g4 Qe7
Things are getting pretty complicated!
19.Nxf5 exf5 20.Bxc4ch Nxc4 21.Qb3 Qe6 22.Rae1 Qa6
23.gxf5 Rf7 24.Bc1 Raf8 25.Re6
At this point I thought White was well on top, but I reckoned without mine host...
25...Qxe6! 26.fxe6 Rxf1ch (=) 27.Kg2 R1f2ch 28.Kg1 Rf1ch
29.Kg2 R1f2ch 30.Kg3 R8f3ch 31.Kg4 Ne3ch 32.Bxe3 Rxe3
33.Qxb7 g5 34.Qc8ch Kg7 35.Qd7ch Kg6 36.Qe8ch with a perpetual. Draw.
From move 26 onward, White was never going to get anything more than a draw...
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I played the Alekhine's Defense once on gk, but it didn't go well at all.
1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. Nf3 d6 4. d4 g6 5. Bc4 Nb6 6. Bb3 Bg7 7. Ng5 and now either 7...d5 or 7...e6 is needed, but frankly I don't like either (but they're supposed to be ok).
4...Bg5 is fine. 5...c6 is also a good move for black. I think that if I played either of these moves, I wouldn't have lost so horribly and I would have trusted the opening more.
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The second line...
... suggested by ganstaman was played in the Spassky-Fischer match of 1972 (Game 19). It has its points of interest:
White: Boris Spassky
Black: Bobby Fischer
1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.d4 d6 4.Nf3 Bg4
5.Be2 e6 6.0-0 Be7 7.h3 Bh5 8.c4 Nb6
9.Nc2 0-0 10.Be3 d5 11.c5 Bxf3 12.Bxf3 Nc4
13.b3 Nxe3 14.fxe3 b6 15.e4 c6 16.b4 bxc5
17.bxc5 Qa5 18.Nd5!? Bg5! 19.Bh5!? cxd5 20.Bxf7ch Rxf7
Exciting stuff, but has White enough?
Not 21...Kxf7 Qh5ch...
22.Qxd2 Bxd2 23.Raf1 Nc6 = 24.exd5 exd5 25.Rd7 Be3ch
26.Kh1 Bxd4 27.e6 Be5 28.Rxd5 Re8 29.Re1 Rxe6
30.Rd6 Kf7 31.Rxc6 Rxc6 32.Rxe5 Kf6 33.Rd5 Ke6
34.Rh5 h6 35.Kh2 Ra6 36.c6 Rxc6 37.Ra5 a6
38.Kg3 Kf6 39.Kf3 Rc3ch 40.Kf2 Rc2ch Draw agreed.
The 13th game - in my view the most entertaining in the whole match - had taken a different course when Fischer played 4...g3. Not the most accurate game, it was nevertheless a fantastic battle right up until Spassky's losing blunder on the 69th move.
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I mentioned earlier ...
... the line 1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.Nc3 etc. Black often captures on c3 (...Nxc3), when either recapture seems to be playable, or he can instead play 3...e6 4.Nxd5 exd5 etc. Here is a sample game from 1972 with Black capturing on move 3.
White: Radulov (GM, Bulgaria)
Black: Westerinen (IM [later GM], Finland)
1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.Nc3 Nxc3 4.dxc3 d6 [4...d5 is also playable]
5.Nf3 de5 6.Qxd8 Kxd8 7.Nxe5 Ke8 ...
White has a lead in development, but black has no real weaknesses to speak of. With the queens gone, the loss of castling rights diminishes in importance somewhat, though perhaps retains some significance for the following play.
[Be3 is at least as playable, as played by Hubner at the Graz Student Olympiad in the same year]
8... e6 9.Be3
[Considered a novelty at the time. 9.Bf4 and 9.0-0 had also been tried and found OK]
9...Nd7 10.Nd3 Bd6 11.0-0-0 Ke7
[In his notes for Informator 14, IM Minev committed the solecism of questioning this move, and suggesting instead 11...0-0 with a view to 12...Ne5. What had the IM overlooked?]
12.Rhe1 b6 13.Bg5 Nf6 14.f4 Re8 15.Bd5 Rb8
[White already has strong pressure against the Black position.]
16.Ne5 Kf8 17.Bc6 Rd8 18.g3 h6 19.Bh4 Kg8
[This seems to leave Black's QR imprisoned on b7, but what else is there? 20...Be7 maybe? ]
21.Bxb7 Rxb7 22.Nc6 ...
[Black will have the devil's own job getting the rook off b7!]
22...Ra8 23.Bxf6 gxf6 24.f5! e5 25.b4 Kg7
26.Re4 h5 27.h4 Rg8 28.Kd2 Kh6 29.Rg1 Rbb8
[Desperation, but Black has in effect been playing a rook down.]
30.Nxb8 Bxb4ch 31.Ke2 Rxb8 32.g4 Rg8
[Black has bishop and pawn for rook - often enough to draw. Is it enough here?
33.Kf3 Bd2 34.Re2 Bb4 35.Reg2 Re8 36.gxh5 e4ch
37.Ke2 Rh8 38.Rg8 Rxg8 39.Rxg8 Bc5 40.Rh8ch Kg7
[Black cannot prevent the loss of several pawns...]
41.Rc8 Kh6 1-0
It appears that the game was adjourned at this point, but Black resigned without continuing. Minev suggested the following as a likely continuation:
42.Rxc7 Kxh5 43.Rxf7 Bd4 44.Re7 indirectly protecting the h-pawn e.g. 44...e3 45.Kf3 threatens 46.Rh7#, and if 45...Kxh4 46.Re4ch picking up the bishop.
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i play alekhine from time to time, especially on blitz, and have some good success with it. if i'm white and my opponent plays it, then it's the four pawn attack all the way!
yes, i highly recommend the gk database, i learned much from here.
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Check & see if GM Lev Alburt's , "The Alekhine for the Tournament Player" is still available. That was the book that got me playing it for a time.
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1.e4 Nf6 2.Bc4 Nxe4 3.Bxf7+
1.e4 Nf6 2.Bc4 Nxe4 3.Bxf7+
good stuff, personally I wouldn't take the pawn, after seeing the messy position black gets into.
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Anyway, what is a status of A. defence among top level players, at the moment?
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Very few GMs play it, dunno why & what particular problem they have with it.
GM Bagirov is an exponent.
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Does Alburt still play it?
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I wouldn't recommend the Alekhine,but if you must,any game databases you can find by Lev Alburt(GM),are good...he is a "surgeon" on the board with it.Also,Bobby Fischer,employed the Alekhine alot,so perhaps check some of his past games from the 1970's.MCO-14(Modern Chess Openings) by Nick de Firmian,available online or through the USCF,has alot of lines regarding this opening and a nice story behind it.