Fischer On Alekhine


alexander-alekhine-6Alexander Alekhine


 Fischer has an opinion, actually many of them, on one of the absolute greats from his Top Ten List.  Enjoy.


Alekhine is a player I’ve never really understood; yet, strangely, if you’ve seen on Alekhine game you’ve seen them all. He always wanted a superior center; he maneuvered his pieces toward the King side and around the twenty-fifth move, began to mate his opponent.

He disliked exhcanges, preferring to play with many pieces on the board. His play was fantastically complicated, more so than any player before or since. 

Alekhine once beat Lasker in about 23 moves; his pieces converged on the King side, and the game ended with a sudden death blow. 

Alekhine has never been a hero of mine, and I’ve never cared for his style of play. There’s nothing light or breezy about it; it worked for him, but it could scarcely work for anybody else. He played gigantic conceptions, full of outrageous and unprecedented ideas. It’s hard to find mistakes in his game, but in a sense his whole method of play was a mistake. 

Alekhine developed as a player much more slowly than most. In his twenties, he was an atrocious chessplayer, and didn’t mature until he was well into his thirties. But he had a great imagination; he could see more deeply into a situation than any other player in chess history. He disliked clear-cut positions. If an opponent wanted to clarify his situation with Alekhine, he had to pay the Russian’s price. Then, it was Alekhine’s stamina that carried him to victory. It was in the most complicated positions that Alekhine found his grandest concepts. 

Many consider Alekhine a great opening theoretician, but I don’t think he was. He played book lines, but didn’t know them very well. He always felt that his natural powers would get him out of any dilemma. 

At the chessboard, Alekhine radiated a furious tension that often intimidated his opponents.

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