Wednesday, March 6

Alekhine-Levitsky match, Game 3: Levitsky blunders in favorable endgame; Alekhine now leads 3-0

Alexander Alekhine took a 3-0 lead in his match against Stepan Levitsky when the latter, perhaps fatigued after a complicated struggle, miscalculated in a favorable position, voluntarily returning his material advantage and allowing a forcible transition into a pawn endgame clearly winning for his opponent.  The loss by Levitsky comes as a blow to his supporters, who, only minutes before the end, entertained high hopes that their favorite would record his first victory in the match, which will go to the first contestant to win seven games outright.

Levitsky, playing White, chose the Giuoco Piano for this encounter, concentrating his forces on the Queen-side and leaving the King's wing to its fate, as an examination of the position after Black's 20th move will instantly make clear.  Alekhine, never hesitant to attack, advanced his forces toward the enemy monarch, to whose aid Levitsky hurried his own troops, thereby maintaining the balance.  At his 33rd turn Alekhine blundered, overlooking a clever riposte by his opponent, as a direct result of which White won the exchange,  with, as Alekhine himself admits, strong prospects of winning the game.  Yet Levitsky returned the "favor" almost immediately, his 37.Rd4?? converting a likely won endgame into a clearly lost one.  The loser remarked afterward that he had foreseen the resultant pawn endgame in his calculations, but had simply misevaluated it, the sort of unfortunate occurrence experienced at some point by all chess players, here rendered all the more tragic by the high level of this contest and the state of the match.  Whether Levitsky will prove able to recover from this self-inflicted blow, only the future will tell.

We present the game, with notes by :the winner:


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