Sunday, March 10

Alekhine-Levitsky match, Game 5: Levitsky wins 2nd consecutive game with sacrificial attack; score now 3-2 in favor of Alekhine

The Alekhine-Levitsky match, which a scant few days ago gave the appearance of a runaway affair, has transformed into a much more closely-fought contest after yesterday's fifth game, a slashing victory by Stepan Levitsky.  Levitsky, recording a success for the second consecutive game, defeated Alekhine with a violent attack and now trails his younger compatriot by a single point, 3-2, in this match of seven games up.

After the obligatory 1.e4 e5, as prescribed by the match conditions, Levitsky employed the Center Game, against which Alekhine reacted vigorously.  At his 13th turn Levitsky, facing a situation in which routine play would cede the initiative to  Black, chose instead to launch a sacrificial attack, shattering the opposing King's defensive position at the cost of a piece.  The soundness of this approach may be open to question, but the dangers it presented for the defending side were without doubt, and Alekhine, by his own estimation, committed a serious error at the 16th move.  Thereupon Levitsky, making excellent use of a pin on the d-file, combined with threats of a mating attack, applied continuous pressure until his opponent, short of time, opted, as in the fourth game, to yield his Queen for Rook and minor piece in the hope of mounting a defense with his remaining forces, a hope that soon proved vain when, at his 25th turn, and facing further loss of material, the young Muscovite resigned.  We present the game, along with commentary by Alekhine:

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