In the following photograph, Alekhine decided to move his king to c3 before playing it to b3. Afterwards he moved his king back to the starting point, i.e. e2. Why didn't he just play b3 right away, which is so much easier?

The game can be found here on chessgames.com.In the current postion, it is Alekhine’s 34th move.

[Title "Alexander Alekhine-Max Euwe, London England, 8/4/1922"]
[FEN ""]
[startply "66"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. Bf4 Bg7 4. Nbd2 c5 5. e3 d6 6. c3 Nc6 7. h3 O-O 8. Bc4 Re8 9. O-O e5 10. dxe5 Nxe5 11. Bxe5 dxe5 12. Ng5 Be6 13. Bxe6 fxe6 14. Nde4 Nxe4 15. Qxd8 Rexd8 16. Nxe4 b6 17. Rfd1 Kf8 18. Kf1 Ke7 19. c4 h6 20. Ke2 Rxd1 21. Rxd1 Rb8 22. Rd3 Bh8 23. a4 Rc8 24. Rb3 Kd7 25. a5 Kc6 26. axb6 axb6 27. Ra3 Bg7 28. Ra7 Rc7 29. Ra8 Re7 30. Rc8+ Kd7 31. Rg8 Kc6 32. h4 Kc7 33. g4 Kc6 34. Kd3 Rd7+ 35. Kc3 Rf7 36. b3 Kc7 37. Kd3 Rd7+ 38. Ke2 Rf7 39. Nc3 Re7 40. g5 hxg5 41. hxg5 Kc6 42. Kd3 Rd7+ 43. Ke4 Rb7 44. Nb5 Re7 45. f3 Kd7 46. Rb8 Kc6 47. Rc8+ Kd7 48. Rc7+ Kd8 49. Rc6 Rb7 50. Rxe6

He probably wanted to make the time control which is usually on the 40th move before making any comittal decisions.

  • I did not consider this. For those who don't know, time control at the 40th move suddenly leaves each side with a certain amount of time left (this is known as sudden death). With this shortened amount of time, the defending side is under more pressure. May 15 '17 at 22:50
  • 3
    @JossieCalderon: on the contrary, both players usually get more time on move 40. You have x amount of time to reach move 40, and then get extra time when that is reached. Back then, probably about an hour for tne next twenty moves, or even more. Nowadays it'll often be some amount for the rest of the game, the "sudden death" you mention, but it's on top of what you already had. May 16 '17 at 9:58
  • @RemcoGerlich: music to my ears. May 16 '17 at 15:49

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