Recently (first here then here) I’ve been looking at double bishop sacrifices.
In many of the examples I’ve found the combination runs something like
1. Bxh7+ 2. Qh5+ 3. Bxg7 4. Q (g-file somewhere with check) 5. R (to third or fourth rank ready to swing over to the h-file).
It’s not always like that though. Take a look at Alekhine- Drewitt from 85 years ago.
Black resigned because after 22. … Kxg7, 23. Qg4 mates in short order.
But what happens if instead Black tries to hang on with 22… f6?
I would have made Alekhine play on; 23.Bh6 Qh7 24.Qh5 Bf8 25.Qg4+ Kf7 26.Bxf8 Qg6 27.Qxg6+ Kxg6 28.Rh6+ Kf7 29.Bc5 is the best I can find...
Won't 23 Qg4 bring home the breakfast? There'll be a capture with check on e6 and then the queen will be won, and I'd say Black won't have enough material for it.
Having now checked with a computer I find that the answer (to me, at least) is "very much not, no".
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Yes I think you're right.
Apparently Alekhine's own notes only mention 25. ... Kh8 which is much less tenacious than your ... Kf7.
I (or more accurately Fritz) can't improve on your suggestion either. White ends up a piece up but Black has a pawn for it - and a pair of connected passed pawns on the Q-Side.
I certainly wouldn't resign this in a club game. Perhaps Drewitt just trusted Alekhine that this position is lost?
Fritz 8, after a few minutes to think about it, "depth = 18/18" whatever that means, suggests the position after 29. Bc5 is
+- with White 1.83 pawns ahead.
29. ... Kg7, 30. Rh3 a5, 31. Rg3+ Kf7, 32. e4 b5
It wouldn't actually matter if you resigned it against Alekhine, he'd still have written it up in his Best Games as if you had.
Good point Justin :-)
I forgot to mention in the main post that the end of Alekhine-Drewitt reinforces my opinion that in the Double Bishop Sacrifice it's often harder to work out a clear win when Black declines the second bishop.
E.g. see my second post in the series.
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