[blind-chess] Annotated Game #078: Efim Bogoljubow - Alexander Alekhine, Hastings 1922

  • From: "Roderick Macdonald" <rjmacdonald@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
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  • Date: Sun, 12 Feb 2012 11:06:41 -1000

Annotated Game #078:
Efim Bogoljubow - Alexander Alekhine, Hastings 1922
Adapted and Condensed from
Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia


++1.    Efim Dmitriyevich Bogoljubow
++1.A   Early career
++1.B   World War I: interned in Germany
++1.C   Top Grandmaster
++1.D   Decline
++1.E   Quotation
++2.    Alexander Alexandrovich Alekhine
++2.A   Biography
++2.A1  Early life
++2.A2  Early chess career (1902-1914)
++2.A3  Top-level grandmaster (1914-1927)
++2.A3a World War I and post-revolutionary Russia
++2.A3b 1920-1927
++2.B   World Chess Champion, first reign (1927-35)
++2.B1  1927 title match
++2.B2  Rematch offered, never finalized
++2.B3  Defeats Bogolyubov twice in title matches
++2.B4  Anti-Bolshevik statements, controversy
++2.B5  Dominates rivals
++2.C   Loss of the World title (1935-1937)
++2.D   World Chess Champion, second reign (1937-46)
++2.D1  1937-1939
++2.D2  World War II (1939-1945)
++2.D3  His final year
++2.E   Assessment
++2.E1  Playing strength and style
++2.E2  Influence on the game
++2.E3  Accusations of "improving" games
++2.E4  Accusations of anti-Semitism
++2.F   Notable chess games
++2.G   Writings
++2.H   Summary of results in competitions
++2.H1  Tournament results
++2.H2  Match results
++2.H3  Chess Olympiad results
++3     Efim Bogoljubow - Alexander Alekhine, Hastings 1922

++1.    Efim Dmitriyevich Bogoljubow

Efim Dmitriyevich Bogoljubow (April 14, 1889 - June 18, 1952) was
a Russo-German chess grandmaster who won numerous events and played
two matches with Alexander Alekhine for the world championship.

++1.A   Early career

In 1911, Bogoljubow tied for first place in the Kiev championships,
and for 9-10th in the Saint Petersburg (All-Russian Amateur)
Tournament, won by Stepan Levitsky. In 1912, he took second place,
behind Karel Hromadka, in Vilna (Vilnius) (Hauptturnier). In 1913-
1914, he finished eighth in Saint Petersburg (All Russian Masters'
Tournament - eighth Russian championship; Alekhine and Aron
Nimzowitsch came joint first).

++1.B   World War I: interned in Germany

In July-August 1914, he played in Mannheim tournament (the 19th DSB
Congress), and tied for 8-9th in that event, which was interrupted
by World War I. After the declaration of war against Russia, eleven
"Russian players" (Alekhine, Bogoljubow, Fedor Bogatyrchuk,
Alexander Flamberg, N. Koppelman, Boris Maliutin, Ilya Rabinovich,
Peter Romanovsky, Peter Petrovich Saburov, Alexey Selezniev, Samuil
Weinstein) from the Mannheim tournament were interned by Germany.
In September 1914, four of the internees (Alekhine, Bogatyrchuk,
Saburov, and Koppelman) were allowed to return home via
Switzerland. The remaining Russian internees played eight
tournaments, the first held in Baden-Baden (1914) and all the
others in Triberg (1914-1917). Bogoljubow took second place, behind
Alexander Flamberg, in Baden-Baden, and won five times in the
Triberg chess tournament (1914-1916). During World War I, he stayed
in Triberg im Schwarzwald, married a local woman and spent the rest
of his life in Germany.

++1.C   Top Grandmaster

After the war, he won many international tournaments; at Berlin
1919, Stockholm 1919, Stockholm 1920, Kiel 1921, and Pistyan
(Piestany) 1922. He tied for 1st-3rd at Karlsbad (Karlovy Vary)

In 1924, Bogoljubow briefly returned to Russia, which had since
become the Soviet Union, and won consecutive Soviet championships
in 1924 and 1925. He also won at Breslau (Wroclaw) 1925, and in the
Moscow 1925 chess tournament (it), ahead of a field which included
Emanuel Lasker and Jose Raul Capablanca.

In 1926, he emigrated to Germany. He won, ahead of Akiba Rubinstein
that year at Berlin. At Kissingen 1928, he triumphed (+6 -1 =4)
over a field which included Capablanca, Nimzowitsch and Savielly
Tartakower, et al. Bogoljubow won two matches against Max Euwe
(both 5.5-4.5) in 1928 and 1928/29 in Holland. He played matches
for the World Chess Championship twice against Alekhine, losing
15.5-9.5 in 1929, and 15.5-10.5 in 1934.

He represented Germany at first board in the 4th Chess Olympiad at
Prague 1931, winning the individual silver medal (+9 -1 =7).

In 1930, he twice tied for 2nd-3rd with Nimzowitsch, after
Alekhine, in Sanremo, then with Gvsta Stoltz, behind Isaac Kashdan,
in Stockholm. In 1931, he tied for 1st-2nd in Swinemuende (27th DSB
Congress). In 1933, he won in Bad Pyrmont (1st GER-ch). In 1935, he
won at Bad Nauheim, and Bad Saarow. He tied for 1st-2nd at Berlin
1935, Bad Elster 1936, Bad Elster 1937. Bogoljubow won at Bremen
1937, Bad Elster 1938, and Stuttgart 1939 (the 1st Europaturnier).

++1.D   Decline

During World War II, he lost a match to Euwe (+2 -5 =3) at Krefeld
1941, and drew a mini-match with Alekhine (+1 -1 =0) at Warsaw
1943. He also played in numerous tournaments held in Germany and
General Government throughout the war. In 1940, he won in Berlin,
and tied for 1st-2nd with Anton Kohler in Kraksw/Krynica/ Warsaw
(the 1st GG-ch). In 1941, he took 4th in Munich (the 2nd
Europaturnier; Stoltz won), and took 3rd, behind Alekhine and Paul
Felix Schmidt, in Kraksw/Warsaw (the 2nd GG-ch). In 1942, he took
5th in Salzburg Grandmasters' tournament (Alekhine won), tied for
3rd-5th in Munich (1st European Championship - Europameisterschaft;
Alekhine won), took 3rd in Warsaw/Lublin/Kraksw (the 3rd GG-ch;
Alekhine won). In 1943, he took 4th in Salzburg (Paul Keres and
Alekhine won), and tied for 2nd-3rd in Krynica (the 4th GG-ch;
Josef Lokvenc won). In 1944, he won, ahead of Fedor Bogatyrchuk, in
Radom (the 5th GG-ch).

After the war, he lived in West Germany. In 1947, he won in
Lueneburg, and Kassel. In 1949 he won in Bad Pyrmont (3rd West GER-
ch), and tied for 1st-2nd with Elmars Zemgalis in Oldenburg. In
1951, he won in Augsburg, and Saarbruecken.

He was awarded the title International Grandmaster by the World
Chess Federation (FIDE) in 1951.

The Bogo-Indian Defence chess opening (1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3
Bb4+) is named after Bogolyubov.

++1.E   Quotation

"When I am White I win because I am White. When I am Black I win
because I am Bogolyubov."

("Bogolyubov" means "beloved of God" in Russian.)

++2.    Alexander Alexandrovich Alekhine

World Champion 1927-1935 & 1937-1946

Alexander Alexandrovich Alekhine (October 31, 1892 - March 24,
1946) was the fourth World Chess Champion. He is often considered
one of the greatest chess players ever.

By the age of twenty-two, he was already among the strongest chess
players in the world. During the 1920s, he won most of the
tournaments in which he played. In 1927, he became the fourth World
Chess Champion by defeating Capablanca, widely considered
invincible, in what would stand as the longest chess championship
match held until 1985.

In the early 1930s, Alekhine dominated tournament play and won two
top-class tournaments by large margins. He also played first board
for France in five Chess Olympiads, winning individual prizes in
each (four medals and a brillancy prize). His tournament record
became more erratic from the mid-1930s onwards, and alcoholism is
often blamed for his decline. Alekhine offered Capablanca a rematch
on the same demanding terms that Capablanca had set for him, and
negotiations dragged on for years without making much progress.
Meanwhile, Alekhine defended his title with ease against Bogoljubov
in 1929 and 1934. He was defeated by Euwe in 1935, but regained his
crown in the 1937 rematch. His tournament record, however, remained
uneven, and rising young stars like Keres, Fine, and Botvinnik
threatened his title. Negotiations for a title match with Keres or
Botvinnik were halted by the outbreak of World War II in Europe in

Alekhine stayed in Nazi-occupied Europe during the war, where he
played in tournaments which were organized by the Nazis. Anti-
Semitic articles appeared under his name, although he later claimed
they were forged by the Nazis. Alekhine had good relationships with
several Jewish chess players, and his fourth wife was Jewish. After
the war, Alekhine was ostracized by players and tournament
organizers because of the anti-Semitic articles. Negotiations with
Mikhail Botvinnik for a world title match were proceeding in 1946
when Alekhine died in Portugal, in unclear circumstances.

Alekhine is known for his fierce and imaginative attacking style,
combined with great positional and endgame skill. He produced
innovations in a wide range of chess openings. Statistical rating
systems differ about his strength relative to other players, giving
him rankings between fourth and eighteenth in their "all-time"
lists. Although Alekhine was declared an "enemy of the Soviet
Union" after making anti-Bolshevik statements in 1927, in the 1950s
he was posthumously rehabilitated and acclaimed as one of the
founders of the "Soviet School of Chess", which dominated the game
after World War II. He is highly regarded as a chess writer and
theoretician, giving his name to Alekhine's Defense and several
other opening variations, and also composed a few endgame studies.
There is strong evidense that Alekhine "improved" the published
scores of some of his games, although in one case he may not have
been responsible for the misrepresentation.

++2.A   Biography

++2.A1  Early life

Alekhine was born into a wealthy family in Moscow, Russia on
October 31, 1892. His father Alexander Ivanovich Alekhine was a
landowner and Privy Councilor to the conservative legislative
Fourth Duma. His mother, Anisya Ivanovna Alekhina (born
Prokhorova), was the daughter of a rich industrialist. Alekhine was
first introduced to chess by his mother, an older brother, Alexei,
and an older sister, Varvara
++2.A2  Early chess career (1902-1914)

The tables at the end of this article give details of Alekhine's

Alekhine in 1909

Alekhine's first known game was from a correspondense chess
tournament that began on December 3, 1902, when he was ten years
old. He participated in several correspondense tournaments,
sponsored by the chess magazine Shakhmatnoe Obozrenie, in
1902-1911. In 1907, Alexander played his first over-the-board
tournament, the Moscow chess club's Spring Tournament. Later that
year, Alexander tied for 11th-13th in the club's Autumn Tournament;
his older brother, Alexei, tied for 4th-6th place. In 1908,
Alexander won the club's Spring Tournament, at the age of fifteen.
In 1909, he won All-Russian Amateur Tournament in Saint Petersburg.
For the next few years, he played in increasingly stronger
tournaments, some of them outside Russia. At first he had mixed
results, but by the age of sixteen he had established himself as
one of Russia's top players. He played first board in two friendly
team matches: St. Petersburg Chess Club vs. Moscow Chess Club in
1911 and Moscow vs. St. Petersburg in 1912 (both drew with Eugene
Znosko-Borovsky). By the end of 1911, Alekhine moved to St.
Petersburg, where he entered the Imperial Law School for Nobles. By
1912, he was the strongest chess player in the St. Petersburg Chess
Society. In March 1912, he won the St. Petersburg Chess Club Winter
Tournament. In April 1912, he won the 1st Category Tournament of
the St. Petersburg Chess Club. In January 1914, Alekhine won his
first major Russian tournament, when he tied for first place with
Aron Nimzowitsch in the All-Russian Masters Tournament at St.
Petersburg. Afterwards, they drew in a mini-match for first prize
(they both won a game). Alekhine also played several matches in
this period, and his results showed the same pattern: mixed at
first but later consistently good.

++2.A3  Top-level grandmaster (1914-1927)

In April-May 1914, another major St. Petersburg 1914 chess
tournament was held in the capital of the Russian Empire, in which
Alekhine took third place behind Emanuel Lasker and Jose Raul
Capablanca. By some accounts, Tsar Nicholas II conferred the title
of "Grandmaster of Chess" on each of the five finalists (Lasker,
Capablanca, Alekhine, Tarrasch, and Marshall). Chess historian
Edward Winter has questioned this, stating that the earliest known
sources that support this story are an article by Robert Lewis
Taylor in the June 15, 1940 issue of The New Yorker and Marshall's
autobiography My 50 Years of Chess
(1942). Alekhine's surprising success made him a serious contender
for the World Chess
Championship. Whether or not the title was formally awarded to him,
"Thanks to this performance, Alekhine became a grandmaster in his
own right and in the eyes of the audiense." In July 1914, Alekhine
tied for first with Marshall in Paris.
++2.A3a World War I and post-revolutionary Russia

In July-August 1914, Alekhine was leading an international Mannheim
tournament, the 19th DSB Congress (German Chess Federation
Congress) in Mannheim, Germany, with nine wins, one draw and one
loss, when World War I broke out. Alekhine's prize was 1,100 marks
(worth about 11,000 euros in terms of purchasing power today).
After the declaration of war against Russia, eleven "Russian"
players (Alekhine, Bogoljubov, Bogatyrchuk, Flamberg, Koppelman,
Maliutin, Rabinovich, Romanovsky, Saburov, Selezniev, Weinstein)
were interned in Rastatt, Germany. In September 14, 17, and 29,
1914, four of them (Alekhine, Bogatyrchuk, Saburov, and Koppelman)
were freed and allowed to return home. Alekhine made his way back
to Russia (via Switzerland, Italy, London, Stockholm, and Finland)
by the end of October 1914. A fifth player, Peter Romanovsky, was
released in 1915, and a sixth, Flamberg, was allowed to return to
Warsaw in 1916.

When Alekhine returned to Russia, he helped raise money to aid the
Russian chess players who remained interned in Germany by giving
simultaneous exhibitions. In December 1915, he won the Moscow Chess
Club Championship. In April 1916 Alekhine won a mini-match against
Alexander Evensohn with two wins and one loss at Kiev, and in
summer he served in the Union of Cities (Red Cross) on the Austrian
front. In September, he played five people in a blindfold display
at a Russian military hospital at Tarnopol. In 1918, Alekhine won
a "Triangular tournament" in Moscow. In June of the following year,
Alekhine was briefly imprisoned in Odessa's death cell by the
Odessa Cheka, suspected of being a spy. He was charged with links
with White counter-intelligense, after the Russians liberated the
Ukraine from German occupation. Rumors appeared in the West that
Alekhine had been killed by the Bolsheviks.

++2.A3b 1920-1927

The table at the foot of this article gives details of Alekhine's

When conditions in Russia became more settled, Alekhine proved he
was among Russia's strongest players. For example, in January 1920,
he swept the Moscow City Chess Championship (11/11), but was not
declared Moscow Champion because he was not a resident of the city.
Also in October 1920, he won the All-Russian Championship in Moscow
(+9 -0 =6); this tournament was retroactively defined as the first
USSR Championship. His brother Alexei took third place in the
tournament for amateurs.

In March 1920, Alekhine married Alexandra Batayeva. They divorced
the next year. For a short time in 1920-1921, he worked as an
interpreter for the Communist International (Comintern) and was
appointed secretary to the Education Department. In this capacity,
he met a Swiss journalist and Comintern delegate, Anneliese Rueegg
(Annalisa Ruegg), who was thirteen years older than him, and they
married on March 15, 1921. Shortly after, Alekhine was given
permission to leave Russia for a visit to the West with his wife,
from which he never returned. In June 1921, Alekhine abandoned his
second wife in Paris and went to Berlin.

In 1921-1923 Alekhine played seven mini-matches. In 1921, he won
against Nikolay Grigoriev (+2 -0 =5) in Moscow, drew with Richard
Teichmann (+2 -2 =2) and won against Friedrich Saemisch (+2 -0 =0),
both in Berlin. In 1922, he won against Ossip Bernstein (+1 -0 =1)
and Arnold Aurbach (+1 -0 =1), both in Paris, and Manuel Golmayo
(+1 -0 =1) in Madrid. In 1923, he won against Andri Muffang (+2 -0
=0) in Paris.

From 1921 to 1927, Alekhine won or shared first prize in about two-
thirds of the many tournaments in which he played. His least
successful efforts were: a tie for third place at Vienna 1922
behind Akiba Rubinstein and Richard Reti; and third place at the
New York 1924 chess tournament behind ex-champion Emanuel Lasker
and world champion Jose Raul Capablanca (but ahead of Frank James
Marshall, Richard Reti, Giza Marsczy, Efim Bogoljubov, Savielly
Tartakower, Frederick Yates, Edward Lasker and Dawid Janowski).
Technically, Alekhine's play was mostly better than his
competitors', even Capablanca's, but he lacked confidense when
playing his major rivals.

Alekhine's major goal throughout this period was to arrange a match
with Capablanca. He thought the greatest obstacle was not
Capablanca's play, but the requirement under the 1922 "London
rules" (at Capablanca's insistense) that the challenger raise a
purse of US $10,000, of which the defending champion would receive
over half even if defeated (US $10,000 in 1927 would be worth about
$391,000 in 2006 Alekhine in November 1921 and Rubinstein and Aaron
Nimzowitsch in 1923 challenged Capablanca, but were unable to raise
the $10,000. Raising the money was Alekhine's preliminary
objective; he even went on tour, playing simultaneous exhibitions
for modest fees day after day. In New York on April 27, 1924,
Alekhine broke the world record for blindfold play when he played
twenty-six opponents (the previous record was twenty-five, set by
Gyula Breyer), winning sixteen games, losing five, and drawing five
after twelve hours of play. He broke his own world record on
February 1, 1925 by playing twenty-eight games blindfold
simultaneously in Paris, winning twenty-two, drawing three, and
losing three.

In 1925, he became a French citizen and entered the Sorbonne
Faculty of law. Although sources differ about whether he completed
his studies there, he was known as "Dr. Alekhine" in the 1930s. His
thesis was on the Chinese prison system. "He received a degree in
law in Saint Petersburg in 1914 but never practiced."

In October 1926, he won in Buenos Aires. From December 1926 to
January 1927, Alekhine beat Max Euwe 5.5-4.5 in a match. In 1927,
he married his third wife, Nadiezda Vasiliev (nee Fabritzky)
(Nadejda Fabritzky, Nadezhda Vasilieff), another older woman, the
widow of the Russian general V. Vasiliev (Vassilieff).
++2.B   World Chess Champion, first reign (1927-35)

++2.B1  1927 title match

Capablanca, from whom Alekhine won the World Chess Championship in
1927. Prolonged negotiations for a return match came to nothing.

In 1927, Alekhine's challenge to Capablanca was backed by a group
of Argentinian businessmen and the president of Argentina, who
guaranteed the funds, and organized by the Club Argentino de
Ajedrez (Argentine Chess Club) in Buenos Aires. In the World Chess
Championship match played from September to November 1927 at Buenos
Aires, Alekhine won the title, scoring +6 -3 =25. This was the
longest formal World Championship match until the contest in 1984
between Anatoly Karpov and Garry Kasparov. Alekhine's victory
surprised almost the entire chess world, since he had never
previously won a single game from Capablanca. After Capablanca's
death Alekhine expressed surprise at his own victory, since in 1927
he did not think he was superior to Capablanca, and he suggested
that Capablanca had been over-confident. Capablanca entered the
match with no technical or physical preparation, while Alekhine got
himself into good physical condition, and had thoroughly studied
Capablanca's play. According to Kasparov, Alekhine's research
uncovered many small inaccuracies, which occurred because
Capablanca was unwilling to concentrate intensely. Vladimir Kramnik
commented that this was the first contest in which Capablanca had
no easy wins.

++2.B2  Rematch offered, never finalized

Immediately after winning the match, Alekhine announced that he was
willing to give Capablanca a return match, on the same terms that
Capablanca had required as champion -- the challenger must provide
a stake of US $10,000, of which more than half would go to the
defending champion even if he was defeated. After Capablanca's
death, Alekhine wrote that Capablanca's demand for a $10,000 stake
was an attempt to avoid challenges. Negotiations dragged on for
several years, often breaking down when agreement seemed in sight.
Their relationship became bitter, and Alekhine demanded much higher
appearance fees for tournaments in which Capablanca also played.

Grandmaster Robert Byrne wrote that Alekhine consciously sought
lesser opponents for his subsequent championship matches, rather
than giving Capablanca another chance.

++2.B3  Defeats Bogolyubov twice in title matches

Although he never agreed terms for a rematch against Capablanca,
Alekhine played two world title matches with Bogoljubow, an
official "Challenger of FIDE", in 1929 and 1934, winning handily
both times. The first was held at Wiesbaden, Heidelberg, Berlin,
The Hague, and Amsterdam from September through November 1929.
Alekhine retained his title, scoring +11 -5 =9. From April to June
1934, Alekhine faced Bogoljubow again in a title match held in
twelve German cities, defeating him by five games (+8 -3 =15). In
1929, Bogoljubow was forty years old and perhaps already past his

++2.B4  Anti-Bolshevik statements, controversy

After the world championship match, Alekhine returned to Paris and
spoke against Bolshevism. Afterwards, Nikolai Krylenko, president
of the Soviet Chess Federation, published an official memorandum
stating that Alekhine should be regarded as an enemy of the
Soviets. The Soviet Chess Federation broke all contact with
Alexander Alekhine until the end of the 1930s. His older brother
Alexei, with whom Alexander Alekhine had had a very close
relationship, publicly repudiated him and his anti-Soviet
utterances shortly after, but Alexei may have had little choice
about this decision. In August 1939, Alexei Alekhine was murdered
in Russia.

++2.B5  Dominates rivals

Alexander Alekhine dominated chess into the mid-1930s. His most
famous tournament victories were at the San Remo 1930 chess
tournament (+13 =2, 3= points ahead of Nimzowitsch) and the Bled
1931 chess tournament (+15 =11, 5= points ahead of Bogoljubov). He
won most of his other tournaments outright, shared first place in
two, and the first tournament in which he placed lower was Hastings
1933-34 (shared second place, .5 point behind Salo Flohr). In 1933,
Alekhine also swept an exhibition match against Rafael Cintron in
San Juan (+4 -0 =0), but only managed to draw another match with
Ossip Bernstein in Paris (+1 -1 =2).

From 1930 to 1935, Alekhine played on board one for France at four
Chess Olympiads, winning: the first brilliancy prize at Hamburg in
1930; gold medals for board one at Prague in 1931 and Folkestone in
1933; and the silver medal for board one at Warsaw in 1935. His
loss to Latvian master Hermanis Matisons at Prague in 1931 was his
first loss in a serious chess event since winning the world

In the early 1930s, Alekhine travelled the world giving
simultaneous exhibitions, including Hawaii, Tokyo, Manila,
Singapore, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and the Dutch East Indies. In July
1933, Alekhine played thirty-two people blindfold simultaneously (a
new world record) in Chicago, winning nineteen, drawing nine and
losing four games.

In 1934 Alekhine married his fourth wife, Grace Freeman (nie
Wishard), sixteen years his senior. She was the American-born widow
of a British tea-planter in Ceylon, who retained her British
citizenship to the end of her life and remained Alekhine's wife
until his death.

++2.C   Loss of the World title (1935-1937)

Max Euwe took Alekhine's world title in 1935 but lost it in their
1937 return match.

In 1933, Alekhine challenged Max Euwe to a championship match.
Euwe, in the early 1930s, was regarded as one of three credible
challengers (the others were Capablanca and Salo Flohr). On October
3, 1935 the world championship match began in Zandvoort, the
Netherlands. Although Alekhine took an early lead, from game
thirteen onwards Euwe won twice as many games as Alekhine. The
challenger became the new champion on December 15, 1935 with nine
wins, thirteen draws, and eight losses. This was the first world
championship match that officially had seconds: Alekhine had the
services of Salo Landau, and Euwe had Giza Maroczy. Euwe's win was
a major upset and is sometimes attributed to Alekhine's alcoholism.
Flohr, who also assisted Euwe during the match, thought
overconfidense caused more problems than alcohol for Alekhine in
this match, and Alekhine himself had previously said he would win
easily. Later World Champions Vasily Smyslov, Boris Spassky,
Anatoly Karpov and Garry Kasparov analyzed the match for their own
benefit and concluded that Euwe deserved to win and that the
standard of play was worthy of a world championship.

In the eighteen months after losing the title, Alekhine played in
ten tournaments, with uneven results: tied for first with Paul
Keres at Bad Nauheim in May 1936; first place at Dresden in June
1936; second to Flohr at Podebrady in July 1936; sixth, behind
Capablanca, Mikhail Botvinnik, Reuben Fine, Samuel Reshevsky, and
Euwe at Nottingham in August 1936; third, behind Euwe and Fine, at
Amsterdam in October 1936; tied for first with Salo Landau at
Amsterdam (Quadrangular), also in October 1936; in 1936/37 he won
at the Hastings New Year tournament, ahead of Fine and Erich
Eliskases; first place at Nice (Quadrangular) in March 1937; third,
behind Keres and Fine, at Margate in April 1937; tied for fourth
with Keres, behind Flohr, Reshevsky and Vladimir Petrov, at Kemeri
in June-July 1937; tied for second with Bogoljubow, behind Euwe, at
Bad Nauheim (Quadrangular) in July 1937.

++2.D   World Chess Champion, second reign (1937-46)

Alekhine around 1945

++2.D1  1937-1939

Max Euwe was quick to arrange a return match with Alekhine,
something Jose Raul Capablanca had been unable to obtain after
Alekhine won the world title in 1927. Alekhine regained the title
from Euwe in December 1937 by a large margin (+10 -4 =11). In this
match, held in the Netherlands, Euwe was seconded by Reuben Fine,
and Alekhine by Erich Eliskases. The match was a real contest
initially, but Euwe collapsed near the end, losing four of the last
five games. Fine attributed the collapse to nervous tension,
possibly aggravated by Euwe's attempts to maintain a calm
appearance. Alekhine played no more title matches, and thus held
the title until his death.
1938 began well for Alekhine, who won the Montevideo 1938 chess
tournament at Carrasco (in March) and at Margate (in April), and
tied for first with Sir George Alan Thomas at Plymouth (in
September). In November, however, he only tied for 4th-6th with
Euwe and Samuel Reshevsky, behind Paul Keres, Reuben Fine, and
Mikhail Botvinnik, ahead of Capablanca and Flohr, at the AVRO
tournament in the Netherlands. This tournament was played in each
of several Dutch cities for a few days at a time; it was therefore
perhaps not surprising that rising stars took the first three
places, as the older players found the travel very tiring.

Immediately after the AVRO tournament, Botvinnik, who had finished
in third place, challenged Alekhine to a match for the world
championship. They agreed on a prize fund of US $10,000 with two-
thirds going to the winner, and that if the match were to take
place in Moscow, Alekhine would be invited at least three months in
advance so that he could play in a tournament to get ready for the
match. Other details had not been agreed when World War II
interrupted negotiations, which the two players resumed after the

Keres, who had won the AVRO tournament on tiebreak over Fine, also
challenged Alekhine to a world championship match. Negotiations
were proceeding in 1939 when they were disrupted by World War II.
During the war Keres' home country, Estonia, was invaded first by
the USSR, then by Germany, then again by the USSR. At the end of
the war, the Soviet government prevented Keres from continuing the
negotiations, on the grounds that he had collaborated with the
Germans during their occupation of Estonia.

Alekhine was representing France at first board in the 8th Chess
Olympiad at Buenos Aires 1939 when World War II broke out in
Europe. The assembly of all team captains, with leading roles
played by Alekhine (France), Savielly Tartakower (Poland), and
Albert Becker (Germany), plus the president of the Argentine Chess
Federation, Augusto de Muro, decided to go on with the Olympiad.

Alekhine won the individual silver medal (nine wins, no losses,
seven draws), behind Capablanca (only results from finals A and B -
 separately for both sections - counted for best individual
scores). Shortly after the Olympiad, Alekhine swept tournaments in
Montevideo (7/7) and Caracas (10/10).

At the end of August 1939, both Alekhine and Capablanca wrote to
Augusto de Muro regarding a possible world championship rematch.
Whereas the former spoke of a rematch as a virtual certainty, even
stating that the Cuban was remaining in Buenos Aires until it came
about, the latter referred at length to the financial burden in the
aftermath of the Olympiad. Supported by Latin-American financial
pledges, Jose R. Capablanca challenged Alexander Alekhine to a
world title match in November. Tentative plans not, however,
actually backed by a deposit of the required purse ($10,000 in
gold), led to a virtual agreement to play at Buenos Aires,
Argentina beginning April 14, 1940.
++2.D2  World War II (1939-1945)

Unlike many participants in the 1939 Chess Olympiad, Alekhine
returned to Europe in January 1940. After a short stay in Portugal
, he enlisted in the French army as a sanitation officer.

After the fall of France (June 1940), he fled to Marseille.
Alekhine tried to go to America by traveling to Lisbon and applying
for an American visa. In October 1940, he sought permission to
enter Cuba, promising to play a match with Capablanca. This request
was denied. To protect his wife, Grace Alekhine, an American Jew,
and her French assets (a castle at Saint Aubin-le-Cauf, near
Dieppe, which the Nazis looted), he agreed to cooperate with the
Nazis. Alekhine took part in chess tournaments in Munich, Salzburg,
Krakow/Warsaw, and Prague, organized by Ehrhardt Post, the Chief
Executive of the Nazi-controlled Grossdeutscher Schachbund
("Greater Germany Chess Federation") - Keres, Bogoljubov, Gosta
Stoltz, and several other strong masters in Nazi-occupied Europe
also played in such events. In 1941, he tied for second-third with
Erik Lundin in the Munich 1941 chess tournament (Europaturnier in
September, won by Stoltz), shared first with Paul Felix Schmidt at
Krakow/Warsaw (the 2nd General Government-ch, in
October) and won in Madrid (in December). The following year he won
in the Salzburg 1942 chess tournament (June 1942) and in Munich
(September 1942; the Nazis named this the
Europameisterschaft, which means "European
Championship"). Later in 1942 he won at Warsaw/Lublin/Krakow (the
3rd GG-ch; October 1942) and tied for first with Klaus Junge in
Prague (Duras Jubilei; December 1942). In 1943, he drew a mini-
match (+1 -1) with Bogoljubov in Warsaw (March 1943), he won in
Prague (April 1943) and tied for first with Keres in Salzburg (June

By late 1943, Alekhine was spending all his time in Spain and
Portugal, as the German representative to chess events. This also
allowed him to get away from the onrushing Soviet invasion into
eastern Europe. In 1944, he narrowly won a match against Ramon Rey
Ardid in Zaragoza (+1 -0 =3; April 1944) and won in Gijon (July
1944). The following year, he won at Madrid (March 1945), tied for
second place with Antonio Medina at Gijon (July 1945; the event was
won by Antonio Rico), won at Sabadell (August 1945), he tied for
first with F. Lspez Nzqez in Almeria (August 1945), won in Melilla
(September 1945) and took second in Caceres, behind Francisco Lupe
(Autumn 1945). Alekhine's last match was with Lupe at Estoril near
Lisbon, Portugal, in January 1946. Alekhine won two games, lost
one, and drew one.

Alekhine took an interest in the development of the chess prodigy
Arturo Pomar and devoted a section of his last book (!Legado! 1946)
to him. They played at Gijon 1944, when Pomar, aged twelve,
achieved a creditable draw with the champion.

++2.D3  His final year

Grave of Alexander Alekhine in Paris, France

After World War II, Alekhine was not invited to chess tournaments
outside the Iberian Peninsula, because of his alleged Nazi
affiliation. His original invitation to the London 1946 tournament
was withdrawn when the other competitors protested. While planning
for a World championship match against Botvinnik, he died in his
hotel room in Estoril, Portugal on March 24, 1946. The
circumstances of his death are still a matter of debate. It is
usually attributed to a heart attack, but a letter in Chess Life
magazine from a witness to the autopsy stated that choking on meat
was the actual cause of death. Some have speculated that he was
murdered by a French "Death Squad". A few years later, Alekhine's
son, Alexander Alekhine Junior, said that "the hand of Moscow
reached his father". Canadian Grandmaster Kevin Spraggett, who has
lived in Portugal since the late 1980s, and who has thoroughly
investigated Alekhine's death, favors this possibility. Spraggett
makes a case for the manipulation of the crime scene and the
autopsy by the Portuguese secret police PIDE. He believes that
Alekhine was murdered outside his hotel room, probably by the

Alekhine's burial was sponsored by FIDE, and the remains were
transferred to the Cimetihre du Montparnasse, Paris, France in

++2.E   Assessment

++2.E1  Playing strength and style

Statistical ranking systems differ sharply in their views of
Alekhine. "Warriors of the Mind" rates him only the 18th strongest
player of all time and comments that victories over players such as
Bogoljubov and Euwe are not a strong basis for an "all time"
ranking. But the website "Chessmetrics" ranks him between the
fourth and eighth best of all time, depending on the lengths of the
peak periods being compared, and concludes that at his absolute
peak he was a little stronger than Emanuel Lasker and Capablanca,
although a little weaker than Botvinnik. Jeff Sonas, the author of
the website "Chessmetrics", rates Alekhine as the sixth best player
of all-time on the basis of comparable ratings. He also assesses
Alekhine's victory at the tournament of San Remo in 1930 as the
sixth best performance ever in tournaments. In his 1978 book The
Rating of Chessplayers, Past and Present, Arpad Elo gave
retrospective ratings to players based on their performance over
the best five-year span of their career. He concluded that Alekhine
was the joint fifth strongest player of those surveyed (tied with
Paul Morphy and Vasily Smyslov), behind Capablanca, Botvinnik,
Emanuel Lasker and Mikhail Tal.

Alekhine's peak period was in the early 1930s, when he won almost
every tournament he played, sometimes by huge margins. Afterward,
his play declined, and he never won a top-class tournament after
1934. After Alekhine regained his world title in 1937, there were
several new contenders, all of whom would have been serious

Diagram #1.E1:
White:  King at h2, Rooks at c1 and d2, Bishop at h1, Knights at b7
        and f3, Pawns at f2 and g3.
Black:  King at h8, Rooks at a8 and e3, Bishop at g4, Knights at f6
        and e2, Pawns at f7 and g7.

Reti-Alekine, Baden-Baden 1925 is one of Alekhine's most famous and
complicated wins - 31. ... Ne4 forces the win of White's Knight at
b7 in 12 moves.

Alekhine was one of the greatest attacking players and could
apparently produce combinations at will. What set him apart from
most other attacking players was his ability to see the potential
for an attack and prepare for it in positions where others saw
nothing. Rudolf Spielmann, a master tactician who produced many
brilliancies, said, "I can see the combinations as well as
Alekhine, but I cannot get to the same positions." Dr. Max Euwe
said, "Alekhine is a poet who creates a work of art out of
something that would hardly inspire another man to send home a
picture post-card." An explanation offered by Reti was, "he beats
his opponents by analysing simple and apparently harmless sequenses
of moves in order to see whether at some time or another at the end
of it an original possibility, and therefore one difficult to see,
might be hidden." John Nunn commented that "Alekhine had a special
ability to provoke complications without taking excessive risks",
and Edward Winter called him "the supreme genius of the complicated
position." Some of Alekhine's combinations are so complex that even
modern champions and contenders disagree in their analyses of them.

Nevertheless, Garry Kasparov said that Alekhine's attacking play
was based on solid positional foundations, and Harry Golombek went
further, saying that "Alekhine was the most versatile of all chess
geniuses, being equally at home in every style of play and in all
phases of the game." Fine, a serious contender for the world
championship in the late 1930s, wrote in the 1950s that Alekhine's
collection of best games was one of the three most beautiful that
he knew, and Golombek was equally impressed.

Alekhine's games have a higher percentage of wins than those of any
other World Champion, and his drawn games are on average among the
longest of all champions'. His desire to win extended beyond formal
chess competition. When Fine beat him in some casual games in 1933,
Alekhine demanded a match for a small stake. And in table tennis,
which Alekhine played enthusiastically but badly, he would often
crush the ball when he lost.

Bobby Fischer, in a 1964 article, ranked Alekhine as one of the ten
greatest players in history. Fischer, who was famous for the
clarity of his play, wrote of Alekhine, "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 anyone else. He played gigantic conceptions, full
of outrageous and unprecedented ideas. ... He had great
imagination; he could see more deeply into a situation than any
other player in chess history. ... It was in the most complicated
positions that Alekhine found his grandest concepts."

Alekhine's style had a profound influence on Kasparov, who said:
"Alexander Alekhine is the first luminary among the others who are
still having the greatest influence on me. I like his universality,
his approach to the game, his chess ideas. I am sure that the
future belongs to Alekhine chess."

++2.E2  Influence on the game

Several openings and opening variations are named after Alekhine.
In addition to the well-known Alekhine's Defense (1.e4 Nf6) and the
Albin-Chatard-Alekhine Attack in the "orthodox" Paulsen variation
of the French Defense, there are Alekhine Variations in: the
Budapest Gambit, the Vienna Game, the Exchange Variation of the Ruy
Lopez, the Winawer Variation of the French Defense; the Dragon
Variation of the Sicilian Defense, the Queen's Gambit Accepted, the
Slav Defense, the Queen's Pawn Game, the Catalan Opening and the
Dutch Defense (where three different lines bear his name). Irving
Chernev commented, "The openings consist of Alekhine's games, with
a few variations."

Composition by Alekhine
Diagram #++2.E2
White:  King at d4, Pawns at d6, g4.
Black:  King at b7, Pawns at f7, g6, h7.
White to move and win.

1. g5! Kc6
2. Ke5 Kd7
3. Kd5!

(3. Kf6? Kxd6 4. Kxf7 Ke5)

3. ... Kd8
4. Kc6

And White wins.

Alekhine also composed a few endgame studies, one of which is shown
on the right, a miniature (a study with a maximum of seven pieces).

Alekhine wrote over twenty books on chess, mostly annotated
editions of the games in a major match or tournament, plus
collections of his best games between 1908 and 1937. Unlike Wilhelm
Steinitz, Emanuel Lasker, Capablanca and Euwe, he wrote no books
that explained his ideas about the game or showed beginners how to
improve their play. His books appeal to expert players rather than
beginners: they contain many long analyses of variations in
critical positions, and "singularities and exceptions were his
forte, not rules and simplifications".

Although Alekhine was declared an enemy of the Soviet Union after
his anti-Bolshevik statement in 1928, he was gradually
rehabilitated by the Soviet chess elite following his death in
1946. Alexander Kotov's research on Alekhine's games and career,
culminating in a biography, led to a Soviet series of Alekhine
Memorial tournaments. The first of these, at Moscow 1956, was won
jointly by Botvinnik and Vasily Smyslov. In their book The Soviet
School of Chess Kotov and Yudovich devoted a chapter to Alekhine,
called him "Russia's greatest player" and praised his capacity for
seizing the initiative by concrete tactical play in the opening.
Botvinnik wrote that the Soviet School of chess learned from
Alekhine's fighting qualities, capacity for self-criticism and
combinative vision. Alekhine had written that success in chess
required "Firstly, self-knowledge; secondly, a firm comprehension
of my opponent's strength and weakness; thirdly, a higher aim - ...
artistic and scientific accomplishments which accord our chess
equal rank with other arts."

++2.E3  Accusations of "improving" games

Diagram #1.E3
White:  King at f3, Queens at e3, f4 and g8, Rook at h1, Bishop at
        f1, Knight at g1, Pawn at f2.
Black:  King at b6, Queens at b1 and c2, Rook at a8, Bishops at c5
        and c8, Pawns at a7, b7, d5
Famous and much-analyzed position from the "5 Queens" game

Samuel Reshevsky wrote that Alekhine "allegedly made up games
against fictitious opponents in which he came out the victor and
had these games published in various chess magazines." In a recent
book Andy Soltis lists "Alekhine's 15
Improvements". The most famous example is his game with five queens
in Moscow in 1915. In the actual game, Alekhine, playing as Black,
beat Grigoriev in the Moscow 1915 tournament; but in one of his
books he presented the "five Queens" variation (starting with a
move he rejected as Black in the original game) as an actual game
won by the White player in Moscow in 1915 (he did not say in who
was who in this version, nor that it was in the tournament).

In the position of the diagram at right, which never arose in real
play, Alekhine claimed that White wins by 24.Rh6, as after some
complicated play Black is mated or goes into an endgame a Queen
down. Some recent analyses suggest that this is not the case: if
White plays 24.Rh6, black can play 24...Bg4+! and White has no
mating attack. A later computer-assisted analysis concludes that
White can force a win, but only by diverging from Alekhine's move
sequense at move 20, while there are only three Queens.

Chess historian Edward Winter investigated a game Alekhine
allegedly won in fifteen moves via a Queen sacrifice at Sabadell in
1945. Some photos of the game in progress were discovered that
showed the players during the game and their chessboard. Based on
the position that the chess pieces had taken on the chessboard in
this photo, the game could never have taken the course that was
stated in the published version. This raised suspicions that the
published version was made up. Even if the published version is a
fake, however, there is no doubt that Alekhine did defeat his
opponent in the actual game, and there is no evidense that Alekhine
was the source of the spectacular fifteen-move win whose
authenticity is doubted.

++2.E4  Accusations of anti-Semitism

During World War II, Alekhine played in several tournaments held in
Germany or German-occupied territory, as did many strong players in
occupied and neutral countries. In March 1941, a series of articles
appeared under Alekhine's name in the Pariser Zeitung, a German-
language newspaper published in Paris by the occupying German
forces. Among other things, these articles said that Jews had a
great talent for exploiting chess but showed no signs of chess
artistry; described the hypermodern theories of Nimzowitsch and
Reti as "this cheap bluff, this shameless self-publicity", hyped by
"the majority of Anglo-Jewish pseudo-intellectuals"; and described
his 1937 match with Euwe as "a triumph against the Jewish
conspiracy". Alekhine was reported as making further anti-Semitic
statements in interviews for two Spanish newspapers in September
1941; in one of these it was said that "Aryan chess was aggressive
chess ... on the other hand, the Semitic concept admitted the idea
of pure defense."

Almost immediately after the liberation of Paris, Alekhine publicly
stated that "he had to write two chess articles for the Pariser
Zeitung before the Germans granted him his exit visa ... Articles
which Alekhine claims were purely scientific were rewritten by the
Germans, published and made to treat chess from a racial
viewpoint." He wrote at least two further disavowals, in an open
letter to the organizer of the 1946 London tournament (W. Hatton-
Ward) and in his posthumous book !Legado!. These three denials are
phrased differently.

Extensive investigations by Ken Whyld have not yielded conclusive
evidense of the authenticity of the articles. Chess writer Jacques
Le Monnier claimed in a 1986 issue of Europe Ichecs that in 1958 he
saw some of Alekhine's notebooks and found, in Alekhine's own
handwriting, the exact text of the first anti-Semitic article,
which appeared in Pariser Zeitung on March 18, 1941. In his 1973
book 75 parties d'Alekhine ("75 of Alekhine's games"), however, Le
Monnier had written "It will never be known whether Alekhine was
behind these articles or whether they were manipulated by the
editor of the Pariser Zeitung."

British chess historian Edward G. Winter notes that the articles in
the Pariser Zeitung mis-spelled the names of several famous chess
masters, which could be interpreted as evidense of forgery or as
attempts by Alekhine to signal that he was being forced to write
things that he did not believe; but these could simply have been
typesetting errors, as Alekhine's handwriting was not easy to read.
The articles contained (probably) incorrect claims that Lionel
Kieseritzky (Kieseritsky in English, Kizierycki in Polish) was a
Polish Jew, although (probably) Kieseritzky was neither Polish nor
Jewish. Winter concludes: "Although, as things stand, it is
difficult to construct much of a defense for Alekhine, only the
discovery of the articles in his own handwriting will settle the
matter beyond all doubt." Under current French copyright law,
Alekhine's notebooks will not enter the public domain until January
1, 2017.

There is evidense that Alekhine was not anti-Semitic in his
personal or chess relationships with Jews. In June 1919, he was
arrested by the Cheka, imprisoned in Odessa and sentensed to death.
Yakov Vilner, a Jewish master, saved him by sending a telegram to
the chairman of the Ukrainian Council of People's Commissars, who
knew of Alekhine and ordered his release. Alekhine accepted and
apparently used chess analysis from Charles Jaffe in his World
Championship match against Capablanca. Jaffe was a Jewish master
who lived in New York, where Alekhine often visited, and upon his
return to New York after defeating Capablanca, Alekhine played a
short match as a favor to Jaffe, without financial remuneration.
Alekhine's second for the 1935 match with Max Euwe was the master
Salo Landau, a Dutch Jew. The American Jewish grandmaster Arnold
Denker wrote that he found Alekhine very friendly in chess
settings, taking part in consultation games and productive analysis
sessions. Denker also wrote that Alekhine treated the younger and
(at that time) virtually unproven Denker to dinner on many
occasions in New York during the 1930s, when the economy was very
weak because of the Great Depression. Denker added that Alekhine,
during the early 1930s, opined that the American Jewish grandmaster
Isaac Kashdan might be his next challenger (this did not in fact
occur). He gave chess lessons to 14-year-old prodigy Gerardo
Budowski, a German Jew, in Paris in Spring 1940. Alekhine also
married an American Jew, Grace Wishard, as his fourth wife. Mrs.
Grace Alekhine was the women's champion of Paris in 1944.

++2.F   Notable chess games

Diagram #1.F
White:  King at f4, Rooks at c7 and f7, Knight at f6, Pawns at a3,
        b2, d4, e3, f3, g3, h5
Black:  King at h8, Rooks at a8 and f8, Bishop at a6, Pawns at a4,
        b3, d5, e6, f5, g7, h6
London 1922".

1. Rxg7 Rxf6
2. Ke5

And Yates resigned: if either Black Rook moves to f8, White
checkmates by 3. Rh7+ Kg8 4. Rcg7#

*       Alekhine-Yates, London 1922, Queen's Gambit Declined:
        Orthodox Defense. Main Line (D64) 1-0 Alekhine conjures up
        an attack in the endgame, and his King joins the fray.
*       Efim Bogolyubov vs Alexander Alekhine, Hastings 1922, Dutch
        Defense, Classical Variation (A91), 0-1 This has been
        called one of the greatest games ever played, with some
        incredibly deep variations as Black prepares to queen a
*       Ernst Gruenfeld vs Alexander Alekhine, Karlsbad 1923,
        Queen's Gambit Declined: Orthodox Defense. Rubinstein
        Attack (D64), 0-1 Gruenfeld makes no obvious mistakes but
        his slow build-up lets Alekhine take the initiative and
        start squeezing him off the board. Gruenfeld desperately
        tries to free his position and is crushed by a series of
        sacrifices that forces the win of a piece or checkmate.
*       Richard Reti vs Alexander Alekhine, Baden Baden 1925,
        Hungarian Opening: Reversed Alekhine (A00), 0-1 A
        tactically complex game in which Alekhine unleashes a 12-
        move combination that wins a Knight.
*       Jose Raul Capablanca vs Alexander Alekhine, World
        Championship match, Buenos Aires 1927, Queen's Gambit
        Declined (D52), 0-1 The game ends in an interesting
        position with four queens on the board.
*       Alexander Alekhine vs Aron Nimzowitsch, San Remo 1930,
        French Defense, Winawer Variation (C17), 1-0 One of the
        shortest games ending in a zugzwang -- by the 26th move,
        Black is already strategically lost and has no good moves.
        This game also spawned the term 'Alekhine's gun' for the
        formation where the queen lines up behind the two rooks.
*       Gideon Stahlberg vs Alexander Alekhine, Hamburg 1930, 3rd
        Olympiad, Nimzo-Indian Defense, Spielmann Variation (E23),
        0-1 1st best game prize.
*       Alexander Alekhine vs Emanuel Lasker, Zurich 1934, Queen's
        Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense, Bd3 line (D67), 1-0 A
        short game ending with a queen sacrifice. After the
        tournament Lasker said: "Alekhine's attacking genius has no
        equal in the history of the game".
*       Max Euwe vs Alexander Alekhine, World Championship Match,
        game 4, The Hague 1935, Grunfeld Defense, Russian Variation
        (D81), 0-1 Alekhine sacrifices two rooks, but traps Euwe's
        King in the centre, wins the queen, then finishes

++2.G   Writings

Alekine wrote over twenty books on chess. Some of the best-known
*       Alekhine, Alexander (1985). My Best Games of Chess
        1908-1937. Dover. ISBN 0-486-24941-7. Originally published
        in two volumes as My Best Games of Chess 1908-1923 and My
        Best Games of Chess 1924-1937
*       Alekhine, Alexander (1968). The Book of the Hastings
        International Masters' Chess Tournament 1922. Dover. ISBN

*       Alekhine, Alexander (1961). The Book of the New York
        International Chess Tournament 1924. Dover. ISBN
*       Alekhine, Alexander (1962). The Book of the Nottingham
        International Chess Tournament. Dover. ISBN 0-486-20189-9.
*       Alekhine, Alexander (1973). The World's Chess Championship,
        1937. Dover. ISBN 0-486-20455-3.

Games analysis published after 1938 were edited by Edward Winter
and published in 1980 in the book :
*       Alekhine, Alexander & Edward Winter (1992). 107 Great Chess
        Battles 1939-1945. Dover. ISBN 0-486-27104-8.

++2.H   Summary of results in competitions

++2.H1  Tournament results

Here are Alekhine's placings and scores in tournaments:

1907 Moscow
        11-13 5.5/15 +5 =1 -9 his brother Alexei Alekhine tied for

1908 Moscow
        1st Moscow Chess Club Spring Tournament.

1908 Duesseldorf
        3-4 9/13 +8 =2 -3 16th DSB Congress, A Tournament

1908/09 Moscow
        1st 6.5/9 +5 =3 -1 Moscow Chess Club Autumn Tournament

1909 Saint Petersburg
        1st 13/16 +12 =2 -2 All-Russian Amateur Tournament

1910 Hamburg
        7-8 8.5/16 +5 =7 -4 17th DSB Congress, Schlechter won

1911 Cologne
        1st 3/3 +3 =0 -0 Quadrangular

1911 Carlsbad
        8-9 13.5/25 +11 =5 -9 Teichmann won

1912 Saint Petersburg
        1-2 8/9 +8 =0 -1 First Winter Tournament, lost a game to
        Vasily Osipovich Smyslov

1912 Saint Petersburg
        1st 7/9 +6 =2 -1 Second Winter Tournament, lost a game to
        Boris Koyalovich

1912 Stockholm
        1st 8.5/10 +8 =1 -1 8th Nordic Championship, ahead of

1912 Vilnius
        6-7 8.5/18 +7 =3 -8 7th Russian Championship (All-Russian
        Masters' Tournament), Rubinstein won

1913 Saint Petersburg
        1-2 2/3 +2 =0 -1 Quadrangular, tied with Levenfish

1913 Scheveningen
        1st 11.5/13 +11 =1 -1 ahead of Janowski

1913/14 Saint Petersburg
        1-2 13.5/17 +13 =1 -3 8th Russian Championship (All-Russian
        Masters' Tournament), tied with Nimzowitsch

1914    Saint Petersburg
        3rd 10/18 +6 =8 -4 Lasker 13.5, Capablanca 13, Alekhine 10,
        Tarrasch 8.5, Marshall 8

1914 Paris
        1-2 2.5/3 +2 =1 -0 Cafe Continental Quadrangular, tied with
        Marshall, third Muffang, fourth Hallegua

1914 Mannheim
        leading 9.5/11 +9 =1 -1 19th DSB Congress, interrupted by
        the start of World War I

1915    Moscow
        1st 10.5/11 +10 =1 -0 Moscow Chess Club Championship

1919/20 Moscow
        1st 11/11 +11 =0 -0 Moscow City Championship, not declared
        Moscow Champion because he was not a resident of Moscow

1920 Moscow
        1st 12/15 +9 =6 -0 later recognized as the 1st USSR

1921 Triberg
        1st 7/8 +6 =2 -0 ahead of Bogoljubov

1921 Budapest
        1st 8.5/11 +6 =5 -0 ahead of Gruenfeld

1921 The Hague
        1st 8/9 +7 =2 -0 ahead of Tartakower

1922 Pistyan
        2-3 14.5/18 +12 =5 -1 tied with Spielmann, behind

1922 London
        2nd 11.5/15 +8 =7 -0 Capablanca 13, Alekhine 11.5, Vidmar
        11, Rubinstein 10.5

1922 Hastings
        1st 7.5/10 +6 =3 -1 Rubinstein 7, Bogoljubov and Thomas
        4.5, Tarrasch 4, Yates 2.5

1922 Vienna
        3-6 9/14 +7 =4 -3 Rubinstein won

1923 Margate
        2-5 4.5/7 +3 =3 -1 Gruenfeld won

1923 Carlsbad
        1-3 11.5/17 +9 =5 -3 tied with Bogoljubov and Marsczy

1923 Portsmouth
        1st 11.5/12 +11 =1 -0 ahead of Vajda

1924 New York
        3rd 12/20 +6 =12 -2 Lasker 16, Capablanca 14.5, Alekhine
        12, Marshall 11, Reti 10.5. Marsczy 10, Bogoljubov 9.5

1925 Paris
        1st 6.5/8 +5 =3 -0 ahead of Tartakower

1925 Bern
        1st 4/6 +3 =2 -1 Quadrangular

1925 Baden-Baden
        1st 16/20 +12 =8 -0 ahead of Rubinstein

1925/26 Hastings
        1-2 8.5/9 +8 =1 -0 tied with Vidmar

1926 Semmering
        2nd 12.5/17 +11 =3 -3 Spielmann won

1926 Dresden
        2nd 7/9 +5 =4 -0 Nimzowitsch won

1926 Scarborough
        1st 5.5/6 +5 =1 -0 Alekhine won a play-off match against
        Colle 2-0

1926 Birmingham
        1st 5/5 +5 =0 -0 ahead of Znosko-Borovsky

1926 Buenos Aires
        1st 10/10 +10 =0 -0 ahead of Villegas and Illa

1927 New York
        2nd 11.5/20 +5 =13 -2 Capablanca 14, Alekhine 11.5,
        Nimzowitsch 10.5, Vidmar 10, Spielmann 8, Marshall 6

1927 Kecskemit
        1st 12/16 +8 =8 -0 ahead of Nimzowitsch and Steiner

1929 Bradley Beach
        1st 8.5/9 +8 =1 -0 ahead of Lajos Steiner

1930 San Remo
        1st 14/15 +13 =2 -0 Nimzowitsch 10.5; Rubinstein 10;
        Bogoljubov 9.5; Yates 9

1931 Nice
        1st 6/8 +4 =4 -0 consultation tournament

1931 Bled
        1st 20.5/26 +15 =11 -0 Bogoljubov 15; Nimzowitsch 14;
        Flohr, Kashdan, Stoltz and Vidmar 13.5

1932 Bern
        1-3 2/3 +2 =0 -1 Quadrangular, tied with Voellmy and

1932    Bern
        1st 12.5/15 +11 =3 -1 Swiss Championship (title awarded to
        Hans Johner and Paul Johner)

1932 London
        1st 9/11 +7 =4 -0 ahead of Flohr

1932 Pasadena
        1st 8.5/11 +7 =3 -1 ahead of Kashdan

1932 Mexico City
        1-2 8.5/9 +8 =1 -0 tied with Kashdan

1933 Paris
        1st 8/9 +7 =2 -0 ahead of Tartakower

1933/34 Hastings
        2nd 6.5/9 +4 =5 -0 Flohr 7, Alekhine and Andor Lilienthal
        6.5, C.H.O'D. Alexander and Eliskases 5

1934 Rotterdam
        1st 3/3 +3 =0 -0 Quadrangular

1934 Zurich
        1st 13/15 +12 =2 -1 Swiss Championship (title awarded to
        Hans Johner)

1935 Vrebro
        1st 8.5/9 +8 =1 -0 ahead of Lundin

1936 Bad Nauheim
        1-2 6.5/9 +4 =5 -0 tied with Keres

1936 Dresden
        1st 6.5/9 +5 =3 -1 ahead of Engels

1936 Podebrady
        2nd 12.5/17 +8 =9 -0 Flohr won

1936 Nottingham
        6th 9/14 +6 =6 -2 Botvinnik and Capablanca 10; Euwe, Fine
        and Reshevsky 9.5

1936 Amsterdam
        3rd 4.5/7 +3 =3 -1 Euwe and Fine won

1936 Amsterdam
        1-2 2.5/3 +2 =1 -0 Quadrangular, tied with Landau

1936/37 Hastings
        1st 8/9 +7 =2 -0 Fine 7.5, Eliskases 5.5, Vidmar and
        Feigins 4.5

1937 Margate
        3rd 6/9 +6 =0 -3 tied for 1-2 were Keres and Fine

1937 Kemeri
        4-5 11.5/17 +7 =9 -1 tied for 1-3 were Flohr, Petrov and

1937 Bad Nauheim
        2-3 3.5/6 +3 =1 -2 Quadrangular, Euwe won, the other
        players were Bogoljubov and Saemisch

1937 Nice
        1st 2.5/3 +2 =1 -0 Quadrangular

1938 Montevideo
        1st 13/15 +11 =4 -0 ahead of Guimard

1938 Margate
        1st 7/9 +6 =2 -1 ahead of Spielmann

1938 Netherlands (ten cities)
        4-6 7/14 +3 =8 -3 AVRO tournament, Keres and Fine 8.5;
        Botvinnik 7.5; Alekhine, Euwe and Reshevsky 7; Capablanca

1939 Montevideo
        1st 7/7 +7 =0 -0 ahead of Golombek

1939 Caracas
        1st 10/10 +10 =0 -0

1941 Munich
        2-3 10.5/15 +8 =5 -2 tied with Lundin, behind Stoltz

1941 Krakow, Warsaw
        1-2 8.5/11 +6 =5 -0 tied with Schmidt

1941 Madrid
        1st 5/5 +5 =0 -0

1942 Salzburg
        1st 7./10 +7 =1 -2 ahead of Keres

1942 Munich
        1st 8.5/11 +7 =3 -1 1st European Championship, ahead of

1942 Warsaw, Lublin, Krakow
        1st 7.5/11 +6 =3 -1 ahead of Junge

1942 Prague
        1-2 8.5/11 +6 =5 -0 tied with Junge

1943 Prague
        1st 17/19 +15 =4 -0 ahead of Keres

1943 Salzburg
        1-2 7.5/10 +5 =5 -0 tied with Keres

1944 Gijon
        1st 7.5/8 +7 =1 -0

1945 Madrid
        1st 8.5/9 +8 =1 -0

1945 Gijon
        2-3 6.5/9 +6 =1 -2 tied with Medina, behind Rico

1945 Sabadell
        1st 7.5/9 +6 =3 -0

1945 Almeria
        1-2 5.5/8 +4 =3 -1 tied with Lopez Nunez

1945 Melilla
        1st 6.5/7 +6 =1 -0

1945 Caceres
        2nd 3.5/5 +3 =1 -1 Lupe won

++2.H2  Match results

Here are Alekhine's results in matches:

1908 Curt von Bardeleben
        Won Duesseldorf 4.5/5 +4 =1 -0

1908 Hans Fahrni
        Drew Munich 1.5/3 +1 =1 -1

1908 Benjamin Blumenfeld
        Won Moscow 4.5/5 +4 =1 -0

1908 Vladimir Nenarokov
        Lost Moscow 0/3 +0 =0 -3

1913 Stepan Levitsky
        Won Saint Petersburg 7/10 +7 =0 -3

1913 Edward Lasker
        Won Paris, London 3/3 +3 =0 -0

1913 Jose Raul Capablanca
        Lost Saint Petersburg 0/2 +0 =0 -2 exhibition match

1914 Aron Nimzowitsch
        Drew Saint Petersburg 1/2 +1 =1 -0 play-off match

1916 Alexander Evensohn
        Won Kiev 2/3 +2 =0 -1

1918 Abram Rabinovich
        Won Moscow 3.5/4 +3 =1 -0

1918 Boris Verlinsky
        Won Odessa 6/6 +6 =0 -0

1920 Nikolay Pavlov-Pianov
        Drew Moscow 1/2 +1 =0 -1

1921 Nikolay Grigoriev
        Won Moscow 4.5/7 +2 =5 -0

1921 Efim Bogoljubow
        Drew Triberg 2/4 +1 =2 -1 "secret match"

1921 Richard Teichmann
        Drew Berlin 3/6 +2 =2 -2

1921 Friedrich Saemisch
        Won Berlin 2/2 +2 =0 -0

1922 Ossip Bernstein
        Won Paris 1.5/2 +1 =1 -0

1922 Arnold Aurbach
        Won Paris 1.5/2 +1 =1 -0

1922 Manuel Golmayo
        Won Madrid 1.5/2 +1 =1 -0

1923 Andri Muffang
        Won Paris 2/2 +2 =0 -0

1926 Edgar Colle
        Won Scarborough 2/2 +2 =0 -0 play-off match

1926/7 Max Euwe
        Won Amsterdam 5.5/10 +3 =5 -2

1927 Jose Raul Capablanca
        Won Buenos Aires 18.5/34 +6 =25 -3 Alekhine became world

1927 Charles Jaffe
        Won New York 2/2 +2 =0 -0 exhibition match

1929 Efim Bogoljubow
        Won Wiesbaden, Berlin, Amsterdam 15.5/25 +11 =9 -5 retained
        world championship

1933 Rafael Cintron
        Won San Juan 4/4 +4 =0 -0 exhibition match

1933 Ossip Bernstein
        Drew Paris 2/4 +1 =2 -1

1934 Efim Bogoljubow
        Won Baden-Baden, Villingen, Pforzheim, Bayreuth, Kissingen,
        Berlin 15.5/25 +8 =15 -3 retained world championship

1935 Max Euwe
        Lost Amsterdam, The Hague, Utrecht 14.5/30 +8 =13 -9 lost
        world championship

1937 Max Euwe
        Won Rotterdam, Haarlem, Leiden, Zwolle, Amsterdam, Delft,
        The Hague 15.5/25 +10 =11 -4 regained world championship

1937 Max Euwe
        Lost The Hague 2/5 +1 =2 -2 exhibition match

1941 Lopez Esnaola
        Won Vitoria 2/2 +2 =0 -0

1943 Efim Bogoljubow
        Drew Warsaw 1/2 +1 =0 -1

1944 Ramon Rey Ardid
        Won Zaragoza 2.5/4 +1 =3 -0

1946 Francisco Lupe
        Won Estoril 2.5/4 +2 =1 -1

++2.H3  Chess Olympiad results

Here are Alekhine's results in Chess Olympiads. He played top board
for France in all these events:

1930 Hamburg
        3 9/9 +9 =0 -0 Alekhine won the brilliancy prize for his
        game against Gideon Stehlberg (Sweden). He did not win a
        medal because the medallists played 17 games each.

1931 Prague
        4 13.5/18 +10 =7 -1 Alekhine won the gold medal for 1st
        board. His loss to Hermanis Matisons (Latvia) was his first
        loss in a serious chess event since winning the world

1933 Folkestone
        5 9.5/12 +8 =3 -1 Alekhine won the gold medal for 1st
        board. His loss to Savielly Tartakower (Poland) was his
        second and last loss in chess olympiads.

1935 Warsaw
        6 12/17 +7 =10 -0 Alekhine won the silver medal for 1st
        board (Salo Flohr of Czechoslovakia took the gold by
        scoring 13/17).

1939 Buenos Aires
        8 7.5/10 (12.5/16) +9 =7 -0 Alekhine won the silver medal
        for 1st board (Jose Raul Capablanca of Cuba took the gold
        by scoring 8.5/11). Only games in the final stage were
        counted for awarding the medals. The first score is for the
        final stage, the one in parentheses is Alekhine's total

++3     Efim Bogoljubow - Alexander Alekhine, Hastings 1922

Hastings 1922
White: Efim Bogoljubow
Black: Alexander Alekhine
Result: 0-1
ECO: A90: - Dutch Defense, Dutch-Indian Variation
Notes by R.J. Macdonald

1. d4 f5

(The Dutch Defense.)

2. c4 Nf6
3. g3 e6
4. Bg2 Bb4+

(The Dutch-Indian (or Nimzo-Dutch) Variation. Black can also play 4. ... Be7, 
4. ... d5 or 4. ... c6 here.)

5. Bd2 Bxd2+

(The Alekhine Variation features 5. ... Be7 here.)

6. Nxd2 Nc6
7. Ngf3 0-0
8. 0-0 d6
9. Qb3 Kh8
10. Qc3!?

(10. d5 Na5 11. Qc3 c5 12. dxc6 Nxc6 13. Rad1 a5 14. Nb3 Ne4 15. Qe3 e5 16. Nh4 
a4 17. Nc1 Nc5 18. Nd3 f4 19. Qd2 Ne6 20. Bxc6 bxc6 21. Nb4 Qb6 22. Qxd6 Rd8 
23. Qxc6 Qxc6 24. Nxc6 Rxd1 1-0, as in the game C. Arduman (2410) - G. Fant 
(2090), Copenhagen 1996. 10. d5!? Na5 11. Qc3 is strong for white.)

10. ... e5

(After this move white has a slight advantage.)

11. e3

(11. d5 Ne7 would give white a slight advantage.)

11. ... a5

(11. ... e4 12. Ng5 gives white a slight edge.)

12. b3

(12. d5 Ne7 offers equal chances.)

12. ... Qe8

(12. ... e4 13. Ng5 leads to equality.)

13. a3

(This move covers b4. 13. d5 Ne7 leads to equality.)

13. ... Qh5

(13. ... e4 14. Ng5 gives black a slight advantage.)

14. h4

(14. dxe5 dxe5 15. Nh4 Re8 leads to equality.)

14. ... Ng4

(14. ... Qe8 15. b4 e4 16. Ng5 offers equal chances.)

15. Ng5 Bd7

(Better is 15. ... h6, and after 16. Nh3 Qf7 both sides have equal chances.)

16. f3

(White threatens to win material: f3xg4. 16. d5 Ne7 17. Rac1 would lead to 

16. ... Nf6

(Black now has a slight advantage.)

Key Move Diagram:
Position after black's 16th move.

17. f4?

(Better is 17. dxe5!?, keeping White in the game. Black still has a solid 
advantage after 17. ... dxe5 18. b4.)

17. ... e4

(Black now has a very strong advantage.)

18. Rfd1

(18. d5 Ne7 19. Rfd1 Qg6 is very strong for black.)

18. ... h6

(18. ... d5 19. Kh2 leaves black with a very strong position.)

19. Nh3

(19. d5 Ne7 20. Ne6 Bxe6 21. dxe6 Qg6 is decisive for black.)

19. ... d5
20. Nf1

(20. Rdb1 Qg6 21. Nf1 a4 is very strong for black.)

20. ... Ne7
21. a4

(21. Nf2 Rfe8 is very strong for black.)

21. ... Nc6
22. Rd2

(22. Nf2 Nb4 is very strong for black.)

22. ... Nb4
23. Bh1

(23. Nf2 Rfe8 is very strong for black.)

23. ... Qe8

(Black can relax with a decisive advantage after 23. ... Ra6 24. Qb2.)

24. Rg2

(24. Nf2 Ra6 is very strong for black.)

24. ... dxc4
25. bxc4 Bxa4
26. Nf2

(26. Rb2 Bd7 gives black a winning advantage.)

26. ... Bd7
27. Nd2

(27. Rh2 Ra6 is decisive for black.)

27. ... b5

(27. ... b6 makes it even easier for Black: 28. Nb1 should win for black.)

28. Nd1

(28. Rh2 Qe7 is very strong for black.)

28. ... Nd3

(Even better is 28. ... Be6, keeping an even firmer grip.)

29. Rxa5

(29. Nb2 b4 30. Qc2 Nxb2 31. Qxb2 with a winning advantage for black.)

29. ... b4
30. Rxa8

(30. Qa1 does not improve anything: 30. ... Rxa5 31. Qxa5 Qa8 gives black an 
easy win.)

30. ... bxc3
31. Rxe8 c2

(31. ... Rxe8?! is a useless try, because 32. Nxc3 Ra8 33. Nf1 leaves black 
with only a slight advantage.)

32. Rxf8+ Kh7
33. Nf2 c1=Q+
34. Nf1 Ne1
35. Rh2 Qxc4

(35. ... Nc2!? might be the shorter path: 36. Bg2 Nxe3 37. Rd8 should win for 

36. Rb8 Bb5
37. Rxb5 Qxb5
38. g4

(White prepares h5.)

38. ... Nf3+
39. Bxf3 exf3
40. gxf5

(40. g5 cannot change what is in store for white: 40. ... Nd5 41. Nh1 Qb1 and 
black wins easily.)

40. ... Qe2
41. d5

(41. h5 is not much help after 41. ... Nd5 42. Ng4 f2+ 43. Nxf2 Nxe3 44. Nxe3 
Qxe3 and black should win easily.)

41. ... Kg8
42. h5 Kh7
43. e4 Nxe4
44. Nxe4 Qxe4
45. d6

(45. f6 doesn't improve anything because of 45. ... gxf6 46. Kf2 Qe2+ 47. Kg1 
Qc4 and an easy win for black.)

45. ... cxd6
46. f6 gxf6
47. Rd2

(47. Kf2 what else? But black still wins after 47. ... Qd3 48. Kg1.)

Key Move Diagram:
Position after white's 47th move.

47. ... Qe2!

(White is almost in zugzwang, and after 48. f5 Kg7 the zugzwang is in place. If 
49. Rxd6 Qg2#. If 49. Kh1 Qxf1+ black wins. The rook has no safe move along the 
2nd rank. Finally, any knight move allows 49. ... Qxd2 black wins.)

48. Rxe2 fxe2
49. Kf2 exf1=Q+
50. Kxf1 Kg7
51. Ke2 Kf7
52. Ke3

(52. f5 does not win a prize: 52. ... d5 53. Ke3 Ke7 54. Kd3 Kd7 55. Kc3 Kc6 
56. Kd3 Kc5 57. Ke2 Kd6 58. Kf3 Ke5 59. Ke3 Kxf5 60. Kd4 Ke6 61. Kd3 Ke5 62. 
Kc2 Ke4 63. Kb2 f5 64. Kc1 d4 65. Kd1 d3 66. Kd2 f4 67. Kd1 f3 68. Ke1 Ke3 69. 
Kd1 f2 70. Kc1 d2+ 71. Kc2 Ke2 72. Kb2 Kd3 73. Kb3 Kd4 74. Kc2 f1=Q 75. Kxd2 
Qg2+ 76. Kd1 Kd3 77. Kc1 Qc2#.)

52. ... Ke6
53. Ke4

(53. Kf2 is not the saving move: 53. ... d5 54. Ke2 Kf5 55. Ke3 Kg4 56. f5 Kxf5 
57. Kd4 Ke6 58. Kd3 Ke5 59. Kc2 d4 60. Kb1 d3 61. Kc1 Ke4 62. Kd1 f5 63. Kc1 f4 
64. Kd1 f3 65. Ke1 Ke3 66. Kd1 f2 67. Kc1 d2+ 68. Kc2 Ke2 69. Kc3 Ke3 70. Kb3 
Kd4 71. Kc2 f1=Q 72. Kxd2 Qf2+ 73. Kc1 Kc3 74. Kb1 Qb2#.)

53. ... d5+

(White resigned in view of 54. Kf3 Kf5 55. Ke3 Kg4 56. f5 Kxf5 57. Kd4 Ke6 58. 
Kc3 Ke5 59. Kd2 f5 60. Kd3 f4 61. Kd2 Ke4 62. Kc1 Ke3 63. Kd1 f3 64. Ke1 d4 65. 
Kf1 d3 66. Ke1 f2+ 67. Kf1 d2 68. Kg2 d1=Q 69. Kg3 f1=Q 70. Kh4 Qd4+ 71. Kg3 


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  • » [blind-chess] Annotated Game #078: Efim Bogoljubow - Alexander Alekhine, Hastings 1922 - Roderick Macdonald