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Alekhine vs Bogoljubov 1929
Germany and the Netherlands

Alekhine-Bogoljubow A few days after Alexander Alekhine won the Capablanca - Alekhine World Championship Match (1927), both masters made a general agreement to play a rematch sometime within the next year, under the same rules as they had played the first match. Jose Raul Capablanca did not, however, issue a formal challenge at this time.[1] On February 10, 1928 Capablanca wrote FIDE president Alexander Rueb, explaining his ideas about future changes to the world chess championship. Capablanca recommended altering the playing times and reducing the number of games to 16. He also forwarded this letter to Alekhine.[2] Alekhine interpreted this as a wish to change the conditions for their planned rematch, and wrote Capablanca that he refused to play under any new conditions.[3] Capablanca answered publicly, explaining that he had been talking about future matches, not the match with Alekhine, which "he hoped to arrange... under precisely the same conditions as those which obtained at Buenos Aires."[4] In the meantime, on August 24, 1928 Efim Bogoljubov now challenged Alekhine to a world title match.[5] Alekhine accepted in principle, provided that Bogoljubov could "give the guarantees provided for under the rules of London of 1922," which included a guaranteed $10,000 purse.[6] On October 8, 1928 Capablanca now formally challenged Alekhine to a rematch.[6] Alekhine wrote Capablanca that he would give Bogoljubov until January 15, 1929 to "arrange for and give me the guarantees provided for under the rules of London of 1922... In case my match with Mr. Bogoljubov should take place.... I would then be ready to accept your challenge, after the end of that encounter."[6] In November 1928, American organizers offered Bradley Beach, New Jersey as a venue for an Alekhine-Capablanca rematch, but there exists no evidence that they ever raised the required $10,000 purse.[7] In January 1929, Alekhine announced that "The match with Bogoljubow interests me far more than the battle with Capablanca... Bogoljubow is a much more serious opponent."[8] In August 1929, when it became clear that Bogoljubov could not guarantee a $10,000 purse, Alekhine agreed to play him for a smaller amount.[9]

Efim Dmitriyevich Bogoljubov was born April 14, 1889 in Stanislavitsk, near Kiev, Russian Empire (today Ukraine).[10] During the 1920s he posted a series of strong results. He drew the Alekhine - Bogoljubov (1921) match, and finished first over Alekhine at Bad Pistyan (1922). After sharing first with Alekhine and Geza Maroczy at Karlsbad (1923), he won both the USSR Championship (1924) and the USSR Championship (1925). At Moscow (1925) he finished first over Emanuel Lasker and reigning world champion Capablanca. Bogoljubov was also the FIDE champion, a title he had won twice in succession: Bogoljubov - Euwe: First FIDE Championship (1928) and Bogoljubov - Euwe: Second FIDE Championship (1928).[11] At Bad Kissingen (1928) he triumphed over a group of very strong masters, including Capablanca. Despite these substantial successes, Bogoljubov's play and results also suffered from inconsistency. The Wiener Schachzeitung noted that prior to the match, no one in the chess world had even the slightest doubt about Alekhine winning, except for Bogoljubov himself.[12]

The match began September 6, 1929 under the following conditions: Alekhine would get $6,000 dollars win or lose, with any surplus going to Bogoljubov. A winner would be declared if he scored 15½ points with 6 wins from a maximum of 30 games.[9] Unlike the Capablanca-Alekhine 1927 match, which had been played in private, the Alekhine-Bogoljubov match would be played in public.[13] The organizers insisted on this, in order to raise money from ticket sales.[14] Only those cities that contributed to the purse would be allowed to host the match: Wiesbaden (games 1-8; 24-25), Heidelberg (games 9-11), Berlin (games 12-17), The Hague (games 18-19; 23), Rotterdam (game 20), and Amsterdam (games 21-22).[15] Emanuel Lasker served as arbiter in the Berlin games.[16]

Alekhine won the 1st game, but Bogoljubov kept pace, evening the score 1-1 after a win in Game 4. The world champion won the next game, and Bogoljubov came right back again to win Game 6, tying the score at 2-2. Alekhine attributed this loss to an "enforced exchange of queens" on move 15 which produced a position that "could not be defended against by accurate play."[17] Capablanca was not impressed, writing to Norbert Lederer "...can you imagine B. winning two games from me or Dr. L. so early?"[18] The world champion now began to draw away with two consecutive victories. Alekhine regarded his win with the black pieces in Game 8 to be among his best, featuring an incisive mating combination beginning with 26...♘g3+![19] The match was now interrupted by a scheduled two week break so that Alekhine could attend the 6th FIDE congress in Venice.[20] On resumption, Alekhine extended his lead to four games, but Bogoljubov clawed back to win games 13 and 14. This would be the challenger's last real resistance. Alekhine now won five of the next eight games, putting the match well out of reach. The final game proved a fitting example of the whole match, which featured exciting, but risky tactical chess throughout. The Wiener Schachzeitung commented that the games were played in "Wild West style," and that Alekhine had won by adapting himself to Bogoljubov's specialty, "the field of tactics."[12]

After the match, the Allgemeine Zeitung asked Alekhine what he thought were the most significant aspects of the contest. The world champion addressed Emanuel Lasker's prediction that chess would eventually succumb to "draw death,"[21] explaining that the notion of "draw death in chess is senseless... that is the fault not of chess but the players concerned."[22] Asked to compare Capablanca and Bogoljubov, Alekhine reckoned that his most recent foe was "more dangerous, although it is much more difficult to win against Capablanca."[22] In an interview with a Düsseldorf newspaper, Bogoljubov maintained that "Now nobody has a chance to win a match with Alekhine." He went on to say that he "would not advise (Capablanca) to play a rematch, because after this new bout, his aura has completely darkened."[23]

click on a game number to replay game 1234567891011121314151617181920
Alekhine1½½01011½1½100½1101½
Bogoljubov0½½10100½0½011½0010½

click on a game number to replay game 2122232425
Alekhine11½½½
Bogoljubov00½½½

FINAL SCORE:  Alekhine 11;  Bogoljubov 5 (9 draws)
Reference: game collection WCC Index [Alekhine-Bogoljubov 1929]

NOTABLE GAMES   [what is this?]
    · Game #8     Bogoljubov vs Alekhine, 1929     0-1
    · Game #18     Bogoljubov vs Alekhine, 1929     1-0
    · Game #1     Alekhine vs Bogoljubov, 1929     1-0

FOOTNOTES

  1. American Chess Bulletin (March 1928), pp.45-47. In Edward Winter, Capablanca: a compendium of games, notes, articles, correspondence, illustrations and other rare materials on the Cuban chess genius José Raúl Capablanca, 1888-1942 (McFarland 1989), p.209; American Chess Bulletin (July-Aug 1928), p.108. In Edward Winter, Capablanca pp.211-212
  2. American Chess Bulletin (May 1928), pp.86-87. In Edward Winter, Capablanca, pp.207-209
  3. American Chess Bulletin (March 1928), pp.45-47. In Edward Winter, Capablanca p.209
  4. American Chess Bulletin (July-Aug 1928), p.108. In Edward Winter, Capablanca pp.211-212
  5. American Chess Bulletin (Sept-Oct 1928), p.133. In Edward Winter, Capablanca p.213
  6. American Chess Bulletin (Dec 1928), pp. 174-175. In Edward Winter, Capablanca p.213
  7. W. H. W., Daily Mail (16 Nov 1928), p.17. In Edward Winter, Chess Note 8193
  8. Deutsche Schachblätter (1 Feb 1929), pp.35-37. In Edward Winter, Capablanca p. 215
  9. Wiener Schachzeitung (Aug 1929), p.253. In ANNO / Österreichische Nationalbibliothek
  10. Jeremy Gaige, Chess Personalia- A Biobibliography (MacFarland 1987), p.44
  11. The FIDE champion was not considered to be world champion. See Edward Winter, "FIDE Championship (1928)"
  12. Weltmeister Aljechin. Wiener Schachzeitung (Nov 1929), pp.337-338. In ANNO / Österreichische Nationalbibliothek
  13. Edward Winter, Chess Note 7567
  14. Leonard Skinner and Robert Verhoeven, Alexander Alekhine's Chess Games, 1902-1946 (MacFarland 1998), p.364
  15. Skinner and Verhoeven, pp.364-371
  16. Wiener Schachzeitung (Oct 1929), pp.311-313. In ANNO / Österreichische Nationalbibliothek
  17. Edward Winter, "Seven Alekhine Articles"
  18. The Russell Collection Item 1494. In Edward Winter, Capablanca p.217
  19. Alexander Alekhine, My Best Games of Chess 1924-1937 (Harcourt, Brace and Company 1948), pp.59-60
  20. "Tidskrift för Schack"(Nov-Dec 1929), p.263
  21. Emanuel Lasker, Mein Wettkampf mit Capablanca (1926 ed.), pp.32-33. In Edward Winter, Chess Note 5437
  22. Gespräch mit dem Schachweltmeister, Allgemeine Zeitung. Reprinted in the Aachener Anzeiger - Politisches Tageblatt (30 Nov 1929). In Edward Winter, Chess Note 7567
  23. Yuri Shaburov, (The Voice 1992), p.43 (pagination from the online edition) "Alexander Alekhine- The Undefeated Champion"

 page 1 of 1; games 1-25 of 25  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Alekhine vs Bogoljubov 1-026 1929 Alekhine - Bogoljubov World Championship MatchD16 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
2. Bogoljubov vs Alekhine ½-½51 1929 Alekhine - Bogoljubov World Championship MatchE23 Nimzo-Indian, Spielmann
3. Alekhine vs Bogoljubov ½-½70 1929 Alekhine - Bogoljubov World Championship MatchD17 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
4. Bogoljubov vs Alekhine 1-038 1929 Alekhine - Bogoljubov World Championship MatchE22 Nimzo-Indian, Spielmann Variation
5. Alekhine vs Bogoljubov 1-048 1929 Alekhine - Bogoljubov World Championship MatchD17 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
6. Bogoljubov vs Alekhine 1-048 1929 Alekhine - Bogoljubov World Championship MatchE22 Nimzo-Indian, Spielmann Variation
7. Alekhine vs Bogoljubov 1-035 1929 Alekhine - Bogoljubov World Championship MatchD78 Neo-Grunfeld, 6.O-O c6
8. Bogoljubov vs Alekhine 0-130 1929 Alekhine - Bogoljubov World Championship MatchA50 Queen's Pawn Game
9. Alekhine vs Bogoljubov ½-½30 1929 Alekhine - Bogoljubov World Championship MatchD52 Queen's Gambit Declined
10. Bogoljubov vs Alekhine 0-149 1929 Alekhine - Bogoljubov World Championship MatchD52 Queen's Gambit Declined
11. Alekhine vs Bogoljubov ½-½63 1929 Alekhine - Bogoljubov World Championship MatchD51 Queen's Gambit Declined
12. Bogoljubov vs Alekhine 0-156 1929 Alekhine - Bogoljubov World Championship MatchD52 Queen's Gambit Declined
13. Alekhine vs Bogoljubov 0-134 1929 Alekhine - Bogoljubov World Championship MatchD52 Queen's Gambit Declined
14. Bogoljubov vs Alekhine 1-071 1929 Alekhine - Bogoljubov World Championship MatchD11 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
15. Alekhine vs Bogoljubov ½-½45 1929 Alekhine - Bogoljubov World Championship MatchD70 Neo-Grunfeld Defense
16. Bogoljubov vs Alekhine 0-160 1929 Alekhine - Bogoljubov World Championship MatchD11 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
17. Alekhine vs Bogoljubov 1-034 1929 Alekhine - Bogoljubov World Championship MatchD70 Neo-Grunfeld Defense
18. Bogoljubov vs Alekhine 1-051 1929 Alekhine - Bogoljubov World Championship MatchC11 French
19. Alekhine vs Bogoljubov 1-077 1929 Alekhine - Bogoljubov World Championship MatchD51 Queen's Gambit Declined
20. Bogoljubov vs Alekhine ½-½48 1929 Alekhine - Bogoljubov World Championship MatchC74 Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense
21. Alekhine vs Bogoljubov 1-049 1929 Alekhine - Bogoljubov World Championship MatchE22 Nimzo-Indian, Spielmann Variation
22. Bogoljubov vs Alekhine 0-139 1929 Alekhine - Bogoljubov World Championship MatchC76 Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense, Fianchetto Variation
23. Alekhine vs Bogoljubov ½-½83 1929 Alekhine - Bogoljubov World Championship MatchD11 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
24. Bogoljubov vs Alekhine ½-½38 1929 Alekhine - Bogoljubov World Championship MatchC11 French
25. Alekhine vs Bogoljubov ½-½55 1929 Alekhine - Bogoljubov World Championship MatchD11 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
 page 1 of 1; games 1-25 of 25  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  
 

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
May-30-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <At Bad Kissengen in 1928, Bogoljubov won first prize ahead of Capablanca, despite losing his individual game against the Cuban....>

This spelling of 'Kissingen' is incorrect.

<....Despite his victories at Moscow 1925, and Bad Kissingen 1928, the chess pundits expected that Bogoljubov had very little chance of success.>

The spelling in the above sentence is correct.

Some of these pages are much in need of attention, which I would give them if it were within my power to do so.

May-30-14  Petrosianic: <offramp> <Capablanca had waited 6 years>

Capablanca didn't wait 6 years. It took that long for any challenger to get backing. Nimzovich actually had priority over Alekhine, but failed to deposit the required amount before the January 1, 1927 deadline. I believe Rubinstein had a challenge in before Nimzo, but also failed. Alekhine was next in line, and was the first one to get the money up.

May-30-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <Petrosianic: <offramp> <Capablanca had waited 6 years> Capablanca didn't wait 6 years...>

Yup! Exactly what I said!

May-30-14  RookFile: I don't know why folks keep talking about Capa putting up 10 K. It's not like Bogo did to get two matches with Alekhine.
May-30-14  RedShield: <I don't know why folks keep talking about Capa putting up 10 K.>

Because it was Capa who insisted on it first.

May-30-14  Petrosianic: <aliejin>: <"In 1928 Capablanca did manage to produce a $10,000 offer from Bradley Beach">

<The team of CG told me they have no evidence for this ... They just
read it in some site .... once ..
a could not remember where..>

It's mentioned in Harold Schonburg's book, "Grandmasters of Chess".

http://www.amazon.com/Grandmasters-...

May-30-14  RookFile: Yes, I know about the London agreement and other things. There was also something called the great depression. The issue is that this 10 K requirement was enforced for Capa but it wasn't for Bogo. Ok?
May-30-14  Petrosianic: <RedShield>: <Because it was Capa who insisted on it first.>

Caissafact would rate that as Half True. Capa did insist on it but so did everyone who signed the London Rules, which included Maroczy, Bogo, Reti, Rubinstein, Tartakover, Vidmar, Capa, and yes, Alekhine.

Of course, the London Rules were written in 1922, before the Great Depression changed the economic landscape and made the conditions almost impossible to fulfill. Alekhine insisted on those conditions only for the one challenger he was trying to avoid, while playing lesser players for less money. That's how he got his reputation as an artful dodger.

The Bradley Beach offer, which met the conditions, would have come in before the Depression, but Alekhine still didn't play.

May-30-14  RedShield: You know about the London Rules, and Alekhine's insistence that Capa abide by them, yet you keep wondering why the issue is raised in a discussion of the putative rematch. Curious.
May-30-14  Petrosianic: I'm not reading you. Who said I was surprised that the issue was raised? That's kind of out of left field.
May-30-14  RedShield: <Caissafact would rate that as Half True. Capa did insist on it but so did everyone who signed the London Rules, which included Maroczy, Bogo, Reti, Rubinstein, Tartakover, Vidmar, Capa, and yes, Alekhine.>

The London Rules didn't insist on $10,000. A lesser amount was permissible, if the champion was agreeable. As it happens, Alekhine wasn't giving Bogo anything on a plate: according to Skinner & Verhoeven, it was reported that Alekhine was guaranteed to receive $6,800 if he won, and $5,000 if he lost, numbers not very different from the prize distribution if they'd played for $10,000 per the London Rules. Bogo, not Alekhine, was taking the financial hit.

But let's not get bogged down in the legalese. They weren't really the London Rules, they were Capa's rules, and Alekhine was quite within his moral rights in not feeling bound by them.

May-30-14  RedShield: <I'm not reading you. Who said I was surprised that the issue was raised? That's kind of out of left field.>

I was addressing <Rookfile>.

May-30-14  Petrosianic: Oh, I see. I had Rookfile killfiled, so I didn't see his post.
May-30-14  RookFile: Red makes the case for me. Alekhine hid behind the London rules to avoid playing Capa. Thanks!
May-30-14  TheFocus: Alekhine just used Capa's rules against him. Very crafty if you ask me.

It was simply, "Put up or shut up."

May-30-14  Petrosianic: It was certainly a crafty way of avoiding a re-match, but it didn't do Alekhine's long-term reputation any favors.

Especially since Capa and Bogo both signed the London Rules, as did Alekhine. Bogo was exempted from "his own rules" because Alekhine wasn't afraid of him. It's a pity. If Alekhine had played Capa around 1931, when he might very well have won, he'd probably have gone down in history as better than Capa.

May-30-14  RedShield: So what if Alekhine and Bogo signed the London Rules? Condition 21 stated: <Any of the foregoing rules may be modified by mutual consent between the players...>, thereby meaning that Alekhine and Bogo were free to play under any conditions they liked.

My issue is with treating the London Rules as if it were a morally (or even legally) binding agreement, rather than the temporary expedient (for Capa's benefit) that it really was. Note that the <Rules> make no provision for future changes in terms of opponents who are not signatories to the document. Did Capablanca make any attempt to enjoin Nimzowitsch or Torre or Euwe to join the fold?

May-30-14  TheFocus: These world champions always trying to change the rules to suit them. I guess Fischer was just carrying on the tradition.
May-30-14  Petrosianic: Even Fischer didn't do this: Have one set of rules for one challenger, and another set for all the others. Fischer avoided all challenges equally.
May-30-14  RookFile: I remember that the guy who paid for Fischer vs. Spassky in 1972 basically told Fischer publicly: "Come out and play, chicken". If Alekhine thought he was going to win a rematch against Capa, he would have done the same. There were a couple of years where Capa didn't want to play Alekhine, but he was available for other years. Alekhine apparently was never available for a rematch with Capa. He was too busy playing people that Capa routinely beat.
May-31-14  Lambda: *Wonders if there might have been a bit of "I can beat Bogo easily, but with Capa I'd need to work really hard and prepare specially, so I'd like to be payed more for that.*

Probably not, since Alekhine didn't have any laziness issues. But it's something to think about.

May-31-14  Olavi: The London rules stipulated that the champ is not obliged to play for a purse less that 10 000 dollars. It did not say that he is not allowed to play for less.
May-31-14  RookFile: In Alekhine's case, it means he'll play any challenger except Capa for less than 10. The only qualification necessary was that the challenger routinely lost to Capa.
May-31-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Here is my old $0.02, from Jose Raul Capablanca.

<Dec-28-05 offramp: In the 1927 match, after 29 games the score was 4-3 to Alekhine. For Capablanca this was a serious situation but in previous and subsequent WC matches players have recovered from worse. So there was all to play for in a potentially unlimited match. In fact the match only lasted 5 more games, Capablanca vs Alekhine, 1927 is one of them. It is 18 moves.

I have said this before... In 1927 Alekhine pulled off one of the biggest upsets in all of SPORTING history, not just chess history. He beat Capablanca 6 times in 2 months; the Cuban was used to losing that many games in whole decades! He beat Capablanca twice as black in those turgid QGDs (one French - actually).

A rematch would have been under identical rules - ie the first to 6 wins. In 1930, in a post-Wall St-Crash world, which mental midget entrepreneur was going to write a blank check for a match between a stronger Alekhine and a better-prepared Capablanca?? A match of - what? - 40 games? 50 games??

And how many of those games would have been opened with the 'World Championship Opening' - the QGD? Probably all of them!

Capablanca did want a rematch. Alekhine did not. And who can blame him? He was not alone. Try and look through the eyes of the 1930s chess world and you'll get an inkling.>

Sep-10-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Bogoljubov had a very good string of results before this match.

He won the USSR Championship (1925), which was obviously a strong tournament.

He had a huge success at Moscow (1925).

He won the strong tournament Bad Kissingen (1928).

Alekhine was just a bit too strong for him!

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