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AVRO Tournament

Paul Keres8.5/14(+3 -0 =11)[games]
Reuben Fine8.5/14(+6 -3 =5)[games]
Mikhail Botvinnik7.5/14(+3 -2 =9)[games]
Alexander Alekhine7/14(+3 -3 =8)[games]
Max Euwe7/14(+4 -4 =6)[games]
Samuel Reshevsky7/14(+3 -3 =8)[games]
Jose Raul Capablanca6/14(+2 -4 =8)[games]
Salomon Flohr4.5/14(+0 -5 =9)[games]
* Chess Event Description
AVRO (1938)

In November 1938, a Dutch radio company AVRO (1) organized and sponsored what was up to that time the strongest tournament (2) ever held. AVRO (Algemeene Vereeniging voor Radio Omroep - literally the General Association for Radio Broadcasting) brought together the World Champion and every one of his major challengers. It ran from the 6th to the 27th of November 1938 with the players based in Amsterdam and each successive round played in a different Dutch town.

This tournament schedule proved rigorous for the older competitors and Capablanca and Alekhine did not fare as well as might have been expected. In the end, Keres and Fine finished in joint first place with Keres declared the winner as a result of a better tie-break score.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 =1 Keres ** 1 1 1 8 =1 Fine 0 ** 1 11 10 10 1 8 3 Botvinnik 0 ** 1 0 1 1 7 =4 Alekhine 00 0 ** 1 1 1 7 =4 Euwe 01 1 0 ** 0 01 1 7 =4 Reshevsky 0 01 0 1 ** 1 7 7 Capablanca 0 0 0 10 ** 1 6 8 Flohr 0 0 0 0 0 ** 4

(1), (2) Wikipedia article: AVRO 1938 chess tournament. The main source for this collection was A.V.R.O. 1938 Chess Tournament, 'B.C.M.' Classic Reprint No. 12. ISBN 900846 10 0.

Original collection: Game Collection: AVRO 1938, by User: Benzol.

 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 32  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Euwe vs Keres ½-½401938AVROE00 Queen's Pawn Game
2. Flohr vs Capablanca ½-½411938AVROD19 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Dutch
3. Alekhine vs Reshevsky ½-½601938AVROE20 Nimzo-Indian
4. Capablanca vs Alekhine ½-½481938AVROE17 Queen's Indian
5. Keres vs Botvinnik ½-½261938AVROE17 Queen's Indian
6. Flohr vs Keres  ½-½231938AVROE12 Queen's Indian
7. Fine vs Capablanca ½-½441938AVROC17 French, Winawer, Advance
8. Flohr vs Alekhine  ½-½231938AVROE15 Queen's Indian
9. Capablanca vs Botvinnik ½-½261938AVROD93 Grunfeld, with Bf4 & e3
10. Reshevsky vs Capablanca ½-½561938AVROE37 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
11. Alekhine vs Keres ½-½421938AVROE58 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Main line with 8...Bxc3
12. Botvinnik vs Euwe ½-½411938AVROA13 English
13. Flohr vs Botvinnik ½-½421938AVROD84 Grunfeld, Grunfeld Gambit Accepted
14. Reshevsky vs Alekhine ½-½631938AVROE46 Nimzo-Indian
15. Botvinnik vs Fine ½-½191938AVROC48 Four Knights
16. Keres vs Euwe  ½-½381938AVROA12 English with b3
17. Flohr vs Euwe  ½-½291938AVROE02 Catalan, Open, 5.Qa4
18. Botvinnik vs Keres  ½-½411938AVROE29 Nimzo-Indian, Samisch
19. Euwe vs Alekhine ½-½411938AVROE15 Queen's Indian
20. Reshevsky vs Botvinnik ½-½501938AVROE46 Nimzo-Indian
21. Capablanca vs Fine ½-½421938AVROE34 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation
22. Keres vs Flohr ½-½301938AVROB10 Caro-Kann
23. Reshevsky vs Keres ½-½471938AVROE47 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3 O-O 5.Bd3
24. Flohr vs Fine  ½-½191938AVROE02 Catalan, Open, 5.Qa4
25. Capablanca vs Reshevsky ½-½421938AVROD83 Grunfeld, Grunfeld Gambit
 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 32  PGN Download
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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 11 OF 11 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jun-06-18  JimNorCal: Yes, Poland's suffering is notable, I think higher death count per capita than other participants in the War.

Poland's recovery is an inspiring one.

Jun-07-18  WorstPlayerEver: <Count Wedgemore>

Oh thanks, it must be ages ago since someone defended me.

However,<Diademas> although sounding a tad arrogant, is right.

Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: Norway resisted the Nazis for the longest time, second only to Russia:

It's funny because I've been reading a book about Churchill that says his failed Norway expedition almost kept him from being elected, but at least he tried to help (together with France).

Anyway, my point is that you guys should try to piss off ughaibu some more because his video links are very entertaining, especially the Xenakis clip.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Diademas: <<WorstPlayerEver:> However,<Diademas> although sounding a tad arrogant, is right.>

Thats quite magnanimous of you. I'll try to work on my arrogance. 😎

Jun-07-18  WorstPlayerEver: Diademas>

Well, I was just plain wrong, because I did not know the exact details involved. My apologies.

"On the longer term ('longer term' not being defined any further by the Germans other than "nach Kriegsende", meaning after the war's conclusion), the German authorities anticipated the direct integration of the Netherlands into the expanding Third Reich."

Jun-07-18  8284: <Diademas: I'll try to work on my arrogance. 😎>

Does that mean you're tryin 2 improve/perfect your arrogance?

Just askin 4 a friend ..

Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: Besides the Netherlands, Greater Germania was also destined to include the Fiji Islands and Sheboygan, Wisconsin.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <WorstPlayerEver> What's more interesting would be to know the details of what you said about AVRO's actions during the war.

AVRO "voluntarily sacced" its Jewish employees? This means they terminated their employment, or handed them over to the occupation authorities? What makes you believe it was voluntary? Did the Germans not require it? Did no member of AVRO management object to the decision?

Jun-07-18  WorstPlayerEver: <beatgigant>

"AVRO-directeur Willem Vogt ontsloeg al op 21 mei 1940 vrijwillig een aantal joodse medewerkers, onder wie Jacob Hamel, Han Hollander, Max Tak, Ida de Leeuw-van Rees, Jetty Cantor, Boris Lensky, Albert van Raalte en Antoinette van Dijk. Ook de joodse voorzitter van de AVRO, mr. Visser, moest vertrekken."

Yet on Monday 21 1940 AVRO CEO W. Vogt voluntarily fired several jewish employees, (....). Also the jewish chairman, Mr. Visser (Mr. Fischer), had to leave.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: From the same source, further:
"Maar alle aanpasserigheid ten spijt ging de AVRO op 9 maart 1941 op in de Nederlandsche Omroep onder nationaalsocialistische leiding."

I don't speak Dutch, but I can guess it's saying AVRO ended up under National Socialist leadership since March 9, 1941. But, how to ascribe motivation to people operating under Nazi occupation (cynicism or mere survival)?

Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: The Dutch seems bizarre:

"But despite all adaptability (despite its willingness to collaborate??), AVRO joined the "Dutch Appeal"? under National-Socialist leadership on 9 march 1941.

What does it mean guru WPE?

Jun-07-18  WorstPlayerEver: <CHC>

Yeah, I never heard of the term 'aanpasserigheid' before. I can only translate it with 'an obsession with adaptability.'

However, I discovered something funny about the guy in the pic: AFJ Portielje.

His son was my history teacher ^^

Jun-07-18  WorstPlayerEver: PS by the way he told me 'Portielje' comes from 'Portillo' a portuguese jewish name.

To understand this story one has to know that Amsterdam was built by jewish portuguese refugees. Traders (Sefardiem) who fled for the Inquisition late 15th century.

Therefore the 'rest' of the Netherlands always has had a inferiority complex in relation to Amsterdam.

Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: <WPE> It means that the radio channel AVRO, even though it was willing to collaborate with the Nazis, was still taken over by the official Nazi channel:

Nederlandsche Omroep (Dutch Broadcasting, abbreviated NO, formerly "Rijks Radio-Omroep") was the national broadcasting station in the Netherlands during WW II.

During the first year of the war, the existing broadcasters AVRO, KRO, NCRV, VARA and VPRO, continued to broadcast under the supervision of the Radio Management Office. The ***owners adapted quickly to the censorship and to their agendas*** and used the radio for propaganda. Starting from 9 March 1941, those stations were discontinued and the Rijks Radio-Omroep (Reich Radio Broadcasting) was created, subsequently renamed Nederlandsche Omroep (Dutch Broadcasting). [...] The key positions were occupied by real NSB party members and Nazis. The Director-General of "Nederlandsche Omroep" was the NSB party member Willem Herweijer.

Conclusion: WPE 1, beatgiant 0

Jun-07-18  WorstPlayerEver: <CHC>

Ah, now I understand. So the term 'aanpassigerigheid' probably was meant in a derogative way.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <ChessHigherCat> <WPE 1, beatgiant 0>

What does this mean? I was asking questions and trying to learn something.

Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: <beatgiant: <ChessHigherCat> <WPE 1, beatgiant 0> What does this mean? I was asking questions and trying to learn something.

<beatgiant: <WorstPlayerEver>

Well you have to admit all but one of your "innocent questions" expressed skepticism about WPE's claim that the Dutch voluntarily sacked its Jewish employees:

<"AVRO "voluntarily sacced" its Jewish employees?> This means they terminated their employment, or handed them over to the occupation authorities? <What makes you believe it was voluntary? Did the Germans not require it? Did no member of AVRO management object to the decision?>

And we confirmed his point of view.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <ChessHigherCat> <What makes you believe it was voluntary? Did the Germans not require it?> This was German-occupied Europe during WWII, one of the most brutal totalitarian regimes known to history. So, I think it's a pretty natural question. But sure, by definition asking questions is expressing skepticism.

<Did no member of AVRO management object to the decision?> This remains unanswered. The quote above refers only to the owners. <WorstPlayerEver>, is there any more info on that?

Now, one more question, in case <WorstPlayerEver> might know. What happened to these collaborating radio company owners after the war? Were any put on trial or convicted as collaborators?

Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: <beatgiant: <ChessHigherCat> <What makes you believe it was voluntary? Did the Germans not require it?> This was German-occupied Europe during WWII, one of the most brutal totalitarian regimes known to history. So, I think it's a pretty natural question.>

Well, collaborators always have a choice, but when the choice comes down to maintaining the status quo with a cushy job as a radio announcer or else being shipped off to the concentration camp, few people are brave enough to go the martyrdom route. If, on the other hand, the choice is between broadcasting vile Nazi propaganda or merely losing one's job, there we have a clear-cut case of collaboration.

A less painful path of resistance would be to run off to England and try to join an insurgency movement, or at least broadcast anti-Nazi programs from abroad, but it may be too difficult to escape.

As to the postwar trials, the old radio channels only remained in business for a year before being taken over by the official Nazi channel, so the ones that lost their jobs and were replaced by official propagandists after a year probably aren't very high on the list of collaborators. On the other hand, if they chose to remain on the Nazi channel after one year, were members of the Dutch fascist party (NSB) and even spiced up their propaganda speeches with incitement to murder and mayhem, that would be a clear-cut case of collaboration, too.

I don't know about whether the postwar trials were held or not but the older Dutch members might recall. You could also look that up yourself.

Jun-08-18  WorstPlayerEver: <beatgigant>

In comparison to jews, the Dutch were treated with silk gloves by the Germans.

My grandfather was a smuggler during the war and I am quite sure the Germans simply could have him shot any time, but they just let him.

During the war the Dutch also committed sabotage on German material all over the country. Hitler's road project were delayed for instance.

After the war lots of nazis kept their job, because the Dutch needed 'office people.' For instance, a third of the judges were not replaced afaik.. (I would have to do some research to back that up though).

PS I also don't understand the '1-0' thing. Silliness though.

Jun-08-18  WorstPlayerEver: PPS

These people 'got way with it', because after each war people have a strong tendency to go 'back to normal.' Quite obvious that they also needed a lot of 'qualified' employees.

Premium Chessgames Member
  sneaky pete: For our Dutch kibitzers, here is a radio program from 1988 dealing with the purification of Dutch broadcasters during the German occupation and Willem Vogt in particular:

If you don't want to listen to the entire program, the last 10 or 12 minutes should be enough. It was a farce, but not at all funny, and a shame and a disgrace.

Maybe someone else here will feel inspired to write a summary in English. I don't.

Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: <sneaky pete> Nice goose! Is this the same kind?:

At first I tried to search "Dutch Goose" but there's a restaurant with that name in Menlo Park, so I just got pages and pages of advertisements!

As to the link, once I figured out how to get past the cookie monster on the cookies page, I clicked the video and got some kind of recording of a torture chamber where people were being forced to swallow burning hot mashed potatoes! Just kidding, that's how Dutch always sounds to me, my listening comprehension is horrible! If I ever improve I'll go back to it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  sneaky pete: <CHC> No, the goose is of the Florida Two Month variety. It feeds on alligators, Life Masters and bananas.

The link is to a radio program. Radio is something like video, but without moving pictures. Some of what you hear comes from recordings (on glass 78 rpm records) of actual radio programs from the early 1940s. You can also hear collaborating technicians testify that, as an act of resistance, they did their best to make the propaganda programs sound as bad as they could. Obviously they succeeded.

Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: <sneaky pete>: A bananaphagic goose, that's pretty scary! And I don't understand how you can play video games on the radio, but it must be one of those lost secrets of the Ancients.

This is a pretty good book about an American undercover agent in WWII who has a racist radio show but the real purpose is to give signals to the underground depending on his phrasing. Unfortunately, nobody believes him after the war and the US government won't back up his story:

You can choose the Kindle format for $7.99, the paperback for $4.05 or the hardback for $199.99, it's up to you :-)

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