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Spielmann - Euwe Match

Max Euwe3/4(+2 -0 =2)[games]
Rudolf Spielmann1/4(+0 -2 =2)[games] Chess Event Description
Spielmann - Euwe (1932)

This was a training match for Euwe, ahead of his match with Salomon Flohr (Euwe - Flohr (1932)). It was played in Amsterdam from 7th-18th March. "By way of practice, Euwe plays a living-room match in Amsterdam against the peripatetic Rudolf Spielmann, whom he defeats 3-1 (+2 -0 =2). This is followed by the showdown with Flohr ...". (1)

The players

Spielmann at 48 was 18 years older than his opponent. Using Chessmetric's data, (2) this was a match between Spielmann at 11th place and Euwe at 6th place in the world ratings.They had played eight times previously, and had an equal score (+2 -2 =4). Spielmann was known for his attacking prowess. He had recently defeated the 1929 world championship contender Efim Bogoljubov (+4 -3 =3) in January 1932, but he would lose a close match against Erich Eliskases (Spielmann - Eliskases (1932)) (+2 -3 =5) in September 1932.

Euwe had won the Dutch Championship in 1921, 1924, 1926 and was the pre-eminent Dutch player. Despite teaching mathematics and playing chess as an amateur, he had won Hastings (1930/31) by half a point ahead of Jose Raul Capablanca. In July 1931, he had played a match against Capablanca (Capablanca - Euwe (1931)), but lost by +0 -2 =8.

The progress of the match

1 2 3 4 Euwe 1 ˝ ˝ 1 3 Spielmann 0 ˝ ˝ 0 1

Progressive score:

1 2 3 4 Euwe 1 1˝ 2 3 Spielmann 0 ˝ 1 1

Spielmann was White in the odd-numbered games.

Game 1. "Amsterdam, Tuesday. Yesterday evening the first of four training games was played in the "Lyceum" Café, between Euwe and Spielmann, Euwe defended with the Semi-Slav Defense, and a very lively game developed in which Spielmann offered a pawn at <b2> to get the initiative, which did not succeed. Both players then fell into serious time pressure which Euwe dealt with the best and also won a pawn. Spielmann gave up some moves later." (3)

click for larger view

Spielmann played 17.Bxe4? This loses a pawn, for instance, 17...dxe4 18.Qxe4 Bxf5 19.Qxf5 (or 19.Qf3 Bxe3+ 20.Qxe3 Rad8) 19...Bxe3+ 20.Kh1 g6 21.Qf3 Qxd4.

Game 2. "The second game will be played in the V.A.S. (Vereenigd Amsterdamsch Schaakgenootschap) on Saturday" (March 12th). (4) Spielmann defended with a Queen's Gambit Declined, in a variation championed by the English master Fred Dewhirst Yates. He efficiently equalised, but multiple exchanges led to a drawn Rook and Pawn ending.

Game 3. "The third game will be played in the A.S.C. (Amsterdam Chess Club) on Monday". (4) "CHESS. EUWE - SPIELMANN. The third game was drawn. Last night in Amsterdam, the third game of the Euwe - Spielmann match took place. The game was given up as a draw after 31 moves as it was a perpetual check." (5)

"CHESS. EUWE - SPIELMANN. The third game is tied despite Spielmann's fruitless attacking attempts. Yesterday, in the club room of the A.S.C., the third game of the short training match Euwe - Spielmann took place. Spielmann, with white, opened with d2-d4 which resulted in the Nimzo-Indian, Spielmann (E23) on the part of Euwe. This variant proceeded to the 8th move according to the theory, after which Spielmann, instead of the usual e2-e3, tried to develop the King's Bishop via g3, thereby defying the dangers of Nc6-d4. Euwe tried to offer a pawn for rapid development, but his opponent did not take it and calmly completed his own development. Then there was an exchange at c3, after which the endgame began with the 14th move. Superficially it seemed as if both sides were equal, but with a tactical trade-off of a Bishop for a Knight, Spielmann managed to deprive his opponent of both a powerful attacking and defensive weapon. Spielmann immediately pushed up his Queen-side pawns and began an action on the b and c files, and a Rook took on c5. Spielmann could not achieve any advantage, however, thanks to Euwe's meticulous play, and after the attack was over, Euwe deservedly had the better position. Spielmann's advanced b pawn could not be defended, whilst the Black a pawn would prove untenable. Nevertheless, it did not matter anymore, as Spielmann had at his disposal a line in which Euwe could not avoid a draw by repetition. The state of the match is currently: Euwe 2 points, Spielmann 1 point." (6)

Spielmann, perhaps realising that he had not made the best of his chances, later played the line again (Najdorf vs Spielmann, 1934).

Game 4. "Played on 16 and 18 March 1932 in Amsterdam". (7) "EUWE - SPIELMANN. The fourth and final game adjourned. In the Café De Kroon, Rembrandtplein, Amsterdam (, the fourth and last game of the Euwe - Spielmann match began last night. After masterful play from both parties, Euwe was able to win a pawn on the 31st move. Two moves later the game was adjourned. Although Euwe stands slightly better, the game is still very difficult for him to win." (8)

"FOURTH GAME. EUWE- SPIELMANN. AMSTERDAM, 18th March - This evening, in the Café Lyceum the fourth game of the training match Euwe (white) - Spielmann was played out (from the 32nd move - e.d.) ... Euwe may be very satisfied with the result of the four training matches. He was not in any difficulty in any of the games. Of course, the match was too short to draw any conclusions, but undoubtedly Euwe's result will give him self-confidence for his upcoming match with Salo Flohr, who will start on Friday, exactly one o'clock in the Odd Fellowhuis..." (9)

Spielmann had achieved equality as Black, but as in the first game, he overlooked a tactical finesse by his opponent.

click for larger view


He played 20...Ne6 (20...Qxd5 =). After 21.Ne7+ Kh8 22.Qc2, Euwe held the initiative and by very precise play won a pawn and then the ending.


Euwe was coming into the period of his peak strength (mid to late 1930s). This match was one of the early steps of his careful progress towards becoming the world championship challenger to Alexander Alekhine - the Alekhine - Euwe World Championship Match (1935).


(1) Alexander Munninghoff, Max Euwe: The Biography, in New in Chess.
(3) Het Volk, 8th March 1932, p. 3.
(4) Algemeen Handelsblad, 8th March 1932.
(5) Algemeen Handelsblad, 15th March 1932, p. 3.
(6) Algemeen Handelsblad, 15th March 1932, p. 14.
(7) Wiener Schach-Zeitung, Nr. 7, April 1932, p. 102.
(8) Algemeen Handelsblad, 17th March 1932, p. 2.
(9) De Telegraaf, 19th March 1932, p. 2.

This text and original research by User: Chessical. The four games started March 7, 12, 14, and 16.

 page 1 of 1; 4 games  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Spielmann vs Euwe 0-1301932Spielmann - EuweD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
2. Euwe vs Spielmann ½-½341932Spielmann - EuweD63 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense
3. Spielmann vs Euwe ½-½281932Spielmann - EuweE23 Nimzo-Indian, Spielmann
4. Euwe vs Spielmann 1-0511932Spielmann - EuweE16 Queen's Indian
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

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