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Alekhine 
George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress)
 
Alexander Alekhine
Number of games in database: 2,015
Years covered: 1903 to 1946
Overall record: +960 -184 =455 (74.3%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      416 exhibition games, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

MOST PLAYED OPENINGS
With the White pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (157) 
    C68 C77 C62 C78 C86
 Orthodox Defense (145) 
    D51 D67 D53 D64 D52
 French Defense (102) 
    C01 C11 C13 C15 C07
 Queen's Gambit Declined (101) 
    D06 D30 D37 D31 D35
 Queen's Pawn Game (100) 
    D02 D00 A40 A46 E00
 Sicilian (87) 
    B20 B40 B30 B62 B22
With the Black pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (102) 
    C77 C79 C78 C68 C71
 Queen's Pawn Game (65) 
    D02 A46 A40 A50 E10
 French Defense (58) 
    C11 C01 C12 C02 C13
 Nimzo Indian (39) 
    E33 E34 E22 E21 E30
 French (32) 
    C11 C12 C13 C00 C10
 Sicilian (31) 
    B40 B20 B24 B83 B23
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Bogoljubov vs Alekhine, 1922 0-1
   Reti vs Alekhine, 1925 0-1
   Alekhine vs Nimzowitsch, 1930 1-0
   Alekhine vs Vasic, 1931 1-0
   Alekhine vs Lasker, 1934 1-0
   Alekhine vs NN, 1915 1-0
   Capablanca vs Alekhine, 1927 0-1
   Alekhine vs O Tenner, 1911 1-0
   Alekhine vs Yates, 1922 1-0
   Gruenfeld vs Alekhine, 1923 0-1

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: [what is this?]
   Capablanca - Alekhine World Championship Match (1927)
   Alekhine - Bogoljubov World Championship Match (1929)
   Alekhine - Bogoljubov World Championship Rematch (1934)
   Alekhine - Euwe World Championship Match (1935)
   Euwe - Alekhine World Championship Rematch (1937)

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   All Russian Amateur (1909)
   Mannheim (1914)
   Stockholm (1912)
   Karlsbad (1923)
   Baden-Baden (1925)
   Bradley Beach (1929)
   Berne (1932)
   San Remo (1930)
   Bled (1931)
   Zurich (1934)
   Scheveningen (1913)
   Semmering (1926)
   Munich (1941)
   Bad Pistyan (1922)
   Karlsbad (1911)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Match Alekhine! by amadeus
   Alekhine Favorites by chocobonbon
   Alex Alek Alex Alek Alex Alek Alex Alek by fredthebear
   Biography - Alekhine (Linder) by Qindarka
   My Best Games by Alexander Alekhine by LionHeart40
   My Best Games Of Chess 1924-1937 by A. Alekhine by dac1990
   Alexander Alekhine's Best Games by KingG
   World Champion Nr. 04: Alekhine by Olanovich
   Alekhine was sunk! by Calli
   Alekhine simuls, consultations & blindfolded by gauer
   Giant Play!! by Antiochus
   simply the best- Alekhine!!! by Antiochus
   alekhine best games by brager
   Alekhine 1908-1923 by Chnebelgrind

GAMES ANNOTATED BY ALEKHINE: [what is this?]
   Capablanca vs Tartakower, 1924
   Reti vs Bogoljubov, 1924
   Botvinnik vs Vidmar, 1936
   Alekhine vs Botvinnik, 1936
   Alekhine vs K Junge, 1942
   >> 78 GAMES ANNOTATED BY ALEKHINE

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ALEXANDER ALEKHINE
(born Oct-31-1892, died Mar-24-1946, 53 years old) Russia (federation/nationality France)
PRONUNCIATION:
[what is this?]

Alexander Alexandrovich Alekhine was the fourth World Champion, reigning from 1927 to 1935, and from 1937 until his death in 1946. He is the founding inspiration for the Soviet School of Chess that came to dominate world chess after World War II.

Background

Alekhine was born in Moscow, on 31 October 1892 (October 19th on the Russian calendar). Circa 1898, he was taught the game of chess by his older brother, Alexei Alexandrovich Alekhine (1888-1939). His life and chess career were highly eventful and controversial, spiced with two World Wars, including internments by the Germans and the Soviet Cheka (by whom he was marked for execution as a spy) at either end of WWI; subjection to suasion by, and suspicions of collaboration with, the Nazis in WWII; the deaths of his brother, Alexei, in 1939 and his sister, Varvara, in 1944; four marriages; five world championship matches; alcoholism; poor health during WWII and conspicuously failed World Championship negotiations with Capablanca. His eventful life and career terminated in strange circumstances in Portugal just hours after the details of the Alekhine-Botvinnik World Championship match were finalised.

Despite – or perhaps because of this - Alekhine played some of the finest games the world has ever seen. His meticulous preparation, work ethic and dynamic style of play provided the founding inspiration for the Soviet School of Chess despite the fact that soon after he won the world title, his anti-Bolshevik commentaries marked him as an enemy of the Soviet Union until after his death.

Tournaments

1900-1910 By 1902, at the age of 10, young Alekhine was playing correspondence chess sponsored by Shakhmatnoe Obozrenie, Russia's only chess magazine at the time, and won the 16th and 17th Shakhmatnoe Obozrenie Correspondence Chess Tournaments in 1906 and 1910. In 1908, his win at the Moscow Chess Club's Spring Tournament, at the age of fifteen was followed by winning the Autumn Tournament a few months later, a feat which earned him the right to play in the All-Russian Amateur Tournament in 1909. The youngest player in the tournament at the age of sixteen, he won the event held in St. Petersburg (+12 -2 =2), thereby earning the Russian Master title and becoming acknowledged as one of Russia’s top players. His prize was a cut glass Sevres vase that was donated by Czar Nicholas II, and which became his most prized and life-long possession. The year 1910 saw Alekhine win the Moscow Chess Club Autumn and Winter Tournaments, give his first simultaneous exhibition (+15 -1 =6) and participate in the master section of the 17th German Chess Congress in Hamburg, coming equal 7th with Fyodor Ivanovich Dus Chotimirsky. Upon graduating from Polivanov Grammar School in July 1910, he enrolled in and started studying law at Moscow's Imperial University, but after a few months he transferred to the St. Petersburg School of Jurisprudence (where he eventually graduated in 1914).

1911-1920 In 1911, his success at winning some events at the Moscow Chess Club earned him the right to play Board 1 for the Moscow Chess Club in a match against the St. Petersburg Chess Club, during which he drew his game with Eugene Aleksandrovich Znosko-Borovsky. Late in 1911, he played in the 2nd International Tournament in Carlsbad and placed equal 8th, behind Richard Teichmann, Akiba Rubinstein, Carl Schlechter, Georg Rotlewi, Frank James Marshall, Aron Nimzowitsch, and Milan Vidmar. By 1912, Alekhine was the strongest chess player in the St. Petersburg Chess Society, winning the St. Petersburg Chess Club Winter Tournament in March and the 1st Category Tournament of the St. Petersburg Chess Club in April. His international successes began in 1912 when he won the 8th Nordic championship held in Stockholm with 8.5/10, 1.5 points clear of Erich Cohn, but then recorded his only minus score of his career later in 1912, when he won 7 and lost 8 games in the All Russian Masters Tournament in Vilna, placing equal 6th behind Rubinstein, Ossip Bernstein, Stefan Levitsky, Nimzovich, and Alexander Flamberg. In 1913, he tied for 1st with Grigory Levenfish in the St. Petersburg Masters Quadrangular Tournament, and then won the 40th Anniversary of the Nederlandschen Schaakbond Commemorative Tournament in Scheveningen with a score of 11.5 out of 13 ahead of a field that included David Janowski, Gyula Breyer, Fred Dewhurst Yates, Edward Lasker and Jacques Mieses. Alekhine's first major success in a Russian tournament came when placed equal first with Aron Nimzowitsch in the All-Russian Masters Tournament at St. Petersburg in early 1914; the playoff was drawn with one win each and they were declared co-winners enabling both to qualify for the 'tournament of champions' in St. Petersburg which was held a few months later. At St. Petersburg he placed 3rd behind Emanuel Lasker and Jose Raul Capablanca. This was the tournament at which Czar Nicholas II was reputed to have awarded the title of Grandmaster of Chess to the top five place getters: Lasker, Capablanca, Alekhine, Siegbert Tarrasch and Marshall. He graduated from the Emperor's College of Jurisprudence on May 16, 1914, finishing 9th in a graduating class of 46 and in July 1914, Alekhine tied for 1st with Marshall at the International Tournament in the Cafe Continental in Paris. (1)

A few weeks later, Alekhine was leading at Mannheim, Germany with nine wins, one draw and one loss, when World War I broke out and the tournament was stopped with six rounds left to play. However this did not prevent Alekhine from receiving the prize money for first place, some 1100 marks. After the declaration of war against Russia, Alekhine and other Russian players, including Efim Bogoljubov, were interned in Rastatt, Germany. After some drama, he was released several weeks later and made his way back to Russia, where he helped raise money to aid the Russian chess players who remained interned in Germany by giving simultaneous exhibitions. Soon after he won the Moscow Chess Club Championship in December 1915, his mother died after which he was posted to the Austrian front where he served in the Union of Cities (Red Cross) on as an attaché in charge of a mobile dressing station. In September, while hospitalised at the Cloisters military hospital at Tarnopol, he played five people in a blindfold display, winning all games. After leaving hospital, Alekhine returned to Moscow, where he was decorated for valour. In 1918, chess activity which had been briefly banned under the new Bolshevik regime picked up under Alexander Ilyin-Zhenevsky, the Chief Government Commissar for General Military Organization, who encouraged and organized chess activities in Russia as part of the campaign to promote culture and education in the Red Army. In 1918, Alekhine worked at the Moscow Criminal Investigation Department as an examining magistrate. In June 1919, while in Odessa, Alekhine was briefly imprisoned and marked for execution by the Cheka, as they suspected him of being a spy due to some documents that were left in his hotel room by a previous occupant. He was released, apparently because of an intercession of a Jewish chess player Yakov S Vilner, who was also the 1918 Odessa chess champion (see paragraph below concerning Alekhine’s purported anti-semitism). (2) A few months later in Moscow in January 1920, he made a clean score in the Moscow City Chess Championship with 11/11, and in October 1920, he won the first USSR Championship, his last tournament in Russia.

1921-30 Alekhine’s permanent departure from Russia in 1921 began a period of chess dominance matched only by Capablanca. Between leaving Russia in 1921 and winning the World Championship in 1927, Alekhine won or shared first prize in most of the tournaments in which he competed, including Budapest, L’Aia (in Italy), Triberg, and The Hague in 1921, Hastings and Karlsbad in 1922, the 16th British Chess Federation Congress at Portsmouth in 1923, Baden-Baden and the Five Masters Tournament in Paris in 1925, Hastings (1925-26), Birmingham, Scarborough and Buenos Aires in 1926, and Kecskemét 1927. Alekhine was 2nd or equal 2nd in the Breyer Memorial Tournament in Pistyan and at the 15th British Chess Federation Congress (known as the London victory tournament) in 1922, at Margate, Semmering, and the Dresden Chess Club 50th Year Jubilee Congress in 1926, and at New York in early 1927.

1931-38 Alekhine dominated chess for almost a decade after his title win. Tournament victories were at San Remo 1930 (+13 =2, 3½ points ahead of Nimzowitsch) and Bled 1931 (+15 =11, 5½ points ahead of Bogoljubov), London 1932, Swiss Championship in Berne in 1932, Pasadena 1932, Mexico City (=1st with Isaac Kashdan), Paris 1933, Rotterdam 1934, Swiss Championship in Zurich in 1934, and Orebro in 1935. In the eighteen months after losing the title to Max Euwe in 1935, Alekhine played in ten tournaments. His results were equal first with Paul Keres at Bad Nauheim in May 1936, first at Dresden in June 1936, second to Salomon Flohr at Poděbrady in July 1936, sixth behind Capablanca, Mikhail Botvinnik, Reuben Fine, Samuel Reshevsky, and Euwe at Nottingham in August 1936 (including his first game – which he lost - against Capablanca since the title match), third behind Euwe and Fine at Amsterdam in October 1936, equal first with Salo Landau at the Amsterdam Quadrangular, also in October 1936, first at the Hastings New Year tournament of 1936/37 ahead of Fine and Erich Eliskases, first at the Nice Quadrangular in March 1937, third behind Keres and Fine at Margate in April 1937; equal fourth with Keres, behind Flohr, Reshevsky and Vladimir Petrov, at Kemeri in June–July 1937 and equal second with Bogoljubow behind Euwe at the Bad Nauheim Quadrangular in July 1937. After regaining his title from Euwe, 1938 saw Alekhine win or come equal first at Montevideo, Margate, and Plymouth before placing =4th with Euwe and Samuel Reshevsky behind Paul Keres, Reuben Fine, and Mikhail Botvinnik, ahead of Capablanca and Flohr, at the historic might-have-been Candidates-style AVRO tournament in the Netherlands. The AVRO (meaning Algemene Verenigde Radio Omroep or General United Radio Broadcasting) tournament, the strongest tournament ever until that time, was held in Holland on November 2-27, with the top eight players in the world participating in a double-round affair. Alekhine finished ahead of Capablanca for the first time, defeating him in their second encounter. Flohr, the official FIDE-endorsed challenger to Alekhine in the next world championship match came in last place without a single win in 14 rounds.

1939-1946 Alekhine was playing first board for France in the 8th Chess Olympiad at Buenos Aires 1939 when World War II broke out in Europe and as team captain of the French team, he refused to allow his team to play Germany. Shortly after the 1939 Olympiad, Alekhine won all his games at the tournaments in Montevideo (7/7) and Caracas (10/10). Alekhine returned to Europe in January 1940 and after a short stay in Portugal, he enlisted in the French army as a sanitation officer. After the fall of France in June 1940, he fled to Marseille and tried to emigrate to America but his visa request was denied. He returned to France to protect his wife, Grace Alekhine, an American Jewess, whom the Nazis had refused an exit visa, and her French assets, a castle at Saint Aubin-le-Cauf, near Dieppe, but at the cost of agreeing to cooperate with the Nazis.

He played in no tournaments in 1940.

During World War II, Alekhine played in 16 tournaments, winning nine and sharing first place in four more. In 1941, he tied for second with Erik Ruben Lundin in the Munich 1941 chess tournament, won by Gosta Stoltz; the reception at this event was attended by Josef Goebbels and Dr. Hans Frank. Also in 1941, he tied for first with Paul Felix Schmidt at Cracow/Warsaw, and won at Madrid. In 1942, Alekhine won at Salzburg, Munich, Warsaw/Lublin/Cracow and tied for 1st with Klaus Junge at Prague, the latter having been sponsored by Germany’s Nazi Youth Association; these tournaments were organised by Alfred Ehrhardt Post, the Chief Executive of the Nazi-controlled Grossdeutscher Schachbund ("Greater Germany Chess Federation") - Keres, Bogoljubov, Gösta Stoltz, and several other strong masters in Nazi-occupied Europe also played in such events. In 1943, he drew a mini-match (+1 -1) with Bogoljubov in Warsaw, won in Prague and was equal first with Keres in Salzburg. By 1943 Alekhine was spending all his time in Spain and Portugal as the German representative to chess events. In 1944, he won a match against Ramon Rey Ardid in Zaragoza (+1 -0 =3; April 1944) and later won at Gijon when prodigy Arturo Pomar Salamanca, aged thirteen, achieved a draw, the youngest person ever to do so with a world champion in a full tournament setting, a record that stands as of 2014. After the event, Alekhine took an interest in the development of Pomar and devoted a section of his last book to him. In 1945, he won at Madrid, tied for second place with Antonio Angel Medina Garcia at Gijón behind Antonio Rico Gonzalez, won at Sabadell, tied for first with Lopez Nunez in Almeria, won in Melilla and took second in Caceres behind Francisco Lupi. Alekhine's last match was with Lupi at Estoril, Portugal near Lisbon, in January 1946 which he won (+2 -1 =1).

In the autumn of 1945, Alekhine moved to Estoril. In September, the British Chess Federation sent Alekhine an invitation to tournaments in London and Hastings. Alekhine accepted the invitations by cable from Madrid. In October, the United States Chess Federation (USCF) protested the invitation of Alekhine to the victory tournament in London. The USCF refused to take part in any projects or tournaments involving Alekhine. Protesters included Reuben Fine and Arnold Denker. In November, Alekhine was in the Canary Islands giving chess exhibitions and giving lessons to Pomar. Also in November 1945, a telegram arrived, signed by W. Hatton-Ward of the Sunday Chronicle, the paper that was organizing the victory tournament in London that, due to a protest from the United States Chess Federation, the invitations to tournaments in England had been cancelled. Shortly after, Alekhine had a heart attack. In December, Alekhine played his last tournament, at Caceres, Spain.

World Championship

In November 1921, Alekhine challenged Jose Capablanca to a world championship match. A match was suggested for the United States in 1922, but neither this nor a candidate match between Alekhine and Rubinstein in March 1922 to determine a challenger took place. In August 1922, Alekhine played in the 15th British Chess Federation Congress (known as the London victory tournament). The participants of the tournament signed the so-called London agreement on August 9, 1922, which were the regulations for world championship matches, first proposed by Capablanca. Signatories included Alekhine, Capablanca, Bogoljubow, Geza Maroczy, Reti, Rubinstein, Savielly Tartakower and Vidmar. Clause one of the London Rules stated that the match to be one of six games up, drawn games not to count.

After Alekhine won a tournament at Buenos Aires in October 1926, he again challenged Capablanca. The Argentine government undertook to guarantee the finances of the match and in New York Capablanca, Alekhine, and the Argentine organizers finally reached an agreement about the world championship match. The winner would be the first person with six wins, draws not counting. Capablanca accepted the challenge and began the Capablanca - Alekhine World Championship Match (1927) in Buenos Aires on September 16, 1927. All but two of the games in Buenos Aires took place behind closed doors at the Argentine Chess Club, with no spectators or photographs. The other two took place at the Jockey Club but were moved to the Argentine Chess Club due to excessive noise. (3) Assisted by superior physical and theoretical preparations for the match – including a thorough study of Capablanca’s games - Alekhine became the 4th World Chess Champion after defeating Capablanca by +6 -3 =25 in the longest title match ever played till that time. The only longer title match since then was the Karpov - Kasparov World Championship Match (1984).

On July 29, 1929, Alekhine and Bogoljubow signed an agreement in Wiesbaden for a match. The rules differed from the London Rules (6 wins, draws not counting) with the number of maximum games limited to 30 games, but the winner still had to score at least 6 wins. The match was not played under the auspices of FIDE or the London Rules. He and Bogoljubow played the Alekhine - Bogoljubov World Championship Match (1929) at Wiesbaden (first 8 games), Heidelberg (3 games), Berlin (6 games), The Hague, and Amsterdam from September 6 through November 12, 1929. Alekhine won with 11 wins, 9 draws, and 5 losses. In April-June, 1934 Alekhine again played and defeated Bogoljubow in the Alekhine - Bogoljubov World Championship Rematch (1934) in Germany with the score of 8 wins, 15 draws and 3 losses. He then accepted a challenge from Max Euwe.

On October 3, 1935 the Alekhine - Euwe World Championship Match (1935) began in Zandvoort, with 10,000 guilders ($6,700) to go to the winner. On December 15, 1935 Euwe had won with 9 wins, 13 draws, and 8 losses. This was the first world championship match to officially have seconds to help in analysis during adjournments. Salo Landau, a Dutch Jew, was Alekhine's second and Geza Maroczy was Euwe's second. From October 5 to December 7, 1937, Alekhine played Euwe for the world championship match in various Dutch cities (The Hague, Rotterdam, Haarlem, Groningen, and Amsterdam). Alekhine won the Euwe - Alekhine World Championship Rematch (1937), becoming the first world champion to regain the world title in a return match, winning 10 games, drawing 11, and losing 4.

Unfinished Championship negotiations

There were two sets of unfinished negotiations that featured prominently during Alekhine’s reign: the long awaited rematch with Capablanca and the extended negotiations for a match with Botvinnik.

On December 12, 1927, in Buenos Aires after their match finished, Alekhine and Capablanca agreed to play a rematch within the next year, under the exact conditions as the first match. In 1929, after winning at Bradley Beach, New Jersey, Bradley Beach offered to host a Capablanca-Alekhine return match, but Alekhine refused and instead accepted the challenge from Efim Bogoljubow. Subsequently, Alekhine not only avoided a return match with Capablanca, but refused to play in any event that included the ex-champion. (4) Capablanca was not invited to San Remo 1930 and Bled 1931 for this reason, a situation which continued until the Nottingham tournament of 1936, after Alekhine had lost the title to Max Euwe. During this tournament, Capablanca defeated Alekhine in their individual encounter. Negotiations continued in various forms until 1940, but the rematch never occurred, despite four title matches being played in 1929, 1934, 1935 and 1937, generating bitter denunciations from Capablanca.

FIDE had tried exercising its limited power by short listing Flohr and Capablanca respectively to challenge Alekhine, but Alekhine declared that he would not be bound by FIDE’s plans. After the AVRO tournament of 1938, which had originally been intended by FIDE as a Candidate-style tournament to produce a challenger for the title, both Botvinnik and Keres issued Alekhine with challenges with Flohr's challenge probably lapsing because of his last placing at AVRO. All three negotiations were stalled or derailed by World War II. The Soviet annexation of Estonia forced Keres’ withdrawal from negotiations in favour of Botvinnik, while Capablanca died in 1942. In 1946 within hours of the Alekhine-Botvinnik match arrangements having been completed, and a venue (in Britain) for the match finally agreed to, Alekhine was found dead in Room 43 of the Estoril Hotel in Lisbon, Portugal under unsettling circumstances.

Simultaneous exhibitions

Alekhine once reminisced: "I was only 9-years old, just after the turn of the century, when I saw the great American Pillsbury play 22 boards blindfolded in Moscow.", an experience that left a very deep impression on the budding chess player.

Alekhine played many simuls during the six years leading up to his world championship match in 1927, using them as fundraisers to meet the stiff conditions Capablanca had set for the challenge. He continued to play simuls, including blindfold and match simuls throughout the 30s. In New York on April 27, 1924, Alekhine broke the world record for blindfold play when he played 26 opponents, winning 16, losing 5, and drawing 5 after twelve hours of play. He broke his own record on in early 1925 by playing 28 games blindfold simultaneously in Paris, winning 22, drawing 3, and losing 3. In the early 1930s, Alekhine travelled the world giving simultaneous exhibitions, including Hawaii, Tokyo, Manila, Singapore, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) in what subsequently became known as Alekhine's Magical Mystery Tour. In 1932, Alekhine played against 300 opponents in Paris grouped in 60 teams of 5 players each, winning 37, losing 6, and drawing 17. In July 1933, Alekhine played 32 people blindfold simultaneously (again breaking his own world record) at the Century of Progress Exhibition in Chicago (World's Fair), winning 19, drawing 9, and losing 4 games in 14 hours.

Team play

Alekhine played first board for France in five Olympiads: Hamburg 1930 (+9-0=0 on their top board **), Prague 1931, Folkestone 1933, Warsaw 1935, and Buenos Aires 1939. He won the gold medal for first board in 1931 and 1933, and silver medals for first board in 1935 (Flohr winning gold) and 1939 (Capablanca winning gold). Although he didn’t win a medal in Hamburg because of insufficient games played, he won 9/9 and the brilliancy prize for the game Stahlberg vs Alekhine, 1930. His overall game score for the five Olympiads was +43 =27 -2.

Theory

Several openings and opening variations are named after Alekhine, including Alekhine's Defence. Alekhine is known for his fierce and imaginative attacking style, combined with great positional and endgame skill. He also composed some endgame studies. 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.

Personal

Alekhine was married four times, first to Russian baroness Anna von Sewergin in 1920 to legitimise their daughter Valentina, and divorced her some months later. Valentina died circa 1985 in Vienna. In 1921, he married Anneliese Ruegg, Swiss journalist, Red Cross nurse and Comintern delegate and they had a son in 1922, named after him. Young Alex Aljechin, as he came to be known, was under the guardianship of Erwin Voellmy for some years and in later years, he made regular appearances as a spectator in Dortmund until about 2005. Alekhine divorced Ruegg in 1924. In 1924, Alekhine met Nadezhda Semyenovna Fabritskaya Vasiliev, widow of the Russian General V. Vasiliev, and married her in 1925, divorcing her in 1934. In 1934, he met and married his fourth and final wife, Grace Wishaar, a wealthy US-born British citizen. Alexander and Grace Alekhine – for whom this was also her fourth marriage - remained married until he died.

His elder brother Alexey Alekhine was also a keen player.

Accusations of Anti-Semitism

Alekhine was accused of anti-Semitism following a series of articles that was published in 1941 within Nazi-occupied France in the Pariser Zeitung and in the Deutsche Schachzeitung under his by-line. In April, 1941, he tried to go to America via Lisbon, but was denied a visa apparently because of these articles. Controversy over whether they were a result of genuine collaboration, or whether he was forced to write these articles under Nazi coercion, or whether articles written by him were changed by Nazi editing for publication continues to this day. The evidence against him includes a series of articles written in his own hand that were found after his death, although the extent to which they may have been coerced is unclear. The evidence that he was not anti-semitic includes a lifetime of friendly dealings with Jewish chess players (including his second at the 1935 world championship, Salo Landau); friends, and possibly his fourth wife, Grace Alekhine to whom he was married for 14 years until his death; and Yakov Vilner who interceded on his behalf to save him from execution by the Soviet Cheka in 1918. Grace defended her late husband, asserting that he refused privileges offered by the Nazis.

Testimonials

“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.” - <Bobby Fischer>

“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.” - <Garry Kasparov>

"He is a poet who creates a work of art out of something which would hardly inspire another man to send home a picture postcard." - <Max Euwe>

"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." - <Alexander Alekhine>

Notes

Alekhine also played at least 40 recorded consultation chess games including the following partnerships: Alekhine / Amateur, Alekhine / B Reilly, Alekhine / Trompowsky, Alekhine / G Esser, Alexander Alekhine / Leon Monosson, Alexander Alekhine / Efim Bogoljubov, Alekhine / Walter Oswaldo Cruz, Alekhine / O Cruz, Alekhine / Blumenfeld, Alekhine / Bernstein, Alekhine / Znosko-Borovsky, Alekhine / H Frank, Alekhine / V Rozanov, Alekhine / D N Pavlov, Alekhine / Nenarokov, Alekhine / Tselikov, Alekhine / Tereshchenk, Alekhine / Zimmerman, Alekhine / Victor Kahn, A Alekhine/G Barron/E Hanger, Alekhine / Johannes van den Bosch, (bad chessgames.com link), Alekhine / R Wahrburg, Alekhine / Dr. Fischer, Alekhine / J Budowsky, Alekhine / Allies, & Alekhine / Koltanowski Blindfold Team.

Sources and References

(1) 1912-14 results: http://storiascacchi.altervista.org...; (2) Wikipedia article: Yakov Vilner; (3) There is correspondence between Alekhine and Capablanca that suggests that Alekhine was open to a rematch and actually accepted a challenge from Capablanca in 1930, but that it fell through because of difficulties on Capablanca's side: Max Euwe (kibitz #167). (4) Shaburov Yuri: Alexander Alekhine. The Undefeated Champion (Publisher: Moscow. 'The Voice', 1992 256pp)

- Kevin Spraggett ’s theory about Alekhine’s death: http://kevinspraggett.blogspot.com/... and http://kevinspraggett.blogspot.com/...;

- 2006 Chessbase article about Alekhine's death: http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail...;

- two Russian articles that include commentary on Alekhine's death: <1>: http://www.gambiter.ru/chess/item/1... (Russian language) - Google translation is as follows: http://translate.google.com.au/tran... and <2> http://www.kastornoe.newmail.ru/ale... (Russian language) - Google translation as follows: http://translate.google.com.au/tran...;

- Bill Wall on Alekhine:http://billwall.phpwebhosting.com/a...;

- Playlist of 29 games analysed by <Kingscrusher>: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...

- Discussion about literature about Alekhine: http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/... and a list of books about Alekhine http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/...

Wikipedia article: Alexander Alekhine , (**) Wikipedia article: World records in chess

Last updated: 2016-07-28 12:52:28

 page 1 of 81; games 1-25 of 2,015  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. P Vinogradov vs Alekhine 1-020 1903 Shakmatnoe Obozrenie 7th corr0304C21 Center Game
2. Alekhine vs N Urusov 1-032 1905 Shakhmatnoe Obozrenie Correspondence Tournament No. 16C25 Vienna
3. Alekhine vs A Giese ½-½41 1905 16th Correspondence TournamentC33 King's Gambit Accepted
4. A Giese vs Alekhine 0-129 1905 cr RUSC33 King's Gambit Accepted
5. Alekhine vs R Geish Ollisevich 1-022 1905 crC39 King's Gambit Accepted
6. Alekhine vs V Manko 1-024 1905 Shakhmatnoe Obozrenie theme 16th corrC25 Vienna
7. Alekhine vs A Andriyashev 1-030 1905 crC38 King's Gambit Accepted
8. V Zhukovsky vs Alekhine 0-120 1905 crC25 Vienna
9. V Manko vs Alekhine 1-033 1905 Shakhmatnoe Obozrenie theme 16th corrC52 Evans Gambit
10. N Urusov vs Alekhine 0-133 1905 Shakhmatnoe Obozrenie Correspondence Tournament No. 16C33 King's Gambit Accepted
11. Alekhine vs Man'ko 1-028 1906 ?C45 Scotch Game
12. Alekhine vs V Zhukovsky ½-½35 1906 cr RUSC39 King's Gambit Accepted
13. Shulga vs Alekhine 0-132 1906 ?C41 Philidor Defense
14. Alekhine vs A Romashkevich 1-018 1906 Earl tournC20 King's Pawn Game
15. V Manko vs Alekhine 1-036 1906 Earl tourn corrC52 Evans Gambit
16. Alekhine vs N Zubakin 0-133 1907 cr 1906-07C33 King's Gambit Accepted
17. Alekhine vs Nenarokov 1-010 1907 MoskvaD07 Queen's Gambit Declined, Chigorin Defense
18. NN vs Alekhine 0-132 1907 KislovodskB30 Sicilian
19. Alekhine vs K Isakov 1-026 1907 Moscow Club SpringC44 King's Pawn Game
20. Alekhine vs NN 1-046 1907 KislovodskD06 Queen's Gambit Declined
21. Alekhine vs Nenarokov 0-143 1907 Moscow Club AutumnD02 Queen's Pawn Game
22. Viakhirev vs Alekhine 0-136 1907 cr 1906-07C28 Vienna Game
23. Alekhine vs V Rozanov 1-042 1907 MoscowC45 Scotch Game
24. B V Lyubimov vs Alekhine ½-½39 1907 cr 1906-07C80 Ruy Lopez, Open
25. Budberg vs Alekhine 0-134 1907 Moscow Club SpringB00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
 page 1 of 81; games 1-25 of 2,015  PGN Download
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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 130 OF 130 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jun-28-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <aliejin: "I'd say there is some difference between AAA and Hitler." I visit chessgames ... and read this .....in which mental state is people here?>

The usual state when Jewish filthies are allowed to run free, I suppose.

Jun-28-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Absentee: <MissScarlett: <Dr.Alekhine died 70 years ago. Perhaps it is about time that he be left alone.>

Does that go for Hitler, too?>

I wish. We'd be spared a lot of braindead arguments.

Jun-28-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  brankat: When the Manstein 1914 tournament (Germany) ended (Alekhine won) the WWWI broke out. The state of hostilities was declared between Russia and Germany. AAA was imprisoned for being a Russian national. Upon his release he returned to Russia and joined the Army to fight the Germans. Was wounded, too.

He was ready to fight them in 1940 again. Until the French collapse.

He may have not been in love with people of Jewish decent (together with some three quarters of Europe's population), but certainly was no Nazi sympathizer.

Jun-28-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <He may have not been in love with people of Jewish decent (together with some three quarters of Europe's population), but certainly was no Nazi sympathizer.>

<brankat>

Of course not. He wrote anti-Semitic articles in Nazi publications, he endorsed Nazi racial attitudes views in Spanish newspapers, he took part in charity events sponsored by the German army, and he played in tournaments (some sponsored by Nazi organizations) in occupied territory. But a Nazi sympathizer? Preposterous.

Jun-28-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: <Of course not. He wrote anti-Semitic articles in Nazi publications, he endorsed Nazi racial attitudes views in Spanish newspapers, he took part in charity events sponsored by the German army, and he played in tournaments (some sponsored by Nazi organizations) in occupied territory. But a Nazi sympathizer? Preposterous.>

Gotta say that the above comment for some strange reason reminded me of this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJJ...

Jun-28-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <He wrote anti-Semitic articles in Nazi publications...>

Well, I think it's more accurate to say he was trolling the chess world.

<he endorsed Nazi racial attitudes views in Spanish newspapers...>

You've endorsed some of them, too. So have I. There was nothing original about them. Nearly everyone believed similar things before, during and after WW2. And they'll keep on believing them in perpetuity.

<he took part in charity events sponsored by the German army, and he played in tournaments (some sponsored by Nazi organizations) in occupied territory.>

So did Keres. And when Keres was in the Soviet Union, he played for the Commies for the next 30 years.

You're being very unfair about all this, you know.

Jun-28-16  aliejin: Hitler was a mass murderer
Alekhine a chess player
The legacy of hitler were millions
grave
The Alekhine legacy a set of beautiful
chess games.
Jun-28-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: I would argue that it's time for the de-demonisation of both Hitler and Alekhine. We need a normalisation of the study of WW2 history. Then <brankat> needn't fret that we leave Alekhine alone.
Jun-28-16  aliejin: In the first part of
20th century be anti Semite was the most normal thing.

One need not wonder why
Alekhine was anti-Semitic. One must wonder
Why millions and millions of people were

It is an issue of enormous complexity.
there are economic, political, social reasons
etc etc

One must understand the time,
otherwise incurred anachronisms

Delve into the matter through the articles of Alekhine ... is only trivialize.

Jun-28-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <You're being very unfair about all this, you know.>

Being Estonian entitles Keres to some extra consideration, surely. But yes, I am being unfair. I've never managed to feel the proper degree of outrage about the 1948 Match-Tournament, either. Lots of people who did what Keres did suffered much worse than being perhaps encouraged not to play their absolute best in a chess tournament.

Jun-28-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: For <The Divine Miss S> to come it over on others for 'unfairness' is rich theatre indeed.

<keypusher....Lots of people who did what Keres did suffered much worse than being perhaps encouraged not to play their absolute best in a chess tournament.>

Had Bohatyrchuk not managed to escape to the West and hole up a while in a DP camp under an alias, he may well have been returned to Mother Russia to die on the gallows.

Jul-02-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  brankat: Regarding Keres's performances in Candidates tournaments. Was he not a regular Bridesmaid? Five times? Three times after the death of Stalin?

Botvinnik won the 1948 event fair and square.

Jul-08-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Non-sequitur. In future, just leave the thinking to me.
Jul-10-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Another simul (see Elaine Saunders Pritchard) missed by Skinner & Verhoeven is one Alekhine gave on January 9th, 1937, in Bristol, on 40 boards, scoring +34 -1 =5. He'd just come off winning Hastings (1936/37).

<Western Daily Press and Bristol Mirror>, January 11th, 1937, p.3:

<The greatest display of chess ever given in Bristol was seen at the Queen's Cafe, St. Augustine's, on Saturday. The visit, at the invitation of the Bristol and clifton Chess Club, of Dr. Alexander Alekhine, ex-chess champion of the world, overshadowed the visit of any other chess master.

[...]

The only winner was H. M. Cuttle, while H. H. Johnson, A. C. Steadman, J. E. Jones, C. E. Scutt, and J. Bagshaw secured draws.>

Aug-05-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  brankat: <Missy> Your "research" into these irrelevant Simul exhibitions will lead you nowhere.

In future, leave the thinking to me. And to other kibiterzs.

Aug-06-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: I think we can all agree that Alekhine was not anti-semetic

Now, can we just move forward from here?

*****

Aug-06-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  brankat: Yes, we need to leave the Past behind, before moving forward.
Aug-13-16  PaulLovric: Can someone tell me why he hardly ever played his own defense?
Aug-13-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Maybe because everyone played 1.d4 against him.

Why did Reti stop playing the Reti?

what came the first the Caro or the Kann?

Who was the first player to take en passant and why did his opponent let him off with it?

So many unanswered questions...

Aug-13-16  PaulLovric: Everyone did NOT play d4 againsthim. Rediculous! Take a look at his games as black...there are at least 4 billion e4 games
Aug-14-16  aliejin: The fact that Alekhine created,
or popularized 1 .... Nf6
does not mean it was the most suited to his temperament. It seemed interesting rehearse and nothing else.
Aug-14-16  WorstPlayerEver: Alekhine played the Alekhine defence twice during Budapest 1921. The opening was also used by other players that tournament.

And he was quite succesful with it; only lost one game:

Nimzowitsch vs Alekhine, 1926

Weird enough he lost two simul games with it. Probably used those as experiment.

Aug-14-16  WorstPlayerEver: PS During the WC 1935 Euwe did play 1. d4 or 1. c4 (twice) against Alekhine if I remember correctly. Funny enough Euwe used the Alekhine defence once against Alekhine in 1935. Was a draw ;)

During the rematch in 1937 both players opened with 1. d4. Except two games where Alekhine played the Reti.

Aug-15-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hello Again,

"Everyone did NOT play d4 against him. Rediculous! Take a look at his games as black..."

Even Alekhine as Black could not play 1.e4 against himself. He was good, but no that good.

There are quite a few examples of players not using 'their' opening but how about one whose name became attached to an opening due to a nautical act of nature.

Captain William Davies Evans (he of the Evans Gambit) this is how it came about.

Captain's Log 'The Esmeralda' 4th May 1819.

Becalmed in the Irish Sea 5 miles southwest of Liverpool.

Men eating the cargo (coal) and close to mutiny.

Played chess with first mate Herbert Glass.

We got here...


click for larger view

...with me (the player of the white pieces) to play.

A sudden swell rocked the ship and the white b-pawn slid from b2-b4.

Glass was about to put it back on b2 but I took it as an omen the winds were about to start up and ordered him to leave it be.

We played on from there and I won with a sparkling kingside attack.

End of the log bit.

Herbert glass is best remembered not as the loser of the very first Evans Gambit but in the jolly ditty that was doing the rounds at the time.

The first mates name was Glass,
his balls were made of brass,
and every time he farted - sparks came out his ass.

♖♖♖

Aug-16-16  Harmonicus: Today I was reading Aagaard's book "Excelling at positional chess" and found this interesting:

"Alekhine found that Capablanca was a better chessplayer than he, and also found that when Capablanca was in his element, the endgame, he became lazy and stopped working. Consequently Alekhine ended up beating Capablanca in the technical phase. Capablanca relied too much on intuition while Alekhine, who had no world class intuition,worked hard at the board and solved the problems with the aid of calculation and logic."

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