chessgames.com
Members · Prefs · Laboratory · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing

Alexander Alekhine
Alekhine 
George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress)
 
Number of games in database: 2,048
Years covered: 1903 to 1946

Overall record: +879 -165 =436 (74.1%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 568 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

MOST PLAYED OPENINGS
With the White pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (161) 
    C68 C78 C77 C62 C86
 Orthodox Defense (151) 
    D51 D63 D67 D50 D52
 Queen's Pawn Game (103) 
    D02 D00 A46 A40 D05
 French Defense (102) 
    C01 C11 C15 C13 C07
 Queen's Gambit Declined (96) 
    D06 D30 D37 D35 D31
 Sicilian (92) 
    B20 B40 B30 B32 B62
With the Black pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (103) 
    C79 C78 C77 C68 C71
 Queen's Pawn Game (68) 
    D02 A46 A40 A50 E10
 French Defense (60) 
    C01 C11 C12 C13 C02
 Nimzo Indian (39) 
    E33 E34 E22 E32 E46
 French (33) 
    C11 C12 C00 C13 C10
 Sicilian (29) 
    B40 B20 B83 B74 B72
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 Lasker, 1934 1-0
   Alekhine vs Vasic, 1931 1-0
   Alekhine vs Yates, 1922 1-0
   Gruenfeld vs Alekhine, 1923 0-1
   Capablanca vs Alekhine, 1927 0-1
   Alekhine vs NN, 1915 1-0
   Alekhine vs O Tenner, 1911 1-0

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)
   Scheveningen (1913)
   Kecskemet (1927)
   San Remo (1930)
   Baden-Baden (1925)
   Karlsbad (1923)
   Bled (1931)
   Mexico City (1932)
   Zurich (1934)
   Berne (1932)
   London (1922)
   Semmering (1926)
   Bad Pistyan (1922)
   Karlsbad (1911)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Alex Alek Alex Alek Fredthebear Alex Alek Alex by fredthebear
   Match Alekhine! by amadeus
   Match Alekhine! by chessgain
   My Best Games of Chess (Alekhine) by daveyjones01
   My Best Games of Chess: 1908 -1937 - Alekhine by vantheanh
   My Best Games of Chess (Alekhine) by SantGG
   My Best Games of Chess (Alekhine) by brucemubayiwa
   My Best Games of Chess (Alekhine) by Qindarka
   Alekhine Favorites by chocobonbon
   World Champion - Alekhine (I.Linder/V.Linder) by Qindarka
   Alexander Alekhine's Best Games by KingG
   My Best Games by Alexander Alekhine by LionHeart40
   My Best Games Of Chess 1924-1937 by A. Alekhine by demirchess
   My Best Games Of Chess 1924-1937 by A. Alekhine by Pawn N Hand

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


Search Sacrifice Explorer for Alexander Alekhine
Search Google for Alexander Alekhine


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 Dewhirst 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 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 1930s. In New York, on April 27, 1924, Alekhine broke the world record for simultaneous blindfold play when he took on 26 opponents, winning 16, losing 5, and drawing 5 after twelve hours of play. He broke his own record, in early 1925, by playing 28 games 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 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 Alexei Alekhine was also a keen player.

Accusations of Anti-Semitism

Alekhine was accused of anti-Semitism following a series of articles that were 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 hand-written manuscripts of the articles that were allegedly found after his death, but their existence remains unsubstantiated. 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 12 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 player ID, 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: 2017-11-26 13:23:31

 page 1 of 82; games 1-25 of 2,048  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. P Vinogradov vs Alekhine 1-0201903Shakmatnoe Obozrenie 7th corr0304C21 Center Game
2. N Urusov vs Alekhine 0-1331905Shakhmatnoe Obozrenie Correspondence Tournament No. 16C33 King's Gambit Accepted
3. Alekhine vs R Geish Ollisevich 1-0221905Correspondence tC39 King's Gambit Accepted
4. Alekhine vs A Gize ½-½41190516th Correspondence TournamentC33 King's Gambit Accepted
5. Alekhine vs A Andriyashev 1-0301905crC38 King's Gambit Accepted
6. V Zhukovsky vs Alekhine 0-1201905crC25 Vienna
7. Alekhine vs N Urusov 1-0321905Shakhmatnoe Obozrenie Correspondence Tournament No. 16C25 Vienna
8. Alekhine vs V Manko 1-0241905Shakhmatnoe Obozrenie theme 16th corrC25 Vienna
9. A Gize vs Alekhine 0-1291905Correspondence tC33 King's Gambit Accepted
10. V Manko vs Alekhine 1-0331905Shakhmatnoe Obozrenie theme 16th corrC52 Evans Gambit
11. Shulga vs Alekhine 0-1321906?C41 Philidor Defense
12. Alekhine vs A Romashkevich 1-0181906Earl tournC20 King's Pawn Game
13. Alekhine vs V Manko 1-0281906?C45 Scotch Game
14. V Manko vs Alekhine 1-0361906Earl tourn corrC52 Evans Gambit
15. Alekhine vs V Zhukovsky ½-½351906cr RUSC39 King's Gambit Accepted
16. Alekhine vs V Rozanov 1-0421907MoscowC45 Scotch Game
17. Viakhirev vs Alekhine 0-1361907cr 1906-07C28 Vienna Game
18. Budberg vs Alekhine 0-1341907Moscow Club SpringB00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
19. B V Lyubimov vs Alekhine ½-½391907cr 1906-07C80 Ruy Lopez, Open
20. Alekhine vs Nenarokov 1-0101907MoscowD07 Queen's Gambit Declined, Chigorin Defense
21. Alekhine vs N Zubakin 0-1331907cr 1906-07C33 King's Gambit Accepted
22. Alekhine vs NN 1-0461907KislovodskD06 Queen's Gambit Declined
23. Alekhine vs K Isakov 1-0261907Moscow Club SpringC44 King's Pawn Game
24. Alekhine vs Nenarokov 0-1431907Moscow Club AutumnD02 Queen's Pawn Game
25. NN vs Alekhine 0-1321907KislovodskB30 Sicilian
 page 1 of 82; games 1-25 of 2,048  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Alekhine wins | Alekhine loses  
 

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 136 OF 136 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-10-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  Ulhumbrus: It may be that the greatest master of attack was not Alekhine but Lasker, and for this reason: Alekhine could find with great proficiency the right choice of attacking move but it was Lasker who understood the reasons why the right choice of attacking move was the right choice. One can gain a hint of this in Lasker's book <Common sense in chess> in his remarks about the pace of attack. It reminds me of the saying that a person who knows what to do gets the job but the person who also knows the reasons why becomes his boss.
Apr-10-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: It's been a month since I mentioned a recent observation per Alekhine, and I haven't put the time in to look over the various games that led me to a new conclusion. I'll work on that, but for now, it's my opinion that Alekhine was a bit underrated as a positional player during his tenure since he would get superior positions by positional play, and then win them when a somewhat overmatched opponent didn't defend as strongly as they could have. This is all shades of gray and nuances, but I think it's true.

That is, if Alekhine had run up against the likes of Karjakin or Kramnik, and wouldn't have just slam/bammed them off the board, we could have seen a much more nuanced win due to a positionally gained advantage than to the usually attributed tactical skills. Yes, he could attack with the best of them, but I think he did so at the risk of his own legacy, where people oohed and aahed over his smashing wins, but didn't notice he could have won just as well against better defense by contuining the game in the very positional mode that led him to the better position.

Apr-12-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Quote of the Day

"Does the general public, do even our friends the critics, realize that Euwe virtually never made an unsound combination? He may, of course, occasionally fail to take account of an opponent's combination, but when he has the initiative in a tactical operation his calculation is impeccable."

-- Alekhine

Apr-21-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  Telemus: There is a nice book on the Dutch chess club D.D. https://www.delpher.nl/nl/boeken/vi...

Amongst others it contains two games by Alekhine. The first one with G.W. Schwencke is here: https://www.delpher.nl/nl/boeken/vi.... The second one with P van't Veer, which appears already in Fiala's and Kalendovsky's collection, is here: https://www.delpher.nl/nl/boeken/vi...

There are a lot of other interstings things, and here (on Alekhine's page) I would like to mention the overview on simuls in that club: https://www.delpher.nl/nl/boeken/vi...

The first entry is a leapfrog simul by Alekhine & Janowski on 8 August 1913 (1915 is a typo). Among the winners is E. Lasker, and this was Ed. and not Em. (see https://resolver.kb.nl/resolve?urn=...).

May-06-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Stirling Observer, November 3rd 1914, p.6:

<Alechine, the distinguished Russian master recently passed through London on his way back to Petrograd, via Stockholm and Finland. He gave to the chess editor of “The Field’ some further particulars of what happened to the Russian players after the break-up of the Mannheim tournament. The tournament came to an end on the Saturday when war was declared, and the committee promised to distribute the prizes on the following Monday. On the Sunday the Russians were arrested, and while in prison they were brutally ill-treated by the German soldiers, who from sheer savagery assaulted them with the butts of their rifles. They were given no water to wash in and scarcely any food that was fit to eat. At the end of a fortnight they were allowed to go to Baden-Baden. Alechine, however, who seems to be enterprising in other ways than chess, made his escape at the risk of his life, for if he had been captured he would have undoubtedly been shot for breaking arrest. There are still eight Russian players at Baden-Baden, including the President of the All Russian Chess Association.>

I vaguely recall reading that Alekhine later admitted, or it became known, at least, that the daring of his 'escape' was somewhat exaggerated. Anyone know more?

May-06-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <MissScarlett> Wikipedia says Alekhine was freed, citing a defunct post on chesscafe.com which in turn cites "Quotes & Queries" #4951.

From this source:
<Alekhine was certified as medically unfit for military service and released on 14 September.>

The reports about Alekhine being mistreated and escaping seem to be propaganda.

May-06-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <beatgiant: <MissScarlett> Wikipedia says Alekhine was freed, citing a defunct post on chesscafe.com which in turn cites "Quotes & Queries" #4951....>

Yes. The famous chesscafé.com!

In the early years of the century that was THE go-to site for chess. It was thousands of chessplayers' home page, the first landing page for chess lovers all over the globe, ahead of chessbase, chess.com and our own dear fledgling chessgames.com.

It had a forum, quotes, birthdays, instruction, opening theses, and daily articles by chess royalty such as Tony Miles, Tim Harding, Yasser Seirawan...

And then, one sunny day, it became locked behind a paywall, like three Berlin Walls sellotaped together.

It was suddenly harder to see than the North Korean <Soul Train>.

Every article disappeared from human existence. Chesscafé.com became a <non-site>, and has never been heard from since that day, airbrushed from history.

May-06-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <offramp>
The page in question is archived here:
https://web.archive.org/web/2008121...
May-06-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: < offramp:

And then, one sunny day, it became locked behind a paywall, like three Berlin Walls sellotaped together.

It was suddenly harder to see than the North Korean <Soul Train>.>

Here is the North Korean <Soul Train>:

http://www.seoultrain.com/film.html

May-06-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <Wikipedia says Alekhine was freed, citing a defunct post on chesscafe.com which in turn cites "Quotes & Queries" #4951>

Yes, that's vaguely familiar, but it's unclear how much is owed to Whyld, and how much additionally to Skinner and Meissenburg - "Quotes & Queries" #4951 is in the 1991 <BCM> volume to which I don't have access.

It would be interesting to see if there were any differences in what Alekhine reportedly told the <Morning Post> (Guest) and <The Field> (Gunsberg), but neither source is online - the <Post>'s coverage unaccountably ends with 1909.

Still, it all looks very bad for Alekhine...

May-06-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <MissScarlett> <The first casualty when war comes is truth.>
May-06-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Any excuse.
May-06-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi Ohio,

You are correct. All the great players had a positional understanding. You do not beat Capablanca in a match if you found wanting in that department.

If you can, get your hands on the 'Unknown Alekhine' by Reinfeld and you see a different Alekhine whose positional skills then had not been honed and he was attack crazy relying on his tactical skill to get him out of trouble. He mentioned this bad habit in one of his later 'Best Games' books saying it took him a while to shed it.

Sometimes it worked, often it did not. The Reinfeld book has more than just a few Alekhine flying by the seat of his pants losses.

After drifting into an inferior position the young Alekhine resorted to tactics in this game Alekhine vs Nenarokov, 1907 (No.7 in the Unknown Alekhine) Black did well to side step the traps Alekhine laid but when you look at a position close to the end of the game you just know something has gone positionally wrong.


click for larger view

Time passed, Alekhine grew up and produced this positional masterpiece. No fireworks, the tactics are all under the surface, then comes the King march.

Alekhine vs Yates, 1922

Nowadays you will see games akin to this cropping up all over the place. Control of a file, Good Knight v Bad Bishop, Rooks on the 7th etc. The middle game King March pick up a piece is not too common but not unknown.

But back then this game would have made a huge impression (it still does to those who never seen it) and many later good players learned from it.

May-06-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: While in my opinion Reinfeld overdid the question marks and exclams in the work on Alekhine, his objectivity in giving the reader a picture of the budding master, warts and all, I have always considered admirable--too many game collections before the advent of computers rather tended to lionise the play of the winner and give the impression h/she did everything right whilst conveying the idea that the hapless loser made a total mess of things.
May-06-18  Retireborn: I used to own that book (and Reinfeld's Tarrasch and Keres books too) - all excellently written.
May-07-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi perfidious,

For some reason, probably as you stated 'warts and all' it made me appreciate Alekhine even more. You can see the work he put into the game and how he managed to temper his imagination.

Every masters should have a 'Bootleg Games' collection.

May-07-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  sneaky pete: The Chesscafe.com article was only an integral reprint "with permission" of Quotes & Queries #4951 by Ken Whyld in the May 1991 issue of the British Chess Magazine, pages 218/219.

"Leonard Skinner and Egbert Meissenburg have contributed much of the material for this examination of the fate of Alekhine in 1914."

The Legend

First there is a reprint of what Guest wrote in the <Morning Post>, October 12. We learn that Alekhine was a double breasted hero and the Germans were very, very bad people. "They (the Russian detainees) were a fortnight in prison, where they were brutally treated by German soldiers, who, from sheer savagery, assaulted them with the butt ends of their rifles."

In the rest of this section some nonsense is repeated, published by Schelfhout on August 17 in the Dutch newspaper " De Telegraaf". He mentions that in Mannheim Alekhine had a car with a French chauffeur at his disposal.

The Facts

The last round in Mannheim was played August 1. After a short stay in a Mannheim police station and a military prison in Ludwigshafen, the Russians arrived at lodgings in Rastatt. "In Müller and Pawelczak's <Schachgenie Aljechin> p. 13, Alekhine is quoted as saying that he had fond memories of their idyllic detention there ..." Three meals a day and blindfold chess with Bogoljubow. No mention of butt ends of rifles here.

"In the second half of August they were all moved to a hotel in Baden Baden. Alekhine was certified as medically unfit for the military service and released on 14 Septembers." He travelled via Switzerland, Genoa, London (where he met Guest), Stockholm (simul October 21) and Finland to Petrograd.

Shortly after Alekhine's "escape" three more Russians were released (or "fired" as Whyld calls it). The others were moved to Triberg in November.

"Much of this is substantiated in a letter from one of the internees, Malyutin, in "Schweizerische Schachzeitung" May 1915. He adds that Alekhine had no car in Mannheim, confirms his release on medical grounds and thanks Gudehus, president of the Mannheim club, for the many kindnesses shown to the Russian detainees."

May-07-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: What's an integral reprint?
May-07-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  sneaky pete: integral (adj.) 1. containing a whole 2. complete 3. necessary to constitute an entire thing

Thank you Mr. Webster, who, to my astonishment, doesn't know what a reprint is, so your guess is as good as mine.

I bet you now want to know what astonishment is.

May-07-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Why did you feel the need to reprise/precis an integral reprint?
May-07-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <Why did you feel the need to reprise/precis an integral reprint?>

<Missy> doesn't know how to differentiate an integral from a reprint?!

Freshman do it, or they used to.

May-10-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <It would be interesting to see if there were any differences in what Alekhine reportedly told the <Morning Post> (Guest) and <The Field> (Gunsberg), but neither source is online - the <Post>'s coverage unaccountably ends with 1909.>

I said <Gunsberg>, I should have said <Hoffer>; except that Hoffer had died in 1913. Amos Burn took over then.

May-11-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  sneaky pete: "... paid a surprise visit to London on Friday (9 October), on his way back to Petrograd (= Leningrad). Calling at the Chess Divan, 110 Strand, he gave an interesting account of his experiences ..." From the report by Guest, with additions (between brackets) by Whyld.

My guess is that Alekhine handled Post and Field simultaneously, probably in some kind of German or French, and any difference in the reports only reflects the freedom of the press.

May-11-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <sneaky pete>
<freedom of the press> If Alekhine had told them the Germans treated him perfectly well and released him quickly, would the British press, at the height of World War I, have printed that?
May-13-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <If Alekhine had told them the Germans treated him perfectly well and released him quickly...> Maybe he did. #crucifiedcanadian

<My guess is that Alekhine handled Post and Field simultaneously, probably in some kind of German or French, and any difference in the reports only reflects the freedom of the press.>

Plausible enough, but Guest's piece could give the impression that Alekhine's time in London was more fleeting than it may have been:

<Anthony Guest, chess correspondent of the "Morning Post," wrote in that paper on 12 October 1914: "The brilliant Russian master, Alechin, who was one of the tournament competitors stranded at Mannheim on the outbreak of war, paid a surprise visit to London on Friday (9 October), on his way back to Petrograd [now Leningrad]. Calling at the Chess Divan, 110 Strand, he gave an interesting account of his experiences...">

Skinner & Verhoeven (p.108): <Although he stayed several days in London, and visited the Chess Divan, one of the centres of chess activity in the capital, there is no record of any formal event being organised. Apparently, the British Chess Federation took the view that the organisation of chess events in wartime would be viewed as too frivolous by the general public, and consequently it discouraged any attempt to arrange a simultaneous display for Alekhine. An exhibition was, however, organised for him during his stay in Stockholm.>

It'd be nice to know on what basis they make these claims; the use of <apparently> doesn't inspire much confidence. Maybe the <Field> had more information.

Jump to page #    (enter # from 1 to 136)
search thread:   
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 136 OF 136 ·  Later Kibitzing>
NOTE: You need to pick a username and password to post a reply. Getting your account takes less than a minute, totally anonymous, and 100% free--plus, it entitles you to features otherwise unavailable. Pick your username now and join the chessgames community!
If you already have an account, you should login now.
Please observe our posting guidelines:
  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, or profane language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, or duplicating posts.
  3. No personal attacks against other members.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. No posting personal information of members.
Blow the Whistle See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform an administrator.


NOTE: Keep all discussion on the topic of this page. This forum is for this specific player and nothing else. If you want to discuss chess in general, or this site, you might try the Kibitzer's Café.
Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of Chessgames.com, its employees, or sponsors.
Spot an error? Please suggest your correction and help us eliminate database mistakes!


home | about | login | logout | F.A.Q. | your profile | preferences | Premium Membership | Kibitzer's Café | Biographer's Bistro | new kibitzing | chessforums | Tournament Index | Player Directory | Notable Games | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | privacy notice | contact us
Copyright 2001-2018, Chessgames Services LLC