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Max Euwe
Number of games in database: 1,498
Years covered: 1911 to 1981
Overall record: +746 -237 =498 (67.2%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      17 exhibition games, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Orthodox Defense (96) 
    D63 D52 D50 D66 D67
 Nimzo Indian (85) 
    E38 E33 E32 E22 E34
 French Defense (54) 
    C13 C12 C11 C07 C02
 Ruy Lopez (45) 
    C83 C86 C85 C91 C78
 King's Indian (39) 
    E60 E68 E67 E62 E64
 Grunfeld (34) 
    D72 D70 D71 D96 D99
With the Black pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (114) 
    C83 C77 C68 C80 C82
 Slav (72) 
    D12 D15 D19 D17 D14
 Sicilian (64) 
    B83 B88 B56 B57 B28
 Ruy Lopez, Open (57) 
    C83 C80 C82 C81
 King's Indian (47) 
    E60 E61 E91 E92 E85
 Nimzo Indian (44) 
    E59 E34 E26 E41 E35
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Tartakower vs Euwe, 1948 0-1
   Euwe vs Alekhine, 1935 1-0
   Geller vs Euwe, 1953 0-1
   Euwe vs Najdorf, 1953 1-0
   Euwe vs Loman, 1923 1-0
   Euwe vs Reti, 1920 1-0
   Euwe vs Alekhine, 1935 1-0
   Euwe vs Fischer, 1957 1-0
   Euwe vs S Van Mindeno, 1927 1-0
   Euwe vs G A Thomas, 1934 1-0

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: [what is this?]
   Alekhine - Euwe World Championship Match (1935)
   Euwe - Alekhine World Championship Rematch (1937)
   FIDE World Championship Tournament (1948)

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Hastings 1923/24 (1923)
   Weston (1924)
   Hastings 1930/31 (1930)
   London B (1946)
   Bournemouth (1939)
   Zaanstreek (1946)
   Maastricht (1946)
   Gothenburg B (1920)
   Berne (1932)
   Zurich (1934)
   Groningen (1946)
   Wertheim Memorial (1951)
   Nottingham (1936)
   Hastings 1945/46 (1945)
   Karlsbad (1929)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Match Euwe (International)! by amadeus
   MAXimum Teacher by Garre
   Law and Order by Garre
   From My Games 1920 - 1937 by Benzol
   Chess World Champion Nr. 05: Euwe by Olanovich
   Max Euwe by blues66
   Garry Kasparov's On My Great Predecessors (2) by AdrianP
   WCC Index [Alekhine-Euwe 1935] by suenteus po 147
   1935 World Chess Championship by Penguincw
   fav Kramnik & Euwe games by guoduke

GAMES ANNOTATED BY EUWE: [what is this?]
   Euwe vs Alekhine, 1937

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Max Euwe
Search Google for Max Euwe

(born May-20-1901, died Nov-26-1981, 80 years old) Netherlands
[what is this?]
Machgielis (Max) Euwe was the fifth World Champion.

Early years

Euwe was born in Watergraafsmeer in Amsterdam. His mother, Elizabeth van der Meer, taught him the moves when he was four. He was a student of mathematics at Amsterdam University where he graduated with honours in 1923, gaining his doctorate in 1926, after which he taught mathematics in Rotterdam and later in Amsterdam.


Euwe won 102 tournaments during his career, squeezing them - and his other tournaments - into the little spare time he had during a busy professional career as a teacher, mathematician and lecturer, and while raising a family. His first international foray was in the Hastings Victory tournament after WW1 in the summer of 1919 where he placed 4th. He won the Dutch National Championship on five consecutive occasions in 1921, 1924, 1926, 1929 and 1933, and then on six more consecutive occasions in 1938, 1939, 1942, 1947, 1948 and 1952. His 12th win was in 1955; these 12 wins of the Dutch Championship is still a record, three wins ahead of the next most prolific winner, Jan Timman. Euwe was a regular competitor in the Hastings tournament, winning it three times in 1923-24, 1930-31, 1934-35. In 1928 he became the Second World Amateur Champion after Hermanis Karlovich Mattison (Paris 1924). Other important results occurred when he won Wiesbaden 1925, placed 2nd behind Alexander Alekhine at Berne 1932, 2nd behind Alekhine (whom he beat) at Zurich 1934, 2nd at Zandvoort 1936 behind Reuben Fine, 3rd at Nottingham 1936 half a point behind Mikhail Botvinnik and Jose Raul Capablanca but ahead of Alekhine, =1st at Amsterdam 1936 with Fine, 1st at Bad Nauheim-Stuttgart-Garmisch 1937, ahead of Alekhine, =4th with Alekhine and Samuel Reshevsky at AVRO 1938, 1st at Amsterdam-Hilversum-The Hague in 1939, and 1st at Budapest in 1940. After the Second World War, he came 1st in London in 1946 and had his best tournament result, second behind Botvinnik at Groningen in 1946, a result which contributed to his receiving an invitation to play in the FIDE World Championship Tournament (1948).


Soon after Euwe won the Dutch Championship for the first time in 1921, he played and drew a short match with Geza Maroczy with 2 wins, 8 draws, and 2 losses. He played and lost what amounted to a short training match with Alekhine in 1926-7, a few months before the Capablanca - Alekhine World Championship Match (1927), by +2 =5 -3. In 1928 Euwe defeated Edgar Colle in a match with 5 wins and 1 draw. A few days later he played Efim Bogoljubov in a match and lost, scoring 2 wins, 5 draws, and 3 losses. After winning Hastings 1930-1 ahead of Capablanca, he played Capablanca in a match, but lost with 8 draws and 2 losses. Soon after his good result in Berne 1932, he drew a match with Salomon Flohr with 3 wins, 10 draws, and 3 losses. Later in 1932, he won a training match with Rudolf Spielmann in 1932, with 2 wins and 2 draws, but lost another training match with Spielmann in 1935. He played a match with Paul Keres in The Netherlands in 1939-40, losing 6-7 (+5 =3 -6). In 1941 Euwe traveled to Carlsbad and defeated Bogoljubov in a match with 5 wins, 3 draws, and 2 losses. He drew a match in 1949 with Vasja Pirc (+2, =6, -2) Euwe - Pirc (1949).

In 1957, Euwe played a short informal match against 14-year-old future world champion Robert James Fischer, winning one game and drawing the other. His lifetime score against Fischer was one win, one loss, and one draw.

World Championship

In 1935 Alexander Alekhine selected him as his opponent for the World title, the last time in which a challenger was selected until Garry Kasparov selected Vladimir Kramnik to challenge him for the Kasparov - Kramnik World Championship Match (2000). The match was held in Amsterdam, The Hague, Delft, Rotterdam, Utrecht, Gouda, Groningen, Baarn, 's-Hertogenbosch, Eindhoven, Zeist, Ermelo, and Zandvoort, and played in 23 different venues. Euwe won the match (+9 =13 -8) on 15 December 1935 to become the fifth World Champion. This was also the first world championship match in which the players had seconds to help them with analysis during adjournments. In 1937 he lost the Euwe - Alekhine World Championship Rematch (1937) (+4 =11 -10). Their lifetime tally was +28 -20 =38 in favour of Alekhine. After Alekhine's death in 1946, Euwe was invited to contest the 1948 World Championship Match Tournament, and although he came last in that event, he continued to play in the world championship cycle until the Zurich Candidates of 1953.


He played top board for The Netherlands in seven Olympiads between 1927 to 1962, scoring 10/15 at London 1927, 9/13 at Stockholm 1937 to win bronze, 8/12 at Dubrovnik 1950, 7/13 at Amsterdam 1954, 8/11 at Munich 1958 to win silver medal (aged 57), 6/16 at Leipzig 1960, and 4/7 in his last Olympiad at Varna in 1962. His Olympiad aggregate was 54/87 for 62.6 per cent.

Legacy and testimonials

While he was World Champion, Euwe handed FIDE the power to organise the World Championship, apart from the return match with Alekhine that had already been agreed upon.

In 1957, while visiting the United States to study computer technology, he played two unofficial chess games in New York against Bobby Fischer, winning one and drawing the second. A couple of years later, he became director of The Netherlands Automatic Data Processing Research Centre in 1959 and from 1961 to 1963, chairman of a committee set up by Euratom to examine the feasibility of programming computers to play chess. In 1964, he was appointed to a chair in an automatic information processing in Rotterdam University and, following that, at Tilburg University. He retired as professor at Tilburg in 1971. A fuller description of his non-chess career can be found at Max Euwe, courtesy of <achieve>.

From 1970-1978 he was a peripatetic President of FIDE, visiting more than 100 countries at his own expense, promoting chess world wide and helping add over 30 new member countries to FIDE. During his terms as FIDE President, he exercised immense diligence and effort to ensure the Match of the Century, the Fischer - Spassky World Championship Match (1972) occurred. While he was successful in that endeavour, similarly Herculean efforts to enable the Karpov - Fischer World Championship Match (1975) eventually foundered.

Euwe wrote over 70 chess books, including <The Road to Chess Mastery>, <Judgement and Planning in Chess>, <The Logical Approach to Chess>, and <Strategy and Tactics in Chess Play>. Many of his books are still in print, enabling several generations of good Dutch players to develop their games from reading his works. His bibliography can be gleaned from the following links at ((English); and (Dutch). He died in 1981, age 80. The Max Euwe Plein (square) (near the Leidseplein) in Amsterdam has a large chess set and statue, where the 'Max Euwe Stichting' is located in a former jailhouse. It has a Max Euwe museum and a large collection of chess books. Euwes granddaughter, Esm Lammers, has written a children's book called Lang Leve de Koningin (Long live the Queen), which is a fairytale about a young girl who learns to play chess and at the same time finds her father. Lammers filmed the story in 1995 (

"Strategy requires thought; tactics requires observation." - Max Euwe

"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." Alexander Alekhine

"He is logic personified, a genius of law and order. One would hardly call him an attacking player, yet he strides confidently into some extraordinarily complex variations." Hans Kmoch

"There's something wrong with that man. He's too normal." Bobby Fischer


(1) Wikipedia article: 2nd Chess Olympiad; (2) Wikipedia article: Hastings International Chess Congress; (3) (4)

Wikipedia article: Max Euwe

 page 1 of 60; games 1-25 of 1,498  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Euwe vs NN 1-011 1911 Amsterdam, NEDC80 Ruy Lopez, Open
2. J Davidson vs Euwe 0-150 1912 Amsterdam simulC01 French, Exchange
3. R Wielinga vs Euwe  0-146 1912 Amsterdam-North HollandC00 French Defense
4. Euwe vs G Kroone 0-114 1919 Amsterdam m1B45 Sicilian, Taimanov
5. Euwe vs R A J Meijer 1-038 1919 NED-ch03C53 Giuoco Piano
6. Euwe vs J O'Hanlon 1-029 1919 HastingsC54 Giuoco Piano
7. J W te Kolste vs Euwe  0-130 1919 NED-ch03C46 Three Knights
8. Euwe vs G Kroone 1-014 1919 Amsterdam m2C56 Two Knights
9. G Kroone vs Euwe  1-026 1919 Amsterdam m1C63 Ruy Lopez, Schliemann Defense
10. Euwe vs G Kroone 1-054 1919 Amsterdam m1C53 Giuoco Piano
11. Euwe vs W Schelfhout ½-½56 1919 NED-ch03C12 French, McCutcheon
12. H van Hartingsvelt vs Euwe 0-130 1919 HaarlemC44 King's Pawn Game
13. G Oskam vs Euwe 1-012 1919 NED-ch03D00 Queen's Pawn Game
14. Euwe vs G Kroone  0-128 1919 Amsterdam m2D34 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
15. G Kroone vs Euwe  ½-½38 1919 Amsterdam m1C83 Ruy Lopez, Open
16. Euwe vs G J Van Gelder  1-043 1919 AmsterdamC42 Petrov Defense
17. Euwe vs E Palmer  1-026 1919 Hastings-CC55 Two Knights Defense
18. G Kroone vs Euwe  ½-½37 1919 Amsterdam m2A84 Dutch
19. Euwe vs G Kroone  ½-½26 1919 Amsterdam m1D32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
20. G Kroone vs Euwe 1-016 1919 Amsterdam m1C83 Ruy Lopez, Open
21. Euwe vs Cunningham-Craig 1-026 1919 Hastings-CC54 Giuoco Piano
22. G Kroone vs Euwe  ½-½16 1919 Amsterdam m2C29 Vienna Gambit
23. Euwe vs G Kroone 1-045 1919 Amsterdam m1D33 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
24. G Kroone vs Euwe 0-135 1919 Amsterdam m1C83 Ruy Lopez, Open
25. Euwe vs G Kroone  1-043 1919 Amsterdam m1C54 Giuoco Piano
 page 1 of 60; games 1-25 of 1,498  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Euwe wins | Euwe loses  

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Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Quote of the Day

" The position is incredibly complicated, and everything is suspended in mid-air; but Alekhine dominates the proceedings. He pulls the wires, and it is to his bidding that the marionettes dance. "

-- Euwe

Any reference for this quote?

Sep-10-13  thomastonk: <whiteshark> Euwe wrote this in "Meet the Masters", 2nd edition, London 1945 on page 47 as a comment to Reti vs Alekhine, 1925. The reference to the first edition should be different, because B.H.Wood added some paragraphs. The Dutch original is "Zoo Schaken Zij" and the translation to English is due to L.Prins.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: I'm deeply impressed, <thomastonk>. Thank you very much.
Oct-02-13  thomastonk: A nice story from the "Provinciale Zeeuwse Courant" of February 12, 1948.

'Our national champion Dr Max Euwe is married and has three daughters. His wife and the daughters know how to play chess, but they don't have any special interest in the game. There are more important things than chess in Euwe's home. Dr Euwe laughed when the interviewer of the Nw. Rott. Crt. made a disbelieving face. "I will give you a clear proof" he said. "My second daughter has been fifteen years old, when she found out that I had played in Amersfort in an insignificant national tournament and finished first. Wow, she said perplexed, you can play so well that you can win this!? That was in 1942."

(Bad translation? Sorry!)

Oct-02-13  DoctorD: I did have to read through it a few times to get the point but that may be my lack of understanding. Funny that she completely disregards or doesn't seem to know her dad was a former WC.
Oct-02-13  thomastonk: <DoctorD> Please accept my apologies. I left out the end of Euwe's statement, because I thought the point was clear.

Euwe continued: 'I was already for more than twenty years national champion, and I've had two times the privilege to play with Alekhine for the highest title in the chess world. My daughter had never heard thereof ...!'

Oct-02-13  DoctorD: The end certainly helps, but it just took a little extra reading for me to figure out what was meant, no apologies necessary. Dr. Euwe certainly made great efforts to give his children a normal family life, whereas I probably would have had world chess champion stamped on my doorway. :)
Oct-21-13  blunderclap: <thomastonk> That's a great anecdote and quite an insight into Euwe's attitude towards life.

It may be due to my tremendous understanding, but I thought your translation was quite clear;)

Premium Chessgames Member
  WCC Editing Project: <thomastonk, Richard>

<thomastonk: <Richard Taylor: It's a pity Alekhine ... gave the weak excuse he was drinking heavily as reason he lost to Euwe.> I have never seen such a statement by Alekhine, and since the core of the drinking legend is probably only one incident before a single game in the match, I would be surprised, if such a statement exist. So, please surprise me.>

Well I've never seen anything like the paraphrase Richard gives either, but here is something that Alekhine *did* say with respect to drinking and the 1935 title match.

Alekhine lists some of the reasons why he thinks he lost the title in 1935:

<"I was absolutely stale after about eighteen months of uninterrupted chess work. In particular, from May, 1934, on I played the match for the title against Bogoljubow, took part in the Zurich, Orebro, and Warsaw tournaments, undertook three long and tiring tours in North Africa, Spain, and Scandinavia, and meanwhile wrote the critical record of the Zurich tournament! The result was that I arrived for the opening of the match really sick of chess, and to force myself to think of chess I had recourse to various stimulants, such as tobacco in excess <<<and, above all, alcohol.>>> These stimulants might have done little harm in a short contest (and, indeed, I played fairly well in the first few games), but proved absolutely fatal in the long run; in these circumstances defeat became inevitable.">

-Manchester Guardian, 5 October 1937, pp. 11-12

Note that <Alekhine> says nothing about being "drunk," and that he lists alcohol as the main (above all) "stimulant" he used to help him to think about playing chess again.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Karpova: <Jess> <thomastonk>

Also notable: After the greatly exaggerated Ermelo incident, Kmoch said that one of the explanations of the drinking habit propounded by the newspapers was that Alekhine had done that to improve his chess strength.

And regarding <Richard Taylor>, this is his approach to chess history: <We cant know history so why not invent it or re-invent it?> Anand-Carlsen World Championship (2013)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: I must regale all of a strong chess player I know who revels in this story (true or false, however exaggerated by the vagaries of information or misinformation) of A's inebriation etc as he himself is a keen drinker. This he has read (and I read it years ago I think in Edward Laskers book about Chess etc). There is clearly some truth but it smells of "excuse".

Looking at some of the games by Euwe around that time there is no question of the latter's strength then, and he won pretty convincingly.

In the 1948 World Champs the reason given by Golombek (et al) for his relatively poor result there was some events in the war. This could be true. Euwe seemed to concentrate more and more on being an official.

But I have found the games in the collection of his games ed. by Golombek to be fascinating. There is no question of his great abilities.

Alekhine remains problematic, a victim of history itself.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Karpova: Dutch Championship, July 24 to August 2, 1924, Amsterdam:

1. Max Euwe 7.0
2. J Davidson 6.0
3. A G Olland 5.0
4-5. A Speyer 4.5
4-5. J L Kersten 4.5
6. R J Loman 4.0
7-10. E de Haas 3.5
7-10. G Kroone 3.5
7-10. G S Fontein 3.5
7-10. E Straat 3.5

Dr. Euwe scored +6 -1 =2 (losing to Davidson, drawing Olland and Straat).

From pages 267-268 of the September 1924 'Neue Wiener Schachzeitung'

Premium Chessgames Member
  Karpova: Simul in Groningen, 1923: +28 -3 =4

Source: Page 349 of the December 1923 'Neue Wiener Schach-Zeitung'

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: My hail is over.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: ♔ Quote of the Day ♔

< "Whoever sees no other aim in the game than that of giving checkmate to one's opponent will never become a good chessplayer." >


Since checkmate is the ULTIMATE goal in chess, I guess there's no arguing this quote.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: I was reading today that "On the night he was elected pope, Francis took the public bus home."

I immediately thought of Euwe. The night he became world champion he had to walk home in the snow because he had no money!

Dec-29-13  RedShield: <Francis took the public bus home>

Isn't that stealing? I believe there's a commandment against it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Here's an alternative history for you all...
Hitler starts WWII early. There is no match in 1937.

Euwe is champion of the world until 1948.

Feb-28-14  thomastonk: Another example of a future WC winning in a simul against the reigning WC.

[Event "ASC, simul"]
[Site "Amsterdam"]
[Date "1920.02.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Euwe, Max"]
[Black "Lasker, Emanuel"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E12"]
[PlyCount "63"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 e6 3. c4 b6 4. Bg5 h6 5. Bh4 Bb7 6. Nc3 d5 7. e3 Nbd7 8. cxd5 exd5 9. Qa4 a6 10. Ne5 Bd6 11. f4 c5 12. Bd3 b5 13. Qd1 Qb6 14. Bf5 cxd4 15. exd4 g5 16. fxg5 Nxe5 17. dxe5 Qe3+ 18. Qe2 Qxe2+ 19. Kxe2 hxg5 20. Bg3 d4 21. exf6 Bxg2 22. Rhe1 Bxg3 23. hxg3 Rh2 24. Kd3+ Kf8 25. Ne4 Rd8 26. Nxg5 Bd5 27. b3 Rg2 28. Rg1 Rf2 29. g4 b4 30. Rh1 Bxh1 31. Rxh1 Kg8 32. Rh7 1-0

Taken from "Nieuwsbrief" of the Max Euwe Centrum, #83. Peter de Jong mentions two more simul games Euwe vs Lasker, both played in the same month, both draws, and one of them in consultation with Keijzer.

<FSR> Please, not the 3-0 story again! ;-)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Stonehenge: Lasker in 1927:

"as far as I see it, Euwe will only achieve highest development eight years from now. Euwe has a brilliant future."

Pretty good prediction :)

Nov-11-14  tranquilsimplicity: There exists nothing more ungentlemanly than to attribute defeat in Chess or any other sport to other factors outside of the game itself. And even in the game itself, it is ungentlemanly to make "excuses" such as loss of time, touching a wrong piece, miscalculating a combination etcetera etcetera. A game lost is a game lost.#
Nov-29-14  thegoodanarchist: <tranquilsimplicity: There exists nothing more ungentlemanly than to attribute defeat in Chess or any other sport to other factors outside of the game itself.>

I disagree. I think that passing gas in a crowded elevator is much more ungentlemanly.

Nov-29-14  john barleycorn: <thegoodanarchist: ...

I disagree. I think that passing gas in a crowded elevator is much more ungentlemanly.>

However, if you do that just put your hand on the shoulder of the guy in front of you and say:"Na Na".

Nov-29-14  tranquilsimplicity: <thegoodanarchist> You missed the point; I suggested 'in sport', not anywhere. There are of course many ungentlemanly behaviours in different social settings that would make giving excuses instead of admitting defeat, seem benign.#
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: I few moments ago I've found this lovely photo
<Day off during the chess tournament in Zandvoort (1936). Dr. Euwe plays with his children and build a water fortress.> :
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