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Vera Menchik
Number of games in database: 290
Years covered: 1927 to 1943

Overall record: +83 -132 =72 (41.5%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 3 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Queen's Gambit Declined (15) 
    D30 D37 D35
 Queen's Pawn Game (14) 
    D00 D02 A46
 Slav (13) 
    D13 D15 D12 D11 D14
 Orthodox Defense (10) 
    D52 D63 D55 D68 D51
 English (10) 
    A13 A14 A15 A12
 Semi-Slav (9) 
    D43 D46 D48 D45
With the Black pieces:
 French Defense (34) 
    C14 C13 C11 C00 C02
 Orthodox Defense (25) 
    D51 D63 D52 D60 D54
 French (15) 
    C13 C11 C00
 Classical French (13) 
 Queen's Gambit Declined (13) 
    D37 D35 D30 D31
 King's Indian (11) 
    E60 E61 E85 E91 E73
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Menchik vs G A Thomas, 1932 1-0
   Menchik vs Graf-Stevenson, 1937 1-0
   Menchik vs Colle, 1929 1-0
   F Lazard vs Menchik, 1929 0-1
   Menchik vs E E Book, 1938 1-0
   Sultan Khan vs Menchik, 1932 0-1
   Menchik vs G A Thomas, 1936 1-0
   Euwe vs Menchik, 1930 0-1
   Baratz vs Menchik, 1928 0-1
   Menchik vs F Schubert, 1928 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Hastings 1929/30 (1929)
   Margate (1936)
   Margate (1937)
   London (1932)
   Hastings 1933/34 (1933)
   Hastings 1930/31 (1930)
   Margate (1938)
   Margate (1935)
   Podebrady (1936)
   Karlsbad (1929)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   1939 World (women) chess championship by gauer
   Ramsgate 1929 team tournament by crawfb5
   1937 World (women) chess champ [Semmering match] by gauer
   Hastings 1929/30 by suenteus po 147
   Margate 1936 by suenteus po 147

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(born Feb-16-1906, died Jun-27-1944, 38 years old) Russia (federation/nationality United Kingdom)
[what is this?]
Vera Francevna Menchik was born to English and Czech parents, in Moscow. She learned the game at nine and, after her family settled in England in 1921, she began taking lessons from Geza Maroczy. Her positional style and endgame expertise netted her victories against several notable male players, among them Max Euwe, Samuel Reshevsky and Mir Sultan Khan. Albert Becker quipped that these and the other men she defeated were members of the "Menchik Club."

Vera Menchik was Women's World Champion from 1927 until 1944, when a German air raid destroyed her London residence, killing her, her mother and her sister.

An audiovisual documentary, prepared by User: jessicafischerqueen, can be found here:

Wikipedia article: Vera Menchik

 page 1 of 12; games 1-25 of 290  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Menchik vs Koltanowski 0-121 1927 Hastings2728E60 King's Indian Defense
2. George Wright vs Menchik 0-137 1928 GBR-ch opB06 Robatsch
3. Baratz vs Menchik 0-126 1928 HastingsA01 Nimzovich-Larsen Attack
4. S F Smith vs Menchik  0-128 1928 Cheltenham MajorC11 French
5. Menchik vs F Schubert 1-040 1928 ScarboroughD35 Queen's Gambit Declined
6. H Saunders vs Menchik  1-043 1928 ScarboroughA46 Queen's Pawn Game
7. R P Michell vs Menchik 0-148 1928 ScarboroughD63 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense
8. G A Thomas vs Menchik 1-032 1928 ScarboroughC11 French
9. Menchik vs Yates 1-046 1928 ScarboroughE60 King's Indian Defense
10. Noteboom vs Menchik 1-024 1928 Hastings IID63 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense
11. Menchik vs J A Seitz  0-151 1929 ParisD30 Queen's Gambit Declined
12. G A Thomas vs Menchik 1-020 1929 ParisD11 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
13. Menchik vs R P Michell 1-031 1929 Ramsgate schevA09 Reti Opening
14. Menchik vs Znosko-Borovsky  ½-½13 1929 ParisE11 Bogo-Indian Defense
15. Menchik vs Colle 1-039 1929 ParisE40 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3
16. Yates vs Menchik  ½-½25 1929 Ramsgate schevA48 King's Indian
17. Duchamp vs Menchik ½-½37 1929 ParisD10 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
18. F Lazard vs Menchik 0-135 1929 ParisA02 Bird's Opening
19. Menchik vs W Winter  ½-½23 1929 Ramsgate schevE37 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
20. Menchik vs J Cukierman  ½-½12 1929 ParisD51 Queen's Gambit Declined
21. Tylor vs Menchik  ½-½36 1929 Ramsgate schevB72 Sicilian, Dragon
22. E G Sergeant vs Menchik  ½-½34 1929 Ramsgate schevC14 French, Classical
23. Menchik vs Tartakower 0-130 1929 ParisA51 Budapest Gambit
24. Menchik vs G A Thomas 1-042 1929 Ramsgate schevD77 Neo-Grunfeld, 6.O-O
25. Koltanowski vs Menchik 1-025 1929 ParisD10 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
 page 1 of 12; games 1-25 of 290  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Menchik wins | Menchik loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 6 OF 6 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: A lot of men lost to this chick.
Nov-20-12  Parbrahman: And that's the truth (vera).
Dec-31-12  IndigoViolet: This site records the V1 attack that killed the Menchik family and eight others:

Another useful resource, for the Blitz:

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: I propose that from now on, February 16th is known as Vera Menchik day.
Jul-21-13  Karpova: IM Minev in 'Inside Chess', 1994/18 presents an autobiographical article <My successes on the chess field>, Vera wrote in 1928 and which was first published on pages 160-162 of August 1928 'Shakhmaty':

It features a picture, short biography, tournament results and some annotations.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: I watched Jessica's YouTube on Menchik, I hadn't realised quite how good she was considering all things. Barden mentioned she was killed in the Blitz: but not that her whole family had been killed. Tragic end.
Premium Chessgames Member
  norami: Her name means, loosely, "Truly Male-female"
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: R.I.P. Vera Menchik. Too bad she didn't live to see 1950. She probably could've became the first woman to receive the GM title.
Feb-16-14  thegoodanarchist: Women's hair styles back then were kinda weird.
Feb-16-14  Karposian: <thegoodanarchist> Perhaps people back then would consider women's hair styles of today to be kinda weird..?
Feb-16-14  thegoodanarchist: <Karposian: <thegoodanarchist> Perhaps people back then would consider women's hair styles of today to be kinda weird..?>

Probably not. They're all dead. ;)

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: She was 'da Bomb! (No pun intended.)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: Vera Menchik gives a short accopunt of her early years to the press in 1927:

CHESS VICTOR. World's First Woman Champion. ...Miss Vera Menchik told a Press representative that she played her first game Moscow when she was only nine. She has lived at Hastings for six years. Her mother is English, and her father is Czecho-Slovakian, and she spent the earliest years of her life Russia. Papa plays chess well, and taught me much, but he is not a champion, said Miss Menchik.

My first big chess played at the open tournaments at Hastings. In this tournament I was confident of doing well. I was in Russia the time of the revolution, and I was then very young, but I do not want to say much about it. Like many more we had unpleasant times. Papa owned a mill there; he no longer has it. Once I played chess every day, but lately I have not been so constant to the game. At Hastings her instructor was <Maroczy>, the Hungarian master. Miss Menchik is short, homely girl, and unbobbed. She speaks broken English.

Source: <Aberdeen Journal - Saturday 30 July 1927 p.7.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <norami: Her name means, loosely, "Truly Male-female">

Not really. You see a phonetically anglicised version of <Mensik> (soft 's' and long 'i') -- it is a common Czech name. It is derived from 'mensi' = 'smaller'. Incidentally, <Mensik> is the masculine version of the name; in Czechoslovakia, Vera has been commonly referred to by the feminine version of her name <Mensikova>.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: <Gypsy> I think that Vera's maiden surname was Menčíková, not Menšíková.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <Honza Cervenka> Ah, you are right.

(In South Moravia, the 'Menšík' version of the name is more common -- the source of my error.)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: <Gypsy> Yes, I know. And especially thanks to Vladimír Menšík the version with "š" is better known...:-)
Sep-18-15  JonDSouzaEva: According to, Clifford Glanville Rubery, the husband of Olga Menchik, was born in the 3rd quarter of 1912 and he and Olga married in the 4th quarter of 1938. Elsewhere it is recorded that he died in 1999 at the age of 87.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Happy birthday, Vera Menchik.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: On this day, Menchik won the 1931 Womens' World Championship. (Again)

I really respect Vera.

Aug-12-16  sudoplatov: As Vera Menchik was the first really strong woman playing competitive chess (as far as is known), perhaps she could be call "La Prima Vera."
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: This games collection is rather poor, in my opinion. I have plenty of Menchik games not in CeeGee.
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <Searching for Menchik>

MCO-13 p99 has mention of a Giuoco Piano game she lost to Emery, played in 1939 in Biarritz.

This tournament isn't mentioned here:

Anybody know anything? Is this Menchik her? What's the original source of the game?

<CG> does have it:

T Emery vs Menchik, 1939

OK, thanks.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <zed>, believe Emery-Menchik was also mentioned in Botterill's <Open Gambits>, published in the mid 1980s, but my copy of Botterill is in mothballs.

If I ever get to France again, Biarritz is a place I would like to visit, besides the Cote d'Azur.

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <perf> I don't know about that France place, I heard the beer ain't too good.

But someone did tell me the wine was mighty fine. So maybe.

Kidding aside - here's some postcard pictures from Biarritz:

Yeah, looks like a nice place to visit.

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