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Alexander Alekhine
George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress)
Number of games in database: 2,051
Years covered: 1903 to 1946

Overall record: +880 -165 =437 (74.1%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 569 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (161) 
    C68 C62 C78 C77 C86
 Orthodox Defense (151) 
    D51 D63 D67 D50 D61
 Queen's Pawn Game (103) 
    D02 D00 A46 A40 E00
 French Defense (102) 
    C01 C11 C15 C13 C07
 Queen's Gambit Declined (96) 
    D06 D30 D37 D35 D31
 Sicilian (93) 
    B20 B40 B30 B62 B32
With the Black pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (103) 
    C79 C78 C77 C68 C71
 Queen's Pawn Game (68) 
    D02 A46 A40 E10 A50
 French Defense (60) 
    C01 C11 C12 C00 C02
 Nimzo Indian (39) 
    E34 E33 E22 E46 E21
 French (33) 
    C11 C12 C13 C00 C10
 Slav (29) 
    D18 D11 D17 D15 D12
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?]
   Scheveningen (1913)
   All Russian Amateur (1909)
   Stockholm (1912)
   Mannheim (1914)
   Karlsbad (1923)
   Baden-Baden (1925)
   Bradley Beach (1929)
   Bled (1931)
   San Remo (1930)
   Berne (1932)
   Zurich (1934)
   Semmering (1926)
   Munich (1941)
   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
   Alekhine - My Best Games of Chess 1908-1937 by Incremental
   My Best Games of Chess (Alekhine) by SantGG
   My Best Games of Chess (Alekhine) by brucemubayiwa
   My Best Games of Chess (Alekhine) by Qindarka
   My Best Games of Chess: 1908 -1937 - Alekhine by vantheanh
   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 Pawn N Hand

   Capablanca vs Tartakower, 1924
   Reti vs Bogoljubov, 1924
   Botvinnik vs Vidmar, 1936
   Alekhine vs Botvinnik, 1936
   Alekhine vs K Junge, 1942

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Alexander Alekhine
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(born Oct-31-1892, died Mar-24-1946, 53 years old) Russia (federation/nationality France)
[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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


“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>


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:; (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: and;

- 2006 Chessbase article about Alekhine's death:;

- two Russian articles that include commentary on Alekhine's death: <1>: (Russian language) - Google translation is as follows: and <2> (Russian language) - Google translation as follows:;

- Bill Wall on Alekhine:;

- Playlist of 29 games analysed by <Kingscrusher>:

- Discussion about literature about Alekhine: and a list of books about Alekhine

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

Last updated: 2017-11-26 13:23:31

 page 1 of 83; games 1-25 of 2,051  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 N Urusov 1-0321905Shakhmatnoe Obozrenie Correspondence Tournament No. 16C25 Vienna
6. Alekhine vs A Andriyashev 1-0301905crC38 King's Gambit Accepted
7. V Zhukovsky vs Alekhine 0-1201905crC25 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 V Manko 1-0281906?C45 Scotch Game
13. Alekhine vs A Romashkevich 1-0181906Earl tournC20 King's Pawn 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 83; games 1-25 of 2,051  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 137 OF 137 ·  Later Kibitzing>
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.

Premium Chessgames Member

<Found Unconscious in Bed With Room on Fire.>

Dr. Alekhine, the world’s chess champion, has just had a narrow escape from death through falling asleep while smoking cigarette in bed. had returned his room in an hotel in the town of Osjek (sic, Osijek, Croatia -ed.), wires the British United Press from Yugoslavia, after banquet. An enormous smoker of cigarettes, lit a final cigarette in bed and went to sleep while still smoking it.

The cigarette set fire to the bedclothes and flames spread to the furniture. Hotel servants found the chess champion unconscious. He had almost been suffocated the fumes and was suffering from slight burns, but he now seems little the worse for his experience, and is planning journey to the United States next month..."

<Source:> "Sheffield Daily Telegraph", Tuesday 30th December 1930.

Premium Chessgames Member

See Alexander Alekhine (kibitz #3373)

Oct-23-18  fabelhaft: Some Twitter quotes by Tarjei Svensen from the Norwegian podcast Sjakksnakk:

@TarjeiJS: We're at the end of the podcast. Carlsen asked who his favourite player is (he was told not to say himself), which is Alexander Alekhine.

@TarjeiJS: Carlsen on Alekhine: "He played a type of modern chess that was fantastic, a combination of positional understanding that was ahead of his time and a dynamical understanding where he was particularly good at achieving positional advantages by playing aggressively."

@TarjeiJS: Carlsen using a football analogy to describe Alekhine, and how he was able to shift play from one flank to the other and see all of the board: "I encourage all chess fans to check out the games between Alekhine and Capablanca from the 1927 match."

Oct-31-18  cunctatorg: As a chess player, Alexander Alekhine was far ahead of his time.
Dec-03-18  KnightVBishop: sultan khan greater than alekhine?
Feb-02-19  Telemus: Another game from one of my databases without a primary source:

[Event "Simul"]
[Site "Leipzig, GER"]
[Date "1926.04.18"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Alekhine Alexander"]
[Black "Mueller Walther"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D02"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 b6 3. Bf4 Bb7 4. Nbd2 e6 5. e3 d5 6. Bb5+ c6 7. Bd3 Nbd7 8. h3 c5 9. c3 Be7 10. Ne5 c4 11. Bc2 b5 12. Qf3 Rc8 13. g4 O-O 14. g5 Nxe5 15. dxe5 Nd7 16. Rg1 Nc5 17. Qh5 g6 18. Qe2 b4 19. cxb4 Nd3+ 20. Bxd3 cxd3 21. Qxd3 Bxb4 22. Qb5 Qe7 23. a3 Bxd2+ 24. Kxd2 Rc5 25. Qb4 Qc7 26. Rgc1 Rc4 27. b3 Rxb4 28. Rxc7 Rxb3 29. Kc2 Rb6 1/2-1/2

White's attack with g2-g4-g5 was unsound.

Feb-03-19  Telemus: Another game from one of my databases.

[Event "Simul"]
[Site "Karlsruhe"]
[Date "1933.12.23"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Alekhine Alexander"]
[Black "Kraft Hans"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C78"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Bc5 6. c3 d6 7. d4 exd4 8. cxd4 b5 9. Bb3 Bb6 10. h3 Ne7 11. Re1 Bb7 12. Nc3 O-O 13. Qc2 Ng6 14. Bd2 Qd7 15. Rad1 Rad8 16. a3 Rfe8 17. Bg5 Qc8 18. Nd5 Bxd5 19. Bxd5 Ne7 20. Bxf6 gxf6 21. Bc6 Nxc6 22. Qxc6 1/2-1/2

From Karlsruher Tagblatt, 27 Dec 1933: "Am Samstagabend führte bekanntlich Aljechin im Hotel Germania gegen 50 Gegner ein Simultanspiel durch, dessen Ergebnis ein fast 100-prozentiger Sieg des Meisters darstellte."

One might ask, why Alekhine accepted a draw in this game and the same article gives a hint: Alekhine and Bogoljubov had just arranged that important parts of their WC match 1934 will be played in Baden (the region around Karlsruhe), and that the initial contact came from 'Ministerialrat Kraft', the leader of the chess players in Baden. This Kraft is however So, Hans could be Herbert or a relative of him. Anyway a primary source is needed.

Feb-03-19  Telemus: Now I got the result of the 51(!) board simul: +38, =12, -1. All family names of players that didn't lose are known, among them is Kraft. During this simul a short break was arranged and the contract for the WC match was signed.

(Badische Presse, 27 Dec 1933).

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <S & V> don't have this simul, but an exhibition game played the day before:

Bogoljubov vs Alekhine, 1933

Their commentary raises an apparent contradiction over the date of the contract signing:

<Alekhine and Bogoljubow met in Karlsruhe for the formal signing of their contract for the forthcoming world championship match, which was to be held early in 1934. After the formalities had been completed, they played the following exhibition game...>

Any sign that Bogo played a simul too?

Feb-03-19  ughaibu: Alekhine is given some species of bad rap because supposedly he refused to play in any tournament, in which Capablanca was playing, unless he received an extra appearance fee. But, if we look at the results of the tournaments in which either Capablanca or Alekhine competed, during the period 1928-35, isn't it clear that against the same opponents, Alekhine performed better?

If so, what, if anything, would be the significance of Alekhine avoiding Capablanca?

Feb-03-19  Telemus: <MissS> The sources I saw, and there are a few more than I needed to give so far, indicate that the negotiations happened at the end of that week. I assume that completing the formalities is one thing, and signing a contract formally/publicly is another one.

Bogoljubov was present at Alekhine's simul, since he acknowledged his fine result. No signs of a Bogoljubov simul.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Any mention of senior government functionaries at these proceedings? I love a good Nazi!
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: From a Russian film about Alexander Alekhine.(1980 "Белый снег России")

In this scene, it shows him conducting a blind simul vs 30 German officers:

Feb-03-19  ughaibu: Looks like the set of
Feb-03-19  ughaibu: The first victim appeared to be in Bathurst Mews from the outside, from the inside, who knows where. And what's this, two poached eggs on toast, which location claims that as its breakfast?
Feb-05-19  Telemus: [Event "Simul"]
[Site "The Hague"]
[Date "1933.11.12"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Alekhine, Alexander"]
[Black "Kamstra, H.H."]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C62"]
[Sources "Het Vaderland, 13 Nov 1933"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 d6 4. d4 exd4 5. Qxd4 Bd7 6. Bxc6 bxc6 7. O-O Ne7 8. Nc3 c5 9. Qd3 Nc6 10. Re1 Be7 11. Bf4 O-O 12. Nd5 f6 13. a3 Ne5 14. Bxe5 fxe5 15. Nd2 Bg5 16. Nc4 Be6 17. Na5 Qd7 18. a4 Rab8 19. b3 c6 20. Ne3 d5 21. Nxc6 Bxe3 22. Nxb8 Bxf2+ 23. Kh1 Rxb8 24. Re2 Bd4 25. Rf1 dxe4 26. Rxe4 c4 27. Qd2 cxb3 28. cxb3 Rxb3 29. Rh4 Bd5 30. Qc2 g6 0-1

There are at least three more games from that simul.

Feb-05-19  Telemus: [Event "12 board simul (+8, =4)"]
[Site "Haarlem, NL"]
[Date "1933.11.5"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Alekhine, Alexander"]
[Black "Geus, K"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C00"]
[Sources "Arnhemsche courant, 18 Nov 1933"]

1. e4 e6 2. d4 g6 3. f4 Bg7 4. Nf3 Ne7 5. c3 d6 6. Bd3 Nd7 7. O-O c5 8. Be3 Qb6 9. Nbd2 d5 10. Rb1 cxd4 11. Nxd4 Qc7 12. Nb5 Qb8 13. e5 O-O 14. Nf3 a6 15. Nd6 Nc6 16. Kh1 b5 17. h4 f6 18. Nxc8 Qxc8 19. h5 fxe5 20. Ng5 Nf6 21. hxg6 h6 22. Nh7 Nxh7 23. gxh7+ Kh8 24. Bg6 exf4 25. Rxf4 Ne5 26. Qh5 Nxg6 27. Qxg6 Rxf4 28. Bxf4 Qe8 29. Qg4 Qf7 30. Re1 Re8 31. Be5 Kxh7 32. Kg1 Qg6 33. Qh3 Qf5 34. Qg3 Qg6 35. Qh3 Qf5 36. Qg3 Qg6 1/2-1/2

Possibly the same opponent as in Alekhine vs K Geus, 1913, because the commentator P. Feenstra Kuiper called him "de bekende Heldersche matador, de heer Geus".

Feb-06-19  Telemus: From a game Alekhine won in a simul:

click for larger view

1.a5 ♖xg4 (1.. ♖f4 2.♔e3) 2.a6 ♖g1 (2.. ♖h4 3.♖d8!) 3.a7 ♖a1 4.♖a3!

Nieuwsblad van het Noorden, 18 Nov 1933.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jean Defuse: ...

<Herbert Kraft>

A detailed article (from Rochade Europa 1-2000) about Karft's activity in Naional socialism:

A part of another simultaneous game in Nov 1934 between 'Alekhine and Kraft' was published on the '' website:

The (sometimes dubious) chess colum of the 'Freiburger Zeitung' (25.11.1934) give only mystery results for this Alekhine exhibition & the display befor ... also dated the game by Telemus (Alexander Alekhine) on 23.09.1933 ...

Full game-socre was reconstructed in 'Schachzettel 96':


They played in 1936 a third time and again a victory by Mr. Kraft - unfortunately, I have no detailed information or sources about the following game at the moment:

[Event "Simultaneous exhibition"]
[Site "Karlsruhe"]
[Date "1936.05.29"]
[White "Aljechin, Alexander"]
[Black "Kraft, Hans"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B01"]

1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Nc3 Qa5 4. Nf3 Nf6 5. Bc4 Bg4 6. d4 e6 7. h3 Bh5 8. g4 Bg6 9. Ne5 Nbd7 10. Bf4 O-O-O 11. Qf3 Nxe5 12. Bxe5 Be4 13. Qg3 Bxh1 14. f3 Bb4 15. O-O-O Bxc3 16. bxc3 Qxc3 17. Bd3 Nd5 18. Qf2 f6 19. Bh2 Nb4 20. Qe3 Rxd4 21. Rxh1 Nxd3+ 22. Kd1 Ne5+ 23. Ke2 Qxc2+ 0-1


Premium Chessgames Member
  Jean Defuse: ...

The game above is also from Harald E. Balló's Schachzettel:


Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Join the back of the queue.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Telemus>
From your diagram, if Black tries 1. a5 Rxg4 2. a6 Rh4 3. Rd8 Kxd8 4. a7 Rxc4 5. a8(Q)+ Ke7

click for larger view

Is White actually winning? Black intends ...Rd4+ followed by ...Rd5 with a fortress, and I'm not seeing how to thwart that.

Feb-23-19  Telemus: <beatgiant> Yes, looks like a fortress.

"Nieuwsblad van het Noorden" gives 2.. ♖h4 3.♖d8 ♔xd8 4.a7 and I didn't check it much further.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Telemus>
From my diagram (after 1. a5 Rxg4 2. a6 Rh4 3. Rd8 Kxd8 4. a7 Rxc4 5. a8(Q)+ Ke7), White can try 6. Ke3, to answer 6...Rd4 with 7. Qa7+, hitting the c-pawn. It then might continue 6. Ke3 Kf6 7. Qa7 Rc2 and Black seems to be hanging on.

I saw lots of other interesting things in this ending, but it's only a simul game. Should I post tons of analysis here? My final conclusion is White was probably not winning.

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