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Semion Alapin
Number of games in database: 309
Years covered: 1875 to 1914
Overall record: +88 -109 =112 (46.6%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.

With the White pieces:
 King's Pawn Game (27) 
    C20 C44
 Ruy Lopez (23) 
    C77 C67 C86 C62 C63
 King's Gambit Declined (14) 
    C30 C32 C31
 French Defense (12) 
    C11 C14 C01 C00
 Sicilian (12) 
    B22 B73 B31 B45 B29
 King's Gambit Accepted (11) 
    C33 C39 C38 C35
With the Black pieces:
 French Defense (40) 
    C14 C01 C11 C00 C10
 Ruy Lopez (21) 
    C60 C70 C73 C64 C78
 Queen's Gambit Declined (21) 
    D31 D30 D35
 French (18) 
    C11 C00 C10 C13
 Queen's Pawn Game (13) 
    D02 D05 D00 A41
 Slav (13) 
    D10 D15 D13 D11 D12
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Alapin vs Marshall, 1905 1-0
   Alapin vs Harmonist, 1887 1-0
   Maroczy vs Alapin, 1905 1/2-1/2
   Chigorin vs Alapin, 1905 0-1
   Mieses vs Alapin, 1908 0-1
   Alapin vs A Fritz, 1887 1-0
   Teichmann vs Alapin, 1908 1/2-1/2
   Alapin vs Schiffers, 1898 1-0
   Alapin vs Albin, 1897 1-0
   Alapin vs Tarrasch, 1890 1/2-1/2

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Monte Carlo (1901)
   Berlin (1897)
   Vilnius All-Russian Masters (1912)
   Bad Pistyan (1912)
   Vienna (1898)
   Ostend (1905)
   Prague (1908)
   Barmen Meisterturnier A (1905)
   Breslau (1889)
   Vienna (1908)
   Karlsbad (1911)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Vienna 1898 by suenteus po 147
   Monte Carlo 1901 by suenteus po 147

   Janowski vs Lasker, 1909
   Tarrasch vs Alapin, 1902
   Tarrasch vs Alapin, 1903
   Alapin vs Tarrasch, 1903

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(born Nov-19-1856, died Jul-15-1923, 66 years old) Lithuania (citizen of Russia)

[what is this?]
Semyon Zinovievich Alapin was born in Vilnius, Lithuania. He later settled in St. Petersburg, then Heidelberg, Germany. While studying at St. Petersburg Engineering Institute, he became one of the strongest players in the city. He shared 1st place with Mikhail Chigorin at the St. Petersburg tourney of 1878-79. Other results include 6th= at Berlin 1897, 10th in the Vienna 1898 Jubilee tournament and 5th at Monte Carlo 1901. In 1893, he tied for 1st place in the championship of Berlin. In 1911, he won the championship of Munich. He drew a match (+1, =4, -1) with Carl Schlechter in 1899 and beat Siegbert Tarrasch in a (training) match (+4 -3 =2) in 1902/3. Alapin has a number of opening variations named after him. Alapinís Opening is 1.e4 e5 2.Ne2. The Sicilian, Alapin variation is 1.e4 c5 2.c3. Alapinís Gambit is 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Be3. He used to liven up his writings with the fictitious characters 'Defendarov' and 'Attakinsky'. He was a linguist and involved in grain commodities. He spent his later years in Heidelberg, Germany and died there in 1923.

Wikipedia article: Semyon Alapin

 page 1 of 13; games 1-25 of 309  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Chigorin vs Alapin 1-029 1875 St PetersburgB45 Sicilian, Taimanov
2. Alapin vs Chigorin 0-121 1877 PetersburgC33 King's Gambit Accepted
3. Alapin vs A Khardin  0-125 1877 Saint Petersburg, Russian EmpireC33 King's Gambit Accepted
4. Alapin vs Schiffers 1-051 1878 St Petersburg RUSC33 King's Gambit Accepted
5. Alapin vs Schiffers  1-049 1879 Best Russian PlayersC33 King's Gambit Accepted
6. E Schmidt vs Alapin  0-151 1879 Best Russian PlayersB45 Sicilian, Taimanov
7. Alapin vs Chigorin  0-133 1879 Best Russian PlayersB40 Sicilian
8. Alapin vs A Ascharin  ½-½55 1879 Best Russian PlayersC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
9. V Lizel vs Alapin  0-138 1879 Best Russian PlayersC42 Petrov Defense
10. Alapin vs Chigorin  0-146 1879 St PetersburgC33 King's Gambit Accepted
11. A Solovtsov vs Alapin  0-147 1879 Best Russian PlayersC01 French, Exchange
12. N Petrovsky vs Alapin  0-138 1879 Best Russian PlayersC59 Two Knights
13. Chigorin vs Alapin  1-033 1880 St Petersburg m2C01 French, Exchange
14. Chigorin vs Alapin  1-037 1880 St Petersburg m2C01 French, Exchange
15. Alapin vs Chigorin 0-143 1880 PetersburgD55 Queen's Gambit Declined
16. Alapin vs Chigorin  0-135 1881 PetersburgC24 Bishop's Opening
17. Chigorin vs Alapin 1-023 1883 St. Petersburg (Russia)C52 Evans Gambit
18. Chigorin vs Alapin 1-020 1885 UnknownC56 Two Knights
19. Mackenzie vs Alapin 1-036 1887 DSB-5 FrankfurtC29 Vienna Gambit
20. Gunsberg vs Alapin 1-039 1887 05.DSB-KongressC14 French, Classical
21. Alapin vs J N Berger  ½-½11 1887 DSB-5 FrankfurtC31 King's Gambit Declined, Falkbeer Counter Gambit
22. Alapin vs Harmonist 1-023 1887 DSB-05.KongressC44 King's Pawn Game
23. Alapin vs Metger  0-141 1887 DSB-05.KongressC14 French, Classical
24. Schiffers vs Alapin  ½-½26 1887 DSB-05.KongressC14 French, Classical
25. Alapin vs A Fritz 1-034 1887 DSB-5 FrankfurtC35 King's Gambit Accepted, Cunningham
 page 1 of 13; games 1-25 of 309  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Alapin wins | Alapin loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
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Jul-11-04  nikolaas: Semion Zvinovievich Alapin
He invented some strange openings like the Alapin opening (1.e4 e5 2.Ne2), the Alapin-Diemer gambit (1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Be3), the Alapin gambit in the Ruy Lopez (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Bc6 dc6 5.0-0 Bg4 6.h3 h5)and of course the Sicilian Alapin (1.e4 c5 2.c3).

He was born in st Petersburg 7.11.1856
He was an important theoretician but not so fantastic in practice chess. Relatively. In 1892 he played in Dresden and victoried over Mieses. In 1897 he played in Berlin and defeated Teichmann and many others. In 1898 he played in Vienna and beated a.o. Blackburne In 1909 he played in Praga and defeated among others Marshall, Mieses and Spielmann.In 1923 he died, but I didn't found a real biography.

Premium Chessgames Member
  acirce: The Sicilian Alapin is quite fine, I use it with good results, even though it is objectively a slight error ( <cu8sfan> :-) ). I will however learn to play the real thing against ..c5 too.
Aug-23-04  BaranDuin: He also helped to make the Slav defense popular
Jul-23-05  fred lennox: This great russian player, a personal favorite, is more known for his openings than playing. Perhaps more noted for being a talented eccentric than a great player. Like Bird, he had a genius for creating tactical complications. His most impressive achievement as a tournament player is tying for first with Chigorin at St. Petersburg in 1878 and as a match player tying against Schlechter in 1899.
Apr-06-06  Resignation Trap: Poor Alapin! In the game Dus Chotimirsky vs Alapin, 1908 he wins a pawn in the endgame, and nurtures it to become a queen, and one move later....
Jun-19-06  Bartleby: Semion Alapin looks like Silas Adams from HBO's Deadwood (when he starts to let his beard grow out). Definitely looks the part of a period era master!

He patented his namesake in the Sicilian, which Nimzovitch often employed as an anti-Sicilian system, when Nimzo wasn't also toying with the Rossolimo (the Variation) before Rossolimo (the Master) came along.

His Alapin Opening is suspect to say the least, but the similar 1. e4 c5 2. Ne2 is an interesting idea, something Bronstein played occassionally to good effect:

Bronstein vs Psakhis, 1981

My "Sorceror's Apprentice" book has two others apparently not in CG's database.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Bronstein's "200 Open Games" has a marvelous funny final chapter concerning his meeting with the legendary Master, B.S. Queenabber.

When Queenabber played Alapin's Opening (1.e4 e5 2.Ne2), Bronstein asked in awe, "Did you know Alapin?"

"I even knew B. Lapin!"

Oct-20-06  aw1988: 1. e4 e5 2. Ne2 is not a bad move. It can transpose into the KIA.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <aw1988> It would make for an odd KIA, since White usually has his knight on f3 in that line, just as Black normally has his knight on f6 in the King's Indian Defense. Having the knight on e2/e7 is more of a Modern Defense idea.

As I recall, White's original idea in the Alapin is to support the move f4, sort of ungambitting the King's Gambit.

Nov-07-06  BIDMONFA: Semion Alapin

Born 19 november

Premium Chessgames Member
  refutor: his gambit v. the exchange ruy lopez is strong 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Bxc6 dxc6 5.O-O Bg4 6.h3 h5
Apr-18-07  vonKrolock: A case in point is Alapin's treatment of the Falkbeer: 1.e4 e5 2.f4 d5 3.exd5 e4 4.d3 ♘f6 5.dxe4 ♘xe4 6.♘f3! ♗c5 7.♕e2! His analysis on this line appeared in "Monde Illustrť" in 1903, and later reproduced in the "Wiener Schachzeitung" - N. Minev tells, in his article for "The Skittles Room", in, how Alapin's efforts arrived to be atributed to Paul Keres (1916-1975) in this instance - not that this was Keres own intention, of course...
Jul-30-07  gBizzle: he was obsessed with trying to force d4
Sep-29-07  valuim97: There is a trap in his opening:1.e4 e5 2.♘e2!? ♘f6 3.f4 ef4 4.♘f4 ♘e4? 5.♕e2 ♕e7 6.♘d5 ♕e5 7.♘bc3 , but there Black has 7...c6, and I forgot what White play next. Anyone can found it?
Sep-29-07  MaxxLange: <refutor> That's a great line. White has to know the analysis. Unfortunately, the GMs have neutralized it, I think.
Nov-20-07  valuim97: I FOUND!!!! 1 e4 e5 2 ♘e2 ♘f6 3 f4 ef4 4 ♘f4 ♘e4?? 5 ♕e2 ♕e7 6 ♘d5 ♕e5 7 ♘bc3 c6 8 d4! ♕d4 9 ♘e4 cd4 10 ♘d6! ♔d8 11 ♕e8 ♔c7 12 ♘b5 Poor Black!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Karpova: IM Nikolay Minev's interesting article <Historical Perspectives on Chess: Semion Alapin>:

Minev gives an overview over some of Alapin's opening ideas and forgotten or good chessgames.

Some excerpts:

<Sicilian Defense
His line with 1.e4 c5 2.c3, practically a new opening in his day, is now very popular. Batsford Chess Openings (solely!), the "record holder" for launching new and unjustified opening names, calls it the Alapin-Sveshnikov. However, I must mention that in Alapin's day this line was played by Alekhine, Tartakower, etc., and at that time nobody added any other names to Alapin's variation. As for the development of new and interesting ideas in Alapin's Sicilian line, I would give much more credit to Adorjan and Nunn than to Sveshnikov.>

<King's Gambit
Here there are many continuations associated with Alapin's name. Probably his most interesting idea is that the Falkbeer Countergambit is a dubious defense for Black. As far as I know, he analyzed and introduced into practice for White the following variation: 1.e4 e5 2.f4 d5 3.exd5 e4 4.d3 Nf6 5.dxe4 Nxe4 6.Nf3 (! Alapin) 6...Bc5 7.Qe2 (! Alapin). Even now this line is considered to be White's best.

After 7...f5 8.Nc3, ECO (C 32, note 77) gives 8...0-0 9.Nxe4 fxe4 10. Qxe4 Bf5 with an advantage for Black, and claims that the author is Keres.

This is unfair! This analysis was published by Alapin in "Monde Illustre" (France) in 1903 and reproduced in "Wiener Schachzeitung". Keres was not even born at that time!

I will present Alapin's original analysis further, because it is not mentioned in the opening guides: 11.Qc4 Nd7! 12.Bd3 Qf6! 13.h3 Rae8+ 14.Kd1. Assessment: unclear. Black has plenty of attacking possibilities, but White has two extra pawns.>

Minev also mentions a match against Tarrasch played at the end of 1902 and the beginning of 1903 (I'll submit the three games he gives). Alapin won the match but lost the battle.

Minev: <Was there an Alapin ? Tarrasch match? Officially such a contest is not mentioned in recent chess history. But in 1903/4 many newspapers and chess magazines were involved in a dispute over whether the nine games played between these two in Monaco and Marseilles, at the end of 1902 and beginning of 1903, were match games (as claimed by Alapin), or friendly games (as claimed by Tarrasch).

The games were played with a clock and a normal time control. From the evidence available to me, this was probably some sort of training match, with some pre-conditions - the games, for example, were to be played without spectators, and (probably) the score was not to be released. But a Belgian newspaper published the score anyway: +4, -3, =2, in favor of Alapin.

Tarrasch was furious and used bitter, insulting words against his opponent. Alapin's answer was more polite, making the point that he had nothing to do with the Belgian publication. He also showed a great deal of satisfaction in the fact that at least Tarrasch did not deny the score.

The result of this dispute was unfortunate for Alapin. After the furor, the German chess press (with Tarrasch and Mieses in the lead) virtually ignored Alapin's existence for years.>

Jeremy Gaige gives Alapin's birthday as 1856.11.19 ("Chess Personalia: A Biobilbiography").

Nov-19-08  brankat: A colourful and multi-talented person was master Alapin. A player and a theorist, a linguist and an author, an engineer and a businessman.

R.I.P. Master Semion.

Nov-19-08  FHBradley: "[a] man who devoted his life entirely to chess" (according to Minev's column), how did he find time for being a linguist, an author, an engineer and a businessman as well?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Karpova: C.N. 5877 mentions that some sources claim that Alapin was born in St. Petersburg.

To quote Edward Winter: <We note that St Petersburg was specified in the ten-line obituary of Alapin in the October 1923 BCM, page 374, on page 333 of Schachjahrbuch 1923 by L. Bachmann (Ansbach, 1924) and in a number of other publications of the time.>


Mar-26-11  Marcelo Bruno: Hi, folks! Does someone have his games with Attakinsky and Defendarov?
Mar-27-11  sneaky pete: <Marcelo Bruno> It gladdens my heart to know there is still some interest in that great old master Defendarow-Pechinski. I posted his game against Attakinski on the page Staunton / Owen vs Morphy / Barnes, 1858. You'll find his games against Opferaroff and Agressewitsch on Steinitz vs Rainer, 1885 and Dgebuadze vs P Claesen, 2005.
Nov-19-12  brankat: 156th Birthday today!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Make that 157th birthday to Alapin.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Karpova: Alapin, when on his way to Munich, gave a Simul in the Berlin <Arbeiter Schachklub> (Workers Chess Club) and scored in 44 games in less than 4 hours +27 -2 =15.

Source: 'Pester Lloyd', 1912.10.27, p. 10 (Dr. Emanuel Lasker wrote it in Berlin, on October 24)

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