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Max Euwe vs Alexander Alekhine
Alekhine - Euwe World Championship Match (1935), Various Locations NED, rd 30, Dec-15
Queen's Gambit Accepted: Godes Variation (D21)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Mar-30-07  Marmot PFL: Euwe made him an offer he could not refuse.
Mar-10-08  Jazzer32: According to Bjelica, Before this game started, Euwe said to Alekhine: "Doctor, I'll accept draw anytime!". So in 40th move Alekhine decided to end his own agony...
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: In the match book, "Euwe vs Alekhine - Match 1935", by Euwe & Alekhine, the notes for the 30th game were given by Euwe. After Euwe's move 40.Rg1, Euwe stated: <"At this moment, Alekhine proposed a draw. White's game, of course, is easily won (by b5).>

In Alexander Munninghoff's biography, "Max Euwe", he quotes Euwe: <"When adjournment time had come, Alekhine said to me: Do we have to adjourn or can I congratulate you immediately? I interpreted this as a nice way to accept the draw offer I had made a few moves earlier after all. Both of us got up and shook hands without saying a word.">

Mar-10-08  ughaibu: Another on that should be in Calli's collection.
Mar-16-08  Knight13: 14. b4 threatens Nf4-e6. Alekhine's 10. Qh5 is not very useful.
Feb-05-09  kevin86: Did anyone else realize that the word for Seabiscuit in Dutch is E U W E ?

Not really,just horsing around-lol

Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <Jazzer32: According to Bjelica, Before this game started, Euwe said to Alekhine: "Doctor, I'll accept draw anytime!". So in 40th move Alekhine decided to end his own agony...>

Hmmm... Could you check back on this quote? Alekhine did not have a doctoral degree (or at least it's not in his biography: Alexander Alekhine), Euwe did. Was Euwe being nice to him by calling him "doctor"? (If so, odd way of being nice, calling "doctor" someone who does not have a doctoral degree...)

Premium Chessgames Member
  stoy: Alekhine supposedly had a "Doctor of Laws" from the Paris Sorbonne. Such law degrees are not considered real doctorates for which one must write and defend one's dissertation. Max Euwe had a real Ph.D.
Nov-03-10  soothsayer8: <kevin86> HORSING around? ;)
Dec-15-10  sneaky pete: Today it's exactly 75 years ago that Dr. Euwe became world champion, that calls for a celebration.

Dit gedicht wordt U beleefd te koop aangeboden door een werkloos vakman. Prijs naar goeddunken.

Dr. Euwe-Marsch

Muziek 50 cent
Tekst: Jack Bess

Euwe is nu kampioen - Men kan tevreden zijn
't-Is gebeurd - 't-Is gebeurd
"Maxie" lapte Aljechin met "al-z'n-gijn"
't-Is gebeurd - 't-Is gebeurd
Dagenlang heeft men gedroomd
van "Anton 4" en "Gerrit 8"
Maar ... dat die Max het winnen zou,
dat had geen mens gedacht


Dokter Euwe won met sportiviteit
Na felle strijd - het pleit
Maar hij laat zich toch niet tot bluf verleiden
Hij blijft bescheiden - trots het feit
Hij heeft getoond wat er "in 'n kaaskop" zit
Verstand en pit .. voor twee
En mocht hij wéér "'n Koning gaan schaken"
Dan doen we mee - dan doen we mee

In een grijs colbertje werd hij wereldkampioen
Hij was goed - Hij was goed
Voor zoiets hoefde hij z'n jas niet uit te doen
Hij was goed - Hij was goed
Euwe nam z'n "raadsheer" op
en sleepte "torens" in de wacht
M'n moeder die het hoorde, zei
Dan heeft die man de vracht


Euwe's overwinning heeft de crisis niet verjaagd
Dat nou niet - Dat nou niet
Leverde geen broodje op voor hen, door zorg geplaagd
Dat nou niet - dat nou niet
Maar dat is toch per uiterst saldo
toch niet Dokter Euwe's schuld
Hij leerde toch de stakkerds iets
en wel .. het schoon "geduld"


Aug-08-12  chillowack: The opinions expressed by <slomarko> above--that Euwe "didn't know how to win" with two pawns up--are surprising. Euwe was a world-class player who had just administered several beatings to one of the greatest players of all time--yet he "didn't know how to win" with a two-pawn plus?

Of course he did! He just didn't need to: he could claim the crown with a mere draw, and the crown was all that mattered. Like Kasparov in 1990, the gentlemanly Euwe extended the hand of truce in a completely won position.

The ideas put forward by <slomarko>, ...h4 and ...Rd8, can be met with minor effort (the latter is in fact a blunder due to Ne6), and meanwhile the properly-prepared advance of the passed e-pawn will eventually win more material.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Another example where a great player 'didn't know how to win', so took a draw in a much better/winning position because it wrapped up a match for him (Petrosian vs Korchnoi, 1977).
Sep-20-12  Petrosianic: Also in this match:

Korchnoi vs Petrosian, 1971

And this one:

Kasparov vs Karpov, 1990

But oddly, NOT in this one:

Karpov vs Kasparov, 1985

Or this one:

Botvinnik vs Tal, 1961

So, I don't know. Maybe Soltis has written an etiquette column on whether or not to add insult to injury by running up the score in a situation like this.

Trollmarko was, of course, trolling in saying that Euwe didn't know how to win. He simply preferred to begin his championship reign a day earlier, rather than adjourning the game, going home, and coming back the next day. When the champagne is on ice, you don't keep it waiting.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: To which may be added the finale of a de facto world title bout:

Karpov vs Korchnoi, 1974

Sep-20-12  Petrosianic: Yeah, maybe. White is certainly the only one with winning chances in the final position, although I'm not sure if he's dead won. I can see why Karpov would take the draw in the hand rather than the win in the bush here. But yeah, in a neutral situation, he would have played for a win. At the very least, he would have had a long fight ahead, the win wasn't his for the asking.

Now, on the other hand, in 1971, Korchnoi is reported to have actually said "I could resign here, or we could agree a draw", and Petrosian said "Of course, a draw."

With some of these, I'm not sure. In the case of Karpov 1985 or Tal 1961, I imagine that they just resigned without offering a draw. I wonder if there's ever been a case where someone has turned down a match-winning draw offer. I imagine that if Taimanov had offered an early draw in Game 6 against Fischer, that Fischer would have said no. (Why not? Even if he goes on to lose the game, he'll still win the match). With only a 1-point lead, it would be very stupid to say no, unless you can literally win the game in your sleep.

Sep-20-12  Jim Bartle: "I wonder if there's ever been a case where someone has turned down a match-winning draw offer."

Another reason it's a shame draw offers are not part of the official record.

Sep-20-12  Petrosianic: You said it. Every once in a while they are, when the annotator bothers to mention it. But that only happens haphazardly.

I've always noted draw offers on my scoresheets, but it's very rare. They can be very important to understanding a game sometimes. The guy who refuses one has put his opponent on notice that he's the one playing for a win, and might feel obligated to play more aggressively to justify having refused the draw offer. That means that if he was playing cat and mouse before trying to get his opponent to overreach, he might shift strategy. I've occasionally offered draws when I didn't especially want one, just to try to get the opponent to step up the attack so I could counter-attack against it.

Sep-20-12  RookFile: I can't imagine turning down a draw offer that wins the world championship.
Aug-29-15  thegoodanarchist: Wow, almost 3 years since there has been any comment on this historical game.

Euwe said it was "stupid of me" to make a draw. Yet smart from a grand strategy perspective. Euwe won the match!

Has there ever been a more important draw? Probably not, but I am not certain.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Captain's Log:

"It is now two years since the last comment on Euwe vs Alekhine, 1935. I am beginning to despair of any comments being made at all. Except for this one LOL. We sent out the Good Anarchist to get help, but you know what he is like with instructions - not very good at all ROFL.

We can only hope that help arrives soon, because we are fed up."

Dec-17-17  Magpye: <offramp> <We can only hope that help arrives soon, because we are fed up.>

Let me give her a whirl, brother.

3...Nd7 stopped me in my tracks for a few seconds, and then I thought, "Yeah, I'd make this move just to see if my opponent would be surprised also and waste a little time in the opening", but then I realized that I might be playing one of those booked-up toddlers that will look at the move, giggle, wipe snot off his nose, and then bulldoze me in 20 moves. Come to think of it, I don't play the QGA.

Stop here and go listen to The Eagle's

The fraidy cats might try to move the King for 26. Rh1, but this is stronger. The King on g1 is not in any "real" danger.

I wonder how Al felt trying to stare down this attack? Big Max is not clowning around!

Raise your hand if you saw this might be necessary when he played 25.Rf2. I didn't.

40.Rg1 draw.
What in blue blazes? Why? Even I could beat the snot out of Alekhine in this position. "Move over, Max. I'll finish for ya." And then I saw that this was the final game of the match and a draw would clinch it. Euwe may have been a gentleman, but I bet he really enjoyed rubbing Alekhine's face in the gutter with that draw offer(?) from Alekhine, sorta like the new King tossing slops to a cur.

Dec-17-17  WorstPlayerEver: Anyway, Euwe said 'doctor'. In those days it was like saying 'dj'.
May-20-19  The17thPawn: Well Euwe must have been more gentlemanly then Carey Grant to accept a draw in that position. I would have taken the win to finish +2.
Jan-29-22  N.O.F. NAJDORF: <micartouse: The real question is, wouldn't it have been more honorable for Alekhine to resign instead?>

Yes, indeed, but then honour is the one thing that Alekhine evidently lacked!

My question is: if their positions had been reversed, would Alekhine have accepted the offer of a draw?

Mar-21-23  Ninas Husband: It's often been stated that the reason Alekine lost this match is because he was drunk. Having played over the match recently, I can say that this is the ONLY game for which Alekine being drunk is even remotely plausible. Absolutely needing a win to retain the title, Alek goes for the QGA, which is very drawish. He is 2 pawns down when on move 28 Euwe forks the king and queen. Then to finish it off, the Dutchman rubs it in by extending a draw offer at move 40. So, if Alek wasn't drunk BEFORE the game ... well, let's just say he probably didn't sober up till 1936! :P
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