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Alexander Alekhine vs Max Euwe
Alekhine - Euwe World Championship Match (1935), Various Locations NED, rd 21, Nov-19
Slav Defense: Czech. Carlsbad Variation (D17)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-30-07  Marmot PFL: Euwe's first match win with black. 29...Rb4! is the winning move. He wins the b2 pawn and equally important protects his queenside pawns. 29...Rxd3 30.Rxd3 Rxd3 31.Rd1 Bd6 32.Bh3 etc. and white probably draws. In the first game of the rematch (1937) Euwe (with white) replaced 14.Nxe5 with Ne4! Euwe had seen this played at the Stockholm Olympiad but Alekhine was not there and was caught of guard.
Mar-16-08  Knight13: At least Euwe was smarter than Alekhine in this line as Black than that other game in this match.
Nov-03-10  soothsayer8: I don't understand Alekhine's 18. Bxe5 or 19. f4, it seems to me that this is where all of Alekhine's problems start, as Euwe is able to isolate all of Alekhine's pawns and pick up tempo with 19...Bd2 and 20...Rd4
Nov-03-10  DWINS: <soothsayer8>, In the book "Extreme Chess", Purdy doesn't have a problem with 18.Bxe5 or 19.f4. He says in a note right before move 18 that "Alekhine now proceeds, logically, with an attack". In the preface to the game he says, "After a slight error of judgment, Alekhine ventures upon a speculative attack as an alternative to losing the initiative".

He points the finger at 15.a5? and gives 15.Qe3 "with about equal chances for both sides".

Sep-27-13  Karpova: I describe the events surrounding this game following Hans Kmoch 's account from pp. 17-20 of the January 1936 'Neue Wiener Schachzeitung', wherein his match diary (he was the match director) is reprinted. He wrote these reports on November 19 and 20, 1935 (i. e. the day of the game and it's resumption after adjournment).

<November 19. The small town of Ermelo had prepared the day very well. Among other things, they sent 3 cars to Amsterdam to pick the whole company up. The cars drove in a single file. But their file was divided by a Amsterdam traffic policeman and one car lost connection to the others. The driver was non-local and didn't know the exact address. He arrived at the Hotel Carlton to pick up Alekhine with a delay of almost an hour. All the others had already gathered there.

Great nervousness esnued as Alekhine was nowhere to be found. His wife was present and explained with agitated tone, that her husband considered the delay an insult and would not play that day. This dispute took place in publicity, in the lounge. The <Reisemarschall> (possibly travel organizer) of the committee did not accept that. He explained that they would arrive amply 2 hours before the start of the game in Ermelo. Apart from that, he only wanted to negotiate with Alekhine personally.

Finally, they found Alekhine. There was no doubt that he stood under the influence of alcohol which was not uncommon for him. In earlier years, Alekhine had been observed in such a state. Then, he is will-less and calm. When he is drunk, you can hardly argue with him and that day also, he didn't cause any trouble, agreeing to play.

They asked him whether he wanted to travel to Ermelo by car or train and he chose train. His second Salo Landau was entrusted to bring him to Ermelo. Furthermore, the committee decided to start the game half an hour later to compensate for the earlier delay. The others left, while Alekhine went to sleep. He was supposed to come to Ermelo about 1 h 15 min prior to the game but didn't show up. They were informed via telephone that Alekhine had missed the train and had to wait for the next one. This would suffice to reach the playing hall in time (7 pm). In the meantime, Alekhine had slept well and also in the train he appeared well-rested.

Now he claimed that he would only play under moral protest. The committee refused to register this statement and suggested to let a physician decide whether Alekhine was capable of playing or not. Alekhine refused. The game began. Kmoch says that Alekhine's appearance did not make a good, but also not an unsual impression on him. He played calmly and his behaviour during the game gave no reason for complaints to opponent and officials.

During the opening, after about 10-15 moves, Euwe disappeared together with his wife without attracting attention and remained absent for about 15 min. He said later that he needed fresh air to fight his inner unrest. The audience hadn't noticed his disappearance, but the organizers and reporters had. There were different speculations, e. g. that he wanted to resign the game and end the match. This news was relayed to Amsterdam.

Kmoch's wife had stayed in Amsterdam and phoned the editors of an Amsterdam newspaper to inquire about the game standing. She was told that Alekhine had caused outrageous scandals in Ermelo and Euwe was close to resigning the won game. The matter was unclear and there was no overview of it possible at the moment.>

Sep-27-13  Karpova: <Ermelo, November 20. They had spent the night in Ermelo and while the company met for breakfast, Alekhine had already resigned the game and travelled back to Amsterdam. His sealed move was 41.Bb3.

Now, the press became harsh towards Alekhine, claiming that he had come to the game totally intoxicated and he had done that out of expedience - a) to play better b) to upset his opponent with unsportive behaviour c) to denigrate his opponent's successes. The foreign press even claimed that Alekhine couldn't move his pieces during the game and his second had to do that for him. Kmoch said that no one took into consideration that he may have drunk because he liked to.

Alekhine reported a sickness that day and the medical report said that his heart was affected. He was prescribed were a few days of absolute rest.

In the afternoon, the committee held a press conference without coming to a clear conclusion. It was said that a drunken player should not be allowed to play and countered that thereby the players would have the means to overthrow the programme at will. Some eyewitnesses disputed that Alekhine was intoxicated during the game. You can argue about the condition of someone used to alcohol, especially if the alcohol consumption had taken place some hours before. Several experts reported that they hadn't observed something unusual about Alekhine's play during game 21. The debate ran dry and people left.>

Just an observation from my side: It was said that while drunk, Alekhine didn't argue and he had no objections to play. Yet once they had arrived, he filed a protest - so maybe this indicates that the effect of alcohol had worn down.

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