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Max Euwe vs Alexander Alekhine
Alekhine - Euwe World Championship Match (1935), Various Locations NED, rd 12, Oct-29
Gruenfeld Defense: Russian. Hungarian Variation (D97)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Aug-10-02  bishop: Alekhine's pawn sac seems unsound.
Oct-20-04  refutor: the pawn sac has been played a number of times...whether the sac is unsound or not ;)
Oct-20-04  AdrianP: "For a long time question marks were attached to Black's 7th and 8th moves. In his novel 'Belye i Chernye' Grandmaster Kotov uses his artistic licence to suggest that Alekhine was drunk when he played the game, and after writing 8...c6 on his scoresheet he suddenly picked up the b7-pawn. "How terrible!" writes Kotov, "It was just like with Pushkin: instead of the ace, the queen of spades. A crude oversight, not even an oversight, he simply picked up the wrong pawn, he got confused... And now the c7-pawn remains undefended, it is lost without any compensation. To pick up the wrong piece! This was delirium! Alekhine's drunkenness immediately left him, when he saw what a mistake he had made. It was not just that he lost a pawn; Black's position immediately became hopeless." This is how legends are born! In fact, according to the main eye-witness - Euwe, "Alekhine did not drink at all during the first half of the match" and besides, 8...b5!? is by no means a blunder, but a genuine revelation: in the 1970s this fully correct pawn sacrifice received the name of the "Hungarian Variation". Intuitively, Alekhine was right!" (Kasparov OMGP2 on 8...b5!?)

"Only this is a mistake. The point is that the endgame a pawn down is by no means lost" (Kasparov OMGP2 on 9...Qe8?)

The stats I have in Megabase bear Kasparov's assessment out. White is +14 =13 -31 !! after 8...b5!?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: On 30...Kh8, Tartakower commented "Black missed excellent resigning chances!"


Oct-22-04  AdrianP: <Calli> Lol.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: 15.Ng3! is a nice counterattack instead of defending the Q-side with Nc3. After the game went 15...Rc8 16.Qd2 Nxf4 17.Qxf4 Alyehkin can't play 17...Bxb2? because of 18.Nxf5! Bxa1 19.Qh6! gxf5 20.Ng5 mates!
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Why did Alekhine continue to play despite losing a knight early? Was he waiting for the police to arrest Euwe as a horse-thief? lol
Mar-16-08  Knight13: And people still say "sthu about Alekhine being drunk and Euwe really was stronger than Alekhine!" Games such as this shouldn't even have been counted as WCC games. Anyone could beat a drunk.
Sep-05-08  dwavechess: Rybka agrees 75% moves with Euwe and 66% with Alekhine, even drunken.
Sep-09-08  dwavechess: 22/36 for Euwe with Rybka 3 w32 15 ply, so for R3 w32 4cpu 15 ply is 61% compared to 75% of R2 w32 1cpu 14 Ply.
Sep-12-08  dwavechess: But with Rybka 3 w32 for alekhine gets much worst, to 48%
Sep-03-09  kooley782: You can't deny that Euwe was an excellent player, and I believe he had an estimated elo of 2760 or so. I think that in this period Euwe was stronger than Alekhine, but Alekhine improved and became stronger than Euwe in '37. Keep in mind also that it was Alekhine's decision to drink, not Euwe's. It wasn't Euwe's fault that Alekhine foolishly drank before chess games, and Alekhine was punished for it.
Sep-04-09  AnalyzeThis: Even in the second match, late in the match, it was still a tossup. Then Euwe cracked over a 4 game stretch and it was over.

There is no question that Euwe was a very, very strong player.

Sep-28-09  aktajha: In the biography of Euwe the author states, that Alekhine had the position of 8. ... b5 on his analysis board, but had knocked down the pawn on a6 and put it back on a7. Now the variation of 9.Qxc7 b4 10. Qxed8 Rxd8 11. Na4 Nxe4 would have been possible, since 12. Nb6 can't be played.
Oct-30-10  soothsayer8: What was Alekhine doing??
Nov-03-10  DWINS: Perhaps Alekhine really was drunk during this game as it occurred on his 43rd birthday, October 19, 1935. Just saying, that's all! :)
Dec-28-10  swr: 9... Qxc7
10. Bxc7 Bb7

The pawn will be won back.

Dec-29-10  aliejin: Under normal conditions Alekhine
would easily beat Euwe but
alcoholism is a disease
is not a "nonsense"

Anyway, this defeat was a
blessing for Alekhine, and he found
a reason to fight and overcome his problem
at least until the second war,,,

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Did AA really join AA? It is said he quit drinking for the Ewue rematch, and won convincingly. Is he still a drinker after the rematch, or on the wagon for good?
Dec-29-10  Petrosianic: He was still a drinker. And the Alekohol angle may have been overblown.

Euwe said that people often thought Alekhine was drunk even when he wasn't, simply because he didn't like to be seen wearing glasses, but really needed them to get around.

Feb-25-19  Margetic D: Alekhine had, unfortunately, episodes of problems with alcohol. One such known was during the match 1935 against Euwe. His alcohol associated liver problems are well documented, as well as the fact taht he never completely quit drinking.Despite of this problem, he was one of the strongest player ever seen.Alekhine could overcome this problem after 1936, and won the rematch against Euwe without any problems. As for the try to compare a strength between non-contemporary palyers, like Lasker, Kasparow, Morphy, Alekhine, Maroczy ando so on, the founder of Elo and similar systems stated that is is actually impossible, but despite of this, there are tries to compare the playing strenght between different non-contemporary players.

I will copy one example:

In 2005,[19] Sonas used Chessmetrics to evaluate historical annual performance ratings and came to the conclusion that Kasparov was dominant for the most years, followed by Karpov and Lasker. He also published the following list of the highest ratings ever attained according to calculations done at the start of each month:[20]

Rank Rating Player
1 2895 Bobby Fischer
2 2886 Garry Kasparov
3 2885 Mikhail Botvinnik
4 2878 Emanuel Lasker
5 2877 José Capablanca
6 2860 Alexander Alekhine
7 2848 Anatoly Karpov
8 2833 Viswanathan Anand
9 2826 Vladimir Kramnik
10 2826 Wilhelm Steinitz

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