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Richard Reti vs Max Euwe
"Not Worth a Second Rook" (game of the day Sep-16-2011)
Match (1920), Rotterdam NED, rd 4
Dutch Defense: Staunton Gambit. Lasker Variation (A83)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Dec-21-17  sudoplatov: Reti did outcombine some pretty good players.

Reti vs Tartakower, 1910

Reti vs Maroczy, 1920

1920 Edo Ratings

Reti 2541 (#9)

Euwe 2398 (#54)

Capablanca 2829 (#1)

Dec-21-17  ughaibu: I love that word, "outcombine", is it ever used outside a chess context? Does it even mean anything outside chess contexts?
Dec-21-17  Chess Is More: <ughaibu: Does it even mean anything outside chess contexts?>

It's not a real word in the real world.

Premium Chessgames Member
  WorstPlayerEver: My crystal ball shows that the games were meant to be confidential. The first three games leaked to the AD, though.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <ughaibu: I love that word, "outcombine", is it ever used outside a chess context? Does it even mean anything outside chess contexts?>

The word is used in a song by the Wurzels. Search for "The Gurt Brassle Shiremouth Combitition" although I doubt you'll find anything.

Dec-30-17  ughaibu: You think I'm going to fall for that? I found a short cut:
Jan-16-18  zanzibar: Pretty sure Black resigned after White's check on move 17.

I could back this up, but let's ask <CG> where they got their score from first ... where?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Retireborn: And my data gives this as the second (not the fourth) game of a match played in Amsterdam (not Rotterdam)....

Does anybody know when the match was played? I have been assuming June, immediately after the Amsterdam 1920 tournament that they both played in, but would welcome confirmation.

Jan-17-18  sneaky pete: <Retireborn> Both Kmoch (Euwe slaagt, 1937) and Münninghoff (Max Euwe, 1976) confirm that the match was played in June, without specified dates for individual games. Münninghoff also gives the location Amsterdam and this game as the second of the match. He states that after 17.Qe2+ .. black resigned. The last 2 moves here are part of Euwe's annotations in the Tijdschrift. Another line (by Euwe) is 17... Kf7 18.Ng5+ Kg8 19.Ne7+ Kf8 20.Nxg6++ etc.

click for larger view

Jan-17-18  zanzibar: <<RB> Does anybody know when the match was played?>

Is <sneaky>'s June good enough for you?

Otherwise, we'll have to teach you how to use delpner.

Jan-17-18  zanzibar: Tartajubow talks about this match

(It's a shame we can't just open a tournament page (or a temporary one) for comments while putting together the details of the match. Would be good for working notes, etc.)

Also here:

<CT> has six of the games, <CG> seems to only have five:

Jan-17-18  zanzibar: <CB> also has only 5, but <NIC> has 7.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Retireborn: <sneaky pete> Many thanks, as ever, for your help with my Dutch queries.

<z> The fifth game in your <CG> link would seem to be from the Amsterdam tournament just before the match.

<CT> does show a Reti-Euwe game which is new to me. I have doubts about its authenticity; that Winawer line with 7.Qg4 0-0 is rather modern and I'd be surprised to learn that Euwe was playing it in 1920.

My link to NiC is broken, or rather only takes me to their bookshop. Do you have a link to search their database?

If more than four games really were played in this match I'd be very interested to see them.

Jan-17-18  zanzibar: <RB> perhaps the first place to look into these matters, because of his general reliability, accuracy, and organization is Rod Edwards' EDOchess site:

He doesn't always get it right though. Originally he relied on secondary sources, like Gaige and De Felice, quite a bit, but I've noticed a welcome trend of his towards utilizing primary sources. I think this is partially due to his recent collaborations with Harding, but it might just be that he's been bitten by "the bug".

That said, I'm fairly confident that he under-represents the games in this match(*). Tartajubow opens his page on the match with this paragraph:

<A reader has asked if I would do a post on the 1920 Euwe-Reti match and asked if it was an informal series of games. Finding information on this match turned out not to be so simple! One source I saw claimed that it was an 8-game match with the result of 5-3 with four draws in Reti's favor, but all other sources favor four games. In any case, it seems the match didn't attract much attention outside The Netherlands because neither the 1920 issues of the American Chess Bulletin nor The British Chess Magazine make mention of it. If it was for eight games, most of them seem not to have survived! >

I'll try to look into all this over on my blog - so just pop by now and again for an update.

(E.g. I'm pretty sure the Dutch newspaper archive, Delpher, has most, if not all, of the games:


Since you asked, here's two online DB links I use fairly regularly:

<CB> -
<NIC> -

(*) Although DutchBase also only has 4 games.


Jan-17-18  zanzibar: (The draws might not have been published, but I suspect they were reported - just a hunch)
Jan-17-18  zanzibar: <RB> as for what game was what round... that will need some work.

I do have a contemporaneous report where the 2nd game (tweede partie) starts 1.d4 d5, so this game ain't it.

Jan-17-18  dumbgai: Is it just me or does ...Qxb2 always lose?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Retireborn: <z> Many thanks for your help, much appreciated.

Looking at the 7 games listed by NiC base, the two C55 games are essentially identical (usually given as 1st game of match), as are the two A82 games (usually given as the second game.) The Tarrasch game with 10.Na4 appears to be their game from the Amsterdam tourney, not the other Tarrasch with 10.Bg5 which is usually presented as the fourth game of the match (but may be the second game, according your contemporaneous report.)

So as far as NiC is concerned, we're again reduced to the four known games plus the mysterious Winawer game. One problen I have with it is it ends 1-0 even though the position is equal. Perhaps it was drawn there, or further unknown moves were played.

As I've said I doubt its authenticity, but if Reti and Euwe were really playing 7.Qg4 0-0 at least 10 years before anybody else, it would be nice to give them credit for it.

Jan-18-18  zanzibar: The first two Reti--Euwe match games were played before the Amsterdam tournament, as reported on 1920-05-22.

The tournament began on the 23th, so the final two match games likely were played in June, matching the newspaper accounts.

Only four games were played, all decisive.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Retireborn: <z> Many thanks once again. Interestingly (or perhaps not) the 1932 Euwe v Flohr match was also split in two around a tournament in Bern, as I recall.
Jan-18-18  zanzibar: <RB> the 3rd game was probably played before the tournament as well... but I'm reasonably sure the 4th game was in June. I'll double-check all this after the 1st pass - right now it's still working notes.
Jan-18-18  sneaky pete: From delpher this link to the weekly chess column by Van Trotsenburg in the Algemeen Handelsblad of Saturday June 19, 1920.

It states that this was the 4th and last game of the match.

I also found the column of June 5 (same editor and newspaper) with the second game, the QGD Tarrasch Defence won by Réti. So the game numbering here is right, and Münninghoff was wrong. But at least we know now that this 4th game was played in June.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Retireborn: <sneaky pete> Many thanks again. I've been able to adjust my Chessbase data accordingly.
Jan-18-18  zanzibar: <RB> you'll likely have to adjust it again too.
Jan-18-18  zanzibar: Biographer Bistro (kibitz #17476)

I think this game is best dated from June 5, 1920. Details can be found in the PGN comments by following the link-chain above.

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