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Vera Menchik vs Max Euwe
"Looks Like I Struck An Euwe" (game of the day Aug-26-2019)
Hastings (1931/32), Hastings ENG, rd 2, Dec-29
Slav Defense: Czech. Lasker Variation (D18)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: Vera missed little tactic shot 34.Nxe5. Quite interesting but probably also insufficient attempt to save the game could be 46...Bxc5!? 47.bxc5 e4. White has to be very careful here but 48.Ra1! seems to be sufficient, for example 48...e3+ 49.Kd3 Ke5 50.Rxa3 Nxf5 (50...Nc6 51.Ra4 f2 52.Ke2 Ke4 /52...Kxf5 53.Bb5 is not better/ 53.Bb5 Ne7 54.c6 etc.) 51.c6 Kd6 52.Bb5 f2 (52...e2 53.Kd2 Ne3 54.Rxe3! fxe3+ 55.Ke1 +-) 53.Ra1 with decisive advantage of white. Also 47...Bxc5 was much better than 47...Bd8, but for example after 48.bxc5 e4 49.c6 e3+ 50.Kd3 Ke5 51.c7 e2 52.Bh5 Kf4 53.Kxd4 Nc8 54.Kd3 Nd6 55.Kd2 white wins too.
Sep-17-07  sambo: Thanks for the analysis, Honza.

Despite the fact that it isn't a perfect game, I think this is a good candidate for GOTD. Menchik deserves to be known much better than she actually is; seeing her decisively beat Euwe is a good way to showcase her talents.

Mar-25-13  howlwolf: I like that Menchik played a lot of men--maybe there weren't that many women to play with. Two wins over Euwe, a win over Sultan Khan, and a win over Revshevsky; not too shabby.
Aug-26-19  SeanAzarin: Don't forget about her win over Thomas.

Menchik vs G A Thomas, 1932

Aug-26-19  goodevans: Could someone please explain the pun to me.

I'm not sure if it's based on pronouncing 'Euwe' as it looks in English, i.e. <like Yew>, or as the Dutch would pronounce it, i.e. <to rhyme with fervour> (approximately). Either way I'm just not getting it.

Aug-26-19  Retireborn: She struck a nerve, ie embarrassed Euwe by beating him. It's a weak pun of course, but most of these puns are weak.
Aug-26-19  WorstPlayerEver: <goodevans>

Actually no. Usually - and this is no exception - I'm not such a punny guy, but 'nerve' sounds in Dutch like 'neurv.' Strikingly correct I'd say!

Aug-26-19  WorstPlayerEver: PS so 'Euwe' sounds like 'erwuh' without the 'r'
Aug-26-19  goodevans: Thanks, both.

So it's "Looks Like I Struck a Nerve" but with an extra "uh" on the end. I guess I should have worked that out.

<... so 'Euwe' sounds like 'erwuh' without the 'r'>

Based on what a Dutch friend told me, I'd say somewhere between 'erwuh' and 'ervuh' without the 'r'. There's a 'v' sound in there but not as hard as most most English words with a 'v'.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sargon: Albeit Max Euwe’s surname has been used for several puns which are clearly mispronunciations, in the interest of due diligence I visited multiple web sites which had audio claiming to convey the correct pronunciation, to wit:


Both of the above are consistent with the pronunciation audio on the player page for Max Euwe - hence my <eminently reasonable use of his surname> for this GOTD pun.

Parenthetically, I was certain that this pun would elicit some spirited and/or informative comments, and I was not disappointed...

Aug-26-19  WorstPlayerEver: <goodevans>

Well, my English pronounciation is not faring that well. But I think that the 'r' in 'nerve' is pretty short. While the 'eu' in Dutch sounds a little more stretched than in words like 'rumour' and 'nerve.'

That said, Dutch people tend to pronounce English words as they are written. For instance: usually a Dutchman would pronounce 'today' as 'to-day' while a native speaker on average more sounds like 't(uh)-day' maybe it's me.

Then again, language is pretty local business. Chinese people - at a certain distance - cannot understand each other, but they can read each other's language when it's written down. Assumed they speak the same kind of Chinese, obviously.

Aug-26-19  WorstPlayerEver: <Sargon>
Yes, the pun is pretty clever. Very subtle IMO
Aug-26-19  Count Wedgemore: Yes, brilliant pun by <Sargon> and an interesting game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: Great pun <Sargon> !
Premium Chessgames Member
  fredthebear: Link to Bill Wall's page on Vera Menchick, the longest ruling women's world champion:

Thank you Bill Wall!

Premium Chessgames Member
  OrangeTulip: Sorry, but as a fellow citizin of Euwe I just want to remark that the first syllabe Euwe is clearly not pronounced like nerve.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Breunor: Crazy, black is dead lost by move 14. 10 c5 seems like a blunder, it costs about a pawn (see below). Probably best is 10 ... h6 so on 11 e4 the bishop can go to h7 and white doesn't win the piece with 12 Nxg6 h x g6 13 e5.

1) +0.25 (24 ply) 10...h6 11.e4 Bh7 12.Bf4 O-O 13.Rad1 Qe7 14.Bg3 c5 15.dxc5 Bxc5 16.Bh4 g5 17.Bg3 a6 18.h4 Rad8 19.Bb3 Rxd1 20.Rxd1 Rd8 21.Nc4 Bg6 22.Rxd8+ Qxd8 23.hxg5 hxg5

After 10 c5:

1) +1.11 (24 ply) 11.e4 Bg6 12.Rd1 Qb8 13.Bb5+ Kf8 14.Nf3 cxd4 15.Rxd4 Be7 16.b3 Bh5 17.e5 Bxf3 18.gxf3 Nfd5 19.Nxd5 Nxd5 20.f4 a6 21.Bc4 Bc5 22.Rd3 Nb6 23.Be3 Bxe3 24.Qxe3 Qc7 25.Rc1 h5

2) +1.15 (23 ply) 11.Bb5+ Kf8 12.e4 Bg6 13.Bf4 Qb8 14.Nxg6+ hxg6 15.e5 Bc7 16.dxc5 Nc6 17.Bxc6 bxc6 18.Bg3 Nd5 19.Ne4 Qb4 20.Qf3 Rh5 21.Nd6 Bxd6 22.cxd6 Rb8 23.Rfb1 a5 24.Qa3

Black falls behind in moves 10-14 badly, the computer thinks 11 Ke7? was a bad blunder and like Kf8:

1) +0.72 (25 ply) 11...Kf8 12.e4 Bg6 13.Bf4 Qb8 14.Nxg6+ hxg6 15.e5 cxd4 16.exd6 dxc3 17.bxc3 Nbd5 18.Be5 a6 19.Bd3 Rh5 20.Rfc1 Nd7 21.Bg3 Nc5 22.c4 Nf6 23.Bc2 Kg8 24.Re1 Qd8 25.h4 Nfd7 26.Qf3 Qf6 27.Qxf6 Nxf6

2) +1.99 (24 ply) 11...Ke7 12.e4 Bg6 13.Nxg6+ hxg6 14.e5 a6 15.Bc4 cxd4 16.Rd1 Bxe5 17.Qxe5 Nc6 18.Qg3 Qb8 19.Ne2 Qxg3 20.Nxg3 Kf8 21.Bg5 Rc8 22.Be2 Nh7 23.Bd2 Nf6 24.Bf3 Nd5 25.Be4 Nf6 26.Bf4 Rh4

After 14 e4, black had the following moves:

1) +2.06 (25 ply) 13.Rd1 a6 14.dxc5 Bxe5 15.Rxd8 Rhxd8 16.Bc4 Rac8 17.Be3 Bd4 18.Bxd4 Rxd4 19.f3 Nd7 20.Rd1 Rxd1+ 21.Qxd1 Rxc5 22.Qb3 a5 23.Bb5 f6 24.Qd1 Rc7 25.Qd4 Nc6 26.Qc4 Nde5 27.Qb3 Kf7 28.f4 Nd4 29.Qd1 Nxb5 30.Nxb5

2) +2.06 (24 ply) 13.Nxg6+ hxg6 14.e5 a6 15.Bc4 cxd4 16.Rd1 Bc7 17.exf6+ gxf6 18.g3 Kf8 19.Ne4 Kg7 20.h4 Nc6 21.Be3 Bb6 22.Rac1 Rc8 23.Bf4 Bc7 24.Bd2 Ba5 25.Bxa5 Nxa5 26.Bd3 Rxc1 27.Rxc1 Nb3 28.Rb1 Qd5

14 c x d4 puts black further behind:

1) +2.56 (20 ply) 15.Rd1 Bc7 16.exf6+ gxf6 17.h3 a6 18.Be3 Bb6 19.Bxd4 Bxd4 20.Qe4 f5 21.Qxd4 Qxd4 22.Rxd4 Nc2 23.Rd7+ Kf6 24.Rc1 axb5 25.Rxc2 bxa4 26.Ne2 Rhc8 27.Rxc8 Rxc8 28.Rxb7 Rc4 29.Ra7

From here Menchik plays very well to keep the lead.

Premium Chessgames Member
  wwall: I updated my Vera Menchik bio with much more information at
Mar-02-20  Frits Fritschy: If you pronounce 'Euwe' as 'youwee', no Dutch person will have a clue what you're talking about. For the correct pronunciation of the 'eu' in Euwe, see Peter Sellers/inspector Clouseau in 'The return of the Pink Panther', when he asks: 'Do you have a room?' The sound of the diphthong 'eu' isn't known in English (and forbidden to be used after Boris Johnson). It's neither 'oi' nor 'uh' nor 'er'. The last may come close, but like there is a difference between the 'o' in 'not' and the 'o' in 'no', there is a difference between the 'er' in 'nerve' and the 'eu' in 'Euwe'. A single 'e' at the end of a word is in Dutch generally pronounced as 'uh'. By the way, the diphthong itself is also widely used in French (f.i. the river Meuse), and the same sound is used in German and Turkish (ö) and in Scandinavian languages (alt-0248). Well, we on the continent have the 'eu', you British have the 'th' (which always gives me the fear of biting off the tip of my tongue).

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