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Semion Alapin
Number of games in database: 339
Years covered: 1875 to 1921

Overall record: +99 -118 =121 (47.2%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 1 exhibition game, blitz/rapid, odds game, etc. is excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 King's Pawn Game (29) 
    C20 C44
 Ruy Lopez (26) 
    C77 C67 C80 C65 C63
 King's Gambit Declined (14) 
    C30 C32 C31
 Orthodox Defense (14) 
    D50 D60 D51 D61 D55
 Sicilian (13) 
    B22 B73 B45 B29 B40
 French Defense (12) 
    C11 C14 C00 C01
With the Black pieces:
 French Defense (44) 
    C01 C14 C11 C10 C00
 Ruy Lopez (28) 
    C60 C70 C74 C73 C78
 Queen's Gambit Declined (22) 
    D31 D30 D35
 French (21) 
    C11 C00 C10 C13
 Slav (14) 
    D10 D11 D15 D12 D13
 Queen's Pawn Game (12) 
    D02 D05 D00
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Alapin vs Marshall, 1905 1-0
   Alapin vs Harmonist, 1887 1-0
   J Mieses vs Alapin, 1908 0-1
   Schlechter vs Alapin, 1901 1/2-1/2
   Chigorin vs Alapin, 1905 0-1
   Maroczy vs Alapin, 1905 1/2-1/2
   Alapin vs A Fritz, 1887 1-0
   Alapin vs Albin, 1897 1-0
   Alapin vs Tarrasch, 1890 1/2-1/2
   Alapin vs Albin, 1900 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Monte Carlo (1901)
   Kolisch Memorial 1899/00 (1899)
   4th All Russian Tournament (1906)
   Berlin (1897)
   Bad Pistyan (1912)
   Vilnius All-Russian Masters (1912)
   Vienna (1898)
   Frankfurt (1887)
   Ostend (1905)
   Prague (1908)
   Barmen Meisterturnier A (1905)
   Breslau (1889)
   Vienna (1908)
   Karlsbad (1911)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Alapin - Bird - Colle // The Players by fredthebear
   Vienna 1898 by suenteus po 147
   Vienna 1898 by JoseTigranTalFischer
   Monte Carlo 1901 by suenteus po 147

   Janowski vs Lasker, 1909
   Tarrasch vs Alapin, 1902
   Alapin vs Tarrasch, 1903
   Tarrasch vs Alapin, 1903

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Semion Alapin
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(born Nov-19-1856, died Jul-15-1923, 66 years old) Lithuania (federation/nationality Russia)

[what is this?]

Semyon Zinovievich Alapin was born in Vilnius, Lithuania. He later settled in St. Petersburg, then Heidelberg, Germany. While studying at St. Petersburg Engineering Institute, he became one of the strongest players in the city. He shared 1st place with Mikhail Chigorin at the St. Petersburg tourney of 1878-79. Other results include 6th= at Berlin 1897, 10th in the Vienna 1898 Jubilee tournament and 5th at Monte Carlo 1901. In 1893, he tied for 1st place in the championship of Berlin. In 1911, he won the championship of Munich.

Alapin drew a match (+1, =4, -1) with Carl Schlechter in 1899 and beat Siegbert Tarrasch in a (training) match (+4 -3 =2) in 1902/3. In 1907, he played in a match against the Russian master Stefan Levitsky (Saint Petersburg, 1907) which he won 5-0.

Alapin has a number of opening variations named after him. Alapin’s Opening is 1.e4 e5 2.Ne2, while the Sicilian, Alapin variation is 1.e4 c5 2.c3. Alapin’s Gambit is 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Be3.

Alapin livened up his writings with the fictitious characters 'Defendarov' and 'Attakinsky'. He was a linguist and involved in grain commodities. He spent his later years in Heidelberg, Germany and died there in 1923.

Wikipedia article: Semyon Alapin

Last updated: 2017-09-01 02:46:54

 page 1 of 14; games 1-25 of 343  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Chigorin vs Alapin 1-0291875St PetersburgB45 Sicilian, Taimanov
2. Alapin vs Schiffers  0-1241876St. PetersburgC50 Giuoco Piano
3. Alapin vs A Khardin  0-1251877St. PetersburgC33 King's Gambit Accepted
4. Alapin vs Chigorin 0-1211877St. Petersburg National tC33 King's Gambit Accepted
5. A Ascharin vs Alapin  1-0301877Cafe Prader zu AnfangC78 Ruy Lopez
6. Chigorin vs Alapin  1-0311877St. Petersburg National tC33 King's Gambit Accepted
7. H Clemenz vs Alapin  0-1451877St. Petersburg National tA83 Dutch, Staunton Gambit
8. Alapin vs Schiffers  0-1221877St. Petersburg National tC80 Ruy Lopez, Open
9. V Lizel vs Alapin  0-1381879St. PetersburgC42 Petrov Defense
10. Alapin vs A Ascharin ½-½551879St. PetersburgC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
11. Alapin vs Schiffers 1-0491879St. PetersburgC33 King's Gambit Accepted
12. Alapin vs Chigorin  0-1331879St. PetersburgB40 Sicilian
13. A Solovtsov vs Alapin  0-1471879St. PetersburgC01 French, Exchange
14. E von Schmidt vs Alapin 0-1511879St. PetersburgB45 Sicilian, Taimanov
15. N Petrovsky vs Alapin  0-1381879St. PetersburgC59 Two Knights
16. Alapin vs Chigorin  0-1461879St. PetersburgC33 King's Gambit Accepted
17. Schiffers vs Alapin  1-0311879Schiffers - AlapinC80 Ruy Lopez, Open
18. Alapin vs Schiffers  1-0251879Schiffers - AlapinC48 Four Knights
19. Chigorin vs Alapin 1-0331880MatchC01 French, Exchange
20. Alapin vs Chigorin 0-1431880MatchD55 Queen's Gambit Declined
21. Chigorin vs Alapin 1-0371880MatchC01 French, Exchange
22. Alapin vs Chigorin 0-1351881MatchC24 Bishop's Opening
23. Chigorin vs Alapin 1-0231883St. PetersburgC52 Evans Gambit
24. Chigorin vs Alapin 1-0201885UnknownC56 Two Knights
25. Alapin vs Von Gottschall 1-05618875th DSB Congress, FrankfurtB31 Sicilian, Rossolimo Variation
 page 1 of 14; games 1-25 of 343  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Alapin wins | Alapin loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jun-19-06  Bartleby: Semion Alapin looks like Silas Adams from HBO's Deadwood (when he starts to let his beard grow out). Definitely looks the part of a period era master!

He patented his namesake in the Sicilian, which Nimzovitch often employed as an anti-Sicilian system, when Nimzo wasn't also toying with the Rossolimo (the Variation) before Rossolimo (the Master) came along.

His Alapin Opening is suspect to say the least, but the similar 1. e4 c5 2. Ne2 is an interesting idea, something Bronstein played occassionally to good effect:

Bronstein vs Psakhis, 1981

My "Sorceror's Apprentice" book has two others apparently not in CG's database.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Bronstein's "200 Open Games" has a marvelous funny final chapter concerning his meeting with the legendary Master, B.S. Queenabber.

When Queenabber played Alapin's Opening (1.e4 e5 2.Ne2), Bronstein asked in awe, "Did you know Alapin?"

"I even knew B. Lapin!"

Oct-20-06  aw1988: 1. e4 e5 2. Ne2 is not a bad move. It can transpose into the KIA.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <aw1988> It would make for an odd KIA, since White usually has his knight on f3 in that line, just as Black normally has his knight on f6 in the King's Indian Defense. Having the knight on e2/e7 is more of a Modern Defense idea.

As I recall, White's original idea in the Alapin is to support the move f4, sort of ungambitting the King's Gambit.

Nov-07-06  BIDMONFA: Semion Alapin

Born 19 november

Apr-10-07  refutor: his gambit v. the exchange ruy lopez is strong 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Bxc6 dxc6 5.O-O Bg4 6.h3 h5
Apr-18-07  vonKrolock: A case in point is Alapin's treatment of the Falkbeer: 1.e4 e5 2.f4 d5 3.exd5 e4 4.d3 ♘f6 5.dxe4 ♘xe4 6.♘f3! ♗c5 7.♕e2! His analysis on this line appeared in "Monde Illustré" in 1903, and later reproduced in the "Wiener Schachzeitung" - N. Minev tells, in his article for "The Skittles Room", in, how Alapin's efforts arrived to be atributed to Paul Keres (1916-1975) in this instance - not that this was Keres own intention, of course...
Jul-30-07  gBizzle: he was obsessed with trying to force d4
Sep-29-07  valuim97: There is a trap in his opening:1.e4 e5 2.♘e2!? ♘f6 3.f4 ef4 4.♘f4 ♘e4? 5.♕e2 ♕e7 6.♘d5 ♕e5 7.♘bc3 , but there Black has 7...c6, and I forgot what White play next. Anyone can found it?
Sep-29-07  MaxxLange: <refutor> That's a great line. White has to know the analysis. Unfortunately, the GMs have neutralized it, I think.
Nov-20-07  valuim97: I FOUND!!!! 1 e4 e5 2 ♘e2 ♘f6 3 f4 ef4 4 ♘f4 ♘e4?? 5 ♕e2 ♕e7 6 ♘d5 ♕e5 7 ♘bc3 c6 8 d4! ♕d4 9 ♘e4 cd4 10 ♘d6! ♔d8 11 ♕e8 ♔c7 12 ♘b5 Poor Black!
Oct-03-08  Karpova: IM Nikolay Minev's interesting article <Historical Perspectives on Chess: Semion Alapin>:

Minev gives an overview over some of Alapin's opening ideas and forgotten or good chessgames.

Some excerpts:

<Sicilian Defense
His line with 1.e4 c5 2.c3, practically a new opening in his day, is now very popular. Batsford Chess Openings (solely!), the "record holder" for launching new and unjustified opening names, calls it the Alapin-Sveshnikov. However, I must mention that in Alapin's day this line was played by Alekhine, Tartakower, etc., and at that time nobody added any other names to Alapin's variation. As for the development of new and interesting ideas in Alapin's Sicilian line, I would give much more credit to Adorjan and Nunn than to Sveshnikov.>

<King's Gambit
Here there are many continuations associated with Alapin's name. Probably his most interesting idea is that the Falkbeer Countergambit is a dubious defense for Black. As far as I know, he analyzed and introduced into practice for White the following variation: 1.e4 e5 2.f4 d5 3.exd5 e4 4.d3 Nf6 5.dxe4 Nxe4 6.Nf3 (! Alapin) 6...Bc5 7.Qe2 (! Alapin). Even now this line is considered to be White's best.

After 7...f5 8.Nc3, ECO (C 32, note 77) gives 8...0-0 9.Nxe4 fxe4 10. Qxe4 Bf5 with an advantage for Black, and claims that the author is Keres.

This is unfair! This analysis was published by Alapin in "Monde Illustre" (France) in 1903 and reproduced in "Wiener Schachzeitung". Keres was not even born at that time!

I will present Alapin's original analysis further, because it is not mentioned in the opening guides: 11.Qc4 Nd7! 12.Bd3 Qf6! 13.h3 Rae8+ 14.Kd1. Assessment: unclear. Black has plenty of attacking possibilities, but White has two extra pawns.>

Minev also mentions a match against Tarrasch played at the end of 1902 and the beginning of 1903 (I'll submit the three games he gives). Alapin won the match but lost the battle.

Minev: <Was there an Alapin ? Tarrasch match? Officially such a contest is not mentioned in recent chess history. But in 1903/4 many newspapers and chess magazines were involved in a dispute over whether the nine games played between these two in Monaco and Marseilles, at the end of 1902 and beginning of 1903, were match games (as claimed by Alapin), or friendly games (as claimed by Tarrasch).

The games were played with a clock and a normal time control. From the evidence available to me, this was probably some sort of training match, with some pre-conditions - the games, for example, were to be played without spectators, and (probably) the score was not to be released. But a Belgian newspaper published the score anyway: +4, -3, =2, in favor of Alapin.

Tarrasch was furious and used bitter, insulting words against his opponent. Alapin's answer was more polite, making the point that he had nothing to do with the Belgian publication. He also showed a great deal of satisfaction in the fact that at least Tarrasch did not deny the score.

The result of this dispute was unfortunate for Alapin. After the furor, the German chess press (with Tarrasch and Mieses in the lead) virtually ignored Alapin's existence for years.>

Jeremy Gaige gives Alapin's birthday as 1856.11.19 ("Chess Personalia: A Biobilbiography").

Nov-19-08  brankat: A colourful and multi-talented person was master Alapin. A player and a theorist, a linguist and an author, an engineer and a businessman.

R.I.P. Master Semion.

Nov-19-08  FHBradley: "[a] man who devoted his life entirely to chess" (according to Minev's column), how did he find time for being a linguist, an author, an engineer and a businessman as well?
Dec-03-08  Karpova: C.N. 5877 mentions that some sources claim that Alapin was born in St. Petersburg.

To quote Edward Winter: <We note that St Petersburg was specified in the ten-line obituary of Alapin in the October 1923 BCM, page 374, on page 333 of Schachjahrbuch 1923 by L. Bachmann (Ansbach, 1924) and in a number of other publications of the time.>


Mar-26-11  Marcelo Bruno: Hi, folks! Does someone have his games with Attakinsky and Defendarov?
Mar-27-11  sneaky pete: <Marcelo Bruno> It gladdens my heart to know there is still some interest in that great old master Defendarow-Pechinski. I posted his game against Attakinski on the page Staunton / Owen vs Morphy / Barnes, 1858. You'll find his games against Opferaroff and Agressewitsch on Steinitz vs Rainer, 1885 and Dgebuadze vs P Claesen, 2005.
Nov-19-12  brankat: 156th Birthday today!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Make that 157th birthday to Alapin.
Mar-07-14  Karpova: Alapin, when on his way to Munich, gave a Simul in the Berlin <Arbeiter Schachklub> (Workers Chess Club) and scored in 44 games in less than 4 hours +27 -2 =15.

Source: 'Pester Lloyd', 1912.10.27, p. 10 (Dr. Emanuel Lasker wrote it in Berlin, on October 24)

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: And while he was pestering poor old Lloyd he invented two opening systems. His variation of the Sicilian is the most popular opening in the history of the universe.
Nov-19-16  TheFocus: Happy birthday, Semion Alapin.
May-15-17  hemy: The article about Alapin in Russian language
includes references to archives of Vilna (today Vilnius) citizens. His father Zundel Nochum Alapin was registered in 1850 as a 16 years old son of Jankel (Jacob) Alapin. In May 25 1958 Shimon (Semion)Alapin was registerd as a 1 years old son of merchandiser Zundel Nochum Alapin and 22 years old Ginda Alapin (Epstein). Many other references in this article also mentioned that Shimon (in Russian - Semion) Alapin was born in Vilna in prominent Jewish family.
May-15-17  hemy: Semyon Zinovyevich Alapin
Apr-14-22  YoungEd: You have to give Alapin credit for the courage of his convictions; he played Alapin's opening (1. e4 e5 2. Ne2) repeatedly against strong opposition. And he did okay with it!
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