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Max Euwe
Number of games in database: 1,675
Years covered: 1911 to 1981

Overall record: +827 -256 =528 (67.7%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 64 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Orthodox Defense (106) 
    D63 D50 D52 D51 D55
 Nimzo Indian (98) 
    E38 E33 E32 E22 E34
 French Defense (58) 
    C13 C12 C11 C07 C02
 Ruy Lopez (53) 
    C86 C83 C78 C85 C62
 King's Indian (48) 
    E60 E67 E62 E66 E64
 Queen's Gambit Declined (42) 
    D30 D31 D35 D06 D37
With the Black pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (123) 
    C83 C77 C80 C68 C78
 Slav (76) 
    D12 D15 D17 D10 D14
 Sicilian (68) 
    B83 B56 B88 B28 B58
 Ruy Lopez, Open (61) 
    C83 C80 C82 C81
 King's Indian (52) 
    E60 E94 E61 E67 E85
 Queen's Pawn Game (50) 
    D02 A46 A45 D00 D04
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Geller vs Euwe, 1953 0-1
   Tartakower vs Euwe, 1948 0-1
   Euwe vs Alekhine, 1935 1-0
   Euwe vs Najdorf, 1953 1-0
   Euwe vs Loman, 1923 1-0
   Euwe vs Reti, 1920 1-0
   Euwe vs Alekhine, 1935 1-0
   Szabo vs Euwe, 1946 0-1
   Euwe vs S B van Mindeno, 1927 1-0
   Euwe vs Fischer, 1957 1-0

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: [what is this?]
   Alekhine - Euwe World Championship Match (1935)
   Euwe - Alekhine World Championship Rematch (1937)
   FIDE World Championship Tournament (1948)

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Hastings 1923/24 (1923)
   NED-ch (1926)
   London Olympiad (1927)
   NED-ch (1929)
   Bournemouth (1939)
   Zaanstreek (1946)
   London B (1946)
   Maastricht (1946)
   NED-ch (1950)
   Gothenburg B (1920)
   Zurich (1934)
   Berne (1932)
   Groningen (1946)
   Nottingham (1936)
   Stockholm Olympiad (1937)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Match Euwe (International)! by amadeus
   Match Euwe (International)! by docjan
   Euwe Owe Me by fredthebear
   Max Euwe - The Biography (Munninghoff) by Qindarka
   MAXimum Teacher Compiled by Garre by fredthebear
   Veliki majstori saha 18 EUWE (Marovic) by Chessdreamer
   World Champion - Euwe (I.Linder/V.Linder) by Qindarka
   My Games (Euwe) by Qindarka
   From My Games 1920 - 1937 by Benzol
   Max Euwe - From Steinitz to Fischer, Part 2 by Chessdreamer
   My Great Predecessors by Garry Kasparov by LionHeart40
   My Great Predecessors by Garry Kasparov by JoseTigranTalFischer
   Max Euwe - From Steinitz to Fischer, Part 2 by FRoeten
   Max Euwe - From Steinitz to Fischer, Part 2 by demirchess

GAMES ANNOTATED BY EUWE: [what is this?]
   Euwe vs Alekhine, 1937

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Max Euwe
Search Google for Max Euwe

(born May-20-1901, died Nov-26-1981, 80 years old) Netherlands
[what is this?]

Machgielis (Max) Euwe was the fifth World Champion.

Early years

Euwe was born in Watergraafsmeer, then an independent municipality outside Amsterdam. His mother, Elizabeth van der Meer, taught him the moves when he was four. Euwe was a student of mathematics at Amsterdam University, where he graduated with honours in 1923, gaining his doctorate in 1926, after which he taught mathematics in Rotterdam and later in Amsterdam. Euwe was the younger brother of Willem Euwe.


Euwe won 102 tournaments during his career, squeezing them - and his other tournaments - into the little spare time he had during a busy professional career as a teacher, mathematician and lecturer, and while raising a family. His first international foray was in the Hastings Victory tournament after WW1 in the summer of 1919 where he placed fourth. He won the Dutch National Championship on five consecutive occasions in 1921, 1924, 1926, 1929 and 1933, and then on six more consecutive occasions in 1938, 1939, 1942, 1947, 1948 and 1952. His 12th win was in 1955; these 12 wins of the Dutch Championship are still a record, three wins ahead of the next most prolific winner, Jan Timman. Euwe was a regular competitor in the Hastings tournament, winning it thrice, in 1923-24, 1930-31, 1934-35. In 1928, he became the Second World Amateur Champion after Hermanis Karlovich Mattison (Paris 1924). Other important results in Euwe's career included a win at Wiesbaden 1925, placing second behind Alexander Alekhine at Berne 1932, second behind Alekhine (whom he beat) at Zurich 1934, second at Zandvoort 1936 behind Reuben Fine, third at Nottingham 1936, half a point behind Mikhail Botvinnik and Jose Raul Capablanca but ahead of Alekhine, first ex aequo at Amsterdam 1936 with Fine, first at Bad Nauheim-Stuttgart-Garmisch 1937, ahead of Alekhine, equal fourth with Alekhine and Samuel Reshevsky at AVRO 1938, first at Amsterdam-Hilversum-The Hague in 1939, and first at Budapest in 1940. After the Second World War, he came first in London in 1946 and had his best tournament result, second behind Botvinnik at Groningen in 1946, a result which contributed to his receiving an invitation to play in the FIDE World Championship Tournament (1948).


Soon after Euwe won the Dutch Championship for the first time in 1921, he played and drew a short match with Geza Maroczy with 2 wins, 8 draws, and 2 losses. He played and lost what amounted to a short training match with Alekhine in 1926-7, a few months before the Capablanca - Alekhine World Championship Match (1927), by +2 =5 -3. In 1928, Euwe defeated Edgar Colle in a match with 5 wins and 1 draw. A few days later he played Efim Bogoljubov in a match and lost, scoring 2 wins, 5 draws, and 3 losses. After winning Hastings 1930-1 ahead of Capablanca, he played Capablanca in a match, but lost with 8 draws and 2 losses. Soon after his good result in Berne 1932, he drew a match with Salomon Flohr with 3 wins, 10 draws, and 3 losses. Later in 1932, Euwe won a training match with Rudolf Spielmann in 1932, with 2 wins and 2 draws, but lost another training match with Spielmann in 1935. He played a match with Paul Keres in The Netherlands in 1939-40, losing 6½-7½ (+5 =3 -6). In 1941, Euwe traveled to Carlsbad and defeated Bogoljubov in a match with 5 wins, 3 draws, and 2 losses. He drew a match in 1949 with Vasja Pirc (+2, =6, -2) Euwe - Pirc (1949).

In 1957, Euwe played a short informal match against 14-year-old future world champion Robert James Fischer, winning one game and drawing the other. His lifetime score against Fischer was one win, one loss, and one draw.

World Championship

In 1935 Alexander Alekhine selected him as his opponent for the world title, the last time in which a challenger was selected until Garry Kasparov selected Vladimir Kramnik to challenge him for the Kasparov - Kramnik Classical World Championship Match (2000). The match was held in Amsterdam, The Hague, Delft, Rotterdam, Utrecht, Gouda, Groningen, Baarn, 's-Hertogenbosch, Eindhoven, Zeist, Ermelo, and Zandvoort, and played in 23 different venues. Euwe won the match (+9 =13 -8) on 15 December 1935 to become the fifth World Champion. This was also the first world championship match in which the players had seconds to help them with analysis during adjournments. In 1937 he lost the Euwe - Alekhine World Championship Rematch (1937) (+4 =11 -10). Their lifetime tally was +28 -20 =38 in favour of Alekhine. After Alekhine's death in 1946, Euwe was invited to contest the 1948 World Championship Match Tournament, and although he came last in that event, he continued to play in the world championship cycle until the Zurich Candidates of 1953.


He played top board for The Netherlands in seven Olympiads between 1927 to 1962, scoring 10½/15 at London 1927, 9½/13 at Stockholm 1937 to win bronze, 8/12 at Dubrovnik 1950, 7½/13 at Amsterdam 1954, 8½/11 at Munich 1958 to win silver medal (aged 57), 6½/16 at Leipzig 1960, and 4/7 in his last Olympiad at Varna in 1962. His Olympiad aggregate was 54½/87 for 62.6 per cent.

Legacy and testimonials

While he was World Champion, Euwe handed FIDE the power to organise the World Championship, apart from the return match with Alekhine that had already been agreed upon.

In 1957, while visiting the United States to study computer technology, he played two unofficial chess games in New York against Bobby Fischer, winning one and drawing the second. A couple of years later, he became director of The Netherlands Automatic Data Processing Research Centre in 1959 and from 1961 to 1963, chairman of a committee set up by Euratom to examine the feasibility of programming computers to play chess. In 1964, Euwe was appointed to a chair in an automatic information processing in Rotterdam University and, following that, at Tilburg University. He retired as professor at Tilburg in 1971. A fuller description of Euwe's non-chess career can be found at Max Euwe (kibitz #517), courtesy of <achieve>.

From 1970-1978, Euwe was a peripatetic President of FIDE, visiting more than 100 countries at his own expense, promoting chess world wide and helping add over 30 new member countries to FIDE. During his terms as FIDE President, he exercised immense diligence and effort to ensure the Match of the Century, the Spassky - Fischer World Championship Match (1972) took place. While Euwe was successful in that endeavour, similarly Herculean efforts to enable the Karpov - Fischer World Championship Match (1975) eventually foundered.

Euwe wrote over 70 chess books, including <The Road to Chess Mastery>, <Judgement and Planning in Chess>, <The Logical Approach to Chess>, and <Strategy and Tactics in Chess Play>. Many of his books are still in print, enabling several generations of good Dutch players to develop their games from reading his works. His bibliography can be gleaned from the following links at ((English); and (Dutch).

Euwe died in 1981, age 80. The Max Euwe Plein (square) (near the Leidseplein) in Amsterdam has a large chess set and statue, where the 'Max Euwe Stichting' is located in a former jailhouse. It has a Max Euwe museum and a large collection of chess books. Euwe’s granddaughter, Esmé Lammers, has written a children's book called Lang Leve de Koningin (Long live the Queen), which is a fairy tale about a young girl who learns to play chess and at the same time finds her father. Lammers filmed the story in 1995 (

• "Strategy requires thought; tactics requires observation." - Max Euwe

• "Does the general public, do even our friends the critics realize that Euwe virtually never made an unsound combination? He may, of course, occasionally fail to take account of an opponent's combination, but when he has the initiative in a tactical operation his calculation is impeccable." – Alexander Alekhine

• "He is logic personified, a genius of law and order. One would hardly call him an attacking player, yet he strides confidently into some extraordinarily complex variations." – Hans Kmoch

• "There's something wrong with that man. He's too normal." – Bobby Fischer


(1) Wikipedia article: 2nd Chess Olympiad; (2) Wikipedia article: Hastings International Chess Congress; (3) (4)

Wikipedia article: Max Euwe

Last updated: 2019-05-20 09:39:57

 page 1 of 67; games 1-25 of 1,675  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Euwe vs NN 1-0111911AmsterdamC80 Ruy Lopez, Open
2. J Davidson vs Euwe 0-1501912Simul, 30bC01 French, Exchange
3. R Wielinga vs Euwe  0-1461912Amsterdam-North HollandC00 French Defense
4. J W te Kolste vs Euwe  0-1291913VAS simulD00 Queen's Pawn Game
5. Euwe vs A A de Graaff  1-0181915NSB 2nd classC30 King's Gambit Declined
6. Euwe vs H Weenink  1-0211918VAS AmsterdamC53 Giuoco Piano
7. G Zittersteyn vs Euwe  0-1281918Arnhem-BD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
8. G Kroone vs Euwe 0-1351919Amsterdam m1C83 Ruy Lopez, Open
9. Euwe vs G Kroone 1-0431919Amsterdam m1C54 Giuoco Piano
10. G Kroone vs Euwe  ½-½161919Amsterdam m2C29 Vienna Gambit
11. Euwe vs G Kroone 1-0141919Amsterdam m2C56 Two Knights
12. G Kroone vs Euwe  1-0451919Amsterdam m1C68 Ruy Lopez, Exchange
13. Euwe vs G Kroone  0-1281919Amsterdam m2D34 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
14. G Kroone vs Euwe  1-0261919Amsterdam m1C63 Ruy Lopez, Schliemann Defense
15. Euwe vs G Kroone  ½-½261919Amsterdam m1D32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
16. G Kroone vs Euwe  ½-½381919Amsterdam m1C83 Ruy Lopez, Open
17. Euwe vs G Kroone 1-0451919Amsterdam m1D33 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
18. G Kroone vs Euwe 1-0161919Amsterdam m1C83 Ruy Lopez, Open
19. Euwe vs G Kroone 0-1141919Amsterdam m1B45 Sicilian, Taimanov
20. G Kroone vs Euwe  ½-½371919Amsterdam m2A84 Dutch
21. Euwe vs G Kroone 1-0201919Amsterdam m2C33 King's Gambit Accepted
22. Euwe vs J J O'Hanlon 1-0291919Hastings-CC54 Giuoco Piano
23. Euwe vs B van Trotsenburg 0-1191919HaarlemC29 Vienna Gambit
24. Euwe vs G Zittersteyn  1-0351919HaarlemB01 Scandinavian
25. Euwe vs E Palmer 1-0261919Hastings-CC55 Two Knights Defense
 page 1 of 67; games 1-25 of 1,675  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Euwe wins | Euwe loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: Happy Birthday Champ!

I find it kind of sad that no one has yet posted on Euwe's page today, and the day is almost over and he is today's POTD.

Nice photo, too. I wonder where it is from...

Premium Chessgames Member
  Arturo2nd: Euwe is perhaps my favorite player. A complete gentleman whose books provide excellent instruction. His tenure as FIDE president was eventful and he did much to promote the growth of the game at his own expense. As an amateur who played in his spare time it is remarkable that he could compete with the professionals. Some of his wins rank among the greatest games ever played. Alekhine may have drank too much during the match or simply had a crisis of form, but the two matches are of great theoretical importance for the Slav defense.

It is a little silly to talk of the "weakest world champion ever." All were great players in their time and would crush the vast majority of us mere mortals. So would non-champs like Rubinstein, Keres, Stein, and Korchnoi. Think about who the so called weak champions were: Smyslov, Petrosian, Spassky, Euwe, Steinitz, or Topalov. Kramnik is ranked 7th in the world today at the age of 42 and had an ELO rating of 2803 in September of this year.

"World Champions are distinguished by something special, otherwise the would simply not be champions....Champions - whether they be future or former - at any stage of their careers belong to the most interesting and distinctive of opponents." - Grandmaster Y.P. Geller

Mar-30-18  Monocle: I've never heard Smyslov called a "weak champion". He was clearly the best player in the world in the mid 1950s, and won two very strong candidates tournaments by clear margins.
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: I have often dreamed of having a career as a "weak champion".
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Well after the fact, even Botvinnik acknowledged that Smyslov was the strongest player in the world during the period mentioned by <Monocle>.
Mar-30-18  sudoplatov: Euwe was a true amateur in that he derived his living from other than chess play. He didn't really have time to study as much as Alekhine whereas, Capablanca didn't take time to do the study.
Mar-30-18  sudoplatov: Some lifetime winning percentages (which is strongly dependent on the opposition.)

Steinitz: 66.3
Lasker: 73.2
Capablanca: 74.0
Alekhine: 74.1
Euwe: 67.7
Botvinnik: 68.4
Smyslov: 61.7
Petrosian: 64.0
Spassky: 62.5
Fischer: 72.3
Karpov: 65.0
Kasparov: 69.8
Kramnik: 61.4
Khalifman: 59.1
Anand: 60.9
Ponomariov: 59.4
Kasimdzhanov 61.9
Topalov: 57.9
Carlsen: 62.3

A few also-rans:
Tarrasch: 63.3
Janowski: 55.4
Schlecter: 61.9
Rubinstein: 66.7
Marshall: 57.7
Keres: 70.1
Korchnoi: 62.4

Apr-02-18  Monocle: Was the name "Machgielis" ever at all common in the Netherlands? If you google it, almost all the results are about Euwe, but then again, I am only searching for English results.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Search for Dutch results and report back.
Apr-02-18  sneaky pete: Machgielis is a variation of Michael. It's very, very uncommon, less than 5 bearers found in 2014:
Feb-11-19  Chessonly: Mathematician + Grandmaster + World Champion by beating Alekhine.
May-20-19  sneaky pete: "Euwe was born in Watergraafsmeer in Amsterdam" in the biography is wrong.

Watergraafsmeer was an independent municipality in 1901. It became part of Amsterdam only as of January 1, 1921. The text should be something like "Euwe was born in Watergraafsmeer, near Amsterdam."

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: Fischer said of Euwe, "There's something wrong with that man. He's too normal."

Well, he even looks normal!

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: Either the pic is mirrored, or he wore a wedding band on his right hand
Jun-22-19  sneaky pete: I looked at several pictures in Münninghof's biography and yes, the ring is on his right hand.
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: <OhioChessFan: Either the pic is mirrored, or he wore a wedding band on his right hand>

<sneaky pete: I looked at several pictures in Münninghof's biography and yes, the ring is on his right hand.>

OK, either that isn't quite normal, or it's normal in The Netherlands.

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: Another hypothesis is that he lost his left ring finger in an alligator attack, but I find it a rather dubious explanation.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gregor Samsa Mendel:
Jun-23-19  sneaky pete: The convention in The Netherlands is to wear an engagement ring on the right hand and a wedding ring on the left one.

Page 484 of Münninghoff's 1976 Dutch edition of his Euwe biography shows a 1976 photograph of Euwe and his wife at the dinner table. Euwe wears a ring on his right hand ring finger and Mrs. Euwe idem on the left. My theory is that, on his wedding day, Euwe discovered that he couldn't get the engagement ring off. Since there was no alligator handy to bite it off, he deciced to leave the thing there and promote it to wedding ring. Dr. Euwe was always first and foremost a practical man and not half as normal as some people claim he was.

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: Well, keep in mind that Fischer was the one to pass the judgement.

Compared to Fischer, <most> people appear to be rather normal.

Aug-26-19  sneaky pete: For those still groping in the dark: there is no <r> in Euwe and the <eu> in his name sounds like the <oo> in room, as one can hear it pronounced in this educational video:
Sep-01-19  login:

Late noot

Modern Key piece (1936)

'Euwe was brought up a Reformed Protestant.'
Alexander Münninghoff, Max Euwe: The Biography, p.57

'Dutch Catholics wear their wedding bands on their left hand (and engagement ring right). Protestants on their right hand (and engagement ring left).' Alina, 2018

Roughly simplified

The King explains

Jul-29-20  Helios727: Would the "w" in Euwe's name be pronounced like an English "w" or an English "v" ?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Stonehenge: An English "w".

Google Translate does a pretty good job of pronouncing Euwe. Just translate Euwe from Dutch into another language and click on the speaker.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: < My theory is that, on his wedding day, Euwe discovered that he couldn't get the engagement ring off.>

I'm more interested in the wedding night. Did he get his rocks off?

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