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Vera Menchik
Number of games in database: 297
Years covered: 1927 to 1943

Overall record: +86 -136 =72 (41.5%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 3 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Slav (15) 
    D13 D15 D11 D10 D19
 Queen's Gambit Declined (15) 
    D30 D37 D35
 Queen's Pawn Game (14) 
    D00 D02 A46
 Orthodox Defense (10) 
    D52 D63 D55 D51 D68
 English (10) 
    A15 A14 A13 A12
 Semi-Slav (9) 
    D43 D46 D48 D45
With the Black pieces:
 French Defense (35) 
    C14 C13 C11 C00 C01
 Orthodox Defense (25) 
    D51 D63 D52 D60 D68
 French (16) 
    C13 C11 C00
 Queen's Gambit Declined (13) 
    D37 D30 D35 D31
 Classical French (13) 
 Queen's Pawn Game (11) 
    D02 D04 D00 A46 E00
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Menchik vs G A Thomas, 1932 1-0
   Menchik vs Graf-Stevenson, 1937 1-0
   F Lazard vs Menchik, 1929 0-1
   Menchik vs Colle, 1929 1-0
   Baratz vs Menchik, 1928 0-1
   Menchik vs A Becker, 1929 1-0
   Menchik vs G A Thomas, 1936 1-0
   Menchik vs Euwe, 1931 1-0
   Menchik vs E E Book, 1938 1-0
   J Rejfir vs Menchik, 1934 0-1

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Hastings 1929/30 (1929)
   Margate (1936)
   Margate (1937)
   London (1932)
   Hastings 1933/34 (1933)
   Hastings 1930/31 (1930)
   Margate (1935)
   Margate (1938)
   Podebrady (1936)
   Karlsbad (1929)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   1939 World (women) chess championship by gauer

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Vera Menchik
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(born Feb-16-1906, died Jun-27-1944, 38 years old) Russia (federation/nationality United Kingdom)
[what is this?]

Vera Francevna Menchik Stevenson was born to English and Czech parents, in Moscow. She learned the game at nine and, after her family settled in England in 1921, she began taking lessons from Geza Maroczy. Her positional style and endgame expertise netted her victories against several notable male players, among them Max Euwe, Samuel Reshevsky and Mir Sultan Khan. Albert Becker quipped that these and the other men she defeated were members of the "Menchik Club." She was married to Rufus Henry Streatfeild Stevenson.

Vera Menchik was Women's World Champion from 1927 until 1944, when a German air raid destroyed her London residence, killing her, her mother and her sister Olga Menchik.

An audiovisual documentary, prepared by User: jessicafischerqueen, can be found here:

Wikipedia article: Vera Menchik

Last updated: 2019-03-30 14:27:45

 page 1 of 12; games 1-25 of 297  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Menchik vs Koltanowski 0-1211927Hastings 1927/28 Major AE60 King's Indian Defense
2. S F Smith vs Menchik  1-0271927Hastings 1927/28 Major AB08 Pirc, Classical
3. J W Rivkine vs Menchik  1-0311927Hastings 1927/28 Major AC11 French
4. Menchik vs Hornerman  1-0321928Hastings /29E38 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, 4...c5
5. George Wright vs Menchik 0-1371928GBR-ch opB00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
6. Baratz vs Menchik 0-1261928Hastings 1927/28 Major AA01 Nimzovich-Larsen Attack
7. S F Smith vs Menchik  0-1281928Cheltenham MajorC11 French
8. R P Michell vs Menchik 0-1481928ScarboroughD63 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense
9. H Saunders vs Menchik  1-0431928ScarboroughA46 Queen's Pawn Game
10. Menchik vs F Schubert 1-0401928ScarboroughD35 Queen's Gambit Declined
11. Menchik vs Yates 1-0461928ScarboroughE60 King's Indian Defense
12. G A Thomas vs Menchik 1-0321928ScarboroughC11 French
13. Noteboom vs Menchik 1-0241928Hastings IID63 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense
14. Menchik vs G A Thomas 1-0421929Ramsgate schevD78 Neo-Grunfeld, 6.O-O c6
15. Tylor vs Menchik  ½-½361929Ramsgate schevB58 Sicilian
16. Menchik vs W Winter  ½-½231929Ramsgate schevE37 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
17. Yates vs Menchik  ½-½251929Ramsgate schevA48 King's Indian
18. Menchik vs R P Michell 1-0311929Ramsgate schevA09 Reti Opening
19. H E Price vs Menchik 0-1531929Ramsgate schevE73 King's Indian
20. E G Sergeant vs Menchik  ½-½341929Ramsgate schevC14 French, Classical
21. Menchik vs Znosko-Borovsky  ½-½131929ParisE11 Bogo-Indian Defense
22. Menchik vs J A Seitz  0-1511929ParisD30 Queen's Gambit Declined
23. G A Thomas vs Menchik 1-0201929ParisD11 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
24. Menchik vs Tartakower 0-1301929ParisA51 Budapest Gambit
25. Menchik vs J Cukierman  ½-½121929ParisD51 Queen's Gambit Declined
 page 1 of 12; games 1-25 of 297  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Menchik wins | Menchik loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 7 OF 7 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-25-18  zanzibar: Winter seems to suggest the percentage is better, or at least doesn't seem to mention the other 50%:

<In recent decades, historical chess biographies have seen a major advance in scholarship, with far greater recognition of the need for precise sources. The world’s leading publisher in the field is McFarland & Company, Inc., and any list of its best biographical works is likely to include the following:

• Stephen Davies: Lipschütz;
• Richard Forster: Burn;
• Stephen W. Gordon: Reshevsky;
• Tim Harding: Blackburne and Eminent Victorian Chess Players;
• John S. Hilbert: Hodges (with Peter P. Lahde), Kemeny, Leonard, Pollock (with O.G. Urcan), Shipley;
• Martin Frère Hillyer: Frère;
• Hans Renette: Bird;
• Miguel A. Sánchez: Capablanca;
• Leonard M. Skinner and Robert G.P. Verhoeven: Alekhine;
• Per Skjoldager and Jørn Erik Nielsen: Nimzowitsch;
• Olimpiu G. Urcan: Albin, Finn, Kaufmann (with P.M. Braunwarth), Pollock (with J.S. Hilbert);
• Joost van Winsen: Mason;
• Aidan Woodger: Fine;
• Fabrizio Zavatarelli: Kolisch.

C.N. 10661

Gotta admit, just from my limited viewing of these titles, they're pretty darn good.

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: You can say that again!
Jan-25-18  zanzibar: ... they're pretty darn good.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Retireborn: I put an order in for the Woodger book the other day. It had better be Fine!
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Is there an A H Coe in here?
Jan-26-18  zanzibar: <<RB> ... It had better be Fine!>

About Fine isn't good enuff?!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Retireborn: <z> The book certainly has a fine old price on it! I'm hoping to get a few more annotated games for my collection, though.
Jul-20-18  swampdragon: I have more of these than I should. The Alekhine book is marvelous, a true desert island book, and the Blackburne book isn't far behind.
Premium Chessgames Member
  sachistu: I'm afraid I'm going to have to fall in the camp of <TheFocus>. I recently acquired the Tanner book, and although I probably should reserve judgment until I go through it in its entirety, what I have seen so far is not favorable.

For example, on page 35, the score from game 4 from the first match with Edith Price (April 20-23,1925) is badly mangled. Black's 38th is impossible, and it's not clear exactly how to reconstruct it. By the way, the book gives the ECO code of A16 with the description of French, Classical Variation! Clearly, the opening was C13.

Next, on page 36, from the 2nd match, played in June, the book gives the date as October 6th! (June 10th seems much more likely.) Moreover, the score is also mangled as it evidently leaves out the actual 42nd move-pair (42.Qf5 Rc8). As given, the score makes little sense, and then goes completely haywire on move 45. Tanner cites the Times Literary Supplement, but gives no day, month or year. In fairness to Tanner, he does give complete source references e.g. day, mth, yr, and page in other instances.

In scanning through the game source references, I was surprised (and disappointed) to see numerous references to and No offense intended for this site (CG), but using such a reference does not suggest a very exhaustive source search.

In other cases, Tanner cites some of Tony Gillam's works, but does not include the actual source used in Tony's books. Using a 2nd or 3rd hand source reference does not create a favorable impression.

So far, not so good. I expected a better book. Anyone using the games scores from the book should check them carefully, but wasn't that the author's job??

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <Crowley’s acerbic side is also much in evidence in his diaries of the 1930s, the opening of the National Chess Centre in November 1939 occasioning a characteristic piece of rudery, this time at the expense of Vera Menchik: “Stop! Look! & listen! ere you enter the grand new National Chess Centre. For there you will find as manag’ress The most unGodly cow in chess.”>

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: The British press actively sought to downplay Vera's achievements.

You will notice that not very many of her games appeared in British chess periodicals. This was a deliberate thing.

Sep-27-18  Z truth: <<Focus> The British press actively sought to downplay Vera's achievements.>

Is that also an opinion appearing in the historical literature too?

[Meaning that other historian have expressed the same opinion.]


Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <Z truth: <<Focus> The British press actively sought to downplay Vera's achievements.>

<Is that also an opinion appearing in the historical literature too?>

Yes, it is. In Tanner's book, pg. 21, he presents E. S. Tinsley's letter to GM Eliskases addressing this. (I'm not typing out the letter. This is not the only reference I have to this downplaying, but I am not going to present my sources here, because I plan to make use of them elsewhere.)

Look through British Chess Magazine and see how her results are covered. In one tournament, which she won, none of her games appear. I believe second place had 2 or 3 presented.

Sep-27-18  Z truth: <Focus> I understand, thanks for the info.

I do wonder if there was some element unique to Menchik in particular, or if it was just the general downplaying of any/all female accomplishments.


Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <Z truth: <Focus> I understand, thanks for the info.

I do wonder if there was some element unique to Menchik in particular, or if it was just the general downplaying of any/all female accomplishments.>

That would be an interesting topic to explore!! Perhaps her case is more noticeable because of her fame.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Dijon15: I wonder if this line in the bio could be expanded:

"Albert Becker quipped that these and the other men she defeated were members of the "Menchik Club."

In 1929, at the Carlsbad tournament, Viennese master Albert Becker ridiculed her entry by proposing that any player whom she defeated should be granted membership in the Vera Menchik Club. In that very tournament, Becker himself became the first member.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <The British press actively sought to downplay Vera's achievements.>

The chess press, the general press or both? And was this strategy the result of an actual conspiracy or was it an <incredible meeting of minds, a consensus -- mind reading by a far-flung bureaucracy>?

Premium Chessgames Member
  sachistu: It's embarrassing, but the error I indicated in the 4th game of the first Price-Menchik match was caused by a transcription error on my part (on move 20). The score as given in the book is apparently correct (or at least plausible), even though Tanner gives no source for the game. The ECO code is incorrect, but that's a minor error.

While Tanner is 'off the hook' on that item, I stand by my original comments regarding the book in general. I found it very disappointing.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: The Czech republic honors Vera Menchik with a postage stamp


The bio here states that she was born in Moscow to Czech parents then moved to England at age nine, and of course died in a London air raid in 1944. Did she never actually live in Czechoslovakia?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Paint My Dragon: <HMM: Czech parents> It actually says 'English and Czech' parents above.

Her mother was English and was able to get the family some assistance at the British Consul (for a move to Hastings) when things went badly wrong for them in Moscow. The 1917 revolution had resulted in them losing part of their house and the father's business.

Vera never lived in Czechoslovakia, but sometimes visited her father in Carlsbad, after her parents separated.

Nov-11-18  zanzibar: (According to wiki...)

She was born in Moscow (her Czech father was an estate-manager of several Russian properties, her British mother was a governess). But despite her parents backgrounds it seems she only learned one language as a child, and it wasn't Czech or English:

<As Vera spoke only Russian she hesitated to go to the local chess club, but at last on 18 March 1923 she joined the Hastings Chess Club and began to take lessons from John Drewitt. Then she became a pupil of the grandmaster Géza Maróczy. During 1923 she played in several team matches.>


Premium Chessgames Member
  Dijon15: I ask once again. I wonder if this line in the bio could be expanded:

'Albert Becker quipped that these and the other men she defeated were members of the "Menchik Club."'

Proposed expanded text. "In 1929, at the Carlsbad tournament, Viennese master Albert Becker ridiculed her entry by proposing that any player whom she defeated should be granted membership in the Vera Menchik Club. In that very tournament, Becker himself became the first member."

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: The matter is not as clearcut as you suggest:
Feb-16-19  Ironmanth: RIP Vera.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: < Feb-16-13 Sneaky: I propose that from now on, February 16th is known as Vera Menchik day. >

Happy Vera Menchik Day then? :)

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