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Alexander Alekhine
George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress)
Number of games in database: 2,086
Years covered: 1903 to 1946

Overall record: +877 -165 =438 (74.1%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 606 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (161) 
    C68 C78 C77 C62 C86
 Orthodox Defense (156) 
    D51 D63 D67 D50 D61
 French Defense (106) 
    C01 C07 C11 C15 C13
 Queen's Pawn Game (103) 
    D02 D00 A46 A40 D05
 Sicilian (97) 
    B20 B40 B30 B32 B62
 Queen's Gambit Declined (96) 
    D06 D30 D37 D35 D31
With the Black pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (104) 
    C78 C79 C77 C68 C71
 Queen's Pawn Game (68) 
    D02 A46 A40 A50 E10
 French Defense (60) 
    C01 C11 C12 C02 C00
 Nimzo Indian (39) 
    E33 E34 E22 E23 E21
 French (33) 
    C11 C12 C13 C00 C10
 Slav (29) 
    D11 D18 D17 D15 D12
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Bogoljubov vs Alekhine, 1922 0-1
   Reti vs Alekhine, 1925 0-1
   Alekhine vs Nimzowitsch, 1930 1-0
   Alekhine vs Lasker, 1934 1-0
   Alekhine vs Yates, 1922 1-0
   Gruenfeld vs Alekhine, 1923 0-1
   Alekhine vs Vasic, 1931 1-0
   Capablanca vs Alekhine, 1927 0-1
   Alekhine vs Capablanca, 1927 1-0
   Alekhine vs O Tenner, 1911 1-0

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: [what is this?]
   Capablanca - Alekhine World Championship Match (1927)
   Alekhine - Bogoljubov World Championship Match (1929)
   Alekhine - Bogoljubov World Championship Rematch (1934)
   Alekhine - Euwe World Championship Match (1935)
   Euwe - Alekhine World Championship Rematch (1937)

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Stockholm (1912)
   All Russian Amateur (1909)
   Scheveningen (1913)
   Mannheim (1914)
   Karlsbad (1923)
   Baden-Baden (1925)
   San Remo (1930)
   Zurich (1934)
   Bradley Beach (1929)
   Bled (1931)
   Berne (1932)
   Semmering (1926)
   Munich (1941)
   Bad Pistyan (1922)
   Karlsbad (1911)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Alex Alek Alex Alek Fredthebear Alex Alek Alex by fredthebear
   Match Alekhine! by amadeus
   Match Alekhine! by chessgain
   Alekhine - My Best Games of Chess 1908-1937 by StoppedClock
   My Best Games of Chess (Alekhine) by daveyjones01
   My Best Games of Chess 1908-1937 by Sergio0106
   My Best Games of Chess (Alekhine) by Qindarka
   My Best Games of Chess 1908-1937 by smarticecream
   My Best Games of Chess (Alekhine) by MSteen
   My Best Games of Chess (Alekhine) by SantGG
   Alekhine - My Best Games of Chess 1908-1937 by Incremental
   My Best Games of Chess (Alekhine) by brucemubayiwa
   book: My Best Games of Chess (Alekhine) by Baby Hawk
   My Best Games of Chess: 1908 -1937 - Alekhine by vantheanh

   Capablanca vs Tartakower, 1924
   Reti vs Bogoljubov, 1924
   Botvinnik vs Vidmar, 1936
   Alekhine vs Botvinnik, 1936
   Alekhine vs K Junge, 1942

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Alexander Alekhine
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(born Oct-31-1892, died Mar-24-1946, 53 years old) Russia (federation/nationality France)
[what is this?]

Alexander Alexandrovich Alekhine was the fourth World Champion, reigning from 1927 to 1935, and from 1937 until his death in 1946. He is the founding inspiration for the Soviet School of Chess that came to dominate world chess after World War II.


Alekhine was born in Moscow, on 31 October 1892 (October 19th on the Russian calendar). Circa 1898, he was taught the game of chess by his older brother, Alexei Alexandrovich Alekhine (1888-1939). His life and chess career were highly eventful and controversial, spiced with two World Wars, including internments by the Germans and the Soviet Cheka (by whom he was marked for execution as a spy) at either end of WWI; subjection to suasion by, and suspicions of collaboration with, the Nazis in WWII; the deaths of his brother, Alexei, in 1939 and his sister, Varvara, in 1944; four marriages; five world championship matches; alcoholism; poor health during WWII and conspicuously failed World Championship negotiations with Capablanca. His eventful life and career terminated in strange circumstances in Portugal just hours after the details of the Alekhine-Botvinnik World Championship match were finalised.

Despite – or perhaps because of this - Alekhine played some of the finest games the world has ever seen. His meticulous preparation, work ethic and dynamic style of play provided the founding inspiration for the Soviet School of Chess despite the fact that soon after he won the world title, his anti-Bolshevik commentaries marked him as an enemy of the Soviet Union until after his death.


1900-1910 By 1902, at the age of 10, young Alekhine was playing correspondence chess sponsored by Shakhmatnoe Obozrenie, Russia's only chess magazine at the time, and won the 16th and 17th Shakhmatnoe Obozrenie Correspondence Chess Tournaments in 1906 and 1910. In 1908, his win at the Moscow Chess Club's Spring Tournament, at the age of fifteen was followed by winning the Autumn Tournament a few months later, a feat which earned him the right to play in the All-Russian Amateur Tournament in 1909. The youngest player in the tournament at the age of sixteen, he won the event held in St. Petersburg (+12 -2 =2), thereby earning the Russian Master title and becoming acknowledged as one of Russia’s top players. His prize was a cut glass Sevres vase that was donated by Czar Nicholas II, and which became his most prized and life-long possession. The year 1910 saw Alekhine win the Moscow Chess Club Autumn and Winter Tournaments, give his first simultaneous exhibition (+15 -1 =6) and participate in the master section of the 17th German Chess Congress in Hamburg, coming equal 7th with Fyodor Ivanovich Dus Chotimirsky. Upon graduating from Polivanov Grammar School in July 1910, he enrolled in and started studying law at Moscow's Imperial University, but after a few months he transferred to the St. Petersburg School of Jurisprudence (where he eventually graduated in 1914).

1911-1920 In 1911, his success at winning some events at the Moscow Chess Club earned him the right to play Board 1 for the Moscow Chess Club in a match against the St. Petersburg Chess Club, during which he drew his game with Eugene Aleksandrovich Znosko-Borovsky. Late in 1911, he played in the 2nd International Tournament in Carlsbad and placed equal 8th, behind Richard Teichmann, Akiba Rubinstein, Carl Schlechter, Georg Rotlewi, Frank James Marshall, Aron Nimzowitsch, and Milan Vidmar. By 1912, Alekhine was the strongest chess player in the St. Petersburg Chess Society, winning the St. Petersburg Chess Club Winter Tournament in March and the 1st Category Tournament of the St. Petersburg Chess Club in April. His international successes began in 1912 when he won the 8th Nordic championship held in Stockholm with 8.5/10, 1.5 points clear of Erich Cohn, but then recorded his only minus score of his career later in 1912, when he won 7 and lost 8 games in the All Russian Masters Tournament in Vilna, placing equal 6th behind Rubinstein, Ossip Bernstein, Stefan Levitsky, Nimzovich, and Alexander Flamberg. In 1913, he tied for 1st with Grigory Levenfish in the St. Petersburg Masters Quadrangular Tournament, and then won the 40th Anniversary of the Nederlandschen Schaakbond Commemorative Tournament in Scheveningen with a score of 11.5 out of 13 ahead of a field that included David Janowski, Gyula Breyer, Fred Dewhirst Yates, Edward Lasker and Jacques Mieses. Alekhine's first major success in a Russian tournament came when placed equal first with Aron Nimzowitsch in the All-Russian Masters Tournament at St. Petersburg in early 1914; the playoff was drawn with one win each and they were declared co-winners enabling both to qualify for the 'tournament of champions' in St. Petersburg which was held a few months later. At St. Petersburg he placed 3rd behind Emanuel Lasker and Jose Raul Capablanca. This was the tournament at which Czar Nicholas II was reputed to have awarded the title of Grandmaster of Chess to the top five place getters: Lasker, Capablanca, Alekhine, Siegbert Tarrasch and Marshall. He graduated from the Emperor's College of Jurisprudence on May 16, 1914, finishing 9th in a graduating class of 46 and in July 1914, Alekhine tied for 1st with Marshall at the International Tournament in the Cafe Continental in Paris. (1)

A few weeks later, Alekhine was leading at Mannheim, Germany with nine wins, one draw and one loss, when World War I broke out and the tournament was stopped with six rounds left to play. However this did not prevent Alekhine from receiving the prize money for first place, some 1100 marks. After the declaration of war against Russia, Alekhine and other Russian players, including Efim Bogoljubov, were interned in Rastatt, Germany. After some drama, he was released several weeks later and made his way back to Russia, where he helped raise money to aid the Russian chess players who remained interned in Germany by giving simultaneous exhibitions. Soon after he won the Moscow Chess Club Championship in December 1915, his mother died after which he was posted to the Austrian front where he served in the Union of Cities (Red Cross) on as an attaché in charge of a mobile dressing station. In September, while hospitalised at the Cloisters military hospital at Tarnopol, he played five people in a blindfold display, winning all games. After leaving hospital, Alekhine returned to Moscow, where he was decorated for valour. In 1918, chess activity which had been briefly banned under the new Bolshevik regime picked up under Alexander Ilyin-Zhenevsky, the Chief Government Commissar for General Military Organization, who encouraged and organized chess activities in Russia as part of the campaign to promote culture and education in the Red Army. In 1918, Alekhine worked at the Moscow Criminal Investigation Department as an examining magistrate. In June 1919, while in Odessa, Alekhine was briefly imprisoned and marked for execution by the Cheka, as they suspected him of being a spy due to some documents that were left in his hotel room by a previous occupant. He was released, apparently because of an intercession of a Jewish chess player Yakov S Vilner, who was also the 1918 Odessa chess champion (see paragraph below concerning Alekhine’s purported anti-semitism). (2) A few months later in Moscow in January 1920, he made a clean score in the Moscow City Chess Championship with 11/11, and in October 1920, he won the first USSR Championship, his last tournament in Russia.

1921-30 Alekhine’s permanent departure from Russia in 1921 began a period of chess dominance matched only by Capablanca. Between leaving Russia in 1921 and winning the World Championship in 1927, Alekhine won or shared first prize in most of the tournaments in which he competed, including Budapest, L’Aia (in Italy), Triberg, and The Hague in 1921, Hastings and Karlsbad in 1922, the 16th British Chess Federation Congress at Portsmouth in 1923, Baden-Baden and the Five Masters Tournament in Paris in 1925, Hastings (1925-26), Birmingham, Scarborough and Buenos Aires in 1926, and Kecskemét 1927. Alekhine was 2nd or equal 2nd in the Breyer Memorial Tournament in Pistyan and at the 15th British Chess Federation Congress (known as the London victory tournament) in 1922, at Margate, Semmering, and the Dresden Chess Club 50th Year Jubilee Congress in 1926, and at New York in early 1927.

1931-38 Alekhine dominated chess for almost a decade after his title win. Tournament victories were at San Remo 1930 (+13 =2, 3½ points ahead of Nimzowitsch) and Bled 1931 (+15 =11, 5½ points ahead of Bogoljubov), London 1932, Swiss Championship in Berne in 1932, Pasadena 1932, Mexico City (=1st with Isaac Kashdan), Paris 1933, Rotterdam 1934, Swiss Championship in Zurich in 1934, and Orebro in 1935. In the eighteen months after losing the title to Max Euwe in 1935, Alekhine played in ten tournaments. His results were equal first with Paul Keres at Bad Nauheim in May 1936, first at Dresden in June 1936, second to Salomon Flohr at Poděbrady in July 1936, sixth behind Capablanca, Mikhail Botvinnik, Reuben Fine, Samuel Reshevsky, and Euwe at Nottingham in August 1936 (including his first game – which he lost - against Capablanca since the title match), third behind Euwe and Fine at Amsterdam in October 1936, equal first with Salo Landau at the Amsterdam Quadrangular, also in October 1936, first at the Hastings New Year tournament of 1936/37 ahead of Fine and Erich Eliskases, first at the Nice Quadrangular in March 1937, third behind Keres and Fine at Margate in April 1937; equal fourth with Keres, behind Flohr, Reshevsky and Vladimir Petrov, at Kemeri in June–July 1937 and equal second with Bogoljubow behind Euwe at the Bad Nauheim Quadrangular in July 1937. After regaining his title from Euwe, 1938 saw Alekhine win or come equal first at Montevideo, Margate, and Plymouth before placing =4th with Euwe and Samuel Reshevsky behind Paul Keres, Reuben Fine, and Mikhail Botvinnik, ahead of Capablanca and Flohr, at the historic might-have-been Candidates-style AVRO tournament in the Netherlands. The AVRO (meaning Algemene Verenigde Radio Omroep or General United Radio Broadcasting) tournament, the strongest tournament ever until that time, was held in Holland on November 2-27, with the top eight players in the world participating in a double-round affair. Alekhine finished ahead of Capablanca for the first time, defeating him in their second encounter. Flohr, the official FIDE-endorsed challenger to Alekhine in the next world championship match came in last place without a single win in 14 rounds.

1939-1946 Alekhine was playing first board for France in the 8th Chess Olympiad at Buenos Aires 1939 when World War II broke out in Europe and as team captain of the French team, he refused to allow his team to play Germany. Shortly after the 1939 Olympiad, Alekhine won all his games at the tournaments in Montevideo (7/7) and Caracas (10/10). Alekhine returned to Europe in January 1940 and after a short stay in Portugal, he enlisted in the French army as a sanitation officer. After the fall of France in June 1940, he fled to Marseille and tried to emigrate to America but his visa request was denied. He returned to France to protect his wife, Grace Alekhine, an American Jewess, whom the Nazis had refused an exit visa, and her French assets, a castle at Saint Aubin-le-Cauf, near Dieppe, but at the cost of agreeing to cooperate with the Nazis.

He played in no tournaments in 1940.

During World War II, Alekhine played in 16 tournaments, winning nine and sharing first place in four more. In 1941, he tied for second with Erik Ruben Lundin in the Munich 1941 chess tournament, won by Gosta Stoltz the reception at this event was attended by Josef Goebbels and Dr. Hans Frank. Also in 1941, he tied for first with Paul Felix Schmidt at Cracow/Warsaw, and won at Madrid. In 1942, Alekhine won at Salzburg, Munich, Warsaw/Lublin/Cracow and tied for 1st with Klaus Junge at Prague, the latter having been sponsored by Germany’s Nazi Youth Association; these tournaments were organised by Alfred Ehrhardt Post, the Chief Executive of the Nazi-controlled Grossdeutscher Schachbund ("Greater Germany Chess Federation") - Keres, Bogoljubov, Gösta Stoltz, and several other strong masters in Nazi-occupied Europe also played in such events. In 1943, he drew a mini-match (+1 -1) with Bogoljubov in Warsaw, won in Prague and was equal first with Keres in Salzburg. By 1943 Alekhine was spending all his time in Spain and Portugal as the German representative to chess events. In 1944, he won a match against Ramon Rey Ardid in Zaragoza (+1 -0 =3; April 1944) and later won at Gijon when prodigy Arturo Pomar Salamanca, aged thirteen, achieved a draw, the youngest person ever to do so with a world champion in a full tournament setting, a record that stands as of 2014. After the event, Alekhine took an interest in the development of Pomar and devoted a section of his last book to him. In 1945, he won at Madrid, tied for second place with Antonio Angel Medina Garcia at Gijón behind Antonio Rico Gonzalez, won at Sabadell, tied for first with Lopez Nunez in Almeria, won in Melilla and took second in Caceres behind Francisco Lupi. Alekhine's last match was with Lupi at Estoril, Portugal near Lisbon, in January 1946 which he won (+2 -1 =1).

In the autumn of 1945, Alekhine moved to Estoril. In September, the British Chess Federation sent Alekhine an invitation to tournaments in London and Hastings. Alekhine accepted the invitations by cable from Madrid. In October, the United States Chess Federation (USCF) protested the invitation of Alekhine to the victory tournament in London. The USCF refused to take part in any projects or tournaments involving Alekhine. Protesters included Reuben Fine and Arnold Denker. In November, Alekhine was in the Canary Islands giving chess exhibitions and giving lessons to Pomar. Also in November 1945, a telegram arrived, signed by W. Hatton-Ward of the Sunday Chronicle, the paper that was organizing the victory tournament in London that, due to a protest from the United States Chess Federation, the invitations to tournaments in England had been cancelled. Shortly after, Alekhine had a heart attack. In December, Alekhine played his last tournament, at Caceres, Spain.

World Championship

In November 1921, Alekhine challenged Jose Capablanca to a world championship match. A match was suggested for the United States in 1922, but neither this nor a candidate match between Alekhine and Rubinstein in March 1922 to determine a challenger took place. In August 1922, Alekhine played in the 15th British Chess Federation Congress (known as the London victory tournament). The participants of the tournament signed the so-called London agreement on August 9, 1922, which were the regulations for world championship matches, first proposed by Capablanca. Signatories included Alekhine, Capablanca, Bogoljubow, Geza Maroczy, Reti, Rubinstein, Savielly Tartakower and Vidmar. Clause one of the London Rules stated that the match to be one of six games up, drawn games not to count.

After Alekhine won a tournament at Buenos Aires in October 1926, he again challenged Capablanca. The Argentine government undertook to guarantee the finances of the match and in New York Capablanca, Alekhine, and the Argentine organizers finally reached an agreement about the world championship match. The winner would be the first person with six wins, draws not counting. Capablanca accepted the challenge and began the Capablanca - Alekhine World Championship Match (1927) in Buenos Aires on September 16, 1927. All but two of the games in Buenos Aires took place behind closed doors at the Argentine Chess Club, with no spectators or photographs. The other two took place at the Jockey Club but were moved to the Argentine Chess Club due to excessive noise. (3) Assisted by superior physical and theoretical preparations for the match – including a thorough study of Capablanca’s games - Alekhine became the 4th World Chess Champion after defeating Capablanca by +6 -3 =25 in the longest title match ever played till that time. The only longer title match since then was the Karpov - Kasparov World Championship Match (1984).

On July 29, 1929, Alekhine and Bogoljubow signed an agreement in Wiesbaden for a match. The rules differed from the London Rules (6 wins, draws not counting) with the number of maximum games limited to 30 games, but the winner still had to score at least 6 wins. The match was not played under the auspices of FIDE or the London Rules. He and Bogoljubow played the Alekhine - Bogoljubov World Championship Match (1929) at Wiesbaden (first 8 games), Heidelberg (3 games), Berlin (6 games), The Hague, and Amsterdam from September 6 through November 12, 1929. Alekhine won with 11 wins, 9 draws, and 5 losses. In April-June, 1934 Alekhine again played and defeated Bogoljubow in the Alekhine - Bogoljubov World Championship Rematch (1934) in Germany with the score of 8 wins, 15 draws and 3 losses. He then accepted a challenge from Max Euwe.

On October 3, 1935 the Alekhine - Euwe World Championship Match (1935) began in Zandvoort, with 10,000 guilders ($6,700) to go to the winner. On December 15, 1935 Euwe had won with 9 wins, 13 draws, and 8 losses. This was the first world championship match to officially have seconds to help in analysis during adjournments. Salo Landau, a Dutch Jew, was Alekhine's second and Geza Maroczy was Euwe's second. From October 5 to December 7, 1937, Alekhine played Euwe for the world championship match in various Dutch cities (The Hague, Rotterdam, Haarlem, Groningen, and Amsterdam). Alekhine won the Euwe - Alekhine World Championship Rematch (1937), becoming the first world champion to regain the world title in a return match, winning 10 games, drawing 11, and losing 4.

Unfinished Championship negotiations

There were two sets of unfinished negotiations that featured prominently during Alekhine’s reign: the long awaited rematch with Capablanca and the extended negotiations for a match with Botvinnik.

On December 12, 1927, in Buenos Aires after their match finished, Alekhine and Capablanca agreed to play a rematch within the next year, under the exact conditions as the first match. In 1929, after winning at Bradley Beach, New Jersey, Bradley Beach offered to host a Capablanca-Alekhine return match, but Alekhine refused and instead accepted the challenge from Efim Bogoljubow. Subsequently, Alekhine not only avoided a return match with Capablanca, but refused to play in any event that included the ex-champion. (4) Capablanca was not invited to San Remo 1930 and Bled 1931 for this reason, a situation which continued until the Nottingham tournament of 1936, after Alekhine had lost the title to Max Euwe. During this tournament, Capablanca defeated Alekhine in their individual encounter. Negotiations continued in various forms until 1940, but the rematch never occurred, despite four title matches being played in 1929, 1934, 1935 and 1937, generating bitter denunciations from Capablanca.

FIDE had tried exercising its limited power by short listing Flohr and Capablanca respectively to challenge Alekhine, but Alekhine declared that he would not be bound by FIDE’s plans. After the AVRO tournament of 1938, which had originally been intended by FIDE as a Candidate-style tournament to produce a challenger for the title, both Botvinnik and Keres issued Alekhine with challenges with Flohr's challenge probably lapsing because of his last placing at AVRO. All three negotiations were stalled or derailed by World War II. The Soviet annexation of Estonia forced Keres’ withdrawal from negotiations in favour of Botvinnik, while Capablanca died in 1942. In 1946 within hours of the Alekhine-Botvinnik match arrangements having been completed, and a venue (in Britain) for the match finally agreed to, Alekhine was found dead in Room 43 of the Estoril Hotel in Lisbon, Portugal under unsettling circumstances.

Simultaneous exhibitions

Alekhine once reminisced: "I was only 9-years old, just after the turn of the century, when I saw the great American Pillsbury play 22 boards blindfolded in Moscow.", an experience that left a deep impression on the budding chess player.

Alekhine played many simuls during the six years leading up to his world championship match in 1927, using them as fundraisers to meet the stiff conditions Capablanca had set for the challenge. He continued to play simuls, including blindfold and match simuls throughout the 1930s. In New York, on April 27, 1924, Alekhine broke the world record for simultaneous blindfold play when he took on 26 opponents, winning 16, losing 5, and drawing 5 after twelve hours of play. He broke his own record, in early 1925, by playing 28 games in Paris, winning 22, drawing 3, and losing 3. In the early 1930s, Alekhine travelled the world giving simultaneous exhibitions, including Hawaii, Tokyo, Manila, Singapore, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) in what subsequently became known as Alekhine's Magical Mystery Tour. In 1932, Alekhine played against 300 opponents in Paris grouped in 60 teams of 5 players each, winning 37, losing 6, and drawing 17. In July 1933, Alekhine played 32 people blindfold simultaneously (again breaking his own world record) at the Century of Progress Exhibition in Chicago (World's Fair), winning 19, drawing 9, and losing 4 games in 14 hours.

Team play

Alekhine played first board for France in five Olympiads: Hamburg 1930 (+9-0=0 on their top board **), Prague 1931, Folkestone 1933, Warsaw 1935, and Buenos Aires 1939. He won the gold medal for first board in 1931 and 1933, and silver medals for first board in 1935 (Flohr winning gold) and 1939 (Capablanca winning gold). Although he didn’t win a medal in Hamburg because of insufficient games played, he won 9/9 and the brilliancy prize for the game Stahlberg vs Alekhine, 1930. His overall game score for the five Olympiads was +43 =27 -2.


Several openings and opening variations are named after Alekhine, including Alekhine's Defence. Alekhine is known for his fierce and imaginative attacking style, combined with great positional and endgame skill. He also composed some endgame studies. Alekhine wrote over twenty books on chess, mostly annotated editions of the games in a major match or tournament, plus collections of his best games between 1908 and 1937.


Alekhine was married four times, first to Russian baroness Anna von Sewergin in 1920 to legitimise their daughter Valentina, and divorced her some months later. Valentina died circa 1985 in Vienna. In 1921, he married Anneliese Ruegg, Swiss journalist, Red Cross nurse and Comintern delegate and they had a son in 1922, named after him. Young Alex Aljechin, as he came to be known, was under the guardianship of Erwin Voellmy for some years and in later years, he made regular appearances as a spectator in Dortmund until about 2005. Alekhine divorced Ruegg in 1924. In 1924, Alekhine met Nadezhda Semyenovna Fabritskaya Vasiliev, widow of the Russian General V. Vasiliev, and married her in 1925, divorcing her in 1934. In 1934, he married his fourth and final wife, Grace Wishaar, a wealthy US-born British citizen. Alexander and Grace Alekhine – for whom this was also her fourth marriage - remained married until he died.

His elder brother Alexei Alekhine was also a keen player.

Accusations of Anti-Semitism

Alekhine was accused of anti-Semitism following a series of articles that were published in 1941 within Nazi-occupied France in the Pariser Zeitung and in the Deutsche Schachzeitung under his by-line. In April 1941, he tried to go to America, via Lisbon, but was denied a visa apparently because of these articles. Controversy over whether they were a result of genuine collaboration, or whether he was forced to write these articles under Nazi coercion, or whether articles written by him were changed by Nazi editing for publication continues to this day. The evidence against him includes hand-written manuscripts of the articles that were allegedly found after his death, but their existence remains unsubstantiated. The evidence that he was not anti-semitic includes a lifetime of friendly dealings with Jewish chess players (including his second at the 1935 world championship, Salo Landau); friends, and possibly his fourth wife, Grace Alekhine, to whom he was married for 12 years until his death; and Yakov Vilner who interceded on his behalf to save him from execution by the Soviet Cheka in 1918. Grace defended her late husband, asserting that he refused privileges offered by the Nazis.


“He played gigantic conceptions, full of outrageous and unprecedented ideas. ... he had great imagination; he could see more deeply into a situation than any other player in chess history. ... It was in the most complicated positions that Alekhine found his grandest concepts.” - <Bobby Fischer>

“Alexander Alekhine is the first luminary among the others who are still having the greatest influence on me. I like his universality, his approach to the game, his chess ideas. I am sure that the future belongs to Alekhine chess.” - <Garry Kasparov>

"He is a poet who creates a work of art out of something which would hardly inspire another man to send home a picture postcard." - <Max Euwe>

"Firstly, self-knowledge; secondly, a firm comprehension of my opponent's strength and weakness; thirdly, a higher aim – ... artistic and scientific accomplishments which accord our chess equal rank with other arts." - <Alexander Alekhine>


Alekhine also played at least 40 recorded consultation chess games including the following partnerships: Alekhine / Amateur, Alekhine / B Reilly, Alekhine / Trompowsky, Alekhine / G Esser, Alexander Alekhine / Leon Monosson, Alexander Alekhine / Efim Bogoljubov, Alekhine / Walter Oswaldo Cruz, Alekhine / O Cruz, Alekhine / Blumenfeld, Alekhine / Bernstein, Alekhine / Znosko-Borovsky, Alekhine / H Frank, Alekhine / V Rozanov, Alekhine / D N Pavlov, Alekhine / Nenarokov, Alekhine / Tselikov, Alekhine / Tereshchenk, Alekhine / Zimmerman, Alekhine / Victor Kahn, A Alekhine/G Barron/E Hanger, Alekhine / Johannes van den Bosch, [bad player ID, Alekhine / R Wahrburg, Alekhine / Dr. Fischer, Alekhine / J Budowsky, Alekhine / Allies, & Alekhine / Koltanowski Blindfold Team ].

Sources and References

(1) 1912-14 results:; (2) Wikipedia article: Yakov Vilner; (3) There is correspondence between Alekhine and Capablanca that suggests that Alekhine was open to a rematch and actually accepted a challenge from Capablanca in 1930, but that it fell through because of difficulties on Capablanca's side: Max Euwe (kibitz #167). (4) Shaburov Yuri: Alexander Alekhine. The Undefeated Champion (Publisher: Moscow. 'The Voice', 1992 256pp)

- Kevin Spraggett ’s theory about Alekhine’s death: and;

- 2006 Chessbase article about Alekhine's death:;

- two Russian articles that include commentary on Alekhine's death: <1>: (Russian language) - Google translation is as follows: and <2> (Russian language) - Google translation as follows:;

- Bill Wall on Alekhine:;

- Playlist of 29 games analysed by <Kingscrusher>:

- Discussion about literature about Alekhine: and a list of books about Alekhine

Wikipedia article: Alexander Alekhine , (**) Wikipedia article: World records in chess

Last updated: 2017-11-26 13:23:31

 page 1 of 84; games 1-25 of 2,085  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. P Vinogradov vs Alekhine 1-0201903Shakmatnoe Obozrenie 7th corr0304C21 Center Game
2. N Urusov vs Alekhine 0-1331905Shakhmatnoe Obozrenie Correspondence Tournament No. 16C33 King's Gambit Accepted
3. Alekhine vs R Geish Ollisevich 1-022190516th Correspondence TournamentC39 King's Gambit Accepted
4. Alekhine vs A Gize ½-½41190516th Correspondence TournamentC33 King's Gambit Accepted
5. Alekhine vs A Andriyashev 1-0301905crC38 King's Gambit Accepted
6. V Zhukovsky vs Alekhine 0-1201905crC25 Vienna
7. Alekhine vs N Urusov 1-0321905Shakhmatnoe Obozrenie Correspondence Tournament No. 16C25 Vienna
8. Alekhine vs V Manko 1-0241905Shakhmatnoe Obozrenie theme 16th corrC25 Vienna
9. A Gize vs Alekhine 0-129190516th Correspondence TournamentC33 King's Gambit Accepted
10. V Manko vs Alekhine 1-0331905Shakhmatnoe Obozrenie theme 16th corrC52 Evans Gambit
11. V Manko vs Alekhine 1-0361906Earl tourn corrC52 Evans Gambit
12. Shulga vs Alekhine 0-1321906?C41 Philidor Defense
13. Alekhine vs V Manko 1-0281906?C45 Scotch Game
14. Alekhine vs A Romashkevich 1-0181906Earl tournC20 King's Pawn Game
15. Alekhine vs V Zhukovsky ½-½351906cr RUSC39 King's Gambit Accepted
16. Alekhine vs Nenarokov 1-0101907MoscowD07 Queen's Gambit Declined, Chigorin Defense
17. Alekhine vs N Zubakin 0-1331907cr 1906-07C33 King's Gambit Accepted
18. Alekhine vs NN 1-0461907KislovodskD06 Queen's Gambit Declined
19. Alekhine vs K Isakov 1-0261907Moscow Club SpringC44 King's Pawn Game
20. Alekhine vs Nenarokov 0-1431907Moscow Club AutumnD02 Queen's Pawn Game
21. Alekhine vs V Rozanov 1-0421907MoscowC45 Scotch Game
22. Viakhirev vs Alekhine 0-1361907cr 1906-07C28 Vienna Game
23. Budberg vs Alekhine 0-1341907Moscow Club SpringB00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
24. B V Lyubimov vs Alekhine ½-½391907cr 1906-07C80 Ruy Lopez, Open
25. NN vs Alekhine 0-1321907KislovodskB30 Sicilian
 page 1 of 84; games 1-25 of 2,085  PGN Download
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<Moscow 1911> (5 - 17 January) National Handicap tournament

[Event "Handicap tournament"]
[Site "Moscow RUE"]
[Date "1911.01.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Andreev"]
[Black "Alexander Alekhine"]
[Result "0-1"]
[Source "rusbase"]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nd4 4.Nxd4 exd4 5.O-O c6 6.Ba4 Ne7 7.d3 d5 8.e5 Ng6 9.f4 Be7 10.c3 Qb6 11.Kh1 h5 12.Qe2 Nh4 13.Bb3 Bg4 14.Qf2 Nf5 15.Re1 a5 16.Qc2 Bh4 17.g3 a4 18.Bxa4 dxc3 19.Kg2 Bf3+ 20.Kh3 g5 21.fxg5 Qd4 22.Bf4 cxb2 23.Bxc6+ Kf8 24.Bxb7 bxa1Q 0-1


"Andreev" is this gentleman: Andreev

Premium Chessgames Member
  mifralu: <jessicafischerqueen> <The following new game was played in the same event as these games:>

Rather from three different tournaments!

From <Skinner/Verhoeven>

game #123, Page 34

Moscow Chess Club - Autumn Tournament, <October 1908 - January 1909>

[Event "Moscow Chess Club - Autumn Tournament"]
[Site "Moscow RUE"]
[Date "1908.11.11"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Alexey Sergeevich Selezniev"]
[Black "Alexander Alekhine"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[Source "Shakhmatnoe Ozborenie 1909, p. 70"]


game #157, Page 45

Alekhine vs B V Lyubimov, 1909

Moscow Chess Club - Winter Tournament, <30 November 1909 - 20 March 1910>

And for Alekhine vs V Rozanov, 1909 <S&V> give "Match Tournament played in Moscow 1908 -1909".

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<mifralu> Thank you! I am fixing that now...

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Does Alekhine have any known descendants? Did he have children he knew of, or didn't know of (bastards)?
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <HeMateMe>
Various sources mention least one son, Alexander Alekhine Junior. I can't quickly find any further details.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: thanks, I should think it's an interesting blood line. Obviously AAA is an interesting character, a Rasputin of the chess world. would be interesting to see how his descents fared, if there are any.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <HeMateMe>
I checked a few obituaries, but there was no mention of his son. Interestingly, one of the obits did say that Alekhine was working on a memoir when he died. I wonder if any partial manuscript has ever been found, because that could be very interesting.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <Did he have children he knew of, or didn't know of (bastards)?>

Superb wordmanship.

There does appear to be a distinct lack of family information about Alekhine online (and indeed other leading players); perhaps that reflects a genuine lack of public interest, but still it would be nice to have such a resource - for the world champions, at least - to hand.

At short notice, the best I can find with regard to offspring:

<Alekhine had already married in 1920, with the widower Anna of Sewergin, to legalise the birth of their daughter, Valentina (December 15th, 1913). But this marriage did not last long and ended the same year. Because Anneliese Rüegg had excellent connections to the bolshevist leaders she and her husband were allowed to leave Russia. The couple first went to Berlin but Alekhine continued his travels and played tournaments in Budapest and The Hague. When he returned to Berlin his wife had gone to Switzerland where she gave birth to a son, Alexander Alekhine Jr., on November 2, 1921.>

From <Alex A. Aljechin>'s foreword to < Alexander Alekhine’s Chess Games, 1902-1946> by Leonard M. Skinner and Robert G.P. Verhoeven (McFarland & Company, Inc., Jefferson, 1998):

<The private life of Alekhine will not be found in this book, and rightly so. The tragic course of the life of an uprooted noble Russian, who had to fear for his life several times during two world wars and a bloody revolution, would expand the size of the book immensely. His definitive chess biography has yet to be published and I hope that in the future this task will also be successfully undertaken. Too many derogatory remarks about my father, have been published since his death. Even at the present time, half-truths from certain circles are circulating in the "Fourth Estate." Normal standards of journalistic decency are often ignored. My father does not deserve to be treated in this way. Despite all of this, his work continues to endure worldwide to the benefit and pleasure of enraptured chess enthusiasts.>

The foreword is marked <Basel, 30 November 1996> suggesting he may have been a lifelong resident of Switzerland.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Pittsburgh Press, April 21st 1929, Sporting Sect. p.2 :

<Dr. Alexander Alekhine, the chess master who plays entirely with his left hand, keeping his right in his pocket, will participate in the masters tournament to be held at Bradley Beach, June 3 to 12.>

I was tempted to dismiss with a shrug, but it reminded me of a video taken the same year, which I finally found:

A very strange affectation! I wonder how long it lasted.

Jul-08-20  KnightVBishop: was Alekhine a nazi?
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Alekhine was a loner, an opportunist, a man without friends. He played chess with the Nazis during WWII. He wrote anti jewish literature to survive in the Hitler Germany.

Fischer walked away from everyone who ever helped him, in and out of chess. He went to the war time Balkans to play chess for money, against the express orders of the USA State Department, backed up by the USA court and penal system. Fischer spit on the warning letter they sent him, on live television.

Alekhine ran away from Communist Russia and then ran from post WWII Germany, where he might have faced punishment for allying with the Germans. Bobby Fischer renounced his USA citizenship and ran to Japan to escape criminal prosecution in the United States. after spending one year in jail in Japan he ran to Iceland, to live out his final years as a recluse.

Alekhine is the closest grandmaster to bobby Fischer among the great players, in temperament and life experience. Two hugely talanted, miserable anti social types.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <HMM: Alekhine was a loner, an opportunist, a man without friends....>

In Kotov's biography, believe Euwe noted that the joke in German was that Alekhine was actually <Alein-ich> (I am alone).

Premium Chessgames Member

<New Alekhine game>

[Event "Moscow Spring Tournament cat-1"]
[Site "Moscow RUE"]
[Date "1908.??.??"]
[Result "0-1"]
[White "V Kade"]
[Black "Alexander Alekhine"]
[Source "La Nation Belge, 13 August 1938"]

1. e4 e5 2. Ne2 Nf6 3. f4 Nxe4 4. d3 Nc5 5. fxe5 d6 6. Bf4 dxe5 7. Bxe5 Nc6 8. Bg3 Na4 9. Qc1 Bb4+ 10. c3 O-O 11. cxb4 Nxb4 12. Nf4 Re8+ 13. Kd2 Qd4 14. Nc3 Qe3+ 15. Kd1 Nxc3+ 16. Qxc3 Bg4+ 17. Ne2 Rad8 18. d4 Bxe2+ 19. Bxe2 Rxd4+ 0-1


In "Alexander Alekhine's Chess Games 1902-1946" (McFarland 1998) pp. 29-30, Skinner and Verhoeven list their source as "La Nation Belge, 3 August 1938."

They report that the game was played in the "Moscow Spring Tournament."

According to rusbase, this was a Category 1 event, although they mislabel it

the "Moscow Autumn Tournament."

Premium Chessgames Member

<New Alekhine game>

[Event "Moscow Spring Tournament cat-1"]
[Site "Moscow RUE"]
[Date "1908.??.??"]
[Result "1-0"]
[White "Alexander Alekhine"]
[Black "E Parfenov"]
[Source "La Nation Belge, 7 August 1938"]

1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nf3 e6 4.Bg5 Ne7 5.Nc3 d6 6.Bc4 a6 7.Qd2 Nbc6 8.Bh6 Bxh6 9.Qxh6 Ng8 10.Qf4 Qf6 11.Qe3 Qe7 12.O-O-O Bd7 13.e5 Na5 14.Bd5 O-O-O 15.exd6 cxd6 16.Rhe1 Nf6 17.b4 Nc6 18.Bxc6 bxc6 19.d5 Kb7 20.Na4 Nxd5 21.Rxd5 cxd5 22.Qb6+ Ka8 23.Qxa6+ Kb8 24.Qb6+ Ka8 25.Qc7 Rb8 26.Re3 Qe8 27.Qa5+ Kb7 28.Qb6+ Kc8 29.Rc3+ 1-0


In "Alexander Alekhine's Chess Games 1902-1946" (McFarland 1998) pp. 28-29, Skinner and Verhoeven list their source as "La Nation Belge, 7 August 1938."

They report that the game was played in the "Moscow Spring Tournament."

According to rusbase, this was a Category 1 event, although they mislabel it the "Moscow Autumn Tournament."

Jul-18-20  aliejin: Fischer ..Alekhine, .. bad people

It would not be better to say that experiences
lived mark human beings?

I think Fischer and Alekhine after the
tremendous lives they suffered (Fischer his family dysfunctional and the tremendous loneliness of his childhood, Alekhine who almost died in the first
world war, about to die in the revolution, which save his life by leaving russia leaving everyone behind and all, without a single penny, he who belonged to a family millionaire) They managed to save themselves in chess to lead a more or less viable life?
I believe that they, within their circumstances, have had merit

Premium Chessgames Member

<aliejin> Very well put. I agree with your evaluation of <Fischer> and <Alekhine>.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <Alekhine who almost died in the first world war, about to die in the revolution, which save his life by leaving russia leaving everyone behind and all, without a single penny, he who belonged to a family millionaire.>

I think that's overly melodramatic. Alekhine doesn't appear to have been in any great danger during WW1, at least, as far as his being a POW goes. It seems he was released from internment, even though he may inadvertently have given the impression that he daringly escaped.

How much truth there is to the legend that he was saved from the firing squad during the revolution, I don't know, but I think by 1921 when he skipped the country, he wasn't in any mortal danger. Whether he cynically used marriage to his Swiss wife to occasion this escape is a moot point.

Premium Chessgames Member


In Sergei Tkachenko "Alekhine's Odessa Secrets" (Elk and Ruby Publishing House 2018), the author finds no evidence that <Alekhine> was anywhere near an actual combat zone, or that he was awarded any crosses or medals for such service.

He does, however, present evidence to suggest <Alekhine> was indeed "rescued" from a Cheka execution order.

This book is worth purchasing in my opinion, but you can read a long excerpt on the "rescue" here:

<Who saved Alexander Alekhine?> article by Spektrowski on

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: It will have my attention.
Premium Chessgames Member
  jith1207: I think <aliejin>'s wonderful emphasis on the bigger picture must not get lost in everyone's subjectivity and bias and who-knows-what-really-happened.

< They managed to save themselves in chess to lead a more or less viable life? I believe that they, within their circumstances, have had merit>

Jul-18-20  aliejin: "I think that's overly melodramatic. Alekhine doesn't appear to have been in any great danger during WW1"

You do not know than you do not know

Through the wounds of war he was
several months interned, hardly if he could
move. There he developed blind chess,
by necessity- In the next, fantastic, article
we have very good material

The life of Alekhine was more dramatic than my words

Premium Chessgames Member
  jith1207: There's nothing more melodramatic than us sitting in 21st century sitting in front of keyboard or swiping in the smartphone, making light of what people went through war and forced immigration and separation from family.

As if we have seen and experienced something close.

We can't even handle a mild plague and even milder inconveniences, goodness gracious.

Jul-18-20  aliejin: "As if we had seen and experienced something close." Precisely for a matter of respect, respect that has not been here for Alekhine and Fischer, is that we must make an effort to understand the past and not fall into superficial judgments and anachronisms.
Premium Chessgames Member
  jameschess: <New Alekhine Game>

[Event "Alekhine simul 50b +47-1=2"]
[Site "Bandung, West Java"]
[Date "1933.03.02"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Alekhine, Alexander Alexandrovich"]
[Black "Baljet, W"]
[Result "0-1"]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.c4 Qc7 6.Nc3 Nc6 7.Be2 Nf6 8.O-O Nxd4 9.Qxd4 Bc5 10.Qd3 O-O 11.Be3 d6 12.a3 Rd8 13.b4 Bxe3 14.Qxe3 Bd7 15.Rfd1 Bc6 16.Rac1 Qe7 17.a4 Rac8 18.b5 Be8 19.a5 Qc7 20.bxa6 bxa6 21.Qb6 Qxb6 22.axb6 Bc6 23.f3 Rb8 24.Rb1 Ne8 25.Rb2 Kf8 26.Ra1 Bb7 27.Kf2 Nf6 28.c5 dxc5 29.Bxa6 Ra8 30.Rba2 Bc6 31.Bb5 Rxa2+ 32.Rxa2 Bxb5 33.b7 Bc6 34.Ra8 Rxa8 35.bxa8=Q+ Bxa8 36.Na4 Nd7 37.Ke3 Ke7 0-1
<Source: Het Nieuws van den Dag voor Nederlandsch-Indië 10/3/1933 Vol.38 No.57 pg 19-20>

De Zaak-Baljet - D.M.G. Koch

Most probably is Baljet Senior.
Baljet, Willem (Sr, 1882-1945)

Baljet, Willem (Jr, 1916-2007)

Premium Chessgames Member

[Event "Simul, 50b"]
[Site "Bandung West Java"]
[Date "1933.03.02"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Alexander Alekhine"]
[Black "W Baljet"]
[Result "0-1"]
[Source "Het Nieuws van den Dag voor Nederlandsch-Indie 10/3/1933 Vol.38 No.57 pg 19-20"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 a6 5. c4 Qc7 6. Nc3 Nc6 7. Be2 Nf6 8. O-O Nxd4 9. Qxd4 Bc5 10. Qd3 O-O 11. Be3 d6 12. a3 Rd8 13. b4 Bxe3 14. Qxe3 Bd7 15. Rfd1 Bc6 16. Rac1 Qe7 17. a4 Rac8 18. b5 Be8 19. a5 Qc7 20. bxa6 bxa6 21. Qb6 Qxb6 22. axb6 Bc6 23. f3 Rb8 24. Rb1 Ne8 25. Rb2 Kf8 26. Ra1 Bb7 27. Kf2 Nf6 28. c5 dxc5 29. Bxa6 Ra8 30. Rba2 Bc6 31. Bb5 Rxa2+ 32. Rxa2 Bxb5 33. b7 Bc6 34. Ra8 Rxa8 35. bxa8=Q+ Bxa8 36. Na4 Nd7 37. Ke3 Ke7 0-1




<jameschess> Not sure if you have submitted your new Alekhine game yet, but a few remarks on your pgn- If you make a tag that says [Alekhine, Alexander Alexandrovich] the software will create a new player page for <Alexander Alexandrovich Alekhine>. It will not add your new game to the <Alexander Alekhine> player page.

The software literally interprets name tags, so that if you don't make sure your spelling exactly matches that already used in for a given player, you will create a "new player" page and we will have to submit a correction slip for it.

Also, your source should be added as a tag:

[Source "Het Nieuws van den Dag voor Nederlandsch-Indie 10/3/1933 Vol.38 No.57 pg 19-20"]


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