Alexander Alekhine

Infobox chess player
playername = Alexander Alekhine


birthname = Alexander Alexandrovich Alekhine
country = RUS FRA
datebirth = birth date|mf=yes|1892|10|31
placebirth = Moscow, Russia
datedeath = death date and age|mf=yes|1946|3|24|1892|10|31
placedeath = Estoril, Portugal
title =
worldchampion = 1927–1935 & 1937–1946
womensworldchampion =
rating =
peakrating =

Alexander Alexandrovich Alekhine (pronounced|alʲɛkˈsandr̠ alʲɛkˈsandr̠ovʲiʨ aˈlʲɛxin; Russian Алекса́ндр Алекса́ндрович Але́хин) [Other members of his family pronounce the family name as IPA|aˈlʲɔxin. "Alekhine" is the most common transcription of his name in English-language writings, also in French, Spanish, Catalan, Portuguese, Gaulish, Turkish. There are several other transcriptions for other languages: "Aljechin" in German, Danish, Dutch, Czech; "Aljehin" in Hungarian, Croatian, Slovenian; "Alechin" in Italian, Polish, Slovak, Swedish; "Alekhin" in Norwegian; "Alehhin" in Estonian; "Alehin" in Romanian, Finnish; "Aļehins" in Latvian; "Alechinas" in Lithuanian.] (October 31, 1892 – March 24, 1946) was the fourth World Chess Champion.

At the age of twenty-two he was already among the best chess players in the world. During the 1920s, he won most of the tournaments in which he played. In 1927, he became the fourth World Chess Champion by defeating Capablanca, widely considered invincible, in one of the longest matches ever held up until that time.

In the early 1930s, Alekhine dominated tournament play and won two top-class tournaments by large margins. He also played as top board for France in four Chess Olympiads, winning individual prizes in each one. His tournament record became more erratic from the mid-1930s onwards, and alcoholism is often blamed for his decline. Alekhine offered Capablanca a rematch on the same demanding terms that Capablanca had set for him, and negotiations dragged on for years without making much progress. Meanwhile, Alekhine defended his title against Bogoljubov in 1929 and 1934. He was defeated by Euwe in 1935, but regained his crown in his 1937 rematch with Euwe. His tournament record, however, remained erratic, and rising young stars like Keres, Fine, and Botvinnik threatened his title. Negotiations for a title match with Keres or Botvinnik were halted by the outbreak of World War II in Europe in 1939.

Alekhine stayed in Nazi-occupied Europe during the War, where he played in chess tournaments which the Nazis organized. During the War, anti-Semitic articles appeared under Alekhine's name, although he later claimed they were forged by the Nazis. Alekhine had good relationships with several Jewish chess players, and his fourth wife was Jewish. After the War, Alekhine was ostracized by players and tournament organizers because of the anti-Semitic articles. Negotiations with Mikhail Botvinnik for a world title match were proceeding in 1946 when Alekhine died in Portugal, in unclear circumstances.

Alekhine is known for his fierce and imaginative attacking style, combined with great positional and endgame skill. Statistical rating systems differ about his strength relative to other players, giving him rankings between fourth and eighteenth in their "all-time" lists. Although Alekhine was declared an "enemy of the Soviet Union" after making anti-Bolshevik statements in 1927, in the 1950s he was posthumously rehabilitated and acclaimed as one of the founders of the "Soviet School of Chess", which dominated the game after World War II. He is highly regarded as a chess writer and as a chess theoretician, giving his name to Alekhine's Defence and several other opening variations, and also composed a few endgame studies. There is strong evidence that Alekhine "improved" the published scores of some of his games, although in one case he may not have been responsible for the misrepresentation.

Biography

Early life

Alekhine was born into a wealthy family in Moscow, Russia on the night October 31/November 1, 1892. [cite web
url=http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Lab/7378/alekhine.htm
title= ALEXANDER ALEKHINE (1892-1946) by Bill Wall
accessdate=2008-07-24
] [cite book
author=Litmanowicz, Władysław & Giżycki, Jerzy
title="Szachy od A do Z"
publisher=Wydawnictwo Sport i Turystyka, Warszawa
year=1986
pages=p.16 (Polish edition)
accessdate=2008-07-24
] [cite web
url=http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/winter28.html#4739._When_was_Alekhine_born_C.N.
title=Chess Notes Archive 28 - "When was Alekhine born?"
accessdate=2008-05-20
] [cite book
author=Kotov Alexander Alexandrovich
title="Alexander Alekhine"
publisher=Fizkultura i sport
year=1973
pages=p.8 (Russian edition)
accessdate=2008-07-24
] His father Alexander Ivanovich Alekhine was a landowner and Privy Councilor to the conservative legislative Fourth Duma.Denker 1995] His mother, Anisya Ivanovna Alekhina (born Prokhorova), was the daughter of a rich industrialist. Alekhine was first introduced to chess by his mother, an older brother Alexei, and an older sister Varvara (Barbara). [cite web
url=http://www.supreme-chess.com/famous-chess-players/alexander-alekhine.html
title=Biography of Alexander Alekhinen on supreme-chess.com
accessdate=2008-05-23
] [cite web
url=http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessplayer?pid=10240
title=Biography of Alexander Alekhine on chessgames.com
accessdate=2008-05-23
]

Early chess career (1902–1914)

:"The tables at the end of this article give details of Alekhine's results."

Alekhine's first known game was from a correspondence chess tournament that began on December 3, 1902, when he was ten years old. He participated in several correspondence tournaments, sponsored by the chess magazine "Shakhmatnoe Obozrenie", in 1902–1911. In 1907, Alexander played his first over-the-board tournament, the Moscow chess club's Spring Tournament. Later that year, Alexander tied for eleventh–thirteenth in the club's Autumn Tournament; his older brother, Alexei, tied for fourth–sixth place. In 1908, Alexander won the club's Spring Tournament, at the age of fourteen. For the next few years, he played in increasingly strong tournaments, some of them outside Russia. At first he had mixed results, but by the age of sixteen he had established himself as one of Russia's top players. In January 1914, Alekhine won his first major Russian tournament, when he tied for first place with Aron Nimzowitsch in the All-Russian Masters Tournament at Saint Petersburg. Afterwards, they drew in a mini-match for first prize (they both won a game).Khalifman 2002] Alekhine also played several matches in this period, and his results showed the same pattern: mixed at first but later consistently good.

Top-level grandmaster (1914–1927)

In April–May 1914, another major St. Petersburg 1914 chess tournament was held in the capital of the Russian Empire, in which Alekhine took third place behind Emanuel Lasker and Jose Raul Capablanca. By some accounts, Tsar Nicholas II conferred the title of "Grandmaster of Chess" on each of the five finalists (Lasker, Capablanca, Alekhine, Tarrasch, and Marshall). Chess historian Edward Winter has questioned this, stating that the earliest known sources that support this story are an article by Robert Lewis Taylor in the June 15, 1940 issue of The New Yorker and Marshall's autobiography "My 50 Years of Chess" (1942).Winter 1999, p.315-316] Winter 2003, p.177-178] [cite web
url=http://72.14.205.104/search?q=cache:Uv0K9qUrveUJ:www.chesshistory.com/winter/winter38.html+site:chesshistory.com/winter+Grandmaster+Tsar&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us
title=Chess Note 5144
accessdate=2008-06-15
] Alekhine's surprising success made him a serious contender for the World Chess Championship. Whether or not the title was formally awarded to him, "Thanks to this performance, Alekhine became a grandmaster in his own right and in the eyes of the audience." [Kalendovský 1992, p.122] In July 1914, Alekhine tied for first with Marshall in Paris.Soltis 1994]

World War I and post-revolutionary Russia

In July–August 1914, Alekhine was leading an international Mannheim tournament, the 19th DSB Congress (German Chess Federation Congress) in Mannheim, Germany, with nine wins, one draw and one loss, when World War I broke out. Alekhine's prize was 1,100 marks (worth about 11,000 euros in terms of purchasing power today). [cite web
url=http://www.chessbase.de/nachrichten.asp?newsid=5003
title=Das unvollendete Turnier: Mannheim 1914
accessdate=2008-05-30
] After the declaration of war against Russia, eleven "Russian" players (Alekhine, Bogoljubov, Bogatyrchuk, Flamberg, Koppelman, Maliutin, Rabinovich, Romanovsky, Saburov, Selezniev, Weinstein) were interned in Rastatt, Germany. In September 14, 17, and 29, 1914, four of them (Alekhine, Bogatyrchuk, Saburov, and Koppelman) were freed and allowed to return home. [cite web
url=http://www.chesscafe.com/text/mannheim.txt
title=Manheim 1914 The Legend
accessdate=2008-06-05
] Alekhine made his way back to Russia (via Switzerland, Italy, London, Stockholm, and Finland) in the end of October 1914. Fifth player, Flamberg was allowed to return to Warsaw in 1916. [cite web
url=http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/winter04.html
title=3540. The internees
accessdate=2008-05-30
]

When Alekhine arrived back in Russia, he helped raise money to aid the Russian chess players who were still interned in Germany by giving simultaneous exhibitions. In 1915–16, Alekhine won a tournament in Moscow. In May 1916, Alekhine served in the Union of Cities (Red Cross) on the Austrian front. In September, he played five people in a blindfold display at a Russian military hospital at Tarnopol. In the same year Alekhine won a mini-match against Alexander Evensohn with two wins and one loss at Kiev. In 1918, Alekhine won a "Triangular tournament" in Moscow. In June of the following year, Alekhine was briefly imprisoned in Odessa's death cell by the Odessa Cheka, suspected of being a spy. He was charged with links with White counter-intelligence, after the Russians liberated the Ukraine from German occupation. Rumors appeared in the West that Alekhine had been killed by the Bolesheviks.

1920–1927

:"The table at the foot of this article gives details of Alekhine's results."

When conditions in Russia became more settled, Alekhine proved he was among Russia's best chess players. For example in January 1920, he swept the Moscow City Chess Championship (11/11), but was not declared Moscow Champion because he was not a resident of the city. Also in October 1920, he won the All-Russian Championship in Moscow (+9 –0 =6); this tournament was retroactively defined as the first USSR Championship. His brother Alexei took third place in the tournament for amateurs.

In 1920, Alekhine married the Russian baroness Sergewin, who was several years older. [cite web
url=http://xadrez.altervista.org/xadrez/alekhine.htm
title=Biography of Alekhine on xadrez.altervista.org
accessdate=2008-05-20
] For a short time in 1920–1921, he worked as an interpreter for the Communist International (Comintern) and was appointed secretary to the Education Department. In this capacity, he met a Swiss journalist and Comintern delegate Anneliese Rüegg (Annalisa Ruegg), who was thirteen years older than he, and they married on March 15, 1921. Shortly after, Alekhine was given permission to leave Russia for a visit to the West with his wife. Alekhine never returned to Russia. In June 1921, Alekhine abandoned his second wife in Paris and went to Berlin.

In 1921–1923 Alekhine played seven mini-matches. In 1921, he won against Nikolay Grigoriev (+2 –0 =5) in Moscow, drew with Richard Teichmann (+2 –2 =2) and won against Friedrich Sämisch (+2 –0 =0), both in Berlin. In 1922, he won against Ossip Bernstein (+1 –0 =1) and Arnold Aurbach (+1 –0 =1), both in Paris, and Manuel Golmayo (+1 –0 =1) in Madrid. [cite web
url=http://www.thechesslibrary.com/files/ShortMatchesOf20thCentury.htm
title=Short Matches of the 20th Century
accessdate=2008-05-20
] In 1923, he won against André Muffang (+2 –0 =0) in Paris.

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bd| | |__|pd|nl| |pd|=
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pd|__|__|pl| |kl|__|__|=
pl|pd|__|__|pl|pl|pl| |=
|pl| | | | | | |=
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HiddenMultiLine | cite web | url=http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1012123 | title=Alekhine-Yates
London 1922
| 1.Rxg7 Rxf6; 2. Ke5 and Yates resigned: if either Black Rook moves to f8, White checkmates by 3.Rh7+ Kg8; 4.Rcg7#
From 1921 to 1927, Alekhine won or shared first prize in about two-thirds of the many tournaments in which he played. His "least successful" efforts were: a tie for third place at Vienna 1922 behind Akiba Rubinstein and Richard Réti; and third place at the New York 1924 chess tournament behind ex-champion Emanuel Lasker and world champion José Raúl Capablanca (but ahead of Frank James Marshall, Richard Réti, Géza Maróczy, Efim Bogoljubov, Savielly Tartakower, Frederick Yates, Edward Lasker and David Janowski).Khalifman 2002] Technically, Alekhine's play was mostly better than his competitors', even Capablanca's, but he lacked confidence when playing his major rivals.

Alekhine's major goal throughout this period was to arrange and win a match with Capablanca. He thought the greatest obstacle was not Capablanca's play, but the requirement under the 1922 "London rules" (at Capablanca's insistence) that the challenger raise a purse of US $10,000, of which the defending champion would receive over half even if defeated (US $10,000 in 1927 would be worth about $391,000 in 2006Using earnings for the conversion. If consumer prices are used, the result is about $257,000. cite web
url=http://www.measuringworth.com/uscompare/
title=Six Ways to Compute the Relative Value of a U.S. Dollar Amount, 1774 to Present
accessdate=2008-05-23
] ). Alekhine in November 1921 and Rubinstein and Aaron Nimzowitsch in 1923 challenged Capablanca, but were unable to raise the $10,000.cite web
title= Jose Raul Capablanca: Online Chess Tribute
url=http://www.chessmaniac.com/2007/06/jose-raul-capablanca-online-chess.php
date=2007-06-28
publisher=chessmaniac.com
accessdate=2008-05-20
] cite web
title=New York 1924
url=http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chesscollection?cid=1007158
publisher=chessgames
accessdate=2008-05-20
] Raising the money was Alekhine's preliminary objective; he even went on tour, playing simultaneous exhibitions for modest fees day after day.cite journal
title=Alekhine and Love: Greenock, 1923
author=Linklater, J.
journal=Scottish Chess Magazine
issue=189
month=March | year=1989
url=http://www.chessscotland.com/history/Alekhine_visit.htm
accessdate=2008-05-20
] In New York on April 27, 1924, Alekhine broke the world record for blindfold play when he played twenty-six opponents (the previous record was twenty-five, set by Gyula Breyer), winning sixteen games, losing five, and drawing five after twelve hours of play. He broke his own world record on February 1, 1925 by playing twenty-eight games blindfold simultaneously in Paris, winning twenty-two, drawing three, and losing three. [cite web
url=http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessplayer?pid=10240
title=Alekhine at www.chessgames.com
accessdate=2008-05-23
]

In 1925, he became a French citizen and entered the Sorbonne Faculty of law. Although sources differ about whether he completed his studies there, he was known as "Dr. Alekhine" in the 1930s. [citation
title=Chess Champion
newspaper=Time Magazine
date=Dec 30 1935
url=http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,848404,00.html
accessdate=2008-05-20
] His thesis was on the Chinese prison system. "He received a degree in law in Saint Petersburg in 1914 but never practiced." [Reshevsky 1976, p.77]

In October 1926, he won in Buenos Aires. From December 1926 to January 1927, Alekhine beat Max Euwe 5½-4½ in a match. In 1927, he married his third wife, Nadiezda Vasiliev (née Fabritzky) (Nadejda Fabritzky, Nadezhda Vasilieff), another older woman, the widow of the Russian general V. Vasiliev (Vassilieff). [cite web
url=http://canal-h.net/webs/rguerrero001/alekhine1.htm
title=Biography of Alekhine on canal-h.net
accessdate=2008-05-20
]

World Chess Champion, first reign (1927–35)

In 1927, Alekhine's challenge to Capablanca was backed by a group of Argentinian businessmen and the president of Argentina, who guaranteed the funds,cite web
url=http://www.chesscorner.com/worldchamps/capablanca/capablanca.htm
title=Jose Raul Capablanca
publisher=chesscorner.com
accessdate=2008-05-23
] and organized by the Club Argentino de Ajedrez (Argentine Chess Club) in Buenos Aires.cite web
url=http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/extra/capablancaalekhine1927.html
title=Capablanca v Alekhine, 1927
author=Winter, E.
accessdate=2008-05-23
Original sources include:
*cite journal
pages=66
journal=Ajedrez American
title=(unknown title)
month=December | year=1927
;
*cite journal
pages=454
month=October | year=1926
journal=British Chess Magazine
title=(unknown title)
author=Sergeant, P.W.
;
*cite journal
journal=La Prensa
title=(unknown title)
date=September 14, 1927
;Immediately after his victory, Alekhine announced his terms for a rematch, reported in: cite journal
date=November 30, 1927
journal=La Prensa
title=(unknown title)
] In September and November 1927 at Buenos Aires, Alekhine won the title of World Chess Champion, scoring six wins, three losses, and twenty-five draws. Alekhine's victory surprised almost the entire chess world, since he had never previously won a single game from Capablanca.cite web
url=http://members.aol.com/graemecree/chesschamps/world/world1927.htm
title=1927 World Chess Championship
accessdate=2008-05-23
] Alekhine prepared thoroughly for the title match and even changed his playing style to resemble Capablanca's most of the time, attacking rarely and only when he was certain that he had the advantage. This was also the first contest in which Capablanca had no easy wins.cite web
url=http://www.kramnik.com/eng/interviews/getinterview.aspx?id=61
title=Kramnik Interview: From Steinitz to Kasparov
author=Kramnik, V.
accessdate=2008-05-20
] As a result, the match was the longest since the series between Labourdonnais and McDonnell in 1834.Fine 1952]

Immediately after winning the match, Alekhine announced that he was willing to give Capablanca a return match, on the same terms that Capablance had required as champion - the challenger must provide a stake of US $10,000, of which more than half would go to the defending champion even if he was defeated. It was especially hard for Capablanca to raise such an amount because of the Wall Street Crash of 1929 and the Great Depression that followed. [cite web
url=http://www.bobby-fischer.net/Jose_Capablanca.htm
title=Jose Capablanca Biography
accessdate=2008-05-24
] Negotiations dragged on for several years, often breaking down when agreement seemed in sight. Their relationship became bitter, and Alekhine demanded much higher appearance fees for tournaments in which Capablanca also played. Soon after becoming the champion, Alekhine swept a two-game exhibition match in New York against Charles Jaffe, who had supplied analysis to him during the match with Capablanca.Saidy 1974, p.190-191]

After the world championship match, Alekhine returned to Paris and spoke against Bolshevism. Afterwards, Nikolai Krylenko, president of the Soviet Chess Federation, published an official memorandum stating that Alekhine should be regarded as an enemy of the Soviets. The Soviet Chess Federation broke all contact with Alexander Alekhine until the end of the 1930s. His older brother Alexei Alekhine, with whom Alexander Alekhine had had a very close relationship, publicly repudiated him and his anti-Soviet utterances shortly after, but Alexei may have had little choice about this decision.cite web
url=http://www.chessarch.com/excavations/0009_alexey/alexey.shtml
title=Alexey, Brother of Alekhine
author=Lissowski, T.
accessdate=2008-05-20
The main source is Kotov 1975, p.140] In August 1939, Alexei Alekhine was murdered in Russia.cite web
url=http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Lab/7378/nazi.htm
title=Alekhine and the Nazis
author=Wall, W.
accessdate=2008-05-24
]

After defeating Capablanca, Alekhine dominated chess into the mid-1930s. His most famous tournament victories were at the San Remo 1930 chess tournament (no losses; 3½ points ahead of Aron Nimzowitsch) and the Bled 1931 chess tournament (no losses; 5½ points ahead of Efim Bogoljubow). He won most of his other tournaments outright, shared first place in two, and the first tournament in which he placed lower was Hastings 1933–34 (shared second place, ½ point behind Salo Flohr). In 1933, he also swept an exhibition match against Rafael Cintron in San Juan (+4 –0 =0), but only managed to draw another match with Ossip Bernstein in Paris (+1 –1 =2).cite web
url=http://www.alekhinechess.com/english/alekhine/results.html
title=Alekhine's Results at www.alekhinechess.com
accessdate=2008-05-20
]

Although he never agreed terms for a rematch against Capablanca, Alekhine played two world title matches with Bogoljubow, an official "Challenger of FIDE", in 1929 and 1934, winning handily both times.cite web
url=http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/winter17.html
title=Chess Notes Archive [17]
author=Winter, E.
accessdate=2008-05-23
] [cite web
url=http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chess.pl?tid=54142
title=Alekhine vs Bogoljubov 1934
accessdate=2008-05-24
] The first match was held at Wiesbaden, Heidelberg, Berlin, The Hague, and Amsterdam from September through November 1929, and Alekhine won with eleven wins, nine draws, and five losses. From April to June 1934, Alekhine faced Bogoljubow again in a title match held in twelve German cities, defeating him by five games (+8 -3 =15). In 1929, Bogoljubow was forty years old and perhaps already past his peak.Soloviov 2004, p.280]

Between 1930 and 1935, Alekhine played on board one for France at four Chess Olympiads, winning: the first brilliancy prize at Hamburg in 1930; gold medals for board one at Prague in 1931 and Folkestone in 1933; and the silver medal for board one at Warsaw in 1935. His loss to Latvian master Hermanis Matisons at Prague in 1931 was his first loss in a serious chess event since winning the world championship.

In the early 1930s, Alekhine travelled the world giving simultaneous exhibitions, including Hawaii, Tokyo, Manila, Singapore, [cite web
url=http://www.chesscafe.com/text/skittles217.pdf
title=Alekhine's Chess Exhibitions in Singapore in 1933
format=PDF
accessdate=2008-05-20
] Shanghai, Hong Kong, and the Dutch East Indies. In July 1933, Alekhine played thirty-two people blindfold simultaneously (a new world record) in Chicago, winning nineteen, drawing nine and losing four games. [Donaldson 1992, p.35]

In 1934 Alekhine married his fourth wife, Grace Freeman (née Wishard), sixteen years his senior. She was the American-born widow of a British tea-planter in Ceylon, who retained her British citizenship to the end of her life and remained Alekhine's wife until his death.

Loss of the World title (1935–1937)

In 1933, Alekhine challenged Max Euwe to a championship match. Euwe, in the early 1930s, was regarded as one of three credible challengers (the others were Capablanca and Salo Flohr). On October 3, 1935 the world championship match began in Zandvoort, the Netherlands. Although Alekhine took an early lead, from game thirteen onwards Euwe won twice as many games as Alekhine. The challenger became the new champion on December 15, 1935 with nine wins, thirteen draws, and eight losses.cite web
url=http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chess.pl?tid=54135
title=Alekhine vs Euwe 1935
publisher=chessgames.com
accessdate=2008-05-23
] This was the first world championship match that officially had seconds: Alekhine had the services of Salo Landau, and Euwe had Geza Maroczy.cite web
url=http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/winter39.html#5214._Ernst_Klein_C.N._5202
title=Chess Notes (5202)
author=Winter, E.
accessdate=2008-05-20
] Euwe's win was a major upset and is sometimes attributed to Alekhine's alcoholism.cite web
author=Kmoch, H.
url=http://www.chesscafe.com/text/kmoch05.pdf
title=Grandmasters I Have Known: Alexander Alexandrovich Alekhine
accessdate=2008-05-23
format=PDF
] Flohr, who also assisted Euwe during the match, thought overconfidence caused more problems than alcohol for Alekhine in this match, and Alekhine himself had previously said he would win easily.Münninghoff 2001] Later World Champions Vassily Smyslov, Boris Spassky, Anatoly Karpov and Garry Kasparov analyzed the match for their own benefit and concluded that Euwe deserved to win and that the standard of play was worthy of a world championship.cite web
url=http://www.chesscafe.com/text/skittles167.pdf
title=Remembering Max Euwe Part 1
author=Gennadi Sosonko
year=2001
publisher=The Chess Cafe
accessdate=2008-05-20
format=PDF
]

In the eighteen months after losing the title, Alekhine played in ten tournaments, with uneven results: tied for first with Paul Keres at Bad Nauheim in May 1936; first place at Dresden in June 1936; second behind Salo Flohr at Poděbrady in July 1936; sixth, behind Capablanca, Mikhail Botvinnik, Reuben Fine, Samuel Reshevsky, and Euwe at Nottingham in August 1936; third, behind Euwe and Fine, at Amsterdam in October 1936; tied for first with Salo Landau at Amsterdam ("Quadrangular"), also in October 1936; in 1936/37 he won at the Hastings New Year tournament, ahead of Fine and Erich Eliskases; first place at Nice ("Quadrangular") in March 1937; third, behind Keres and Fine, at Margate in April 1937; tied for fourth with Keres, behind Flohr, Reshevsky and Vladimirs Petrovs, at Kemeri in June–July 1937; tied for second with Bogoljubow, behind Euwe, at Bad Nauheim ("Quadrangular") in July 1937.cite web
url=http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Lab/7378/alekhine.htm
title=Alexander Alekhine (1892-1946)
author=Wall, W.
accessdate=2008-05-20
]

World Chess Champion, second reign (1937–46)

1937–1939

Max Euwe was quick to arrange a return match with Alekhine, something José Raúl Capablanca had been unable to obtain after Alekhine won the world title in 1927. Alekhine regained the title from Euwe in December 1937 by a large margin (+10 –4 =11). In this match, held in the Netherlands, Euwe was seconded by Reuben Fine, and Alekhine by Erich Eliskases. The match was a real contest initially, but Euwe collapsed near the end, losing four of the last five games.cite web
url=http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chess.pl?tid=54136
title=Alekhine vs Euwe 1937
publisher=chessgames.com
accessdate=2008-05-20
] cite web
url=http://www.kramnik.com/eng/interviews/getinterview.aspx?id=61
title=Kramnik Interview: From Steinitz to Kasparov
publisher=Vladimir Kramnik
author=Kramnik, V.
year=2005
accessdate=2008-05-20
] Fine attributed the collapse to nervous tension, possibly aggravated by Euwe's attempts to maintain a calm appearance. Alekhine played no more title matches, and thus held the title until his death.

1938 began well for Alekhine, who won at Carrasco in Montevideo (in March) and at Margate (in April), and tied for first with Sir George Alan Thomas at Plymouth (in September). In November, however, he only tied for 4-6th with Max Euwe and Samuel Reshevsky, behind Paul Keres, Reuben Fine, and Mikhail Botvinnik, but ahead of José Raúl Capablanca and Salo Flohr, at the AVRO tournament in the Netherlands. This tournament was played in each of several Dutch cities for a few days at a time; it was therefore perhaps not surprising that rising stars took the first three places, as the older players found the travel very tiring.

Immediately after the AVRO tournament Mikhail Botvinnik, who had finished in third place, challenged Alekhine to a match for the world championship. They agreed on a prize fund of US $10,000 with two-thirds going to the winner, and that if the match were to take place in Moscow, Alekhine would be invited at least three months in advance so that he could play in a tournament to get ready for the match. Other details had not been agreed when World War II interrupted negotiations, which the two players resumed after the war.cite web
url=http://ryxi.com/games/78-639-lev-khariton-the-battle-that-never-was-read.shtml
title=Lev Khariton:The Battle That Never Was
author=Khariton, L.
date=2004-12-29
accessdate=2008-05-23
Based on Botvinnik's memoirs.]

Paul Keres, who had won the AVRO tournament on tiebreak over Fine, also challenged Alekhine to a world championship match. Negotiations were proceeding in 1939 when they were disrupted by World War II. During the war Keres' home country, Estonia, was invaded first by the USSR, then by Germany, then by the USSR again. At the end of the war, the Soviet government prevented Keres from continuing the negotiations, on the grounds that he had collaborated with the Germans during their occupation of Estonia.cite web
url=http://www.chesscafe.com/text/kb1.txt
title=The Keres-Botvinnik Case: A Survey of the Evidence
author=Kingston, T.
accessdate=2008-05-23
]

Alekhine was representing France at first board in the 8th Chess Olympiad at Buenos Aires 1939 when World War II broke out in Europe. The assembly of all team captains, with leading roles played by Alekhine (France), Savielly Tartakower (Poland), and Albert Becker (Germany), plus the president of the Argentine Chess Federation, Augusto de Muro, decided to go on with the Olympiad. [cite book
author=Gawlikowski, S.
title=Olimpiady szachowe 1924 - 1974
publisher=Wyd. Sport i Turystyka. Warszawa
year=1978
] Alekhine won the individual silver medal (nine wins, no losses, seven draws), behind Capablanca (only results from finals A and B - separately for both sections - counted for best individual scores). Shortly after the Olympiad, Alekhine swept tournaments in Montevideo (7/7) and Caracas (10/10).

World War II (1939–1945)

Unlike many participants in the 1939 Chess Olympiad, Alekhine returned to Europe in January 1940. After a short stay in Portugal, [cite book
author=Gawlikowski S.
title=Walka o tron szachowy
publisher=Wyd. Sport i Turystyka. Warszawa
year=1976
] he enlisted in the French army as a sanitation officer.

After the fall of France (June 1940), he fled to Marseille. Alekhine tried to go to America by traveling to Lisbon and applying for an American visa. In October 1940, he sought permission to enter Cuba, promising to play a match with Capablanca. This request was denied. To protect his wife, Grace Alekhine, who was an American Jew, and her French assets (a castle at Saint Aubin-le-Cauf, near Dieppe, which the Nazis looted), he agreed to cooperate with the Nazis. [Kasparov 2003] Alekhine took part in chess tournaments in Munich, Salzburg, Krakow/Warsaw, and Prague, organised by Ehrhardt Post, President of the Nazi-controlled "Grossdeutscher Schachbund" ("Greater Germany Chess Federation") - Paul Keres, Efim Bogoljubow, Gösta Stoltz, and several other strong masters in Nazi-occupied Europe also played in such events.cite web
url=http://www.angelfire.com/games/SBChess/vignette.html
title=The Salzburg Tournament 0f 1942
accessdate=2008-05-25
] In 1941, he tied for second-third with Erik Lundin in Munich ("Europa-Turnier" in September, won by Gösta Stoltz), shared first with Paul Felix Schmidt at Krakow/Warsaw (the 2nd General Government-ch, in October) [cite web
url=http://www.astercity.net/~vistula/fredvandervliet2.htm
title=CHESS IN FORMER GERMAN, NOW POLISH TERRITORIES
accessdate=2008-07-19
] and won in Madrid (in December). That same year he also won a mini-match with Lopez Esnaola in Vitoria. The following year he won in the Salzburg 1942 chess tournament (June 1942) and in Munich (September 1942; the Nazis named this the "Europameisterschaft", which means "European Championship"). [Gillam 2001] [cite book
author=Barcza, G.
title=A müncheni sakkmesterverseny Európa bajnokságáért 1942
publisher=Kecskemét
year=1942
] Later in 1942 he won at Warsaw/Lublin/Krakow (the 3rd GG-ch; October 1942) and tied for first with Klaus Junge in Prague (" Duras Memorial"; December 1942). In 1943, he drew a mini-match (+1 –1 =0) with Bogoljubow in Warsaw (March 1943), he won in Prague (April 1943) and tied for first with Paul Keres in Salzburg (June 1943).

By late 1943, Alekhine was spending all of his time in Spain and Portugal, as the German representative to chess events. This also allowed him to get away from the onrushing Soviet invasion into eastern Europe. [cite web
url=http://chess.about.com/od/worldchampionship/p/aa05g09.htm
title=Birth of the FIDE World Championship
accessdate=2008-05-24
] In 1944, he narrowly won a match against Ramón Rey Ardid in Zaragoza (+1 –0 =3; April 1944) and won in Gijon (July 1944). The following year, he won at Madrid (March 1945), tied for second place with Antonio Medina at Gijón (July 1945; the event was won by Antonio Rico), won at Sabadell (August 1945), he tied for first with Lopez Nunez in Almeria (August 1945), won in Melilla (September 1945) and took second in Caceres, behind Francisco Lupi (Autumn 1945). Alekhine's last chess match was with Lupi at Estoril near Lisbon, Portugal, in January 1946. Alekhine won two games, lost one, and drew one.Khalifman 2002]

Alekhine took an interest in the development of the chess prodigy Arturo Pomar and devoted a section of his last book ("¡Legado!" 1946) to him. They played at Gijon 1944, when Pomar, aged twelve, achieved a creditable draw with the champion. [cite web
url=http://www.chesscenter.com/twic/event/linares2002/r6.html
title=Linares 2002 - round 6
accessdate=2008-05-20
]

His last year

After World War II, Alekhine was not invited to chess tournaments outside the Iberian Peninsula, because of his alleged Nazi affiliation. His original invitation to the London 1946 tournament was withdrawn when the other competitors protested. While planning for a World championship match against Botvinnik, he died in his hotel room in Estoril, Portugal. The circumstances of his death are still a matter of debate. It is usually attributed to a heart attack, but a letter in "Chess Life" magazine from a witness to the autopsy stated that choking on meat was the actual cause of death. Some have speculated that he was murdered by a French "Death Squad". A few years later, Alekhine's son, Alexander Alekhine Junior, said that "the hand of Moscow reached his father". [cite book
author=Kasparov Garri
title=My Great Predecessors. Part 1
chapter=Alexander the Fourth, Invincible
publisher=Everyman Chess
year=2003
isbn=1-85744-330-6
pages=p.454 (Polish edition)
accessdate=2008-06-24
] His burial was sponsored by FIDE, and the remains were transferred to the Cimetière du Montparnasse, Paris, France in 1956. [cite web
url=http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=3005
title=Alekhine's death – an unresolved mystery?
accessdate=2008-05-20
] [Moran 1989]

Assessment

Playing strength and style

Statistical ranking systems differ sharply in their views of Alekhine. "Warriors of the Mind" rates him only the eighteenth strongest player of all time and comments that victories over players like Efim Bogoljubov and Max Euwe are not a strong basis for an "all time" ranking.Keene 1989] But the website "Chessmetrics" ranks him between the fourth and eighth best of all time, depending on the lengths of the peak periods being compared, and concludes that at his absolute peak he was a little stronger than Emanuel Lasker and Jose Raul Capablanca, although a little weaker than Mikhail Botvinnik.cite web
url=http://db.chessmetrics.com/CM2/PlayerProfile.asp?Params=199510SSSSSWS002138000000111000000000000010100 | title=Chessmetrics Player Profile: Alexander Alekhine
author=Sonas, J.
accessdate=2008-05-20
] Jeff Sonas, the author of the website "Chessmetrics", rates Alekhine as the sixth best player of all-time on the basis of comparable ratings.cite web
url=http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=2354
title=The Greatest Chess Player of All Time – Part II
accessdate=2008-05-23
] He also assesses Alekhine's victory at the tournament of San Remo in 1930 as the sixth best performance ever in tournaments. In his 1978 book "The Rating of Chessplayers, Past and Present", Arpad Elo gave retrospective ratings to players based on their performance over the best five-year span of their career. He concluded that Alekhine was the joint fifth strongest player of those surveyed (tied with Paul Morphy and Vasily Smyslov), behind Capablanca, Botvinnik, Emanuel Lasker and Mikhail Tal. [Elo 1978
cite web
url=http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=1160
title=Arpad Emre Elo – 100th anniversary
accessdate=2008-06-15
]

Alekhine's peak period was in the early 1930s, when he won almost every tournament he played, sometimes by huge margins. Afterward, his play declined, and he never won a top-class tournament after 1934. After Alekhine regained his world title in 1937, there were several new contenders, all of whom would have been serious challengers.

Chess diagram small|=
tright|
=
rd| | | | | |kd| |=
|nl| | | |pd|pd| |=
| | |__| |nd| | |=
| | | | | | | |=
|__|__| | | |bd|__|=
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Réti-Alekine, Baden-Baden 1925 is one of Alekhine's most famous and complicated wins - 31. ... Ne4 forces the win of White's Knight at b7 in 12 moves.
Alekhine was one of the greatest attacking players and could apparently produce combinations at will. What set him apart from most other attacking players was his ability to see the potential for an attack and prepare for it in positions where others saw nothing. Rudolf Spielmann, a master tactician who produced many brilliancies, said this ability to create positions in which brilliancies were possible was Alekhine's great strength, and Max Euwe said, "Alekhine is a poet who creates a work of art out of something that would hardly inspire another man to send home a picture post-card."cite web
url=http://www.focusdep.com/quotes/authors/Max/Euwe
title= Max Euwe quotes, biographies & pictures
accessdate=2008-05-23
] An explanation offered by Richard Réti was, "he beats his opponents by analysing simple and apparently harmless sequences of moves in order to see whether at some time or another at the end of it an original possibility, and therefore one difficult to see, might be hidden." [Réti 1923, p.129] John Nunn commented that "Alekhine had a special ability to provoke complications without taking excessive risks",cite web
url=http://www.lifemasteraj.com/old_af-dl/bg_reti-alek1g0.html
title=Reti - Alekhine, Baden-Baden 1925
author=Goldsby, A.J.
year=2007
accessdate=2008-05-23
] and Edward Winter called him "the supreme genius of the complicated position." Some of Alekhine's combinations are so complex that even modern champions and contenders disagree in their analyses of them.

Nevertheless, Garry Kasparov said that Alekhine's attacking play was based on solid positional foundations,cite web
url=http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=1283
title=Alexander Aljechin vs Garry Kasparov
author=Müller, K.
date=2003-11-15
accessdate=2008-05-23
] and Harry Golombek went further, saying that "Alekhine was the most versatile of all chess geniuses, being equally at home in every style of play and in all phases of the game." Reuben Fine, a serious contender for the world championship in the late 1930s, wrote in the 1950s that Alekhine's collection of best games was one of the three most beautiful that he knew, and Golombek was equally impressed.Golombek 1955]

Alekhine's games have a higher percentage of wins than those of any other World Champion, and his drawn games are on average among the longest of all champions'.cite web
url=http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=2096
title=World Champions and Draws
author=Fischer, J.
date=2004-12-23
accessdate=2008-05-23
] His desire to win extended beyond formal chess competition. When Fine beat him in some casual games in 1933, Alekhine demanded a match for a small stake. And in table tennis, which Alekhine played enthusiastically but badly, he would often crush the ball when he lost.

Bobby Fischer, in a 1964 article, ranked Alekhine as one of the ten greatest chessplayers in history.cite news
title=
author=Fischer, B.
work=Chessworld
date=January-February 1964
pages=56-61
] Fischer, who was famous for the clarity of his play, wrote of Alekhine, "Alekhine has never been a hero of mine, and I've never cared for his style of play. There's nothing light or breezy about it; it worked for him, but it could scarcely work for anyone else. He played gigantic conceptions, full of outrageous and unprecedented ideas. ... [H] e 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."

Alekhine's style had a profound influence on Kasparov, who said: "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." [cite web
url=http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chesscollection?cid=1005464
title=Garry Kasparov's Best Games
accessdate=2008-05-24
]

Influence on the game

Several openings and opening variations are named after Alekhine. In addition to the well-known Alekhine's Defence (1.e4 Nf6) and the Albin-Chatard-Alekhine attack in the "orthodox" Paulsen variation of the French Defense,Fine 1943] there are Alekhine Variations in: the Vienna Game, the Exchange Variation of the Ruy Lopez, the Winawer Variation of the French Defense; the Dragon Variation of the Sicilian Defense, the Queen's Gambit Accepted, the Slav Defense, the Queen's Pawn Game, the Catalan Opening and the Dutch Defense (where three different lines bear his name).cite web
url=http://www.eudesign.com/chessops/ch-list.htm
title=ChessOps - Full Group-List of Openings, Defences, Gambits and Variations
accessdate=2008-05-23
]

Chess diagram|=
tright
Composition by Alekhine
=
| | | | | | | |=
|kd| | | |pd| |pd|=
| | |pl| | |pd| |=
| | | | | | | |=
| | |kl| | |pl| |=
| | | | | | | |=
| | | | | | | |=
| | | | | | | |=
HiddenMultiLine | White to move and win. | 1.g5! Kc6 2.Ke5 Kd7 3.Kd5! "(3.Kf6? Kxd6 4.Kxf7 Ke5)" 3. ...Kd8 4.Kc6 and White wins
Alekhine also composed a few endgame studies, one of which is shown on the right, a miniature (a study with a maximum of seven pieces).Harold van der Heijden endgame study database (2005).]

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. Unlike Wilhelm Steinitz, Emanuel Lasker, José Raúl Capablanca and Max Euwe, he wrote no books that explained his ideas about the game or showed beginners how to improve their play.cite web
url=http://www.compulsivereader.com/html/index.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1830
title=A review of 107 Great Chess Battles 1939-1945 by Alexander Alekhine
author=Kane, P.
accessdate=2008-05-23
] His books appeal to expert players rather than beginners: they contain many long analyses of variations in critical positions, and "singularities and exceptions were his forte, not rules and simplifications".

Although Alekhine was declared an enemy of the Soviet Union after his anti-Bolshevik statement in 1928, he was gradually rehabilitated by the Soviet chess elite following his death in 1946. Alexander Kotov's research on Alekhine's games and career, culminating in a biography,Kotov 1975] led to a Soviet series of Alekhine Memorial tournaments. The first of these, at Moscow 1956, was won jointly by Mikhail Botvinnik and Vasily Smyslov. [cite web
url=http://xoomer.alice.it/cserica/scacchi/storiascacchi/tornei/1950-59/1956mosca.htm
title=Mosca 1956 Aljechin Memorial
accessdate=2008-05-23
] In their book "The Soviet School of Chess" Kotov and Yudovich devoted a chapter to Alekhine, called him "Russia's greatest player" and praised his capacity for seizing the initiative by concrete tactical play in the opening.Kotov 1958 ] Botvinnik wrote that the Soviet School of chess learned from Alekhine's fighting qualities, capacity for self-criticism and combinative vision.Botvinnik 1951] Alekhine had written that success in chess required "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."citation
journal=The New York Times
date=September 8, 1929
author=Alekhine, A.
url=http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/extra/seven.html
accessdate=2008-05-23
]

Accusations of "improving" games

Chess diagram small|=
tright|
=
rd| |bd| | | |ql| |=
pd|pd| | | | | | |=
|kd|nd|__| | | | |=
| |bd|pd| | | | |=
|__|__| | |ql|__|__|=
| |__|__|ql|kl| | |=
| |qd| | |pl| | |=
|qd| | | |bl|nl|rl|=
Famous and much-analyzed position from the "5 Queens" game
"He allegedly made up games against fictitious opponents in which he came out the victor and had these games published in various chess magazines." [Reshevsky 1976, p.78] In a recent book Andy Soltis lists "Alekhine’s 15 Improvements". [Soltis 2002] The most famous example is his game with five queens in Moscow in 1915. In the actual game, Alekhine, playing as Black, beat Grigoriev in the Moscow 1915 tournament; but in one of his books he presented the "five Queens" variation (starting with a move he rejected as Black in the original game) as an actual game won by the White player in Moscow in 1915 (he did not say in who was who in this version, nor that it was in the tournament).The original game, without the 5 Queens, was Grigoriev vs Alekhine, Moscow 1915, which Alekhine annotated for citation
journal=Shakhmatny Vyestnik
date=February 1916
author=Alekhine, A.
But he presented the "5 Queens" version in a note to Tarrasch vs Alekhine, St. Petersburg 1914, which is game 26 in Alekhine 1985. In the same book, Alekhine presented as a note to game 90 (Alekhine vs Teichmann, Berlin 1921) a 15-move win against O. Tenner, which Tenner claimed was actually a variation that arose in their post-game analysis of their 23-move draw. ]

In the position of the diagram at right, which never arose in real play, Alekhine claimed that White wins by 24.Rh6, as after some complicated play Black is mated or goes into an endgame a Queen down. Some recent analyses suggest that this is not the case: if White plays 24.Rh6, black can play 24...Bg4+! and White has no mating attack. [cite book
last = Konsala
first = Kimmo
title = Kaksi shakkineroa
publisher = Karisto
year = 1991
pages = 378
id=ISBN 951-23-2938-7
] A later computer-assisted analysis concludes that White can force a win, but only by diverging from Alekhine's move sequence at move 20, while there are only three Queens. [cite web
url=http://www.xs4all.nl/~timkr/chess/al5q.htm
title=Alekhine's 5 Queen game
author=Krabbé, T.
year=1985
accessdate=2008-05-23
]

Chess historian Edward Winter investigated a game Alekhine allegedly won in fifteen moves via a Queen sacrifice at Sabadell in 1945. [cite web
url=http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1013604
title=Alekhine - Munoz, Sabadell 1945
accessdate=2008-05-24
] Some photos of the game in progress were discovered that showed the players during the game and their chessboard. Based on the position that the chess pieces had taken on the chessboard in this photo, the game could never have taken the course that was stated in the published version. This raised suspicions that the published version was made up. Even if the published version is a fake, however, there is no doubt that Alekhine did defeat his opponent in the actual game, and there is no evidence that Alekhine was the source of the spectacular fifteen-move win whose authenticity is doubted. [cite web
url=http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/extra/sabadell.html
title=Mysteries at Sabadell, 1945
author=Winter, E.
year=2006
accessdate=2008-05-23
]

Accusations of anti-Semitism

During World War II, Alekhine played in several tournaments held in Germany or German-occupied territory, as did many strong players in occupied and neutral countries. [These players include among others Paul Keres, Efim Bogoljubow, Gösta Stoltz, Erik Lundin, Bjørn Nielsen, Nicolaas Cortlever, Karel Opočenský, Jan Foltys, Luděk Pachman, Gedeon Barcza, Mario Napolitano, Braslav Rabar and Teodor Regedziński.] In March 1941, a series of articles appeared under Alekhine's name in the "Pariser Zeitung", a German-language newspaper published in Paris by the occupying German forces. Among other things these articles said that Jews had a great talent for exploiting chess but showed no signs of chess artistry; described the hypermodern theories of Aron Nimzowitsch and Richard Réti as "this cheap bluff, this shameless self-publicity", hyped by "the majority of Anglo-Jewish pseudo-intellectuals"; and described his 1937 match with Euwe as "a triumph against the Jewish conspiracy". Alekhine was reported as making further anti-Semitic statements in interviews for two Spanish newspapers in September 1941; in one of these it was said that "Aryan chess was aggressive chess ... on the other hand, the Semitic concept admitted the idea of pure defence."

Almost immediately after the liberation of Paris, Alekhine publicly stated that "he had to write two chess articles for the "Pariser Zeitung" before the Germans granted him his exit visa ... Articles which Alekhine claims were purely scientific were rewritten by the Germans, published and made to treat chess from a racial viewpoint." He wrote at least two further disavowals, in an open letter to the organizer of the 1946 London tournament (W. Hatton-Ward) and in his posthumous book "¡Legado!". These three denials are phrased differently.

Extensive investigations by Ken Whyld have not yielded conclusive evidence of the authenticity of the articles. Chess writer Jacques Le Monnier claimed in a 1986 issue of "Europe Échecs" that in 1958 he saw some of Alekhine's notebooks and found, in Alekhine’s own handwriting, the exact text of the first anti-Semitic article, which appeared in "Pariser Zeitung" on March 18, 1941. In his 1973 book "75 parties d’Alekhine" ("75 of Alekhine's games"), however, Le Monnier had written "It will never be known whether Alekhine was behind these articles or whether they were manipulated by the editor of the "Pariser Zeitung"."

British chess historian Edward G. Winter notes that the articles in the "Pariser Zeitung" mis-spelled the names of several famous chess masters, which could be interpreted as evidence of forgery or as attempts by Alekhine to signal that he was being forced to write things that he did not believe; but these could simply have been typesetting errors, as Alekhine's handwriting was not easy to read. The articles also contained incorrect claims that that Carl Schlechter was a Jew and that Lionel Kieseritzky was a Polish Jew (his name was spelt "Kienezitzky", and Kieseritzky was neither Polish nor Jewish). Winter comcludes: "Although, as things stand, it is difficult to construct much of a defence for Alekhine, only the discovery of the articles in his own handwriting will settle the matter beyond all doubt." Under current French copyright law, Alekhine's notebooks will not enter the public domain until January 1, 2017.cite web
url=http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/extra/alekhine.html|title=www.chesshistory.com/winter/extra/alekhine.html
title=Was Alekhine a Nazi?
accessdate=2008-05-20
Winter cites many original documents including:
*"Alekhine Nazi Articles", a privately printed booklet edited by Ken Whyld, that contains an English translation of the "Pariser Zeitung" articles;
*Alekhine's disavowal of these articles in "News Review", November 23, 1944, also reported in "British Chess Magazine" December 1944 and "Chess" January 1945;
*Alekhine's posthumous book "¡Legado!";
*interviews in the September 3, 1941 editions of "El Alcázar" and "Informaciones", which report Alekhine as making anti-Semitic statements about chess.]

There is evidence that Alekhine was not anti-Semitic in his personal or chess relationships with Jews. In June 1919, he was arrested by the Cheka, imprisoned in Odessa and sentenced to death. Yakov Vilner, a Jewish master, saved him by sending a telegram to the chairman of the Ukrainian Council of People's Commissars, who knew of Alekhine and ordered his release. [cite web
url=http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Lab/7378/russia.htm
title=Russian Chess History
author=Wall, W.
accessdate=2008-05-20
] Alekhine accepted and apparently used chess analysis from Charles Jaffe in his World Championship match against Capablanca. Jaffe was a Jewish master who lived in New York, where Alekhine often visited, and upon his return to New York after defeating Capablanca, Alekhine played a short match as a favour to Jaffe, without financial remuneration. Alekhine's second for the 1935 match with Max Euwe was the master Salo Landau, a Dutch Jew. The American Jewish grandmaster Arnold Denker wrote that he found Alekhine very friendly in chess settings, with productive analysis sessions and consultation games. Denker also wrote that Alekhine treated the younger and (at that time) virtually unproven Denker to dinner on many occasions in New York during the 1930s, when the economy was very weak because of the Great Depression. Denker added that Alekhine, during the early 1930s, opined that the American Jewish grandmaster Isaac Kashdan might be his next challenger (this did not in fact occur). [Denker 1995] Alekhine also married an American Jew, Grace Wishard, as his fourth wife (Mrs. Grace Alekhine was the women’s champion of Paris in 1944). [cite web
url=http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/winter18.html
title=Chess Notes Archive [18]
accessdate=2008-05-23
]

Notable chess games

* [http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1012123 Alekhine-Yates, London 1922, Queen's Gambit Declined: Orthodox Defense. Main Line (D64) 1-0 ] Alekhine conjures up an attack in the endgame, and his King joins the fray.
* [http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1012099, Efim Bogolyubov vs Alexander Alekhine, Hastings 1922, Dutch Defence, Classical Variation (A91), 0-1] This has been called one of the greatest games ever played, with some incredibly deep variations as Black prepares to queen a pawn.
* [http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1012180 Ernst Gruenfeld vs Alexander Alekhine, Karlsbad 1923, Queen's Gambit Declined: Orthodox Defense. Rubinstein Attack (D64), 0-1] Gruenfeld makes no obvious mistakes but his slow build-up lets Alekhine take the initiative and start squeezing him off the board. Gruenfeld desperately tries to free his position and is crushed by a series of sacrifices that forces the win of a piece or checkmate.
* [http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1012326 Richard Reti vs Alexander Alekhine, Baden Baden 1925, Hungarian Opening: Reversed Alekhine (A00), 0-1] A tactically complex game in which Alekhine unleashes a 12-move combination that wins a Knight.
* [http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1270221, Jose Raul Capablanca vs Alexander Alekhine, World Championship match, Buenos Aires 1927, Queen's Gambit Declined (D52), 0-1] The game ends in an interesting position with four queens on the board.
* [http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1012683, Alexander Alekhine vs Aron Nimzowitsch, San Remo 1930, French Defence, Winawer Variation (C17), 1-0] One of the shortest games ending in a zugzwang -- by the 26th move, Black is already strategically lost and has no good moves.
* [http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1012664, Gideon Stahlberg vs Alexander Alekhine, Hamburg 1930, 3rd Olympiad, Nimzo-Indian Defence, Spielmann Variation (E23), 0-1] 1st best game prize.
* [http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1007985, Alexander Alekhine vs Emanuel Lasker, Zurich 1934, Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense, Bd3 line (D67), 1-0] A short game ending with a queen sacrifice. After the tournament Lasker said: "Alekhine's attacking genius has no equal in the history of the game".
* [http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1042421, Max Euwe vs Alexander Alekhine, World Championship Match, game 4, The Hague 1935, Grunfeld Defence, Russian Variation (D81), 0-1] Alekhine sacrifices two rooks, but traps up Euwe's King in the centre, wins the queen, then finishes elegantly.

Writings

Alekine wrote over 20 books on chess.cite web
url=http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Lab/7378/alekbook.htm
title=Alekhine's Writings
author=Wall, W.
accessdate=2008-05-20
] Some of the best-known are:
*cite book
author=Alekhine, Alexander
title=My Best Games of Chess 1908-1937
publisher=Dover
year=1985
id=ISBN 0-486-24941-7
Originally published in two volumes as "My Best Games of Chess 1908-1923" and "My Best Games of Chess 1924-1937"
*cite book
author=Alekhine, Alexander
title=107 Great Chess Battles 1939-1945
publisher=Dover
year=1992
id=ISBN 0-486-27104-8

*cite book
author=Alekhine, Alexander
title=The Book of the Hastings International Masters' Chess Tournament 1922
publisher=Dover
year=1968
id=ISBN 0-486-21960-7

*cite book
author=Alekhine, Alexander
title=The Book of the New York International Chess Tournament 1924
publisher=Dover
year=1961
id=ISBN 0-486-20752-8

*cite book
author=Alekhine, Alexander
title=The Book of the Nottingham International Chess Tournament
publisher=Dover
year=1962
id=ISBN 0-486-20189-9

*cite book
author=Alekhine, Alexander
title=The World's Chess Championship, 1937
publisher=Dover
year=1973
id=ISBN 0-486-20455-3

ummary of results in competitions

Tournament results

Here are Alekhine's placings and scores in tournaments:Alekhine 1985] cite web
url=http://www.rci.rutgers.edu/~goeller/marshall/tournaments/index.html
title=Frank James Marshall: Tournament and Match Record
authors=da Nobrega, A.W. and Goeller, M.
year=2002
publisher=The Frank James Marshall Electronic Archive and Museum
accessdate=2008-05-20
] cite web
url=http://www.chessclub.demon.co.uk/culture/worldchampions/alekhine/alekhine.htm#Match/%20Tournament%20History
title=Alekhine's Results at www.chessclub.demon.co.uk
publisher=chessclub.demon.co.uk
accessdate=2008-05-20
] [cite web
url=http://db.chessmetrics.com/CM2/PlayerProfile.asp?Params=199510SSSSS3S002138000000141000000000000010100
title=Alekhine's results at chessmetrics.com
accessdate=2008-05-23
] [cite web
url=http://xoomer.alice.it/cserica/scacchi/storiascacchi/index.htm
title=La grande storia degli scacchi
accessdate=2008-05-23
]

* Under Score, + games won, = games drawn, − games lost

ee also

*List of people who have beaten Alexander Alekhine in chess
*World Chess Championship 1927

Notes

References

*cite book
author=Alekhine, Alexander
year=1980
title=107 Great Chess Battles
publisher=Oxford University Press
id=ISBN 978-0192175908
"This is a collection of games annotated by Alekhine, published long after his death."
*cite book
author=Alekhine, Alexander
year=1985
title=My Best Games of Chess 1908-1937
publisher=Dover
id=ISBN 0-486-24941-7
"This 1985 reprint is a merge from two separate volumes published originally in 1929 and 1937."
*cite book
title=One hundred selected games
author=Botvinnik, Mikhail M.
year=1951
publisher=Bell
id=ASIN B000PZU8S4

*cite book
title=Alekhine in the Americas
author=Donaldson, John W.
coauthors=Minev, Nikolay
year=1992
publishers=International Chess Enterprises
id=ISBN 978-1879479067

*cite book
author=Denker, Arnold
coauthors=Parr, Larry
title=The Bobby Fischer I Knew And Other Stories
publisher=Hypermodern Press
year=1995
id=ISBN 978-1886040182

*cite book
author=Elo, Arpad E.
title=The Rating of Chessplayers, Past and Present
publisher=Batsford
year=1978
id=ISBN 978-0713418606

*cite book
author=Fine, Reuben
title=The World's Great Chess Games
publisher=Courier Dover Publications
year=1952
id=ISBN 0-486-24512-8

*cite book
author=Gillam, Anthony J.
coauthors=Swift, A.J.
year=2001
title=1st European championship Munich 1942
publisher=The Chess Player
id=ISBN 1-901034-46-1

*cite book
title=The Oxford Companion to Chess
author=Hooper, David
coauthors=Whyld, Kenneth
id=ISBN 0192175408
publisher=Oxford University Press
year=1984

*cite book
title=Complete Games of Alekhine: Volume I, 1892-1921
author=Kalendovský, Jan
coauthors=Fiala, Vlastimil
year=1992
publisher=Moravian Chess
id=ISBN 80-85476-10-X

*cite book
author=Kasparov, Garry
title=Garry Kasparov on My Great Predecessors: Part 1
publisher=Everyman Chess
year=2003
id=ISBN 1-85744-330-6

*cite book
author=Keene, Raymond
coauthors=Divinsky, Nathan
title=Warriors of the Mind
publisher=Batsford
id=ISBN 978-0951375709
year=1989

*cite book
author=Khalifman, Alexander
title=Alexander Alekhine: Games 1902-1922
publisher=Chess Direct
year=2002
id=ISBN 978-9548782210

*cite book
title=Alexander Alekhine: Games 1923-1934
author=Khalifman, Alexander
publisher=Chess Direct
year=2002
id=ISBN 9548782235

*cite book
title=Alexander Alekhine: Games 1935-1946
author=Khalifman, Alexander
publisher=Chess Stars
year=2002
id=ISBN 978-9548782258

*cite book
title=The Soviet School of Chess
author=Kotov, Alexander
coauthors=Yudovich, Y.
publisher=Hardinge Simpole (2002 edition)
year=1958
id=ISBN 978-1843820079 (2002 edition)

*cite book
author=Kotov, Alexander
title=Alexander Alekhine
publisher=R.H.M. Press
year=1975
id=ISBN 0-89058-007-3

*cite book
title=Max Euwe: The Biography
author=Münninghoff, Alexander
publisher=New in Chess
year=2001
id=ISBN 978-1588630025

*cite book
author=Réti, Richard
title=Modern Ideas in Chess
year=1923
publisher=Hardinge Simpole
id=ISBN 1-84382-015-3

*cite book
author=Reshevsky, Samuel
title=Great Chess Upsets
publisher=Arco
year=1976
id=ISBN 978-0668034937

*cite book
title=Bogoljubow, the Fate of a Chess Player
author=Soloviov, Sergei
publisher=Chess Stars
year=2004
id=ISBN 978-9548782388

*cite book
author=Saidy, Anthony
coauthors=Lessing, Norman
title=The World of Chess
publisher=Random House
year=1974
id=ISBN 0-394-48777-X

*cite book
title=Frank Marshall, United States Chess Champion
author=Soltis, Andrew
publisher=McFarland
year=1994
id=ISBN 978-0899508870

*cite book
title=Chess Lists
author=Soltis, Andrew
year=2002
publisher=McFarland
id=ISBN 978-0786412969

*cite book
author=Winter, Edward
title=World Chess Champions
publisher=Pergamon
year=1981
id=ISBN 0-08-024094-1

*cite book
author=Winter, Edward
year=1999
title=Kings, Commoners and Knaves: Further Chess Explorations
publisher=Russell Enterprises
id=ISBN 1-888690-04-6

*cite book
author=Winter, Edward
year=2003
title=A Chess Omnibus
publisher=Russell Enterprises
id=ISBN 1-888690-17-8

External links

* [http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessplayer?pid=10240 Alekhine at www.chessgames.com]
* [http://www.bobby-fischer.net/AlekineInterview.html Alekhine rare interview (sound clip)]
* [http://www.chesscafe.com/text/kmoch05.pdf Hans Kmoch talks about Alekhine]
* [http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=3005 Alekhine's death. An unresolved mystery]

Persondata
NAME = Alekhine, Alexander Alexandrovich
ALTERNATIVE NAMES = Алекса́ндр Алекса́ндрович Але́хин; Alexandre Alekhine
SHORT DESCRIPTION = Chess player
DATE OF BIRTH = October 31, 1892
PLACE OF BIRTH = Moscow, Russia
DATE OF DEATH = March 24, 1946
PLACE OF DEATH = Estoril, Portugal


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