Alekhin Alexandr Alexandrovich (19 (31) October 1892, Moscow - March 25 1946,
Estorial,Portugal) - outstanding Russian grandmaster, fourth champion of the
world carrying this rank in 1927-25 and since 1937 to the death.
Since young years Alekhin passionately has taken a great interest in a chess
and has decided to devote to them life. The first chess steps he has made in
tournaments on correspondence and competitions of the Moscow chess circle. On
environmental made the large impression independence of chess thinking of the
In 1908 Alekhin debuted on the international arena, by dividing 4-5 p in the
main tournament of a congress in Dusseldorf. At once after that he has played
matches with Bardeleben ( + 4 = 1) and Farni (+ 1 -1 = 1). At the end of that
year Alekhin has won a match with the Moscow master Blumenfeld (+ 4 = 1) and has
occupied 1 p in tournament of the Moscow chess circle. It has given for Alekhin
the right of participation in the All-Russia tournament of the amateurs
(St. Petersburg 1909), where he has won 1 prize and rank of the master.
A series of brilliant performances of Alekhin in tournaments and matches from
now on begins.
The performances of Alekhin on domestic and international arena during struggle
for a rank strongest chess player of the world are characterized by the following
1910 - Hamburg 7-8; 1911 - Carlsbad 8-11; 1912 - Stockholm 1, Wilna (tournament
of the Russian masters) 6-7, St. Petersburg 1; 1913 - St. Petersburg 1-2,
Scheveningen 1, matches with Levitsky + 7 -3, Ed. Lasker + 3; 1913-14 -
St. Petersburg (tournament of the Russian masters) 1-2; 1914 - St. Petersburg 3,
Mannheim 1; 1915-16 - Moscow 1; 1918 - Moscow - 1; 1919 - Moscow (championship
off contest) 1; 1920 - Moscow (All-Russia Olympiad) 1; 1921 - Triberg 1,
Budapest 1, Hague 1, matches with N.Grigoriev + 2 = 5, Teichmann + 2 -2 = 2,
Saemisch + 2; 1922 - Pestien 2-3, London 2, Hastings 1, Vienna 1; 1923 Margate
2-5, Karlowy Vary 1-3, Portsmouth 1; 1924 - New York 3; 1925 - Paris 1, Bern 1,
Baden-Baden 1; 1925-26 - Hastings 1-2; 1926 - Zemmering 2, Dresden 2, Scarboro 1,
Birmingham 1, Buenos Aires 1; 1926-27 - match with Euwe = 3 -2 = 5; 1927 New
York 2, Keczkemet 1.
On outcome 1927 the historical match between Alekhin and Capablanca was held,
in which Alekhin has gained a brilliant victory with the account + 6 -3 = 25.
For the first time honourable rank of the champion of the world was won by the
Russian chess player. The creative ideas of Russian chess school, for flowering
which Chigorin and Alekhin have made so much, have triumphed. Just in it the
main importance of a match consist.
" The winning of a match by Alekhin - wrote Em. Lasker - is a victory of the
unshakable fighter above mind avoiding all not clear. Capablanca aspires by
scientific methods to accuracy. Alekhin in the greater measure the artist, in
him is more seeking, and basically such creativity is higher, especially, if it
is shown in struggle ".
Reti has noticed that " in won by Alekhin parties under an ice cover of modern
engineering brightly burns passionate seeking of new ways - that is completely
alien Capablanca ".
Itself Alekhin wrote after a match: " at last dream of my life was carried out,
and it was possible to me to reap fruits of my long efforts and works ".
The period of life of Alekhin from a gain of a title of the champion of the
world up to a drama match with Euwe (1935) was marked by outstanding sports and
creative achievements. The chess world had before itself grandmaster with rare
combinational sight, prompt and vigorous in attack, inventive and thin in
protection, with extensive debut repertoir - in word, original artist and
innovator of a chess.
In 1929 Alekhin was first on small international tournament in a Bradly-Beach
and with success has protected the rank in a match with Bogoljubow (+ 11 -5 = 9).
In 1930 champion of the world has shown phenomenal result on tournament in
San-Remo. Though among the participants there were such coryphaeus, as Nimzowitch,
Rubinstein, Bogoljubow, Vidmar-sr., Schpielmann, Maroczy, Tartakower, Alekhin
has gained 13 victories and only two parties has finished draw, by outstripping
the nearest participant Nimzowitch on 3.5 points. Such achievement was not known
by a yet history of chess competitions.
In that style has carried out Alekhin rather strong on structure two-rounds
tournament in Bled (1931). Here interval between the winner Alekhin and
occupied 2 p Bogoljubow has grown up to 5.5 points! In London (1932), Bern
(1932), Pasadena (1932), Paris (1933), Zurich (1934), Oerebro (1935) -
everywhere Alekhin was first and only in Hastings 1933-34 has divided 2-3 p.
In an atmosphere of the complete superiority Alekhin his second match with
Bogoljubow (1934, + 8 -3 = 15) has passed also.
The next year, however, has shown, that in creativity and such titanium of a
chess, as Alekhin, can be of weakness and failure. They were caused first of
all by his separation from native ground, which he in searches sports laurels
has left in 1921.
In such psychologically difficult conditions the new match of Alekhin for
world championship with Euwe proceeded, it is doubtless by the strong opponent,
but on the creative range nevertheless was second by Alekhin. The champion of
the world with the account + 8 -9 = 13 has lost a match.
Bitter taste of this defeat has mobilized Alekhin. He has engaged in the
strengthened training, has become to observe a strict regimen. The performances
of Alekhin in 1936 (Nauheim 1-2, Dresden 1, Podebradi 2, Nottingham 6,
Amsterdam 3, Hastings 1936-37 1) and 1937 (Margate 3, Kemeri 4-5, Nauheim 2-3)
did not foretell an easy victory above Euwe. But this competition holding at
the end of 1937, was won by Alekhin with the account + 10 -4 = 11. Alekhin has
returned to itself a rank of a strongest chessplayer of the world, which, under
his ironical remark, " he has given to Euwe on loan for two years ".
In 1938 Alekhin has made attempt to return in USSR. During AVRO-tournament
Botvinnik has transferred to him a call to a match on world championship.
Alekhin has accepted a call and asked, that this competition was carried out in
Moscow, and that him have permitted three months prior to a match to arrive in
USSR. The request of Alekhin was accepted in attention and both opponents have
begun to prepare for meeting. But the second world war was unwrapped and the
match was not held.
Last years of life of Alekhin were complete of deprivations. When in 1945 Alekhin
got in Portugal, he impressed of the patient of the man.
These heavy years Alekhin was convinced that the native Land remembers him and
is ready to help him. In March 1946 he again has received from Botvinnik the
offer to play a match on championship of the world. Alekhin has answered with
the consent. In that month he suddenly has died - in loneliness behind a chess
Subsequently of ashes of Alekhin was transported in Paris, where he constantly
lived from a beginning of the 20-th years. Per the tenth anniversary of death
of Alekhin under the decision FIDE on his grave the monument was established,
the inscription on which says " Alexandr Alekhin - genius of a chess of Russia
and France ".
The list of last performances of Alekhin: 1938 - Montevideo 1, Margate 1,
Plymouth 1-2, AVRO-tournament 4-6; 1939 - Montevideo 1, Caracas 1; 1941 -
Munich 2-3, Krakow - Warsaw 1-2; 1942 - Salzburg 1, Munich 1, Warsaw - Lublin-
Krakow 1, Prague 1-2; 1943 Salzburg 1-2, Prague 1; 1944 - Jijon 1, match with
Rei-Ardid + 1 = 3; 1945 - Madrid 1, Jijon 2-3, Sabadel 1, Almeria 1, Melila 1,
Navidad 2; 1946 - match with Lupi + 2 -1 = 1.
Alekhin headed a team of France on 3-6 and 8 Olympiads with constant high
results. Especially he was distinguished in Hamburg 1930, where has won all
The importance of Alekhin for a chess is huge. In the theory of a beginnings
to Alekhin belong the set of original ideas, as, for example, debut, developed
by him, - Alekhin defence (1.e4 Kf6), system of attack in the French defence
(attack Shatar-Alekhin) and in the basic variant of orthodox defence in
Queen gambit with a move 11.Ke4, Keczkemet's variant in the Rui Lopez party,
variants and systems in Slavic defence, accepted queen gambit, Chigorin defence
, Karo-Kann defence and many other beginnings.
Alekhin was the greatest master of a combination. The conducting attack of Alekhin
, his skill is rather instructive conduct the combined approach on both flanks,
to choose the successful moment for a victim, to put unexpected tactical
impact. The engineering of Alekhin in endspiel was masterly, where he with the
special skill found the latent resources for protection.
" For me - declared Alekhin - a chess is not game, and art. Yes, I consider a
chess as art and I take on myself all those duties, which it assigns to him
Grandmaster Kotov wrote in the work " A chess heritage of A.A.Alekhin ":
" Alekhin - top of domestic chess school, always served and continues to serve
for our masters a sample of the chessplayer - creator, maximum display of
practical chess force ".