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The Genius of the Combination, pt 2

  • GM Julio_Becerra
  • | Jul 27, 2011

Leaving the USSR

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. His older brother Alexei, with whom Alexander Alekhine had a very close relationship, publicly repudiated, his anti-Soviet utterances shortly after, but Alexei may have had little choice about this decision.

In 1928 and 1929 Alekhine was devoted to playing simultaneous exhibitions around the world, Barcelona, Berlin, London, Montevideo, Warsaw, Paris, Boston, among others. In 1929, Alekhine won first place in Bradley Beach, New Jersey with 8½ of 9.


Matches with Bogoljubov

At the end of 1929, Alekhine played a match with Bogoljubov for the World Championship at Wiesbaden, Heidelberg, Berlin, The Hague, and Amsterdam, from September through November. Alekhine retained his title, winning 11, losing 5, and drawing 9.


Alekhine finished in first place at San Remo 1930, with a performance rating of 2812, with 14 of 15, 3½ points ahead of Nimzowitsch. In the Olympiad of Hamburg 1930 Alekhine won 9 of 9; though he did not win a medal because the medalists played 17 games each, he did win the brilliancy prize for his game against Gideon Stahlberg. In the Olympiad of Prague 1931, he won the gold medal on board one, with 13.5 of 18, and in the tournament of  Bled 1931, Alekhine won decisively, not losing a single game and winning the tournament 5½ points ahead of Efim Bogoljubov with 21.5 of 26. His gambit style was humiliating for the other players.

In 1932, Alekhine won two strong tournaments, in Bern, with 12.5 of 15, and in London with 9 of 11. In 1933 he played 32 people blindfolded simultaneously in Chicago, winning 19, drawing 9, and losing 4 games.  Also in 1933 he won the first board gold medal at the Olympiad in Folkestone with 9.5 of 12.

In 1934 Alekhine married his fourth wife, Grace Weishaar, sixteen years his senior. (In Paris, there was joking that Alekhine had married the widow of Philidor!)

In 1934 he won a strong tournament in Zurich with 13 of 15.  He then defeated Efim Bogoljubov for a second time, in a world championship match in Baden-Baden 1934, by a similar margin of 8 wins, 15 draws and 3 losses. In the Olympiad of Warsaw 1935, he finished with 12 of 17, winning the silver medal (Salo Flohr of Czechoslovakia took the gold by scoring 13 of 17).


Matches with Euwe

He then accepted a challenge from Dr. Max Euwe. On October 3, 1935 the world championship match between Alekhine and Dr. Euwe began in Zandvoort. On December 15, 1935 Dr. Euwe had won with 9 wins, 13 draws, and 8 losses. As you can see, Alekhine was not on his best form:

Though he still did play some nice games:

Alekhine asked for a rematch and got it in 1937. He reclaimed his title, defeating Dr. Euwe in Holland with 10 wins, 11 draws and 4 losses. This time he was on true "Genius of the Combination" form:



Here are some more sparkling combinations from this genius to test yourself:



  • 4 years ago


    From Jose Raul Capablanca: You may learn much more from a game you lose than from a game you win. You will have to lose hundreds of games before becoming a good player

  • 4 years ago


    great imagination!genius.

  • 4 years ago


    Wonderful simple is beautiful, and geniusLaughing

  • 4 years ago


    simple is beautiful.natural is simple but not easy.

  • 4 years ago


    As kasparov mentioned many times ...All my chess activity is based on Alekhin.

    so gari was right.

  • 4 years ago


    Nimzoroy: Capablanca pursued a rematch for over a decade.

  • 4 years ago


    Tal,Alekhine, and Fisher are favorites of mine because I can usually find their natural moves while playing out their games as well as some of the combos but if one studies the games of Kasparov one will come away with a headache and dizzy spells.Kasparov is not my favorite champion but I suspect he may have been the best among the greats.

  • 4 years ago


    Nice article, great puzzles, thanks for sharing. 

    Alekhine's greatness is slightly diminished by his refusal to give Capa a rematch ahead of Bogolybuv or anyone else. However I've read that Capa never really wanted a rematch, so it's hard to tell what really went on. I am positive that Bogo definitely DID NOT deserve a rematch and that there were better contenders available such as Capa and Flohr for instance.

  • 4 years ago


    I do like the combinations I have seen so far, Alekhine's  seem intuitively natural and not too hard to notice or solve when my attention is drawn to them through the exercise. On the board would be a different matter of course.  Always a good mental workout of the day for which I am grateful.

  • 4 years ago


    I guess Alekhine's rematch with Euwe proved he was better than Euwe all along and that their first match wasn't reflective of Alekhine's superiority.  Yet, for some odd reason, the cheese doesn't cut the other way when it comes to Alekhine v Capablanca.  Smells a little funny...

  • 4 years ago


    the genius of Alekine..."Kicking ass & taking names, numbers, zip codes, area codes AND the World Championship" from the "Invincible Capablanca" !!! All you Alekine haters can put all the truth into your pipes & smoke it up.  ... Uncle Bill

  • 4 years ago


    Alekhine is great. 

    Did Capablanca ever request a championship match against Euwe? 

  • 4 years ago



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  • 4 years ago


    awesome combinations!

  • 4 years ago


    When asked if Alekhine's combinations were brilliant, Spielmann replied that he had seen every one of Alekhine's great combinations almost instantly.  "The difference," he explained, "is that I cannot achieve the positions Alekhine routinely brings about."

    Alekhine's true genius was in finding good play for all his pieces, and preventing his opponent from doing the same.  Having achieved that, the combinations abound.

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  • 4 years ago


    It is worth to mention that Nimzowitch pledged to ban Alekhine from all tournaments for Alekhine,s anticomunism (maybe it wouldn,t be the case if Nimzowitch hadn,t have loose all his games to Alekhine).

  • 4 years ago


    @Hawk53 - "He plays like an automaton"

    He plays like a creative automaton!

  • 4 years ago


    I enjoy them very much great games     Cool

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