Fine-Euwe: Vienna Variation of the Ragozin Defense at AVRO 1938

Fine-Euwe: Vienna Variation of the Ragozin Defense at AVRO 1938

GreenLaser
NM GreenLaser
Mar 26, 2011, 12:00 AM |
9 | Opening Theory

The tournament organized by the Dutch radio company, A.V.R.O., in 1938 is still considered one of the very strongest ever held. Its purpose was to find a challenger for the World Champion, Alexander Alekhine. The winner was to be that challenger. However, since Alekhine was one of the players, if Alekhine took first place, the second place player would be the challenger. The field included the best eight players in the world. They played a double round robin of fourteen rounds.
The scores achieved are: Fine 8.5, Keres 8.5, Botvinnik 7.5, Euwe 7, Reshevsky 7, Alekhine 7, Capablanca 6, and Flohr 4.5. Fine had the most wins, six. Keres was the only undefeated player. Keres scored 1.5-0.5 against Fine and that is used to support the claim that Keres won the event on tie-breaks. In any case, Alekhine never played another title match. Neither Keres nor Fine was able to get such a match. Botvinnik also tried to get the match and failed. World War II intervened and then Alekhine’s death was followed by the title being controlled by FIDE in 1948.
The tournament was held in ten Dutch cities, which probably made it more difficult for the oldest players. Databases list the playing site as Amsterdam. The game shown is Fine-Euwe from round 11, which took place in Rotterdam. Euwe is pictured. The opening was the Queen’s Gambit Declined. Black chose the Ragozin Defense and the Vienna Variation. In the Ragozin, Black plays Bb4, with or without check, followed by dxc4 and c5, without a preliminary c6. If White has gotten in e4, it is the Vienna Variation.
I have also shown the Ragozin in the following articles: http://www.chess.com/article/view/lami-connects-the-pawns and http://chess.com/article/view/kramnik-kaidanov-spell-with-two-kays

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