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:



  • 5 years ago


    alekhine lost queen two times,and he won.simply WONDERFUL

  • 5 years ago


    I believe that on puzzle two black needs to sac the Rook to get mate:  50. Kh4  Rh5+  51. Kxh5 (if Kg4, Qh3#) Qh3+   52. Rh4   g3#

  • 5 years ago


    fun stuff...

  • 5 years ago


    I wonder how many tournaments did Alekhine  win ahead of Capablanca? It is very well documented that Alekhine ,after winning the title, avoided any tournament if Capa was in; and when he did, he lost.

  • 5 years ago


    He was an amazing talent. I have studied all the great champions in depth, and none of them sacrificed so frequently as this man. He was definitely the greatest player at sacrificing his Queen to bring about mate. His genius is incredible. He may not be the greatest player of all time, but his games are the most interesting and baffling. The combination is the heartbeat of chess, and he sits at the top in this category. Tal and Morphy were great at it, along with Andersen but nothing like Alekhine. I would love to have seen Morphy and Alekhine play in their primes. That would have been something. To beat Lasker in 28 moves in such fashion is unheard  of. Lasker had to be shaking his head. Lasker was a much better person, from what I understand. Who am I to judge, though! Alekhine's play confuses me more than anyone else I have studied. I rarely ever guess his next move correctly after the opening. His genius is hard to comprehend. He plays like an automaton.

  • 5 years ago


    Stvarno beautiful  !Wink

  • 5 years ago


    Any chance you can post the whole games in the puzles and set begin at the start of the puzzle so we can see how they ended up in them positions

  • 5 years ago

    FM VPA

    I always enjoy your articles, they are simply informative & entertainingKiss

  • 5 years ago


    amazing reading truley enjoyed it

  • 5 years ago


    In puzzle 3 Rxf5 is a forced mate.

  • 5 years ago


    I do like this series of articles...but the statement
    'This time he was on true "Genius of the Combination" form'
    is perhaps a little strong...

     In Game 16 of the 1937 match Alekhine missed a 3-move trivial combination to win the game on move 26 and again the same combo on move 27. (Because Alekhine missed the 3 mover, the game actually ended in a 65 move draw)

  • 5 years ago


    Amazing combinations.  He really is the genius of the combination.

  • 5 years ago


    that's simple brilliance at playing by ur own experience

  • 5 years ago


    I think they are pretty impressive, I think most winning combinations are analyzed and prevented in modern chess at the higher levels.

  • 5 years ago


    Simply brilliant. Excellent articles

Back to Top

Post your reply: