Vera Menchik (1st Women's World Chess Champion) Bio
1st Women’s World Chess Champion
Vera Menchik is the first Women’s World Chess Champion. She lived from February 16, 1906 to June 27, 1944. Menchik was a British-Czech chess player who gained renown as the world's first women's chess champion. She also competed in chess tournaments with some of the world's leading male chess masters, defeating many of them, including future World ChampionMax Euwe.
Vera Menchik learned to play chess at the age of nine from her father. Menchik had a unique playing style and great endgame expertise. In 1921 her family moved to England, where she studied with the Hungarian chess master Géza Maróczy, whose style greatly influenced her.
When in 1929, Menchik entered the Carlsbad, Viennese master Albert Becker ridiculed her entry by proposing that any player whom Menchik defeated in tournament play should be granted membership into the Vera Menchik Club. In the same tournament, Becker himself became the first member of the "club". In addition to Becker, the "club" eventually included Conel Hugh O'Donel Alexander, Abraham Baratz, Eero Böök, Edgard Colle, Max Euwe, Harry Golombek, Mir Sultan Khan, Frederic Lazard, Jacques Mieses, Stuart Milner-Barry, Karel Opočenský, Brian Reilly, Samuel Reshevsky, Friedrich Sämisch, Lajos Steiner, George Alan Thomas, William Winter, and Frederick Yates.
May 22nd, 1931
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