Vera Menchik (1st Women's World Chess Champion) Bio

Mar 15, 2015, 9:15 AM |

Vera Menchik

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.


Mir Sultan Khan versus Vera Menchik

May 22nd, 1931

“Insultin' Khan”

1. d4Nf6 2. c4e6 3. Nc3d5 4. cd5ed5 5. Nf3c6 6. Qc2Bd6 7. e3Nbd7 8. Bd3O-O 9. Bd2Re8 10. h4Nf8 11. O-O-Ob5 12. Ng5a5 13. e4b4 14. Na4de4 15. Ne4Ne4 16. Be4Be6 17. Kb1b3 18. ab3Rb8 19. Nc5Bc5 20. Qc5Bb3 21. Rde1Ne6 22. Qc3Qd4 23. Qd4Nd4 24. f3a4 25. Bf4Rbc8 26. Bd3Ne6 27. Be5c5 28. Bb5Red8 29. Re4Nd4 30. Bd4cd4 31. Bd3Rb8 32. Ka1Rb4 33. Rhe1Be6 34. Re5a3 35. b3Rb3 36. Bc4Rb2 37. Be6fe6 38. Ra5d3 39. Ra3d2 40. Rd1Rc2