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The decisive victory for Max Euwe

The decisive victory for Max Euwe

Jun 30, 2017, 10:14 AM 0

During his career as a chess player, Max Euwe was largely successful, and he walked away from tournaments with good scores; he won every Dutch tournament between 1921-1952 in which he entered.

On the international level though, he felt overshadowed by the great Alekhine, who always seemed to get the better of him. By 1933, their personal score stood at 3.5 - 1.5 in Alekhine`s favour. however Euwe had hope, after gaining an impressive victory at Hastings in 1930-1, where he came first before Capablanca.

1933 was an important year, because Alekhine competed in the Hastings tournament, but faired badly, for the first time in his career Alekhine`s success faltered, as he lost to Lilienthal, and played below his usual standard in most of his other games. Secondly Max met Grandmaster Hans Kmoch, who knew about his decision to give up competing for the world crown, and did not approve. Kmoch understood that Euwe had great potential, and had a future in chess as well as mathematics. Euwe was persuaded by Kmoch to pursue Alekhine. 

Alekhine challenged Euwe to a world championship match in 1935 with great confidence, and Euwe accepted. Euwe prepared intensively for two years in three ways: Practical, theoretical and physical (Max started boxing). FIDE altered the details of the tournament, so it was 30 games instead of the proposed 10, and not on a cruise boat as Alekhine had proposed.

Alexander started off promisingly, beating Max whenever Max played with the black pieces in games 3,5,7,and 9, where the French defense to 1.e4 did not serve Max well, after ten games the score was at 6-4 to Alekhine. Euwe altered his playing style, and his opening repertoire, for example his following games as black were 1.e4, e5, and he was happy to enter a Ruy Lopez, because he had focused on this greatly, in terms of theory. Max noticed that Alexander played with aggression, and if he was capable of weathering the storm, then he would prevail, in the long endgames etc.

After game 25, Max Euwe held a fragile 1 point lead over Alekhine with a score of 13-12, but it wasn`t until after the 26th game that this lead was secured by Euwe to 14-12, and below this crucial game is annotated.





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