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Bogoljubow, Efim

Efim Dmitriyevich Bogoljubow (1889-1952), pronounced Bogolyubov,  was born in Kiev.   He studied theology, then agriculture, before turning to chess.  In 1914, while playing at Mannheim, he was interned by the Germans.  He once spent over two hours over his 24th move against Steiner, Berlin 1928, and then chose a move that lost a piece.  In 1928 he defeated Max Euwe in a match in the Netherlands (won 3, lost 2, drew 5).  The match was for the title of FIDE champion, so Bogoljubow was the first FIDE world champion.  This was stated in the minutes of the FIDE’s 5th chess congress at The Hague in 1928.  He played Alexander Alekhine in 1929 and 1934 for the World Chess Championship and lost both matches by a wide margin.  His most famous statement was "When I'm White I win because I'm White.  When I'm Black I win because I'm Bogoljubow."  He died in Triberg, Germany after concluding a simultaneous chess exhibition.  He was USSR Champion in 1924 and 1925.  He left the USSR in 1925 and settled in Germany.  He renounced his USSR citizenship in 1926 and became a German citizen in 1929.  He was then denounced as a political renegade in the Soviet Union.  He won the German championship in 1925, 1931, 1933, and 1949.  He was awarded the Grandmaster title in 1952.

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