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Alexander Alekhine

Date of Birth:
October 19, 1892

Date of Death:
March 24, 1946

Quote count:

Times favorited:

Alexander Alexandrovich Alekhine was a Russian-born naturalised French chess champion. At the age of twenty-two he was already among the best chess players in the world and was one of the five to whom, according to legend, Tsar Nicholas II of Russia awarded the title "chess grandmaster" in 1914. During the 1920s, he won most of the tournaments in which he played. In 1927, he became the fourth World Chess Champion by defeating Capablanca, widely considered invincible, in one of the longest matches ever held up until that time.

In the early 1930s, Alekhine dominated tournament play and won two top-class tournaments by large margins. He also played as top board for France in four Chess Olympiads, winning individual prizes in each one. His tournament record became more erratic from the mid-1930s onwards, and alcoholism is often blamed for his decline. Alekhine offered Capablanca a rematch on the same demanding terms that Capablanca had set for him, and negotiations dragged on for years without making much progress. Meanwhile, Alekhine defended his title against Bogoljubov in 1929 and 1934. He was defeated by Euwe in 1935, but regained his crown in his 1937 rematch with Euwe. His tournament record, however, remained erratic, and rising young stars like Keres, Fine, and Botvinnik threatened his title. No further title matches occurred, however, after World War II broke out in Europe in 1939.

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