Leonard P. Rees Vice President of FIDE wrote a letter on December 13, 1927 which was sent to all FIDE members.
’ Dr. Rueb the President of FIDE, desired me, as Vice President, to express my personal support of the important letter he has circulated to you in connection with the recent match for the Championship of the World. I’m in complete accord with the sentiments and remarks contained in that letter. The match in Buenos Aires was the first one played under the conditions formulated by some of the Masters present in London in 1922, and it is now clearly apparent tint those conditions need very considerable modifications for the benefit of Chess generally. The FIDE of 23 National Units represents nearly all the Chess organizations of the World. In the interest of the Chess pubic and of the Champion— and possible challengers— the Federation as the supreme authority in Chess matters, should deal with this question at once and decide on such modifications as would lessen the physical strain imposed of the combatants and so give a true reflex of their chess strength, modify financial basis and so ensure more frequent matches.’’
If, therefore, each Unit would consider the matter and furnish me on behalf of the FIDE, with their views, I would collate the details and lay them be lore my colleagues of the Central Committee, Dr. A. Rueb and Professor Nicolet, so that a definite proposal can be prepared for the Annual Council Meeting in July next at The Hague’’.
The ACB published in January 1928 an interesting article under the name : FIDE and the World Championship. It showed clearly the wishes of FIDE to be involved in further world championship matches and if possible those ones to be organized under its auspices.
That matches for the world’s chess championship be hereafter controlled by the International Chess Federation, instead of being left to the management of the principals or their representatives, is the desire of Dr. A Rueb of The Hague, president of that organization, who has addressed an appeal for support to the twenty-three units of the Federation. He has also invited an expression of views by Dr. Alexander Alekhine, the new champion and Jose R. Capablanca and Dr. Emanuel Lasker, ex-champions, in order that the subject may be discussed with full understanding at the next meeting of the International to be-held at The Hague in July.
Lasker stated in the ACM of March 1928 that he should play a match for the World Championship if he had reason to believe that the chess world want it. Chess world and not FIDE as the two terms are distinct. « The first designates a living being that has existed a thousand years, the other one organization which has yet to prove its vitality and can look back on a caree of a few years only ».
The ACM published in February 1928 an article which said that the Champion is considering a return match with Capablanca. In the same time in New York Capablanca gave full credit to Alekhine for his victory and express is confidence to recover his lost laurels if a return match planned for 1929 takes place.
On February 10 1928, Capablanca wrote a long letter to Dr. Rueb President of FIDE. (EB/ACB 1928)
Dear Dr. Rueb, —On my arrival in New York Dr. Lederer showed me some of the correspondence he had with you, and asked me to write you a letter giving you my views on the question of the championship, and with modifications in the rules in the light of the experience of the last championship in Buenos Aires.
In regards to the championship match I wish first of all to call your attention to the fact that before I won the championship there were unfixed rules for it, nor were there any specific obligations on the part of the champion to play a match unless he felt like it.
As soon as I won the title, although there was not at the time any international body which could make or enforce any rules, I myself took upon me the responsibility of drawing up a set of rules which would put the champion under obligation to defend his title under certain conditions. Evidently that move on my part was not of any personal advantage to me, but rather to the contrary. In drawing up these rules I looked upon the matter from a purely objective point of view. I must state here that I submitted these rules to Mr. Walter Penn Shipley of Philadelphia for his personal approval and that his answer was that in the light of previous experience he had no objection to the making of these rules except one which he modified slightly in the champion’s favor. He furthermore added that he thought, for the time being, that no better rules could be made. This is evidence in itself of the spirit that I put into the making of those rules.
In the light of the last experience at Buenos Aires I can only think of two modifications that should be made. These modifications are as follows:
A limit must be put to the number of games to be played in a match, and in my opinion the limit should be sixteen games. Thus the rule modified would read: The match should he of six games up but if after sixteen games no player has won six games, the player having won the greatest number of points shall win the match and the championship. Of course, in case of an even number of points the match is to be declared a draw and the champion retains his title.
The second modification is with regard to the time limit, which I think should be changed to 30 moves in two hours with two 4-hour sessions a day, with an intervening lapse for food and rest of about 1 1/2 or 2 hours, with the provision that no analysis of the games be made during the lapse under penalty of forfeiting the game.
The reasons for these modifications are that without a limit to the number of games it is quire possible that the match may never be finished, or that it may last so long as to make the result merely dependent on the physical and mental endurance of the players. In other wnrds it would depend on who would be exhausted first, and not on who was the better player. This does not take into consideration the cost of the march, which evidently is greater the longer it lasts.
The time limit should be changed because the technical knowledge of the openings and the general knowledge of the game is so far advanced that with playing time of only five hours practically every game comes to an adjournment or can be made to come to an adjournment. and as a consequence the practical result will often depend, not on the actual ability of the player to win the games over the board, bur more so on his ability to analyze for hours a given position (in which analysis he may easily obtain help from other players or from books) combined with his capacity to stand work for an unlimited number of hours without impairing his capacity for work the following day.
No other condition, to my mind, should be modified; nor would it be practical to play a championship match more than once a year. Even under these modifications, giving a definite limit of sixteen games, a championship match is an affair of about 2 1/2 or 3 months, according to the distance to be traveled by the players. Certainly a preparation of four weeks before a championship match should not be too much for the majority of players. The sixteen games will take one month to play, making thus already two months. Furthermore, the players, or one of them at least, will need eight or ten days to get accustomed to the climate and food of the country where the match is going to take place. If you add to all this the time employed in travel, which may vary from twenty-four hours to twenty-five or thirty days, you will see that a championship match would be, as I stated, an affair lasting from 2½ to 3 months.
In this account no consideration is taken of the fact that after a hard march the players may be so exhausted as to require a certain amount of time in which to rest up, thus making their usefulness void as far as earning powers are concerned.
I am making all these considerations on account of the matter of the purse, which, to my mind, not only is nor excessive for a championship match, but rather to the contrary. Of course, I realize that in Europe at the present moment (largely because of after-war conditions) it would be difficult to raise a purse of that size, but you must consider that such a thing is only temporary, and that when a man gets to the top of his profession throughout the world a fee of some seven thousand dollars, which is all that a champion can win in a match, cannot by any manner or means he considered excessive for some three months of his time, the more so as he is not able to win that much but once a year, and that even only in theory, as in actual practice he does not earn it but once every two or three years at best. You must consider, furthermore, that the standard of living in some countries on this side of the ocean is so much higher than in Europe that the sum means practically nothing.
In fact, under actual circumstances, and this you know as well as anybody else, no chess master has been able through chess to obtain sufficient money so as to make his standard of living of any consequence. The very few who are able to live on a more or
less higher standing do so through sources of money made totally outside of chess, if you will take the trouble to consider the mode of living of the large majority of so-called grand-masters of chess you must come to the conclusion that there is no other enterprise in life in which men who excel to such an extent in their profession must live and do live under such standards. It is the obligation of the men governing the affairs of chess to put forward their best efforts to raise the standard of living of the few men able to excel so much in that profession, and nor, as is intended, to reduce their earning capacity, thus lowering this standard instead of raising it.
You must not lose track of the fact that it is only through the ability of these very few men that chess has reached the high standard of the present day, and that should conditions become such that only men engaged in other walks of life can occasionally devote their attention to chess, chess would cease to advance and would finally deteriorate.
Do not overlook that the great masterpieces of chess have been produced only by the very best players of their time, never by dilettantes, and that it is to those master pieces that the chess lovers at large look forward.
I am forwarding a copy of this letter to Dr. Alekhine, Mr. Kuhns and Dr. Lederer.
With kindest regards, I am
Very sincerely yours,
- Capablanca. Havana, 10 February 1928
Alekhine’s reply came two weeks later (EB/ACB 1928)
Paris, 29 February 1928
Dear Mr. Capablanca, I am in receipt of the copy of your letter to Mr. Rueb dated 10 February, which you thought necessary to send me, and I feel induced to make to you and especially to the Chess World the following statement:
Having lost your title you address yourself to the FIDE with the suggestion to modify hose same roles which you had made on becoming Champion of the World, and which you imposed on your possible rivals in London in 1922. You do this although you know that, on principle, I should never agree to these modifications inasmuch as they are adapted to a possible return match between ourselves. This I made quite clear to you during our only interview after the match on 12 December 1927.
Although you assured me during that interview that you agreed with my views (that a return match between ourselves could not take place on other terms than those of the first one) and that you would make it known to the organizations concerned; although, notwithstanding that FIDE exists since 1924, I myself did not consider it fit to address myself to it with analogous suggestions, for I would have considered such an appeal equal to the disowning of my signature of the London Rules in 1922. Not withstanding all this I should not have decided to give a public answer to your letter to Mr. Rueb had it not referred to the “experience” of the Buenos Aires match. On account of this assertion and the deductions which might wrongly be drawn from it, I am obliged to state the following:
- —Basing yourself on our common “experience” you suggest limiting the number of games in the match to sixteen. You will understand that were I taking into consideration only the example of Buenos Aires, and were I only thinking of my advantages, the “experience” would make me gladly we your proposal, for already from the twelfth game I took the lead and maintained it to the end. Consequently, after the 16th, after the 20th, and after the 24th game (the limit established its your match with Dr. Lasker), I should have been the winner. (This also shows that your argument as to the possibility of losing a match out of sheer fatigue ran in no way be drawn from our Buenos Aires ‘experience”), But I most confess that such a victory would nor have satisfied me— nor would I or anyone in the Chess World he convinced by a correspond ing defeat.
The fact is (and this you know as well as I do) that in the present phase of the evolution of the act of chess, the science of the openings has exceedingly advanced, and makes playing for a draw each year easier for the leading masters. The only logical deduction that might and must he drawn is that in a match (especially for the world’s championship), only decided games can be taken into consideration. This practically excludes all limitation of the number of games in a match, for it is obvious that in the latter case the draws would, directly or indirectly, influence the final issue.
In fact, what would a match come to, reduced as you suggest to sixteen games? The first opponent who perhaps owing to chance (for one game does nut prove anything) succeeds in winning a game can play all the others for a draw, thereby forcing his opponent to give him the draw in advance.
Submitting to the rules you imposed, I won six games from you. Can you possibly imagine that I shall agree to play a return match with you or to defend my title against anybody else on conditions that render chess a game like baccarat?
- As to yout proposal to change the control and order of the play. I consider it still mote unfounded. The control of time after five hours’ play was proposed by you, and introduced on your own initiative at the New York Tournament of 1927, where it received full recognition. As you argued at that time such control has advantages for the public (allowing the public to attend the main pan of the game. forty moves., at one sitting), as well as for the players themselves (five hours’ uninterrupted play are less tiring than six to eight hours in two sittings). The arguments to the contrary which you now advance based on the Buenos Aires experience,” seem tome quite unfounded.
(a) Namely, our 34 games of which 25 (5 of them decided, 3 in my favor and 2 in yours) were either practically ended towards the 40th move or even earlier, show that neither ‘the technical knowledge of the openings” nor the general knowledge of the game,” prevent it being ended before five hours.
(b) Your dislike of analysis will probably cause the greatest astonishment in Buenos Aires itself, where all through the match the local press drew special attention to your chess work outside of the play.
Here are a few examples.
- After the adjournment of the eleventh game you stayed behind in the club and asking to be left alone in a separate room, analyzed for two hours the adjourned position. (Critica, of 9 October 1927)
- Coming to the club in order to continue the adjourned twenty-second game, you retired to a room next to the one in which the match was being played, and while your clock was going, with the authorization of the judge of the match, Dr. Querencio, (your friend, in whose house you stayed during the match) you analyzed the adjourned position for about an hour. (Critica, of 1st November 1927)
I might add that this procedure, although perhaps admitted from a formal point of view, but, anyhow quite unusual, evoked a series of comments in the Buenos Aires Chess Club, and certainly (of course, without any purpose on your side) had an influence on my further play in that game.
Although other examples could be added, these two suffice to show those who might take your assertion as an “argomenrum ad hominem,” that it was certainly not the analyzing that decided the face of the championship.
What shall I say about your statement that after an adjournment of the fortieth move the players might find aid in… books.
Coming from a player of your experience and science, this assertion can only be considered as a joke, and the president of the FIDE, Mr. Rueb, who is a strong amateur of the first class, will hardly take it seriously.
As to the question of possible help in analyzing from other players, the Chess World will probably heat with interest about your Buenos Aires “experience” which showed you that such help ‘is always easy to obtain ’’ As to myself, my experience in that respect is null, a sufficient reason being the atmosphere of racial sympathy towards you really quite comprehensible, which reigned all over Argentine.
Summing up all I have said:
Alter the match was over I made it clear to you that I was willing to play with you again only on strictly the same conditions as the first time. You told me that you quite agreed with this. Now you have evidently changed your mind, and are endeavoring to obtain on your own, modification of the rules of the Championship Matches.
You do not seem to know me very well if you can imagine that anything could induce me to give up what I consider fair and sportsmanlike.
If you wish to play a return match with me, you will have to submit to the rules that you fixed yourself, and according to which the first match was played.
I won six games from you in fair play and I shall only recognize the superiority of one (be it you or another) who will also win six games from me. –
I am convinced that someone who during his Championship makes rules (not easy ones for his Challenger) and who immediately after losing the title ventures to change these for others which bring to the struggle facilities for the Challenger, and elements of chance, will not meet with sympathy in the Sporting World.
The ACM published in April 1928 a proposal which was given by The FIDE President Dr. Rueb to the World Champion and J.R. Capablanca.
- FIDE to classify annually the best four player of the year, the first of these to be the official candidate for the year.
- A purse of 10,000 Swiss francs
- A match every three years
- Four win to decide
- A maximum of 25 games
As an alternative Dr. Rueb suggested that a shorter match for a smaller purse might be held every other year.
In May 1928 the ACB wrote about the matter:
Asked concerning his return match with Dr. Alekhine, Capablanca said that he could not understand the new champion’s act in publishing the letter which the Cuban had written to Dr. A. Rueb of The Hague, president of the International Chess Federation, and of which Capablanca, as a matter uf courtesy, had sent Dr. Alekhine a copy. Capablanca had written that letter, he said, not for the purpose of suggesting any new conditions for the return march, as to which he and his rival had had a thorough understanding before parting in Buenos Aires, but in order to outline his general ideas on the subject for the guidance of Dr. Koch and his associates during the discussion of the world championship at the annual business meeting of the International Federation at The Hague later this month. Capablanca added that he hoped to arrange the match with Dr. Alekhine under precisely the same conditions as those which obtained at Buenos Aires. The encounter will most likely take place in the United States. As to Dr. Alekhine’s insistence that he would play under no other conditions, Capablanca said:
This is entirely superfluous so far as I am concerned because I never made any at tempt to have the conditions changed for a return match here. My suggestion to President Rueb, intending to modify the rules, was with reference to other future match and not to mine because, as a matter of personal satisfaction, if I am to regain my title, I would like to do it under exactly the same conditions under which I lost it. My contention, however, is for other future matches. Since conditions have changed, rules should he modified to meet these new conditions in the same way that I modified them five years before when I thought that the modifications were necessary to meet the new conditions existing then. Common sense will tell that championship rules, either in chess or anything else, cannot be maintained the same throughout an unlimited number of years, but that it is self-evident that, as conditions surrounding championship matches change, the rules should be altered along with them in order to properly meet the changed conditions.’’
On May 5 1928, The Soviet Master Efim Bogoljubov (1889-1952) became the official Champion of FIDE as a result of defeating the Dutch master Dr. Max Euwe (1901-1981) by the score 4½ -3½. The games were played in Amsterdam and The Hague, Netherlands.
FIDE in its Congress of August 1928 held in Den Hague decided to create a commission to negotiate a possible reunification match between both champions. In his welcome speech, the FIDE President Dr Rueb said that even without to be involved in the organization, FIDE had followed with great interest the result of the match of Buenos Aires and once the result known he send on the behalf of FIDE a cable of congratulations to the new World Champion. He also appreciated the behavior of the former champion especially the fact that he had consulted him early this year on the changes of the rules. It is clearly showed that for the chess world FIDE becomes an interesting party to negotiate with on the future of such match. Rueb then criticized the financial term for such match. Saying that except for a return match between Alekhine and Capablanca, the prize money of $10,000 will not give equal change to other potential candidates who are in the impossibility to rise such sum of money: “The championship shall be played more than once every ten years, and if the money can’t be easily collected then we must reduce its level up to a more realistic figure.”
The Czech Master Richard Reti (1889-1929) stated:” FIDE considers that its terms of reference cover the question of the title matches…The present world champion has already declared that he would be agree to play a new match by the present rules. Therefore we are quite likely to face a clash between the Champion and FIDE. In this case the world would have to choose between Alekhine’s combinations and Rueb’s circular letters.”
On June, 8 1928 from Berlin, J. R Capablanca sent a first letter to Alekhine hoping that the World Champion will giving a revenge match (EB 1928)…
I hereby challenge you officially to a match for the Chess Championship of the World under
the accepted London World Championship Rules of 1922.
P.S. The above challenge is written to confirm Dr. Lederer’s letter of several weeks ago, as I gather from a cable of his that you require the above written challenge.
My forfeit of five hundred dollars is a Dr. Lederer’s hand as I believe he has notified you already.
On August 28, 1928 from Bad Kissingen where he won the international tournament, Bogoljubow send a letter to Alekhine to inform him that he is ready to challenge him officially for the title of Champion begin of 1929 (EB 1928).
On October 8, 1928, Capablanca issued his first demand for a return match (ACB 1928)
Published in French, Alekhine send a reply to Bogoljubow dated of October 28, 1928. The Champion asked Bogoljubow to deposit, as per regulation article 11 of London Rules 1922, the amount of US$ 500 before January 15. He said also that in case of failure he will accept the challenge offer by Mr. Capablanca. (EB 1928)
- Alekhine (FRA) – E. Bogoljubov (USSR) 15½-9½
Germany and Holland, 6 September 1929 till 12 November 1929
It is believed that after Alekhine took over Capablanca in 1927, he would not want to hear anything of a return match. He was unwilling to hold any discussions on the matter and evaded all the proposed talks. The year 1928 Alekhine spent traveling and playing exhibition matches in Europe and America. Obviously, this could upset the chess world. In order to avoid this, Alekhine agreed to a challenger match with Bogoljubov. Efim Dmitriyevich Bogoljubov (1889-1952) was born in Russia and was originally trained for the priesthood. Finding that he had no vocation for the religious life bt a great gift for chess, he decided to follow the bent of his inclination and embark on the career of a professional player. To bring himself back in shape for the match, Alekhine entered a tournament at Bradley Beach in USA, which he won easily (8 wins and 1 draw out of 9 games) without meeting any serious resistance from the opponents, for there were no top players taking part. Alekhine was absolutely sure that Bogoljubov would not be an obstacle to keep the title. However, he had to defend his decision. He used the fact that Bogoljubov was ahead of Capablanca in the 1928 Bad Kissingen Tournament and after beating Euwe in match he became the FIDE Champion. The deal was that the match should be played in different places in Germany and Holland. The winner should be one to score a higher number of points after 30 games. After the 15th game the score was almost balanced with Alekhine only 2 wins ahead of Bogoljubov. Perhaps, the challenger could not cope with stress well enough and the rest of the match went under champion’s total domination. 25th game was the last, Alekhine reached the required 15½ points. His score was 11 wins, 5 losses and 9 draws. Was this match satisfying for the chess fans? Many authors note that the chess public would still have preferred Alekhine to play a return match against Capablanca.
Queen Gambit Declined
Something went terribly wrong for the challenger in the beginning of the whole match. Or he was too tense because of the tension of his first game for the title, or he had made a very poor opening preparation for this particular line. He played the Slav defense, with the unusual 5…e6 closing the way for his c8 Bishop. His plan was to hang on the pawn. This turned out to be a fatal mistake against such a wonderful attacking master like the fourth world champion. It is remarkable Alekhine had to face later of his career 3 more time a slightly different version of the same opening. He won them all.
Instead of waiting passively, keeping his position Bogoljubow tried to gain some space. He actually did it, but at a heavy cost. He opened then the position for a better-developed opponent. In a seriously difficult situation he made two desperate moves with 12…a6 and 13…h6. In bad position “all moves are bad”, once said Kasparov. This was the case here as well. Once his black King started his journey, Black had no chance whatsoever; he finally resigned at move 25. Alekhine had several simple options to finish the game. He made no mistake. A disasters start for the challenger, he produced one of the worst ever game of the world championship matches.
Bogoljubow played 1.d4, Alekhine chose the opening was popularized by one of the strongest player of the beginning of the century Aron Nimzowitch. White gave up the dark squared Bishop, which allowed the champion to have the two Bishops. On the other side White hade some space advantage and Black’s d7 pawn was going to be a target. The challenger started actions prematurely, before Castle. Alekhine could simplify by an intermediate check, but he went for the more complex continuation. Bogoljubow decided to put the a1 Rook to d1 instead of the f1, maybe the latter would have been more accurate.
The world champion played classical chess, just brought all his pieces into the game. White had to defend the knight, which started to play so early. At move 15 Black got rid of the slightly weak d7 pawn by playing 15…d5. By that he created two connected pawns in the center. Was that center was going to be a target or an attacking force.
White did not dare to exert pressure, but decided to finish development first. Black kept playing fluent and freed his pieces even more at move 18. It was inevitable for Bogoljubow to allow his opponent to have a strong passed pawn. He correctly looked for counter play on his opponents second with his rook. However the execution was faulty he should have back his rook by the queen not his rook. White set up a simple first rank mate. Of course a player with such a caliber would no way miss it. Actually Alekhine set up his own trap, but this was a most imaginative one, a truly genius idea. Black offered a pawn of his kingside in order to push his passed pawn one rank further. Instead of trying to defend the position passively, which gave a decent chance to get away, Bogoljubow could not resist the pawn. The champion saw there was defense against the direct exploitation of the first rank, so he went to gain further space gaining by d3. It became clear or White can take the d3 pawn, or it would grow unbearable. At move 31 White missed his fortunate moment, it looked too dangerous to take the critical d3 pawn, however precious checking shows, White could have survived despite of the weak second rank, because his opponent’s king would have required some guarding. It was Alekhine’s turn to set up a first rank mate. Black had a hard decision at move 31 as well. He could have tried Qc3. Had he played that White should have avoided taking the pawn because of a fantastic combination leading to a lost queen ending. But White could have escaped to a worse, but survivable rook ending. Bogoljubow should have moved his king to h2, which would have forced the black rook to defend d3. White no doubt was facing a suffer in that case but was better than the impatient game continuation. White put away from his queen from the center that was big mistake. Alekhine did not change queens but occupied a dominating position with his queen. He obtained a winning position, just should have gone for the opponent’s rooks. Had he taken he should have endured quite a number of check, but surely his king would have escaped from the check. Instead of that he let exchange one of the pawn in front of his king. No longer his queen was able to give up guarding his king. Finally allowed the queen exchange, the draw was inevitable. This time Bogoljubow can consider lucky as he got away with a draw. This was great fighting game, not flawless, but some incredible ideas were seen as well.
Queen Gambit Accepted
Alekhine played the Queens Gambit Accepted for the first time of the match. He went for the Bg4’s line. Bogoljubow did not play for occupying the centre. He looked unfamiliar with the line it was hard to catch his concept. The challenger decided to exchange the h5 bishop. The champion carried out e5, which brought him equality. Bogoljubow made some more awkward move, specially retreating to its starting place was strange at move 20. One move later he sacrificed a pawn to free his position. Alekhine did not take the pawn, though White had would have had nothing for that. He slow down and let his opponent come back into the game. Eventually the game ended very soon with this time a real 3 time repetitions.
Like in the second game, Alekhine open with the Nimzo-Indian. In that game he equalized, still it was him who deviated from that game. Bogoljubow quickly got the two bishops and a clear target the d7 pawn. When Black gives up the two bishops often tries to compensate it with quick development. The world champion had a chance to sacrifice the weak d pawn for free play. White probably would not have taken that straight away. Missing the chance the champion got into a horrible situation. The challenger this time slowly brought his pieces into the game. Alekhine decided not to wait passively but go for a break out. It never looked good but gave some chance the opponent to go wrong. But he kept a firm hand on the game. Alekhine kept sacrificing pawns, but in no vain, all he managed to get was a cheap transparent trick. Actually had Bogoljubow fallen into the trap he still would have won the game. Alekhine was so lost in the last 10 moves of the game, he really should have resigned, it was somewhat impolite to play that on.
It was a very convincing, and the first really good game from Bogoljubow.
Queen Gambit Declined
Despite of the failure of equalizing in the two previous Slav defense openings Bogoljubow gave it another try. This time he never really got into the game again. Alekhine played the somewhat unusual 7.Bg5. The challenger response was poor and got into a troublesome, passive position. He should have looked for an active defense rather than just develop. He ended up having a hopelessly cut off bishop on h7. Alekhine’s task was clear. He had to change pieces on the queenside in order to invade. That exactly what he did, and he did that with style Black never managed to bring back the h7 bishop. Bogoljubow’s Slav has been an utter failure in the match. He mad just a draw out of 3 games, but he was close to lose in that as well. On the hand Alekhine handled it with great skill. In this extremely important and tense situation he won relatively easily.
Players kept sticking to the openings they started match, but Black changed the lines in the opening. Alekhine went for the Nimzo Indian again. Bogoljubow chose the 4.Qb3 line again. The world champion tried a new line again. He got a better position compare with the previous Nimzo-Indian, however it was not good enough to get a nice position. The world champion opened the position early, actually took Bogoljubow central pawn. However he fell behind in development. The challenger played a very subtle and really great bishop move. His opponent probably missed that one. Alekhine decided to change queens, he got rid of losing the game quickly, but had a passive position. One gets the impression Bogoljubow plays better when has no chance to make direct action. He had to play slow, and he did it splendidly. He gradually put more and more pressure. First he took control of the d file, then pined the a8 rook to defend a7 for a long time. Later he paralyzed the a6 knight. It was nice to watch how he improved his king by a fine march. The champ could do nothing just waited for his fate. After making all improvement Bogoljubow opened the king side and threatened to invade. The champion in desperation sacrificed the g pawn. His opponent did not take. Later he took the f pawn. He kept playing with care and converted firmly his advantage to a win. The challenger equalized the score of match and played this game like a true world champion. If he can keep up this high level chess he certainly has a chance to win the most desired title in chess.
The opening in the fifth game made Bogoljubow to change for an opening which was introduced by Grunfeld in the twenties. Black decided to take a pawn early on. First question came: did he have to castle in this case? Alekhine sacrificed a pawn, he deserves our praise. It required great courage to sacrifice a pawn like this in such a tense and important game. Don’t forget he just lost a game, and the score was even at the match. The champion a strong e5 knight and good prospect to build up a kingside attack. Maybe the challenger should have tried to got o the e5 knight by changing the f6 knight rather than the b8. The reason is for that the g7 bishop would have got a better more play on the diagonal. The world champion attacked by natural moves. Black’s 16th was a critical moment. There were several ways to organize a defense, or rather to find counterattack. 16.-Ne5 was have set up a very unusual double pin, both the white bishop and the queen are in a pin. It would have been a safer option to divert the e4 bishop from the a2-g8 diagonal. It was not going to be deciding the game on its own, however Black should have faced a smaller attack. Move 18 Black could have considered taking the second pawn by the bishop, White no doubt would have had nice play for the material, and still it is hard to say whether he would have been better. In the next move Bogoljubow could have inserted Qc3, forcing 20.Rae1. Maybe it gave a better chance to stay in the game. Alekhine attacked nicely with 20.f6. Move 20 the challenger made a fatal mistake. He had sacrificed an exchange for 3 pawns. It sounds more than enough, but two of them were double pawns, and more importantly Black had not a single active piece, while all white pieces were well-placed and menacing. Alekhine won the without giving any chance to his opponent to get back into the game. Was it a great game by Alekhine? He attacked well, however I think it was more important Bogoljubow did not defend well. He certainly had to play a position did not suit his style. The game was a very interesting battle, a good entertainment for the spectators.
Queen Pawn Opening
So far White has dominated the match very match. Alekhine went for a provocative opening with 2.-b6. Did Alekhine lose his faith in his preparation? Or he knew well his opponent and hoped for an over pressing? We may never know. The champion had a rather difficult position. Bogoljubow had a very promising chance to occupy the centre with c4, but he decided to improve on the position with piece play, that was a good option as well. However he made a mistake of developing, putting the bishop to b2 was a burying of the piece. Bogoljubow was in the mood not holding back at all playing f4 early he gave the option Black to attack on the kingside by h5 and holding back his castle. Move 17 was a critical moment White misjudged the position badly. It was time to neutralize Black play, by bringing all white pieces into the game, and keep his position together first. After that slowly could have tried exploiting Black weaknesses. Was he driven to much White’s success in the match so far? Or he wanted to win too badly? He went for a kill by 17.Qg4, but it was not justified to leave the centre alone. Alekhine on the contrary made cunning defensive moves. White kept on attacking wild. Till the twentieth move White had a chance to chance his tactic and hold his position together. After 20.d5 the screen has radically changed in no time. By the excellent 20.-c4 Black suddenly took over. His attack turned out devastating. The world champion finished the game in a lovely way. It was nice to watch, how he developed his attack. White was receiving punches after punches, move 30 actually got checkmated. Bogoljubow paid heavy prize for being impatient.
Queen Gambit Declined
Bogoljubow changed the opening, played the Cambridge Spring variation. He handled the opening with care, he went for equalizing, and his discipline paid off, this time he was not blown away in the opening. He had a slightly passive queen less ending. Alekhine was not able to squeeze out something from his slight advantage. He could have tried to exert pressure on the kingside, but he went for simplification. Bogoljubow freed his position nicely, and got a position there was nothing to play on.
It seems Bogoljubow plays better when he has no chance to do something aggressive. This game was so far the most correct, maybe even no mistake has been made, on the other hand this was the first unentertaining game for the spectators.
Queen Gambit Declined
Bogoljubow’s Cambridge Spring line impressed Alekhine, this time he employed with Black. Again the challenger got the more space, while his opponent the two bishops and a small weakness in his position. White made an inaccuracy by not putting his rook to their most effective file right away. It coast him two tempi. However the position was not open so it did not caused a catastrophe for him. Still allowed Alekhine to open the position with a very smart move. After that White made a mistake, he should have held the c4 square by a piece. It looked like the queen was able to do that job. He was but only temporarily. Alekhine with a subtle queen maneuver put the challenger a dilemma or give up the d file and let the black rook invading, or let the c pawn grow menacing. It was hard to judge which gave the better chance to survive. Move 34 the world champion missed a witty way to invade to the second. Two move later Bogoljubow found a most imaginative defense by putting the queen to c4. Move 38 Alekhine did not go for a simplification leading to an equal endgame, which gave the challenger the chance to abort the c3 with another subtle queen move. That would have put the champion into a defensive situation, that would have been hard both chess and psychological wise. But he missed that, and though his position was good enough to hold it, but few more mistakes and move 44 he ended up in a lost position. Bogoljubow tried to attack Alekhine’s king, but he left his own king naked. Alekhine did not let the chance slip away. When the challenger resigned Black could have forced a checkmate in 3 by sacrificing his rook. Another very exciting game, where both players made fantastic moves and bad mistakes as well, the final mistake was made by the challenger, which caused his downfall. He also fell 3 point behind, which would require a monumental effort to turn around the match.
Game 11 (to be checked for number)
Queen Pawn Opening
Bogoljubow insisted to the opening he played in his last black game, Alekhine changed this time. He played e4 very early, he could have the intention to allow simplification or take huge risk. The challenger found a risky way to sharpen the position. His poor standing on justified his choice. Alekhine could have held the game in a normal course by 10.a3, however this time he went for sacrificing a pawn, which resulted huge complication. A great player like him can count very well and his feeling are reliable but this time even him could not have been certain of the precious judgment of the game. In move 13 he had a chance to try to get back the d4 pawn, but he kept playing for an attack. I a highly complicated position like this it was almost inevitable both players would commit mistakes or at least they would not have gone for the best continuation. It seems the champion made the first inaccuracy by putting the knight from f5 to h5. He could weaken the Black king by taking the bishop around him. It would made black get rid of his double pawns, however it would open the game. The world champion sacrificed another pawn. Black king was in danger, however White had no direct threats. It is interesting Bogoljubow never tried to step aside with his king, he was happy to stay in the centre. Move 22.Kc8 was probably the best moment to do that, later he could collect the c5 pawn as well. I do not see how White could have stopped him to convert slowly his material advantage into a full point. 24.-Ba4 was hair raising, it would win a further exchange, more importantly he would change a lot of attacking piece. It seemed White’s pressure on the king is just enough to stop Black making any progress. Then Alekine’s 37.moves allowed Black to organize his pieces better and get real winning chances. Move 39 Bogoljubow wasted a golden opportunity to cut the f1 bishop, probably even an attacking master like the champion would not have been able to create real compensation. The game remained a very complicated and sharp for the next 10 moves, both player well. In move 49 a draw forcing piece sacrifice occurred, the champion felt it was reasonable to go for it. The challenger instead of allowing a perpetual check, tried to play an ending, but his opponent’s careful stopped his attempt. Another great fighting game, this game produced the most complicated position of the match so far. The champion probably could attack more forcefully, while the challenger missed winning chance. He was closer to win. It must have been very disappointing not cut the 3 points cushion.
Queen Gambit Declined
The Cambridge Spring was played again. Bogoljubow managed to get a very complicated and fighting position. Sadly from his point of you he made a dreadful mistake. It was so bad he got into a lost position. Further inaccuracy made his position clearly lost. The champion had several ways to win, somehow he did not choose the most forceful continuation few times. Bogoljubow desperately sacrificed his bishop. The challenger was forced to change queens. The ending was winning for Alekhine. His moves never let the win out of his hand, however he allowed opponent’s massive pawn formation moving. When those pawns started to look dangerous he subtly forced a way for his king to penetrate to the pawns. Move 40 he achieved a trivial wining position, somehow he made a move, which was still was winning but had to play well again. The champion started to push his b pawn, while his opponent made progress with his pawns on the other side of the board. When he needed once more he was able to come with a precious winning move. He gave his own pawn for the opponent’s passed pawn. When Bogoljubow resigned Alekhine kept his piece advantage and had one pawn to win the game.
It was a very unfortunate game for the challenger, when the fight was about to start, he blew it up in one move, he fought hard, but in vain. The first six games ended 3:3, the second six 5:1 in Alekhine’s favor. Everything went his way, the match was more or less decided.
Queen Gambit Declined
Another Cambridge Springs variation, this time the challenger was Black. He did not copy Alekhine’s play but went for 12.-Re8. The most critical point of the game was move 16. Black gave up space and development for the two bishops. It happened several time in this match. However there was one significant difference compare with the previous cases. This time the position was more open, that resulted the development became more important. 16.-Bc3 was the correct play, Black would have had a playable game. Move 17 Alekhine spotted the weakest black pawn. This time however the execution was not the most effective. He could have made the a2 square by a beautiful move. After that White had a most beautiful sacrifice, which would have forced the black king into the center, where he would not have avoided the mating net. Before 22.Bb3 White should not be much worse. 22.-a5 was a great move it opened position, giving more play for the f8 bishop and the a8 rook. 24. Bd1 was an additional weak move. Bogoljubow change some pieces in order to open the position to invade. By the time he played 29.-Qd3 one could have smelled his victory. That move was the crown of several very powerful moves. Two moves later the champion missed a double attack, it happened because his first rank was weak. The champion’s position was really bad without the blunder as well. This decided the outcome very quick.
This was the first Black win for Bogoljubow in the match and the first really unlucky game in this match. His lead is so huge it is still very unlikely the match can be turned around by the challenger.
Queen Gambit Declined
Bogoljubow went for new try to crack Alekhine’s defense. The challenger wanted to play Meran defense. The world champion decided to switch the game into a Tarrasch-like position. He had no weakness in his position but he was behind in development. The champion carefully worked his way out. An opposite colored bishop middle game aroused. Those are hard to judge. It was obvious White will have pressure on the f7. In such position one has the problem to have enough patient to defend for a long time. Alekhine could have tried to swap the queenside pawns. Black should have tried to get some room with g6 and Kg7. The world champion in my opinion changed queen in a false spirit. After that it became a real danger White would use his king with real power. Alekhine played h5, which contained a new risk, later it would became a target for White’s white squared bishop. In move 35 Black could have regroup his defending pieces, by defending the a5 by the bishop and keep the rook on c7. The bishop on that diagonal would have pinned to the white king to the king side pawns. The way the champion defended the h5 pawn was falling. In a passive position the champion blundered a second pawn. After that the rest was a formality. The champion did not defend his slightly weaker position not very well. His mistakes earned his second loss in a row. He still has a two point advantage, but he has get himself together in order to win the match.
Queen Pawn Opening
Move 3 Alekhine played an unusual move, f3. This is an anti Grunfeld move. If Black plays 3.-d5 4.cxd Nd5 5.e4 and Black is not able to take on c3. In Kings Indian f3 is a natural move. Bogoljubow decided not to enter to that line. He played early c6 and d5. That hopes to undermine the centre. When the champion attacked the f6 knight, the challenger sacrificed a pawn. He got quick and easy development for his pieces, a possible bases in the centre and pressure on the d4 pawn plus white had could not easily develop because the awkward f3 pawn. The challenger played extravagant by offering to have double pawn, when he could have played the natural Rd8. The world champion did not want to experiment taking it and make the opponent have the double pawn. The pawn would not have been a problem, but the g7 bishop would have had a limited space, may have been cut off completely. In the Black always maintained enough compensation for the pawn. Actually his knight started to became menacing, then Alekhine decided to abort the last queenside pawn, to do that he sacrificed back his extra pawn. Black heavy pieces took the second rank, but the black bishop was not able to help. It meant they settled for a draw. Both players can be satisfied in a way, the champion stopped his row of losing, while the challenger in this game unlike in most of the games in this match with Black he did not get a difficult or lost position, but equalized comfortable.
Queen Gambit Declined
The players went for a Meran variation again. Bogoljubow played a very artificial move, 8.Nbd2. After that White should have been content to play for a draw. The challenger still tried to play for an edge. But it backfired badly. Move 12 Black already took over. Move 15 White already had go material behind. Had he given the pawn by 15.Bg5, black pieces would have had limited coordination. But he gave a way White ended up simple in lost position by move 19. Alekhine was superior in the opening, however this was really bad from the challenger’s point of view. He was not able to survive the opening with white. Move 25 the champion could have take the second pawn, some reason I do not know he did not take that. Move 31 the champion did not mind to weaken the h7 pawn. Till move 36 White had a bit of chance as Black had problem to penetrate and his bishop was not great. Then Bogoljubow allowed the opponent to have two connected passed pawns. That was it. He kept playing on, but in vain.
It was a gift from the challenger.
Queen Pawn Opening
Alekhine tried the 3.f3 anti-Grunfeld. Bogoljubow played the ugly looking f6 move. Bothe players were in fighting move, they held back nothing. The world champion played some aggressive space gaining pawn moves early on. The challenger’s answer was: fire-to-fire. Objectively castling short and play first for safety was better. He castles long entering to a hair-raising complications. Alekhine wasted no time, and went for the direct attack. Move 20 Bogoljubow sacrificed a knight for two pawns and control of the d and e file. However his king remained vulnerable, as White’s a6 pawn gave a lot of tactical chance and b4 was in the air as well. Move 23 he offered exchanging queens. He could have tried to stop b4 by covering the square by his knight. It gave chances, as White would have had problem to find play for his pieces. It looked like Black covers b4, but Alekhine still played b4. An extremely sharp, highly tactical position occurred. Bogoljubow took the third pawn and played well. After few forced moves, he correctly retreated to e6 with his queen. Going back f7 square was tempting too. Because of some great tactics, that was losing. Bogoljubow does not like to make safety moves with the king, He did one this time, but it was the most unfortunate moment. White had a wicked, hidden threat of cutting the d3 knight. Had black changed that knight, would have had a slightly worse, but no way lost position, because White’s knights were tied up defending each other. The great tactician Alekhine did not miss the chance to play the beautiful 29.Nd4. Black’s position fall in pieces strait away.
It was another great game by the players, they both came up with superbly original ideas, the challenger missed a great tactical blow, which caused his downfall.
Bogoljubow played 1.e4 for the first time in the match. Alekhine took serious risk early on by taking on f6 by the bishop. White may have made an inaccuracy in move 9, as allowed Black to play 9.-Qb6. However the champion did not mind White’s long castle. 11.Qe2 already showed Bogoljubow played the opening with style. After 14 Qh5 it became clear White won the opening bottle. Later he did not bother to take the h7 pawn. Though Black would not have had an obvious compensation, he went for fluent play. Two more subtle moves Bxd5 and Kb1 increased his advantage. The champion tried to build an active plan on the queenside, but there were not enough backing piece, actually in the end that side was where finishing took place, but doing nothing also was not an alternative. In the 19.th move the challenger decided to open the position by g4. Move 25 Qd3 not only brought back the queen, but changed side with great effect. Black has to castle long, White opened the queenside and created huge attack. Black stubbornly defended his king, White quite remarkable invaded from the kingside. Bogoljubow did not bother to collect the weak g4 pawn, but went for the direct attack. It did the trick as the champion made a blunder, had he defended well the challenger should have gone back to collect the g4 in order to win the game.
This time the champion was caught in the opening. This was a fine game from challenger.
Queen Gambit Declined
The same line of queens gambit was repeated what occurred in the 11th game. Bogoljubow did not try to equalize at once against the provocative 7.e4, it a bit surprise as this time it was no longer a surprise to him. Alekhine is the superior player in the opening, however this time the challenger respected him too much. Bogoljubow played the opening slow; it allowed the champion to build up a threatening attack by castling long. Move 15 the challenger let his opponent create a double pawn around the king. Black did very well to hold back the champion’s ferocious attack. He managed to double his opponent’s pawns, and get a safe bases for his knight on f4. He consolidated his position pretty well.
Alekhine attacked the h7, the challenger who defended so well till this point made a fatal mistake, instead of covering it with knight and close the dangerous g file, he gave up his strong knight. He was able to occupy the open file, however that did not compensate the pressure on e5. The champion invaded on the e file, and he chased out the black king. Move 38 was the first moment when the champion missed an easy win. The champion uncharacteristically to him he at least missed 3 more winnings. Bogoljubow managed to escape into a pawn down rook ending. He had real drawing chances, as had a passed pawn and there were just a few pawn on the board. White managed to abort the h pawn but was not able to defend the f2. When it fell, it was likely White would win the rook, but he would be able to stop the black f pawn, because the White king was far away. That happened, but when Bogoljubow survived all the difficulties, and the draw was close, made a huge mistake. He did not shoulder with his king. Was he tired, or he did not know well enough this type of endings.
It was another very interesting game; twice the champion got a promising position, the challenger twice gradually fought back and twice when he was about to survive when he made a serious mistake. Alekhine increased his lead in the match.
Bogoljubow stuck to 1.e4, but Alekhine changed, he played 1.-e5. The challenger played the Ruy Lopez. White closed the centre by 9.d5 early. The champion reacted wrongly by playing 9.-Bg4. In case Black was giving up the bishop, his position would have became very passive, in case of going to h5, White would play g4 after Black’s long castle and force the bishop out of the game. If the bishop was to retreat on the c8-h3 diagonal, h3 is rather a tempo gain than a weakness. Move 11 Alekhine blocked that diagonal by a knight, that moment the challenger should have played h3. Move 13 the challenger made a too precautious move by Ne1. The champion reacted will full of aggression, sacrificing the g pawn. But this sacrifice was far from justified. Bogoljubow took the pawn, but next move went wrong. He just should have kept the pawn and keep the position closed, in addition he was able to change the dangerous white squared bishop. His position virtually would have been winning. Instead of defending he went for attack himself as well. He gave a check from a4 soon; the champion played the risky Kf8 instead of covering the check. Move 20 he missed another chance to gain an advantage. 20 Bf4 related with sending back the h3 bishop would have given him a nice game. The moves he played allowed an incredible sequence of tactical shots including exchange, rook and pawn sacrifices. They both were in the mood to see blood. It was most impressive how well they controlled the tactics. It seems they both played the very best moves. The shooting started move 21 and ended in move 40. After the dust disappeared Alekhine was a pawn up, but still the position was clearly a draw.
The opening part of the game was not very high level, but the middle was played on the highest possible level. Another entertaining game.
Queen Pawn Opening
The challenger switched back to the Nimzo Indian defense. Alekhine played the pet line of the match, the 4.Qb3 line. The challenger played 6.-d5, when Alekhine took on d5 creating an isolated pawn; Bogoljubow should have taken back with the knight and later possible with the queen. It would have resulted an isolated as well, but with the queens of the Black king would have stayed in the centre and defended it firmly. It would have avoided the wicked pin as well. Move 10 the world champion castled long. One gets the impression towards to the end of the match they make less defensive move, probably deep inside they both want to finish the match as quickly as possible. Then White created double pawns for the opponent, blocked the pawn and put the king out of the open file. While Black finished his development. Till move 14 Alekhine played the opening very powerful, then he voluntarily took on e6. It was premature as Black could have fully come back into the game by he nice Nc6–Na5 maneuver. Bogoljubow has no luck with his king safety moves, this was the second time when he made one and it caused losing. After the false Kh8, the champion destroyed Black’s pawn chain in the centre, and reached an endgame with a pawn up. He went on winning the game giving no chance at all.
Once again Bogoljubow was not able to survive the opening, on the other hand this was an impressive game was from the world champion.
Alekhine deviated from the last Ruy Lopez by holding back his kingside knight and play g6. 7.Bg5 f6 insertion helped Black to develop a bit extravagant, by Nh6 and Nf7. After developing his last light piece the challenger lost his way. One gets the impression he did not know how to handle Black’s somewhat unusual set-up. Move 22 in a balanced position made a simplification combination. He gained back the sacrificed material, but never got back the balance he had. The world champion gradually gained space with style. The challenger went for changing the queen, hoping there would be no more attack, he was right, but his pawn became weak be the exchange. In order to get counter play he left the 1 first rank by his rook. Alekhine beautifully switched his rook and knight against Bogoljubow’s king. The challenger changed the menacing knight, but the other rook came to the first rank, setting up an unusual mating net. Fascinating end!
Alekhine solved his opening problems easily, slowly outplayed his opponent, in the end checkmated him nicely. A great game from the world champion.
Queen Gambit Declined
This time Bogoljubow played the opening forceful, it was subtle to put the bishop to e7 as after e4 the knight did not take with a tempo. Black undermined the centre well. The champion made a careless b4 move, which exchanged the queens, from that point he was struggling all the way to the end. The challenger was not satisfied with an ending with 4 Pawns against 3. White’s best resistance came, when he could have simplified to a pawn down Bishop against Knight ending that would have been hard to convert. The challenger improved his position a lot by taking the a3 pawn and changing Bishops. He missed twice a direct win by putting the rook behind the a-pawn. Instead he changed the Knights and finally after a very unfortunate move he simplified the position to reach to a draw ending.
A lucky escape from the champion, one can say, if somebody wants to become world champion should not let a win like this slipping.
Bogoljubow played 1.e4 again, Alekhine returned to the French. This time he took back to f6 with bishop. The challenger tried something similar Qe3 before developing the f1 bishop like against gxf. He set up the attack by the artificial Rg1, g4, g5 and Bh3. During that the world champion brought carefully his pieces into the game. Maybe putting the king to h8 was not necessary. Then the challenger played Rg4, intending Rh4. The world champion was not interested how dangerous the attack would have become, he played h5, which reduced his winning chances, but took away all from his opponent. From that point White was on the defending side till the end of the game. Move 19 Alekhine could have tried to play the subtle Bd5 following Qc6 and Qa4, this would try to take advantage of that, white pieces are far away from the king. Instead of this he changed the last light pieces. In the all heavy piece ending Black was a bit better, but nothing serious. Bogoljubow held it to a draw, never looked like getting to trouble. Approaching towards to the end the champion’s aim was to hold a draw, and did it easily.
Queen Gambit Declined
Alekhine again developed his knight to d2 against the Meran, however he did not copy their earlier game, but decided to play slowly by b3 and Bb2. It gave time for the Bogoljubow to play c5. The challenger started to change the central pawn. The champion could have taken back with pieces getting a boring middlegame, but he went for the exciting hanging pawn formation. He played 14. Ne5 which looked menacing, the challenger took it, which required precious calculations and some cool blood, as it opened the d file. Had the champion played 17.Nf6 check, Black should have let his pawns disappeared in front of his King, but the king would have ran away to the centre and would have found a shelter. Instead Alekhine put the knight to d6, which was going to be taken creating a passed pawn on d6. Those pawns are difficult to judge as the smallest calculating mistake can lead losing it or if the defender makes it the pawn can move further with devastating effect. This time Black had a strong knight on d7 and controlled the a8-h1 diagonal, while White had the other long diagonal. Bogoljubow attacked the d6 smartly from the sixth rank with his rook and his queen. He had several opportunities to take it, but every case White would have held the position. He never took it, however he should have done it once as in the game he went for taking White’s kingside pawns. But it allowed White rook to invade to a7. Move 39 Alekhine missed Qb3, which would have yielded him a clear edge. Later they repeated moves, but the challenger no longer allowed to play it with the same effect. They changed queens and the draw was inevitable. This was another great fighting game.
The English master William Winter analyzed in his book the play of both participants:
“As if, in answer to those who assert that the art of chess is played out and that one great master can draw with another, practically at will, we find that, in this match for the Championship of the world, no less than sixteen of the twenty-five games were actually won and lost; while the nine drawn games were, without exception, keenly contested battles with the issue in doubt up to the very last moment. The short evenly balanced draw was conspicuous by Its absence, -neither player seeming to have any use for this type of game.
Naturally, the exciting character ox ne play led to mistakes being made on both sides in rather greater number than is customary in world’s championship matches, but this is only to be expected when both players scorn the use of safety tactics and play to win at all costs. Most of these mistakes can be put down to the pressure of time control coming, as so often happens, at a time when the game is in the throes of violent complications. Necessary though the time limit is, there is no doubt that it mars the perfection of many a fine combination, and one must always remember, when comparing the old days with the new, that Anderssen and Morphy had no handicap of clocks.
On the other hand, the Alekhine- Bogoljubow games abound in combinative chess of the highest order and students of that most entrancing, as well as most difficult branch of the middle game, the direct King’s side attack, can look for no better models. In particular the eighth and twenty-second games will always rank among Dr. Alekhine’s happiest efforts, while the fine draws in the eleventh, twentieth, and twenty-fifth games abound in combinative play on the part of both antagonists. Of Bogoljubow’s wins, the best is probably the eighteenth game, in which a hitherto popular variation of the French defense is shattered by an original method of centre attack.
As regards the result there is no doubt that Bogoljubow has enhanced his reputation. To win five games against the present world’s champion at the height of his powers is no mean achievement, and the length and general character of the games testifies that the struggle was by no means an unequal one.
In middle game strategy, there seems little to choose between the two contestants; Alekhine’s opening play, however, was much the sounder and some of Bogoljubow’s favorite irregularities have come badly out of the iron test of match play against the most formidable of all opponents.
In the end-game, too, the challenger was out-maneuvered in a number of instances, particularly in the twenty-third game, where he held victory almost in. his grasp. The Champion played the end-games with his usual perfect accuracy. A notable feature of Alekhine’s strategy was his reluctance to castle in the early stages. A number of his finest attacks came about through the fact that he had retained the option of castling on the Queen’s side, or in some cases of leaving the King in the centre of the board.”