slave of chess
The lives of some great chess masters were just
as torrid and checkered as their brilliant play over the board.
Many of them had to settle abroad because of violent changes
that took place in their countries of origin. This was particularly
true about the period between the two great wars, when the world
witnessed some major changes. The Bolshevik Revolution in Russia
and the rise of ultra nationalists in Germany were events that
greatly influenced the lives of some top masters like Alexander
Alekhine and Emanuel Lasker.
Alekhine got into trouble because of his noble
background. The Bolsheviks were chess enthusiasts and did a
lot for the promotion of the game in the former Soviet Union.
Lenin himself was a chess player and so was Maxim Gorky. But
Alekhine was imprisoned with many other noblemen immediately
after the fall of the Czarist regime. It is said that Leon Trotsky
came to learn that the 26-year old young man was great chess
master and decided to release him. Alekhine moved to Paris and
became a French citizen.
He once again found himself in a difficult situation
and faced charges of collaborating with the Nazis and writing
anti-Semitic articles in German journals. This happened at the
fag end of his life. Alekhine tried to defend himself, but he
was an abandoned man by the time the war ended. He died a loner
at the small town of Estoril in Portugal on March 15, 1946,
the very night FIDE held a meeting to find a future challenger
As a player, Alekhine had the ability to produce
superb combinations. Even today, you have to go through the
games of the Franco-Russian genius to learn how to launch an
irresistible, sacrificial attack. If chess was Capablanca's
mother tongue, it was Alekhine's obsession. He virtually spent
his whole life trying to resolve the mysteries of the 64 squares.
Like most other great players, he had a monumental ego. Nevertheless,
he had the humility to say, " Don't call me a master. We
are all slaves. Chess is our master."
You should enjoy the beautiful combination in
the following game.
Black-Alexander Alekhine [A00]
1.g3 e5 2.Nf3 e4 3.Nd4 d5 4.d3 exd3 5.Qxd3 Nf6 6.Bg2 Bb4+ 7.Bd2
Bxd2+ 8.Nxd2 00 9.c4 Na6 10.cxd5 Nb4 11.Qc4 Nbxd5 12.N2b3 c6
13.00 Re8 14.Rfd1 Bg4 15.Rd2 Qc8 16.Nc5 Bh3 17.Bf3 Bg4 18.Bg2
Bh3 19.Bf3 Bg4 20.Bh1 h5 21.b4 a6 22.Rc1 h4 23.a4 hxg3 24.hxg3
Qc7 25.b5 axb5 26.axb5 Re3! 27.Nf3? cxb5! 28.Qxb5 Nc3 29.Qxb7
Qxb7 30.Nxb7 Nxe2+ 31.Kh2 Ne4!! 32.Rc4 Nxf2 33.Bg2 Be6! 34.Rcc2
Ng4+ 35.Kh3 Ne5+ 36.Kh2 Rxf3! 37.Rxe2 Ng4+ 38.Kh3 Ne3+ 39.Kh2
Nxc2 40.Bxf3 Nd4 41.Rf2 Nxf3+ 42.Rxf3 Bd5 0-1