Alekhine's Jewel

by Milica Knezevic on January 19, 2022

The Chess Game: A. Alekhine vs. G. Levenfish, St. Petersburg 1912

  • Observe one of the most amazing chess matches and decide for yourself which moves you would repeat and which ones you would do differently. 
  • Chose you starting point: Alekhine or Levenfish? 
  • Let's first notice: Benoni Defense: Benoni-Indian Defense.

Who Was Grigory Levenfish

  • Grigory Yakovlevich Levenfish (19 March 1889 – 9 February 1961) was a Soviet chess player who scored his peak competitive results in the 1920s and 1930s. He was twice Soviet champion, in 1934 (jointly with Ilya Rabinovich) and 1937. In 1937 he drew a match against future world champion Mikhail Botvinnik.

  • In 1950 Levenfish was among the first recipients of the title of Grandmaster, awarded by FIDE that year for the first time.

  • Levenfish was born in Piotrków, Poland, then part of the Russian Empire, to Jacob Levenfish and Golda Levenfish (née Finkelstein).
  • He spent most of his formative years in St. Petersburg, where he attended Saint Petersburg State Institute of Technology and studied chemical engineering.
  • His earliest recognition as a prominent chess player came when he won the St. Petersburg championship of 1909, and played in the strong Carlsbad tournament of 1911, where he scored 11½ points from 25 games. At age 22, this was to be his first and last tournament outside Russia or the Soviet Union. His play at the time was compared to that of Mikhail Chigorin. 
Grigory Levenfish

Who Was Alexander Alekhine

  • Alexander Alekhine (October 31 ,1892 – March 24, 1946) was a Russian and French chess player and the fourth World Chess Champion, a title he held for two reigns.
  • By the age of 22, Alekhine was already among the strongest chess players in the world. During the 1920s, he won most of the tournaments in which he played. In 1921, Alekhine left Soviet Russia and emigrated to France, which he represented after 1925. In 1927, he became the fourth World Chess Champion by defeating José Raúl Capablanca.
  • In the early 1930s, Alekhine dominated tournament play and won two top-class tournaments by large margins. He also played first board for France in five Chess Olympiads, winning individual prizes in each (four medals and a brilliancy prize). 
Alexander Alekhine
  • 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 with ease against Efim Bogoljubov in 1929 and 1934.
  • Alekhine was defeated by Max Euwe in 1935, but regained his crown in the 1937 rematch.
  • Alekhine's tournament record, however, was uneven, and rising young stars like Paul Keres, Reuben Fine, and Mikhail Botvinnik threatened his title.
  • Negotiations for a title match with Keres or Botvinnik were halted by the outbreak of World War II in Europe in 1939. Negotiations with Botvinnik for a world title match were proceeding in 1946 when Alekhine died in Portugal, in unclear circumstances.
  • Alekhine is the only World Chess Champion to have died while holding the title.

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1 comment
by Twain on May 24, 2022

I choose Alekhine. I like his style of play


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