Alexander Alexandrovich Alekhine (Russian Алекса́ндр Алекса́ндрович Але́хин) (October 31, 1892 – March 24, 1946) was the fourth World Chess Champion.
At the age of twenty-two he was already among the best chess players in the world. 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. Negotiations for a title match with Keres or Botvinnik were halted by the outbreak of World War II in Europe in 1939.
Alekhine stayed in Nazi-occupied Europe during the War, where he played in chess tournaments which the Nazis organized. During the War, anti-Semitic articles appeared under Alekhine's name, although he later claimed they were forged by the Nazis. Alekhine had good relationships with several Jewish chess players, and his fourth wife was Jewish. After the War, Alekhine was ostracized by players and tournament organizers because of the anti-Semitic articles. Negotiations with Mikhail Botvinnik for a world title match were proceeding in 1946 when Alekhine died in Portugal, in unclear circumstances.
Alekhine is known for his fierce and imaginative attacking style, combined with great positional and endgame skill. Statistical rating systems differ about his strength relative to other players, giving him rankings between fourth and eighteenth in their "all-time" lists. Although Alekhine was declared an "enemy of the Soviet Union" after making anti-Bolshevik statements in 1927, in the 1950s he was posthumously rehabilitated and acclaimed as one of the founders of the "Soviet School of Chess", which dominated the game after World War II. He is highly regarded as a chess writer and as a chess theoretician, giving his name to Alekhine's Defence and several other opening variations, and also composed a few endgame studies. There is strong evidence that Alekhine "improved" the published scores of some of his games, although in one case he may not have been responsible for the misrepresentation.
Alekhine's first known game was from a correspondence chess tournament that began on December 3, 1902, when he was ten years old. He participated in several correspondence tournaments, sponsored by the chess magazine Shakhmatnoe Obozrenie, in 1902–1911. In 1907, Alexander played his first over-the-board tournament, the Moscow chess club's Spring Tournament. Later that year, Alexander tied for eleventh–thirteenth in the club's Autumn Tournament; his older brother, Alexei, tied for fourth–sixth place. In 1908, Alexander won the club's Spring Tournament, at the age of fourteen. For the next few years, he played in increasingly strong tournaments, some of them outside Russia. At first he had mixed results, but by the age of sixteen he had established himself as one of Russia's top players. In January 1914, Alekhine won his first major Russian tournament, when he tied for first place with Aron Nimzowitsch in the All-Russian Masters Tournament at Saint Petersburg. Afterwards, they drew in a mini-match for first prize (they both won a game). Alekhine also played several matches in this period, and his results showed the same pattern: mixed at first but later consistently good.
When Alekhine arrived back in Russia, he helped raise money to aid the Russian chess players who were still interned in Germany by giving simultaneous exhibitions. In 1915–16, Alekhine won a tournament in Moscow. In May 1916, Alekhine served in the Union of Cities (Red Cross) on the Austrian front. In September, he played five people in a blindfold display at a Russian military hospital at Tarnopol. In the same year Alekhine won a mini-match against Alexander Evensohn with two wins and one loss at Kiev. In 1918, Alekhine won a "Triangular tournament" in Moscow. In June of the following year, Alekhine was briefly imprisoned in Odessa's death cell by the Odessa Cheka, suspected of being a spy. He was charged with links with White counter-intelligence, after the Russians liberated the Ukraine from German occupation. Rumors appeared in the West that Alekhine had been killed by the Bolesheviks.
When conditions in Russia became more settled, Alekhine proved he was among Russia's best chess players. For example in January 1920, he swept the Moscow City Chess Championship (11/11), but was not declared Moscow Champion because he was not a resident of the city. Also in October 1920, he won the All-Russian Championship in Moscow (+9 –0 =6); this tournament was retroactively defined as the first USSR Championship. His brother Alexei took third place in the tournament for amateurs.
In 1920, Alekhine married the Russian baroness Sergewin, who was several years older. For a short time in 1920–1921, he worked as an interpreter for the Communist International (Comintern) and was appointed secretary to the Education Department. In this capacity, he met a Swiss journalist and Comintern delegate Anneliese Rüegg (Annalisa Ruegg), who was thirteen years older than he, and they married on March 15, 1921. Shortly after, Alekhine was given permission to leave Russia for a visit to the West with his wife. Alekhine never returned to Russia. In June 1921, Alekhine abandoned his second wife in Paris and went to Berlin.
In 1921–1923 Alekhine played seven mini-matches. In 1921, he won against Nikolay Grigoriev (+2 –0 =5) in Moscow, drew with Richard Teichmann (+2 –2 =2) and won against Friedrich Sämisch (+2 –0 =0), both in Berlin. In 1922, he won against Ossip Bernstein (+1 –0 =1) and Arnold Aurbach (+1 –0 =1), both in Paris, and Manuel Golmayo (+1 –0 =1) in Madrid. In 1923, he won against André Muffang (+2 –0 =0) in Paris.
}} From 1921 to 1927, Alekhine won or shared first prize in about two-thirds of the many tournaments in which he played. His least successful efforts were: a tie for third place at Vienna 1922 behind Akiba Rubinstein and Richard Réti; and third place at the New York 1924 chess tournament behind ex-champion Emanuel Lasker and world champion José Raúl Capablanca (but ahead of Frank James Marshall, Richard Réti, Géza Maróczy, Efim Bogoljubov, Savielly Tartakower, Frederick Yates, Edward Lasker and David Janowski). Technically, Alekhine's play was mostly better than his competitors', even Capablanca's, but he lacked confidence when playing his major rivals.
Alekhine's major goal throughout this period was to arrange and win a match with Capablanca. He thought the greatest obstacle was not Capablanca's play, but the requirement under the 1922 "London rules" (at Capablanca's insistence) that the challenger raise a purse of US $10,000, of which the defending champion would receive over half even if defeated (US $10,000 in 1927 would be worth about $391,000 in 2006). Alekhine in November 1921 and Rubinstein and Aaron Nimzowitsch in 1923 challenged Capablanca, but were unable to raise the $10,000. Raising the money was Alekhine's preliminary objective; he even went on tour, playing simultaneous exhibitions for modest fees day after day. In New York on April 27, 1924, Alekhine broke the world record for blindfold play when he played twenty-six opponents (the previous record was twenty-five, set by Gyula Breyer), winning sixteen games, losing five, and drawing five after twelve hours of play. He broke his own world record on February 1, 1925 by playing twenty-eight games blindfold simultaneously in Paris, winning twenty-two, drawing three, and losing three.
In 1925, he became a French citizen and entered the Sorbonne Faculty of law. Although sources differ about whether he completed his studies there, he was known as "Dr. Alekhine" in the 1930s. His thesis was on the Chinese prison system. "He received a degree in law in Saint Petersburg in 1914 but never practiced.
In October 1926, he won in Buenos Aires. From December 1926 to January 1927, Alekhine beat Max Euwe 5½-4½ in a match. In 1927, he married his third wife, Nadiezda Vasiliev (née Fabritzky) (Nadejda Fabritzky, Nadezhda Vasilieff), another older woman, the widow of the Russian general V. Vasiliev (Vassilieff).
In 1927, Alekhine's challenge to Capablanca was backed by a group of Argentinian businessmen and the president of Argentina, who guaranteed the funds, and organized by the Club Argentino de Ajedrez (Argentine Chess Club) in Buenos Aires. In September and November 1927 at Buenos Aires, Alekhine won the title of World Chess Champion, scoring six wins, three losses, and twenty-five draws. Alekhine's victory surprised almost the entire chess world, since he had never previously won a single game from Capablanca. Alekhine prepared thoroughly for the title match and even changed his playing style to resemble Capablanca's most of the time, attacking rarely and only when he was certain that he had the advantage. This was also the first contest in which Capablanca had no easy wins. As a result, the match was the longest since the series between Labourdonnais and McDonnell in 1834.
Immediately after winning the match, Alekhine announced that he was willing to give Capablanca a return match, on the same terms that Capablance had required as champion - the challenger must provide a stake of US $10,000, of which more than half would go to the defending champion even if he was defeated. It was especially hard for Capablanca to raise such an amount because of the Wall Street Crash of 1929 and the Great Depression that followed. Negotiations dragged on for several years, often breaking down when agreement seemed in sight. Their relationship became bitter, and Alekhine demanded much higher appearance fees for tournaments in which Capablanca also played. Soon after becoming the champion, Alekhine swept a two-game exhibition match in New York against Charles Jaffe, who had supplied analysis to him during the match with Capablanca.
After the world championship match, Alekhine returned to Paris and spoke against Bolshevism. Afterwards, Nikolai Krylenko, president of the Soviet Chess Federation, published an official memorandum stating that Alekhine should be regarded as an enemy of the Soviets. The Soviet Chess Federation broke all contact with Alexander Alekhine until the end of the 1930s. His older brother Alexei Alekhine, with whom Alexander Alekhine had had a very close relationship, publicly repudiated him and his anti-Soviet utterances shortly after, but Alexei may have had little choice about this decision. In August 1939, Alexei Alekhine was murdered in Russia.
After defeating Capablanca, Alekhine dominated chess into the mid-1930s. His most famous tournament victories were at the San Remo 1930 chess tournament (no losses; 3½ points ahead of Aron Nimzowitsch) and the Bled 1931 chess tournament (no losses; 5½ points ahead of Efim Bogoljubow). He won most of his other tournaments outright, shared first place in two, and the first tournament in which he placed lower was Hastings 1933–34 (shared second place, ½ point behind Salo Flohr). In 1933, he also swept an exhibition match against Rafael Cintron in San Juan (+4 –0 =0), but only managed to draw another match with Ossip Bernstein in Paris (+1 –1 =2).
Although he never agreed terms for a rematch against Capablanca, Alekhine played two world title matches with Bogoljubow, an official "Challenger of FIDE", in 1929 and 1934, winning handily both times. The first match was held at Wiesbaden, Heidelberg, Berlin, The Hague, and Amsterdam from September through November 1929, and Alekhine won with eleven wins, nine draws, and five losses. From April to June 1934, Alekhine faced Bogoljubow again in a title match held in twelve German cities, defeating him by five games (+8 -3 =15). In 1929, Bogoljubow was forty years old and perhaps already past his peak.
Between 1930 and 1935, Alekhine played on board one for France at four Chess Olympiads, winning: the first brilliancy prize at Hamburg in 1930; gold medals for board one at Prague in 1931 and Folkestone in 1933; and the silver medal for board one at Warsaw in 1935. His loss to Latvian master Hermanis Matisons at Prague in 1931 was his first loss in a serious chess event since winning the world championship.
In the early 1930s, Alekhine travelled the world giving simultaneous exhibitions, including Hawaii, Tokyo, Manila, Singapore, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and the Dutch East Indies. In July 1933, Alekhine played thirty-two people blindfold simultaneously (a new world record) in Chicago, winning nineteen, drawing nine and losing four games.
In 1934 Alekhine married his fourth wife, Grace Freeman (née Wishard), sixteen years his senior. She was the American-born widow of a British tea-planter in Ceylon, who retained her British citizenship to the end of her life and remained Alekhine's wife until his death.
In 1933, Alekhine challenged Max Euwe to a championship match. Euwe, in the early 1930s, was regarded as one of three credible challengers (the others were Capablanca and Salo Flohr). On October 3, 1935 the world championship match began in Zandvoort, the Netherlands. Although Alekhine took an early lead, from game thirteen onwards Euwe won twice as many games as Alekhine. The challenger became the new champion on December 15, 1935 with nine wins, thirteen draws, and eight losses. This was the first world championship match that officially had seconds: Alekhine had the services of Salo Landau, and Euwe had Geza Maroczy. Euwe's win was a major upset and is sometimes attributed to Alekhine's alcoholism. Flohr, who also assisted Euwe during the match, thought overconfidence caused more problems than alcohol for Alekhine in this match, and Alekhine himself had previously said he would win easily. Later World Champions Vassily Smyslov, Boris Spassky, Anatoly Karpov and Garry Kasparov analyzed the match for their own benefit and concluded that Euwe deserved to win and that the standard of play was worthy of a world championship.
In the eighteen months after losing the title, Alekhine played in ten tournaments, with uneven results: tied for first with Paul Keres at Bad Nauheim in May 1936; first place at Dresden in June 1936; second behind Salo Flohr at Poděbrady in July 1936; sixth, behind Capablanca, Mikhail Botvinnik, Reuben Fine, Samuel Reshevsky, and Euwe at Nottingham in August 1936; third, behind Euwe and Fine, at Amsterdam in October 1936; tied for first with Salo Landau at Amsterdam (Quadrangular), also in October 1936; in 1936/37 he won at the Hastings New Year tournament, ahead of Fine and Erich Eliskases; first place at Nice (Quadrangular) in March 1937; third, behind Keres and Fine, at Margate in April 1937; tied for fourth with Keres, behind Flohr, Reshevsky and Vladimirs Petrovs, at Kemeri in June–July 1937; tied for second with Bogoljubow, behind Euwe, at Bad Nauheim (Quadrangular) in July 1937.
1938 began well for Alekhine, who won at Carrasco in Montevideo (in March) and at Margate (in April), and tied for first with Sir George Alan Thomas at Plymouth (in September). In November, however, he only tied for 4-6th with Max Euwe and Samuel Reshevsky, behind Paul Keres, Reuben Fine, and Mikhail Botvinnik, but ahead of José Raúl Capablanca and Salo Flohr, at the AVRO tournament in the Netherlands. This tournament was played in each of several Dutch cities for a few days at a time; it was therefore perhaps not surprising that rising stars took the first three places, as the older players found the travel very tiring.
Immediately after the AVRO tournament Mikhail Botvinnik, who had finished in third place, challenged Alekhine to a match for the world championship. They agreed on a prize fund of US $10,000 with two-thirds going to the winner, and that if the match were to take place in Moscow, Alekhine would be invited at least three months in advance so that he could play in a tournament to get ready for the match. Other details had not been agreed when World War II interrupted negotiations, which the two players resumed after the war.
Paul Keres, who had won the AVRO tournament on tiebreak over Fine, also challenged Alekhine to a world championship match. Negotiations were proceeding in 1939 when they were disrupted by World War II. During the war Keres' home country, Estonia, was invaded first by the USSR, then by Germany, then by the USSR again. At the end of the war, the Soviet government prevented Keres from continuing the negotiations, on the grounds that he had collaborated with the Germans during their occupation of Estonia.
Alekhine was representing France at first board in the 8th Chess Olympiad at Buenos Aires 1939 when World War II broke out in Europe. The assembly of all team captains, with leading roles played by Alekhine (France), Savielly Tartakower (Poland), and Albert Becker (Germany), plus the president of the Argentine Chess Federation, Augusto de Muro, decided to go on with the Olympiad. Alekhine won the individual silver medal (nine wins, no losses, seven draws), behind Capablanca (only results from finals A and B - separately for both sections - counted for best individual scores). Shortly after the Olympiad, Alekhine swept tournaments in Montevideo (7/7) and Caracas (10/10).
After the fall of France (June 1940), he fled to Marseille. Alekhine tried to go to America by traveling to Lisbon and applying for an American visa. In October 1940, he sought permission to enter Cuba, promising to play a match with Capablanca. This request was denied. To protect his wife, Grace Alekhine, who was an American Jew, and her French assets (a castle at Saint Aubin-le-Cauf, near Dieppe, which the Nazis looted), he agreed to cooperate with the Nazis. Alekhine took part in chess tournaments in Munich, Salzburg, Krakow/Warsaw, and Prague, organised by Ehrhardt Post, President of the Nazi-controlled Grossdeutscher Schachbund ("Greater Germany Chess Federation") - Paul Keres, Efim Bogoljubow, Gösta Stoltz, and several other strong masters in Nazi-occupied Europe also played in such events. In 1941, he tied for second-third with Erik Lundin in Munich (Europa-Turnier in September, won by Gösta Stoltz), shared first with Paul Felix Schmidt at Krakow/Warsaw (the 2nd General Government-ch, in October) and won in Madrid (in December). That same year he also won a mini-match with Lopez Esnaola in Vitoria. The following year he won in the Salzburg 1942 chess tournament (June 1942) and in Munich (September 1942; the Nazis named this the Europameisterschaft, which means "European Championship"). Later in 1942 he won at Warsaw/Lublin/Krakow (the 3rd GG-ch; October 1942) and tied for first with Klaus Junge in Prague ( Duras Memorial; December 1942). In 1943, he drew a mini-match (+1 –1 =0) with Bogoljubow in Warsaw (March 1943), he won in Prague (April 1943) and tied for first with Paul Keres in Salzburg (June 1943).
By late 1943, Alekhine was spending all of his time in Spain and Portugal, as the German representative to chess events. This also allowed him to get away from the onrushing Soviet invasion into eastern Europe. In 1944, he narrowly won a match against Ramón Rey Ardid in Zaragoza (+1 –0 =3; April 1944) and won in Gijon (July 1944). The following year, he won at Madrid (March 1945), tied for second place with Antonio Medina at Gijón (July 1945; the event was won by Antonio Rico), won at Sabadell (August 1945), he tied for first with Lopez Nunez in Almeria (August 1945), won in Melilla (September 1945) and took second in Caceres, behind Francisco Lupi (Autumn 1945). Alekhine's last chess match was with Lupi at Estoril near Lisbon, Portugal, in January 1946. Alekhine won two games, lost one, and drew one.
Alekhine took an interest in the development of the chess prodigy Arturo Pomar and devoted a section of his last book (¡Legado! 1946) to him. They played at Gijon 1944, when Pomar, aged twelve, achieved a creditable draw with the champion.
Alekhine's peak period was in the early 1930s, when he won almost every tournament he played, sometimes by huge margins. Afterward, his play declined, and he never won a top-class tournament after 1934. After Alekhine regained his world title in 1937, there were several new contenders, all of whom would have been serious challengers.
Alekhine was one of the greatest attacking players and could apparently produce combinations at will. What set him apart from most other attacking players was his ability to see the potential for an attack and prepare for it in positions where others saw nothing. Rudolf Spielmann, a master tactician who produced many brilliancies, said this ability to create positions in which brilliancies were possible was Alekhine's great strength, and Max Euwe said, "Alekhine is a poet who creates a work of art out of something that would hardly inspire another man to send home a picture post-card." An explanation offered by Richard Réti was, "he beats his opponents by analysing simple and apparently harmless sequences of moves in order to see whether at some time or another at the end of it an original possibility, and therefore one difficult to see, might be hidden. John Nunn commented that "Alekhine had a special ability to provoke complications without taking excessive risks", and Edward Winter called him "the supreme genius of the complicated position." Some of Alekhine's combinations are so complex that even modern champions and contenders disagree in their analyses of them.
Nevertheless, Garry Kasparov said that Alekhine's attacking play was based on solid positional foundations, and Harry Golombek went further, saying that "Alekhine was the most versatile of all chess geniuses, being equally at home in every style of play and in all phases of the game." Reuben Fine, a serious contender for the world championship in the late 1930s, wrote in the 1950s that Alekhine's collection of best games was one of the three most beautiful that he knew, and Golombek was equally impressed.
Alekhine's games have a higher percentage of wins than those of any other World Champion, and his drawn games are on average among the longest of all champions'. His desire to win extended beyond formal chess competition. When Fine beat him in some casual games in 1933, Alekhine demanded a match for a small stake. And in table tennis, which Alekhine played enthusiastically but badly, he would often crush the ball when he lost.
Bobby Fischer, in a 1964 article, ranked Alekhine as one of the ten greatest chessplayers in history. Fischer, who was famous for the clarity of his play, wrote of Alekhine, "Alekhine has never been a hero of mine, and I've never cared for his style of play. There's nothing light or breezy about it; it worked for him, but it could scarcely work for anyone else. He played gigantic conceptions, full of outrageous and unprecedented ideas. ... [H]e had great imagination; he could see more deeply into a situation than any other player in chess history. ... It was in the most complicated positions that Alekhine found his grandest concepts."
Alekhine's style had a profound influence on Kasparov, who said: "Alexander Alekhine is the first luminary among the others who are still having the greatest influence on me. I like his universality, his approach to the game, his chess ideas. I am sure that the future belongs to Alekhine chess.
Alekhine also composed a few endgame studies, one of which is shown on the right, a miniature (a study with a maximum of seven pieces).
Alekhine wrote over twenty books on chess, mostly annotated editions of the games in a major match or tournament, plus collections of his best games between 1908 and 1937. Unlike Wilhelm Steinitz, Emanuel Lasker, José Raúl Capablanca and Max Euwe, he wrote no books that explained his ideas about the game or showed beginners how to improve their play. His books appeal to expert players rather than beginners: they contain many long analyses of variations in critical positions, and "singularities and exceptions were his forte, not rules and simplifications".
Although Alekhine was declared an enemy of the Soviet Union after his anti-Bolshevik statement in 1928, he was gradually rehabilitated by the Soviet chess elite following his death in 1946. Alexander Kotov's research on Alekhine's games and career, culminating in a biography, led to a Soviet series of Alekhine Memorial tournaments. The first of these, at Moscow 1956, was won jointly by Mikhail Botvinnik and Vasily Smyslov. In their book The Soviet School of Chess Kotov and Yudovich devoted a chapter to Alekhine, called him "Russia's greatest player" and praised his capacity for seizing the initiative by concrete tactical play in the opening. Botvinnik wrote that the Soviet School of chess learned from Alekhine's fighting qualities, capacity for self-criticism and combinative vision. Alekhine had written that success in chess required "Firstly, self-knowledge; secondly, a firm comprehension of my opponent’s strength and weakness; thirdly, a higher aim – ... artistic and scientific accomplishments which accord our chess equal rank with other arts."
In the position of the diagram at right, which never arose in real play, Alekhine claimed that White wins by 24.Rh6, as after some complicated play Black is mated or goes into an endgame a Queen down. Some recent analyses suggest that this is not the case: if White plays 24.Rh6, black can play 24...Bg4+! and White has no mating attack. A later computer-assisted analysis concludes that White can force a win, but only by diverging from Alekhine's move sequence at move 20, while there are only three Queens.
Chess historian Edward Winter investigated a game Alekhine allegedly won in fifteen moves via a Queen sacrifice at Sabadell in 1945. Some photos of the game in progress were discovered that showed the players during the game and their chessboard. Based on the position that the chess pieces had taken on the chessboard in this photo, the game could never have taken the course that was stated in the published version. This raised suspicions that the published version was made up. Even if the published version is a fake, however, there is no doubt that Alekhine did defeat his opponent in the actual game, and there is no evidence that Alekhine was the source of the spectacular fifteen-move win whose authenticity is doubted.
Almost immediately after the liberation of Paris, Alekhine publicly stated that "he had to write two chess articles for the Pariser Zeitung before the Germans granted him his exit visa ... Articles which Alekhine claims were purely scientific were rewritten by the Germans, published and made to treat chess from a racial viewpoint." He wrote at least two further disavowals, in an open letter to the organizer of the 1946 London tournament (W. Hatton-Ward) and in his posthumous book ¡Legado!. These three denials are phrased differently.
Extensive investigations by Ken Whyld have not yielded conclusive evidence of the authenticity of the articles. Chess writer Jacques Le Monnier claimed in a 1986 issue of Europe Échecs that in 1958 he saw some of Alekhine's notebooks and found, in Alekhine’s own handwriting, the exact text of the first anti-Semitic article, which appeared in Pariser Zeitung on March 18, 1941. In his 1973 book 75 parties d’Alekhine ("75 of Alekhine's games"), however, Le Monnier had written "It will never be known whether Alekhine was behind these articles or whether they were manipulated by the editor of the Pariser Zeitung."
British chess historian Edward G. Winter notes that the articles in the Pariser Zeitung mis-spelled the names of several famous chess masters, which could be interpreted as evidence of forgery or as attempts by Alekhine to signal that he was being forced to write things that he did not believe; but these could simply have been typesetting errors, as Alekhine's handwriting was not easy to read. The articles also contained incorrect claims that that Carl Schlechter was a Jew and that Lionel Kieseritzky was a Polish Jew (his name was spelt "Kienezitzky", and Kieseritzky was neither Polish nor Jewish). Winter comcludes: "Although, as things stand, it is difficult to construct much of a defence for Alekhine, only the discovery of the articles in his own handwriting will settle the matter beyond all doubt." Under current French copyright law, Alekhine's notebooks will not enter the public domain until January 1, 2017.
There is evidence that Alekhine was not anti-Semitic in his personal or chess relationships with Jews. In June 1919, he was arrested by the Cheka, imprisoned in Odessa and sentenced to death. Yakov Vilner, a Jewish master, saved him by sending a telegram to the chairman of the Ukrainian Council of People's Commissars, who knew of Alekhine and ordered his release. Alekhine accepted and apparently used chess analysis from Charles Jaffe in his World Championship match against Capablanca. Jaffe was a Jewish master who lived in New York, where Alekhine often visited, and upon his return to New York after defeating Capablanca, Alekhine played a short match as a favour to Jaffe, without financial remuneration. Alekhine's second for the 1935 match with Max Euwe was the master Salo Landau, a Dutch Jew. The American Jewish grandmaster Arnold Denker wrote that he found Alekhine very friendly in chess settings, with productive analysis sessions and consultation games. Denker also wrote that Alekhine treated the younger and (at that time) virtually unproven Denker to dinner on many occasions in New York during the 1930s, when the economy was very weak because of the Great Depression. Denker added that Alekhine, during the early 1930s, opined that the American Jewish grandmaster Isaac Kashdan might be his next challenger (this did not in fact occur). Alekhine also married an American Jew, Grace Wishard, as his fourth wife (Mrs. Grace Alekhine was the women’s champion of Paris in 1944).
|1907||Moscow||11–13||5½/15||+5=1−9||his brother Alexei Alekhine tied for 4-6th|
|1908||Düsseldorf||3–4||9/13||+8=2−3||16th DSB Congress, A Tournament|
|1909||Saint Petersburg||1st||13/16||+12=2−2||Amateur Tournament|
|1910||Hamburg||7–8||8½/16||+5=7−4||17th DSB Congress, Schlechter won|
|1912||Stockholm||1st||8½/10||+8=1−1||8th Nordic Championship, ahead of Spielmann|
|1912||Vilnius||6–7||8½/18||+7=3−8||7th Russian Championship (All-Russian Masters' Tournament), Rubinstein won|
|1913||Saint Petersburg||1–2||2/3||+2=0−1||Quadrangular, tied with Levenfish|
|1913||Scheveningen||1st||11½/13||+11=1−1||ahead of Janowski|
|1913/4||Saint Petersburg||1–2||13½/17||+13=1−3||8th Russian Championship (All-Russian Masters' Tournament), tied with Nimzowitsch|
|1914||Saint Petersburg||3rd||10/18||+6=8−4||Lasker 13½, Capablanca 13, Alekhine 10, Tarrasch 8½, Marshall 8|
|1914||Paris||1–2||2½/3||+2=1−0||Cafe Continental Quadrangular, tied with Marshall, third Muffang, fourth Hallegua|
|1914||Mannheim||leading||9½/11||+9=1−1||19th DSB Congress, interrupted by the start of World War I|
|1920||Moscow||1st||11/11||+11=0−0||Moscow City Championship, not declared Moscow Champion because he was not a resident of Moscow|
|1920||Moscow||1st||12/15||+9=6−0||later recognised as the 1st USSR Championship|
|1921||Triberg||1st||7/8||+6=2−0||ahead of Bogoljubov|
|1921||Budapest||1st||8½/11||+6=5−0||ahead of Grünfeld|
|1921||The Hague||1st||8/9||+7=2−0||ahead of Tartakower|
|1922||Pistyan||2–3||14½/18||+12=5−1||tied with Spielmann, behind Bogoljubov|
|1922||London||2nd||11½/15||+8=7−0||Capablanca 13, Alekhine 11½, Vidmar 11, Rubinstein 10½|
|1922||Hastings||1st||7½/10||+6=3−1||Rubinstein 7, Bogoljubov and Thomas 4|
|1923||Carlsbad||1–3||11½/17||+9=5−3||tied with Capablanca and Bogoljubov|
|1923||Portsmouth||1st||11½/12||+11=1−0||ahead of Vajda|
|1924||New York||3rd||12/20||+6=12−2||Lasker 16, Capablanca 14½, Alekhine 12, Marshall 11, Réti 10½. Maróczy 10, Bogoljubov 9½|
|1925||Paris||1st||6½/8||+5=3−0||ahead of Tartakower|
|1925||Baden-Baden||1st||16/20||+12=8−0||ahead of Rubinstein|
|1925/6||Hastings||1–2||8½/9||+8=1−0||tied with Vidmar|
|1926||Scarborough||1st||5½/6||+5=1−0||Alekhine won a play-off match against Colle 2-0|
|1926||Birmingham||1st||5/5||+5=0−0||ahead of Znosko-Borovsky|
|1926||Buenos Aires||1st||10/10||+10=0−0||ahead of Villegas and Illa|
|1927||New York||2nd||11½/20||+5=13−2||Capablanca 14, Alekhine 11½, Nimzowitsch 10½, Vidmar 10, Spielmann 8, Marshall 6|
|1927||Kecskemet||1st||12/16||+8=8−0||ahead of Nimzowitsch and Steiner|
|1929||Bradley Beach||1st||8½/9||+8=1−0||ahead of Lajos Steiner|
|1930||San Remo||1st||14/15||+13=2−0||Nimzowitsch 10½; Rubinstein 10; Bogoljubov 9½; Yates 9|
|1931||Bled||1st||20½/26||+15=11−0||Bogoljubov 15; Nimzowitsch 14; Flohr, Kashdan, Stoltz and Vidmar 13½|
|1932||Berne||1–3||2/3||+2=0−1||Quadrangular, tied with Voellmy and Naegeli|
|1932||Berne||1st||12½/15||+11=3−1||Swiss Championship (title awarded to Hans Johner and Paul Johner)|
|1932||London||1st||9/11||+7=4−0||ahead of Flohr|
|1932||Pasadena||1st||8½/11||+7=3−1||ahead of Kashdan|
|1932||Mexico City||1–2||8½/9||+8=1−0||tied with Kashdan|
|1933||Paris||1st||8/9||+7=2−0||ahead of Tartakower|
|1933/4||Hastings||2nd||6½/9||+4=5−0||Flohr 7, Alekhine and Andor Lilienthal 6½, C.H.O'D. Alexander and Eliskases 5|
|1934||Zürich||1st||13/15||+12=2−1||Swiss Championship (title awarded to Hans Johner)|
|1935||Örebro||1st||8½/9||+8=1−0||ahead of Lundin|
|1936||Bad Nauheim||1–2||6½/9||+4=5−0||tied with Keres|
|1936||Dresden||1st||6½/9||+5=3−1||ahead of Engels|
|1936||Nottingham||6th||9/14||+6=6−2||Botvinnik and Capablanca 10; Euwe, Fine and Reshevsky 9½|
|1936||Amsterdam||3rd||4½/7||+3=3−1||Euwe and Fine won|
|1936||Amsterdam||1–2||2½/3||+2=1−0||Quadrangular, tied with Landau|
|1936/7||Hastings||1st||8/9||+7=2−0||Fine 7½, Eliskases 5½, Vidmar and Feigins 4½|
|1937||Margate||3rd||6/9||+6=0−3||tied for 1–2 were Keres and Fine|
|1937||Kemeri||4–5||11½/17||+7=9−1||tied for 1–3 were Flohr, Petrovs and Reshevsky|
|1937||Bad Nauheim||2–3||3½/6||+3=1−2||Quadrangular, Euwe won, the other players were Bogoljubov and Sämisch|
|1938||Montevideo||1st||13/15||+11=4−0||ahead of Guimard|
|1938||Margate||1st||7/9||+6=2−1||ahead of Spielmann|
|4–6||7/14||+3=8−3||AVRO tournament, Keres and Fine 8½; Botvinnik 7½; Alekhine, Euwe and Reshevsky 7; Capablanca 6|
|1939||Montevideo||1st||7/7||+7=0−0||ahead of Golombek|
|1941||Munich||2–3||10½/15||+8=5−2||tied with Lundin, behind Stoltz|
|1941||Cracow, Warsaw||1–2||8½/11||+6=5−0||tied with Schmidt|
|1942||Salzburg||1st||7½/10||+7=1−2||ahead of Keres|
|1942||Munich||1st||8½/11||+7=3−1||1st European Championship, ahead of Keres|
|1942||Warsaw,Lublin,Cracow||1st||7½/11||+6=3−1||ahead of Junge|
|1942||Prague||1–2||8½/11||+6=5−0||tied with Junge|
|1943||Prague||1st||17/19||+15=4−0||ahead of Keres|
|1943||Salzburg||1–2||7½/10||+5=5−0||tied with Keres|
|1945||Gijón||2–3||6½/9||+6=1−2||tied with Medina, behind Rico|
|1945||Almeria||1–2||5½/8||+4=3−1||tied with Lopez Nunez|
|1908||Curt von Bardeleben||Won||Düsseldorf||4½/5||+4=1−0|
|1911||Stepan Levitsky||Won||Saint Petersburg||7/10||+7=0−3|
|1913||Edward Lasker||Won||Paris, London||3/3||+3=0−0|
|1913||José Raúl Capablanca||Lost||Saint Petersburg||0/2||+0=0−2||exhibition match|
|1914||Aron Nimzowitsch||Drew||Saint Petersburg||1/2||+1=1−0||play-off match|
|1921||Efim Bogoljubow||Drew||Triberg||2/4||+1=2−1||"secret match"|
|1926||Edgar Colle||Won||Scarborough||2/2||+2=0−0||play-off match|
|1927||José Raúl Capablanca||Won||Buenos Aires||18½/34||+6=25−3||Alekhine became world champion|
|1927||Charles Jaffe||Won||New York||2/2||+2=0−0||exhibition match|
|1929||Efim Bogoljubow||Won||Wiesbaden, Berlin, Amsterdam||15½/25||+11=9−5||retained world championship|
|1933||Rafael Cintron||Won||San Juan||4/4||+4=0−0||exhibition match|
|1934||Efim Bogoljubow||Won||Baden-Baden, Villingen, Pforzheim, Bayreuth, Kissingen, Berlin||15½/25||+8=15−3||retained world championship|
|1935||Max Euwe||Lost||Amsterdam, The Hague, Utrecht||14½/30||+8=13−9||lost world championship|
|1937||Max Euwe||Won||Rotterdam, Haarlem, Leiden, Zwolle, Amsterdam, Delft, The Hague||15½/25||+10=11−4||regained world championship|
|1937||Max Euwe||Lost||The Hague||2/5||+1=2−2||exhibition match|
|1944||Ramón Rey Ardid||Won||Zaragoza||2½/4||+1=3−0|
|1930||Hamburg||3||9/9||+9=0−0||Alekhine won the brilliancy prize for his game against Gideon Ståhlberg (Sweden). He did not win a medal because the medallists played 17 games each.|
|1931||Prague||4||13½/18||+10=7−1||Alekhine won the gold medal for 1st board. His loss to Hermanis Matisons (Latvia) was his first loss in a serious chess event since winning the world championship.|
|1933||Folkestone||5||9½/12||+8=3−1||Alekhine won the gold medal for 1st board. His loss to Savielly Tartakower (Poland) was his second and last loss in chess olympiads.|
|1935||Warsaw||6||12/17||+7=10−0||Alekhine won the silver medal for 1st board (Salo Flohr of Czechoslovakia took the gold by scoring 13/17).|
|1939||Buenos Aires||8||7½/10 (12½/16)||+9=7−0||Alekhine won the silver medal for 1st board (José Raúl Capablanca of Cuba took the gold by scoring 8½/11). Only games in the final stage were counted for awarding the medals. The first score is for the final stage, the one in parentheses is Alekhine's total score.|