Alexander Alekhine ©
Alexander Alexandrovich Alekhine. Born October 19 (31), 1892 in Moscow – died March 24, 1946 in Estoril (Portugal). Ingenious chess player, fourth world chess champion. The doctor is right. Alexander Alekhine was born on October 31, 1892 in Moscow. By origin – a nobleman. His father is Alexander Ivanovich Alekhine (1856-1917), his mother is Anisya Ivanovna (nee Prokhorova) (1861-1915), who came from a family of textile manufacturer Prokhorov, the owner of the Trekhgornaya manufactory. The ancestors on both parental lines in the fourth – third generation are peasants of the Stary Oskol district of the Kursk province. The family owned an estate near Kastorny, in the Zemlyansky district of Voronezh province. In 1904, Alekhine Sr. became the leader of the nobility of the Zemlyansky district, then – the Voronezh province, later – the deputy of the fourth State Duma. Alexander learned to play chess at the age of 7 – his mother showed him the moves of the pieces. He became seriously interested in chess at the age of 12. He began to play tournaments by correspondence, together with his older brother Alexei (1888-1939). He won his first tournament victory in 1905, in a gambit correspondence tournament organized by the journal Chess Review. In 1908 he became the champion of Moscow, in the same year he made his international debut: the tournament of the German Chess Union (Dusseldorf), divided 4-5 place. In 1909, at the “All-Russian Tournament of Amateurs” he received the title of “Maestro”. In 1910, Alekhine successfully performed at a very representative tournament in Hamburg, ahead of several grandmasters, although he did not enter the number of winners, in 1911 he shared 8-11 places in Carlsbad (26 players participated), winning against Widmar – one of the strongest in this tournament . 1913 – takes first place in a fairly representative tournament in Scheveningen (11.5 out of 13 points), ahead of D. Yanovsky, one of the contenders for the world championship. In 1914 Alekhine graduated from the School of Law, received the rank of titular adviser and was appointed to the Ministry of Justice. In the same year, at the international tournament in St. Petersburg, he took third place after the world champion Lasker and Capablanca. As P. Romanovsky recalled, it was in 1914 that Alekhine told him that he was beginning to prepare for the world championship match with Capablanca. To an astonished remark that the world champion is Lasker, Alekhine confidently replied that Capablanca would soon replace Lasker. It should be noted that Alekhine is credited with another similar forecast that came true – the prediction of Botvinnik’s leadership, made by him in the late 1930s. In the summer of 1914 Alekhine participated in a tournament in Mannheim. Confidently walking in the first place, he, most likely, would become a winner, but on August 1 the war began. The tournament was interrupted, Alekhine, who was awarded first place as the undisputed leader of the tournament, was interned in Germany with other participants. He spent some time in Ludwigshafen prison – he was imprisoned because of a photograph where he was shot in the form of a graduate of the School of Law, which was taken as the officer of the Russian army. On August 5, 1915, he gave a session at the Moscow Chess Club at the same time on four boards, (+ 2 = 2), he soon won the consulting game against V. Rozanov and N. Tselikov as black. On October 2, he held a session in the Moscow circle (+ 23-5 = 4), and on October 24 – in Serpukhov, again in favor of captured Russian chess players (+ 16 = 2). In the club tournament of the Moscow Chess Club in October-December, he confidently took 1st place (+ 10 = 1). For a game against N. Zubarev received a special prize. In April 1916, Alekhine came on tour in Odessa. April 13 gave a session (+ 17-1 = 2), the collection from which went in favor of those in captivity. April 15 gave a blind session on eight boards. The session lasted until 4:30 in the morning of April 16, the result was + 7-1. On April 19, he won the game against V. Vladimirov and N. Laurent; on April 21, he held a joint session with P. List (+ 11-1 = 3). April 25, won against B. Verlinsky, giving him a head start and move. From Odessa Alekhine went to Kiev. There he began with a session on 20 boards (+ 17-3). May 2, 6 and 8 played a game with Kiev maestro Evenson, lost the first of them and won the second and third. On May 4 he gave a blind session on 8 boards, having won all the games, on May 10 he conducted another session on 20 boards. Along the way, with chess activity, Alekhine completed his law degree. In 1916, he volunteered for the front, despite the fact that due to health reasons (due to heart disease) he was not subject to draft in the army. He was the commander of the Red Cross. He received the Order of St. Stanislav and two medals. He was twice shell-shocked. After the second shell-shock, he ended up in a hospital, where he played blindly with local chess players visiting him, in particular, gave a blind session on five boards. Upon completion of treatment, he returned to Moscow. September 13, 1916 in Moscow Alekhine gave a session on 37 boards (+ 28-3 = 6). Here, on October 4, in Odessa, he conducted a blind session on 9 boards, the collection from which went to the Odessa-Serbia relief fund. All games were won, the session took less than 4 hours.