MAX EUWE

Machgielis "Max" Euwe was the fifth world champion and a mathematician. He was one of the most important figures in chess throughout the 20th Century. Euwe was born on May 20, 1901 in the town of Watergraafsmeer, Netherlands. His parents would often play games of chess while young Max observed. By the age of five he was not only playing chess, but beating his parents. In 1911 at the age of ten, Euwe played in his first junior tournament and won every game. The prodigy, Euwe, began attending the Amsterdam chess club and competing in tournaments. In 1921 at the age of 20 Euwe won the Dutch Championship and established himself as the best player in the Netherlands. He would continue to win every subsequent Dutch championship that he competed in, establishing himself as the greatest Dutch player of all time.

Euwe also had a genius for mathematics as well as chess. He studied mathematics at the University of Amsterdam and eventually earned his doctorate in 1926. Some might say Euwe was an even more brilliant mathematician than chess player. He went on to publish several papers, including a mathematical study that proved that an "infinite game" of chess was possible. While his work in the field of mathematics continued, Euwe began competing in strong international tournaments. His approach to chess was mathematical and logical and was governed by a strict set of principles. He became the foremost authority on the transition from the opening to the middlegame. Throughout the late 1920's and early 1930's Euwe, with his logical approach, would put forth some impressive results. In 1930 Euwe finished in first place at Hastings over former world champion Jose Capablanca and a strong tournament field. Euwe also played individual matches against some of the world's best players including world champions Alexander Alekhine and Jose Capablanca. While Euwe narrowly lost both matches, the experiences encouraged him and gave him the belief that he could become world champion one day.

In 1935 Max Euwe challenged world champion Alexander Alekhine for the world title. The match took place from September – December, 1935 over 13 cities throughout the Netherlands. The heavily favored world champion Alekhine came out with an early lead, but the challenger, Euwe, with home court advantage came roaring back. In the end, Euwe would pull off the upset and become the fifth world chess champion defeating Alekhine by the score of 15 ½ to 14 ½. Some attributed Alekhine's overconfidence and even his alcoholism to him losing the match. Others claimed that Euwe's superior preparation and great physical conditioning was the difference maker. Whatever the reason, the fact remains that Euwe outplayed his opponent and deservedly won the championship.

Name

Max Euwe

Country

Netherlands

Born

May 20, 1901

Death

November 26, 1981

Title

Grandmaster

Peak Rating

2530

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The Euwe vs. Alekhine rematch took place in 1937, again in Euwe's home country of Holland. The match started off as a close contest. This time Alekhine was much better prepared and had reportedly given up drinking. Euwe would eventually lose the title back to Alekhine by the decisive score of 15 ½ to 9 ½. Euwe would never again challenge for the world chess title. He continued to play in strong international tournaments well into the 1950's with some notable successes, but never regained the form he displayed in his world championship run.

In 1970 Max Euwe became the president of FIDE (The International Chess Federation) where he served for eight years until 1978. He presided as president and was instrumental in the organizing of the 1972 Bobby Fischer vs. Boris Spassky World Championship Match. His tenure as president of FIDE was during the height of Cold War tensions, and his level headed objective approach served to represent FIDE and international chess in a positive light. Max Euwe died on November 26, 1981 at the age of 80. While Max Euwe will be best remembered for defeating Alexander Alekhine to become world champion, he had an incredibly rich dual career as a scientist and chess grandmaster. He became a national hero and greatly popularized chess in his native Netherlands. He presided as president over FIDE and guided it during the 1972 Fischer vs. Spassky "match of the century". He is revered as a humble and capable world champion who was a positive figure in both the popularization of chess and the advancement of its theories.

Some Famous Max Euwe Quotes:
"Strategy requires thought, tactics require observation."

"Recent battles between different styles show that chess is not exhausted and continues to remain a lively, dynamic and eternally developing game."

On Euwe:
"He is a tactician, who has decidedly at any cost decided to make himself a good strategist…Euwe believes perhaps too implicitly in the invariability of the rules." – Alexander Alekhine

"Method rules his training, which blends the physical with the mental. How many chess masters put in, prior to an important match, an allotted time daily to bicycling and shadow boxing, followed by a cold shower and a brisk rub down?" – Hans Kmoch





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  1. Remove This Item Year of Publication: 2009 - 1994
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1994 2013 1994 to 2009
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  1. David Hooper (1)
  2. Dr. Max Euwe (1)
  3. Genna Sosonko (1)
  4. Haije Kramer (1)
  5. J.F.S. Rumble (1)
  6. M. Blaine (1)
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  8. Max Euwe (12)
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    Chess Master vs. Chess Amateur
    Chess games played between master and amateur have been chosen, arranged and annotated to help amateurs learn how to avoid a variety of weak strategic and tactical moves. The games include detailed commentary by World Chess Champion Max Euwe and by Walter Meiden, a typical amateur player.
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    Chess Master vs. Chess Amateur

    Catalog Code: B0035DV
    Our Price: $14.95

    The Logical Approach to Chess
    This has long been one of the standard books on basic chess strategy. It takes the player from the middle game of chess and shows how to take it to a favorable conclusion.
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    The Logical Approach to Chess

    Catalog Code: B0105IS
    Our Price: $19.95

    Judgement and Planning in Chess
    This is a basic book that teaches strategic planning in chess. Written by a former Chess Champion of the world, this book has as its basis an entirely novel idea which will help players over a real difficulty.
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    Judgement and Planning in Chess

    Catalog Code: B0106IS
    Our Price: $25.95

    Bobby Fischer - The Greatest?
    This is a book in Descriptive Chess Notation of great importance not only because of the question it addresses, but because of who asks and then answers that question. Dr. Max Euwe, who was world chess champion from 1935 to 1937, compares and contrasts Bobby Fischer with the three greatest players before him, world champions Lasker, Capablanca and Alekhine.
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    Bobby Fischer - The Greatest?

    Catalog Code: B0108IS
    Our Price: $25.95

    The Road to Chess Mastery
    Through an introduction that explains how the ordinary chess player can improve in the various phases of the game of chess, and in enlightening commentaries far more extensive than space permits in an ordinary annotated game, former World Champion Dr. Max Euwe shows how a chess player should think, by indicating the moves for all but the most obvious moves of each game. By applying what he learns in this work the reader may, indeed, find himself traveling the road to chess mastery.
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    The Road to Chess Mastery

    Catalog Code: B0111IS
    Our Price: $25.95

    Meet the Masters
    The Modern Chess Champions and Their Most Characteristic Games
    Meet the Masters contains the biographies of the eight strongest players in the world at that time. It includes their histories, photographs, games and an analysis and critique of their playing styles. Each of these eight players had been invited to the historic tournament at AVRO 1938, regarded as the strongest chess tournament ever held prior to modern times. The eight players generally regarded as the strongest in the world were: World Champion Alexander Alekhine, former champions José Raúl Capablanca and Max Euwe, future champion Mikhail Botvinnik and challengers Paul Keres, Reuben Fine, Samuel Reshevsky and Salo Flohr.
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    Meet the Masters

    The Modern Chess Champions and Their Most Characteristic Games
    Catalog Code: B0112IS
    Our Price: $25.95

    A Guide To Chess Endings
    This book makes a fairly thorough study of those endings most likely to occur in play, especially those with rooks. This book is best worked through as a course of study, so that the underlying ideas are absorbed and a sound positional judgment is acquired it is at first not necessary to understand every nuance, far less to try to remember the more difficult variations; indeed one might pass over the sub-variations at first reading.
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    A Guide To Chess Endings

    Catalog Code: B0118IS
    Our Price: $25.95

    The Middle Game in Chess - Book I
    Static Features
    This comprehensive study of middle-game theory is a classic unlikely to be superseded. It is a valuable addition to the library of every serious student of chess.
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    The Middle Game in Chess - Book I

    Static Features
    Catalog Code: B0169IS
    Our Price: $25.95

    Chess Archives
    Chess Archives was published monthly by a team of Dutch chess opening analysts, headed by former World Champion Dr. Max Euwe. If a new opening trick or trap were discovered, one could be sure it would appear soon in Chess Archives. Readers of established books like Modern Chess Openings could have an unpleasant surprise when a line the were playing had been refuted by new discoveries. That was unlikely to happen to any reader of Chess Archives because the new issues would always contain the latest stuff.
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    Chess Archives

    Catalog Code: B0194IS
    Our Price: $29.95

    Strategy & Tactics in Chess
    In this book, the great Dutch World Champion, Dr. Max Euwe, discusses both strategy and tactics in chess, having special emphasis on the latter, to which about two-thirds of the book is dedicated. Tactics have been, comparatively speaking, neglected in chess literature, and it is therefore, interesting to find that five out of eight chapters of this book are devoted to combinations which are analyzed and classified.
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    Strategy & Tactics in Chess

    Catalog Code: B0207IS
    Our Price: $18.95

    Theorie der Schach-Eroffnungen - GERMAN EDITION
    Teil I-II Damengambit
    Hinweis uber die Entstehung mit einer biografischen Erganzung. Dr. Euwe hat es verstanden, durch seine einfache und methodische Kommentierung der Eroffnungsgedanken und der Zugfolgen den schwierigen Stoff jedermann leicht zuganglich zu machen. Was die Euwe'schen Werke speziell auszeichnet, ist vor allem ihre grossartige Klarheit im Aufbau der verschiedenen Systeme, die jederzeit ein rasches Nachschlagen der gewunschten Variante erlaubt. Dieses Werk hat schon vielen Schachfreunden zur Meisterstarke verholfen!
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    Theorie der Schach-Eroffnungen - GERMAN EDITION

    Teil I-II Damengambit
    Catalog Code: B0208IS
    Our Price: $9.95

    Bobby Fischer and His Predeccessors
    in the World Chess Championship
    The distinguished author, himself a past world champion and President of FIDE, analyzes aspects of Fischer's play in comparison with previous holders of the title Alekhine, Botvinnik, Capablanca, Euwe, Lasker, Petrosian, Smyslov, Spassky, Tal. He examines the relevance of the respective ELO ratings of the earlier champions and provides more specific evidence for considering the true status of Fischer among the champions.
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    Bobby Fischer and His Predeccessors

    in the World Chess Championship
    Catalog Code: B0232IS
    Our Price: $25.95

    The Development of Chess Style
    This is essentially a book on chess history, showing how different styles of chess play became popular and flourished and then faded in popularity, such as for example the Hyper-Modern Style of play that became "All the Rage" in the 1920s and 1930s.
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    The Development of Chess Style

    Catalog Code: B0235IS
    Our Price: $18.95

    The World Champions I Knew
    The legendary chess players that Genna Sosonko brings to life in this new collection of his acclaimed writing have one thing in common: Capablanca, Alekhine, Euwe, Botvinnik, Smyslov, Tal and Petrosian, they were all world champions.
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    The World Champions I Knew

    Catalog Code: B0128NIC
    Our Price: $29.95

    The Hague-Moscow 1948
    Match/Tournament for the World Chess Championship
    On March 24, 1946, the fourth world chess champion, Alexander Alekhine, passed away. He was the first – and still the only – champion to die while holding the title. To select a new champion, a powerful quintuple round-robin was held in The Hague and Moscow. The five strongest players of the era, including one former world champion, two future world champions, and two perennial contenders, took part in a grueling two-month, 25-round tournament
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    The Hague-Moscow 1948

    Match/Tournament for the World Chess Championship
    Catalog Code: B0068RE
    Our Price: $24.95

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