Max Euwe

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Max Euwe (1973)
Max Euwe (1973)
Surname Machgielis Euwe
Association NetherlandsNetherlands Netherlands
Born May 20, 1901
Amsterdam , Netherlands
Died November 26, 1981
title Grand Master (1950)
World Champion 1935-1937
Best Elo rating 2769 (January 1936) ( historical )

Machgielis (Max) Euwe ( ø: wə ; * May 20, 1901 in Amsterdam ; † November 26, 1981 there ) was a Dutch chess player , fifth world chess champion from 1935 to 1937 and president of the world chess federation FIDE from 1970 to 1978 .


In 1913, at the age of twelve, Euwe became a member of the oldest chess club in the Netherlands, the Amsterdam Chess Society . After the First World War , his great playing strength emerged. In 1919 he made his debut at the championship of the Netherlands , in 1921 he won it for the first time. All in all, he was able to win this title twelve times by 1955, six of them in uninterrupted succession, making him the record holder. In 1928 he became the FIDE amateur world champion in The Hague . Further successes in international tournaments were his victories in Hastings 1930/31, Hastings 1933/34 and Bad Nauheim / Stuttgart / Garmisch 1937.

In 1935 Euwe experienced the high point of his chess career: he won the title of world chess champion in a competition against Alexander Alekhine (nine wins, eight defeats, 13 draws ). This triggered a great enthusiasm for chess in his home country. His winning game in round 26 was called The Pearl of Zandvoort .

He lost the revenge battle in 1937 with 9.5: 15.5 (four wins, ten defeats, eleven draws).

Euwe was open to cooperation with the Greater German Chess Federation . At a reception with Reich Minister Hans Frank in July 1937, Euwe described himself as the “first Germanic world champion”. The Deutsche Schachblätter reported in detail in number 16 of August 15, 1937. In the summer of 1941 he won a competition organized by the Greater German Chess Federation against Efim Bogoljubow in Karlsbad with 6.5: 3.5 (5 wins, 2 defeats, 3 draws). Otherwise, however, he declined invitations to the tournaments in the Generalgouvernement and to the European tournaments in Munich, referring to his activity as a teacher. Collaboration allegations were therefore not brought against him after the Second World War .

The World Chess Federation FIDE selected Euwe as one of five candidates for the 1948 World Chess Championship , but he was last there with four out of 20 points. Mikhail Botvinnik became world champion .

Euwe did a lot to popularize chess. He has written numerous textbooks that have been translated into many languages. From 1970 to 1978 he was President of FIDE. Euwe died in 1981 of a heart attack .

Euwe was a mathematician. He studied at the University of Amsterdam , where he received his doctorate on differential invariants in 1926 under Roland Weitzenböck (who was also a strong chess player) . He was then a mathematics teacher in Winterswijk and Rotterdam and from 1926 to 1940 and then again from 1945 at a school for girls in Amsterdam. During the war he worked as president of the Van Amerongen (VANA) retail chain in Amsterdam and as an insurance statistician. In the 1950s he turned to computers and became professor of cybernetics in 1954 , where he also visited the USA for study purposes in 1957, on which occasion he also played twice against Bobby Fischer in New York (he won once and drew once). In 1959 he became President of the Netherlands Research Center for Computer Science. From 1961 to 1963 he headed a commission appointed by Euratom to investigate the extent to which the game of chess can be programmed. In 1954 he became professor of computer science in Rotterdam and in 1955 in Tilburg . He was also a consultant for the Remington Rand computer company . He was friends with the mathematician LEJ Brouwer (he gave his funeral oration), whose lectures he had attended as a student. Euwe also applied Brouwer's intuitionist methods to the analysis of the game of chess and showed, among other things, in 1929 that the possibility of claiming a draw after repeating the move three times is not sufficient to theoretically rule out an infinitely long game of chess. In 1971 he retired as a professor in Tilburg.

During his time as FIDE President, the world championship match between Fischer and Spasski took place in Reykjavík in 1972 , in which he had to take on a difficult mediating role.

A square in Amsterdam is named after him, where there is also a chess center dedicated to his memory.

Euwe was married to Carolina E. Bergmann and had three children. His granddaughter Esmé Lammers used two of the games he played against Albert Loon and Alexander Alekhine in Amsterdam in 1936 in her debut film Long Live the Queen (1995) and in the 1997 book of the same name .

Euwe's highest historical rating was 2769. This he reached in January 1936. Between 1936 and 1937 he was number 1 in the world rankings for 14 months.

Euwe was also an excellent theorist and chess writer. His works have been translated into many languages. The best known are, among others, master against amateur , amateur becomes master , master against master , judgment and plan in chess , theory of chess openings , general art in chess , endgame theory and its practical application . In addition, he also wrote many articles, including for the chess echo and the German chess newspaper .

Euwe was interested in all aspects of chess, especially in endgames , in which he used the GBR code in correspondence . He published some, mostly theoretical endgame studies and chess problems.

National team

Euwe took part in seven Chess Olympiads with the Dutch team between 1927 and 1962 (except for the 1927 Chess Olympiad in London , where there was no fixed board sequence, always on the top board). He achieved the second best individual result on the first board in Munich in 1958 and the third best individual result in Stockholm in 1937 . He also took part in the unofficial Chess Olympiad in Paris in 1924 .


Euwe played in the 1930s for the Amsterdam Schaakclub , in the 1970s for Volmac Rotterdam , with whom he also participated twice in the European Club Cup .

Works (selection)

  • Max Euwe: Theory of the chess openings . 12 volumes. Siegfried Engelhardt Verlag, Berlin-Frohnau, 1957 and following
  • Max Euwe: Chess from A – Z - Complete instructions for playing chess . Joachim Beyer Verlag , Eltmann 2012, ISBN 978-3888055287 .
  • Max Euwe: Endgame Theory and Practice . Joachim Beyer Verlag, Eltmann 2014, ISBN 978-3940417466 .
  • Max Euwe: judgment and plan in chess . Joachim Beyer Verlag, Eltmann 2015, ISBN 978-3940417855 .
  • Max Euwe: Feldherrenkunst im Schach: a study of the development of chess thinking from 1600 to today . Joachim Beyer Verlag, Eltmann 2015, ISBN 978-3959200080 .
  • Max Euwe: Position and Combination Game . Joachim Beyer Verlag, Eltmann 2016, ISBN 978-3959200059 .
  • Max Euwe, Walter Meiden: Master against Master . Joachim Beyer Verlag, Eltmann 2016, ISBN 978-3959200196 .
  • Max Euwe, Walter Meiden: Master vs. Amateur . Joachim Beyer Verlag, Eltmann 2017, ISBN 978-3959200394 .
  • Max Euwe, Walter Meiden: Amateur becomes master . Joachim Beyer Verlag, Eltmann 2017, ISBN 978-3959200479 .


Web links

Commons : Max Euwe  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Dirk van Dalen Mystic, geometer and intuitionist. The life of LEJ Brouwer. Volume 2, Clarendon Press 2005, p. 717.
  2. Biography of Euwe in McTutor ( Memento of 29 September 2011 at the Internet Archive )
  3. Van Dalen, Brouwer biography, loc. cit., p. 773, with photo
  4. Dirk van Dalen, Brouwer biography, loc. cit., p. 901.
  5. Max Euwe: Set theoretical considerations on the game of chess. Proc. Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen, Volume 32, 1929, pp. 633-642 ( online ).
  6. Europa-Rochade , May 1986, p. 28.
  7. EG 67, p. 10 ( online view as PDF file).
  8. Max Euwes results at chess Olympiads on (English)
  9. Max Euwes results at unofficial chess Olympiads on (English)
  10. Festschrift ( Memento from June 26, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Koninklijke Schaakclub Philidor 1847 150 jaar schaken in Leeuwarden , p. 95 (PDF file; 269 kB, Dutch).
  11. Max Euwes results at European Club Cups on (English)