Euwe v. Alekhine, 1935 WCC, Dutch Defense

In the 1935 world championship match between Euwe and Alekhine, the world champion (Alekhine) was heavily favored. In the first four games, he already had a seemingly insurmountable score of 3-1. In part because of the importance of the match, and in part due to the tendency of the dutch papers to describe the events in hysterical terms, the top players in Europe flocked to Holland to witness the event. The spectators discussed the game “sotto voce” in the playing hall as it unfolded, and in Amsterdam’s coffee shops passionate arguments of evaluations were disputed through the language of concrete variations with pocket chess sets, leading to coffee cups being shattered on the ground as proposals were waived aside.

The tilting of the scales in Alekine’s favor prompted Tartakower’s remark: Vim vi repellere licet, violence must be met with violence. And Euwe, against all odds, managed to pull himself back from the precipice of defeat and become the next world champion against all odds. The following game is one of my favorite from the match, and includes some nice tactical concepts in the parenthetical notes.