Max Euwe is often, perhaps unfairly, considered the one world chess champion not to have been a great, or at least dominant, player of his time. That’s largely down to the fact that the Dutchman was a semi-professional player, who had to fit his tournament appearances around the demands of his career as a school mathematics teacher. Euwe nevertheless dominated Dutch chess, winning every Dutch Championship he took part in between 1921 and 1952.
His international successes included the Zurich 1934 tournament, where he finished joint second with Flohr and inflicted the only defeat on the tournament winner, Alexander Alekhine. The same players were matched against each other in a World Championship match a year later, and despite starting badly Euwe’s excellent opening preparation helped him sensationally defeat the reigning champion 15.5:14.5. After that success Euwe also performed well in tournaments, for instance finishing in third place half a point behind Botvinnik and Capablanca but above Alekhine in the Nottingham 1936 tournament. His reign was nevertheless short-lived, as he lost a rematch to Alekhine in 1937. Although the final score was crushing that was largely due to Euwe losing four of the last five games.
Max Euwe went on to become a popular FIDE
President from 1970 until 1978, presiding over Bobby Fischer claiming and then abdicating
from the chess throne. He was also a prolific author, publishing over 70 books
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