Alexander Alekhine, (October 31, 1892 – March 24, 1946) By the age of twenty-two, he was already among the strongest chess players in the world. During the 1920s, he won most of the tournaments in which he played. In 1927, he became the fourth World Chess Champion by defeating Capablanca, widely considered invincible, in what would stand as the longest chess championship match held until 1985.
In the early 1930s, Alekhine dominated tournament play and won two top-class tournaments by large margins. He also played first board for France in four Chess Olympiads, winning individual prizes in each. His tournament record became more erratic from the mid-1930s onwards, and alcoholism is often blamed for his decline.
Alekhine defended his title with ease against Bogoljubov in 1929 and 1934. He was defeated by Euwe in 1935, but regained his crown in the 1937 rematch. Negotiations for a title match with Keres or Botvinnik were halted by the outbreak of World War II in Europe in 1939.
Alekhine is known for his fierce and imaginative attacking style, combined with great positional and endgame skill. He produced innovations in a wide range of chess openings.
Although Alekhine was declared an "enemy of the Soviet Union" after making anti-Bolshevik statements in 1927, in the 1950s he was posthumously rehabilitated and acclaimed as one of the founders of the "Soviet School of Chess", which dominated the game after World War II. He is highly regarded as a chess writer and theoretician, giving his name to Alekhine’s Defence and several other opening variations, and also composed a few endgame studies.
Play games from Alekhine