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All Russian Amateur Tournament

Alexander Alekhine13/16(+12 -2 =2)[games]
Georg Rotlewi12/16(+11 -3 =2)[games]
Bernhard Gregory11.5/16(+11 -4 =1)[games]
Dawid Daniuszewski9.5/16(+6 -3 =7)[games]
Moisei Elyashiv9.5/16(+7 -4 =5)[games]
Boris Maliutin9.5/16(+8 -5 =3)[games]
Sergey Fedorovich Lebedev9/16(+6 -4 =6)[games]
Karl Wilhelm Rosenkrantz9/16(+8 -6 =2)[games]
Nikolay Tereshchenko7.5/16(+5 -6 =5)[games]
Peter Romanovsky7/16(+6 -8 =2)[games]
Boris Verlinsky7/16(+6 -8 =2)[games]
Peter Evtifeev6.5/16(+5 -8 =3)[games]
Stefan Izbinsky6/16(+5 -9 =2)[games]
Anatol Chepurnov5.5/16(+5 -10 =1)[games]
Apollon Viakhirev5/16(+4 -10 =2)[games]
Grigory Helbach5/16(+2 -8 =6)[games]
Viktor Nikolaev3.5/16(+2 -11 =3)[games]
Vasily I Rozanov1.5/7(+1 -5 =1)[games]
V Goldfarb0/2(+0 -2 =0)[games]
* Chess Event Description
All Russian Amateur (1909)
An undercard for the international tournament and the first major success for the sixteen-year-old Alexander Alekhine. The original entry list included:

Alexander Alekhine; Anatoly Alekseevich Chepurnov; Dawid Daniuszewski; Moisei Zakharovich Elyashov; Peter Artemievich Evtifeev; V Goldfarb; Bernhard Gregory; Grigory Helbach; Stefan Izbinsky; Sergey Fedorovich Lebedev; Boris Evgenievich Maliutin; Viktor Nikolaev; Peter Arsenievich Romanovsky; Karl Wilhelm Rosenkrantz; Georg Rotlewi; Vasily I Rozanov; Nikolay Semenovich Tereshchenko; Boris Verlinsky; Apollon Viakhirev.

The games are notable for the fighting spirit of the players. Members of the Never Resign! School will find much food for thought here.

With an odd number of players originally and two early withdrawals, each player received in effect three byes, which makes the current player standings hard to track. However, by round 11 it was clear this was going to be a two-man race between Alekhine and Rotlewi, who shared the lead despite having already had their three non-counting rounds. Thereafter they bounced back and forth until round 17 when Alekhine defeated Rotlewi to take a 1.5 point lead that stood up. Bernhard Gregory was a close 3rd in the crosstable, but was never quite able to break into the top group.

The original collection, Game Collection: All Russian Amateur (St. Petersburg, 1909), contains a complete list of round-by-round pairings, with details on byes, cancelled, unplayed, and unavailable games.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 Alekhine * 1 1 0 1 1 = 1 1 0 1 1 1 = 1 1 1 13.0 2 Rotlewi 0 * 1 = = 1 0 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 12.0 3 Gregory 0 0 * 1 0 1 = 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 11.5 4 Daniuszewski 1 = 0 * 1 = = 1 = 1 1 1 = 0 0 = = 9.5 5 Elyashov 0 = 1 0 * 1 1 = 1 = 1 = 0 0 = 1 1 9.5 6 Maliutin 0 0 0 = 0 * 1 1 1 0 1 = 1 1 1 = 1 9.5 7 Lebedev = 1 = = 0 0 * = 0 1 = 1 = 1 1 0 1 9.0 8 Rosenkrantz 0 0 0 0 = 0 = * 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 1 9.0 9 Tereshchenko 0 1 1 = 0 0 1 0 * 0 = = 1 1 0 = = 7.5 10 Romanovsky 1 0 0 0 = 1 0 0 1 * 0 1 0 0 1 = 1 7.0 11 Verlinsky 0 0 0 0 0 0 = 0 = 1 * 0 1 1 1 1 1 7.0 12 Evtifeev 0 0 0 0 = = 0 0 = 0 1 * 1 1 1 0 1 6.5 13 Izbinsky 0 0 0 = 1 0 = 0 0 1 0 0 * 1 0 1 1 6.0 14 Chepurnov = 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 * 1 1 0 5.5 15 Viakirev 0 0 0 1 = 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 * = 0 5.0 16 Helbach 0 0 0 = 0 = 1 0 = = 0 1 0 0 = * = 5.0 17 Nikolaev 0 0 0 = 0 0 0 0 = 0 0 0 0 1 1 = * 3.5 Rozanov 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - - 1 = - - - - - 0 *games cancelled* Goldfarb 0 - - - - - - - - - 0 - - - - - - *games concelled*

Original collection: Game Collection: All Russian Amateur (St. Petersburg, 1909), by User: Phony Benoni.

 page 1 of 6; games 1-25 of 141  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Alekhine vs S Izbinsky 1-0301909All Russian AmateurB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
2. Viakhirev vs K Rosenkrantz 1-0331909All Russian AmateurC23 Bishop's Opening
3. B Verlinsky vs V Goldfarb  1-0471909All Russian AmateurC68 Ruy Lopez, Exchange
4. N Tereshchenko vs A Chepurnov  1-0411909All Russian AmateurC30 King's Gambit Declined
5. M Elyashiv vs D Daniuszewski  0-1471909All Russian AmateurC79 Ruy Lopez, Steinitz Defense Deferred
6. S F Lebedev vs G Helbach 0-1481909All Russian AmateurD00 Queen's Pawn Game
7. V Nikolaev vs Rotlewi  0-1321909All Russian AmateurB01 Scandinavian
8. B Gregory vs V Rozanov  1-0481909All Russian AmateurA40 Queen's Pawn Game
9. P Romanovsky vs B Maliutin 1-0601909All Russian AmateurC49 Four Knights
10. V Goldfarb vs Alekhine 0-1271909All Russian AmateurC01 French, Exchange
11. V Rozanov vs B Verlinsky  ½-½401909All Russian AmateurD63 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense
12. A Chepurnov vs B Gregory 0-1641909All Russian AmateurC50 Giuoco Piano
13. D Daniuszewski vs V Nikolaev  ½-½351909All Russian AmateurD33 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
14. B Maliutin vs M Elyashiv 0-1261909All Russian AmateurB15 Caro-Kann
15. S Izbinsky vs P Romanovsky  1-0631909All Russian AmateurC84 Ruy Lopez, Closed
16. G Helbach vs Viakhirev  ½-½681909All Russian AmateurB20 Sicilian
17. P Evtifeev vs N Tereshchenko ½-½211909All Russian AmateurC23 Bishop's Opening
18. Rotlewi vs S F Lebedev 0-1141909All Russian AmateurD02 Queen's Pawn Game
19. Alekhine vs V Rozanov 1-0221909All Russian AmateurA40 Queen's Pawn Game
20. B Verlinsky vs A Chepurnov 1-0351909All Russian AmateurC66 Ruy Lopez
21. S F Lebedev vs D Daniuszewski  ½-½371909All Russian AmateurD00 Queen's Pawn Game
22. M Elyashiv vs S Izbinsky  0-1581909All Russian AmateurB44 Sicilian
23. Viakhirev vs Rotlewi 0-1431909All Russian AmateurD51 Queen's Gambit Declined
24. K Rosenkrantz vs G Helbach  1-0301909All Russian AmateurC10 French
25. B Gregory vs P Evtifeev 1-0261909All Russian AmateurC66 Ruy Lopez
 page 1 of 6; games 1-25 of 141  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  WCC Editing Project: <JB> Well a bit of a black eye for old Andy then eh? We can even quantify it- a level "13" black eye.

<Stony> incredible work on identifying everyone in that historic photo. Fabulous. I have added your fine work to my enormous "Johnny Alekhine" folder.

Here's Johnny with his prize:

Johnny Alekhine hauled that <Sevres Vase> around with him his whole life. It was even with him in his hotel room in Estoril when he died.

On a somewhat related topic, <Vasily Smyslov> kept the tournament chess table he played on when he won the following event, which he told <Genna Sosonko> was the "biggest success" of his life. Like Johnny with his vase, Vasya kept that table till his dying day. Sadly, I can't find a photo of it, but I think it's out there somewhere.

This is the event, with 16 year old <Smyslov> putting up a clean score:

<Moskvoretsky House of Pioneers Championship 1937> (Fall) 1st, 11-0.

Smyslov had previously earned the <1st Category rank> in the fall of 1936

-Genna Sosonko "The World Champions I Knew." (New in Chess 2013), pp.126-27

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: The missing games from this tournament were submitted some time ago by an Unknown Benefactor. This has just come to my attention, so I have updated my personal collection and sent in correction slips to have the games added to this page. There will be 141 in all.
Jun-01-18  zanzibar: <Phony> what source(s) did you use for this tournament?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <zanzibar> This was one of my earliest collections, and I have no recognition of any sources. I probably got the games from files at some place like Rusbase or 365Chess.

I'm sure I didn't do much actual research, if only because I don't know Russian. That list of pairings in the collection is surely just another of my pairing reconstructions.

Nor did I ever find out who submitted the missing games.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <zanzibar> Here is what I posted after hearing about the submitted missing games:

P Romanovsky vs B Maliutin, 1909 (kibitz #2)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <Zanzibar> One probably source just game to mind.

A;exander Alekhine / edited by Alexander Khalifman. Sofia, Bulgaria : Chess Start, 2002.

A three-volume collection of Alekhine's game, with scores and annotation in language-less algebraic. The general editor of the series of Sergei Soloviov.

This provided Alekhine's games as round as the round dat4s. There is no information about the tournament itself, however. In fact, the series ctains no narrative at all: just crosstables, games, and annotations.

Jun-02-18  zanzibar: Thanks <Phony>, given that you identified rounds/dates I thought there should at least be a hint.


Jun-02-18  zanzibar: <Phony> I think the Russian version of the tournament -

<"Международный Шахматный Конгресс в память М.И. Чигорина" (1910)>

co-authored by E. Lasker + E. Znosko-Borovsky

has both the full coverage of the International + Amateur sections.

I haven't fully explored this assertion, but it makes sense given full coverage + all games being available.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <zanzibar> Do you actually have access to the book? It sounds to me simply a Russian translation of Lasker's tournament gook for St. Petersburg (1909).

That tournament was held ten months earlier than the Amateur, so it's hard to imagine the two tournaments being sections of the same event.

Though I suppose anything is possible.

I would suspect Znosko-Gorovsky's name got in there as a translator of Lasker's text.

Jun-03-18  The Kings Domain: Fascinating tournament.
Jun-03-18  zanzibar: <phony> well, legally the original Russian version was published in 1910, so there should be a PD version somewhere out there.

I couldn't find a good one, maybe because of my lack of language skills, or maybe because the 1980 reprint reissue is shading it (?)

Anyways, there's an extensive preview available in this ebook-for-sale version:

One can see that it's quite different from the Lasker en-version. E.g. Alekhine's famous vase is pictured in the L+Z-B version.

Anways, from the preview it appears to be 365 pages, even if we can't view them all, whereas the Lasker version is 192 pages.

That, plus where else would all the games come from?

Jun-03-18  hemy: <zanzibar> <phony> You can upload this book from my dropbox:

Jun-03-18  zanzibar: <hemy> thanks, I'll have a look.

But just to confirm, it does have all the amateur games correct?

Just curious - does RUSbase have them too? I don't think my version does.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <zanzibar> Now that I see the actual Google page, there's a statement (apparently a subtitle) in Russian under the words ") reviews"

<The collection of parties of the international tournament of the maestro and the tournament of Russian amateurs.>

So it does look helpful. However, I couldn't figure out how to upload it from <henry>'s link, though. Need to try harder.

Jun-03-18  hemy: <zanzibar> The table of published games numbers of the amateur games is on the page 359. From the notes under the table: games that were not played, because one of the players didn't come to play, are marked with "*)".

On the page 227 a note about the game Gregory - Rozanov: "the score is missing".

Jun-03-18  hemy: <Phony Benoni> It shouldn't be a problem to download it. After the page will be open from the link I provided, you will found a button "Download". Click on this button will open small window (file dialog) with option to save file. If this will not working for you, I can temporarily add my email address on my profile page and you may contact me. I will send the file (12.5 Mb) by email as attachment.
Jun-03-18  zanzibar: RE: dropbox download

Cancel out the popup dialogue asking for you to register, and it should be fairly straight-forward to find the path (buttons) to download.

This version is from 1980, so the situation isn't as clear as if it were before 1973. For completeness one can consult here for a start:

To tell the truth I would love to find more unencumbered Russian material - I wonder if the Russian + other academic libraries would consider collaborating with Google Books like the US libraries did.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <hemy> Thnk you for the offer, but I don't know if it will be much help. I was able to download the file -- I think -- but my computer refuses to open it. Apparently, I do not have the necessary software.
Jun-03-18  faulty: well, Rotlewi seems to be a 'short' guy. I have never seen a case at this level of tournaments that a player has 4(!!!!) decisive games under twenty moves (and this is 1909, but not 1860-something), in this case, winning in 13 and 15, and losing in 14 and 20. Sadly, his life was so short... i really like watching the games of this forgotten Master
Jun-03-18  hemy: <Phony Benoni> You need to install djvu reader. You can download it from
Jun-03-18  zanzibar: djvu is useful, especially for a lot of Russian stuff, as they seem to have a preference for it.

I haven't used it too much lately, and am once again wondering if it supports image/text overlays?

In other words, does it do like PDF does, and allow OCR text to be selected and copied into the clipboard.

The <Chigorin Memorial> seems to be non-OCR.

BTW- there's an export option in djview that allows conversion to PDF file format.

Jun-03-18  hemy: The size of djvu file is at least by 50% smaller than pdf of the same book. Since email attachment have limited size,
sometimes pdf can be too big for sending by email.

Unfortunately it is not allowing OCR text to be selected and copied into the clipboard.

Russian books and magazines are mostly using djvu format. Others probably less. In my Spanish language books collection are 1086 pdf and only 112 djvu books.

Jun-03-18  zanzibar: Thanks again <hemy>, for confirming the format stats, and the unfortunate lack of OCR in djvu.

Not having a text layer is really limiting - because you can't just search out key phrases. Very deliberating for a non-Russian speaker, since each page has to be scanned by eye for interesting tidbits.

* * * * *

As for the Russian version of the tb:

<парти турнира любителей

Подъ редакцей Б. Е. Малбютина.>

begins on p238/383...

<party tournament amateurs

Edited by B.E. Malbutin.>

So, we should credit Malbutin for the amateur tournament account.

Or should it be this guy?

Boris Evgenievich Maliutin

(I think I like <Maljutin, Boris E.>, to better match the literature of the time)

Jun-03-18  hemy: <zanzibar> You are right. It is Б. Е. Малютин - B. E. Maliutin (Maljutin). "Под редакцией Б. Е. Малютина" (Edited by B. E. Maliutin).
Jun-04-18  TheFocus: Here is a description of the St. Petersburg 1909 book (Russian edition)It includes both tournaments. I don't own a copy though.

<ST. PETERSBURG 1909, Lasker, Znosko-Borovsky & Malyutin; St. Petersburg, 1910. Russian. Quite scarce. This edition, unlike the English & German editions, includes the games of the amateur tourney won by Alekhine in his first tournament victory (excluding minor local events) ifo Rotlevi, Gregory,... 367p. L/N 5296. Includes some nice photos of Alekhine and others incl. Chigorin. Has some history of prior Russian chess events. h, good with original paper covers bd in. rebd, spine strip is worn, contents exc, h, vg, title page is stained. With 9 leaves in xerox tipped in to replace the missing original pages.>

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