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Spielmann - Euwe 1932
Compiled by Chessical


This was a training match for Max Euwe ahead of his match with Salomon Flohr - Euwe - Flohr (1932). It was played in Amsterdam from 6th-18th March 1932.

"By way of practice, Euwe plays a living-room match in Amsterdam against the peripatetic Rudolf Spielmann, whom he defeats 3-1 (+2 -0 =2). This is followed by the showdown with Flohr..." (1)

The players:

Spielmann at 48, was 18 years older than his opponent. Using Chessmetric's data, (2) this was a match between Spielmann at 11th place and Euwe at 6th place in the world ratings.They had played eight times previously, and had a equal score (+2 -2 =4).

Spielmann was known for his attacking prowess. He had recently defeated the 1929 world championship contender Efim Bogoljubov (+4 -3 =3) in January 1932, but he would lose a close match against Erich Eliskases - Spielmann - Eliskases (1932) (+2 -3 =5) in September 1932.

Euwe had won the Dutch Championship in 1921, 1924, 1926 and was the pre-eminent Dutch player. Despite teaching mathematics and playing chess as an amateur, he had won Hastings (1930/31) by half a point ahead of Capablanca. In July 1931, he played a match against Capablanca - Capablanca - Euwe (1931), but lost by 2 losses and 8 draws.

The progress of the match:

Spielmann was White in the odd-numbered games.

1 2 3 4 Spielmann 0 ½ ½ 0 Euwe 1 ½ ½ 1

Progressive score:

1 2 3 4 Spielmann 0 ½ 1 1 Euwe 1 1½ 2 3

Game 1 - "Amsterdam, Tuesday.

Yesterday evening the first of four training games was played in the "Lyceum" Café, between Euwe and Spielmann, Euwe defended with a Semi-Slav Defense, and a very lively game developed in which Spielmann offered a pawn at <b2> to get the initiative, which did not succeed. Both players then fell into serious time pressure which Euwe dealt with the best and also won a pawn. Spielmann gave up some moves later." (3)

click for larger view

Spielmann played <17.Bxe4?>. This loses a pawn, for instance, <18. Qxe4> Bxf5 19. Qxf5 (or 19. Qf3 Bxe3+ 20. Qxe3 Rad8) 19... Bxe3+ 20. Kh1 g6 21. Qf3 Qxd4.

Game 2 - "The second game of the match will be played in the VAS chess club (Vereenigd Amsterdamsch Schaakgenootschap) on Saturday, March 12th. The third game will be played in the Amsterdam Chess Club". (4)

Spielmann defended with a Queen's Gambit Declined using a variation championed by the English master Fred Dewhirst Yates. He efficiently equalised, but multiple exchanges led to a drawn Rook and Pawn ending.

Game 3 - "CHESS. EUWE - SPIELMANN. The third game was drawn. Last night in Amsterdam, the third game of the Euwe - Spielmann match took place. The game was given up as a draw after 31 moves as it was a perpetual check." (5)


The third game is tied despite Spielmann's fruitless attacking attempts.

Yesterday, in the club room of the ASC, the third game of the short training match Euwe- Spielmann took place. Spielmann, with white, opened with <d2-d4> which resulted in the Nimzo-Indian, Spielmann (E23) on the part of Euwe. This variant proceeded to the 8th move according to the theory, after which Spielmann, instead of the usual <e2-e3>, tried to develop the King's Bishop via <g3>, thereby defying the dangers of <Nc6-d4>. Euwe tried to offer a pawn for rapid development, but his opponent did not take it and calmly completed his own development. Then there was an exchange at <c3>, after which the endgame began with the 14th move.

Superficially, it seemed as if both sides were equal, but with a tactical trade-off of a Bishop for a Knight, Spielmann managed to deprive his opponent of both a powerful attacking and defensive weapon. Immediately, Spielmann pushed up his Queen-side pawns and began an action on the <b> and <c> files, and a Rook took on <c5>. Yet Spielmann could not achieve any advantage, thanks to Euwe's meticulous play and after the attack was over, Euwe deservedly had the better position.

Spielmann's advanced <b> pawn could not be defended, whilst the Black <a> pawn would prove untenable. Nevertheless, it did not matter anymore, as Spielmann had at his disposal a line in which Euwe could not avoid a draw by repetition. The state of the match is currently: Euwe 2 points, Spielmann 1 point." (6)

Spielmann, perhaps realising that he had not made the best of his chances, later played the line again - Najdorf vs Spielmann, 1934,

Game 4 - "Played on 16 and 18 March 1932 in Amsterdam" (7)


The fourth and final game adjourned.

In the Café De Kroon, Rembrandtplein, Amsterdam, ( ) the fourth and last game of the Euwe - Spielmann match began last night. After masterful play from both parties, Euwe was able to win a pawn on the 31st move. Two moves later the game was adjourned. Although Euwe stands slightly better, the game is still very difficult for him to win." (8)


AMSTERDAM, 18th March - This evening, in the Café Lyceum the fourth game of the training match Euwe (white) - Spielmann was played out (from the 32nd move - e.d.) ... Euwe may be very satisfied with the result of the four training matches. He was not in any difficulty in any of the games. Of course, the match was too short to draw any conclusions, but undoubtedly Euwe's result will give him self-confidence for his upcoming match with Salo Flohr, who will start on Friday, exactly one o'clock in the Odd Fellowhuis..." (9)

Spielmann had achieved equality as Black, but as in the first game, he overlooked a tactical finesse by his opponent.

click for larger view


Spielmann played <20..Ne6> (20...Qxd5 =). After this, Euwe held the initiative and by very precise play won a pawn and then the ending.


Euwe was coming into the period of his peak strength (mid to late 1930s). This match was one of the early steps of his careful progress towards becoming the world championship challenger to Alexander Alekhine - Alekhine - Euwe World Championship Match (1935).


(1). Alexander Munninghoff, Max Euwe: The Biography, in New in Chess.


(3). "Het Volk", 8th March 1932.

(4). "De Telegraaf", 8th March 1932.

(5). "Algemeen Handelsblad", 15th March 1932.

(6). "Algemeen Handelsblad", 15th March 1932.

(7). "Wiener Schach-Zeitung", Nr.7, April 1932, p.102.

(8). "Algemeen Handelsblad", 17th March 1932.

(9). "De Telegraaf", 19th March 1932.

This text and original research by User: Chessical.

Game 1
Spielmann vs Euwe, 1932 
(D45) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 30 moves, 0-1

Game 2.
Euwe vs Spielmann, 1932
(D63) Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense, 34 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 3.
Spielmann vs Euwe, 1932
(E23) Nimzo-Indian, Spielmann, 28 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 4.
Euwe vs Spielmann, 1932 
(E16) Queen's Indian, 51 moves, 1-0

4 games

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