1. Joined
    27 Mar '05
    Moves
    88
    02 Apr '05 11:43
    Every chess book and chess encyclopedia all claim that Alekhine avoided playing Capablanca in a rematch after he (Alekhine) won the title. Turns out that this is not entirely true...the full story on the controversy can be found at:

    http://www.worldchessnetwork.com/English/chessHistory/salute/kings/alekhine.php

    Here is the text of this website's explanation concerning the rematch:

    "Concerning the charge of avoiding a rematch, the truth is (surprise!) somewhere in the middle.

    In a sentence, a rematch would have taken place in 1930 or 1931 had Capablanca not sought (for good reasons) a postponement. As revealed in correspondence between A. and C., Alekhine received Capablanca’s formal challenge on November 14, 1929, which he accepted in a letter of November 28, 1929, and in which he also fixed the start of the match between October 15 and December 15, 1930. Capa put down a deposit of $500 and tried unsuccessfully to organize a match for those dates in the United States. In a letter to Alekhine of June 1, 1930, the Cuban requested that the match be moved to early 1931; and Alekhine promptly agreed in a letter of June 18, to a new date of February 15, 1931. Capablanca then dropped a bombshell. In a letter dated June 18, 1930 - the same date as Alekhine’s letter - he wrote, “I find a clerical error was made in my letter of June 1, 1930. My proposal for the match is for the Winter 1931 - 32.” Which is to say, for a starting date NOT in early 1931 but a year thence in early 1932. Alekhine responded on July 3, 1930, stating that he would not entertain future challenges from Capablanca unless they were “formally supported by a Federation or backers known in the chess world, in each case guaranteeing the financial side of the match.”

    The bottom line: Alekhine was willing, if not eager, to play in 1930 or 1931.

    <END OF TRANSCRIPT>


    Although Alekhine was almost certainly afraid of a rematch, and might have used anything he could as a chance to back out, it does appear that a rematch could have taken place if Capa had been able to raise the necessary funding. (to me, THAT'S the real mystery about this whole thing...why sponsors couldn't be found).

    I've always been a fan of Capablanca's (and at the same time, I kind of put Alekhine down a bit because of his apparent "refusal" to allow a rematch), so I was quite astonished to read this.

    A lot of you probably knew about this chain of events already, but perhaps a lot of you probably didn't. Just thought it would be good to set the record somewhat straight.
  2. Standard memberSirLoseALot
    Shut Gorohoviy!
    Joined
    19 May '03
    Moves
    14164
    02 Apr '05 20:58
    You can't put Alekhine down for making it hard on Capablanca.Do you know how much trouble he went through to be able to challenge Capa?All because of the cuban's high financial demands.Alekhine just repaid the favor.
    Though the fact that the cuban was the only really dangerous opponent at that time,probably played a role too.It certainly didn't make Alekhine any more lenient in his demands 😉

    It is indeed strange that Capa couldn't get the money together.Very strange......
  3. Joined
    29 Jul '01
    Moves
    8818
    02 Apr '05 21:49
    Too bad the way the champions did handle the title. If Alekhine had played Capablanca in a rematch then one of the two would have become a awesome legend in their own time. Champions that could have been but did not have a chance? Perhaps Pillsbury, Rubinstein, and Fine. Maybe also Nimzowitsch? Schlechter would have been the champ but he did not want the responsiblity of the title?
  4. Joined
    27 Mar '05
    Moves
    88
    02 Apr '05 23:082 edits
    Originally posted by SirLoseALot
    You can't put Alekhine down for making it hard on Capablanca.Do you know how much trouble he went through to be able to challenge Capa?All because of the cuban's high financial demands.Alekhine just repaid the favor.

    That's a great, great point... I never thought of that...

    It's too bad that things couldn't be worked out between the two men. Imagine what a rematch would have been like if BOTH players put in the maximum effort to prepare for each other? wow!
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