SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
Chess Notes , by Winter, is a wonderful source of historical fact and myth-busting for the world of chess and its many fans and practitioners. ChessBase recently cited some of Winter’s research on Alekhine and interviews he gave. Below is a quote by the man himself when asked why it is true that so many chess players have gone ‘crazy’…
Alexander Alekhine (1892-1946)
‘‘Ah, but this is another fallacy. True enough, they were insane, some are today, but not from chess. You see, many people don’t know that to enjoy chess thoroughly a general wide cultural background is required.
Some players are so engrossed in the game that they neglect other phases of their mental development, and this undue concentration on one thing results in dementia precox.
Then, again, some have hereditary disposition toward insanity and it would have asserted itself in some other occupation anyhow.’’
WILL WHOEVER KILLED ALEKHINE PLEASE STAND UP?
Several years ago I published two very well received blog articles (Part 1 and Part 2 ) on the circumstances surrounding the untimely death of Alekhine in Portugal in 1946. In a nutshell–as in most self-respecting conspiracy theories–the official story does not quite dot all of the ‘i’s and cross all of the ‘t’s.
Most speculation indicates that Alekhine was assassinated either by the French Resistance or the Kremlin’s long arm. (Perhaps they had to draw straws to see who would get first shot). In anycase,so far no concrete evidence has appeared to support the conspiracy theory, except–ofcourse–for the winning straw.
UP UNTIL RECENTLY, that is.
Stan Vaughan , president of the WCF (World Chess Federation–not to be confused with FIDE) recently wrote to me that he has proof that Alekhine was definitely assassinated by the Soviets, and that written evidence exists but has been misplaced over the years! If this lead proves to be accurate, then one of the biggest chess mysteries will have been solved.
Closure? Stan Vaughan thinks so…
We have posted the confirmation info re Soviet murder of Alekhine by Stalin’s orders at the WCF website (Fischer’s org) Go to www.wcfchess.com and then go to WCF Hall of fame under Alekhine.
I learned this confirmation about a year ago from an elderly Russian atomic scientist. He claimed that the one in charge of these special projects of assassination overseas such as against Trotsky in Mexico where Nahum Eitingon was involved and Konovalets the Ukrainian independence leader he killed in Netherlands was transferred to be in charge of atomic secrets program and the Alekhine files on NKVD assassination were transferred there which he came across at one time. He said was done on personal orders of Stalin who said Alekhine was under reinstated sentence to be shot from Russian Civil war time and did mention theft of an overcoat I think few days ahead.
My understanding is that the whole offer to sponsor Alekhine-Botvinnik match in London was a sham to give more credence to Botvinnik as legitimate challenger ahead of Reuben Fine. Alekhine was to receive confirmation which I believe he did then the assassination was to take place as match was never really to take place as Stalin wanted to ensure title came to Soviets through a match tournament proposal whereby they could fix the results by having Keres throw enough games needed to ensure Botvinnik victory.
However of interest was that if opportunity to shoot Alekhine did not come about they had planned to have option re food with poison department involved…Most importantly he said Eitingon had been in charge of NKVD in Iberian peninsula of Spanish and Portugese agents during Spanish Civil War and had many agent contacts still there in 1946.
PS. The info was confirmed to me by ex Soviet atomic scientist who said the archives were in atomic secrets files as Sudoplatov had been moved to be in charge of that department and kept the secret files there…The possible third involved was a Grigor Mairanovsky as the files say he developed ricin poison in laboratory #1 to use on “enemy of the people” and if alekhine could not be shot with a silencer then ricin was to be put in his food left at his room in hotel…
Stan Vaughan is author of ”PAUL MORPHY: CONFEDERATE SPY”, available at your local CMA-Chess Strategy safehouse.