Main
Date: 19 Dec 2007 07:08:45
From: zdrakec
Subject: Chessboard of a Champion
Hello all, and especially the historians out there:

Today I happened to see once again the famous photograph of Alexander
Alekhine sitting, dead, in his hotel room (in Estoril, Portugal, if
memory serves?). At his right hand was a fairly large chessboard, set
up for play. This board appeared to be a travel set, since it appears
that there are holes for pegs in the center of each square - or do my
eyes deceive me?

Is it known what became of this chess set?

Regards,
zdrakec




 
Date: 21 Dec 2007 08:12:54
From: zdrakec
Subject: Re: Chessboard of a Champion
On Dec 20, 5:13=A0pm, Taylor Kingston <[email protected] > wrote:
> On Dec 20, 12:57 am, Chvsanchez <[email protected]> wrote:
>
>
>
>
>
> > This is what Lu=EDs Costa, the President of the Portuguese Chess
> > Federation, said:
>
> > <<The photographs were composed, as it is now an undisputed fact that
> > the chessboard was placed there for the purposes of the shots. A few
> > days after Alekhine's death Francisco Lupi gave Rui Nascimento (a
> > chess composition master and a strong chess player at that time; he is
> > still alive) the better known "last" photograph of Alekhine. Francisco
> > Lupi pointed to the chessboard and told Rui Nascimento that it had
> > been put there by Lu=EDs, his stepfather, before he took the
> > photographs.
>
> > Lu=EDs Lupi was connected with the PIDE (the political police of Ant=F3n=
io
> > Salazar's dictatorship) and he was the Associated Press' director in
> > Portugal, appointed by the Government. He could do what he wanted with
> > the "scene".>>
>
> =A0 I had forgotten that Edward Winter wrote an article about Alekhine's
> death that includes the above information from Costa, two different
> photos of the death scene, and much else:
>
> http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/extra/alekhine3.html- Hide quoted text =
-
>
> - Show quoted text -

Thank you!


 
Date: 20 Dec 2007 15:13:45
From: Taylor Kingston
Subject: Re: Chessboard of a Champion
On Dec 20, 12:57 am, Chvsanchez <[email protected] > wrote:
> This is what Lu=EDs Costa, the President of the Portuguese Chess
> Federation, said:
>
> <<The photographs were composed, as it is now an undisputed fact that
> the chessboard was placed there for the purposes of the shots. A few
> days after Alekhine's death Francisco Lupi gave Rui Nascimento (a
> chess composition master and a strong chess player at that time; he is
> still alive) the better known "last" photograph of Alekhine. Francisco
> Lupi pointed to the chessboard and told Rui Nascimento that it had
> been put there by Lu=EDs, his stepfather, before he took the
> photographs.
>
> Lu=EDs Lupi was connected with the PIDE (the political police of Ant=F3nio=

> Salazar's dictatorship) and he was the Associated Press' director in
> Portugal, appointed by the Government. He could do what he wanted with
> the "scene".>>

I had forgotten that Edward Winter wrote an article about Alekhine's
death that includes the above information from Costa, two different
photos of the death scene, and much else:

http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/extra/alekhine3.html


 
Date: 20 Dec 2007 09:04:08
From: zdrakec
Subject: Re: Chessboard of a Champion
On Dec 20, 10:27 am, "[email protected]" <[email protected] > wrote:
> KOTOV'S BOOK
>
> <Would you be so good as to provide the text of this letter? That
> would be interesting...
> Regards\> -- zdrakec
>
> The quote in This Crazy World Of Chess is not from a letter but in
> ALEXANDER ALEKHINE by Alexander Kotov (R.H.M. Press 1975).
>
>
>
> zdrakec wrote:
> > On Dec 20, 9:48 am, "[email protected]" <[email protected]> wrote:
> > > THIS CRAZY WORLD OF CHESS (page 216) by GM Larry Evans
>
> > > It has long been suspected that the police photo was posed, as
> > > mentioned in "Alekhine's Last Meal."
>
> > > Kotov continued: "Hopelessly ill, abandoned by all, and rejected by
> > > people together with whom he had trodden a great path and who now did
> > > not even wish to see him and question him personally, Alekhine was
> > > slowly dying in a small room of the hotel Park, half closed for the
> > > winter, in Estoril. He had no prospects, no means, and no friends to
> > > support him. He either spent the time in bed, or else paced about the
> > > room like a lion in a cage. 'One day he phoned me,' writes Lupi. 'I
> > > have absolutely no money,' said the fading world champion with
> > > difficulty. 'I need just a few escudos to buy a cigarette. This
> > > loneliness is killing me. I must live, I must feel life around me. I
> > > have already worn out the floorboards in my room. Take me somewhere."
>
> > > Old players never die--they just check out....The Oxford Companion says
> > > Alekhine "died of a heart attack" and that "for three weeks his body
> > > lay unburied at Esoril, Portugal." Ominous rumors urfaced that the
> > > police photo was doctored and that he was murdered!
>
> > > The reason I discount these rumors is that an American doctor, who was
> > > then a medical student, wrote a letter to my column in Chess Life
> > > saying that he witnessed the actual autopsy and that Alekhine died by
> > > choking on a piece of meat.
>
> > > zdrakec wrote:
> > > > On Dec 19, 11:57 pm, Chvsanchez <[email protected]> wrote:
> > > > > This is what Lu?s Costa, the President of the Portuguese Chess
> > > > > Federation, said:
>
> > > > > <<The photographs were composed, as it is now an undisputed fact that
> > > > > the chessboard was placed there for the purposes of the shots. A few
> > > > > days after Alekhine's death Francisco Lupi gave Rui Nascimento (a
> > > > > chess composition master and a strong chess player at that time; he is
> > > > > still alive) the better known "last" photograph of Alekhine. Francisco
> > > > > Lupi pointed to the chessboard and told Rui Nascimento that it had
> > > > > been put there by Lu?s, his stepfather, before he took the
> > > > > photographs.
>
> > > > > Lu?s Lupi was connected with the PIDE (the political police of Ant?nio
> > > > > Salazar's dictatorship) and he was the Associated Press' director in
> > > > > Portugal, appointed by the Government. He could do what he wanted with
> > > > > the "scene".>>
>
> > > > Very interesting indeed, thank you for the info. This implies, does it
> > > > not, then, that the chess set in the photo did not in fact belong to
> > > > Alekhine at all? Or simply that it was elsewhere in the room, and Luis
> > > > simply moved it so as to have it in the shot?
>
> > > > Regards, and thanks,
> > > > zdrakec- Hide quoted text -
>
> > > - Show quoted text -
>
> > Would you be so good as to provide the text of this letter? That would
> > be interesting...
> > Regards,
> > zdrakec- Hide quoted text -
>
> - Show quoted text -

Pardon me, I overlooked that you were quoting Evans' book.


 
Date: 20 Dec 2007 08:27:29
From: [email protected]
Subject: Re: Chessboard of a Champion
KOTOV'S BOOK

<Would you be so good as to provide the text of this letter? That
would be interesting...
Regards\ > -- zdrakec

The quote in This Crazy World Of Chess is not from a letter but in
ALEXANDER ALEKHINE by Alexander Kotov (R.H.M. Press 1975).

zdrakec wrote:
> On Dec 20, 9:48 am, "[email protected]" <[email protected]> wrote:
> > THIS CRAZY WORLD OF CHESS (page 216) by GM Larry Evans
> >
> > It has long been suspected that the police photo was posed, as
> > mentioned in "Alekhine's Last Meal."
> >
> > Kotov continued: "Hopelessly ill, abandoned by all, and rejected by
> > people together with whom he had trodden a great path and who now did
> > not even wish to see him and question him personally, Alekhine was
> > slowly dying in a small room of the hotel Park, half closed for the
> > winter, in Estoril. He had no prospects, no means, and no friends to
> > support him. He either spent the time in bed, or else paced about the
> > room like a lion in a cage. 'One day he phoned me,' writes Lupi. 'I
> > have absolutely no money,' said the fading world champion with
> > difficulty. 'I need just a few escudos to buy a cigarette. This
> > loneliness is killing me. I must live, I must feel life around me. I
> > have already worn out the floorboards in my room. Take me somewhere."
> >
> > Old players never die--they just check out....The Oxford Companion says
> > Alekhine "died of a heart attack" and that "for three weeks his body
> > lay unburied at Esoril, Portugal." Ominous rumors urfaced that the
> > police photo was doctored and that he was murdered!
> >
> > The reason I discount these rumors is that an American doctor, who was
> > then a medical student, wrote a letter to my column in Chess Life
> > saying that he witnessed the actual autopsy and that Alekhine died by
> > choking on a piece of meat.
> >
> >
> >
> > zdrakec wrote:
> > > On Dec 19, 11:57 pm, Chvsanchez <[email protected]> wrote:
> > > > This is what Lu?s Costa, the President of the Portuguese Chess
> > > > Federation, said:
> >
> > > > <<The photographs were composed, as it is now an undisputed fact that
> > > > the chessboard was placed there for the purposes of the shots. A few
> > > > days after Alekhine's death Francisco Lupi gave Rui Nascimento (a
> > > > chess composition master and a strong chess player at that time; he is
> > > > still alive) the better known "last" photograph of Alekhine. Francisco
> > > > Lupi pointed to the chessboard and told Rui Nascimento that it had
> > > > been put there by Lu?s, his stepfather, before he took the
> > > > photographs.
> >
> > > > Lu?s Lupi was connected with the PIDE (the political police of Ant?nio
> > > > Salazar's dictatorship) and he was the Associated Press' director in
> > > > Portugal, appointed by the Government. He could do what he wanted with
> > > > the "scene".>>
> >
> > > Very interesting indeed, thank you for the info. This implies, does it
> > > not, then, that the chess set in the photo did not in fact belong to
> > > Alekhine at all? Or simply that it was elsewhere in the room, and Luis
> > > simply moved it so as to have it in the shot?
> >
> > > Regards, and thanks,
> > > zdrakec- Hide quoted text -
> >
> > - Show quoted text -
>
> Would you be so good as to provide the text of this letter? That would
> be interesting...
> Regards,
> zdrakec


 
Date: 20 Dec 2007 08:18:55
From: zdrakec
Subject: Re: Chessboard of a Champion
On Dec 20, 9:48 am, "[email protected]" <[email protected] > wrote:
> THIS CRAZY WORLD OF CHESS (page 216) by GM Larry Evans
>
> It has long been suspected that the police photo was posed, as
> mentioned in "Alekhine's Last Meal."
>
> Kotov continued: "Hopelessly ill, abandoned by all, and rejected by
> people together with whom he had trodden a great path and who now did
> not even wish to see him and question him personally, Alekhine was
> slowly dying in a small room of the hotel Park, half closed for the
> winter, in Estoril. He had no prospects, no means, and no friends to
> support him. He either spent the time in bed, or else paced about the
> room like a lion in a cage. 'One day he phoned me,' writes Lupi. 'I
> have absolutely no money,' said the fading world champion with
> difficulty. 'I need just a few escudos to buy a cigarette. This
> loneliness is killing me. I must live, I must feel life around me. I
> have already worn out the floorboards in my room. Take me somewhere."
>
> Old players never die--they just check out....The Oxford Companion says
> Alekhine "died of a heart attack" and that "for three weeks his body
> lay unburied at Esoril, Portugal." Ominous rumors urfaced that the
> police photo was doctored and that he was murdered!
>
> The reason I discount these rumors is that an American doctor, who was
> then a medical student, wrote a letter to my column in Chess Life
> saying that he witnessed the actual autopsy and that Alekhine died by
> choking on a piece of meat.
>
>
>
> zdrakec wrote:
> > On Dec 19, 11:57 pm, Chvsanchez <[email protected]> wrote:
> > > This is what Lu?s Costa, the President of the Portuguese Chess
> > > Federation, said:
>
> > > <<The photographs were composed, as it is now an undisputed fact that
> > > the chessboard was placed there for the purposes of the shots. A few
> > > days after Alekhine's death Francisco Lupi gave Rui Nascimento (a
> > > chess composition master and a strong chess player at that time; he is
> > > still alive) the better known "last" photograph of Alekhine. Francisco
> > > Lupi pointed to the chessboard and told Rui Nascimento that it had
> > > been put there by Lu?s, his stepfather, before he took the
> > > photographs.
>
> > > Lu?s Lupi was connected with the PIDE (the political police of Ant?nio
> > > Salazar's dictatorship) and he was the Associated Press' director in
> > > Portugal, appointed by the Government. He could do what he wanted with
> > > the "scene".>>
>
> > Very interesting indeed, thank you for the info. This implies, does it
> > not, then, that the chess set in the photo did not in fact belong to
> > Alekhine at all? Or simply that it was elsewhere in the room, and Luis
> > simply moved it so as to have it in the shot?
>
> > Regards, and thanks,
> > zdrakec- Hide quoted text -
>
> - Show quoted text -

Would you be so good as to provide the text of this letter? That would
be interesting...
Regards,
zdrakec


 
Date: 20 Dec 2007 07:48:02
From: [email protected]
Subject: Re: Chessboard of a Champion
THIS CRAZY WORLD OF CHESS (page 216) by GM Larry Evans

It has long been suspected that the police photo was posed, as
mentioned in "Alekhine's Last Meal."

Kotov continued: "Hopelessly ill, abandoned by all, and rejected by
people together with whom he had trodden a great path and who now did
not even wish to see him and question him personally, Alekhine was
slowly dying in a small room of the hotel Park, half closed for the
winter, in Estoril. He had no prospects, no means, and no friends to
support him. He either spent the time in bed, or else paced about the
room like a lion in a cage. 'One day he phoned me,' writes Lupi. 'I
have absolutely no money,' said the fading world champion with
difficulty. 'I need just a few escudos to buy a cigarette. This
loneliness is killing me. I must live, I must feel life around me. I
have already worn out the floorboards in my room. Take me somewhere."

Old players never die--they just check out....The Oxford Companion says
Alekhine "died of a heart attack" and that "for three weeks his body
lay unburied at Esoril, Portugal." Ominous rumors urfaced that the
police photo was doctored and that he was murdered!

The reason I discount these rumors is that an American doctor, who was
then a medical student, wrote a letter to my column in Chess Life
saying that he witnessed the actual autopsy and that Alekhine died by
choking on a piece of meat.



zdrakec wrote:
> On Dec 19, 11:57 pm, Chvsanchez <[email protected]> wrote:
> > This is what Lu?s Costa, the President of the Portuguese Chess
> > Federation, said:
> >
> > <<The photographs were composed, as it is now an undisputed fact that
> > the chessboard was placed there for the purposes of the shots. A few
> > days after Alekhine's death Francisco Lupi gave Rui Nascimento (a
> > chess composition master and a strong chess player at that time; he is
> > still alive) the better known "last" photograph of Alekhine. Francisco
> > Lupi pointed to the chessboard and told Rui Nascimento that it had
> > been put there by Lu?s, his stepfather, before he took the
> > photographs.
> >
> > Lu?s Lupi was connected with the PIDE (the political police of Ant?nio
> > Salazar's dictatorship) and he was the Associated Press' director in
> > Portugal, appointed by the Government. He could do what he wanted with
> > the "scene".>>
> >
>
>
> Very interesting indeed, thank you for the info. This implies, does it
> not, then, that the chess set in the photo did not in fact belong to
> Alekhine at all? Or simply that it was elsewhere in the room, and Luis
> simply moved it so as to have it in the shot?
>
> Regards, and thanks,
> zdrakec


  
Date: 20 Dec 2007 12:06:08
From: Chess One
Subject: Re: Chessboard of a Champion

<[email protected] > wrote in message
news:[email protected]m...
> THIS CRAZY WORLD OF CHESS (page 216) by GM Larry Evans

> Old players never die--they just check out....The Oxford Companion says
> Alekhine "died of a heart attack" and that "for three weeks his body
> lay unburied at Esoril, Portugal." Ominous rumors urfaced that the
> police photo was doctored and that he was murdered!
>
> The reason I discount these rumors is that an American doctor, who was
> then a medical student, wrote a letter to my column in Chess Life
> saying that he witnessed the actual autopsy and that Alekhine died by
> choking on a piece of meat.

The trouble, Larry, is that this sounds as apocryphal as other reports - and
in fact if true, demonstrates that the porter at the Parque [Not 'Park']
hotel, later on lied about it. Maybe in hopes to get paid for a story from a
newspaper? Sounds dubious, and in the event that person wrote nothing that
was published - and so, did whoever he 'told' invent the scenario? Again,
finding motive is difficult.

Since all witnesses seem to be anonymous, is it quite clear what an American
med student [presumably non-military, and also not a covert agent] was doing
in Estoril in 1946, and was he at the autopsy or did he just read the
report? OSS were there too, watching the Japanese.

I have read other opinion in respect of a 3-week corpse which presumes to
say that it would be very difficult to determine the likelihood of
asphyxiation after so long - the meat itself would decay significantly,
[gory stuff!] would be then difficult to tell if regurgitated, or had not
yet passed to the stomach. To not be able to remove it dexterously would
mean it would have to lodge in the larynx - and survive automatically
powerful regurgitation attempts by the body.

In warm climates, did the proto-MD explain why such a long delay occurred
between death and the pm? I think it cannot be non-discovery of the body in
an hotel.

Just to throw as much sand on this letter as I can think to do - isn't all
this rather expedient to American interests, in appeasing French interest?
After all, Koestler and Blair said it was Americans who seized the Ukrainian
edition of Animal Farm, 'from political levels, to appease Stalin.'

If there was a murder, that is to say, a state murder, who is appeased?

Everyone?

Phil Innes





 
Date: 20 Dec 2007 07:22:19
From: zdrakec
Subject: Re: Chessboard of a Champion
On Dec 19, 11:57 pm, Chvsanchez <[email protected] > wrote:
> This is what Lu=EDs Costa, the President of the Portuguese Chess
> Federation, said:
>
> <<The photographs were composed, as it is now an undisputed fact that
> the chessboard was placed there for the purposes of the shots. A few
> days after Alekhine's death Francisco Lupi gave Rui Nascimento (a
> chess composition master and a strong chess player at that time; he is
> still alive) the better known "last" photograph of Alekhine. Francisco
> Lupi pointed to the chessboard and told Rui Nascimento that it had
> been put there by Lu=EDs, his stepfather, before he took the
> photographs.
>
> Lu=EDs Lupi was connected with the PIDE (the political police of Ant=F3nio=

> Salazar's dictatorship) and he was the Associated Press' director in
> Portugal, appointed by the Government. He could do what he wanted with
> the "scene".>>
>


Very interesting indeed, thank you for the info. This implies, does it
not, then, that the chess set in the photo did not in fact belong to
Alekhine at all? Or simply that it was elsewhere in the room, and Luis
simply moved it so as to have it in the shot?

Regards, and thanks,
zdrakec


 
Date: 20 Dec 2007 06:16:38
From: Taylor Kingston
Subject: Re: Chessboard of a Champion
On Dec 20, 12:57 am, Chvsanchez <[email protected] > wrote:
> This is what Lu=EDs Costa, the President of the Portuguese Chess
> Federation, said:
>
> <<The photographs were composed, as it is now an undisputed fact that
> the chessboard was placed there for the purposes of the shots. A few
> days after Alekhine's death Francisco Lupi gave Rui Nascimento (a
> chess composition master and a strong chess player at that time; he is
> still alive) the better known "last" photograph of Alekhine. Francisco
> Lupi pointed to the chessboard and told Rui Nascimento that it had
> been put there by Lu=EDs, his stepfather, before he took the
> photographs.
>
> Lu=EDs Lupi was connected with the PIDE (the political police of Ant=F3nio=

> Salazar's dictatorship) and he was the Associated Press' director in
> Portugal, appointed by the Government. He could do what he wanted with
> the "scene".>>

Interesting. Gracias, Se=F1or S=E1nchez.


 
Date: 19 Dec 2007 21:57:13
From: Chvsanchez
Subject: Re: Chessboard of a Champion
This is what Lu=EDs Costa, the President of the Portuguese Chess
Federation, said:

<<The photographs were composed, as it is now an undisputed fact that
the chessboard was placed there for the purposes of the shots. A few
days after Alekhine's death Francisco Lupi gave Rui Nascimento (a
chess composition master and a strong chess player at that time; he is
still alive) the better known "last" photograph of Alekhine. Francisco
Lupi pointed to the chessboard and told Rui Nascimento that it had
been put there by Lu=EDs, his stepfather, before he took the
photographs.

Lu=EDs Lupi was connected with the PIDE (the political police of Ant=F3nio
Salazar's dictatorship) and he was the Associated Press' director in
Portugal, appointed by the Government. He could do what he wanted with
the "scene". >>



On 19 dic, 12:08, zdrakec <[email protected] > wrote:
> Hello all, and especially the historians out there:
>
> Today I happened to see once again the famous photograph of Alexander
> Alekhine sitting, dead, in his hotel room (in Estoril, Portugal, if
> memory serves?). At his right hand was a fairly large chessboard, set
> up for play. This board appeared to be a travel set, since it appears
> that there are holes for pegs in the center of each square - or do my
> eyes deceive me?
>
> Is it known what became of this chess set?
>
> Regards,
> zdrakec



  
Date: 26 Jan 2008 21:19:52
From: Padstack
Subject: Re: Chessboard of a Champion
On Wed, 19 Dec 2007 21:57:13 -0800 (PST), Chvsanchez
<[email protected] > wrote:

>This is what Luís Costa, the President of the Portuguese Chess
>Federation, said:
>
><<The photographs were composed, as it is now an undisputed fact that
>the chessboard was placed there for the purposes of the shots. A few
>days after Alekhine's death Francisco Lupi gave Rui Nascimento (a
>chess composition master and a strong chess player at that time; he is
>still alive) the better known "last" photograph of Alekhine. Francisco
>Lupi pointed to the chessboard and told Rui Nascimento that it had
>been put there by Luís, his stepfather, before he took the
>photographs.
>
>Luís Lupi was connected with the PIDE (the political police of António
>Salazar's dictatorship) and he was the Associated Press' director in
>Portugal, appointed by the Government. He could do what he wanted with
>the "scene".>>
>
>
>
>On 19 dic, 12:08, zdrakec <[email protected]> wrote:
>> Hello all, and especially the historians out there:
>>
>> Today I happened to see once again the famous photograph of Alexander
>> Alekhine sitting, dead, in his hotel room (in Estoril, Portugal, if
>> memory serves?). At his right hand was a fairly large chessboard, set
>> up for play. This board appeared to be a travel set, since it appears
>> that there are holes for pegs in the center of each square - or do my
>> eyes deceive me?
>>
>> Is it known what became of this chess set?
>>
>> Regards,
>> zdrakec


 
Date: 19 Dec 2007 19:48:49
From: zdrakec
Subject: Re: Chessboard of a Champion
On Dec 19, 4:05 pm, Offramp <[email protected] > wrote:
> On Dec 19, 3:08 pm, zdrakec <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> > Hello all, and especially the historians out there:
>
> > Today I happened to see once again the famous photograph of Alexander
> > Alekhine sitting, dead, in his hotel room (in Estoril, Portugal, if
> > memory serves?). At his right hand was a fairly large chessboard, set
> > up for play. This board appeared to be a travel set, since it appears
> > that there are holes for pegs in the center of each square - or do my
> > eyes deceive me?
>
> > Is it known what became of this chess set?
>
> > Regards,
> > zdrakec
>
> I have seen thta chess board in London and I know the man who owns it.

Care to share the details of how it came to him?

Regards,
zdrakec


 
Date: 19 Dec 2007 14:05:40
From: Offramp
Subject: Re: Chessboard of a Champion
On Dec 19, 3:08 pm, zdrakec <[email protected] > wrote:
> Hello all, and especially the historians out there:
>
> Today I happened to see once again the famous photograph of Alexander
> Alekhine sitting, dead, in his hotel room (in Estoril, Portugal, if
> memory serves?). At his right hand was a fairly large chessboard, set
> up for play. This board appeared to be a travel set, since it appears
> that there are holes for pegs in the center of each square - or do my
> eyes deceive me?
>
> Is it known what became of this chess set?
>
> Regards,
> zdrakec

I have seen thta chess board in London and I know the man who owns it.


 
Date: 19 Dec 2007 10:06:56
From: [email protected]
Subject: Re: Chessboard of a Champion
THIS CRAZY WORLD OF CHESS (page 214) by GM Larry Evans

Alekhine's Death Photo

The death of world champion Alexander Alekhine at age 53 refuses to
die. Although it didn't look suspicious, rumors are still circulating
that he either killed himself or was murdered.

The AP reported that he choked to death on a piece of meat on ch
24, 1946, in Estoril, Portugal: "Intimates said Alekhine was
accustomed to eating with his friends, never using knives or forks
when he could avoid them, and that he would eat alone when he wanted
complete enjoyment from a meal."

Alas, nobody was around to administer the Heimlich maneuver. A famous
police photo shows the great man slumped in a chair wearing an
overcoat to keep warm on a cold day. Also visible is a room service
tray with empty dishes and a peg-in set ready for another game.

A waiter found the body when he brought in breakfast. "He was slumped
at the table and yesterday's supper had not been touched, although his
napkin was already tucked in," he said--a statement that conflicted
with the photo showing empty dishes, thus giving rise to various
conspiracy theories (take your pick).



Chess One wrote:
> "Taylor Kingston" <[email protected]> wrote in message
> news:[email protected]m...
> > On Dec 19, 10:08 am, zdrakec <[email protected]> wrote:
> >> Hello all, and especially the historians out there:
> >>
> >> Today I happened to see once again the famous photograph of Alexander
> >> Alekhine sitting, dead, in his hotel room (in Estoril, Portugal, if
> >> memory serves?). At his right hand was a fairly large chessboard, set
> >> up for play. This board appeared to be a travel set, since it appears
> >> that there are holes for pegs in the center of each square - or do my
> >> eyes deceive me?
> >
> > I have a print of that photo. It is indeed a pegged traveling set,
> > but I don't think the board is actually very large. The board is in
> > the foreground of the picture, several feet in front of Alekhine, and
> > so it only appears large due to perspective. At least, how it looks to
> > me.
> >
> >> Is it known what became of this chess set?
> >
> > Good question. I do not know, and the most comprehensive reference I
> > have, "Alexander Alekhine's Chess Games, 1902-1946" by Skinner and
> > Verhoeven, does not say.
>
> See also NiC 2006 issue 6. The long and very good article beginning page 84
> by Hans Ree titled, "Buying Some Books in Dresden" is an essay covering the
> war years; and Ree follows Manfred Madler's bookstore from Dusseldorf to
> Dresden, and then, by mention of all sorts of chess titles, he begins to
> follow this 'Alekhine Question' starting with the prolific chess promotere
> and nazi, Alfred Brinckmann, published in Deutsche Schackblatter.
>
> Then he checks Ralf Woelk's Schach unterm Hakenkreuz [chess under the
> swastika]. Thence to Poland with Hans Frank [aka 'the butcher of Krakow'],
> and to Wewel Castle in Cracow, where
>
> "Frank, a romantic at heart, played his magnificent piano and he played
> chess, sometimes in consultation with Alexander Alekhine."
>
> It says the book by Hans Muller and A. Pawelczak feature two games by
> Alekhine/Frank against Bogoljubov/Others.
>
> So... that sets the scene! Ree then mentions the newly recovered BBC archive
> tape of Alehine's voice and proceeds immediately to spend a columns or so on
> the death in Portugal.
>
> Ree says he met a Dutch film producer [unnamed] who was convinced it was
> murder. Then he cites Fred Friedel of chessbase to a similar article, where
> Friedel said Canadian Kevin Spraggett endorsed the story [and had lived in
> Portugal a couple of years].
>
> Spraggett suggested it was a French death squad, and obviously Alekhine was
> a top target, especially since his name would head every list with A.A.].
>
> Local Portugese gossip is that the overcoat [necessary in an apartment in
> Portugal?] served to hide the bullet wounds in his body. He then speaks of
> the chess set - the topic of this thread - that it, goes the gossip, was
> placed there.
>
> Ree continues to say that a Dutch player told him that he had gone to
> Estoril and met a janitor who in 1946 served the Parque hotel - who told him
> that the body was found in the corridor and they had dragged him back to his
> room for propriety's sake.
>
> No named sources! However, for unexplained reasons the death certificate has
> the wrong date on it, dutifully repeated by Fide, who added insult to
> substantial injury by getting his stone in Paris with the wrong birth-date
> as well.
> --
> And that's the stuff that history is made of. What is odd about the
> circumstances is that at least the 'murder' theory is more detailed than the
> 'choking' one - and instead of the Abwehr doing him in [120 Abwehr agents in
> Spain, where OSS only admit to 6 their own], it was the French.
>
> Certainly French hit-squads were active on both sides of the political
> spectrum. When Orwell went to Paris after the liberation he was sure
> communists would try to kill him, and Henry Miller offered him 2 bodyguards
> or a pistol. Orwell took the pistol.
>
> At least this version of events has enough light and dark in it to
> illustrate the life of Alekhine and his times - and rather than another Da
> Vinci code, a la mode, its a pity the Dutch film maker did not complete his
> enigmatic project.
>
> Phil Innes


  
Date: 19 Dec 2007 14:29:39
From: Chess One
Subject: Re: Chessboard of a Champion

<[email protected] > wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> THIS CRAZY WORLD OF CHESS (page 214) by GM Larry Evans
>
> Alekhine's Death Photo
>
> The death of world champion Alexander Alekhine at age 53 refuses to
> die. Although it didn't look suspicious, rumors are still circulating
> that he either killed himself or was murdered.
>
> The AP reported that he choked to death on a piece of meat on ch
> 24, 1946, in Estoril, Portugal: "Intimates said Alekhine was
> accustomed to eating with his friends, never using knives or forks
> when he could avoid them, and that he would eat alone when he wanted
> complete enjoyment from a meal."
>
> Alas, nobody was around to administer the Heimlich maneuver. A famous
> police photo shows the great man slumped in a chair wearing an
> overcoat to keep warm on a cold day. Also visible is a room service
> tray with empty dishes and a peg-in set ready for another game.
>
> A waiter found the body when he brought in breakfast. "He was slumped
> at the table and yesterday's supper had not been touched, although his
> napkin was already tucked in," he said--a statement that conflicted
> with the photo showing empty dishes, thus giving rise to various
> conspiracy theories (take your pick).

Quite! I once started a novel on Alekhine, beginning with this scene, though
I had other people than French bump him off

Portugal was 'neutral' at the time, which is not to say that the Japanese
did not use it for the entire war for their main listening station into
Europe.

The cast for persecutors of Alekhine could be; French, Russian, German;
Japanese, English, American, Jews, Spanish communists, any combination ...

Somewhere or other there is a medical assessment of the likelihood of
choking to death as described, as compared with his other symptoms which do
not indicate asphixiation - though they indicate very little, either way, it
is not encouraging of such a theorum.

He would have had to have been blind drunk [a possibility] so that his
convulsive forces would not vomit the found-piece of meat, or that he could
not have removed it with his fingers - which seemed the most expedient and
possible option to an otherwise sober person - since the 'evidence' was
literally at hand.

Now, where Ree errs in his estimation of liklihood of one thing to another,
is the force of French reaction after the war. There are all sorts of films
now representing women being paraded, shaved and tarred, and sometimes
intercut with footage of the time.

But men were not treated this way.

They were mutilated and/or killed.

Phil Innes


>
> Chess One wrote:
>> "Taylor Kingston" <[email protected]> wrote in message
>> news:[email protected]m...
>> > On Dec 19, 10:08 am, zdrakec <[email protected]> wrote:
>> >> Hello all, and especially the historians out there:
>> >>
>> >> Today I happened to see once again the famous photograph of Alexander
>> >> Alekhine sitting, dead, in his hotel room (in Estoril, Portugal, if
>> >> memory serves?). At his right hand was a fairly large chessboard, set
>> >> up for play. This board appeared to be a travel set, since it appears
>> >> that there are holes for pegs in the center of each square - or do my
>> >> eyes deceive me?
>> >
>> > I have a print of that photo. It is indeed a pegged traveling set,
>> > but I don't think the board is actually very large. The board is in
>> > the foreground of the picture, several feet in front of Alekhine, and
>> > so it only appears large due to perspective. At least, how it looks to
>> > me.
>> >
>> >> Is it known what became of this chess set?
>> >
>> > Good question. I do not know, and the most comprehensive reference I
>> > have, "Alexander Alekhine's Chess Games, 1902-1946" by Skinner and
>> > Verhoeven, does not say.
>>
>> See also NiC 2006 issue 6. The long and very good article beginning page
>> 84
>> by Hans Ree titled, "Buying Some Books in Dresden" is an essay covering
>> the
>> war years; and Ree follows Manfred Madler's bookstore from Dusseldorf to
>> Dresden, and then, by mention of all sorts of chess titles, he begins to
>> follow this 'Alekhine Question' starting with the prolific chess
>> promotere
>> and nazi, Alfred Brinckmann, published in Deutsche Schackblatter.
>>
>> Then he checks Ralf Woelk's Schach unterm Hakenkreuz [chess under the
>> swastika]. Thence to Poland with Hans Frank [aka 'the butcher of
>> Krakow'],
>> and to Wewel Castle in Cracow, where
>>
>> "Frank, a romantic at heart, played his magnificent piano and he
>> played
>> chess, sometimes in consultation with Alexander Alekhine."
>>
>> It says the book by Hans Muller and A. Pawelczak feature two games by
>> Alekhine/Frank against Bogoljubov/Others.
>>
>> So... that sets the scene! Ree then mentions the newly recovered BBC
>> archive
>> tape of Alehine's voice and proceeds immediately to spend a columns or so
>> on
>> the death in Portugal.
>>
>> Ree says he met a Dutch film producer [unnamed] who was convinced it was
>> murder. Then he cites Fred Friedel of chessbase to a similar article,
>> where
>> Friedel said Canadian Kevin Spraggett endorsed the story [and had lived
>> in
>> Portugal a couple of years].
>>
>> Spraggett suggested it was a French death squad, and obviously Alekhine
>> was
>> a top target, especially since his name would head every list with A.A.].
>>
>> Local Portugese gossip is that the overcoat [necessary in an apartment in
>> Portugal?] served to hide the bullet wounds in his body. He then speaks
>> of
>> the chess set - the topic of this thread - that it, goes the gossip, was
>> placed there.
>>
>> Ree continues to say that a Dutch player told him that he had gone to
>> Estoril and met a janitor who in 1946 served the Parque hotel - who told
>> him
>> that the body was found in the corridor and they had dragged him back to
>> his
>> room for propriety's sake.
>>
>> No named sources! However, for unexplained reasons the death certificate
>> has
>> the wrong date on it, dutifully repeated by Fide, who added insult to
>> substantial injury by getting his stone in Paris with the wrong
>> birth-date
>> as well.
>> --
>> And that's the stuff that history is made of. What is odd about the
>> circumstances is that at least the 'murder' theory is more detailed than
>> the
>> 'choking' one - and instead of the Abwehr doing him in [120 Abwehr agents
>> in
>> Spain, where OSS only admit to 6 their own], it was the French.
>>
>> Certainly French hit-squads were active on both sides of the political
>> spectrum. When Orwell went to Paris after the liberation he was sure
>> communists would try to kill him, and Henry Miller offered him 2
>> bodyguards
>> or a pistol. Orwell took the pistol.
>>
>> At least this version of events has enough light and dark in it to
>> illustrate the life of Alekhine and his times - and rather than another
>> Da
>> Vinci code, a la mode, its a pity the Dutch film maker did not complete
>> his
>> enigmatic project.
>>
>> Phil Innes




 
Date: 19 Dec 2007 09:04:17
From: zdrakec
Subject: Re: Chessboard of a Champion
On Dec 19, 10:37 am, Taylor Kingston <[email protected] > wrote:
> On Dec 19, 10:08 am, zdrakec <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> > Hello all, and especially the historians out there:
>
> > Today I happened to see once again the famous photograph of Alexander
> > Alekhine sitting, dead, in his hotel room (in Estoril, Portugal, if
> > memory serves?). At his right hand was a fairly large chessboard, set
> > up for play. This board appeared to be a travel set, since it appears
> > that there are holes for pegs in the center of each square - or do my
> > eyes deceive me?
>
> I have a print of that photo. It is indeed a pegged traveling set,
> but I don't think the board is actually very large. The board is in
> the foreground of the picture, several feet in front of Alekhine, and
> so it only appears large due to perspective. At least, how it looks to
> me.
>
> > Is it known what became of this chess set?
>
> Good question. I do not know, and the most comprehensive reference I
> have, "Alexander Alekhine's Chess Games, 1902-1946" by Skinner and
> Verhoeven, does not say.

Hmm. Well, is it known who disposed of Alekhine's personal effects
after his death?

Cheers,
zdrakec


 
Date: 19 Dec 2007 08:37:03
From: Taylor Kingston
Subject: Re: Chessboard of a Champion
On Dec 19, 10:08 am, zdrakec <[email protected] > wrote:
> Hello all, and especially the historians out there:
>
> Today I happened to see once again the famous photograph of Alexander
> Alekhine sitting, dead, in his hotel room (in Estoril, Portugal, if
> memory serves?). At his right hand was a fairly large chessboard, set
> up for play. This board appeared to be a travel set, since it appears
> that there are holes for pegs in the center of each square - or do my
> eyes deceive me?

I have a print of that photo. It is indeed a pegged traveling set,
but I don't think the board is actually very large. The board is in
the foreground of the picture, several feet in front of Alekhine, and
so it only appears large due to perspective. At least, how it looks to
me.

> Is it known what became of this chess set?

Good question. I do not know, and the most comprehensive reference I
have, "Alexander Alekhine's Chess Games, 1902-1946" by Skinner and
Verhoeven, does not say.


  
Date: 21 Dec 2007 14:56:52
From: David Richerby
Subject: Re: Chessboard of a Champion
Taylor Kingston <[email protected] > wrote:
> zdrakec <[email protected]> wrote:
>> Today I happened to see once again the famous photograph of Alexander
>> Alekhine sitting, dead, in his hotel room (in Estoril, Portugal, if
>> memory serves?). At his right hand was a fairly large chessboard, set
>> up for play. This board appeared to be a travel set, since it appears
>> that there are holes for pegs in the center of each square - or do my
>> eyes deceive me?
>
> I have a print of that photo. It is indeed a pegged traveling set,
> but I don't think the board is actually very large. The board is in
> the foreground of the picture, several feet in front of Alekhine, and
> so it only appears large due to perspective. At least, how it looks to
> me.

I think you're right. The photograph[1] looks like it was taken with
a reasonably wide-angle lens and such lenses do tend to distort
perspective somewhat. That said, the width of the board does seem to
be comparable with the width of the table so it does seem to be quite
a large travel set -- I'd say at least 18" square.


Dave.

[1] http://www.chessbase.com/news/2006/alekhine03b.jpg

--
David Richerby Aluminium Spoon (TM): it's like a
www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~davidr/ piece of cutlery that's really light!


  
Date: 19 Dec 2007 12:27:22
From: Chess One
Subject: Re: Chessboard of a Champion

"Taylor Kingston" <[email protected] > wrote in message
news:[email protected]m...
> On Dec 19, 10:08 am, zdrakec <[email protected]> wrote:
>> Hello all, and especially the historians out there:
>>
>> Today I happened to see once again the famous photograph of Alexander
>> Alekhine sitting, dead, in his hotel room (in Estoril, Portugal, if
>> memory serves?). At his right hand was a fairly large chessboard, set
>> up for play. This board appeared to be a travel set, since it appears
>> that there are holes for pegs in the center of each square - or do my
>> eyes deceive me?
>
> I have a print of that photo. It is indeed a pegged traveling set,
> but I don't think the board is actually very large. The board is in
> the foreground of the picture, several feet in front of Alekhine, and
> so it only appears large due to perspective. At least, how it looks to
> me.
>
>> Is it known what became of this chess set?
>
> Good question. I do not know, and the most comprehensive reference I
> have, "Alexander Alekhine's Chess Games, 1902-1946" by Skinner and
> Verhoeven, does not say.

See also NiC 2006 issue 6. The long and very good article beginning page 84
by Hans Ree titled, "Buying Some Books in Dresden" is an essay covering the
war years; and Ree follows Manfred Madler's bookstore from Dusseldorf to
Dresden, and then, by mention of all sorts of chess titles, he begins to
follow this 'Alekhine Question' starting with the prolific chess promotere
and nazi, Alfred Brinckmann, published in Deutsche Schackblatter.

Then he checks Ralf Woelk's Schach unterm Hakenkreuz [chess under the
swastika]. Thence to Poland with Hans Frank [aka 'the butcher of Krakow'],
and to Wewel Castle in Cracow, where

"Frank, a romantic at heart, played his magnificent piano and he played
chess, sometimes in consultation with Alexander Alekhine."

It says the book by Hans Muller and A. Pawelczak feature two games by
Alekhine/Frank against Bogoljubov/Others.

So... that sets the scene! Ree then mentions the newly recovered BBC archive
tape of Alehine's voice and proceeds immediately to spend a columns or so on
the death in Portugal.

Ree says he met a Dutch film producer [unnamed] who was convinced it was
murder. Then he cites Fred Friedel of chessbase to a similar article, where
Friedel said Canadian Kevin Spraggett endorsed the story [and had lived in
Portugal a couple of years].

Spraggett suggested it was a French death squad, and obviously Alekhine was
a top target, especially since his name would head every list with A.A.].

Local Portugese gossip is that the overcoat [necessary in an apartment in
Portugal?] served to hide the bullet wounds in his body. He then speaks of
the chess set - the topic of this thread - that it, goes the gossip, was
placed there.

Ree continues to say that a Dutch player told him that he had gone to
Estoril and met a janitor who in 1946 served the Parque hotel - who told him
that the body was found in the corridor and they had dragged him back to his
room for propriety's sake.

No named sources! However, for unexplained reasons the death certificate has
the wrong date on it, dutifully repeated by Fide, who added insult to
substantial injury by getting his stone in Paris with the wrong birth-date
as well.
--
And that's the stuff that history is made of. What is odd about the
circumstances is that at least the 'murder' theory is more detailed than the
'choking' one - and instead of the Abwehr doing him in [120 Abwehr agents in
Spain, where OSS only admit to 6 their own], it was the French.

Certainly French hit-squads were active on both sides of the political
spectrum. When Orwell went to Paris after the liberation he was sure
communists would try to kill him, and Henry Miller offered him 2 bodyguards
or a pistol. Orwell took the pistol.

At least this version of events has enough light and dark in it to
illustrate the life of Alekhine and his times - and rather than another Da
Vinci code, a la mode, its a pity the Dutch film maker did not complete his
enigmatic project.

Phil Innes





 
Date: 19 Dec 2007 08:26:22
From: [email protected]
Subject: Re: Chessboard of a Champion
ALEKHINE'S LAST MEAL

This photo and a discussion of various conspiracy theories surrounding
his death can also be found in THIS CRAZY WORLD OF CHESS (page 214) by
GM Larry Evans.

zdrakec wrote:
> Hello all, and especially the historians out there:
>
> Today I happened to see once again the famous photograph of Alexander
> Alekhine sitting, dead, in his hotel room (in Estoril, Portugal, if
> memory serves?). At his right hand was a fairly large chessboard, set
> up for play. This board appeared to be a travel set, since it appears
> that there are holes for pegs in the center of each square - or do my
> eyes deceive me?
>
> Is it known what became of this chess set?
>
> Regards,
> zdrakec