Person: Euwe, Machgielis
Machgielis "Max" Euwe was a Dutch chess grandmaster and mathematician. He was the fifth player to become World Chess Champion.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- However, Euwe was indeed a very fine mathematician who concentrated more on his mathematics throughout his life than on his chess.
- Max Euwe's parents were Elisabeth and Cornelius Euwe.
- When he was eighteen years old Euwe was awarded his Abitur after attending a six-form High School in Amsterdam.
- Euwe made his first trip abroad, going to England to play in the famous Hastings Chess Tournament where he took fourth place.
- It should not be thought that Euwe kept his study of chess distinct from his mathematical studies.
- Euwe then lectured on mathematics in Winterswyk and Rotterdam and was appointed to the Lyceum for Girls in Amsterdam, teaching mathematics there from 1926 to 1940.
- His doctoral studies behind him, from December 1926 to January 1927 Euwe narrowly lost a match with Alekhine 2 games to 3 won with 5 draws.
- At this stage Alekhine was not World Chess Champion, but soon after this he won the title and Euwe saw that, having competed so well with Alekhine, he was in with a chance at becoming World Champion himself.
- It had always been the intention of the rules that this should not be possible, but the rule that a game is a draw if the same sequence of moves occurs three times in succession was not, as Euwe showed, sufficient.
- However in an Euwe - Capablanca match which was played later Euwe lost 0 wins to 2 with 8 draws.
- Euwe played the Nottingham International Chess Tournament from 10 August to 28 August 1936 while he was World Champion.
- Despite this overall impression of caution, it is worth noting that Euwe shared the prize for the most wins in his score during the tournament.
- While Euwe was World Champion he changed the way that players competed for the title.
- The one exception was the return match between Euwe and Alekhine which went ahead according to the conditions already arranged at the time of the first match.
- In his return match with Alekhine things went badly for Euwe after winning the first game, and he lost the match by a margin of five points.
- After this Euwe went through a rather bad spell as regards his chess.
- During the war Euwe led work to provide food for people through an underground charity organisation.
- Euwe became interested in electronic data processing and was appointed as Professor of Cybernetics in 1954.
- In 1970 Euwe was elected the president of FIDE and held that position until 1978.
- Euwe made huge efforts to ensure that the match was played but, unfortunately, despite every effort eventually the match had to be awarded to Karpov by default.
Born 20 May 1901, Watergraafsmeer, near Amsterdam, Netherlands. Died 26 November 1981, Amsterdam, Holland.
View full biography at MacTutor
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Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive