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Efim Bogoljubov

Full name Efim Dmitriyevich Bogolyubov
Country Russia
Born April 14, 1889
Kiev, Russian Empire (now Ukraine)
Title Grandmaster

Efim Dmitriyevich Bogolyubov (Russian: Ефим Дмитриевич Боголюбов; also Romanized Bogoljubov, Bogoljubow; April 14, 1889 - June 18, 1952) was a Russian-born German chess grandmaster who won numerous events and played two matches against Alexander Alekhine for the world championship.

Early career


In 1911, he tied for first place in the Kiev championships, and for 9-10th in the Saint Petersburg (All-Russian Amateur) Tournament, won by Stepan Levitsky. In 1912, he took second place, behind Karel Hromádka, in Vilna (Vilnius) (Hauptturnier). In 1913/14, he finished eighth in Saint Petersburg (All Russian Masters' Tournament - eighth Russian championship; Alekhine and Aron Nimzowitsch came joint first).

World War I: Interned in Germany

Efim Bogoljubov at Triberg
(1.4.1889 - 18.6.1952)

In July/August 1914, he played in the Mannheim tournament (the 19th DSB Congress), and tied for 8-9th in that event, which was interrupted by World War I. After the declaration of war against Russia, eleven "Russian players" (Alekhine, Bogoljubow, Fedor Bogatyrchuk, Alexander Flamberg, N. Koppelman, Boris Maliutin, Ilya Rabinovich, Peter Romanovsky, Peter Petrovich Saburov, Alexey Selezniev, Samuil Weinstein) from the Mannheim tournament were interned by Germany. In September 1914, four of the internees (Alekhine, Bogatyrchuk, Saburov, and Koppelman) were allowed to return home via Switzerland. The remaining Russian internees played eight tournaments, the first held in Baden-Baden (1914) and all the others in Triberg (1914-17). Bogoljubow took second place, behind Alexander Flamberg, in Baden-Baden, and won five times in the Triberg chess tournament (1914-16). Durıng World War I, he stayed in Triberg im Schwarzwald, married a local woman and spent the rest of his life in Germany.

Top Grandmaster

After the war, he won many international tournaments; at Berlin 1919, Stockholm 1919, Kiel 1921, and Pistyan (Pieštany) 1922. He tied for 1st-3rd at Karlsbad (Karlovy Vary) 1923.

In 1924, Bogoljubow briefly returned to Russia, which had since become the Soviet Union, and won consecutive Soviet championships in 1924 and 1925. He also won at Breslau (Wrocław) 1925, and in the Moscow 1925 chess tournament, ahead of a field which included Emanuel Lasker and José Raúl Capablanca.

In 1926, he emigrated to Germany. He won, ahead of Akiba Rubinstein that year at Berlin. At Kissingen 1928, he triumphed (+6 −1 =4) over a field which included Capablanca, Nimzowitsch and Savielly Tartakower, et al. Bogoljubov won two matches against Max Euwe (both 5.5-4.5) in 1928 and 1928/29 in the Netherlands. He played matches for the World Chess Championship twice against Alekhine, losing 15.5-9.5 in 1929, and 15.5-10.5 in 1934.

He represented Germany at first board in the 4th Chess Olympiad at Prague 1931, winning the individual silver medal (+9 −1 =7).

In 1930, he twice tied for 2nd-3rd with Nimzowitsch, after Alekhine, in Sanremo; then with Gösta Stoltz, behind Isaac Kashdan, in Stockholm. In 1931, he tied for 1st-2nd in Swinemünde (27th DSB Congress). In 1933, he won in Bad Pyrmont (1st GER-ch). In 1935, he won at Bad Nauheim, and Bad Saarow. He tied for 1st-2nd at Berlin 1935, Bad Elster 1936, Bad Elster 1937. Bogoljubow won at Bremen 1937, Bad Elster 1938, and Stuttgart 1939 (the 1st Europaturnier).

World War II and after

During World War II, he lost a match to Euwe (+2 −5 =3) at Krefeld 1941, and drew a mini-match with Alekhine (+1 −1 =0) at Warsaw 1943. He also played in numerous tournaments held in Germany and General Government throughout the war. In 1940, he won in Berlin, and tied for 1st-2nd with Anton Kohler in Kraków/Krynica/ Warsaw (the 1st GG-ch). In 1941, he took 4th in Munich (the 2nd Europaturnier; Stoltz won), and took 3rd, behind Alekhine and Paul Felix Schmidt, in Kraków/Warsaw (the 2nd GG-ch). In 1942, he took 5th in Salzburg Grandmasters' tournament (Alekhine won), tied for 3rd-5th in Munich (1st European Championship - Europameisterschaft; Alekhine won), took 3rd in Warsaw /Lublin/ Kraków (the 3rd GG-ch; Alekhine won). In 1943, he took 4th in Salzburg (Paul Keres and Alekhine won), and tied for 2nd-3rd in Krynica (the 4th GG-ch; Josef Lokvenc won). In 1944, he won, ahead of Fedor Bogatyrchuk, in Radom (the 5th GG-ch).

After the war, he lived in West Germany. In 1947, he won in Lüneburg, and Kassel. In 1949 he won in Bad Pyrmont (3rd West GER-ch), and tied for 1st-2nd with Elmārs Zemgalis in Oldenburg. In 1951, he won in Augsburg, and Saarbrücken.

He was awarded the title International Grandmaster by the World Chess Federation (FIDE) in 1951.


The Bogo-Indian Defence chess opening (1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Bb4+) is named after Bogolyubov.