Dr. J. Hannak wrote in his 1959 biography of Emanuel Lasker that "when it comes to awarding the plum for 'the greatest chess tournament ever', in 1936, the Nottingham Tournament was certainly just that". W. H. Watts in the Introduction to the tournament book called Nottingham 1936 "the most important chess event the world has so far seen". It is one of the very few tournaments in chess history to include five past, present, or future world champions (Lasker, José Raúl Capablanca, Alekhine, Euwe and Botvinnik). A number of other prominent players, such as Reuben Fine, Samuel Reshevsky and Salo Flohr, were in the tournament.
According to the unofficial Chessmetrics ratings, the tournament was (as of March 2005) one of only five tournaments in history that had the top eight players in the world playing, and was (in terms of the leading players playing) the third strongest in history. All of the top twelve players on Chessmetrics' August 1936 rating list competed in the tournament except for numbers nine and ten (Andor Lilienthal and Paul Keres).
The event is also notable for being Lasker's last major event, and for Botvinnik achieving the first Soviet success outside the Soviet Union.
In parallel with the main tournament, the venue also played host to the 1936 British Women's Championship. The event was won by Edith Holloway (1868-1956), age sixty-eight and a former winner in 1919.
|1||Mikhail Botvinnik (Soviet Union)||x||½||½||½||½||½||½||½||1||1||1||1||1||1||½||10|
|2||José Raúl Capablanca (Cuba)||½||x||½||½||1||1||0||½||1||½||½||1||1||1||1||10|
|3||Max Euwe (Netherlands)||½||½||x||½||1||0||½||0||1||½||1||1||1||1||1||9½|
|4||Reuben Fine (United States)||½||½||½||x||½||½||½||1||½||1||½||1||1||½||1||9½|
|5||Samuel Reshevsky (United States)||½||0||0||½||x||1||½||1||1||1||½||1||1||1||½||9½|
|6||Alexander Alekhine (France)||½||0||1||½||0||x||1||½||½||1||1||½||1||½||1||9|
|7||Salo Flohr (Czechoslovakia)||½||1||½||½||½||0||x||1||1||1||½||0||0||1||1||8½|
|8||Emanuel Lasker (Soviet Union)||½||½||1||0||0||½||0||x||½||1||½||1||1||1||1||8½|
|9||Milan Vidmar (Yugoslavia)||0||0||0||½||0||½||0||½||x||1||½||½||1||½||1||6|
|10||Efim Bogoljubow (Germany)||0||½||½||0||0||0||0||0||0||x||½||1||1||1||1||5½|
|11||Savielly Tartakower (Poland)||0||½||0||½||½||0||½||½||½||½||x||0||0||1||1||5½|
|12||Theodore Tylor (United Kingdom)||0||0||0||0||0||½||1||0||½||0||1||x||½||½||½||4½|
|13||C.H.O'D Alexander (United Kingdom)||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||1||½||x||½||½||3½|
|14||George Alan Thomas (United Kingdom)||0||0||0||½||0||½||0||0||½||0||0||½||½||x||½||3|
|15||William Winter (United Kingdom)||½||0||0||0||½||0||0||0||0||0||0||½||½||½||x||2½|