Efim Bogoljubow

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Efim Dmitriyevich Bogoljubow (Russian: Ефим Дмитриевич Боголю́бов; also Romanized Bogoljubov, Bogolyubov; Ukrainian: Юхим Дмитрович Боголюбов, romanizedYukhym Dmytrovych Boholiubov; April 14, 1889 – June 18, 1952) was a Russian-born German chess player who played two matches against Alexander Alekhine for the world championship. He was granted the title of grandmaster by FIDE in 1951.

Efim Bogoljubow
Bogoljubow 1925.jpg
Bogoljubow in 1925
Full nameYefim Dmitriyevich Bogolyubov
CountryRussian Empire → Soviet Union
Born(1889-04-14)April 14, 1889
Stanislavchyk, Tarashcha Uyezd, Kiev Governorate, Russian Empire (now Kiev Oblast, Ukraine)
DiedJune 18, 1952(1952-06-18) (aged 63)
Triberg im Schwarzwald, West Germany
TitleGrandmaster (1951)

Early careerEdit

In 1911, Bogoljubow tied for first place in the Kiev championships, and finished 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).[1] In 1913/14, Bogoljubow finished eighth in Saint Petersburg (All Russian Masters' Tournament – eighth Russian championship; Alekhine and Aron Nimzowitsch came joint first).[2]

World War I: Interned in GermanyEdit

In July/August 1914, Bogoljubow played in the Mannheim tournament (the 19th DSB Congress), and tied for 8–9th in that event, which was interrupted by World War I.[3] 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 (1914–1917). Bogoljubow took second place, behind Alexander Flamberg, in Baden-Baden, and won five times in Triberg (1914–1916). During World War I, he stayed in Triberg im Schwarzwald, married a local woman and spent most of the rest of his life in Germany.

Successes and world championship matchesEdit


After the war, Bogoljubow 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.[4] He also won at Breslau (Wrocław) 1925, and in Moscow, ahead of a field which included Emanuel Lasker and José Raúl Capablanca.

In 1926, Bogoljubow emigrated to Germany. He won ahead of Akiba Rubinstein that year at Berlin. At Kissingen 1928, Bogoljubow triumphed (+6−1=4) over a field which included Capablanca, Nimzowitsch and Savielly Tartakower, et al. Bogoljubow won two matches against Max Euwe (both 5½–4½) in 1928 and 1928/29 in the Netherlands. He played matches for the World Chess Championship twice against Alekhine, losing 15½–9½ in 1929, and 15½–10½ in 1934.[5]

Bogoljubow represented Germany at first board in the 4th Chess Olympiad at Prague 1931, winning the individual silver medal (+9−1=7).[6]

In 1930, Bogoljubow 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, Bogoljubow won in Bad Pyrmont (1st GER-ch). In 1935, he won at Bad Nauheim, and Bad Saarow. Bogoljubow 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 afterEdit

Efim Bogoljubow's grave at Triberg

During World War II, Bogoljubow lost a match to Euwe (+2−5=3) at Krefeld 1941, and drew a mini-match with Alekhine (+2−2=0) at Warsaw 1943. He also played in numerous tournaments held in Germany and the General Government throughout the war. In 1940, Bogoljubow won in Berlin, and tied for 1st–2nd with Anton Kohler in Kraków/Krynica/ Warsaw (the 1st GG-ch). In 1941, he took fourth in Munich (the second Europaturnier; Stoltz won), and finished third, behind Alekhine and Paul Felix Schmidt, in Kraków/Warsaw (the 2nd GG-ch). In 1942, Bogoljubow finished fifth in Salzburg Grandmasters' tournament (Alekhine won), tied for third–fifth in Munich (1st European ChampionshipEuropameisterschaft; Alekhine won), took third in Warsaw /Lublin/ Kraków (the 3rd GG-ch; Alekhine won). In 1943, he took fourth in Salzburg (Paul Keres and Alekhine won), and tied for second–third in Krynica (the 4th GG-ch; Josef Lokvenc won). In 1944, Bogoljubow won, ahead of Fedor Bogatyrchuk, in Radom (the 5th GG-ch).[7]

After the war, Bogoljubow lived in West Germany. While his level of play had declined significantly by this time, nevertheless, in 1947, he won in Lüneburg, and Kassel. In 1949, Bogoljubow won in Bad Pyrmont (third West GER-ch), and tied for first–second with Elmārs Zemgalis in Oldenburg. In 1951, he won in Augsburg, and Saarbrücken.

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


Bogoljubow died in June 1952, aged 63.


The opening known as the Bogo-Indian Defence (1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Bb4+) is named after Bogoljubow.


  • "When I am White I win because I am White. When I am Black I win because I am Bogoljubov."[8] (The Russian name "Bogoljubow" means "beloved by God".[9])
  • "To have a knight planted in your game at K6 (e3/e6) is worse than a rusty nail in your knee."[10]


  1. ^ "CTC Index" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-07-04. Retrieved 2010-07-27. Name Index to Jeremy Gaige's Chess Tournament Crosstables, An Electronic Edition, Anders Thulin, Malmö, 2004-09-01
  2. ^ "Chess Tournaments: Russian masters 1913/14". Archived from the original on 2011-09-03. Retrieved 2007-07-19.
  3. ^ Schach Nachrichten
  4. ^ Russian Chess Base
  5. ^ A. Alekhine v. E.D. Bogoljubov, World's Chess Championship 1934, ed. Fred Reinfeld and Reuben Fine, Dover Publications, Inc., New York, (1967) at pp. 6–7.
  6. ^ OlimpBase :: the encyclopaedia of team chess
  7. ^ http://www.rogerpaige.me.uk/index.htm Archived February 21, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Bogoljubov quotation
  9. ^ From the Archives
  10. ^ Bogoljubov quotation Archived 2013-02-18 at the Wayback Machine

External linksEdit