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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Salzburg 1942

     The main organizer of Salzburg 1942, Ehrhardt Post, the Chief Executive of Nazi Grossdeutscher Schachbund, intended to bring together the six strongest players of Germany, the occupied and neutral European countries. They were: world champion Alexander Alekhine, former champion Max Euwe, challenger Paul Keres, former challenger Efim Bogoljubov, winner of European tournament at Munich 1941 Gösta Stoltz, and German champion Paul Schmidt. 
     Euwe withdrew due to "illness". Actually, Euwe refused to participate because Alekhine was invited (Alekhine had written about the "Jewish clique" around Euwe in World Chess Championship 1935). His place was taken by eighteen-year-old Klaus Junge. The event took place in the Mirabell Palace in from 9th to 18 June 1942. The players had to make 32 moves in two hours; the second control was 16 moves per hour.
     Klaus Junge was a lieutenant of the 12th SS Battalion defending Hamburg. Refusing to surrender, he died – shouted "Sieg Heil!" – in combat against Allied troops on 17 April 1945 in the battle of Welle on the Lüneburger Heide. The first Junge Memorial was held in Regensburg in 1946 (Fedor Bohatirchuk won). According to GM Robert Hübner, Junge was the greatest German chess talent in the 20th century.
     In 1941 Alekhine published anti-Semitic articles in Germany and those articles were not forgotten by the chess world after the war and organizers refused to invite him to tournaments. Negotiations with Botvinnik for a world title match were proceeding in 1946 when Alekhine died in Estoril, Portugal. His death remains a controversial mystery even today. The “official” version was that he choked to death on a piece of meat in his hotel room. Other versions are he was murdered by a French "Death Squad" but a few years later, Alekhine's son, Alexander Alekhine Jr., said that the hand of Moscow reached his father. Incidentally, Alekhine, Jr. maintained an interest in chess but never played because his father never taught him.
     Bogoljubov lived in West Germany and remained active in the German chess world until his death. He died from a heart attack in Triberg in 1952.
Bogoljubow - Stoltz scoresheet

     Paul Keres travelled to Spain in 1943 and moved to Sweden in 1944. At the end of World War II, he returned to Estonia in Autumn 1944. He was harassed by the Soviet authorities (KGB) and feared for his life. Keres managed to avoid deportation to Siberia or any worse but his return to the international chess scene was delayed. He returned to international play in World Chess Championship 1948 but, as some historians argue, had to lose to Mikhail Botvinnik. Keres died from a heart attack in Helsinki in 1975.
     Stoltz returned to Sweden in 1942. He died in 1963.
     Paul Schmidt remained active in the German chess and was awarded the International Master title in 1950. Schmidt earned a PhD in chemistry from Heidelberg University in 1951, moved to Canada, then to the United States. He lived in Philadelphia where he was a college professor. He died in Allentown in 1984.

1 Alexander Alekhine xx 11 11 01 01 ½1            7.5
2 Paul Keres                 00 xx ½½ 1½ ½1 11     6
3-4 Paul Schmidt        00 ½½ xx ½½ 01 11     5
3-4 Klaus Junge          10 0½ ½½ xx 01 ½1     5
5 Efim Bogoljubov      10 ½0 10 10 xx 00          3.5
6 Gösta Stoltz               ½0 00 00 ½0 11 xx       3

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