Alekhine, Alexander Alexandrovich (1892-1946)

4th World Champion, 1927 - 1935 and 1937 - 1946

Born in Moscow, Russia in 1892. He was the son of aristocratic parents. He gained the title of master at St Petersburg in 1909.
During Alekhine's time there were more chess players than ever before. The term "grandmaster" has only been a formal title since 1950 but it had been applied to players of world championship standard since the 19th century. Formerly there had never been more than three or four players of this standard around at the same time. Nowadays there are hundreds.
Alekhine, who had a liking for alcohol was frequently drunk during his games. As a consequence he lost his title to Euwe when challenged to a match. However in a rematch, after giving up alcohol he defeated Euwe making him the first man to ever regain the world champion title. After the Second World War he was challenged by Botvinnik. The match preparations were near completion when Alekhine had a heart attack and died in Portugal in 1946.