Publisher: Caissa, 2010, Pages: 173, Hardcover

Largely due to World War II and its antecedents, the AVRO tournament, despite its strength and importance, never really got the attention it deserved in the chess literature. Of course, there have been other books and publications devoted to the tournament, as well as extensive coverage in the chess periodicals around the world, especially in the British magazines CHESS and the British Chess Magazine as well as Chess Review and the Deutsche Schachzeitung, to name but a few.

Of the books published previously, Euwe's book in Dutch published in 1938 is the most notable. He was familiar with all the games, having been a contestant himself, but he was also a full-time teacher of mathematics and his analysis of the games was not as thorough as some extra effort would have allowed by his great talent. Next we would rate the Russian bulletins dedicated to AVRO, because, with Botvinnik as one of the leading choices for top honors, much effort and publicity were dedicated in the USSR to this showpiece of Soviet chess strength. The Czech book by Fric and Opocensky published in Prague in 1939 contains full analysis of the games. Diemer's German book 56 Mal Weltmeisterschaft (Kecskemet, Hungary, 1939) gives light analysis to the games as does the Argentinian book by Ellerman, 8 Astros del Ajedrez Mundial en el Torneo AVRO 1938 (Buenos Aires, 1944). In 1995 there appeared a Russian book compiled by Toradze, published in Tbilisi, that gave all the games with notes by various Soviet masters along with a preface by Botvinnik. The British Chess Magazine published the bare scores in a little booklet, and there are books in English by J.R. Schroeder and by A. Antler that have rather sparse notes and little background. With the possible exception of the Antler volume, all of the other books are difficult to find and, of course, one needs to be able to read Dutch, Russian, and Czech for the best three.

Our objective in publishing this book is to make available to the English-speaking world a good presentation of the games, providing fresh analysis as well as an account of the background of the tournament, with an overall review of the results and the aftermath of the tournament in terms of finding a challenger for Alekhine in match play.

We want to acknowledge the gracious help of a number of people who con­tributed greatly to this book. First and foremost, Jan Postma, for his research and translation of many articles from Dutch newspapers and some other material found in the Royal Dutch Library. Also to A.P.Y. De Vreede for translating Euwe's book for AVRO 1938, which we used in some places as a guide to the analysis of these games, especially Euwe's games. Also to Jimmy Adams for directing us to some excellent pictorial material and to Jurgen Stigter for finding some references for us.

Avro 1938