San Remo 1930

International Chess Tournament

Robert Sherwood

Reviewer: John Donaldson
Caissa Editions
231 pages (hardback)

San Remo 1930 International Chess Tournament by Robert Sherwood is a testament to the fact that Fischer, Kasparov and Karpov aren’t the only ones on the short list of the greatest chess player of all time. While many Russian players claim that Kasparov is the greatest, and Americans champion Fischer, it’s interesting that the number two rated player in the world – Levon Aronian – holds a completely different opinion. His vote goes to Alexander Alekhine and his result at San Remo 1930, 14 (!) out of 15, is one good reason why the Armenian grandmaster holds the play of the 4th World Champion in such high regard.

Alekhine was not the only giant to play at the small Italian city near the French border. Nimzowitsch, Rubinstein and Bogojubow were the other top finishers with Yates, Spielmann, Vidmar and Maroczy in the middle of the field. Pretty much all the best players of the day played at San Remo, with Capablanca the only significant omission, and Alekhine blitzed the field finishing 3 ½ points ahead of second place Nimzowitsch. Not only was his score phenomenal, but so was Alekhine’s play. In this tournament he won in many different ways with sparkling play in all phases of the game.

Alekhine’s efforts and those of all other competitors are all well-annotated in San Remo 1930 International Chess Tournament – all 120 games. The commentary comes primarily from contemporary sources including magazines of the day with the players providing notes to many of their own efforts. The author Robert Sherwood has translated annotations to many of the games and the analysis throughout the book has been checked by top computer engines including Houdini 3. The computer touch is well applied, used only when appropriate and not indiscriminately.

Rounding out a first rate work are a tournament overview, round by round color and player and opening indexes plus tournament and round by round crosstables. Like all Caissa edition books this is a sturdily bound hardback printed on good paper.

Highly Recommended