18 September 2016

Alekhine's Brother

It was another slow fortnight here on Top eBay Chess Items by Price. The last time this happened, a month ago in Soviet Propaganda Porcelain, I went below my normal cutoff. This time I did the same and ended up with another early Soviet item.

Titled 'Russian Chess Yearbook - 1926, signed by Alexey Alekhine, brother of champion', the item pictured below sold for US $380 after four bids from two bidders, on a starting price of US $250. A few years ago we had 'A' Is for Alekhine's Autograph (June 2012), and now we have his brother's autograph. How much of that final price is for the book, how much for the autograph, and how much for the name Alekhine?

Left: Title page
Right: Interior page

The description expanded on the title:-

Antique Russian Chess Yearbook signed by author.
Author: Alexey Alekhine (Alexander Alekhine's brother).
Title: Chess Yearbook 1926. Selected games and review.
Published: Kharkov, 1927.
Language: Russian.
143 pages.

The crosstable on the right page of the photo shows 'Final Group': Rabinovich 8.0, Ilyin-Zhenevsky 7.5, Botvinnik 6.5, followed by three other players. Since the preliminary groups associate all six players with 'Leningrad', I thought this might be the Leningrad championship, but the information given in the first chapter of Botvinnik's '100 Selected Games' doesn't match. It matches instead an event called 'N.W. Provincial Championship' listed in the table of results at the end of Botvinnik's book.

Lest there be any confusion between future World Champion Alexander Alekhine and his brother, in Alekhine Leaves Russia (July 2009), I noted,

After the first World War and the 1917 revolution, [Alexander Alekhine] played in only three tournaments before leaving his native country in 1921, at age 28.

Given that Alexey Alekhine authored the yearbook, he must also have been a strong player.

No comments: