alzburg 1942

The organisers of Salzburg 1942 intended to bring together world champion Alekhine, former champion Euwe, challenger Keres, former challenger Bogoljubow, Stoltz and German champion Schmidt, the six strongest players of Germany and the occupied countries. Euwe had declined the invitation for München 1941 due to his ‘occupational obligations’, as manager of a groceries business. This time he refused to participate, because Alekhine was invited. Euwe mentioned futile reasons. The real motive was Alekhine’s offence of Euwe in his anti-Semitic articles. Alekhine had written about the 'Jewish clique' around  Euwe in 1935. The main organiser, Ehrhardt Post, wanted to exclude Alekhine, but the notorious name stayed on the list. Then, Euwe withdrew due to ‘illness’. His place was occupied by Junge. The tournament was originally planned for January 1942, but it took place from 9-18 June 1942 eventually.

Chess events took place in the wonderful rooms of Mirabell Palace. The tournament hall was situated near Berchtesgaden, summer residence of Hitler. Play started at 9 AM. The players had to make 32 moves in two hours. Thereafter, the tempo became 16 moves per hour.

pgn-file of Salzburg 1942       zip-file of CBase-files of Salzburg 1942

Stoltz - Junge


Once a Czech told me that each round of Prague 1943 started with a lineup of all participants, who greeted Hitler. Nevertheless, the Nazi tournaments were not an important propaganda vehicle.  Duty at the front had become more important. Chess had been used for propaganda before the war. 

No wartime tournament book about Salzburg 1942 appeared. Only short reports were published in chess journals. Ken Whyld collected nineteen games from these sources. When Lothar Schmid loaned him the original scores, he could publish the notation of all thirty games in 1962. Lachaga published the games with previous annotations in 1974.

Great fights occurred during the wartime tournament: only 27% of the games were drawn and the average game lasted more than 50 moves. Alekhine gained his best result during World War II, although his fighting spirit was more important than his positional ability. Keres played well, but became second after the ruling world champion, like he was second after the future champ Botvinnik in 1941. A great success had the eighteen-years-old Junge. He showed himself as equal to the grandmasters in all phases in the game. Schmidt played solid chess. Bogoljubow led after the first cycle, but lost all games of the second cycle. Stoltz had little success.


Salzburg 1942

               1  2  3  4  5  6

1 Alekhine    ** 11 01 11 01 ½1 7½

2 Keres       00 ** 1½ ½½ ½1 11 6

3 Junge       10 0½ ** ½½ 01 ½1 5

4 Schmidt     00 ½½ ½½ ** 01 11 5

5 Bogoljubow  10 ½0 10 10 ** 00 3½

6 Stoltz      ½0 00 ½0 00 11 ** 3





Alexander Alekhine moved to Spain in 1943. The chess world did not forget his Nazi articles. He died in 1946 under suspicious circumstances. Paul Keres travelled to Sweden in 1944. After the war he returned to his wife and two children in Estonia. A letter to Molotov spared his life. Klaus Junge’s last tournament became Prague 1942. He shared the first prize with Alekhine. The next year he had to enlist the army. As an officer of the 12th SS-battalion, he joined the defence of Hamburg in April 1945. The First UK Royal Tank Regiment opposed the defenders on 18 April. A skirmish took place in Welle on the Lüneburger Heide. Lieutenant Junge got the chance to surrender, but believed in the final victory, shouted: "Sieg Heil!" and was shot to pieces. Germany had to wait until Hübner for a new great talent. The first Junge Memorial, Regensburg 1946, was won by Bohatirchuk. Paul Schmidt studied chemistry at Heidelberg after the war. He worked in the chemical industry of the USA. Efim Bogoljubow remained active in the German chess world. He died from a heart attack in 1952, when he came home from a simultaneous display. Gösta Stoltz returned to Sweden in 1942. The chess world held no grudge against him and he was invited for Groningen 1946.

Mirabell Palace became a popular place for weddings. It served as a location for ‘The Sound of Music’. When Julie Andrews and the children descend the steps of the Mirabell Gardens, they sing: "Do-Re-Mi!"


The Do-Re-Mi steps


Adri Plomp adviced corrections for the second version of this page.


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