Efim Bogolyubov Biography

Efim Dmitriyevich Bogolyubov, also known as Efim Bogoljubow, was a Russian-born German chess player who made significant contributions to the world of chess.

He was born on April 14, 1889, in the Russian Empire, in what is now Kyiv Oblast, Ukraine. Bogoljubov learned to play chess at the age of 15 and developed a serious interest in the game at 18

Matches and Achievements

Bogoljubov is best known for playing two matches against Alexander Alekhine for the world championship. He was granted the title of grandmaster by FIDE in 1951. 

Throughout his career, he won numerous chess events and was a prominent figure in the chess world. He also played in various tournaments held in Nazi-held territory during World War II

Personal Views and Legacy

Accounts of Bogoljubov’s opinion of the Nazis differ between sources.

While some claim that he insisted on playing with the swastika flag at Zandvoort in 1936, others suggest that he did not like to wear it and was “only formally” a member of the Nazi party. 

After the war, he lived in West Germany and continued to be an influential figure in the chess community until his passing on June 18, 1952. 


Bogoljubov fell in love with Frieda Kaltenbach, the daughter of a local teacher, during his time in Germany. They got married and had two daughters, Sonya and Tamara. Bogoljubov was considered one of the strongest candidates for the world championship throughout his career. 

See also  José Capablanca Biography

Playing Style

Efim Bogoljubov was known for his aggressive and tactical playing style, although he was well-rounded in all phases of the game.

He had a good feel for combinations and was strong with sacrifices that had long-lasting benefits. His style was characterized by a proactive approach, strong combinations, and a willingness to sacrifice material for positional or tactical gains. 

Bogoljubov’s aggressive and tactical style made him a formidable opponent and contributed to his success in numerous chess events and matches, including his two world championship matches against Alexander Alekhine