Vera Menchik
Number of games in database: 266
Years covered: 1927 to 1939
Overall record: +70 -125 =71 (39.7%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.

With the White pieces:
 Queen's Pawn Game (15) 
    D02 A46 D00
 Queen's Gambit Declined (12) 
    D30 D37 D35
 Slav (11) 
    D13 D15 D14 D18 D11
 Semi-Slav (10) 
    D43 D46 D45 D48
 Orthodox Defense (10) 
    D63 D52 D55 D68 D51
 English (8) 
    A15 A14 A13 A12
With the Black pieces:
 French Defense (32) 
    C14 C13 C11 C00 C02
 Orthodox Defense (24) 
    D51 D63 D52 D68 D54
 French (14) 
    C13 C11 C00
 Classical French (12) 
 King's Indian (11) 
    E60 E61 E85 E72 E91
 Queen's Gambit Declined (11) 
    D37 D35 D30
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   F Lazard vs Menchik, 1929 0-1
   Menchik vs G A Thomas, 1932 1-0
   Menchik vs Book, 1938 1-0
   Menchik vs Colle, 1929 1-0
   Sultan Khan vs Menchik, 1931 0-1
   Menchik vs G A Thomas, 1936 1-0
   Menchik vs Jose Aguilera, 1929 1-0
   Menchik vs Samisch, 1929 1-0

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(born Feb-16-1906, died Jun-26-1944) Russia (citizen of United Kingdom)

[what is this?]
Vera Francevna Menchik was born to English and Czech parents, on the 16th of February, 1906, in Moscow. She learned the game at nine and, after her family settled in England in 1921, she began taking lessons from Geza Maroczy. Her positional style and endgame expertise netted her victories against several notable male players, among them Max Euwe, Samuel Reshevsky and Mir Sultan Khan. Albert Becker quipped that these and the other men she defeated were members of the "Menchik Club."

Vera Menchik was Women's World Champion from 1927 until 1944, when a German air raid destroyed her London residence, killing her and two others.

 page 1 of 11; games 1-25 of 266  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Menchik vs Koltanowski 0-121 1927 Hastings2728E60 King's Indian Defense
2. G A Thomas vs Menchik 1-032 1928 ScarboroughC11 French
3. Menchik vs Yates  1-046 1928 ScarboroughE60 King's Indian Defense
4. G Wright vs Menchik 0-137 1928 GBR-ch opB06 Robatsch
5. Menchik vs F Schubert 1-040 1928 ScarboroughD35 Queen's Gambit Declined
6. H Saunders vs Menchik  1-043 1928 ScarboroughA46 Queen's Pawn Game
7. R P Michell vs Menchik 0-148 1928 ScarboroughD63 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense
8. Noteboom vs Menchik 1-024 1928 Hastings IID63 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense
9. E G Sergeant vs Menchik  ½-½34 1929 Ramsgate schevC14 French, Classical
10. Menchik vs Colle ½-½40 1929 BarcelonaD02 Queen's Pawn Game
11. Menchik vs E Canal  0-157 1929 KarlsbadA31 English, Symmetrical, Benoni Formation
12. Duchamp vs Menchik ½-½37 1929 ParisD10 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
13. Vidmar vs Menchik  1-088 1929 KarlsbadA43 Old Benoni
14. Tylor vs Menchik  ½-½36 1929 Ramsgate schevB72 Sicilian, Dragon
15. Euwe vs Menchik 1-047 1929 KarlsbadD63 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense
16. J Torres Caravaca vs Menchik 1-027 1929 BarcelonaB74 Sicilian, Dragon, Classical
17. W Winter vs Menchik  1-034 1929 Hastings 2930E00 Queen's Pawn Game
18. P F Johner vs Menchik  1-037 1929 KarlsbadD63 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense
19. Menchik vs M Monticelli  0-123 1929 BarcelonaD46 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
20. Menchik vs Spielmann  0-140 1929 KarlsbadE22 Nimzo-Indian, Spielmann Variation
21. Menchik vs J Cukierman  ½-½12 1929 ParisD51 Queen's Gambit Declined
22. Bogoljubov vs Menchik 1-045 1929 Karlsbad (Czech Republic)D30 Queen's Gambit Declined
23. Koltanowski vs Menchik 1-025 1929 ParisD10 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
24. H Price vs Menchik  0-153 1929 Ramsgate schevE73 King's Indian
25. Capablanca vs Menchik  1-036 1929 BarcelonaB02 Alekhine's Defense
 page 1 of 11; games 1-25 of 266  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Menchik wins | Menchik loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing >
Jan-06-06   BIDMONFA: Vera Menchik


Premium Chessgames Member
  Caissanist: <Polgar's dad is a chess coach, he brought all his daughters up playing the game since they were barely out of the diaper.> So far as I know the only people Laszlo has ever coached are his daughters. According to Susan Polgar, he is not even a particularly strong player--"He is today at best 1500-1600. He was much weaker when he taught me."

There was an interesting article about the Polgars in Psychology Today a few months back. Laszlo Polgar did not choose chess as the focus for raising his daughters, at least not ahead of time. Rather, he had a theory that a good way to raise happy and successful children is to intense specialization in particular subject. But he didn't choose a particular area of specialization until Susan was four. When she showed interest in the game, Mommy and Daddy decided that this was a good area to concentrate on.

Premium Chessgames Member
  veigaman: Susan said that he wrote the famous chess books when she was younger instead of her father which means chess is just marketing.
Premium Chessgames Member
  CapablancaFan: Was Vera the first notable female GM?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: Chessmetrics Player Profile: Vera Menchik (*1906, +1944); Best World Rank #52; Highest Rating 2535; (1929).
Premium Chessgames Member
  duchamp64: The 100th anniversary of her birth today! Rest in peace, Vera.
May-04-06   blackburne: VERA MENCHIK

Article in spanish with biography, results, and espectacular games in: .........

Sep-01-06   Rocafella: Why shelter in the basement when she had an air raid shelter?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Knight13: <Vera Menchik was Women's World Champion from 1927 until 1944, when a German air raid destroyed her London residence, killing her and two others.> Hitler was laughing, right?
Sep-23-06   Rocafella: Spot the taste anybody
Mar-18-07   zev22407: A new site on women playing chess is
Jul-28-07   Akuni: <CapablancaFan> She was not a GM as the GM was given only to the five original GMs (Lasker, Alekhine, Capa, Tarrasch and Marshall) after they won a strong tournament (St. Petersbug 1914 I think), and to exceptional soviet players who were given they title "Grandmaster of the Soviet Union". Otherwise it was used informally until FIDE instated and regulated it in 1950.

However she was the first woman to succesfully participate successfully in international tournaments such as Hastings as well as winning ever Women's Championships she was in by huge scores (+78 -1 =4).

Jan-15-08   Petrosianic: <Was Vera the first notable female GM?>

The first woman GM was Nona Gaprindashvili in 1978. But Vera was at least IM strength.

Jan-25-08   FHBradley: The biographical detail about the Vera Menchik club is misleading in that it was Becker who became the first member of the club. During the Carlsbad tournament of 1929, Becker apparently expressed some doubts about whether it was appropriate that Vera Menchik should have received an invitation, adding that everyone (meaning, of course, every man) who would manage to lose a game against her should be elected to the Menchik club. The next day Becker lost his game to Menchik. During the dinner, he was unanimously elected the first member of the newly founded club. So it one calls it a quip by Becker, one had better add he was its first victim.
Feb-16-08   blackburne: Vera Menchik club, with all members, in the link (in spanish):


Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: Here is one of Vera's finest: Sultan Khan vs Menchik, 1931
Premium Chessgames Member
  eternaloptimist: I think it is worthy of note that she had a winning record against Max Euwe: 2 wins, 2 draws & only 1 loss to him! She was definitely a strong player.
Premium Chessgames Member
  brankat: A great predecessor of our very own <Open Defence>, <Robin01> and <jessicafischerqueen>> :-)
Premium Chessgames Member
  percyblakeney: In the four World Championship tournaments between 1931 and 1937 Menchik scored +43 -0 =0.
Apr-18-08   Cibator: <Rocafella>, <Knight13>: Her death was actually caused by a V1 flying bomb - Germany was almost incapable of conventional air raids by 1944. There was little point in trying to shelter from "doodlebugs" when they could appear at any time and any place within range of the launch sites. So if one of them had your name on it ....
Premium Chessgames Member
  percyblakeney: If Menchik had survived the war and kept playing she could have stayed World Champion for a longer period than Lasker. The first World Championship after Menchik's death was contested in 1950, 23 years after she won the title. If there had existed a women's World Championship before 1927 she could probably have won it already in 1923, when she started playing in men's tournaments.

The Soviet World Champions of the 1950's never played in men's tournaments in the way Menchik did, and the difference in strength between Rudenko, Rubtsova and Bykova wasn't big. In the first post-war Championship 1� point separated the three (their later matches were fairly even), and an old opponent of Menchik's from her +43 -0 =0 days, Clarice Benini, won with black against Bykova and drew Rubtsova.

The difference in strength between the Champions of the 1950's and later players was made clear when Gaprindashvili turned up, playing Bykova for the title in 1962. Gaprindashvili won 7 and drew 4 of the 11 games. Menchik may well have been able to keep the title until then, if she really had wanted to.

Sep-29-08   TheTamale: My brother and I were once on the same postal chess team. Our captain solicited team names. My offerings were the Virile Men-Chicks and the Near-Mieses. My brother's was the Albin Sevilles. And his idea was chosen!
Oct-15-08   gazzawhite: Were there any strong women players before Menchik's time? e.g. Anybody who was considered the strongest female player of their time, but did not have the opportunity to win a world championship (like Philidor)?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Caissanist: Louis Paulsen had a sister Amalie Paulsen who was said to be a very strong player in her own right, though so few of her games have survived that there's really no way of knowing. Unfortunately she never played in tournaments--probably at that time (1858) this was something that a "respectable" woman was not expected to do.
Oct-25-08   GrahamClayton: Vera Menchik was a member of the West London Chess Club. Here is a recollection of her by Margaret Brown:

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