White to move
This position occurred at the end of a game between Alekhine (White) and Joaquim Val[l]adão Monteiro at the headquarters of the Brazilian Chess Federation in Rio de Janeiro on 31 May 1939. Alekhine declared it drawn, and on pages 78-79 of his book Dicionário Brasiliense do Jogador de Xadrez (Rio de Janeiro, 1956) Black gave the following analysis by Eliskases (our translation from the Portuguese):
‘The game is drawn. If 1 Be3 Bd6! (to prevent 2 Nf4) 2 Bxh6 (if 2 Bf4 Bf8! 3 Be5? Nxe5 4 dxe5 Kd7 5 Nf4 Bg7! with advantage to Black) 2…Kd7 3 Bf4 Bf8! 4 Be3 Bd6 5 Bf4 with repetition of moves. If White tries to win with 4 Be5 Black has the better chances, by continuing with 4…Nxe5 5 dxe5 Ke6 6 Nf4+ Kxe5 7 Nxh5 Bh6! In that position the white knight cannot withdraw, so Black de facto has a won game. Rio de Janeiro, 12 October 1944 – Erich Gottlieb Eliskases.’
We note that Eliskases made no mention of 7 Ng6+ (as an alternative to 7 Nxh5).
Wanted: biographical information regarding Joaquim Val[l]adão Monteiro, whose other chess books included Dicionário Brasiliense de Têrmos Enxadrísticos (Rio de Janeiro, 1953).
C.N. 3270 gave the conclusion of a forgotten Alekhine game played in Rio de Janeiro on 31 May 1939 against J.V. Monteiro, our source being pages 78-79 of Monteiro’s book Dicionário Brasiliense do Jogador de Xadrez (Rio de Janeiro, 1956). We requested, without success, ‘biographical information regarding Joaquim Valadão Monteiro, whose other chess books included Dicionário Brasiliense de Têrmos Enxadrísticos (Rio de Janeiro, 1953)’.
Now, though, we have a doubt about the spelling of his name: were we correct to put ‘Valadão’, or should it be ‘Valladão’? In the Dicionário Brasiliense do Jogador de Xadrez the former version appeared in print throughout, including the front cover (see below) and the title page, yet twice his name was handwritten ‘Valladão’ (i.e. under his portrait and at the end of the Preface):
Michael Syngros (Amarousion, Greece) has submitted documentation (including the front cover of a later book, Glossário Caissiano (Rio de Janeiro, 1961), as well as personal stationery) which seems to present an overwhelming case for the spelling ‘Valladão’:
We now see that the double-L spelling was also used by L’Echiquier in 1932 when publishing problems by him.
Michael Syngros provides the following list of books by Joaquim Monteiro Valladão, from pages 11-12 of his Glossário Caissiano (Rio de Janiero, 1961):
The blue marks above have no significance.
Leo Mano (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) provides some information about Joaquim Valladão Monteiro.
He was born in Rio de Janeiro, but the exact date is uncertain. Page 955 of the May-August 1993 issue of the Boletim da Uniao Brasileira de Problemistas gave 15 October 1907, but a passage quoted on page 8 of his 1933 book Composições Enxadristicas stated that he was born on the eighth day of an unspecified month.
The book included this caricature:
Further details about his death, in 1993, are also proving difficult to find.
Our correspondent notes that Valladão Monteiro wrote over 60 books, mainly on chess but also on poetry, Latin and literature (although nothing on medicine, which he studied in his youth).
It may be recalled that C.N. 3884 gave a photograph of him, from his book Dicionário Brasiliense do Jogador de Xadrez (Rio de Janeiro, 1956).
Eduardo Bauzá Mercére (New York, NY, USA) refers us to a photograph of Alekhine on page 83 of the June-July 1939 issue of Xadrez Brasileiro:
The above is the best-quality scan that we are able to show, with the assistance of the Cleveland Public Library.
See too the article Valladão’s all-promotion study by Siegfried Hornecker.