Alekhine UY Obituary, Death – There are many contradicting stories about how Alekhine died; this page will provide the main facts and related allegations. The defending world champion was found dead in his Estoril, Portugal hotel room on Sunday, March 24, 1946. On page 27 of the March-April 1946 American Chess Bulletin, under “Alone in a Foreign Land,” it read:
International news agencies reported that Dr. Alexander Alekhine was found slumped over a chess board in his chamber. Death was likely caused by angina pectoris, which was exacerbated by choking on meat. The Chess Federation of Portugal paid for the April 16th burial. On Chess Review’s April 1946 page 7, it read: According to a radio newsflash,
world champion Alexander Alekhine died at 53 in Lisbon, Portugal, on March 24. Initial investigations ascribed his death to a heart problem, but an autopsy found “asphyxia due to an obstruction in his breathing channels due to a piece of meat.” The Association Press said, “When Alekhine was found dead on Sunday in the Hotel Estoril [sic], he held a piece of beefsteak in his right hand.” According to his friends, Alekhine ate with his hands, never used knives or forks, and ate alone to completely appreciate a meal.
On page 167 of the May 1946 CHESS, “Suicide was suspected but the official inquest verdict was heart failure.” A famous photo of Alekhine in his hotel room was on the same page. We republish the Sunday Pictorial’s “scoop” of Alekhine dead at his table with his chessboard beside him. Here’s the Sunday Pictorial’s “scoop” of Alekhine dead at his table.