Meet the Masters contains the biographies of the eight strongest players in the world at that time. It includes their histories, photographs, games and an analysis and critique of their playing styles. Each of these eight players had been invited to the historic tournament at AVRO 1938, regarded as the strongest chess tournament ever held prior to modern times. The eight players generally regarded as the strongest in the world were: World Champion Alexander Alekhine, former champions José Raúl Capablanca and Max Euwe, future champion Mikhail Botvinnik and challengers Paul Keres, Reuben Fine, Samuel Reshevsky and Salo Flohr.
About the Author(s)
Dr. Max Euwe was world chess champion from 1935 to 1937. He played all of the great players from Lasker to Fischer in tournaments and studied all of their games in great detail. He knew more about them and their games than anybody else. Max Euwe was born on May 20, 1901 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. He has long been regarded as almost an accidental world champion due to the probably not true rumor that Alekhine was drunk when he lost the world title to Euwe in a 30-game match in 1935. This has resulted in a controversy that is still being debated today: Was Euwe really the strongest player in the world when he won the world championship in 1935? Regardless of that issue, Euwe was certainly the most active and prolific writer about the game. He was never a professional player. He had a real job. He was a math professor.
After retirement he became a chess official. He was president of FIDE, the World Chess Federation, from 1970 to 1978. This was during the Cold War and Euwe had to make difficult decisions for the good of chess. It was absolutely, definitely because of Euwe that Bobby Fischer got to sit down at the board to play a match for the World Chess Championship. Fischer had been disqualified many times along the way, the first time being when he refused to play in the US Championship that was a necessary preliminary to the World Chess Championship competition. Max Euwe, himself a past world champion, acted as both referee and official at the famous Iceland matches in 1972. Max Euwe died on November 26, 1981 in his native Amsterdam at age 80.