Tuesday, July 22

Mannheim tournament, Round 2: Spielmann, Vidmar share lead

Rudolf Spielmann and Dr. Milan Vidmar share the lead after two rounds of the international Masters' tournament at Mannheim with perfect 2-0 scores. Spielmann defeated Dr. Siegbert Tarrasch from the Black side of a closed Sicilian Defense, outplaying his opponent in a position featuring the heterogeneous material balance of Queen vs. three minor pieces. Vidmar bested Richard Reti in a Queen's Pawn Game, easily turning aside Reti's rather wild attempts to launch a King-side assault. In other games Carl Carls, using his favorite opening move 1.c4, defeated Ehrhardt Post with a powerful attacking performance, while Jacques Mieses broke through the King-side defenses of Walter John to score the full point in a French Defense, and Oldrich Duras recovered from his first-round defeat at the hands of Alexander Alekhine to top Efim Bogoljubow via some fine endgame play. Veteran David Janowski played to a draw vs. the tourney's youngest participant, Gyula Breyer, while Alekhine let slip an opportunity to join the leaders by allowing Paul Krüger to escape with a draw from a losing position. Alexander Flamberg won a pawn vs. Frank J. Marshall, but the game was agreed drawn after 27 moves, the presence of Bishops commanding squares of opposite color making a peaceful result unavoidable. The score of the drawn Fahrni-Tartakower game was not included in today's report from Mannheim.

Scores after Round 2: Spielmann, Vidmar 2; Alekhine, Carls, Tartakower 1 1/2; Breyer, Duras, John, Marshall, Mieses, Reti, Krüger 1; Fahrni, Flamberg, Bogoljubow, Janowski, Post 1/2; Tarrasch 0.

We present the games:

Spielmann made good progress on the Queen-side while Dr. Tarrasch's advance on the other wing never proceeded beyond the fourth rank. The Austrian Master employed his Queen most deftly in the battle against White's minor pieces.

Reti uncharacteristically went in for some wild play, sacrificing two pawns and a Bishop for vague attacking chances. Vidmar had little trouble in scoring the win.

Carls overcame Post with a powerful attack. Black might have spared himself the last few moves.

Mieses at last broke through on the King-side vs. John, concluding matters with a mating attack.

Duras showed his strength in the endgame, outplaying Bogoljubow from an equal position.

Janowski and Breyer contested a French Defense, agreeing to a draw after 32 moves in a position in which, to our eye, Black had good reason to continue the struggle with 32...Rxa2.

Alekhine-Krüger, another French Defense, saw White build an overwhelming position but then, apparently pressed for time, go wrong at the 40th move with 40.h4?, overlooking the winning 40.Re2!

Flamberg essayed the Exchange Variation of the Ruy Lopez vs. Marshall and succeeded in winning a pawn, but the game ended in an early draw nonetheless in view of the equalizing presence of Bishops of opposite color in the endgame.


Monday, July 21

Mannheim tournament, Round 1: Spielmann, Reti, Alekhine, John, Tartakower, Vidmar are winners on first day

The Mannheim international Masters' tournament, centerpiece of the 19th Congress of the German Schachbund, has now begun, with 18 players in the field. Four participants from the recent St. Petersburg tournament have entered the lists: finalists Alexander Alekhine, Dr. Siegbert Tarrasch, and Frank J. Marshall, along with David Janowski, who competed in the preliminary section of the Russian event. From the Baden gambit tournament five names are to be found on the Mannheim roster: Rudolf Spielmann, Dr. Saviely Tartakower, Gyula Breyer, Richard Reti, and Hans Fahrni. Joining these veterans of recent battles are nine more hardy competitors: Dr. Milan Vidmar, Efim Bogoljubow, Jacques Mieses, Oldrich Duras, Alexander Flamberg, Carl Carls, Walter John, Paul Krüger, and Ehrhardt Post. A formidable assembly, even in the absence of such names as Dr. Lasker, Capablanca, Schlechter, Rubinstein, Niemzowitsch, and Teichmann.

The first day's play saw six decisive contests, with Spielmann, Reti, Alekhine, John, Tartakower, and Vidmar scoring victories. We present below all games from the round with the exception of the win by Dr. Vidmar over Janowski, which unfortunately was not included in the report we received from Germany.

Spielmann-Flamberg 1-0
Duras-Alekhine 0-1
Reti-Fahrni 1-0
John-Tarrasch 1-0
Tartakower-Mieses 1-0
Vidmar-Janowski 1-0
Post-Breyer ½-½
Krüger-Carls ½-½
Marshall-Bogoljubow ½-½

Scores after Round 1: Spielmann, Reti, Alekhine, John, Tartakower, Vidmar 1; Krüger, Carls, Marshall, Bogoljubow, Post, Breyer 1/2; Flamberg, Fahrni, Duras, Tarrasch, Mieses, Janowski 0.

To Spielmann goes pride of place for his brilliant miniature victory over Flamberg in only 15 moves. Black's Queen maneuver from the 8th to 10th moves gained two pawns but cost the second player precious time, time that the Austrian attacking ace used to decisive advantage. The final position is a powerful example of the dangers inherent in an early sortie by the Queen.

Alekhine, as second player in a Ruy Lopez Exchange Variation, took the full point from Duras after a most colorful endgame struggle. The play between the 24th and 34th moves, resulting at last in the win of a pawn for Black, is most captivating.

Reti, as White in a Queen's Gambit Declined, gained an advantage in space on the Queen-side vs. Fahrni, who with 13...Nd7 invited a tactical sequence that resulted in favor of the first player. The White pieces invaded the enemy position, occupying the weakened dark squares, after which Reti concluded matters with a pretty exchange sacrifice.

John-Tarrasch, another Ruy Lopez Exchange Variation, saw White sacrifice Rook for Knight via 15.gxf6, gaining in return a powerful passed pawn on g7. Black was later compelled to return the exchange in order to eliminate that pawn, leaving White with a winning King and pawn endgame.

Tartakower gained a relatively easy victory over Mieses in a King's Gambit Declined, winning a pawn at the 22nd move and trapping the Black Queen four moves thereafter.

Post and Breyer contested a Four Knights' Game in which a slight advantage passed from the former to the latter in a Rook endgame; neither side, in truth, ever seemed close to winning, and the players agreed to share the point at the 55th move.

The Krüger-Carls and Marshall-Bogoljubow encounters were rather uneventful draws, as the reader may see for himself.

Saturday, July 19

Beckner, with Queen sacrifice, tops Showalter in training game

Readers of keen memory may recall that in our coverage of last year's Western Championship we offered two sparkling games by Mr. John T. Beckner, a player who seems to possess the happy facility of producing brilliant efforts in abundance. Mr. Beckner intends to participate next month in this year's Western Championship at Memphis, and in preparation for that event the Winchester, Kentucky ace has played several training games against a most redoubtable opponent indeed, former United States Champion Jackson W. Showalter. We present one of those games below, a lively struggle in which Mr. Beckner takes the measure of his more famous sparring partner in brilliant style, sacrificing his Queen to achieve victory as first player in a Sicilian Defense. The variations given in the notes likewise contain much scintillating play and come directly from Mr. Beckner, who neglected only to indicate the point at which he feels Mr. Showalter went wrong, a question we leave to the reader.

Friday, July 18

Correspondence miniature; Correction

Over the past several months we have collected a sizable number of recent correspondence games, the best of which we hope to share with our readers in good time. Today we offer a bright miniature contested between Mr. Clarence Burton of Jackson, Missouri, and local player Mr. Arthur Haas, faculty adviser to the Interborough Championship chess team at Manhattan's DeWitt Clinton High School. Mr. Haas, as second player in a Giuoco Piano, accepts the doubling of his f-pawns in order to develop an attack along the resultant open g-file  He succeeds admirably in the carrying out of this plan, scoring the game to his credit at the 18th move via a neat checkmate effected by two Bishops and a Knight.


Correction: On the 8th inst. we presented the first-board game between Messrs. Russell and Coad-Pryor from this year's Oxford-Cambridge match. We are informed by Mr. Russell himself, recently returned to the United States, that in the game in question he handled the Black pieces and Mr. Coad-Pryor the White. Our apologies to our readers and to both players; we relied for our original report on the game score as given in a foreign publication that has in the past unfortunately not always proved itself entirely reliable.

Mr. Russell also tells us that while in England he made an even score in a series of five "skittles" games vs. current City of London Chess Club Champion Edward Lasker, a most honorable result against so powerful an opponent. We wish the young Rhodes scholar well in all his future endeavors, which include plans to enroll in New York University Law School and to represent the Brooklyn Chess Club next season in the Metropolitan League.  

Thursday, July 17

Alekhine defeats Hallegua in exhibition game

We are in receipt of the score of an exhibition game contested between Monsieur B. Hallegua, participant in the recent Paris quadrangular tournament, and Russian ace Alexander Alekhine. The latter, as Black in a Queen's Pawn Game, scores the full point in his accustomed enterprising style, sacrificing a Bishop at the 18th move to inaugurate a winning King-side attack. If one may judge by his victories in the quadrangular tourney and the present exhibition encounter, Alekhine appears to be in good form as he prepares to take part in the Mannheim tournament, where, in the absence of Dr. Lasker and Capablanca, he must undoubtedly be reckoned one of the favorites for top honors.

Appended is the Hallegua-Alekhine game score.

Wednesday, July 16

Paris quadrangular tournament: Alekhine and Marshall share 1st place

The quadrangular tournament at Paris's Café Continental has ended in a joint victory by Alexander Alekhine and Frank J. Marshall, each with 2 1/2 points. The two Masters played to a draw in their first-round encounter and then defeated the remaining competitors, André Muffang and B. Hallegua, in the succeeding rounds. Muffang took third place with 1 point by virtue of his opening-round victory over Hallegua, while the latter finished in bottom position, having lost all three of his games.

Marshall and Alekhine will soon leave Paris for Mannheim, where the biennial Congress of the German Schachbund is scheduled to begin on the 20th of July. There they will face such formidable foes as Dr. Tarrasch, Janowski, Duras, Spielmann, Tartakower, Vidmar, and Reti, among others. Hallegua, too, will make the journey to Mannheim, as we understand that he intends to participate in the principal Hauptturnier there, a formidable contest in itself.

We have one game from the Paris tournament to share with our readers today, the third-round victory by Alekhine over Muffang. This and yesterday's Alekhine-Hallegua encounter are the only two games from the tourney to have come to hand, and we regret in particular our inability to present any games by Marshall, the co-winner. News from Mannheim should be easier to come by, as we have made arrangements with a reliable source to receive the game scores from that event on a regular basis.

Herewith the Muffang-Alekhine contest. White chooses the Exchange Variation of the Ruy Lopez, with the game proceeding relatively quietly for the first dozen moves.  With 13.g4, 14.Kh1 and 16.Rg1 Muffang seems to prepare a general King-side advance, but thereafter the French youngster takes no further steps in that direction, and the Black Knight takes up residence on the f4-square left weakened by White's earlier pawn thrust. At the 23rd move Alekhine forgoes the win of the exchange, preferring instead to increase the prospects of his dark-squared Bishop and to leave the opposing forces confined to the first two ranks. A Queen-side advance by Black then shatters White's position on that wing and yields the second player an extra, passed a-pawn, whose advance wins a piece. A game not without interest, even if a rather one-sided affair.

Tuesday, July 15

Paris quadrangular tournament: Alekhine, Marshall among participants

From France comes a report that Russian co-Champion Alexander Alekhine and U.S. Champion Frank J. Marshall are among the participants in a quadrangular tournament at the Café Continental in Paris. Joining the two Masters in the lists are French prodigy André Muffang, whose name is not unfamiliar to our regular readers, as well as B. Hallegua, a player known to us only through his participation in two consultation games, one played last year vs. Janowski and the other, from April of the current year, which saw him in partnership with Marshall and chess patron Léonardus Nardus.

We understand that Muffang took the early lead in the tourney with a first-round victory over Hallegua, while Alekhine and Marshall played to a short draw. The second round saw the Masters assert their strength, with Marshall defeating Muffang and Alekhine besting Hallegua, a game reproduced below. Marshall and Alekhine thus share the lead after two rounds with 1 1/2 points each, followed by Muffang with 1 and Hallegua with 0. We expect to receive the results of the third and final round in time for tomorrow's column.

Appended is the second-round victory by Alekhine over Hallegua. White's attacking intentions are clear from the outset, and by the 20th move all White pieces are trained on the opposing King. Hallegua's 21...e5?, unwisely opening the position, meets with a surprising and pretty reply. Alekhine soon wins the enemy Queen for Rook and Knight and gains in addition a powerful passed d-pawn whose continued advance strains the defensive resources of the inferior Black forces. By the 36th move Black cannot avoid further material loss; checkmate comes eight moves thereafter.