Wednesday, November 21

World (Tournament) Champion

Dr. Tarrasch has written a book on the Championship Tournament held at Ostend in May and June of this year. A copy of that work is now to hand, having arrived yesterday by steamer from Europe. It is a handsome volume, and the good doctor annotates all sixty games played with his usual sharp eye and equally sharp pen.

The Ostend event, as our readers will recall, was a six-man, quadruple-round contest held to crown the "World Tournament Champion", a newly-minted title won by Dr. Tarrasch with the score of 12.5- 7.5, ahead of Schlechter, Marshall, Janowski, Burn, and Tschigorin. The latter pair of masters, the oldest participants in the event, occupied the bottom two places in the score-table, and have perhaps already seen their best days. Indeed, they were invited to play only after the Ostend tournament committee had failed to secure the participation of Dr. Lasker and Maroczy. The absence of these two world-class players is much to be regretted, as is the failure of the committee to have included in the championship tourney any representative of the up-and-coming younger generation, e.g. Rubinstein, Bernstein, or Niemzowitsch, all of whom finished atop the giant 29-man Ostend international masters' tournament, held concurrently with the championship event.

Under these circumstances, the question of whether the chess world will accept Dr. Tarrasch's new Tournament Champion title certainly remains open. For our part, we feel that one world champion is sufficient. Chess, at base, is a struggle between two opponents, and the best player on earth is the man who can defeat anyone else in a one-to-one encounter. Dr. Lasker has won and defended the title in single combat, and can only be relieved of it by the same means. There are rumors afoot concerning a possible championship match next year between Drs. Lasker and Tarrasch. Let us hope that they prove true, and that the chess world will at last witness a contest it has awaited for years. It deserves at last to know with certainly which of these two giants is the stronger.

We present a sprightly win by Dr. Tarrasch from Ostende:

Dr. Tarrasch- Janowski, Ostende 1907, Round 8

1.e4* e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bb5 Bb4 5.0-0 0-0 6.d3 d6 7.Bg5 Ne7? (Better, according to Tarrasch, is 7...Bxc3, followed by 8...Qe7, ...Nd8 and ...Ne6.) 8.Nh4 (Even better is 8.Bxf6 immediately, says the doctor, who is never hesitant to criticize his own play.) 8...c6 9.Bc4 Bg4 (9...d5 is to be preferred.) 10.f3 Be6? (Identified by Tarrasch as the losing move, as it leads to a fatal weakening of Black's pawn position.) 11.Bxf6 gxf6 12.Bxe6 fxe6 13.f4 Ng6 14.Nxg6 hxg6 15.Qg4 Qe8 16.f5 exf5 17.exf5 Bxc3 18.bxc3 Kg7 19.Rf3 Rh8 20.fxg6 (Diagram) 20...Qe7 (Dr. Tarrasch points out that the plausible 20...Rh6 would lose to 21.Rxf6! Kxf6 22.Rf1+ Kg7 23.Rf7+ Qxf7 [best, as otherwise 24.Qg5 and 25.Qf6 wins] 24.gxf7+ Kxf7 25.Qd7+.) 21.h4 d5 22.Raf1 Raf8 23.h5 Rh6 24.R1f2 Rhh8 25.Qf5 Qd6 26.g4 Qe7 (not 26...Kh6?? 27.g7 Kxg7 28.Qg6 mate!) 27.g5! (Well calculated.) 27...fxg5 28.Qxf8+ Rxf8 29.Rxf8 Qxf8 (if 29...Qd6 30.R2f7+ Kh6 31.Rh7 mate. Or 29...Qc5 30.d4 and wins.) 30.h6+! A witty final touch, typical of Tarrasch. If instead 30.Rxf8? Kxf8 and the pawn endgame would be drawn. But now on 30...Kg8 31.h7+ Kg7 32.Rxf8 wins. Black resigns. 1-0

*We beg the indulgence of our readers for the use of the European, or co-ordinate notation. It is our belief that this system, although admittedly possessing a few minor disadvantages, is on the whole far superior to the descriptive notation now so commonly used in America and Britain. One day in the not-too-distant future, we are quite certain, the European system will become universal.

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