Thursday, July 29

Hamburg - Round 10

Today's theme was resumption. As the tournament resumed, so too did Schlechter resume both his winning ways and the leading position, thanks to his excellent victory over Kohnlein and Duras's defeat by Forgacs in an equally fine game. Niemzowitsch, too, moved to the top of the table, equal on points with Schlechter, by virtue of his win over Yates. The Austrian, however, still holds a game in hand over all his nearest rivals.

Alekhine played the 5.Qe2 variation of the Ruy Lopez vs. Teichmann, and the game was agreed drawn in 30 moves.

Marshall won the exchange vs. Leonhardt, but saw his King compelled to remain in the center of the board, unable to castle. In the diagrammed position the American elected to return his surplus material with 31.Qxg6 Qxg6 (of course not 30...hxg6 31.Rh3 mate) 32.Rxg6 hxg6, in order to press for the win in a Rook endgame after 33.Rc5. But White's slight advantage proved insufficient for victory, and the game was agreed drawn on the 51st move.

Salwe and Dus-Chotimirsky, in a Queen's Pawn Game, reached a level Rook and Bishop endgame after 32 moves, and agreed to share the point.

Schlechter defeated Kohnlein in a Ruy Lopez in only 26 moves. White's attack, featuring the sacrifice of two pieces, was as convincing as it was swift. Schlechter played 20.Nh4, and after 20...Nxd5 21.Nhf5 Bxf5 22.Nxf5 Nf6 23.Re3 Kh7 24.Rh3 Ng8, one might be excused for thinking Black's King's side momentarily secure. The Austrian Master proved otherwise. 25.Nxh6 gxh6 26.Bxh6 and Black resigned. 26...Nxh6 is met by 27.Qh5, while 26...Rd8 loses to 27.Bf8+

Yates vs. Niemzowitsch saw a Caro-Kann Defense in which Black, after having neutralized White's play on the King's side, slowly built up an attack against White's castled position on the other flank. Niemzowitsch won two pawns through continued pressure, and soon thereafter scored the game.

Dr. Tarrasch, who seems to be coming into form, turned in another vintage performance vs. John. The two players had been manuevering in this Rook and Bishop endgame for the last 20 moves, during which time the Doctor had induced his opponent into placing all his pawns on dark squares, thereby limiting the mobility of the Black Bishop. Such positions were meat and drink to Tarrasch in his heyday. Still, whether White could have achieved a decisive breakthrough had Black now adopted a waiting policy remains an open question. Instead, John sought to obtain play for his pieces via 45...a4 46.Rd3 e4 47.fxe4 axb3 48.Rxb3 Re8 49.Kc2 Rxe4 50.Kd3 Re8, but after 51.a4, the passed White a-pawn was to cause him no end of grief. The game continued 51...Ra8 52.Ra3 Bc7 53.Ke4 Be5 54.a5 Re8 55.Kf3 Bc7 56.a6 Bb6 57.Bd2 Rd8 58.Ke2 Re8+ 59.Re3 Rf8 60.Re6+ Kc7 61.Kf3 Ra8 62.Be3 (To meet 62...Rxa6 with 63.Bxc5. Note, too, the variation 62...Rf8 63.Bg1 Ba7 64.Re7+ Kb6 65.Rxa7 Kxa7 66.Bxc5+) 62...Ba7 63.Rxf6 The first fruits. 63...Rg8 64.Rf5 Rg6 65.Bxg5 Rxa6 66.Bxh4 Ra3+ 67.Kg2 and John resigned. 1-0

We again present two feature games today. The witty Tartakower attempted to turn the tables on Spielmann by playing the Evans Gambit, the same opening the Austrian had adopted in the previous round. Black chose a well-known method of returning the pawn; indeed, after 14.Qxd3 Bilguer's Handbuch evaluates the position as favorable for White, an assessment with which Spielmann does not concur. A further pawn sacrifice by Black led to an extraordinarily lively endgame. For a while, beginning at approximately the thirtieth move, both opponents appeared to be playing for mate simultaneously. Spielmann ultimately won a piece, but the resulting position, owing to a number of factors, e.g. the presence of Bishops of opposite color on the board, the two extra White pawns, one of those a passed a-pawn, and the fact that but a single Black pawn remained, was by no means an easy win. Spielmann nevertheless succeeded in realizing his advantage; in the final position, White's g-pawn will soon fall. Here now the game in full:

Finally, we come to Forgacs vs. Duras, in which the Hungarian defeated the Czech Master in excellent style. The game has been suggested as a candidate for the brilliancy prize, although the analysts have already found in it a few minor flaws. To cite but two examples, Black's 34...Kg7 could well have been replaced by 34...Kg8, as the King's position on the long diagonal facilitates White's 36.Rge3. White, in turn, might better have chosen 41.g6 in preference to 41.h8=Q. In that case, the White passed pawns would soon have cost Black both his Rooks rather than "merely" one. But these are cavils, and we are certain that all true lovers of our game will take delight in this masterpiece, and most especially in White's 37th, 38th, and 39th moves, when Forgacs leaves first his Rook, and then, for two moves running, his Queen to be taken, all with the object of prosecuting the attack through the advance of his pawns on the King's side.

Speyer had the bye.

Scores after Round 10: Schlechter, Niemzowitsch* 7; Duras*, Spielmann* 6 1/2; Dus-Chotimirsky* 6; Marshall 5 1/2; Teichmann*, Leonhardt* 5; Tartakower, Salwe, Alekhine, Forgacs 4 1/2; Dr. Tarrasch 4; Speyer 3 1/2; Kohnlein* 3; John 2 1/2; Yates 1/2.

Those players whose names are marked with an asterisk (*) have not yet had the bye, and thus have played an extra game.

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