Monday, July 19

Hamburg - Round 2

The second round of the Hamburg tournament offered an odd miscellany of blunders, quiet draws, and some fine play.

We begin with John vs. Speyer, a Queen's Pawn Game in which the first player, after having lost a pawn on the 28th move, defended manfully for hours, only to commit an inexplicable oversight when the draw was at last within reach.

In this position John played the correct 65.f3 g3 66.Kxg3 Ke3, but then erred fatally with 67.Kg2??, and resigned after 67...f4 68.Kg1 Kxf3 69.Kf1 Ke3. Of course 67.f4 would have drawn: 67...Ke4 68.Kg2!Kxf4 69.Kf2. After the game John could offer no explanation for such an unaccountable lapse. We would only suggest that this incident represents yet another in a long line of examples demonstrating the severe nervous tension under which the Masters labor.

The newcomer Yates held his own for quite a long while vs. Schlechter, only to cede a pawn through an oversight that ultimately cost him the game.

Here Yates played 32.Rb2?, completely overlooking the reply 32...Bxc4. Schlechter is not one to let such an opportunity pass him by, and he garnered the full point in a long endgame.

In Niemzowitsch vs. Dus-Chotimirsky, a Scotch game led to an uneventful draw.

Alekhine won a pawn vs. Jacob after some maneuvering in a Queen's Pawn Game, and by common opinion stood to win. But the young Russian proved unable to convert his advantage, and the game was agreed drawn on the 48th move.

Teichmann, playing the Ruy Lopez as White, might well have made more of his advantageous position on the Queen's side vs. Kohnlein. But the latter's threats on the other wing deterred him, and a draw was agreed in a Knight endgame.

Forgacs and Salwe agreed to a draw after 31 moves of a Four Knights' Game in a position with much material (and, to our eye, much play) still on the board. One hopes that both show more fighting spirit as the tourney progresses.

Dr. Tarrasch, as White in another Four Knights', saw a promising position collapse rather quickly vs. Spielmann, and was forced to strike his colors on the 32nd move.

Duras and Leonhardt played a Ruy Lopez that began 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.d3 d6 6.c4, an unusual move in this opening, but one of which Duras seems to be rather fond. The game developed into a long Rook endgame whose most interesting moments came at its very close.

After 48...d2 49.Rd1 a4 50.g5 axb3 51.axb3 Kxb3, the audience, who enjoy a pawn race almost as much as a sacrificial attack, were abuzz with excitement. Thus, when a draw was agreed after but one more pair of moves, 52.f6 Kc2, some onlookers were disappointed. Analysis, however, proved that a shared point was the correct conclusion: 53.Rxd2+ Kxd2 54.f7 c4 55.g6 c3 56.g7 c2 57.f8=Q Rxf8 58.gxf8=Q c1=Q, and there is nothing more to play for.

Tartakower won what we feel was an excellent game, trapping Marshall's Knight in a Bishop vs. Knight endgame. We present that game in full so that our readers may enjoy it, and bid farewell until tomorrow.

Total scores after Round 2: Schlechter 2; Salwe, Leonhardt, Tartakower, Speyer 1 1/2, Jacob, Teichmann, Dus-Chotimirsky, Duras, Forgacs, Kohnlein, Niemzowitsch, Spielmann 1; John, Tarrasch, Marshall, Alekhine 1/2; Yates 0.

No comments: