Thursday, July 22

Hamburg - Round 5

The tournament continues apace, and the players, spectators, and journalists have all settled into their daily routine. Today's round saw five decisive games, the highlight being Duras's victory over Niemzowitsch, in which the Prague Master brought home the point with a powerful attack featuring the sacrifice of a piece.

Kohnlein defeated Yates in an Open Ruy Lopez. The game extended to 88 moves as Kohnlein pressed hard for the win in an endgame with King, Rook, and pawn vs. King, Bishop and two pawns, a task in which he at last met with success thanks to mating threats and some fine tempo-play.

Jacob, playing White in a Dutch Defense, proved himself an equal match for Tartakower until well into the middlegame, only to go astray at last in the following position.
Here Jacob played 37.h3? (37.Nf3 and all is well), whereupon his position collapsed: 37...Qf2+ 38.Kh2 Rg8 39.Rg1 Bf1 40.Nf3 Rxg2+ 41.Kh1 Rxg1+, and White resigned. Jacob seemed quite perturbed after the game, though losing to Tartakower is certainly no disgrace.

The game between the two young Russian hopefuls Dus-Chotimirsky and Alekhine saw another Dutch Defense, agreed drawn in the attached position. To our mind Alekhine, possessing an extra pawn, could have still made efforts to win with 39...c5.

Schlechter's run of consecutive victories came to an end when he and Marshall split the point after 25 moves of a Petroff Defense.

Forgacs won a good game as Black in a Ruy Lopez vs. Speyer. The Hungarian representative gained the advantage of the two Bishops and used them effectively to exploit White's somewhat weakened Queen's side.

Spielmann and Teichmann played the shortest game of the day, a Queen's Gambit Declined drawn in 20 moves.

Leonhardt built up an excellent position against John's French Defense, only to see his opponent gradually turn the tide by means of a Queen's side advance. The endgame was quite dramatic: After 53.Rxa2 Rxa2 some of the Masters present felt that Leonhardt could force the win with 54.Bf8, e.g. 54...Rb1+ 55.Kh2 Raa1 56.Rh3! Rh1+ 57.Kg3 Ra3+ (if 57...Nxd4, then simply 58.h8=Q) 58.Kg4 59.Ne3+ Kg5. We must respectfully disagree with this analysis, however, on two counts. We should state at the outset that the following variations are not our own, but were pointed out by a member of our club from home, Herr Fritz, who, as is his custom, is passing the summer here in his native Germany, and who is in attendance as a spectator at the Hamburg Congress. Herr Fritz possesses a most keen eye for tactics, and has discovered some remarkable possibilities in this sharp endgame, viz.: if 54.Bf8 Rb1+ 55.Kh2 Raa1 56.Rh3, Herr Fritz points out that Black need not give check on h1, but can play 56...Nxd4 immediately, the point being that after 57.h8=Q, Black replies 57...Nf5, threatening mate. 58.Rh7+ is then forced, to provide the King with an escape square, and on 58...Kc6 59.Kh3 Rb3+ 60.Kh2 is the only move, other replies allowing Black to mate. Black then plays 60...Rbb1 61.Kh3 Rb3+, and the game ends in a draw. But all this is perhaps of merely academic interest, as Herr Fritz also points out that even earlier, Black can answer the suggested 54.Bf8 with the brilliant 54...Ne3!, as 55.h8=Q allows Black to mate beginning with 55...Rb1+ and ...Rxg2+. After 55.Rf1 (other replies are worse) 55...Ra1! 56.Rxa1 (56.h8=Q Rxf1+ 57.Kh2 Rbxf8) 56...Rxf8, and Black must win. Thus 54...Ne3 refutes the ingenious attempt 54.Bf8, and Leonhardt can take some solace in the knowledge that, in analytical terms, he did not overlook a saving chance. The game concluded 54.Rf8 Ra1+ 55.Kh2 Rbb1 56.h8=Q Rh1+ 57.Kg3 Rxh8 58.Rxh8 Nxd4 59.Bf6 c3 60.Rh7+ Kc6 61.Bd8 c2 62.Rc7+ Kb5 63.Bg5 c1=Q 64.Bxc1 Rxc1 0-1. We need hardly point out that John's series of "cliffhangers" continues.

Salwe and Tarrasch played a Queen's Gambit Declined, drawn in 31 moves. Salwe seems to have missed a winning blow just before the cessation of hostilities. Here 30.Nxe6+ is very strong. White answers 30...fxe6 with 31.Ra7+ (31...Kh6 32.Qf8+ and mates naext move), while 30...Qxe6 is met by 31.Ra8 Qxe2 (31...Kf6 32.Qh8+ and 33.Qxb2) 32.Qf8+ Kf6 33.Ra6+ Kf5 34.Qxf7+ Ke4 35.Re6+, etc. We again have Herr Fritz to thank for pointing out 30.Nxe6+

Duras defeated Niemzowitsch in a Philidor Defense by means of a sacrificial attack whose soundness has yet to be fully established. Niemzowitsch stood well, but seems to have overlooked the possibility of 21.Bxf7+, a move not fatal in itself, but one that led to a steady deterioration of Black's play. On the 23rd move, for example, both 23...Rg5 and 23...Rad8 have been suggested as superior to Niemzowitsch's 23...Ke8, e.g. 23...Rad8 24.Rxe8 Rxg3+ 25.Qxg3 Ne2+ and 26...Nxg3, with Queen vs. two Rooks and approximate equality. Indeed, in this line the game may well soon end in a draw through White giving perpetual check. Duras concluded the attack skillfully, and was rewarded with warm applause from the spectators. We now present the game in full:

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

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