Friday, July 23

Hamburg - Round 6

Today, in the last round before the first rest day, the Masters showed excellent fighting spirit, and produced eight decisive games. Forgacs, Marshall, and Niemzowitsch can be particularly proud of their fine wins, while other players have ample cause to rue their oversights and missed opportunities. We present, as always, the highlights of the round:

Teichmann, playing White against Duras's Open Defense to the Ruy Lopez, spurned a draw via repetition of position, and later came to grief. In the diagrammed position Teichmann played 35.c6?, entirely overlooking that Duras's last move had rendered this advance impossible. Black naturally replied with 35...g3, and after 36.hxg3 Be4, Teichmann resigned.

The finish of Alekhine's game vs. Leonhardt was even more striking. The Russian, by his own admission, misplayed the White side of a Queen's Gambit Declined, and after 25...Bb7 he found his Knight trapped on e7. Alekhine played 26.Rb4, whereupon Leonhardt, who might well have asked himself the purpose of his opponent's last move, hastened to win the wayward steed with 26...Qd8?? The punishment was swift: 27.Qxh7+, followed by mate next. A sad end indeed for Leonhardt. Either 26...h6 or 26...f5, of course, would likely have forced White's immediate resignation.

The game Tarrasch vs. Niemzowitsch saw Black win a pawn in the opening and then ultimately realize his advantage in a long Knight vs. Bishop endgame.

Salwe vs. Schlechter was a Queen's Pawn Game drawn rather quietly in 31 moves.

Dus-Chotimirsky sacrificed a piece for four pawns on the Black side of a Four Knights' Game vs. Yates. Some moves later, this game offered the unusual material balance of Rook and five pawns against two Bishops. Yates put up a heroic resistance, but in the end could not stem the tide of the Black pawns' advance, and was forced to resign.

Marshall defeated Jacob in a Queen's Gambit Declined by means of a petite combinaison. After 37.hxg6 fxg6? (37...Kxg6 was necessary), Marshall played 38.Nxd4!, a sound and winning move. Jacob replied 38...Rxd4 39.Qxb7+ Ne7 (On 39...Kg8 or 39...Kf8, White achieves a winning Queen endgame via 40.Rxd4 Qxd4 - the Knight is pinned - 41.Qxc6). Marshall now revealed another fine point of his combination: 40.Qb2! Nf5 41.e3 Kh7 42.Rxd4 Nxd4 43.Qxd4 (simplest), and White soon won.

Tartakower essayed the unusual opening 1.d4 d5 2.Bf4 vs Speyer, and achieved victory when his opponent committed an error that allowed White to break through on the King's side at the 30th move.

Need we say that John's game presented yet another case of changing fortune and missed opportunity? As White against Spielmann in a Queen's Pawn Game, The German Master faced this position after 37...exd4. Here White could well play 38.Rxg7 Kxg7 39.Re7+, when Black is forced to give up his Queen to avoid mate. On 39...Qf7 40.Qe6 Qxe7 41.Qxe7+, White should certainly not lose, and may perhaps even play for the advantage. Instead John chose 38.Qe6, and his position collapsed quickly after 38...f4 39.c6 f3 40.Rg6 R5d6, whereupon he resigned.

Forgacs defeated Kohnlein in 25 moves in a Queen's Pawn Game notable for the sudden manner in which White's heavy pieces gathered in the vicinity of Black's castled King. We offer that game below for the enjoyment of our readers.

Scores after 6 rounds: Schlechter 5; Niemzowitsch, Duras, Marshall 4; Salwe, Forgacs, Dus-Chotimirsky, Alekhine, Tartakower 3 1/2; Teichmann, Spielmann 3; John, Kohnlein 2 1/2; Leonhardt, Speyer 2; Tarrasch, Jacob, Yates 1 1/2. Tomorrow is a rest day.

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