Friday, August 6

Hamburg - Final Round

Today the tournament came to a close. Three games were drawn almost without a fight, as contenders for places on the prize list secured their position with an extra half point. But there was still first-class chess to be played, highlighted by Leonhardt's sparkling victory over Dr. Tarrasch, a masterpiece that deservedly won for its author the brilliancy prize.

John vs. Schlechter, a Ruy Lopez with the 3...Nf6 defense, reached a level Rook and opposite-colored Bishop endgame in only 19 moves, and was agreed drawn 11 moves later. Schlechter thereby assured himself of an undivided first place in the tournament, and we congratulate him on a signal, and well-deserved, success.

Duras once again played his favorite 6.c4 in the Ruy Lopez, on this occasion vs. Kohnlein. Black lost a pawn early on as a consequence of misplaying a central advance, after which Duras experienced little trouble in harvesting the full point. The Czech Master thus takes undivided second place, half a point behind Schlechter, whom he defeated in their individual game. Hearty plaudits to him as well.

Niemzowitsch vs. Speyer, a game with the unusual opening 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d3, was won by the former in handy fashion. In the diagrammed position Speyer played 18...Rae8, a move he soon had cause to regret, 18...Rfe8 having been preferable, as after White's reply 19.Qb2 the mounting pressure against Black's e-pawn, combined with threats of Bb4 by White, left the second player facing serious difficulties. Speyer opted for 19...Bh5, whereupon 20.Bb4 Qf6 21.Bxf8 Bxf3 22.Bb4 Qg5 23.Kh1 left White with an extra exchange, which advantage he converted to victory on the 35th move. Niemzowitsch takes third place, half a point behind Duras and one point behind Schlechter; had he but drawn rather than lost his games against those two rivals, something he might well have done, an undivided first place would have been his. Nevertheless, the young Master from Riga has given yet further evidence of his rightful place among the very best of the world's elite.

Spielmann, in a 5.Qe2 Ruy Lopez vs. Dus-Chotimirsky, assured himself of the fourth prize with a draw via repetition of position on the 28th move. For virtually any other Master such a result would be seen as a notable success; Spielmann, though, who has played so well over the past year, may perhaps be allowed to feel a tinge of disappointment at failing to secure an even higher place.

Alekhine and Salwe drew in 22 moves in a Queen's Gambit Declined. The irenic inclination of the two Masters may be inferred from the fact that the final moves of this game were 19...Kh8 20.Kh1 Kg8 21.Kg1 Kh8 22.Kh1 Kg8.

Yates, who had come to life in recent rounds, lost on the White side of a Petroff Defense to Marshall in only 20 moves. We append the final position, and note that our clubmate Herr Fritz believes that Yates, who saw no workable defense to the threat 21...Bf3, could well have played on by 21.f3 Bxf3 22.Rxf3 Rxf3 23.Nd7, with an admittedly definite but by no means yet decisive advantage for Black. We leave consideration of Herr Fritz's proposed variation to the keen eyes of our readers.

We feature two games today. The Forgacs vs. Tartakower contest, in which the young Master took his penchant for unusual openings to new levels with 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 d6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bf4 Bg7 5.Qd2 c6, was, at 47 moves, the longest and most hard-fought battle of the day. Black undeniably stood better from at latest the 20th move until its close, and indeed may well have missed one or more winning chances. Still, Tartakower's continued efforts to achieve victory, although ultimately unsuccessful, deserve the highest praise, especially in view of the unusual circumstances under which the game was played. For, remarkably, the players knew at the outset that a draw would prove more profitable to Tartakower, in monetary terms, than would a win. The reason is as follows: Tartakower himself had no hope of reaching the prize list. Forgacs, by drawing, would do so, and his placement there would assure Tartakower of the special prize set aside for the non prize winner who had achieved the best results against the top of the field. A win by Tartakower, on the other hand, would deprive Forgacs of a place among the prize winners, and in consequence would at the same time cost Tartakower the aforementioned special award. It is to the enormous credit and honor of the young Master, therefore, that he fought on, valuing the interests of the game above his own. We salute him, and present the Forgacs vs. Tartakower contest, in which Herr Fritz believes that Black missed the excellent opportunity 22...Nac3+, when if 23.bxc3 Rxc4 24.Nxd6 Nxc3+ 25.K moves Nxd1, capturing the Rook, uncovers check by the Bishop, and thus leaves Black with a decisive material advantage.

Lastly, we come to Leonhardt vs. Dr. Tarrasch, a crisp and attractive victory by White in a Three Knights' Game. Leonhardt defeated his eminent opponent in the same lively style in which the Doctor himself has achieved so many fine wins over the years. Dr. Tarrasch's 7...h6 has come in for some criticism, 7...Nxd5 or 7...Be6 having been suggested in its place. The reader should note that after 14.Re1 Black cannot castle, as White would reply 15.Rxe7, when 15...Qxe7 allows 16.Qxa5. Black's 18...d5 was the decisive error, leading to the collapse of his position, which Leonhardt brought about with elan. Note finally that 22...g6 offers no hope of salvation, viz., 23.Rxh8+ Kxh8 24.Qf8+ Kh7 25.Nf5! and wins. We present the game, winner of the first brilliancy prize.

Teichmann had the bye.

Final scores:

1 Schlechter 11 1/2
2 Duras 11
3 Niemzowitsch 10 1/2
4 Spielmann 10
5-6 Marshall 9 1/2
5-6 Teichmann 9 1/2
7-8 Alekhine 8 1/2
7-8 Dus-Chotimirsky 8 1/2
9-10 Forgacs 8
9-10 Dr. Tarrasch 8

Non prizewinners
11-14 Kohnlein 7
11-14 Leonhardt 7
11-14 Salwe 7
11-14 Tartakower 7
15 Speyer 5 1/2
16 John 5
17 Yates 2 1/2

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