Tuesday, August 3

Hamburg - Round 14

Today, in the most dramatic round of the tourney to date, the Masters gave their all. Absent were the lassitude and oversights of the two previous rounds. Schlechter suffered his first loss, in a battle of more than 100 moves, to Duras, who thus assumed the leading position, as Niemzowitsch, too, went down to defeat at the hands of Salwe. At the other end of the score table, Yates recorded his first win, a most satisfying achievement indeed for the English Master, as his victim was none other than Dr. Tarrasch, who, it will be recalled, had so forcefully objected to Yates's participation in this event on the grounds of insufficient strength. Their game was thus the most eloquent rebuttal that could possibly be delivered by the representative of Albion.

Marshall essayed the Scotch Gambit vs. Teichmann, and saw his opponent develop strong pressure against the White King's position. In the diagrammed position Marshall found himself at a loss for a satisfactory continuation after Teichmann's 22...Rff7, a move supplying additional protection to the g7-pawn and so freeing Black's pieces to attack White's own pawn on e4, and, immediately thereafter, the pinned White Knight on c4. Marshall, for all his tactical ingenuity, could find nothing better than 23.Nxd6 cxd6 24.Qxc6 Bb7 25.Qxd6 Qxe4 26.h3 Rxf2 27.Rxf2 Bxf2+ 28.Kh2 Bxg3+ 29.Qxg3 Qxg2+ 30.Qxg2 Bxg2, at which point he resigned. 0-1

Forgacs defeated Alekhine in a Ruy Lopez in which the Russian, after the moves 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0, employed the unusual defense 5...Bc5. Alekhine obtained a satisfactory position, but later unnecessarily sacrificed a pawn for the faintest specter of an attack, and was forced to strike his colors on the 44th move.

In Kohnlein vs. Dus-Chotimirsky, the Russian defended against White's Ruy Lopez with the Schliemann variation, a choice well in keeping with his aggressive style. But Dus-Chotimirsky, after an early excursion by his Queen, soon found that piece in danger of being trapped on the Queen's side, a predicament from which he could extricate her only at the cost of the exchange and two pawns. Black resigned at move 24 in a hopeless position.

Tartakower played Bird's Opening vs. John. The two players reached an endgame of Bishop vs Knight in which White, although apparently standing better, proved unable to make use of an extra doubled pawn The draw was agreed through repetition of position on move 46.

Speyer defeated Leonhardt in 30 moves in a Four Knights' Game in which the second player, sadly, was virtually unrecognizable.

Today's developments were of such note that we present three feature games. First, Tarrasch vs. Yates, a Queen's Gambit Declined. The Englishman's 19...Nxe3, coming as it did like lightning from a clear sky, shocked both his opponent and the onlookers. We would point out that the defense 21.Bf1 fails to 21...Qxe3+ 22.Kh1 Qh6! (better than 22...Qh3 - see below) 23.Nf3 Bxf3 24.Be5 Bxe5, when 25.Qxe5 is impossible, owing to the position of White's Rook on c1. Had Black played 22...Qh3 instead, this defensive possibility would be available to White, who might then have been able to prolong the game for some time. In the event, after Tarrasch's 21.Kf2, the White King was driven to the center of the board, where Black's attack soon netted a decisive material advantage. We congratulate Master Yates on his first official victory (his game vs. Jacob having been stricken from the record after the latter's withdrawal) in an international tournament.

Salwe vs. Niemzowitsch saw the Polish Master outplay his young opponent in a game of probing and maneuver. Niemzowitsch's 33...Qc3 was an error that cost a pawn without lessening in the slightest the pressure on the Black position. The concluding attack with the heavy pieces was handled most skilfilly by White.

Finally we come to Schlechter vs. Duras, the game of the round, and perhaps the decisive game of the tournament. It was a long and dour struggle, a 109-move battle of giants. Schlechter appeared to gain the advantage through the creation of a protected passed pawn on c6, but Duras, by means of a fine pawn sacrifice, won the c6-pawn, then another, and then yet another, leaving himself two pawns to the good. The resulting blocked position, however, with one Knight each and Bishops of opposite color, allowed Schlechter to offer a long and not altogether hopeless resistance. The players fought on for hours and dozens of moves, and it was only after the fine Knight sacrifice by Duras on his 101st turn (!) that the result began to grow clear. Those spectators who remained for the duration of this epic tussle showered both contestants with warm applause after Schlechter at last resigned in a lost pawn endgame. Duras thus assumes the lead in the tourney, followed at a distance of one-half point by Niemzowitsch and Schlechter; one of these three will surely take the first prize. But let it be noted that among these leaders only Schlechter has three games yet to play. Duras will have the bye in the next (15th) round, and Niemzowitsch in the 16th. As is only proper for a great tournament, the tension mounts as we draw near the end.

Spielmann had the bye.

Scores after Round 14: Duras* 10; Schlechter, Niemzowitsch* 9 1/2; Spielmann, Teichmann* 8; Marshall, Dus-Chotimirsky 7; Dr. Tarrasch, Alekhine, Forgacs 6 1/2; Leonhardt, Tartakower 6; Salwe, Kohnlein 5 1/2; John, Speyer 4 1/2; Yates 1 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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