Thursday, August 5

Hamburg - Round 16

Today's penultimate round was quieter than that of the previous day, with only three decisive games, and some rather tame contests among the drawn encounters. Duras lost unexpectedly to Speyer; that result, in combination with Schlechter's draw vs. Teichmann, assures the Austrian Master of at least a share of first place in this tournament, most certainly a well-earned success. We turn to the games.

Dr. Tarrasch essayed the Four Knights' Game vs. Forgacs, choosing the little-played variation 4.a3. The game, despite its length, offered few features of interest, and the draw that always seemed the most likely outcome was duly agreed in a Rook endgame after 53 moves.

Dus-Chotimirsky, in a Queen's Gambit Declined, won a long and difficult endgame vs. Leonhardt. We join the game at the 37th move, where White, although having one pawn less in hand, may well stand for choice owing to the strength of his passed a-pawn. The game continued 37...Re8 38.a6 Ra8 39.a7 Nf6 40.Bb8 A sad position indeed for the Black Rook. But how is White to win? 40...Nd5 41.Rc1 Nb4 42.Rc4 Nd5 43.Rxc6 Kh7 44.Kf2 f6 45.Rc5 Nb4 46.Rxh5+ Kg6 47.Rb5 Nc6 48.Rb7 Kh5 49.Ke3 g6 50.Rb5+ Kg4 51.Rb7 g5 52.hxg5 fxg5 53.Kf2 Kh3 54.Kf3 Nd4+ 55.Ke3 Nc6 56.Kf2 Kg4 57.Kg2 Kf5 58.Kh3 g4+ 59.Kg2 Ke4 60.Kf1 Kf5 61.Ke2 Ke4 62.Kf2 Black has defended stoutly, and White is no nearer a win than he was 25 moves ago. But now comes a tragic finish. 62...Kd4 An incomprehensible error. It was obvious to all, and to Leonhardt above all, that the Black King could not go to a dark square. Dus-Chotimirsky seizes his chance. 63.Bc7 Ke4 Black of course cannot capture the a7-pawn, as 64.Bb6+ comes in reply. But now the White Bishop, no longer the captive of its captive, is free, and this decides the game. 64.Bb6 Rf8+ 65.Kg2 Rg8 66.Rc7 Kd5 67.Rg7 Re8 68.Rxg4 Re2+ 69.Kh3 Ra2 70.Rg7 1-0

Marshall and Alekhine played a quiet Queen's Gambit Declined, drawn in 23 moves.

Schlechter and Teichmann played equally carefully, and divided the point in a Four Knights' Game on the 33 move. In the present case, this circumspection by the two players is most understandable, as Schlechter thereby assured himself of at least a share of top honors, while Teichmann, who will have the bye tomorrow and thus was playing his final game, could ill afford to finish with a loss and allow other prize contenders to overhaul him so near the finish.

Kohnlein vs. Spielmann, a Ruy Lopez, reached a heavy-piece endgame in which Black's passed a-pawn allowed him to maintain the balance despite White's two extra pawns on the other wing, and was drawn in 61 moves.

Tartakower, who seemingly plays all openings, chose the Vienna Game vs. Yates. The players agreed to a draw on move 39 in an endgame of Rook and Bishop vs. Rook and Knight, with Black possessing an extra, though doubled, pawn. Yates, after scoring but one-half of one point in the first 13 rounds, has now scored 2 points in the last three, and we have every confidence that in future events his results will well justify his inclusion among the Masters.

The contest between Speyer and Duras, a Four Knights' Game, was a tragedy for the Czech Master. We will present it in full for its sporting interest, as its artistic value would not otherwise merit a prominent place. Black seems to have taken his first step on the road to disaster with his 8th move, 8...d6 being safe and sure. It may well be that Duras miscalculated some variation, or perhaps overlooked a single move, in his attempt to attack White's King's position; note, for example, that 15...Qxf3 is shown to be poor after 16.Re3 and 17.Bxf6. Black's temporary sacrifice of a piece was ingenious, but doomed to failure: Speyer returned the piece a few moves later to extinguish any last glimmer of Black's attack, and White thereby remained with two pawns more. All of Duras's tenacious resistance could not alter the outcome, and the Czech Master's only hopes to share top honors now rest in a victory over Kohnlein tomorrow, along with a loss by Schlechter vs. John. We present the game.

The best game of the day was undoubtedly the win by Salwe over John. John's 16th move allowed White to develop strong pressure against the Black King's side (indeed, White might well have chosen 16.Bxc6 Bxc6 17.Ne5, followed by 18.Qh5+). Salwe broke through a few moves later with the pretty 23.d5! The White Bishop on b2 is then immune from capture, as 23...Bxb2 24.Ng5 Bg7 25.Qxh7+ Kf8 26.Nxe6+ wins. The finale was pretty and efficient; note that on 31...Qf6, the nonchalant reply 32.Rc8 wins instantly. To the game:

Niemzowitsch had the bye.

Scores after Round 16: Schlechter 11; Duras 10; Niemzowitsch, Spielmann, Teichmann* 9 1/2; Marshall 8 1/2; Dr. Tarrasch, Dus-Chotimirsky, Alekhine 8; Forgacs 7 1/2; Kohnlein 7; Tartakower, Salwe 6 1/2; Leonhardt 6; Speyer 5 1/2; John 4 1/2; Yates 2 1/2.

*Teichmann will have the bye in tomorrow's last round, and thus cannot add to his score.

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