Thursday, January 31

New York tournament, Round 8: Capablanca wins eighth consecutive game; Jaffe defeats Janowski

Another round in the Second American National Tournament brought yet another victory for the tourney leader, J.R. Capablanca of Cuba, a refrain with which our readers are surely well familiar by now.  The Havana Master, matched against Kupchik, scored his eighth consecutive triumph, and speculation has already begun anent the possibility that Capablanca may well equal the record set by Dr. Lasker twenty years ago, when the current Champion, then a young man, made a clean score from thirteen games played at the New York tournament of 1893.  Interest and excitement in the tourney are sure to increase with each further step the Cuban takes toward that lofty goal.

The Capablanca-Kupchik struggle, a Four Knights' Game (Double Ruy Lopez) represented yet another powerful showing by the victor, who at his best seems able to overcome even first-class opposition with remarkable facility.  Indeed, by the 30th move Kupchik found himself faced with difficulties on the Queen-side, the King-side, and in the center, a situation that soon proved untenable, and the New York Master resigned soon after losing a Bishop in the middle of the board.  We give the game:

Jaffe likewise continued his own noteworthy run of successes, defeating Janowski as Black in a hard-fought Queen's Gambit Declined and thereby likely putting an end to the French player's remaining hopes for top honors in this event.  Jaffe stood two pawns to the good by the 26th move, and, though Janowski battled manfully thenceforward to turn the tide, the New York Master proved equal to the challenge, maintaining his composure through many vicissitudes and bringing the game to a victorious conclusion at his 62nd turn.  In our view Jaffe to this juncture, with seven points scored from eight games, has played the tournament of his life, an achievement all too easily overlooked in the shadow of Capablanca's even more brilliant performance.  We commend the Janowski-Jaffe encounter to the attention of our readers:

Marshall, as first player in a Queen's Gambit Declined, dispatched Kline in only 16 moves.  The reader should note that if in the final position Black should capture twice on c6, then White has at his disposal the winning reply Ne7+ in reply:

Even more expeditious was Whitaker's victory over Chajes, achieved in 15 moves and decided when the Chicago Master, playing Black in a Vienna Gambit, exceeded the time allowed for reflection, a circumstance   we cannot recall ever having occurred at such an early stage in an important contest.  Chajes' 13...Nf5, according to the analysts present, deserves condemnation, and led directly to his defeat; in the final position, White, with moves such as Qh4 and Bxh7+ in the offing, as well as threats to capture Black's Knight on f6, stands ready to unleash a devastating attack, against which Black could find no counter whatsoever:

 In other games, Stapfer defeated Morrison, while Rubinstein drew with Zapoleon, as did Tenenwurzel with Liebenstein, who thus opens his account with half a point on the score table.  The ninth round will be played this afternoon.

Scores after 8 rounds: Capablanca 8; Jaffe 7; Marshall 6; Janowski, Tenenwurzel, Stapfer 5; Chajes, Kupchik 4 1/2; Whitaker 3 1/2; Morrison 2 1/2; Kline 2; Rubinstein 1 1/2; Zapoleon 1; Liebenstein 1/2.   


Tuesday, January 29

New York tournament, Round 7: Capablanca, Jaffe again victors; Marshall, Janowski tied for 3rd

The 7th round of the Second American National Tournament featured much hard-fought chess, with only one game finishing in under 40 moves.  Capablanca and Jaffe, who occupied the first and second places at the beginning of the round, both registered victories, and so maintained their lead over the other competitors; while Frank Marshall, the American Champion, defeated Oscar Chajes of Chicago and thereby ascended to third position, a placement he now shares with Janowski.

Capablanca continued his unbroken run of successes, scoring the full point for the seventh game in succession, this time as second player in a Queen's Pawn Game vs. Kline.  The young Cuban made good use of the board's only open file, as well as of a passed pawn on the Queen-side, to dispatch his opponent, as may be seen from an examination of the game:

Were it not for Capablanca's remarkable performance, Jaffe's excellent start would certainly prove the story of the tournament.  The New York Master, playing White in a Queen's Pawn Game, recorded a rather one-sided victory over Whitaker, winning 3 pawns by the 20th move and soon compelling resignation.  Jaffe thus brings his score to 6 points from 7 games, yet still stands a full point behind the Cuban ace.

Chajes-Marshall saw yet another Queen's Pawn Game in which the American Champion soon built up a strong attack on the King-side, an offensive that brought him material booty in the form of the exchange and an extra pawn.  Black made sure work of the endgame.

Janowski, as Black in a Queen's Gambit Declined vs. Stapfer, strove hard to squeeze out a win against his less-renowned opponent, but to no avail, as a draw was agreed after 59 moves in a Queen endgame in which White was able to deliver perpetual check.

In Zapoleon-Tenenwurzel, a Four Knights' Game, Black seized upon a moment's inattention by his opponent to win a pawn:
Position after 18...Bc8-e6
Here Zapoleon played 19.f3?, which allowed 19...Nxg3 20.hxg3 Bxe5!  After the further 21.dxe5 Qb6+ 22.Rf2 Qxb4, Tenenwurzel enjoyed a considerable advantage on the Queen-side, which he converted with a steady hand, ultimately obtaining two connected passed pawns on that flank and scoring the game to his credit at the 61st move.

Liebenstein for a time looked likely to score a victory of his own against Morrison, who as Black essayed the Open Defense to the Ruy Lopez.  The key passage of the game occurred after Black's 21st move, 21...c7-c5, when Liebenstein, by means of the advance 22.f5, initiated an extremely dangerous attack on Black's King.  For the benefit of our young readers, we point out that after 25.Rf4 White is threatening 26.Qxh7+ Kxh7 27.Rh4 mate, and we call all readers' attention to the position after 27...Qf5, when 28.Bxd3 seems to assure White of the advantage, the Bishop being immune from capture owing the the above-mentioned mating threat.  Instead, Liebenstein chose 28.Rh4, when 28...g5, a reply he may well have overlooked, left him facing the unavoidable loss of a piece.  We give the game below, and express our firm confidence that Liebenstein will soon put an end to his unfortunate run of losses, which now stands at seven, and will yet begin to score before the tourney concludes.

Finally, Kupchik defeated Rubinstein in a Queen's Pawn game, trading his two Rooks for the adversary's Queen during an attack on the Black King-side, and eventually eventually promoting a pawn to a second Queen in that sector of the board.  We feature this game as well:

Scores after 7 rounds: Capablanca 7; Jaffe 6; Marshall, Janowski 5; Chajes, Kupchik, Tenenwurzel 4 1/2; Stapfer 4; Whitaker, Morrison 2 1/2; Kline 2; Rubinstein 1; Zapoleon 1/2; Liebenstein 0.

The eighth round will be played this afternoon.

Monday, January 28

New York tournament, Round 6: Capablanca wins again, increases lead over Jaffe

J.R. Capablanca of Havana scored yet another victory in the 6th round of the Second American National Tournament, handily defeating Solomon Rubinstein and lengthening his winning skein to half-a-dozen games. Capablanca's triumph increased his lead over the second place contender, Charles Jaffe of New York, to a full point, as the latter drew his game with Frank Marshall, the American Champion.

Rubinstein, playing White, became the latest to fall victim to the inexorable Cuban's prowess, losing the exchange early on and conceding defeat by the 31st move, at which time he stood a full Rook in arrears.  We present the score of the game:

The Marshall-Jaffe encounter, a meeting of two hopefuls for high honors, saw a carefully played Queen's Gambit Declined resolve itself into a Rook endgame in which neither player ever seemed likely to score the full point, and a draw was agreed at the 52nd move.  Jaffe now stands one point behind the leader, while Marshall trails the Cuban ace by two, a deficit that may well prove impossible to overcome in the seven rounds that remain to be played.

In Janowski-Liebenstein, a Ruy Lopez, the second player held his own against his more famous opponent through the first 30 moves, thus giving evidence that his level of playing strength belies his current standing in the tourney, in which he has yet to register a score.  Sadly, tragedy then struck in the following position:
Position after 30.Rd1-d6
Rubinstein here played 30...Nh5?, a move that loses to 31.Qg4, attacking the Knight, threatening an incursion by the Rook on d7, and preventing the return 31...Nf6 owing to 32.Rxf6.  Black resigned soon thereafter.

Tenenwurzel essayed the Exchange variation of the Ruy Lopez against Kupchik, and the resulting rather quiet game was drawn in 46.moves.

Morrison of Canada registered his first victory at the expense of Zapoleon, whose rather uncertain handling of the defense in a Queen's Pawn Game allowed the first player a decisive attack.  We give the conclusion of the game:
Position after 22.Qh4xg5
Black here played 22...Kg7, only to return with the King  immediately afterward: 23.Ng3 Kg8.  On the further 24.Nh5 Qe7 25.Qh6 Black resigned, as the threatened checkmate on g7 cannot be parried by 25...Qf8, owing to 26.Nf6+, nor can it be warded off by 25...f6 or 25...f5, when 26.Rxe6 comes in reply.  We leave to our readers to determine whether Black availed of stronger defensive resources at his 22nd or 23rd move.

In Chajes-Kline, White chose the Center Game, an opening already adopted, and not without success, by Kupchik in this tournament.  Chajes sacrificed the exchange in the interest of furthering his attack on the King-side, a plan that soon reached fruition when Kline overlooked a Queen sacrifice leading to checkmate:
Position after 19...Rf8-d8
The game continued with 20.g5 Ne8 21.Rh1 Rxd3?, an attempt to return the exchange that loses at once.  Onlookers suggested 21...Bb4 or 21...h6 as alternatives; in the latter case Black answers 22.gxh6 with 22...Nh4.  Now White gave mate: 22.Qxh7+ Kf8 23.Qh8+ Nxh8 24.Rxh8 mate.

Whitaker, as White in a French Defense, played energetically against Stapfer, sacrificing a pawn and gaining fair attacking chances in return.  But the first player then unfortunately embarked on an unsound combination, leading to his defeat:
Position after 22...bxc6
Here Whitaker chose 23.Rd8+ Kh7 24.Ng5+ Kg6 25.Nxe6, whereupon Black's 25...c2! left the first player without an adequate reply.  The universal opinion of the analysts present was that White ought to have begun instead with the capture 23.bxc3, when after 23...Qxc3 the game continuation (24.Rd8+ Kh7 25.Ng5+ Kg6 26.Nxe6) would have offered him an equal position, if not a winning one.  We are inclined to believe that the young Master simply forgot to capture Black's c-pawn before moving his own forces into attacking positions.  In any case, the oversight proved fatal, as after 25...c2 26.Nxc5 c1=Q+ 27.Qd1 Qxc5 Black stood in possession of an extra piece, and White soon resigned.

Scores after 6 rounds: Capablanca 6; Jaffe 5; Janowski, Chajes 4 1/2; Marshall 4; Kupchik, Tenenwurzel, Stapfer 3 1/2; Whitaker 2 1/2; Kline 2; Morrison 1 1/2; Rubinstein 1; Zapoleon 1/2; Liebenstein 0.

The seventh round will be played later today.     

Saturday, January 26

New York tournament, Round 5: Capablanca maintains perfect score; Jaffe a close 2nd

José R. Capablanca of Cuba continued his winning ways yesterday in the fifth round of the Second American National Tournament, defeating Edward Tenenwurzel of New York in 35 moves and thereby running his total to 5 points from five games played.  Charles Jaffe, also of New York, who defeated Chicago's Oscar Chajes, remains hard on the Cuban's heels with 4 1/2, a full point clear of the next group of contenders.

Capablanca, as first player in a Four Knights' Game, soon developed a threatening central pawn mass, which his opponent felt compelled to liquidate at the cost of a Bishop. Black's ensuing counter-play, though lively, nevertheless proved insufficient, and he was in the end forced to strike his colors.  We present the game:

Jaffe and Chajes contested a hard-fought Queen's Gambit Declined, during the latter stages of which White had the better of things.  Nevertheless, Chajes' resignation, which allowed Jaffe to maintain his close pursuit of the leader, may well have been premature:
Position after 44.Qd4-f4. Black resigns.
White, as may be seen, threatens to checkmate with 45.Qf8+ and 46.Qxg7, while Black's attempts to defend via 44...Qe8 or 44...Bd7 appear to fail to 45.Re7 and 45.Qf8+ Kh7 46.Qe7, respectively.  But all is not as it seems, and either move would provide Black with at least a temporary defense, viz.: 44...Qe8 45.Re7 can be met by 45...Qc6, when on 46.Rxe6 Black carries the day with 46...Qh1+ 47.Kg3 Rg1+ 48.Kh4 g5+, while if 44...Bd7 45.Qf8+ Kh7 46.Qe7, the reply 46...Qf1, again leaving the Bishop to its fate, initiates a winning attack for the second player, as the reader may verify for himself. These lines, pointed by an analyst at the scene who desires anonymity, display an almost Houdini-like capacity to escape from danger, and demonstrate that Chajes, despite his pawn deficit, may well have been able to offer a stiff resistance in a position in which, unaware of the resources at his disposal, he chose to acknowledge defeat.

In other games, Kline defeated Rubinstein in a Queen's Gambit Declined; Whitaker, as second player in a Petroff Defense, scored his second game running by besting Liebenstein; Stapfer and Marshall drew in 56 moves in a carefully-played French Defense; and Kupchik, once again essaying the Center Game, took the full point from Morrison.  We give the score of the last-mentioned encounter below, and commend to our readers White's attractive finishing stroke.  (NB: In an earlier edition we gave White's 18th move as 18.Qe3, which would have allowed Black to deliver an instant checkmate.  We have been informed by Kupchik that 18.Qe5 was played.)

To conclude, we present the game Zapoleon-Janowski.  The Master from Paris, as is well known, has on occasion in the past voiced his scant regard for the endgame in chess, preferring as he does the rough-and-tumble of combinative middle game play.  Nevertheless, we feel that Janowski's skill in the latter phase of the game should not be underestimated, as his victory yesterday over Zapoleon in a Rook endgame arising from a Four Knights' Game well demonstrates, and we offer that encounter for the consideration of our readers:

Scores after 5 rounds: Capablanca 5; Jaffe 4 1/2; Chajes, Marshall, Janowski 3 1/2; Kupchik, Tenenwurzel 3; Stapfer, Whitaker 2 1/2; Kline 2; Rubinstein 1; Morrison, Zapoleon 1/2; Liebenstein 0.

The 6th round will be played this afternoon.

Friday, January 25

New York tournament, Round 4: Seven decisive games; Capablanca maintains lead

Yesterday, as in the second round, all seven games finished decisively, leaving the total number of draws at a mere six through four rounds of play.  Capablanca scored his fourth point running, thereby maintaining his narrow lead over Chajes and Jaffe, each of whom also registered a victory.  Marshall and Janowski likewise kept pace, the latter recovering  nicely from his defeat at Capablanca's hands in the previous round.

Our obligation to speak the truth compels us to note that several of the games finished not only decisively, but also suddenly, as terrible blunders, usually rare at this level of skill, once again dominated the day.  A case in point was furnished by the game Janowski-Kupchik, a Ruy Lopez in which the following position was reached after White's 28th move:

Position after 28.Qf2xc5
Kupchik here played 28...Bxf3??, and resigned after 29.Rxh6+, this marking the second time in four rounds that he has lost his Queen to a discovered attack with check.  In Kupchik's partial defense it should be noted that in the diagrammed position Janowski already looked to have the game well in hand, so that Black's oversight may have merely hastened the inevitable.

Tennenwurzel-Rubinstein, a Queen's Pawn Game, came to an equally sudden end.
Position after 42.Ng3-f1
In this position Black essayed the capture 42...Nxb2. After the reply 43.Rxb2, the spectators had just begun to examine the consequences of 43...Bxf1 44.Kd4 e5+ 45.Kc5 Bd3, when Rubinstein, apparently laboring under a terrible miscalculation, instead chose 43...Bc4??, and resigned after 44.Nd2 a3 45.Rxb3.

Chajes opened against Stapfer by advancing his Queen's pawn, only to see the game soon transpose into a Philidor Defense after 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 d6 3.Nc3 Nbd7 4.e4 e5.  The two players contested a long Rook endgame in which Black seemed for many moves to enjoy a slight advantage, yet tragedy struck the second player soon after he had at last won a pawn:
Position after 54.Kc4
Here the game continued 54...Rb8 55.d5 Kg7 56.d6 Kf6??, a natural enough move that, in the opinion of the Masters,  nevertheless stands as the decisive error, 56...b3 having been far preferable.  After the further 57.Kd5 b3 58.d7 Ke7 59.Kc6, White was clearly winning, and Black resigned after 59...f6 60.Kc7 b2 61.Rxb2.  

Marshall, in a Danish Gambit, made short work of Liebenstein, who has yet to score, and Capablanca, playing Black, easily defeated Morrison in a Queen's Pawn Game when the first player found his Bishop trapped behind enemy lines.  

Whitaker took the full point from Zapoleon in a French Defense when the latter lost a full piece through an ill-considered move:
Position after 27.Qe5
Here 27...Bf7 lost immediately to 28.Rf3, attacking the pinned Knight a second time.  After the further 28...Bg8 29.Rxf6 Rxf6 30.Qxb8 (it was this capture that Zapoleon had overlooked), Black resigned.

Finally, Jaffe overcame Kline in a Ponziani, though the latter may well have missed a most remarkable winning move in 14...Nb8!, a possibility called to our attention by our clubmate Herr Fritz.  To our mind, the retreat of Black's Knight to its original square as a means of exploiting the  opposing Queen's capture of the b-pawn is an idea worthy of a World Champion.  We give the game here:

Scores after 4 rounds: Capablanca 4; Jaffe, Chajes 3 1/2; Marshall, Tenenwurzel 3; Janowski 2 1/2; Stapfer, Kupchik 2; Whitaker 1 1/2; Rubinstein, Kline 1; Morrison, Zapoleon 1/2; Liebenstein 0.

The fifth round is scheduled for this afternoon.  

Thursday, January 24

New York tournament, Round 3: Capablanca defeats Janowski, assumes sole lead

With the completion of the third round, the race for honors in the tournament is beginning to take shape, and Capablanca now stands alone in the lead with 3 points from three games played, followed closely by Chajes and Jaffe, each with 2 1/2.  The full standings may be found at bottom of this entry.

Capablanca maintained his perfect score with a fine victory over Janowski in a Four Knights' Game that soon came to resemble the Exchange Variation of Ruy Lopez, an opening much favored by Dr. Lasker.  In an endgame with each player possessing two Rooks and several pawns, White made steady progress on the King-side, while Black found himself unable to do the same on the other wing, an unfortunate circumstance owing, in the opinion of the Masters present, to the weak structure of his pawns on that part of the board.  We present this most instructive game for the perusal of our readers:

Stapfer, the only other contender standing on 2 points after the second round, saw his perfect score disappear with a single ill-considered move in his game against Jaffe, an English Opening that had reached the following position after Black's 22nd move:
Position after 22...Nd5-f6
Here White played 23.Qg6?? (23.Qf5 was imperative), making Black a present of the Queen after 23...Ne7.  Stapfer replied 24.Qxf7+, and resigned a few moves later.

In Zapoleon-Marshall, a Sicilian Defense, the two players quickly reached an endgame with two Rooks and one Bishop on each side, with the Bishops controlling squares of opposite colors.  A draw was agreed in only 23 moves, a result that generated no little surprise among the spectators, many of whom had expected the American Champion to strive mightily for victory against an opponent widely considered one of the tournament outsiders. 

Likewise drawn was the game Kline-Tenenwurzel, a quiet French Defense characterized by much maneuvering before peace was agreed on the 47th move.

Rubinstein defeated Morrison in a Giuoco Piano, and Chajes scored the full point against Liebenstein on the Black side of a Ruy Lopez, somehow prevailing in endgame with two Rooks and one lone pawn against White's Rook, Knight, and four pawns, the general consensus being that White substantially mishandled the latter part of the game.

Finally, we present the fascinating encounter Kupchik-Whitaker, a Center Game that saw the first player prevail in a tense and complicated struggle, one that will surely prove a treat for devotees of deep analysis.  We urge our readers not to overlook it:

Scores after 3 rounds: Capablanca 3; Chajes, Jaffe 2 1/2; Kupchik, Stapfer, Tenenwurzel, Marshall 2; Janowski 1 1/2; Rubinstein, Kline 1; Zapoleon, Whitaker, Morrison 1/2; Liebenstein 0.

Yesterday having been a free day, Round 4 will take place this afternoon.


Tuesday, January 22

New York tournament, Round 2: All games decisive; Capablanca, Stapfer tied for lead

Those aficionados prone to cavil at the frequency of drawn games in Master chess will find nothing objectionable whatsoever in yesterday's results, as all seven encounters finished decisively, with unexpected reversals of fortune and, let it be said, outright blunders being the order of the day.

To begin with the latter, in Marshall-Kupchik, a Queen's Gambit Declined, the following position was reached after White's 25th move:

  Here Black played 25...g5??, whereupon Marshall instantly replied 26.Ng6+, winning the Queen, and compelling Kupchik's immediate resignation.

Stapfer-Kline, another Queen's Gambit Declined won by the first player, saw a similar oversight, though in mitigation we should note that Black's position was already lost:

Position after 37.Rab7
 Kline here played 37...Qxe4, and resigned upon seeing 38.Bxg5+ in reply.  Still, 37...Qd6, his last hope, would have been met by 38.Rd7, when the Black Queen has no square at its disposal from which to protect the Bishop.

The Morrison-Tenenwurzel encounter saw White win a clear pawn by the 20th move, yet thereafter the young Canadian somehow allowed his position to worsen bit by bit, until ultimately he found himself forced to strike his colors in a Rook endgame.  We give the score for the consideration of our readers:  

In other games, Chajes defeated Zapoleon in a Dutch Defense, Jaffe scored against Liebenstein in a Four Knights' Game, and Janowski topped Rubinstein, who adopted the Sicilian Defense, 1.e4 c5, which we find, at least on occasion, a refreshing change of pace from the usual run of open games generally seen when White begins by advancing his King's pawn.

Finally, we come to Whitaker-Capablanca, the longest and most hard-fought battle of the round.  The Master from Washington, DC by way of Philadelphia seemed at the very least to be holding his own against the Cuban ace through much of their encounter, and had compelled Capablanca to expend far more time than is usual for him in consideration of his moves.  Indeed, at his 56th turn Capablanca thought for a full twenty minutes, and then, taking hold of his Queen, first went to play that piece to c3, before deciding at the last moment to place it on g1 instead.  We cannot recall ever before seeing Capablanca appear so uncertain after long cogitation, which is itself a rarity for him.  No one can know if Capablanca's indecision exerted an influence on his opponent, but the fact remains that Whitaker's reply to Capablanca's 56...Qg1 was most unfortunate, giving away a pawn for no apparent benefit and allowing the Cuban soon to bring the game to a victorious conclusion, as the reader may see below.

Scores after 2 rounds:  Capablanca, Stapfer, 2; Chajes, Jaffe, Janowski, Marshall, Tenenwurzel 1 1/2; Kupchik 1; Whitaker, Kline, Morrison 1/2; Liebenstein, Rubinstein, Zapoleon 0.

The third round will be played this afternoon, the pairings being Capablanca-Janowski, Kline-Tenenwurzel, Kupchik-Whitaker, Liebenstein-Chajes, Rubinstein-Morrison, Stapfer-Jaffe, and Zapoleon-Marshall.    


Sunday, January 20

New York tournament, Round 1: Capablanca, Kupchik, and Stapfer victors on opening day

The Second American National Tournament began yesterday at the Manhattan Chess Club, and the opening round produced its fair share of interesting chess.  Capablanca, playing White, made quick work of Liebenstein, who adopted the defense 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Bc5 4.Nxe5 Bxf2+ 5.Kxf2 Nxe5 6.d4 Nc6, a line that labors under a rather dubious reputation.  White soon castled by hand and commenced an attack on the King-side, a plan against which Black seemed unable to find a suitable counter, as the reader may observe:

Kupchik vs. Zapoleon soon developed along the lines of a Queen's Gambit Declined, with the second player essaying the ...c5 defense favored by Dr. Tarrasch.  Black must have mishandled the position at some point, as by the 31st move Kupchik stood in possession of two extra pawns, and easily won the endgame.

Rubinstein-Stapfer saw Black defend with 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 d6 3.Nc3 Nbd7 4.e4 e5, a line, as we recall, adopted on occasion by Chigorin.  Black, making good use of the half-open g-line, gradually developed an attack on the King-side, which was crowned with success by his fine 30th move:

Position after 30.Rd3
Here Stapfer played 30...Rg3!, delighting the spectators and leaving White without resource.  The concluding moves were 31.Qd1 f3 32.Qc1 Rag8 33.fxg3 Bxg3 34.Qc3+ Rg7, and White resigned, mate being unavoidable.

Morrison-Chajes saw a quiet Queen's Pawn Game lead to a a Bishop endgame in which neither side could boast of any advantage, and a draw was duly agreed.  Likewise drawn was the Tenenwurzel-Jaffe encounter, another Queen's Pawn Game in which White secured an extra pawn in a Rook and Knight endgame, but felt that he could make no further progress owing to the activity of the Black pieces.

In Whitaker-Kline, a Ruy Lopez, Black seems to have missed an excellent chance to win, as pointed out by
Position after 37.g3
Herr Fritz, one of the spectators in attendance.  Instead of 37...Bd8, as chosen by Kline, the capture 37...Rxc3! appears decisive, as on 38.Qxc3 Black could play 38...Qa1+, followed by 39...Bxb4 whether White replies 39.Kg2, 39.Ne1, or 39.Bb1.  The game continued 38.Rb1 Bb6 39.Rd1 Ra2 (39...Nxb4 appears stronger) 40.Kg2 Qe7 41.Rc1 Kf8 42.Rd1 Ke8 43.Rc1 Kd7 44.Rb1 Kc7 45.Rc1, whereupon a draw was agreed in a position in which we feel Black might perhaps have striven for more.    

We come finally to the battle between two of the prospective favorites, Janowski and Marshall, who contested a Petroff, a defense upon which Marshall had relied during the recent match between these long-time friendly rivals.  In the present case a number of early exchanges somewhat disappointed the onlookers, who had naturally hoped for a full-blooded struggle, but the resultant endgame was not without interest.  To our eye Janowski at one point had rather the better of things, though the game ultimately ended in a draw.  We give the score below for the perusal of our readers; note that in the final position White has at his disposal the move 37.Ka1!, after which he can administer perpetual check to his adversary should Black reply 37...Rdxb2.

The scores after one round:  Capablanca, Kupchik, Stapfer 1; Janowski, Marshall, Morrison, Chajes, Tenenwurzel, Jaffe, Whitaker, Kline, 1/2; Liebenstein, Zapoleon, Rubinstein 0.

Today is an off day; the tournament will resume with Round 2 on the 21st, and our report shall speedily follow.

Saturday, January 19

New York tournament preview: Remaining players and predictions

We regret that we have received no scores of earlier games from Messrs. Zapoleon, Morrison, Rubinstein, and Stapfer, and, possessing none in our files to draw upon, we must here content ourselves with the briefest of descriptions.  John Homer Stapfer, born in Switzerland, has been several times Champion of New Jersey, and is indeed the current holder of that title.  The Polish-born Solomon Rubinstein (who is no relation, he informs us, of the great Akiba) has demonstrated his strength at several New York chess clubs, and can be expected to make an honorable showing in this event.  He speaks of plans to move one day to the West Coast, perhaps to San Francisco.  Louis B. Zapoleon may likewise soon find himself in a new home, as he hopes to obtain a position with the Department of Agriculture in the nation's capital once the new administration comes into office in March.  Young John Stuart Morrison, of Toronto, won the Championship of Canada in 1910 at the tender age of 21, an accomplishment amply demonstrating his skill.  We hope to feature games by each of these contenders in the days to come.

Now, briefly, our own prognostications.  We favor Marshall and Janowski for top honors, with Capablanca just behind.  The two veterans seem to us in good form, and we wonder whether the Cuban's year-long hiatus from Master chess might not slow his progress in this event, at least in the early rounds.  We look to see Whitaker make a plus score, and feel that Chajes may well surprise with a better-than-expected showing, perhaps even taking one of the top places if any of the favorites should suffer a setback or two.  Kupchik, too, may exceed expectations, as he seems to us a most promising player.  As for the rest, they, like those just named, enjoy every opportunity to shine: all start on a level basis, and each truly holds his fate in his hands.

The first round begins this afternoon, the pairings being Capablanca-Liebenstein, Janowski-Marshall, Kupchik-Zapoleon, Morrison-Chajes, Rubinstein-Stapfer, Tenenwurzel-Jaffe, and Whitaker-Kline; look for our report tomorrow.

New York tournament preview: Marshall

We come now to Marshall, veteran of dozens of tournaments and more than a score of matches, victor at Cambridge Springs, redoubtable adversary for any chessboard foe, attacker par excellence, "swindler" supreme, and our reigning American Champion.

We find it difficult, in the space at our disposal, to summarize Marshall's career, rich as it is in accomplishment and adventure, and therefore, to serve merely as an illustration of his tireless activity over the past decade and more, we will instead limit ourselves to the previous year alone.  1912 saw Marshall take part in four European Master tournaments, at San Sebastian, Bad Pistyan, Budapest, and Breslau, winning a prize on each occasion.  He further contested a short match with Speyer in London and a longer one with Janowski at Biarritz, drawing the first and winning the second.  Add to this the usual round of exhibitions, lectures, etc., and the reader will well understand that our Champion is a busy man indeed.

Amid all this chessboard bustle Marshall produced two of the most spectacular moves of his career, and we will perhaps be forgiven for publishing them once again here as examples of his skill.  We give first his game vs. Levitsky from Breslau, already famous for its concluding move:

Hardly less remarkable was Marshall's 12th move in his third match game vs. Janowski:

May we be fortunate enough to witness similar pyrotechnics in the tournament about to begin.


New York tournament preview: Capablanca

Capablanca is, to us, a chess phenomenon, and the possessor of unlimited potential.  We confess to having been skeptical of his chances prior to his match vs. Marshall a few years ago, an opinion that we were forcefully and irrevocably compelled to alter as that contest wore on.  We then felt that the young Cuban had "come down to earth" a bit after his second place finish, behind the American Champion, at the National Tournament here in New York in 1911, yet his subsequent remarkable victory at San Sebastian, in his first tournament encounter with the world's elite Masters, again gave vivid evidence of his exceptional powers.

We would note that Capablanca's confidence and self-assurance stand on a par with his chessboard skill, as is well demonstrated by his issuing, some months after the San Sebastian tourney, a challenge to Dr. Lasker to contest a match for the supreme title.  Though that meeting did not take place (amid circumstances that we have no wish to rehearse here), we entertain no doubts that the day will come when Capablanca will indeed play a Championship match, as have Janowski and Marshall before him, and will thereby be accorded the opportunity to display his full strength.

To our knowledge, Capablanca played no serious chess in 1912, and thus we await with interest the opportunity to observe him in action once again.  To judge from his past performances, we shall soon be treated to more rare gems of chessboard art.

We give below the victory by Capablanca over Spielmann from San Sebastian; in the final position, the pretty variations 30...Qxg7 31.Re8+ Qg8 32.Be5+, and mates next move, or 30...Qxg7 31.Re8+ Qf8 32.Rxf8+ Kg7 33.Bh6+, winning Black's Rook, are most appealing.


Friday, January 18

New York tournament preview: Janowski

David Janowski surely needs no introduction to our readers. The veteran of countless chessboard battles and author of a chrestomathy of delightful brilliancies, he remains, after nearly two decades of Master chess, one of the foremost exponents of our game. Janowski's fighting spirit, his "va banque" style, and his disdain for the draw may perhaps not produce consistent results, but in compensation almost always lead to much thrilling and, we daresay, beautiful chess. There seems to be current in the chess world today the unfortunate opinion that Janowski's best days are behind him; we, however, cannot share this view, and would not count ourselves in the least surprised were he to capture one of the top places in the present tourney. Indeed, even outright victory seems to us within his reach.

We append one of our favorite Janowski games, a victory over Dr. Tarrasch, achieved at the Ostend tournament of 1905, and we invite our readers to compare the positions after White's 29th and 35th moves. Seldom have we witnessed such a hurricane sweep across the chessboard, leaving only a defenseless and denuded King in its wake. This is Janowski in full flight, a sight we sincerely hope to see again in the coming days.

Wednesday, January 16

New York tournament preview: Tenenwurzel and Kupchik

Continuing our preview of the Second American National tournament, we next direct our attention to Edward Tenenwurzel and Abraham Kupchik, two more Masters, born abroad, who today figure prominently among the best American players.  Indeed, we wonder whether there ever will come another era when so many of this nation's premier chess exponents will be drawn from the ranks of immigrants.  Foreign-born players, particularly those hailing from the Russian empire, have notably enriched American chess life, sharpened the quest for prizes, and elevated the standard of play, circumstances for which all true lovers of our royal game can be grateful.  The influx of Masters from abroad makes this a remarkable period in the history of American chess, and we doubt we shall see its like again.

To return to our preview, Tenenwurzel (who assures us that that is indeed the correct spelling of his surname, despite its appearance in other forms in certain newspaper accounts), born in Russia in 1879, first appeared in the public eye in 1910, when he captured the Championship of the prestigious Rice Chess Club.  In the following year he shared 9th and 10th places at the New York Masters' tournament with former United States Champion Albert B. Hodges, making the score of 4 1/2 from 12 games and numbering among his victims the visiting Swiss Master P. Johner.  We should not be at all surprised to see Tenenwurzel improve upon that earlier showing in the present tourney.

Young Kupchik, still two months shy of attaining his majority, has effected a most rapid rise, taking first prize in the Class B tournament of the New York State Chess Association in 1911, and repeating that feat in the Class A tournament the following year.  1912 also saw Kupchik defeat Kline and Marder in match play.  The tourney about to begin will prove his sternest test to date; Kupchik's solid style should serve him well in such strong company.

Two games by Tenenwurzel are subjoined: one, against Rosen, then the Club titleholder, stems from the 1910 Rice Club Championship; the other is the aforementioned victory over Johner.  We give as well a victory by Kupchik over Marder, taken from their recent match.


Tuesday, January 15

Middlesex vs. Kent match

On the 11th inst., in the rooms of the City of London Chess Club, a match over 16 boards took place between teams from Middlesex and Kent, and resulted in a close victory by the score of 9 to 7 for the former side.  We present a game from the event, in which Mr. du Mont fights manfully for more than 30 moves after losing the exchange, only to stumble at the end when the goal was at last in sight: it seems that 51...Kb4 would have drawn.

New York tournament preview: Chajes and Jaffe

In our ongoing preview of the imminent Second American National tournament we turn next to Oscar Chajes and Charles Jaffe, two leading lights of the American chess scene.

The Galician-born Chajes, winner of the United States Open Chess Championship in 1909, shared 3rd and 4th places with Jaffe at the New York Masters' tournament of two years ago with a score of 9 points from 12 games played, a total bettered only by Marshall and Capablanca.  Later that same year Chajes took part in the great Karlsbad tournament, where, despite finishing at the bottom of the tournament table (equal with Alapin, Fahrni, and Jaffe), he nevertheless convincingly demonstrated his fitness to compete with the world's best players, not only by achieving the standard "Meisterdrittel," but, in the process, by inflicting powerful defeats on such luminaries as Tartakower, Spielmann, and Perlis.  We append two of his games from the Karlsbad tourney, each of which was awarded a beauty prize.

Jaffe, born a subject of the Czar, arrived on these shores some years ago, and in recent times has devoted all his efforts to chess. As noted, he finished level with Chajes at both the New York and Karlsbad tourneys in 1911, at Karlsbad defeating Leonhardt, Spielmann, and Burn, among others. Jaffe enjoys a reputation as a formidable match player, having bested Mieses with a clean score in a two-game match in 1907, and having offered strong resistance to Marshall in 1909 in a contest which the American champion ultimately decided in his favor by the narrow score of 4 wins to 2, with three games drawn. Jaffe, like Chajes, will be a dangerous opponent for any competitor in the coming event. We give below Jaffe's victory over Spielmann from Karlsbad.


Monday, January 14

Powerful Attack

We present a game played on the 18th ult. in the Championship tournament of the City of London Chess Club.  Of particular interest are the sacrificial mating variations given in the notes, for which we are indebted to Mr. Blackburne, who further remarks that he considers White's attack to be irresistible after his 22nd move.

Sunday, January 13

New York tournament preview: Liebenstein and Kline

Today we present two games by players in the upcoming Second American National Tournament, due to begin in New York in six days' time.

Hermann Liebenstein, formerly of Cologne, has given ample evidence of his playing strength since his arrival on these shores, as his winning of the Championship of Maryland well demonstrates.  Fellow New York tourney participant Whitaker speaks highly of Liebenstein's skill, and informs us that last November, in a series of informal games played at a quick time limit at the Washington Chess and Whist Club, he was forced to exert himself to the utmost to get the better of the Maryland player.  We give here a game won by Liebenstein some years ago in the Hauptturnier A of the German Congress at Hannover:


Today's other featured player, Harry P. Kline, current Champion of the Rice Chess Club, is well-known in New York chess circles.  Last year Kline lost rather heavily in a match vs. Kupchik, and he will doubtless be keen to make a better showing in the present tourney.  He sends us a game from the Western Championship of two years ago, remarking that while his attack may perhaps not withstand the test of rigorous critical analysis, it nevertheless offers a fair illustration of his fighting spirit.  We are certain that our readers will agree.



Saturday, January 12

Northern Counties' Union Congress

From across the sea comes word that Frederick D. Yates, of Leeds, has once again taken first prize in the chief tournament at the annual Congress of the Northern Counties' Union in Blackpool, thereby securing for himself, for the fourth year running, the title of Champion of the Northern Counties.  Mr. Yates made the excellent score of 5 1/2 points from six games in this seven-player event, in which the Liverpool players Dawbarn, with 4 1/2 points, and Cortlett, with 4, took the second and third places respectively.  Burton of Leeds finished fourth with 3 1/2; Baxter of Manchester, Thomas of Liverpool, and Berryman of Leeds rounded out the field.

Our readers may recall that Mr. Yates made his international debut at the Hamburg congress in 1910, a tourney in which, despite finishing as the bottom marker, he registered a most satisfying victory over Dr. Tarrasch, who had earlier objected to Yates' participation in that event on the grounds of insufficient playing strength.  We congratulate the young Master on his latest success, and wish him many more in the future.  

There follows a game in which Yates convincingly defeats the second-place finisher.

Thursday, January 10

New York tournament preview: Whitaker

We begin our presentation of representative games by players scheduled to compete in the upcoming New York tournament with Norman T. Whitaker, 22, currently enrolled in the Faculty of Law at Georgetown University in the nation's capital, and well-known to the chess world for his earlier exploits as an intercollegiate ace at the University of Pennsylvania.  Whitaker possesses an active, crafty style, and has acquired a reputation as a resourceful fighter who can be counted on to bring off a devious "swindle" now and then.  We are quite certain that the mental discipline required for the study of Law will further develop his analytical powers and so increase his already-impressive playing strength.  The presence among the leading exponents of our royal game of men who have achieved honorable successes in other fields  has always been a boon for chess, and it is with confidence that we predict that the charming and ambitious Whitaker will one day join that select number.

We do note with an indulgent smile a rather independent streak in the young Master, who, in reply to our request for the score of a tournament game or two of his, sent us instead a victory over Dr. Lasker, achieved in a simultaneous exhibition by the Champion, as well as a thrilling draw vs. Marshall in an offhand game played two years ago.  Still, Whitaker was the first of all the Masters to reply to our request, and so we award him pride of place in our preview, and wish him every success in the tournament.

The games: