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.


No comments: