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.

No comments: