Monday, February 18

Havana tournament, Round 2: Capablanca, Kupchik are victors; Cuban wins fine game

Yesterday's second round of the international chess Masters' tournament in Havana saw a brace of decisive games, with Capablanca and Kupchik taking the laurels, the former topping Blanco in a pretty encounter, and the latter dispatching Corzo with unexpected ease.

Blanco essayed the French Defense against his more famous compatriot, whose rarely-seen move 7.Ne5 may have thrown the second player a bit off his stride, as Black soon lost a move with his Bishop, thereby allowing Capablanca to develop strong pressure against the opposing King-side.  Black's defensive thrust 12...f5, while warding off the danger of immediate checkmate, left a vulnerable pawn on e6, a weakness exploited by White with consummate mastery during the subsequent play.  We present the game, to which Sr. Capablanca has again provided brief comments, and we call the reader's attention in particular to the fine move 25.Be2, a quiet retreat with the simple yet deadly intention of bringing this piece to the d5 square.  Capablanca's artistry in positional play is most rare in one so young, and diligent students of the game would do well to examine closely this, his latest masterpiece:

Kupchik, as first player in a Queen's Gambit Declined, developed strong pressure against the castled position of Corzo, who appears to have mismanaged the defense, the Queen sortie 10...Qa5 in particular being open to criticism.  White won a pawn, then a second, and stood to increase his material advantage even further when Black laid down his arms at the 31st move:

Janowski and Jaffe produced a fascinating struggle in which the French representative, in possession of an extra pawn and with fine attacking chances at his disposal, appeared to enjoy a considerable advantage in a Ruy Lopez, but nevertheless found himself unable to break the American's resistance.  At his 39th and 40th moves Janowski sacrificed both Rooks in order to unleash a torrent of checks against the Black King, yet even this inspired attempt proved unable to tip the balance in his favor, and the game was drawn by perpetual check at the 53rd move:

Chajes and Marshall contested a Queen's Pawn Game in which the United States Champion endeavored for many moves to turn to account his extra pawn in a Rook endgame before at last conceding the draw.  We present the first 63 moves of the game and express out regret that the full score has not reached us as we go to press.

Scores after 2 rounds: Capablanca 2; Kupchik 1 1/2; Marshall, Janowski, Chajes, Jaffe 1; Blanco 1/2; Corzo 0.

The third round will be played later today.


No comments: