Saturday, February 2

New York tournament, Round 10: Capablanca wins tenth game running; Jaffe loses; Marshall now second

We begin to despair of reporting the results in the Second American National Tournament without falling into redundancy and repetition; thus, leaving stylistic considerations aside, we state straightforwardly that in yesterday's 10th round Capablanca of Havana, the tournament leader, won yet again, for the tenth time in succession, Stapfer being the latest to lay down his arms before the all-conquering Maestro.  Meanwhile, Charles Jaffe of New York, the Cuban's erstwhile close pursuer, suffered his first defeat in his bout with Rubinstein and so fell to third place, half-a-point behind Marshall, the American Champion, who defeated Morrison of Canada in a long maneuvering game.

The Stapfer-Capablanca encounter saw an English Opening soon transpose to a Queen's Gambit Declined in which Black established an early advantage, and a rapid decision appeared likely.  As the game progressed some onlookers were of the opinion that the Cuban had allowed his opponent rather more freedom than necessary, though upon further examination it seems that he always kept matters well in hand, ultimately taking the full point in a Rook endgame in 46 moves.  Should Capablanca succeed in winning his final three games against Jaffe, Chajes, and Marshall - all formidable foes! - he will have equaled the feat achieved by  Dr. Lasker (then Herr Lasker) at New York in 1893: a clean score in a 14-man tournament, something we never thought to witness again.  We await the concluding rounds with ever-increasing interest.  The Stapfer-Capablanca game:

Jaffe, matched with Rubinstein as first player in a Frence Defense, saw for the second day running a promising position turn sour, and, unlike yesterday's near-miraculous draw against Morrison, today the New York Master was forced in the end to strike his colors.  We give the game, which will prove a feast for the analysts, calling particular attention to Black's move 21...Bg5, which holds a position that at first glance appears untenable.  If in reply White play 22.Qxg5+, then after 22...Kh8 the first player can capture safely neither the opposing Queen or Knight, while 23.Rff1 is well met by 23...Nf2+ 24.Kg1 Ne4, the Black Queen defending from a distance all vulnerable squares in her King's field.

Marshall, as in his game with Whitaker yesterday, today overcame Morrison by virtue of experience, determination, and will-power.  The American Champion, playing White in a Queen's Gambit Declined, secured at the 25th move a passed Queen's Pawn in a position with all heavy pieces remaining on the board.  That pawn being well blocked by Black's men, Marshall then probed and maneuvered for more than 40 moves before the Canadian's resistance at last slackened.  The full point thus gained lifts the American into second place, two points behind Capablanca, whom he is scheduled to meet in the final round.

Kline vs. Zapoleon saw a French Defense in which White, with two Bishops for a Rook, scored his second victory in succession; while Kupchik, playing Black in a Sicilian Defense, overcame Liebenstein with agressive play, attacking early on the King-side and winning a piece by the 22nd move.

Chajes defeated Tenenwurzel prettily in a Four Knights' Game, sacrificing a Rook for a decisive attack and preparing a further sacrifice of the Queen to force checkmate at the conclusion.  We commend to our readers' attention White's final move 36.h4, which leaves Black with no meaningful counter to the threat 37.Qxh7+ Kxh7 38.Rh5+, with mate to follow.

Janowski essayed the Sicilian Defense against Whitaker and scored the game in his best sacrificial style, producing what we believe to be his best performance to date in the tourney.  Black might perhaps have concluded matters a bit more quickly, but the outcome never stood in doubt after the win of White's Queen at the 24th move:

Scores after 10 rounds: Capablanca 10; Marshall 8; Jaffe 7 1/2; Janowski 6 1/2; Chajes 6; Stapfer, Tenenwurzel, Kupchik 5 1/2; Kline 4; Whitaker, Rubinstein 3 1/2; Morrison 3; Zapoleon 1; Liebenstein 1/2.

The eleventh round will be played this afternoon.


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