Friday, February 1

New York tournament, Round 9: Another triumph for Capablanca; Cuban ace now 1 1/2 points clear of field

José R. Capablanca scored his ninth consecutive victory yesterday at the Second American National Tournament, easily defeating Louis B. Zapoleon of Washington, DC and so preserving his perfect score.  The Cuban wizard has now opened a lead of one and one-half points over his closest pursuer, Charles Jaffe of New York, who was held to a draw by Morrison of Canada.  Frank Marshall, the American Champion, stands a further half-point behind, in third position, following his dogged endgame victory over N. T. Whitaker.

Zapoleon-Capablanca saw a Queen's Pawn opening quickly assume the contours of an open game after 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 d6 3.Nc3 Bg4 4.e4 Nbd7 5.Be3 e5 6.Bc4 c6, with a position rather similar to the Hanham Variation of Philidor's Defense, but for the placing of the respective Queen's Bishops.  Capablanca netted two pawns by means of some clever play, and subsequently brought the game to its conclusion with his usual dispatch, as the reader may verify:

In Jaffe-Morrison, a Queen's Pawn Game, White seemed at first to make good progress, his Knights being particularly well-placed in the opponent's half of the board, yet by the 25th move those redoubtable steeds found themselves in danger, and the loss of a pawn was the result.  Morrison later secured a second pawn, and the young Canadian moved steadily forward in the endgame, only to astonish the onlookers by agreeing to a draw at the 64th move in a position in which he appeared to stand on the verge of victory.  Thus did Jaffe narrowly escape his first defeat in the tourney.  We give the complete game below, along with some brief analysis of the final position:

No less remarkable was the Marshall-Whitaker encounter, a Queen's Gambit Declined in which the American Champion somehow extracted a full point from a Rook endgame that all Masters present had considered, and not without reason, hopelessly drawn.  It appears that Black's 65...Ke6 was the decisive error; 65...Rh1, among other moves, sufficing to hold the draw, when Black can answer 66.Rb5+ with 66...Kf4.  Herewith the game; in the final position White will soon bring his Rook to e6, gaining Black's pawn, after which he will victoriously advance his own.

Yet another hard-fought contest took place between Chajes and Janowski, a Queen's Pawn Game in which the French representative, seeking to improve his tournament standing with a much-needed victory, sacrificed the exchange at the 15th move and spurned more than one opportunity to administer perpetual check shortly thereafter, a decision he perhaps came to regret as the tide of battle began to turn against him.  Janowski later exchanged his Queen for White's Rooks, afterwards fighting with Rook and Bishop against the enemy Queen, a struggle in which he proved just able to hold his own thanks to the strength of his d-pawn.  We present this game as well, and report the common opinion that Chajes may at some point have missed a win, for which our more analytical readers are warmly invited to search:

In other games, Kline defeated Kupchik in a Sicilian Defense, Rubinstein defeated Liebenstein, and Stapfer and Tenenwurzel fought to a draw.

Scores after 9 rounds:  Capablanca 9; Jaffe 7 1/2; Marshall 7; Janowski, Stapfer, Tenenwurzel 5 1/2; Chajes 5; Kupchik 4 1/2; Whitaker 3 1/2; Kline, Morrison 3; Rubinstein 2 1/2; Zapoleon 1; Liebenstein 1/2.

The 10th round will be played today.  


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