Tuesday, April 23

St. Petersburg quadrangular tournament, Round 2: Levenfish defeats Alekhine; Znosko-Borovsky, Duras play to draw

Grigory Levenfish, taking quick advantage of his opponent's inexact play, defeated  Alexander Alekhine in only 21 mores in the second round of the Masters' quadrangular tournament at St. Petersburg, thus supplanting Alekhine atop the score table.  The day's other encounter, between Eugene Znosko-Borovsky and Oldrich Duras, resulted in a well-contested draw at the 50th move, leaving the standings as follows: Levenfish 1 1/2; Alekhine, Znosko-Borovsky 1; and Duras, whose visit to St. Petersburg provided the impetus for this tourney, 1/2.  The final round will see the pairings Duras-Levenfish and Znosko-Borovsky- Alekhine. 

Levenfish, as White in a Queen's Pawn Game, on the third move developed his dark-square Bishop to the rather unusual f4 square, and it was this piece, later safely entrenched on h2, from which position it controlled important squares in the Black King's field, that was to play such a vital role in the winning attack after Alekhine's 15...Bh6?  We present the game, along with a few illustrative variations:


Znosko-Borovsky, as first player, chose the Four Knights' Opening against Duras, the game taking on a maneuvering character as the two players each sought to establish a strategic superiority.  The treaty of peace was ultimately signed at the 50th move with Black a pawn to the good, but unable to ward off his opponent's threats to his King without allowing a repetition of position.


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