Wednesday, May 1

Warsaw triangular tournament, Round 5: Lowtzky, Duras play to draw; game ends with unusual stalemate

Moishe Lowtzky and Oldrich Duras contested a long and eventful game in the fifth round of the Warsaw triangular Masters' tournament, a struggle that saw both players lose material through oversights before a sudden stalemate brought matters to a peaceful conclusion at the 72nd move.  Lowtzky, playing White, offered the Queen's Gambit, and the game appeared roughly equal when Duras at his 22nd turn opted for the ill-advised capture 22...Bxa5?, apparently overlooking White's fine riposte 23.Nxa5 Nx5 24.Qc7!, by which the first player secured for himself a material advantage.  Lowtzky, however, almost immediately erred in turn, unaccountably eschewing the capture of the Queen with 26.Bxd5 in favor of the win of a piece by 26.Bxb3, which latter continuation, moreover, allowed Duras considerable counterplay on the Queen-side.  A further oversight by Lowtzky, 33.Rxa6?, losing the exchange, left the game once again in approximate material and positional balance, with Duras' Rook and advanced passed b-pawn serving to maintain the equilibrium against Lowtzky's Bishop and Knight.  Further skirmishing left Lowtzky with King, Knight and four pawns against the King, Rook and two pawns of Duras, with all pawns situated on the King's flank, and with White, who undertook carefully to advance his pawn mass, seeming to possess any winning chances that existed.  Even these, slender as they may have been, were extinguished once and for all by the final move of the Czech Master, who contrived to stalemate his opponent with White still in possession of King, Knight, and two connected passed pawns, a most unusual termination indeed.

With this game Lowtzky has now completed his tournament with one point scored from four games played, having drawn twice vs. Duras and suffered two defeats at the hands of Flamberg.  Duras and Flamberg, each with two points, will meet in the final round, Duras playing White, in a game that will determine the winner, or winners, of the event.

Herewith the Lowtzky-Duras encounter:



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