Friday, July 12

Rice Chess Club tournament: Capablanca tops Chajes for 5th consecutive win

The winning skein of José R Capablanca grew longer by another game yesterday when the Cuban virtuoso defeated Oscar Chajes in brilliant style to record his fifth consecutive victory at the Rice Chess Club Summer Masters' tournament.  Capablanca, who is playing his games in the tourney on an accelerated schedule, has as of this writing opened a three-point lead over his nearest pursuers Abraham Kupchik, Albert Marder, and Jacob Bernstein, each of whom has scored 2 points.  In fairness, it should be noted that neither Kupchik nor Marder has yet to drop so much as half a point, so that each retains the possibility of equaling Capablanca's score through five games, as does Roy T. Black, winner of his only completed contest to date, and also the absent Oldrich Duras, who is yet to begin play.  Still, by adding victory upon victory Capablanca sets the bar quite high indeed.

To return to yesterday's encounter, Capablanca, playing White, opened with the Ruy Lopez, and by the 20th move had begun to align his forces in preparation for an attack against the King-side of Chajes.  The Cuban launched the assault via an attractive Knight sacrifice at his 23rd turn; a subsequent sacrifice of the exchange with 29.Rxc4 left Black a Rook to the good but facing inevitable checkmate - in the final position even the surrender of the Queen by 32...Qd6 would only delay that outcome for a few moves at most.  The game as a whole furnished yet another example of Capablanca's remarkable ability to dispatch strong opponents with apparent ease, and will well reward careful study.

The regularly scheduled fourth round of the tourney will be played later today with Capablanca idle, as the luck of the draw pits him against Duras, currently at sea aboard the Imperator.

Current scores:

5 points: Capablanca (5)
2 points: Kupchik (2), Marder (2), Bernstein (4)
1 point:   Black (1), Tenenwurzel (1) Adair (3), Phillips (3)
1/2 point: Beynon (2), Beihoff (4)
0 points:  Duras (0), Chajes (2), Grommer (3)

The number in parentheses following a player's surname indicates the number of games he has played to date.  The adjourned games Tenenwurzel-Beynon and Black-Marder are not included in the above table.

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