Friday, July 19

Rice Chess Club tournament: Capablanca defeats Black in 15 moves, improves record to 8-0

José R. Capablanca of Havana yesterday continued his winning ways by defeating Roy T. Black in only 15 moves in a game moved forward from the eighth round of the Rice Chess Club Summer Masters' Tournament. Capablanca thereby improved his tourney record to 8-0, a score that includes two forfeit victories against withdrawn players, but excludes for the moment a recent victory over Edward Tenenwurzel, who has protested his loss to the Cuban in that contest.  Capablanca's performance to date has evoked memories not only of his 10-0 start at the Second American National Tournament in New York earlier this year, but also of the 13-0 mark posted by the young Emanuel Lasker at the 1893 New York "Impromptu" tourney twenty years ago.  With only four games remaining, a similar perfect score begins to appear a distinct possibility for the young chess wizard, although the gauntlet still to be run, comprised as it is of Phillips, Marder, Kupchik, and, especially, Duras, will prove quite a formidable challenge.
Yesterday's quick victory must have been particularly satisfying for Capablanca, who suffered defeat at the hands of Black during the New York Masters' Tournament of 1911.  The Cuban opened with the King's pawn and soon obtained a promising position against his opponent's Petroff Defense.  Black's 12...Nxd5 seems to have been the decisive error, with 12...Nxe5 deserving preference, as the move chosen allowed Capablanca to unleash an irresistible attack via the Knight sacrifice 13.Nxf7!.  After 15.Qh5 there was already no hope left for the second player; on 15...Qe7 or 15...Re7 the simple reply 16.Nxh7+ followed by 17.Qxd5+ leaves White two pawns to the good with an unabated attack.

Current scores:

8 points: Capablanca (8)
5 1/2 points: Marder (6)
5 points: Kupchik (5), Tenenwurzel (6)
4 points: Bernstein (7)
3 1/2 points: Black (5)
3 points: Chajes (5), Adair (6)
2 points: Duras (2), Phillips (4), Beynon, Grommer (6)
Withdrawn: Stapfer, Beihoff

The number in parentheses following a player's surname indicates the number of games he has played to date, including two forfeit victories over Stapfer and Beihoff.  The adjourned games Phillips-Black, Black-Chajes, and Phillips-Kupchik are not included in the above table, nor is the protested Tenenwurzel-Capablanca contest.

The sixth round will be played today with Capablanca idle, his scheduled game against Beynon having already been played a few days ago and his remaining opponents all having games of their own to conduct.

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