Tuesday, July 30

Rice Chess Club tournament: Capablanca defeats Kupchik to win tourney; Cuban, with 13-0, makes clean score

José R. Capablanca has won the Rice Chess Club Summer Masters' Tournament with a clean score of 13-0, defeating every other player in the field.  The Cuban ace took advantage of a weak sealed move by Abraham Kupchik to win their adjourned game and complete his sweep of the opposition.  Kupchik was widely thought to enjoy excellent prospects of reaching a draw when the game was adjourned several days ago, expert opinion inclining toward 41.Nd3 as the proper sealed move, with a protracted struggle in prospect.  Instead, Kupchik's chosen 41.Rb1 allowed the Black Rook to invade White's King-side position, after which Capablanca made rather short work of matters, scoring the point at the 60th move.

With this result Capablanca equals the 13-0 score made by Emanuel Lasker at the New York "Impromptu" Tournament of 1893.  It is possible that the present World Champion faced somewhat stronger opposition than did the Cuban, as among Lasker's opponents were Albin, Showalter, Taubenhaus, and the young Pillsbury.  Still, Capablanca's achievement is remarkable, and worthy of the highest praise.  It has been 20 years since New York witnessed such a feat, and we suspect a half-century may well pass before anything like it occurs again.

Attention will now naturally turn to the struggle for second place, with Kupchik, Black, and Duras, who has games in hand, seeming to hold the best chances.  There is still much chess to be played, and it should be noted that the tourney has nearly three weeks to run - Capablanca's steady stream of victories, achieved at an accelerated pace, rather masked the sedate rhythm originally intended by the organizers.

We append the score of the Kupchik-Capablanca game and offer our heartiest congratulations to the winner, who has achieved a success that will resonate long into the future.


13 points: Capablanca (13)
6 1/2 points: Black (8), Kupchik (9)
6 points: Tenenwurzel (10)
5 1/2 points: Marder (9)
5 points: Duras (6), Adair (9), Chajes (9)
4 1/2 points: Bernstein (9)
3 1/2 points: Beynon (8)
2 1/2 points: Phillips (8)
2 points: Grommer (8)
Withdrawn: Stapfer, Beihoff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 game Grommer-Phillips is not included in the above table.

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