Wednesday, July 3

Rice Chess Club tournament, Round 1: Five decisive games to open tourney; Capablanca, Kupchik, Chajes, Tenenwurzel, Marder are victors

The Masters' tourney at the Rice Chess Club began yesterday evening, with excessive heat seriously taxing  the players and adding a physical strain to the already intense mental effort of tournament chess.  Five of the six games contested finished decisively, the player of the White pieces scoring the victory in the games Capablanca-Grommer, Kupchik-Bernstein, Chajes-Stapfer, and Tenenwurzel-Adair, while Marder as Black took the full point from Phillips.  Only the Beihoff-Beynon encounter finished peacefully, the two players agreeing to a draw in a Four Knights' Game after 35 moves.  Roy T. Black was idle, as his scheduled opponent, the Czech Oldrich Duras, has yet to sail from Europe, and is only due to arrive in New York in some ten days' time.  The game between Black and Duras, along with any others necessarily postponed by the late arrival of the Czech Master, will be made up at a later date.

We present below the four game score that we were able to procure at the close of play in the wee hours of this morning.  Lacking are the aforementioned encounter between Beihoff and Beynon, as well as the victory by Kupchik over Bernstein, another Four Knights' Game, won by the former in 48 moves.

We begin with Capablanca, the undoubted tourney favorite, who met the French Defense of Grommer with the rather unusual reply 2.d3.   At his 19th turn, following an exchange of Knights, the Cuban obtained a passed d-pawn, a weapon that increased in strength as the game progressed.  The concluding moves, beginning with Capablanca's 39.Re8, leaving his Queen to be captured on pain of instant checkmate, are most attractive, with White's threats to Black's first rank at last proving unanswerable.


Chajes dispatched Stapfer with relative ease in a Queen's Gambit Declined, winning a pawn at the 25th move and scoring the game to his credit shortly thereafter when the New Jersey Champion overlooked an elementary loss of the exchange.  It perhaps merits noting that of all the Masters present, Stapfer seemed to suffer the most from the oppressive heat.

Tenenwurzel defeated Adair in a Vienna Game, with White's 26.Nxg7 securing the victory in style.

Finally, Phillips with 20.Nxe5? miscalculated a tactical skirmish vs. Marder.  Black's 22...Qg6 left him a piece to the good and effectively decided the contest, whose final 20 moves White might well have spared himself.

Scores after Round 1: Capablanca, Kupchik, Tenenwurzel, Marder, Chajes 1; Beihoff, Beynon 1/2; Grommer, Stapfer, Adair, Phillips, Bernstein, Black, Duras 0.    Black and Duras have yet to play a game.


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