Friday, August 2

Scheveningen tournament, Round 1: All seven games decisive; Janowski, Alekhine, Breyer, Ed. Lasker among winners

A tournament celebrating the 40th anniversary jubilee of the founding of the Dutch Chess Federation began at Scheveningen on the 28th ult.  The tourney, a 14-man round-robin event, features seven foreign Masters, Janowski, Alekhine, Breyer, Yates, Englund, Mieses, and Ed. Lasker, along with seven top native Dutch contenders, Schelfhout, Speijer (whose surname we have also seen spelled Speyer), A. van Foreest, Olland, Geus, Loman, and te Kolsté.  Expert opinion sees the likely victor as coming from the foreign contingent, and indeed favored contenders Janowski, Alekhine, and Breyer all recorded wins in the opening round, in which every game finished decisively.  We present the complete set of first round games below, along with a brief synopsis of each.

Standings after 1 round: Janowski, Alekhine, Breyer, Geus, Englund, Loman, Ed. Lasker 1; te Kolsté, Olland, Mieses, Yates, Speijer, Schelfhout, van Foreest 0.

Janowski  opened with the Queen's pawn vs. te Kolsté, and by the 20th move had obtained a superior endgame position.  By advancing his passed d-pawn White succeeded in gaining the exchange, after which victory became only a question of time.


Olland and Alekhine engaged in a spirited struggle, with both players striving throughout to maintain the initiative.  Olland offered a Bishop at his 19th move, a sacrifice refused by Alekhine, who preferred to direct his forces against the White King.  The concluding phase of the contest was most exciting, with Alekhine's attack prevailing over the strength of Olland's passed pawns.


Mieses-Breyer saw Black select the defense 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 e5, a gambit line favored in his day by Winawer.  Mieses, true to his enterprising nature, declined his opponent's offer and soon sacrificed a pawn of his own, although any advantage that he may have gained in return is not readily visible to us.  Breyer, already two pawns to the good, forced resignation at the 25th move.


Loman adopted the Vienna gambit to defeat Schelfhout in pretty style; the sacrificial moves 13.Bh6 and 16.Bxf5 make a pleasant impression.

Speijer-Englund came to a quick end when the first player erred with 15.Qxe5?, after which Black's 15...Bc4 posed White the insoluble problem of how to defend his Bishops.

In Yates vs. Geus, an Open Defense to the Ruy Lopez, White appeared to stand well through the first half of the game.  Geus, however, fought resolutely, and, gradually turning the tables on his opponent, forced resignation at his 61st turn.


Edward Lasker maneuvered skilfully to obtain the advantage in a Queen's Gambit Declined against van Foreest, directing his fire principally against the weak Black pawn at c6, which seemed fated to fall.  But in the game score as it came to us Black seems capable of offering further resistance in the final position, and we must therefore wonder whether what we present below represents the contest in its entirety. 


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