Veteran David Janowski and young contender Alexander Alekhine won their respective games yet again in the fourth round of the International Masters' Tournament at Scheveningen to remain tied for the lead with identical 4-0 scores. Janowski turned in a smooth performance on the Black side of a Giuoco Piano to defeat Arnold van Foreest, while Alekhine emerged victorious in a rough-and-tumble affair against Fritz Englund. Third place at 3-1 is now held by F.D. Yates of England, who was awarded the point by forfeit when Hungary's Gyula Breyer failed to appear within one hour of the time set for the commencement of play. In other games, Dr. A.G. Olland defeated Edward Lasker, J.W. te Kolsté handed Klaas Geus his second consecutive loss, Willem Schelfhout bested Abraham Speijer, and Jacques Mieses took instant advantage of an oversight by Rudolf Loman to score his first victory of the event.
The Breyer-Yates incident was curious, as the tournament secretary, Heer Weisfelt, made an attempt to contact the absent Master by telephoning his hotel, only to be informed that Breyer had already left the premises. The clerk seems to have mistaken Alekhine for the Hungarian ace, there being a substantial physical resemblance between them. Breyer is said to have remarked afterward with no little irony that he would never again stay in the same hotel as Alekhine.
Scores after 4 rounds: Janowski, Alekhine 4; Yates 3; Olland, Ed. Lasker, Breyer 2 1/2; Geus 2; Mieses, Englund, te Kolsté 1 1/2; Loman, Speijer, Schelfhout 1; van Foreest 0.
To the games:
The meeting between van Foreest and Janowski, players at the bottom and top of the score table, went as perhaps might have been expected, with the latter, as second player in a Giuoco Piano, winning a pawn at the 16th move and soon thereafter bringing about an endgame which he conducted skilfully, allowing his opponent no counter-chances. Janowski stood three pawns to the good at the point when van Foreest resigned.
Alekhine, matched against Englund, traveled a much rockier road to reach the same result. The Russian Master chose the unusual debut 1.d4 d5 2.Bg5, and the further course of the game saw both players castle on the Queen-side and direct their fire against the opposing King. Black appears to have missed a good move in 28...Rd2, to meet 29.Qa4 with 29...Qe4+ 30.Ke1 Bxc5. Alekhine's 34.Nb6 forced the win of Black's Bishop, but even there the struggle did not end, as Englund obtained three pawns for the piece and could play both to advance his own pawns and to eliminate all of his opponent's, two goals he barely failed to achieve. Time does not allow us to analyze this complex encounter in depth, but we commend it to the attention of our readers, who will find much to ponder therein.
Dr. Olland produced an excellent showing to defeat Ed. Lasker, who answered White's Ruy Lopez with the Open Defense. Olland made powerful use of the c-file, with his Bishop, Knight, and both Rooks infiltrating the Black position via squares along that route. After a slow start, the former Dutch Champion has now won two consecutive games and may well be coming into form.
Geus opened with the King's pawn vs. te Kolsté, answering his opponent's French Defense with 2.Qe2, the move favored by the late Chigorin. Queens were exchanged at the ninth move, with the Rooks following soon thereafter on the open e-file, the result being a endgame that saw Black in possession of two Bishops against White's Bishop and Knight. Such positions can at times prove quite difficult in practice for the man with the Knight, and such was the case here, as te Kolsté by dint of extended probing maneuvers at last broke down White's resistance, forcing resignation at the 69th move.
Schelfhout vs. Speijer, a Queen's Gambit Declined, proved another colorful game in which Black sacrificed two exchanges on the e3 square and carried on the middle-game struggle with two Knights and two pawns against White's pair of Rooks. Although Schelfhout at last carried the day, it would seem that Speijer at the 50th move overlooked a drawing continuation, in that 50...Qa4+ in place of 50...Bc5 appears to lead to perpetual check, as demonstrated by the variations included in the game score.
Finally, Mieses employed his beloved Center Game vs. Loman, sacrificing a pawn in the interest of gaining active play. White regained the pawn at the 20th move, and had added another almost immediately thereafter, when Black suddenly shortened his task with the blunder 25...Kf8?, which loses immediately to 26.Rd8+ Rxd8 27.Rxd8+ Ke7 28.Re8+. Seeing what he had done, Loman resigned.