Sunday, August 11

Scheveningen tournament, Round 6: Leaders keep pace; Janowski, Alekhine 6-0; Yates 5-1

The sixth round of the International Masters' Tournament at Scheveningen offered another large helping of decisive games, with only a single draw among the day's seven contests.  David Janowski and Alexander Alekhine, co-leaders of the event, maintained their blistering pace, the former with a victory over Gyula Breyer and the latter by besting Klaas Geus.  Each of the leaders has now won six games running.  Close behind the top duo stands England's F.D. Yates, who has recovered well from a first-round defeat to score five successive victories, the latest coming at the expense of Jacques Mieses.  Edward Lasker, at 4-2, maintained his hold on fourth place but lost ground in relation to the leading group following a draw vs. Rudolf Loman, while Dr. A.G. Olland and J. W. te Kolsté crept to within a half-point of Lasker's total after victories over Abraham Speijer and Willem Schelfhout, respectively.  The day's final game saw Fritz Englund top former Dutch Champion Arnold van Foreest, who, with six straight defeats on the ledger, seems unable to find his best form.

Current standings:  Janowski, Alekhine 6; Yates 5; Ed. Lasker 4; Olland, te Kolsté 3 1/2; Englund 3; Breyer, Geus 2 1/2; Speijer 2; Mieses, Loman 1 1/2; Schelfhout 1; van Foreest 0.

Janowski, as second player in a Ruy Lopez, employed his beloved pair of Bishops to good advantage vs. Breyer,  forcing the win of White's Queen at the 38th move and deciding the contest a dozen moves later.  The possible variations beginning with 38.Rd2 Rxf1+! 39.Kxf1 Be2+!, which the reader will find included with the game score, are pure Janowski.

Alekhine, as White in a French Defense, played what must be regarded as a relatively quiet game by his standards to defeat Geus.  The young Russian gained a pawn at the 19th move and slowly but surely steered the contest toward victory in a Rook and Knight endgame.  An exchange sacrifice at the end finished matters.

Yates played direct and powerful chess to gain the advantage against Mieses' rather sedate handling of the Vienna Game.  Black's 27...Qe3! is worthy of notice; if then 28.Qxd3? Qxd3 29.Rxd3 Re1+ 30.Bf1 Rxf1+ 31.Kg2 Rg1 mate.  The English Master afterward secured the victory in a double Bishop endgame.


Edward Lasker, as second player in a Dutch Defense vs. Loman, won the exchange for a pawn at the 20th move but could thereafter make little progress, owing likely to the strong White center and the absence of an entry-way into the White position for the Black Rooks.  The game was agreed drawn at the 38th move.

Olland recorded a devastating victory over Speijer in a Petroff Defense, overunning the Black King-side and taking the game in only 24 moves.

Schelfhout-te Kolsté, a French Defense, arrived after 39 moves at an endgame that saw Black with Rook and three pawns against White's Rook and two.  All the pawns being situated on the King-side of the  board, a draw was thought the most likely outcome.  Nevertheless, te Kolsté labored on, and found his efforts rewarded 40 moves later.  Some of the endgame adepts among our fellows claim that 70.Ra8 represents White's decisive error, with either 70.Re8+ or 70.Rg8 being sufficient to hold the draw, an opinion whose validity we leave to the analytical judgment of our readers.

In our concluding game of the day, the unfortunate van Foreest obtained a fine position against Englund, only to see it crumble in the short space of a few moves.  We suspect that 27.Reg1 was an oversight, missing the reply 27...Ne7; soon thereafter, the ghastly blunder 30.Rg7? finished matters immediately.


No comments: