Sunday, August 18

Scheveningen tournament, Round 9: Alekhine cedes first draw, to Yates; Janowski, Ed. Lasker, Breyer tally wins

Tourney leader Alexander Alekhine saw his run of consecutive victories come to an end in the ninth round of the Scheveningen International Masters' Tournament when he was held to a draw by England's F.D. Yates in a lively and hard-fought struggle. Alekhine, with 8 1/2 points, maintains a half-point lead over David Janowski, who defeated Rudolf Loman in a Rook endgame.  Yates, with 6 1/2 points, retains his hold on third place, followed closely by Edward Lasker, who recovered from a faulty opening to defeat Abraham Speijer.  In other games, Gyula Breyer took a stirring contest from Klaas Geus, Fritz Englund won a piece straight out of the opening vs. Dr. A.G. Olland en route to victory, and the unfortunate J.W. te Kolsté, who likewise found himself a piece ahead early on against Jacques Mieses, lost that surplus piece and another as well in the space of half a dozen moves to suffer a crushing defeat.  Willem Schelfhout was free, gaining a point by virtue of his pairing against the departed A.E. van Foreest.  All in all, it was a round of exciting struggles, reversals of fortune, and startling blunders, as the reader may observe by examining the game scores below.

Current scores: Alekhine 8 1/2; Janowski 8; Yates 6 1/2; Ed. Lasker 6; Breyer 5 1/2; Olland, Englund 5; Geus 4 1/2; J.W. te Kolsté 3 1/2, Mieses, Speijer 3; Loman 2 1/2; Schelfhout 2; van Foreest 0.

Yates, playing White in a Ruy Lopez, sacrificed his Queen against Alekhine.  The Englishman gained Rook, Knight, and pawn in return, and succeeded in holding the balance in a spirited battle.  The draw was agreed at the 38th move.

Janowski, whose dislike for the endgame is well-known, exchanged Queens against Loman at the 16th move and successfully took advantage of his opponent's weak pawns in the ensuing play.  One apparently need not like the endgame to play it well.

Abraham Speijer, playing White in a Queen's Gambit Declined, won a clear pawn after Edward Lasker's 14...Qd5?, only to return it via 21.Be5? Bg2.  The Dutch representative later went astray in a Rook endgame, handing the victory to his opponent.


Geus and Breyer engaged in a wild game in the Schliemann Variation (3...f5) of the Ruy Lopez, with both Kings coming under attack.  Breyer at last emerged with an extra pawn in a heavy-piece endgame, but the outcome was still far from certain when Geus brought matters to a quick end following the blunder 28.Rd2?  

Fritz Englund employed Bird's old favorite 1.f4 to defeat Dr. Olland, winning a piece at the 19th move and easily turning aside Black's attempts to gain counter-play.

The day's greatest reversal of fortune was seen in the contest between te Kolsté and Mieses, where White won a piece as early as the seventh move against his opponent's Center Counter Game, only to lose two in return in the following play.  We commoners, more accustomed to such misadventures, can perhaps console ourselves with the thought that these things happen on occasion even to Masters.


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