Monday, September 30

Kostic in South America: Queen sacrifice

We have learned that Serbian Master Boris Kostic is presently in South America, where he recently completed an engagement at the Buenos Aires Chess Club, thereby adding his name to those of Lasker and Capablanca among famous chess visitors to that far-off locale.  Kostic contested short matches and individual games against many top Argentine experts and gave several exhibitions of simultaneous play, including one blindfold performance against ten opponents, on that occasion winning six games and drawing two others.  We append a match game in which the peripatetic Master defeated Sr. Roland Illa, Champion of Buenos Aires and erstwhile opponent of both Dr. Lasker and Capablanca during their respective sojourns in the Argentine.  The contest below will prove a feast for analysts, as Kostic bravely sacrifices his Queen for two minor pieces and only reaps the rewards of his enterprising play many moves thereafter.  Fortuna fortes adjuvat.


Sunday, September 29

Marshall-Duras match: Marshall wins first game

United States Champion Frank J. Marshall yesterday defeated Bohemian Master Oldrich Duras in 36 moves to take the initial contest of their five-game series at the Manhattan Chess Club.  Marshall, playing White, opened with the Queen's Pawn, with the game soon entering the lines of the 2...c6, or Slav, Defense to the Queen's Gambit.  The American Champion seemed to enjoy a slight advantage throughout, and Duras expended a great deal of thinking time in the attempt to hold the balance - indeed, by his 21st turn the Czech found himself with only seven minutes remaining of his two hours allotted to reach the 30th move. Duras survived this crisis, but soon thereafter committed a blunder with 35...Nf7, allowing Marshall to win Queen for Rook and Knight with 36.Re1.  Feeling that further resistance was pointless, Duras thereupon resigned.

We have some slight doubts as to the complete accuracy of the game score, as it seems to us that Duras might have won the exchange by playing ...Nb4 at either the 33rd or 34th move.  Our own level of skill, however, lies far, far below that of the contestants in this series, and so we leave such judgments to those better qualified to make them.

The second game will be played tomorrow.


Capablanca wins rapid transit tourney with clean score

Havana's José R. Capablanca yesterday afternoon posted a clean 5-0 score in winning a strong six-man rapid transit tournament at the Manhattan Club Club.  Capablanca, likely the world's strongest player at this form of chess, defeated United States Champion Frank J. Marshall, Abraham Kupchik, Oldrich Duras, Alfred Ettlinger and George F. Adair to claim first prize.  Second place was taken by Marshall with a score of 4-1, the U.S. Champion losing his game vs. Capablanca but defeating all other opponents.  Kupchik and Duras followed at 2 1/2 points each, with the former winning a play-off for third prize.  We supply a crosstable of the tourney below, while expressing our regrets that, as is usually the case with this form of competition, we have no game scores to share with our readers.  Rapid transit games, by their very nature generally less polished than serious tournament encounters, can nevertheless be of great sporting interest, and often present sudden and unexpected changes of fortune, along with occasional flashes of true brilliance. They are the chess Master's equivalent of a great artist's pencil sketches, and equally worthy of preservation. The man who devises an efficient and reliable method of recording such ephemeral creations will enjoy our undying gratitude.

                               C        M       K       D       E       A       Total
Capablanca       x         1        1        1       1        1        5
Marshall             0        x        1        1       1        1        4
Kupchik              0        0       x        =       1        1       2 1/2
Duras                   0       0       =         x       1        1       2 1/2
Ettlinger             0       0       0         0       x       1       1
Adair                   0       0       0         0       0       x       0

Friday, September 27

Bohemian Championship: Games from the Hauptturnier

We close our reporting of the Bohemian Championship by presenting several games from the Hauptturnier run concurrently with the principal event.  As noted in an earlier item, first prize and entry into the ranks of the Masters was won by Karel Opocensky with 11 1/2 points from 15 games.  Opocensky's brightest victory from the tourney, a likely future anthology piece, has already appeared in this space.  Here we present another of his triumphs.


The game between Opocensky and second prize winner Metodej Gargulak resulted in a draw after a most colorful and spirited struggle.

Gargulak produced some fine chess of his own during the course of the tournament.  Here he out-calculates K. Meissner in a sharp tactical battle.

In the following contest Gargulak bests V. Kornia, unleashing an attack that loses none of its potency even after the exchange of Queens.

M. Hajn defeated the tourney winner in a rollicking game.

We close with a brilliant piece of play, the game R. Stoklaska - O. Sundstrom, in which White first sacrifices a Bishop for a strong attack and later concludes matters with the offer of a Rook to force checkmate.  Some may consider White's final move rather obvious; we nevertheless find it most attractive.

Thursday, September 26

Duras gives simultaneous exhibition at Manhattan Chess Club; Marshall-Duras match and strong rapid tourney to be held soon

Oldrich Duras, the visiting Bohemian Master, yesterday evening gave his first exhibition of simultaneous play in America, the occasion being the opening of the new season at the Manhattan Chess Club.  The performer took on 29 opponents, many of considerable strength, making the fine score of 19 wins and 2 draws, against 8 defeats.  The busy Duras, who recently bested Abraham Kupchik in a three-game match, will next take on United States Champion Frank J. Marshall in a five-game series set to begin at the Manhattan Club on the 28th inst., with Marshall handling the White pieces in the first game.  In addition, on the afternoon of the 28th, prior to the opening game of the Marshall-Duras contest, the Club will host a strong rapid transit tournament featuring the participation of not only Marshall, Duras, and Kupchik, but also of José R. Capablanca, who finds himself once again in New York en route to Europe, whither he will sail in approximately one week's time in connection with his work for the Cuban diplomatic corps.

We have received the score of one game from the Duras exhibition.  In general we are hesitant to publish losses by the performer, but the contest appended below being of particular quality and interest, we see sufficient reason to set aside our scruples on this occasion.  It is well-known that an aggressive policy is rather more likely to succeed against the exhibitor than a defensive one, and Mr. Dornbach here takes that advice very much to heart, sacrificing a piece for two pawns as early as the eighth move against Duras' own 6.c4 variation of the Ruy Lopez, and maintaining the initiative thereafter straight through to a victorious conclusion.


Wednesday, September 25

Bohemian Championship: More games from Jungbunzlau

We present a selection of fine games from the recent Bohemian Championship at Jungbunzlau (Mladá Boleslav).  Our first offering is a contest of great sporting importance between Reti and new Bohemain Champion Hromadka.  In it, Reti handles the first half of the game quite well, and by the 23rd move enjoys an endgame advantage a clear pawn to the good.  Soon thereafter, however, the young Master misplaces his Knight on the eighth rank, where it later falls victim to the Black Rook.  Reti has been most active in recent months, and is the only Master to have taken part in all four tournaments at Vienna, Budapest, Debrecen, and Jungbunzlau. Perhaps a bit of fatigue has set in, something quite understandable under the circumstances. In any case, had the result of this game been reversed, Reti and not Hromadka would have claimed the Bohemian title.  For the benefit of our younger or less experienced readers, we point out that while in the final position the promotion square of the Black a-pawn is indeed of the color opposite to that on which his Bishop travels, the presence of Rooks on the board alters matters, making the game a theoretical win for the second player.


As noted in our original report on the Jungbunzlau tourney, Hromadka, the winner, tallied four victories and one draw from his five games with the Black pieces.  The new Champion's fine win over Pokorny appeared in our earlier entry; here he defeats Schubert via the pretty combinational blow 32...Qxh4+

And here Hromadka makes excellent use of the two Bishops in the endgame to overcome Dobias.  The steady and unhurried means by which Black opens the game on the King-side and secures for himself a winning passed pawn will reward careful study.


Second prize winner F. Treybal defeated the Champion in their individual encounter, checkmating Hromadka to round off a fine maneuvering game.

Knowing the preference of many of our readers for King-side attacks, we close with two victories by Oscar Tenner, who shared 3rd-5th places with Reti and L. Prokes.  In the first, Tenner defeats J. Brach, employing the classic Bxh7+ sacrifice in slightly unusual form, as a Black Knight stands on f6.

In our final offering, Tenner infiltrates on the dark squares to defeat Treybal.

The Jungbunzlau Hauptturnier also produced its fair share of top-notch games, and we plan to share the best of them with our readers withinn a few days' time.


Tuesday, September 24

Riga defeats Berlin in telegraph match, 1 1/2 - 1/2

The Riga Chess Club, already known among aficionados of our game as a true power in the field of correspondence play, has recently added to its laurels by defeating the Berlin Club in a telegraph match by the score of 1 1/2 - 1/2.  The contest, which began in December of 1911, concluded with the resignation of the second game by the Berlin side on the 31st ult.  Since 1896 the Riga Club has engaged in and won six such matches, defeating the chess clubs of Orel (2-0), Moscow (1 1/2- 1/2), Stockholm (2-0), Berlin (2-0), Moscow (return match, 1 1/2 - 1/2), and now Berlin once again (return match, 1 1/2 - 1/2), for a total score of nine wins and three draws, without the loss of a game - truly a most admirable record.  Upholding the colors for Riga on this occasion were Messrs. Karl and Robert Behting, P. Pohl, and A. Lüth; the Berlin playing committee consisted of Messrs. C. Ahues, E. Cohn, E. Post, Lewitt, Rotenstein, Salinger, and Ed. Lasker, although the contribution of the last-named must of necessity have been rather limited since his arrival in England.  We have heard that our friends at the American Chess Bulletin plan to publish a book containing all the games from the above-named matches of the Riga Club, with extensive annotations by the players themselves, a project to which we give our wholehearted approval.  Correspondence play at its highest level is capable of producing chess of extraordinary depth and beauty, and to have such masterpieces glossed by their creators is a rare treat certain to delight all true lovers of our noble game.

Herewith the two games of the Riga-Berlin match.  The first, a draw, concluded in February of this year; the second, as noted, was resigned by the Berlin team a few weeks ago.

Monday, September 23

More games from the Western Championship

As promised, we present a second selection of fine games from the recently-concluded Western Championship.  To begin, we offer another victory by Mr. B.B. Jefferson, the new Western Champion, who here convincingly defeats 1907 Champion Einar Michelsen.

Mr. Robert Scrivener, who shared 5th and 6th places with Mr. Michelsen, dealt Mr. Jefferson one of only two defeats the tourney winner suffered during the 17-round event.

As previously reported, Mr. Edward P. Elliott, last year's Champion, shared 2nd-3rd places with Mr. J.S. Morrison of Toronto, one half-point behind Mr. Jefferson.  Here Mr. Elliott adopts the Center Counter Game to defeat Mr. John T. Beckner.


We regret that the only game by Mr. Morrison to have come to hand is his loss to Mr. Winter, who took ninth place.  Still, the contest below represents an excellent performance by the winner, and should not be overlooked.

Eighth place was claimed by Mr. Herman Hahlbohm, who here defeats Mr. Michelsen in a fine heavy-piece endgame, chasing the Black King across the board and delivering checkmate at the finish.

Finally, Mr. Beckner, who finished in the middle of the pack with a score of 9-8, produced two of tourney's finest attacking games. One, vs. Mr. Hahlbohm, has already appeared in these pages. With the other, a victory over Mr. Winter, we close our report on this event.