Friday, September 20

Duras-Kupchik match: Duras wins again, leads 2-0

Oldrich Duras defeated Abraham Kupchik in only 21 moves to take the second game of their three-game match at the Café Monopol.  The Czech Master, who now leads by a score of 2-0, has thus assured himself of overall victory in the series; the third game will, however, still be played, and is scheduled for this evening.

Kupchik, playing White, essayed the Queen's Gambit, with Duras accepting the offered pawn at the third move.  The contest soon thereafter transposed into a Slav Defense.  At his 14th turn Kupchik, undaunted by the reputation of his famous foe, ventured the sacrifice of a Knight, and at first blush seemed likely to obtain at least a draw thereby.  Duras, however, defended excellently, and students of the game should note both Black's 17...Nc6!, intending to meet 18.Qxc6 with 18...Bxh2+, and, especially, his masterly stroke 18...Rd8!, a counter far superior to the plausible 18...Qg6, which would allow White a perpetual check via 19.Qf3+ Kg8 20.Qd5+, etc.  The full depth of Duras' conception was revealed after 19.Bxf6 Bxh2+ 20.Kxh2 Rxd5, when Kupchik could not escape material loss, 21.Be5 failing to 21...Nxe5 22.dxe5 c3, followed by 23...c2, and 21.Bh4, as played, costing a piece after 21...Rh5.  We consider this short, sharp game to be one of Duras' brighter achievements on his American tour.


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