Wednesday, September 11

Progressive Chess Club Quadrangular Masters' Tournament, Round 5: Marshall, Duras win; rivals are tied for lead entering final round

Tourney co-leaders Frank J. Marshall and Oldrich Duras both scored victories in the penultimate round of the Progressive Chess Club Quadrangular Masters' Tournament to set the stage for a dramatic conclusion to the event.  Marshall defeated Oscar Chajes, who adopted the risky Albin Counter-Gambit against the American Champion, while Duras topped Charles Jaffe in an unusual variation of the Queen's Gambit Accepted.  Marshall and Duras thus enter the sixth and final round with identical 4-1 scores; the former will play Black against Jaffe, while the latter will likewise handle the Black pieces in facing Chajes. Those wishing to attend the tournament's denouement should note that the venue for the final round will be the Newark Rice Chess Club at 184 William St., Newark, New Jersey, where play will begin at 7 p.m. on September 12th.

Scores after 5 rounds:  Marshall, Duras 4; Chajes 1 1/2; Jaffe 1/2

Chajes evinced his desire for open battle from the start vs. Marshall, venturing the bold 2...e5 in response to White's Queen's Gambit and appearing to hold his own in the early play.  The American Champion thought for more than 30 minutes over the advance 12.c5, to which Chajes replied 12...a6, a counter deemed by several experts on hand inferior to the more direct 12...Ngxe5. As played, a series of exchanges soon ensued, producing an endgame with a two-pawn surplus for White, which advantage Marshall duly turned to account.

Jaffe selected the rare 1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nd7 vs. Duras, with the game soon transposing into a version of the Queen's Gambit Accepted.  The American Master strove mightily to open lines on the King-side, even at the cost of weakening his position, and traded blows with his Czech counterpart until the dreadful blunder 25...Rh4?, an oversight costing him a piece and, soon afterward, the game.


No comments: