Monday, December 2

Bologna tournament, Round 4: Rosselli increases lead with fourth consecutive win

Stefano Rosselli del Turco recorded his fourth successive victory to increase his lead over Arturo Reggio to a full point after four rounds of the Italian national tournament at Bologna.  Rosselli defeated Efrem Ferraris in a King's Gambit Declined while Reggio was held to a draw in an Open Ruy Lopez by Corrado Buono, both games being distinguished by attractive, fighting chess and a heterogeneous material balance.  In other fourth-round encounters, Alberto Batori bested Camillo D'Amelio, Giovanni Cenni topped Pietro Belli, who has yet to score, and Giuseppe Benini and Guido Matteucci played to fighting draw.  Gastone Montessori was free on the day.

Scores after 4 rounds:  Rosselli 4; Reggio 3; Batori, Benini 2 1/2; Cenni* 2; Buono, Matteucci*, Montessori* 1 1/2; D'Amelio* 1; Ferraris 1/2; Belli 0.
Players marked with an asterisk * have already had the bye.

Rosselli offered the King's Gambit vs. Ferraris, who declined via 2...Bc5.  An interesting passage at arms between the 16th and 22nd moves left White with Bishop, Knight, and pawn for a Rook, although the presence of both Black Rooks on White's second rank assured Ferraris of the acquisition of further booty. The turning point of the game came at Black's 25th move, when 25...Rb4 would have led to the win of White's passed e-pawn, whereas the chosen 25...Rxa2? allowed that pawn to advance and quickly decide the contest.  Ferraris resigned six moves later.


Reggio essayed the Ruy Lopez vs. Buono, who replied with the Open Defense.  At his 7th turn White chose in place of the usual 7.Bb3 the rare continuation 7.Nxe5, a line, if we recall correctly, played by the late D.G. Baird in several games at the great New York tournament of 1889.  With 22.Rfe1 Reggio offered his Queen and Bishop for both Black Rooks, the White Rooks in consequence breaking through to the eighth rank and promising further material gain.  White seems to have missed an opportunity for advantage at the 33rd move, when 33.Re8+ Kg7 34.Ree7, threatening to capture the Black f-pawn with check, would have been preferable to the immediate 33.Ree7. As played, Buono was soon able to bring about a drawn contest by means of perpetual check with the Queen.


The Benini-Matteucci clash saw yet another struggle between dissimilar forces, as White succeeded in obtaining two minor pieces for a Rook.  Active play on the part of the second player, however, soon brought about a draw by repetition of position, although one is left with the sense that Benini may well have missed various opportunities along the way.



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