Saturday, December 7

Bologna tournament, Round 7: Rosselli wins again, increases lead

Tournament leader Stefano Rosselli del Turco maintained his torrid pace with yet another victory in the seventh round of the Italia Scacchistica national tourney at Bologna.  Rosselli's win over Giuseppe Benini brought his score to 6 1/2 points from 7 games and increased his lead over Arturo Reggio to a full point after the latter was only able draw his game vs. Gastone Montessori.  Giovanni Cenni, currently well clear of the remainder of the field in third position, defeated Efrem Ferraris to remain within 1 1/2 points of the leader, a gap he will certainly look to close in the next round when Rosselli will be free with the bye.  In other games, Corrado Buono dealt yet another defeat to Pietro Belli, while Guido Matteucci and Camillo D'Amelio fought to a draw.  Alberto Batori had today's bye.

Scores after 7 rounds:  Rosselli 6 1/2; Reggio 5 1/2; Cenni* 5; A. Batori* 3 1/2; Montessori*, Buono 3; Benini*, Matteucci* 2 1/2; D'Amelio* 2; Ferraris 1 1/2; Belli* 0.
Those players marked with an asterisk * have already had the bye.

The victories by Rosselli and Cenni were unfortunately not included in today's cable from Italy, and so we begin with the draw between Montessori and Reggio, a game that the latter seemed at times likely to lose. Montessori, playing White, chose a quiet line of the Ruy Lopez. Queens were exchanged at the 21st move, after which the first player appeared to enjoy a slight endgame superiority.  White won a pawn at his 34th turn, with Black thereafter looking to his strong central Knight and passed d-pawn for counterplay.  The draw was agreed at the 52nd move in a position with Montessori still in possession of an extra pawn, and, to our eye at least, still with excellent chances of achieving victory, as the reader may verify for himself:


Buono pressed Belli in a French Defense, the latter defending himself well until the unfortunate 26...Qc7? allowed 27.Qh7!, threatening a crushing capture on e6.  Our friend Herr Fritz has found a most interesting variation beginning with the superior 26...Rc8, which we have included with the game score; as matters went, the Black position fell apart move by move, with Belli resigning at his 32nd turn when faced with mate in 2.

The meeting between Matteucci and D'Amelio produced an interesting if truncated battle, with the draw being agreed at the 37th move in a position where Black, holding two connected passed pawns for the exchange, might at least have required his opponent to demonstrate a clear path to equality.


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