Tuesday, December 10

Bologna tournament, Round 9: Reggio defeats Rosselli to claim lead

In a classic battle worthy of tournament leaders Milan's Arturo Reggio defeated Stefano Rosselli del Turco of Florence to claim sole possession of first place after 9 rounds of the Italian national tourney at Bologna. Rosselli, playing White in a Ruy Lopez, obtained a promising position in the early going and appears to have missed a chance for advantage with 22.Qh3! in place of the chosen 22.h4.  From that point forward Reggio gradually began to advance on his own; a glance at the position after Black's 21st and 31st moves will demonstrate the progress made in the interim by the second player.  The critical point of the contest came at White's 35th move when Rosselli, seeking to stem the Black advance, first sacrificed the exchange via 35.Rxe4 dxe4 and then left his remaining Rook en prise with 36.Qh3.  Capture of the offered Rook, while perhaps not fatal for Black, would have allowed the Florentine Master to unleash an extremely dangerous King-side attack, as the variations adduced below - for which we are indebted to our friend Herr Fritz - will clearly demonstrate. Reggio, exhibiting the cool-headedness of an experienced fighter, declined the sacrifice with the safe and sound 36...Qf5 and soon brought about an endgame in which his extra exchange played the decisive role.  Rosselli resigned at the 44th move in view of the unavoidable loss of his a-pawn and the resultant creation of a winning Black passed pawn on that file.

Today's loss, though undoubtedly a heavy blow to Rosselli, in no way extinguishes his chances for top honors, as Reggio will be idle during the next (10th) round and thus Rosselli with a victory over his opponent D'Amelio can once again claim a share of first place entering the 11th and final round of the tourney.

In the day's other action Giovanni Cenni maintained his solid grip on third place by outplaying Gastone Montessori in a heavy-piece endgame, Camillo D'Amelio defeated Giuseppe Benini, and Pietro Belli, who at last seems to be rounding into form, scored his second victory in succession by topping Guido Matteucci. Alberto Batori was awarded a forfeit victory over Efrem Ferraris, who has been forced to leave the tournament owing to exigent circumstances.  Corrado Buono had the bye.

Scores after 9 rounds:  Reggio 7 1/2; Rosselli* 6 1/2; Cenni* 6; Batori* 4 1/2; Montessori*, Buono* 4; Matteucci 3 1/2*; D'Amelio* 3; Benini* 2 1/2; Belli* 2, Ferraris 1 1/2.

We are in receipt of two games from the tourney's 9th round, the victory by Reggio over Rosselli and the defeat of Montessori by Cenni.  We naturally begin with the battle between the tournament leaders.  The complexities attendant to the acceptance of the Rook sacrifice offered by Rosselli at his 36th move are so numerous that we have taken the extraordinary step of providing two supplementary diagrams with analysis of the apposite variations. Those readers who prefer to play through a game score unencumbered by lengthy alternative lines will find their preference reflected immediately below; those, on the other hand, who delight in the variegated possibilities of a fearsome King-side attack will find much to their taste in the additional offerings.      


We conclude today's lengthy report with the victory by Cenni over Montessori.


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