Sunday, December 29

Games from the Trebitsch tournament: Josef Hrdina

In our previous report on the 5th Leopold Trebitsch Memorial tournament at Vienna we presented a loss by fifth-place finisher Josef Hrdina, who battled tourney winner Carl Schlechter blow-for-blow before committing a gross blunder when sorely pressed for time.  We likewise earlier published Hrdina's defeat at the hands of Dr. Tartakower.  Hrdina, a promising young player and already holder of a degree in Engineering, had previously appeared in our pages only once before the recent Trebitsch event, when he fell victim to a miniature by Karel Opocencky a few months ago at the Hauptturnier in Jungbunzlau.  We now redress this rather unequal balance and offer two victories by Hrdina, who at the moment seems to straddle the divide that separates the Master from the highly skilled amateur.  At the Trebitsch tourney, for example, he scored only a single point from eight games vs. Reti, Tartakower, Spielmann, and Schlechter, drawing once each with the two latter-named; against the remainder of the field, however - Albin, Schara, Löwy, Strobl, Kirschen - Hrdina displayed devastating force, winning nine of ten games, his lone defeat being inflicted by the veteran Albin. Whether Hrdina will rise to join the world's elite, only time and practice will reveal. For the present we can take delight in productions such as the following.

Here Hrdina with 14...d5! and 16...Nxh2! inaugurates a most attractive attack; the dance of the Black Knights is particularly striking.  We are indebted for many of the supplemental variations to our sharp-eyed friend Herr Fritz.

Hrdina can be equally proficient in defense, as in our other offering of the day, in which all Albin's vain attempts to attack lead only to his own defeat.


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