Friday, December 20

Znosko-Borovsky defeats Capablanca to draw exhibition match 1-1

Eugene Znosko-Borovsky halted the heretofore relentless victory march of José Capablanca by defeating the Cuban ace in the second and final game of their exhibition match at St. Petersburg to draw the contest with a 1-1 score.  Znosko-Borovsky, with the Black pieces, adopted the French Defense against White's opening move of the King's pawn.  The Russian came under strong attack on the Queen-side as the middlegame began, a circumstance perhaps owing to the numerous earlier displacements of the Black Queen, which made six of Black's first 18 moves and found itself consigned to a rather ineffectual post on the g7-square.  From that point forward, however, Znosko-Borovsky fought back manfully, eventually developing a counter-attack of his own after Capablanca at the 30th move sacrificed the exchange in the hope of deciding the contest with his resultant passed d-pawn.  The outcome seemed uncertain until the Black heavy pieces broke through into White's ranks, with Capablanca resigning after the Russian's 40th move.

The game was in a sense a mirror image of the first encounter between the two Masters approximately one week ago, in which Znosko-Borovsky gained an advantage against his powerful adversary, only to later lose his way and suffer defeat. With his match vs. Znosko-Borovsky now complete, Capablanca has two games remaining in the current series, against Fyodor Dus-Chotimirsky and Alekander Alekhine, each of whom he leads by a 1-0 score.  The Cuban's return game against Dus-Chotimirsky will take place on the 21st inst., while that against Alekhine is scheduled for the 23rd. 

With today's loss Capablanca likewise loses the opportunity of winning the gold cup offered as a special prize had he succeeded in winning all six games in the series.  That prize will now go to the opponent who makes the best score against the Cuban visitor, thereby requiring Dus-Cotimirsky or Alekhine to inflict another defeat on Capablanca in order to match the feat of Znosko-Borovsky and  remain in the running for the award.

We present the Capablanca-Znosko-Borovsky game below.



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