Wednesday, January 22

St. Petersburg All-Russian tournament, Round 10: Alekhine tops Niemzowitsch in battle of front-runners to retake sole lead

Alexander Alekhine bested Aron Niemzowitsch in a clash of tournament leaders to reclaim sole first place after ten rounds of the St. Petersburg All-Russian Masters' tournament. Alekhine, with 8 1/2 points to his credit, now stands a full point ahead of his nearest competitors, Niemzowitsch and Alexander Flamberg, with 7 1/2 points each, and Moishe Lowtzky, with 7. Each member of the pursuing trio has already faced the 21-year old tournament leader and so must hope for one of the outsiders to slow Alekhine's seemingly relentless progress. The day produced a number of fascinating games, five of which the reader will find reproduced below.

Tenth round results:

Alekhine  1-0  Niemzowitsch
Flamberg ½-½  Levenfish
Lowtzky  1-0  Evensohn
Eljaschoff  ½-½  Smorodsky
Bogoljubow  1-0  Gregory
Salwe  1-0  Levitsky
Znosko-Borovsky  1-0  Lebedev
Alapin  0-1  v. Freymann
Taubenhaus  1-0  Evtifeev

Scores after 10 rounds:  Alekhine 8 1/2; Niemzowitsch, Flamberg 7 1/2; Lowtzky 7; Smorodsky, Levenfish, Bogoljubow 6; Evensohn, Salwe, Znosko-Borovsky 5 1/2; Alapin 5; v. Freymann, Levitsky 4 1/2; Taubenhaus 3 1/2; Evtifeev 3; Lebedev 2 1/2; Eljaschoff 1 1/2; Gregory 1/2

We begin our presentation of games from the round with the contest between the the joint leaders. Niemzowitsch essayed the Open Defense against the Ruy Lopez of Alekhine, the game following the course of an offhand encounter between Dr. Lasker and Janowski from a year ago until Black at his 13th move chose 13...Ne4 in preference to Janowski's 13...Ne6. Alekhine soon obtained the superior position, and rather easily turned aside the attempt by Niemzowitsch to complicate matters via 26...Nxf2. The victor has kindly supplied notes to the game.

N.B. Our sources in St. Petersburg have transmitted two versions of the game score, namely, the one offered below and another in which the repetition of moves between Black's 21st and 23rd turns does not occur and in which, moreover, White's 25th move is given as 25.Red1 rather than 25.Rad1. This latter discrepancy, curiously enough, seems to have little or no effect on the plausibility of the variations given by Alekhine at Black's 26th turn, and the question of which Rook was played to d1 soon thereafter becomes moot following Black's 27th move and White's recapturing reply.

Flamberg appears to have been most fortunate to escape with a draw vs. Levenfish. Our clubmate Herr Fritz believes that Black could have decided matters in the middlegame with 32...Nf3+!; in addition, near the close of the contest 53...h5! in place of 53...Qc4+ seems to lead to a winning pawn endgame for the second player. We have incorporated Herr Fritz's variations in support of these claims into the game score.

Lowtzky scored a fine victory over the Cambridge Springs Defense of Evensohn, finishing matters with an announced mate.

Salwe gave evidence of his endgame mastery vs. Levitsky, with White's Rook and Bishop triumphing over Black's Rook and Knight.

Znosko-Borovsky won a pawn against the French Defense of Lebedev and later outplayed his opponent in a heavy-piece endgame.


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