Alexander Alekhine defeated Aron Niemzowitsch in a stormy battle to take the first game of their play-off match for the title of Champion of the All-Russian Masters' tournament at St. Petersburg. The 21-year old Alekhine achieved a winning position on the Black side of a Four Knights' Game, only to misplay the attack and find himself struggling to avoid disadvantage. Next came the turn of Niemzowitsch to err, as the Latvian Master, disdaining a drawn result, overstepped the bounds of safety in an attempt to force the win and, as so often occurs in such circumstances, went down to defeat. The fluctuating course of the opening game may perhaps be attributed to understandable nervous tension on the part of both players owing to the high stakes involved, as the winner of the current match will not only gain possession of the Championship title, but will be offered the opportunity to compete in the upcoming grand international tourney scheduled for this same city in April. Such a prospect is sufficient to unsettle even the steadiest of natures.
We present the game score below, along with a few comments kindly supplied by the winner. In reviewing the dispatches received from St. Petersburg we note that in none of them has the precise length of the play-off contest been specified, and we apologize to our readers for our inability to provide definite information in that regard. The futher course of the match should at all events make the situation clear.
The first game of the play-off: