Monday, March 31

World Champion in Russia: Dr. Bernstein defeats Dr. Lasker in exhibition game

Dr. Ossip Bernstein scored a convincing triumph over Dr. Emanuel Lasker in an exhibition game played at Moscow on the 29th inst., defeating the World Champion from the Black side of a Queen's Pawn Game. The Champion, via simple means, seemed at first glance to gain a promising position in the game's opening phase. With 12.Bh6 and 13.Nd6+ he began to harass the Black King, which had yet to find safety on either wing. Dr. Bernstein, however, handled the complications well, emerging therefrom at the 20th move with an extra pawn and a solid position, thus leaving one to speculate whether Dr. Lasker might not have improved his play at some point. Black advanced briskly in the subsequent endgame, and indeed might have decided matters even sooner with the pretty 28...g5!, a move spotted by our Argus-eyed friend Herr Fritz. Still, Dr. Bernstein was not to be denied his victory. With resolute play he reduced White to a hopeless state, and received the Champion's resignation at the 43rd move.

While acknowledging that one game proves very little, we nevertheless feel compelled to note that this most recent encounter has somewhat tempered our earlier sanguine opinion concerning Dr. Lasker's current form. Rarely have we seen him defeated so convincingly. The Champion will certainly need to raise his play to a higher level if he wishes to compete for top honors at St. Petersburg. Time will tell, and that time is coming soon.

We present the game.


Sunday, March 30

World Champion in Russia: Alekhine, Dr. Lasker play to short, sharp draw in exhibition game

On the 28th inst. Russian co-Champion Alexander Alekhine and World Champion Dr. Emanuel Lasker played to a draw in 16 moves in an exhibition game at Moscow, the first meeting over the board between one of the rising stars of the new generation and the standard-bearer of the established order. The contest, a Scotch Game, proved of more than usual interest despite its brief duration, with Alekhine sacrificing a Bishop at his 13th turn and offering the exchange at his 14th in order to force perpetual check while a Rook to the bad. Students of opening play will wish to make note of the World Champion's 10th move, 10...Be6, which we believe to be a new try in a well-known position, 10...c6 being the most common continuation. The two players will meet again soon at the much-anticipated St. Petersburg tournament, set to begin in a few weeks' time.

Herewith the game score.


Saturday, March 29

World Champion in Russia: Dr. Lasker, in fine form, tops consulting team at Moscow

If one may judge from the latest example of his play to reach us from Russia, Dr. Lasker's long absence from serious chess has had little or no deleterious effect on his playing strength. The World Champion, once again in Moscow after his excursion to Ryazan, on the 26th inst. took on and defeated the strong consulting team of Messrs. Blumenfeld, Pavlov, and Estrin, winning in attractive style in 35 moves. The game, a Ruy Lopez, displays the Champion's accustomed positional and tactical mastery, with the peregrinations of White's King's Knight from g1-f3-d4-f5-h6-f7-h6-g4 being of particular interest. In the final position Black will soon lose a second pawn at the very least.

Dr. Lasker's next exhibition games - the first vs. Alekhine, followed by a return contest vs. Dr. Bernstein - should provide even more evidence of his present form in advance of the St. Petersburg tourney. We hope that form is most excellent indeed, as the Champion, at his best, is capable of producing works of such virtuosity and depth as to bring delight to all true lovers of our noble game.

We append the latest victory by the Doctor.

Friday, March 28

Dr. Tarrasch in Switzerland: Zurich

Dr. Tarrasch has successfully completed his tour of Italy. We understand that the Doctor sojourned in Rome for a few days on his way north from Naples and was very much taken with the beauty and charm of the Eternal City. The latest report that we have to hand places the Praeceptor Germaniae in Zurich, where on the 24th inst. he faced the consulting team of Dr. Müller, Dr. Blass, and Herr K. Biedendorf in a hard-fought contest that ended in favor of the allies after 48 moves. The game is appended; the finale, in which the White players sacrifice a Rook in order to ensure the advance of their d-pawn, is most worthy of attention.

Thursday, March 27

World Champion in Russia: Dr. Lasker employs King's Gambit to win sharp miniature from team of consulting opponents

We are in receipt of more news of Dr. Lasker's doings in Russia. The World Champion traveled from Moscow more than 100 miles to the southeast, to the city of Ryazan, where in simultaneous play against 29 opponents he scored 25 victories and 3 draws, with only one defeat. The latest report from the land of the Czar also included the score of a fine game won by the Doctor on the 25th inst. in Ryazan against a consulting team of five strong players, a contest that we assume took place independently of the aforementioned exhibition, although our source is unclear on this point.

In the game Dr. Lasker, as he is sometimes wont to do on less formal occasions, essayed the King's Gambit - to be specific, the rather rare Rosentreter Gambit 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g5 4.d4. The Champion's consulting opponents eschewed the standard reply 4...g4 in favor of 4...d5, a move that we can recall having seen in only one prior contest, Spielmann-E. Cohn from the Abbazia gambit tournament of 1912. After 5.exd5 the Black allies opted for 5...Qxd5 in place of Cohn's 5...g4, producing a position not to be found in our card index. Dr. Lasker developed his forces expeditiously, and with 10. Ne5 left his Queen's pawn en prise, an offer the consultants wisely saw fit to decline, as the subjoined notes will demonstrate. The Champion nevertheless appeared to have somewhat the better of things when the allies' 19...Nc8? allowed a quick finish via 20.Bc4 Qf5 21.Rh6!, posing unanswerable threats to the Black Queen and King.

We present the game below.    

Wednesday, March 26

Capablanca in Paris: Cuban defeats Aurbach in second exhibition game

José R. Capablanca defeated Arnold Aurbach in the second game of their exhibition match at Paris to take the contest by a 2-0 score. Aurbach, with the White pieces, chose the Scotch Opening, and the game followed well-known paths until Black's 11th turn, when the Cuban opted for 11...Bd7, a move that does not appear in our card index. The French player, seeking to punish Black's novel idea, soon sacrificed a pawn via 15.Nf5 Be5 16.Rfe1 Rxb2 17.Qh3, having an eye toward a powerful King-side attack. But Capablanca, acting with his accustomed coolness, put a quick end to White's hopes with the calm 17...g6, a move leading to the exchange of several pieces and leaving Black with both a material and a positional advantage in the resultant heavy-piece endgame. Black gained a second pawn at the 24th move and stood ready to collect further booty when White resigned three moves later.

Capablanca appears to be in top form at the present time and has acquitted himself marvelously well in recent months, defeating Aurbach, Mieses, Teichmann, Alekhine, Tartakower, Reti, and others in exhibition play. We rate his chances of winning the coming St. Petersburg tourney as at least equal to those of Rubinstein and Dr. Lasker, the former inactive for more than a year now and the latter for more than three. To best the Cuban at his current strength will require a mighty effort indeed.

We append the second game of the Capablanca-Aurbach exhibition match.

Tuesday, March 25

World Champion in Russia: Dr. Lasker defeats Bernstein in Moscow exhibition game

We learn via cable that Dr. Emanuel Lasker, the World Champion, has arrived in Russia in advance of next month's grand tournament at St. Petersburg. The Doctor, who has not contested a serious game since his Championship match vs. Janowski in late 1910, appears determined to enter the lists in fighting trim, with exhibition, consultation, and simultaneous games on his agenda over the coming days. Yesterday, March 24th, he defeated Dr. Ossip Bernstein in an exhibition game played at Moscow, scoring the point in 33 moves from the Black side of a Ruy Lopez. The game, which the reader will find below, originally followed the course of the brilliant victory by Capablanca over Dr. Bernstein from San Sebastian, 1911.  At the 13th move Dr. Lasker chose 13...Rfe8 in preference to the 13...Rab8 played vs. Capablanca by Dr. Bernstein, who handled the Black pieces in that earlier encounter, and the inquisitive observer is led to wonder whether the Champion, through his choice of opening, is indicating to the world that he has most carefully studied the games of his young Cuban rival.  At all events, yesterday's contest began to turn in favor of Dr.Lasker after 18.Qe2? Qxb2, which secured for Black a material advantage. A subsequent exchange sacrifice yielded a powerful set of passed pawns, and Dr. Bernstein soon resigned in view of the unstoppable advance of the enemy infantry.

A second exhibition game between the same opponents is scheduled to take place in a few days' time, and Dr. Lasker is also set to meet the young Russian co-Champion Alexander Alekhine in single combat, a clash that will mark their first-ever meeting over the board. We hope to present these and other games of the World Champion as they come to hand.

Herewith the Bernstein-Lasker contest:

Monday, March 24

Capablanca in Paris: Visitor wins two simultaneous clock games

In Paris at the famous Café de la Régence on the 22nd inst. José R. Capablanca provided yet another demonstration of his chessboard prowess by defeating first-rank French players Adolphe Silbert and André Muffang in two clock games conducted simultaneously. The Cuban visitor scored both contests to his credit in his customary lucid style, the apparent ease of the victories belying the great mastery required to produce such effects. Ars est celare artem.

Silbert, with the move, handled the White pieces in rather unenterprising fashion against Capablanca's aggressive defense to the Ruy Lopez 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Bc5 4.c3 f5, and soon found himself with the inferior game. A King-side initiative by Black, capped with the fine stroke 28...Nf3!, brought about the decision. The young Muffang, as second player in a Queen's Pawn Game, appeared at first glance to have obtained free play for his pieces after 17...e5, an illusion soon dispelled by Capablanca, who deftly essayed the temporary sacrifice of a Bishop in order to win a pawn and, in due course, the game.

We present both contests below.


Sunday, March 23

Metropolitan Chess League: Brooklyn club defeats Manhattan 4 1/2 - 3 1/2 in clash of league leaders

The opening season of the new Metropolitan Chess League is well underway, with twelve teams - representing the Brooklyn, Columbia, Eastern District, Lyceum, Manhattan, North Jersey, Ocean Hill, Progressive, Queen's Gambit, Rice (Newark), Staten Island, and Washington Heights chess clubs - competing on a regular basis. One unfortunate occasion of discord arose early on, when the Rice Chess Club of New York withdrew from the competition, the stated reason being the appearance of several Rice Club members on the roster of the Progressive Club team. As many, if not most, metropolitan chess aficionados maintain a membership in more than one club, we consider the objection by Prof. Rice, whom we hold in the highest regard, to be quite unfounded, and the withdrawal of his club from league play to represent a serious error in judgment on his part. To his credit, let it be noted that Prof. Rice has stated that notwithstanding the refusal of his team to participate in the league he will nevertheless supply the trophy that he had promised to award to the team taking second place in the competition.

To return to events on the chessboard, on the 14th inst. the Brooklyn and Manhattan clubs, both then undefeated in league play, met in Brooklyn in a much-anticipated clash, with the hosts prevailing by a narrow 4 1/2 - 3 1/2 score. Winners for Brooklyn were club Champion Roy T. Black and William M. de Visser, while G.E. Northrup scored for the Manhattan side, the other five games being drawn. As of this writing the Brooklyn Club has won all of its matches during the current season for an 8-0 mark, with the Manhattan and Progressive Clubs trailing close behind, each with a record of 6-1.

We have three games from the Brooklyn-Manhattan match to offer to our readers, all worthy of attention. In the first, Roy T. Black wins a pawn from Manhattan's Leonard B. Meyer and later achieves victory in a long Bishop vs. Knight endgame.

Next, Brooklyn's de Visser bests Albert Pulvermacher in a hard-fought battle that does credit to both men.

In our final offering of the day, Brooklyn's Harry Zirn and Manhattan's Magnus Smith play to a short, sharp draw.


Friday, March 21

Capablanca in Paris: Aurbach defeated by Cuban hero in first match game

From Paris comes a report that José R. Capablanca has arrived in that city after completing his engagements at Vienna. Yesterday, March 20th, the Cuban ace began a scheduled two-game exhibition match vs. Arnold Aurbach, scoring the opening contest to his credit at the 36th move. Readers may recall that the Warsaw-born Aurbach, now a resident of the French capital, faced Capablanca in two hard-fought battles played at Paris in October of last year, winning a casual encounter and losing a more formal exhibition game. In yesterday's clash the spirited Franco-Polish Master ventured the Albin Counter Gambit against his mighty adversary and seemed for a time to enjoy a fine position before Capablanca gradually brought his material superiority to bear in a heavy-piece endgame. We reproduce the game below, leaving to the analysts the task of determining where Black might have strengthened his play.

Tomorrow Capablanca is set to conduct two clock games simultaneously, his opponents being the Master Adolphe Silbert and the young prodigy André Muffang. Look for those contests to appear in this space in the near future.

Herewith the Capablanca-Aurbach encounter.

Thursday, March 20

Kupchik cedes Progressive Chess Club title to Jaffe after two tie for first in Championship tourney

In a praiseworthy display of selfless sportsmanship Abraham Kupchik has yielded the Championship of New York's Progressive Chess Club to Charles Jaffe after the two players finished tied for first place in the club's annual title tournament. Kupchik and Jaffe each posted a 10-1 score in the twelve-man round-robin event, with the former besting the latter in their individual game. As neither man expressed an interest in contesting a play-off match, a shared Championship was expected - that is, until Kupchik, to the surprise of all, offered to relinquish his claim on the crown in favor of Jaffe. The young Master, who recently captured the Championship of the Manhattan Chess Club, declared himself satisfied with that title alone and not in need of any other. For Jaffe, long one of the strongest and most active players on the New York chess scene, the present occasion marks the first time that he has reigned as Champion of any of the city's several clubs.

We have two games from the tourney to share with our readers. In the first, Kupchik defeats Jaffe in a French Defense with a pretty mating finish.

And here Kupchik scores an endgame victory over Oscar Chajes, who took third place in the Progressive Club tourney with a score of 8 1/2 - 2 1/2.


Wednesday, March 19

New York State Championship: Black defeats Rosenthal in first play-off game

We note with some regret that, as also occurred last year, the flood of newsworthy events in the contemporary chess world has once again delayed our coverage of the New York State Championship tournament. This year's tourney, a 12-man, four-round affair, took place from 22-24 February, with the Rice Chess Club graciously serving as host for the competition. Current Brooklyn Club Champion Roy T. Black and 1912 New York State Champion Jacob Rosenthal shared first place, each with 3 1/2 points, ahead of a strong field that included U.S. Champion Frank Marshall, Oscar Chajes, Charles Jaffe, and last year's New York co-Champion Leonard B. Meyer, among others.

In contrast to the 1913 tournament, when Meyer and George Beihoff agreed to share the state title, Messrs. Black and Rosenthal have elected to contest a play-off match to determine the allocation of the 1914 Championship, which will be awarded to the first player to score two victories. That play-off began at the Manhattan Chess Club on the evening of the 15th inst. and saw Black score the first game to his credit in excellent style, outplaying his opponent in a masterful Queen's Gambit Declined. The young Brooklynite thus stands but one win away from the greatest success of his career to date.

We append the game score.


Monday, March 17

Capablanca in Vienna: Cuban ace defeats Reti in difficult endgame

José R. Capablanca scored a fine endgame victory over Richard Reti in an exhibition contest held at Vienna on the 15th inst. Capablanca, with the White pieces, opted for the Ruy Lopez, to which Reti replied with the Rio de Janeiro variation. The players followed the course of the 14th game between Doctors Tarrasch and Lasker from their World Championship match of 1908 until Black's 16th move, when Reti at last varied from that earlier encounter, choosing 16...Qf6 in preference to Lasker's 16...Qh4. By the 23rd move a series of exchanges had brought about a seemingly level endgame, with each player in possession of a Rook and Bishop, the Bishops commanding squares of opposite colors. Here, however, Capablanca began to demonstrate his true strength, first sacrificing material in order obtain a dangerous passed pawn on the Queen-side and then exploiting a slight error by Reti (31...Kf8? in place of the superior 31...Rb4) to win his opponent's Bishop for two pawns. The position nevertheless remained most delicate, and it required all Capablanca's considerable endgame skill to thwart Black's efforts to exchange White's remaining pawns and achieve a draw. Reti resigned at the 50th move at a point when he might have played for one last trap with 50...d4, as indicated in the notes, although it is extremely unlikely that Capablanca would have allowed himself to be led astray with the goal so near at hand.

We present the game below. Capablanca now sets off for Paris, from where we expect to receive news of his activities in the coming days.

Sunday, March 16

Capablanca in Vienna: Second match game vs. Dr. Tartakower is drawn; Cuban wins match 1 1/2 - 1/2

José R. Capablanca and Dr. Saviely Tartakower played to a draw in the second game of their exhibition match at Vienna, the shared point being sufficient to decide the contest in favor of the Cuban visitor by the score of 1 1/2 - 1/2. Capablanca, having the move, chose to open with the King's pawn, to which Dr. Tartakower replied with the Sicilian Defense, often the harbinger of a lively struggle. On this occasion, however, Capablanca seemed content with a quiet game, exchanging Queens at the 13th move to enter an endgame promising him at best only a minimal advantage. Dr. Tartakower, no mean endgame player himself, soon set about to eliminate his opponent's slight pressure, a task at which he wholly succeeded, with Black's 22...a5 and 27...Rd6 deserving particular attention in this regard. The game was agreed drawn at the 37th move after a repetition of position indicated that neither side could discern any path toward progress.

Before leaving Vienna Capablanca is expected to contest an exhibition game vs. Richard Reti, after which the young Master will travel on to Paris for a short sojourn in the French capital.

Appended is the second game between Capablanca and Dr. Tartakower.


Saturday, March 15

Berlin quadrangular tournament: Spielmann, Cohn tie for 1st, Teichmann 3rd, Mieses 4th

The four-man Master tournament at Berlin's Café Kerkau has concluded in a joint victory by Rudolf Spielmann and Erich Cohn, each with a score of 3 1/2 - 2 1/2. Richard Teichmann, who drew all six of his games in the event, took third place with an even 3-3 score, while Jacques Mieses brought up the rear on 2 points after falling to both Spielmann and Cohn in the only two decisive games of the tourney's second tour.

This shared victory will certainly offer at least some solace to Spielmann, who in recent months has suffered two heavy defeats in matches vs. Dr. Tartakower and Teichmann. Cohn, too, must be congratulated on more than holding his own in such illustrious company and on duplicating his feat of 1909, when he shared first place with Teichmann in a similar double-round event at the Café Kolosseum, ahead of Spielmann and von Bardeleben. Teichmann's performance in the present tourney underscores the unpredictability of chess results: having only recently concluded a six-game match vs. Spielmann in which not a single draw was recorded, the German Master here completed a tournament of similar length without a decisive result on his ledger. As for Mieses, he will remain a most welcome participant in Master tournaments, as he can always be counted on to produce enterprising chess, win or lose - see, for example, his struggle vs. Cohn below.

We present a crosstable of the results, along with two further games from the event.

                                   S              C           T           M         Total
Spielmann             xx           1=        ==        01         3 1/2
Cohn                       0=            xx        ==        11         3 1/2
Teichmann           ==           ==        xx        ==        3
Mieses                   10            00        ==        xx         2

In this game from the first tour Spielmann sacrifices the exchange in return for a powerful mass of central pawns. White's 18th and 20th moves are particularly fine.

Mieses here plays an enterprising piece sacrifice vs. Cohn, but proves unable to prevail against the solid defense of his opponent. A blunder by the veteran Master decides matters at the end.