Monday, April 21

Baden gambit tournament, Round 11: Johner defeats Reti to share lead as Spielmann falls to Breyer

Paul Johner defeated Richard Reti to move into a tie for first place with Rudolf Spielmann after 11 rounds of the international Masters' gambit tournament at Baden. Johner, who held at least a share of the lead through the tourney's first five rounds, took advantage of a loss by Spielmann vs. Gyula Breyer to climb once again to the top of the score table. Today's results marked the first loss of the tourney for both Reti and Spielmann, leaving Carl Schlechter, who played to a draw vs. Karel Opocensky, as the only remaining undefeated player in the field. In other games, Dr. Saviely Tartakower profited from a blunder by Hans Fahrni to record a victory and now stands within one half-point of the leaders, while Karel Hromadka and Gustaf Nyholm played to a draw. A curious feature of today's play was the homogeneity of the openings adopted, with all five games beginning 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Bc4.

Scores after 11 rounds:  Johner, Spielmann 7 1/2; Schlechter, Tartakower 7; Reti 6 1/2; Breyer 6; Hromadka 4 1/2; Fahrni 4; Nyholm, Opocensky 2 1/2

Reti appeared to obtain a promising position as White vs. Johner, but later went astray, with the Queen sacrifice 26.Qf6 being particularly open to question. From that point on Johner avoided the traps laid by his opponent (see, for example, the 34th move), deciding matters slowly but surely via the advance of his passed pawns.

Spielmann handled the opening poorly vs. Breyer, who in a known position chose the rare 8...Qc4 in preference to the much more usual 8...Qa5 or 8...Qh5. After 16...Bxg2 Breyer enjoyed both a material advantage and the better game. The Hungarian Master duly scored the point at the 29th move.

Fahrni more than held his own for much of the contest vs. Dr. Tartakower. The Swiss Master won a pawn at the 24th move and seemed to possess good winning chances. Dr. Tartakower sought to create counter-play through the advance of his f-pawn and then pounced when Fahrni after 38.Kg7 erred with 39.Nc3?, allowing 39...Rd4! winning a piece, as the Queen has no escape. Fahrni resigned shortly thereafter.


Opocensky-Schlechter was drawn in an equal Rook endgame after a balanced struggle whose most interesting moments occurred in the vicinity of the 20th move.

Hromadka vs. Nyholm, another balanced contest, was likewise drawn, with White at the end striving in vain for two dozen moves to secure an advantage in an endgame of Bishops of opposite colors.

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