Sunday, April 13

Baden gambit tournament, Round 5: Reti defeats Opocensky, joins Johner in lead; Hromadka tops Breyer

Richard Reti successfully warded off the attacking efforts of Karel Opocensky to record a victory in the fifth round of the international Masters' gambit tournament at Baden. Reti, with a score of 3 1/2 points from 5 games, now shares first place with Paul Johner, who played to a draw vs. Hans Fahrni. The games Rudolf Spielmann-Gustaf Nyholm and Dr. Saviely Tartakower-Carl Schlechter were likewise drawn, while Karel Hromadka topped Gyula Breyer in fine style to move to within a half-point of the lead. Hromadka's victory marked his first decisive result of the tourney, leaving Schlechter as the only man to have drawn all his games to date.

Scores after 5 rounds: Reti, Johner 3 1/2; Hromadka, Spielmann 3; Schlechter, Fahrni 2 1/2; Breyer, Nyholm, Tartakower 2; Opocensky 1.

The Opocensky-Reti contest, a Danish Gambit, represented a triumph of defense. Black accepted the gambit pawn and withstood all efforts by his opponent to mount an attack. Reti, who for a dozen moves faced the threat of immediate checkmate on the g7-square, won a second pawn at his 30th turn and a third eight moves later; Opocensky resigned when faced with an unavoidable exchange of Queens.

Hromadka played excellent chess to defeat Breyer from the White side of a King's Gambit Declined. By the 10th move Black had exchanged his pair of Bishops for the opposing Knights. A period of preparatory maneuvering then followed, with Hromadka carefully arranging his forces for the decisive advance, which at last commenced with 25.e5! In the ensuing skirmish White gained material superiority, after which his Bishops easily overmatched the Black Knights in the endgame.

In Spielmann-Nyholm, an Evans Gambit Declined, White pressed hard in the endgame and appeared close to gaining an advantage. A clever temporary exchange sacrifice (34...Rexd5!) by the Swedish Master, however, allowed Black to main the balance, and the game was agreed drawn at the 48th move.

Tartakower-Schlechter, another Evans Gambit Declined, saw White emerge from a series of mass exchanges with a sound extra pawn. Unfortunately for the first player, all the remaining pawns were located on the same side of the board, so that Dr. Tartakower proved unable to force the win, although he persisted for nearly forty moves in his attempts to do so.

In Fahrni-Johner, a Scotch Gambit, Queens were exchanged at the 14th move and an even endgame was agreed drawn at the 34th.

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