Wednesday, May 28

Comments on the St. Petersburg tournament; Reconciliation between Dr. Lasker and Capablanca

Having taken a few days to ponder the results of the winners' group at the St. Petersburg tournament, we share a few further thoughts thereon with our readers, and report a most welcome bit of news lately arrived from Russia.

In our view Dr. Lasker and Capablanca today stand clearly in a class by themselves, head and shoulders above all other Masters of world renown. Moreover, each, it seems to us, is now playing as well or better than ever before. In the case of the young Capablanca such an increase in strength is perhaps only to be expected, but that Lasker - after a more than three years' absence from serious chess, and despite having taken part in only one international tournament over the past decade - should display such prodigious power as he demonstrated in the final group is almost beyond our comprehension. One can only gaze in awe upon his achievement, and express the wish that Champion through more frequent forays into the arena would provide his many admirers with further examples of his skill. 

Alekhine: If Rubinstein's stock has fallen in consequence of his relative failure in the tourney, that of Alekhine has risen, and with his third-place finish the younger man has confirmed his rightful place among the elite. Alekhine today is not the equal of Lasker or Capablanca, but in our view he is, or ere long will be, a match for any of the other Masters in the world. The experience that he has gained in the hard fight at St. Petersburg will doubtless serve Alekhine well in his next major event, the Congress of the German Schachbund at Mannheim in July, where we expect a fine showing from him, and where anything less than a finish near the top of the score table would rightly be looked upon as a retrograde step.

Dr. Tarrasch and Marshall fell off badly in the final, but each enjoys such a well-established reputation in the world of chess that little or no harm will be done to it thereby. And as we have remarked before, simply to gain admittance to the winners' group was in itself a noteworthy achievement.

We close with glad tidings. It has long been a source of regret to many in the world of chess that Dr. Lasker and Capablanca, two such honorable and accomplished exponents of our game, should harbor feelings of rancor toward each other. We can now report with pleasure that, largely through the good offices of Mrs. Lasker, a reconciliation between the two men was effected at the closing banquet of the St. Petersburg tournament, at which the Masters shook hands warmly and drank a toast to each other's health. Such a happy development can only be a boon for our game, and will surely help to facilitate the realization of the match between these two Titans that all lovers of chess know must one day take place. May that meeting come soon, and may their newly re-forged friendship last forevermore. 

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