Monday, July 21

Mannheim tournament, Round 1: Spielmann, Reti, Alekhine, John, Tartakower, Vidmar are winners on first day

The Mannheim international Masters' tournament, centerpiece of the 19th Congress of the German Schachbund, has now begun, with 18 players in the field. Four participants from the recent St. Petersburg tournament have entered the lists: finalists Alexander Alekhine, Dr. Siegbert Tarrasch, and Frank J. Marshall, along with David Janowski, who competed in the preliminary section of the Russian event. From the Baden gambit tournament five names are to be found on the Mannheim roster: Rudolf Spielmann, Dr. Saviely Tartakower, Gyula Breyer, Richard Reti, and Hans Fahrni. Joining these veterans of recent battles are nine more hardy competitors: Dr. Milan Vidmar, Efim Bogoljubow, Jacques Mieses, Oldrich Duras, Alexander Flamberg, Carl Carls, Walter John, Paul Krüger, and Ehrhardt Post. A formidable assembly, even in the absence of such names as Dr. Lasker, Capablanca, Schlechter, Rubinstein, Niemzowitsch, and Teichmann.

The first day's play saw six decisive contests, with Spielmann, Reti, Alekhine, John, Tartakower, and Vidmar scoring victories. We present below all games from the round with the exception of the win by Dr. Vidmar over Janowski, which unfortunately was not included in the report we received from Germany.

Spielmann-Flamberg 1-0
Duras-Alekhine 0-1
Reti-Fahrni 1-0
John-Tarrasch 1-0
Tartakower-Mieses 1-0
Vidmar-Janowski 1-0
Post-Breyer ½-½
Krüger-Carls ½-½
Marshall-Bogoljubow ½-½

Scores after Round 1: Spielmann, Reti, Alekhine, John, Tartakower, Vidmar 1; Krüger, Carls, Marshall, Bogoljubow, Post, Breyer 1/2; Flamberg, Fahrni, Duras, Tarrasch, Mieses, Janowski 0.

To Spielmann goes pride of place for his brilliant miniature victory over Flamberg in only 15 moves. Black's Queen maneuver from the 8th to 10th moves gained two pawns but cost the second player precious time, time that the Austrian attacking ace used to decisive advantage. The final position is a powerful example of the dangers inherent in an early sortie by the Queen.

Alekhine, as second player in a Ruy Lopez Exchange Variation, took the full point from Duras after a most colorful endgame struggle. The play between the 24th and 34th moves, resulting at last in the win of a pawn for Black, is most captivating.

Reti, as White in a Queen's Gambit Declined, gained an advantage in space on the Queen-side vs. Fahrni, who with 13...Nd7 invited a tactical sequence that resulted in favor of the first player. The White pieces invaded the enemy position, occupying the weakened dark squares, after which Reti concluded matters with a pretty exchange sacrifice.

John-Tarrasch, another Ruy Lopez Exchange Variation, saw White sacrifice Rook for Knight via 15.gxf6, gaining in return a powerful passed pawn on g7. Black was later compelled to return the exchange in order to eliminate that pawn, leaving White with a winning King and pawn endgame.

Tartakower gained a relatively easy victory over Mieses in a King's Gambit Declined, winning a pawn at the 22nd move and trapping the Black Queen four moves thereafter.

Post and Breyer contested a Four Knights' Game in which a slight advantage passed from the former to the latter in a Rook endgame; neither side, in truth, ever seemed close to winning, and the players agreed to share the point at the 55th move.

The Krüger-Carls and Marshall-Bogoljubow encounters were rather uneventful draws, as the reader may see for himself.

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