Internationales Schachturnier Wien 1908

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Author: Marco, Georg (1863-1923)

Year: 1908

Publisher: Verlag der Wiener Schachzeitung

Place: Wien (Vienna)


xi+171 pages with diagrams and tables. Royal octavo (9" x 6 1/2") bound in brown cloth with black lettering to spine (Bibliotheca Van der Linde-Niemeijeriana: 5290) First edition.

Ten years had passed since the historic "Kaisers Jubilaums" tournament had brought the world's chess elite to the handsome baroque capital on the Danube. Now, once again, many of the Caissa's most prominent names would participate in a 19 round international tournament promoted under the auspices of the Vienna Chess Club. There were, t be sure, some notable absentees; besides world champion Lasker, the name of Tarrasch, Bernstein, Janowski, Nimzovitch and Vidmar were among the missing. Nevertheless, a host of world-class players were on hand to make the event a major success. Three master would emerge from the 20 palyer field to tie for top honors: Duras, Maroczy and Schlechter. The Augsburger Schachblatt describes the latter as the moral victor, since he didn't lose any games - "an unusual success in so long a tournament with such strong opponents and a significant proof of his faultless play attained after long years of difficult tournament play." Schlechter began in spectacular form forcing the surrender of Suchting, Tatakower, Leonhardt and Swiderski in the first four rounds before allowing a draw to the "young tiger" Spielmann. Once again, however, the specter of "Remis" intervened to prevent the front-running Schlechter from capturing the undivided first prize (3,000 kronen). He split points in his last four games with Teichmann, Bardeleben, Duras and Mieses. Maroczy displayed excellent form (+10 -1 =8), surpassing his play at Carlsbad the previous year. His score of seven points in the first nine rounds marked him as a likely tournament winner. Save for falling victim to a prepared variation by Berger in the 12th round, Hungary's perennial champion could have annexed the first prize. He closed with a spectacular rush - winning four out of his last five games (Duras, Meises, Suchting and Tatakower) to finish level with Schlechter and Duras. The last member of the victorious troika, the combative Czech master Duras (+11 -2 =6), fought his way into a tie with Schlechter in the 14th round - only to lose his game with Maroczy the next day. A talent-endowed composer of endgames studies, Duras rallied to overcome Berger in the 16th round, share 17th round laurels with Teichmann, post a draw against Schlechter in the following round, and attain his standoff for Vienna honors with a fortuitous victory over Bardeleben. Entering the 19th and final round, Schlechter, Maroczy and Duras were all possible winners - and the rooms of the Wiener Schachgesellschaft were thronged with excited spectators anxious to see chess history in the making. When tournament director Marco started the clocks punctually at 10 am (Friday, April 17), the tables of Mieses-Schlechter, Duras-Bardeleben and Leinhardt-Maroczyresembled beleaguered fortresses. Maroczy, war after his loss to Leonhardt at Carlsbad, adopted his favorite French Defense and proceeded to draw an uneventful 26-move game lasting two hours. At Duras-Bardeleben table the chess gods favored the Czech warrior who, having fallen into a lost position, was unexpectedly reprieved when his German opponent blundered away a piece on the 39th move. Now the decision was in Schlechter's hands - a win over Mieses would assure him of first prize. The popular winner of Vienna's inaugural Trebitsch Tournament opened with the aggressive "Vienna Game," of which he was an acknowledged master. But Schlechter quickly passed from defense to spirited counter attack, whereupon the surprised Mieses found himself compelled to part with a pawn in order to save a piece. at 2 pm the game was adjourned amid general expectation that Schlechter would convert his extra pawn play into victory. The play was resumed three hours later, with a gallery of whispering onlookers pressed around the table - "Schlechter will win," Mieses can't save it," was the collective verdict of excited Viennese opinion. But the courageous Mieses, operating with a King, Rook and two pawns, methodically repulsed ("Slick as an eel," according to Marco.) every winning attempt. Unable to topple his old foe despite a round-headed pawn more, Schlechter extended his hand in acknowledgment to the drawn ending. It was a dramatic moment and the spectators began to applaud as the two popular masters ended their dramatic eight-hour duel with a friendly handshake. The Polish giant Rubinstein, though displaying steadiness in gain the four prize (+10 -3 =6), nonetheless surrendered games to Leonhardt, Marshall and Mieses. Interestingly though, his score against the prize-winners was a half point lower than the sixth-place Spielmann. The Lodz representative did, however, enjoy the satisfaction of winning the first brilliancy prize for his game against Duras. For a time Teichmann (+6 -1 +12) appeared to be in the running for top laurels, losing only one partie (Mieses again!); but the heavy burden of a dozen draws (eight against the prizewinners) deprived him of his first major triumph. The Year-Book of Chess comments that Teichman, in a reversal of his usual practice, drew against the top half of the field and exploited his weaker brethren at the bottom. Spielmann enjoyed his finest showing thus far (+7 -3 =9), playing some decidedly lively games and accounting for 5 1/2 points against the winners. (Goldman, Carl Schlechter! Caissa Editions, Yorklyn, DE, 1994)


Rebound in brown cloth, binder's label at back gutter pasted own else about very good.