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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Stasch Bashes Mr. Widmeyer

     In the following game Stasch Mlotkowski played the Latvian Gambit which still has those who firmly believe in it. It has a long history of diehard adherents, even a few correspondence players specialized in it, especially in the pre-engine days. 
     The unfortunate Mr. Widmeyer suffered miserably after he failed to give heed to his own King's safety when he neglected to castle at move 10. Then at move 13, he played the artificial 13.Kd2 which resulted in a lot of fiddling around trying to get the K to safe haven and at the same time get the rest of his pieces into play...a task that turned out to be just too much. 
     Finally, on move 26 he made a seemingly innocuous trade that left his K-side totally stripped of pieces that might have offered some counterplay. Throw in the fact that the rest of his pieces, blocked by their own K as a result of 13.Kd2, were all gummed up, and black was able to almost coast to victory. 
     The game was played in the 1904 Western Open Minor Tournament which was held in St.Louis, Missouri. The "Minor Tournament" consisted of 14 players who played two games a day and Mlotkowski dominated the event  He went undefeated, being held to draws only by Louis Uedemann and J. Sawyer. At home back in Philadelphia Mlotkowski was recognized as a strong player and this tournament gave him a national reputation. 

1) Mlotkowski 12-1 
2) Uedemann 9.5-3.5 
3) Schrader 8.5-4.5 
4-5) Daly and Kemeny 8-5 
6) Smith 7.5-5.5 
7-8) Sawyer and Shrader 7-6 
9) Widmeyer 6-7 
10) Wickersham 5-8 
11) Rundle 4.5-8.5 
12) Cowles 3.5-9.5 
13) Clark 2.5-10.5 
14) Terker 2-11 

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