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Friday, July 29, 2016

A True Brilliancy from Hamburg 1910

     In the summer of 1910 the Hamburger Schachgesellschaft celebrated it 80th anniversary with a tournament where masters from all over the world were invited that was to include as many sections in major and minor events as the number of entrants necessitated. There was also a problem solving tournament. The result was 17 players in the Master event, 15 in the Major A. 60 in the Major B and 49 players in the Minor section. The organizers put in a lot of effort and the participants were offered excursions, fancy dinners and a performance at the Thalia theater. 
     In his book Chess Secrets Edward Lasker wrote of some amusing incidents that supposedly took place at this tournament, but in the book Aron Nimzowitsch: On the Road to Chess Mastery, 1886-1924 by Per Skjoldager, Jorn Erik Nielsen the authors refute many Lasker's anecdotes and "facts." For anyone that's interested, you can read the details in Google books' preview feature starting at page 100 HERE.
     One interesting game, of many, from the tournament was Leonhardt's brilliancy prize against Tarrasch. Often when going over brilliancy prize games with an engine you'll find improvements for both players that may even render the brilliancy unsound. But, that's not the case here; Leonhardt's play could not be improved upon. In this game Tarrasch's forces, especially the Rooks become disconnected and white, by virtue of his well placed pieces, manages to pull off a stunning attack. 

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