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Monday, October 24, 2016

Paris 1933

Baratz
     While looking over some of the games from this event I found several published tactical problems that had been taken from it. One reason for this is no doubt because the tournament featured three strong players (Alekhine, Tartakower and Lilienthal) who took advantage of the opportunity to strut their superior tactical ability over lower rated players.
     One instructive game was Alekhine's defeat of Abraham Baratz. What caught my eye was it featured one of my favorite openings, the Panov-Botvinnik Attack. Alekhine's play wasn't the brilliant tactical play we normally associate with him. His clean, simple positional play made the win look easy and studying his technique will prove instructive. 
     I also discovered that Abraham Baratz was a very interesting fellow. If you've ever seen Alekhine's grave you will have noticed a marble likeness of him at the top of the tombstone. It was made by Baratz. 

     Abraham Baratz (September 24, 1895 – 1975, Paris) was a Romanian born Jew who moved to Paris in 1924 to study art and ended up becoming a French citizen. Baratz had a studio in the Montmarte section of Paris where he did sculpturing and worked in ceramics.
     He was also a fairly decent chess player, winning the Paris City Championship on numerous occasions. Internationally he he also had some modest successes: 1926 fifth in Scarborough, 1927 tied for first with George Koltanowski in the Major event at Hastings. Remember the Premier event was the top section that had the very best players with the Major being for those of lesser skill. In 1930, he tied for first in Bucharest and in 1930/31, he finished sixth in Hastings (again, the Major). Before emigrating to France he played for Romania twice in the Olympiads; at first board (+6 –4 =5) at Hamburg 1930, and at third board (+7 –3 =7) at Prague 1931. Chessmetrics puts his rating at over 2500, so he was of at least IM strength. 

1) A. Alekhine 8.0 
2) S. Tartakower 6.0 
3) A. Lilienthal 4.5 
4) E. Znosko Borovsky 3.5 
5) B. Zuckerman 3.0
 6-9) M. Frentz, M. Raizman, F. Lazard and A. Baratz 1.5 
10) A. Gromer 1.0 
 

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