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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Tartakower Almost Finished First

     Germans in Sudetenland started the German Chess Federation in Czechoslovakia in 1921. The new federation held congresses every year and at its first congress held in Teplitz-Schonau in 1922. 
     Fourteen players participated in the round robin event. Despite the absence of world champion Capablanca, Alekhine, former world champion Emanuel Lasker and such prominent players as Bogoljubow, Euwe and Nimzovich all the top players in the world were there. Bogoljubow had originally intended to play but withdrew at a late stage and was replaced by Friedrich Saemisch. 
     Some players, notably Tarrasch and Teichmann were past their peak. Where Rubinstein fit in was a question mark. His style placed him among the newer generation, but he had already notched up some important victories and was generally considered the best player in the world behind Lasker. 
     The time control was 2 hours for the first 30 moves, then 1 hour every 15 moves. Draws before move 45 could only be made in agreement with the tournament director. 
     For most of the tournament Spielmann and Tartakower were in the running, but with one round to go they were caught by Reti leaving all three with 8.5 points. A half point behind were Rubinstein and Gruenfeld, both of whom had only theoretical chances of reaching first because it was unlikely that Spielmann, Tartakower and Reti would lose their last round games. 
     Rubinstein's nerves worked against him when as black in a complicated position he blundered away a piece at move 47 against Kostic and lost. Reti was playing white against Gruenfeld and their key game ended in a draw following a complicated positional battle. 
     In Spielmann's game, after mutual blunders, he was lucky to get a draw against Wolf. It was Tartakower who had the best chance of winning in the last round because he was facing Teichmann, a master of the older generation whose best days were behind him. Besides, Tartakower had white. Their game turned out to be a thriller. 

1-2) Reti and Spielmann 9.0 
3-4) Tartakower and Gruenfeld 8.5 
5) Rubinstein 8.0 
6) Kostic 6.5
7) Teichmann 6.0 
8-10) Treybal, Wolf and Maroczy 5.5 
11-13) Tarrasch, Saemisch and Mieses 5.0 
14) Johner 4.0 

Reti suffered three losses: Wolf, Mieses and Johner 
Spielmann lost only to Reti, but had too many draws 
Tartakower lost three: Reti, Teichmann and Treybal 
Gruenfeld lost only to Spielmann, but he also had too many draws. 
Rubinstein also lost three: Reti, Tartakower and Kostic 

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