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Monday, June 18, 2018

Bad Pistyan 1912

     The year 1912 produced a lot of interesting news. The Republic of China was announced to be established, German geophysicist Alfred Wegener first presented his theory of continental drift, Italy made a surprise attack on the Ottoman port of Beirut, when the cruiser Giuseppe Garibaldi and the gunboat Volturno bombard the harbor, killing 97 sailors and civilians, the Italians became the first to use airships in war when two dirigibles dropped bombs on Turkish troops encamped at Janzur, from an altitude of 6,000 feet.
     On April 11th the Titanic made her last call at Queenstown in Ireland. On April 14-15, it struck an iceberg and sank with the loss of between 1,517 and 1,636 lives. The wreck would not be discovered on the sea floor until 1985. 

     In May the Olympic Games open in Stockholm. In October the First Balkan War began when Montenegro declared war against the Ottoman Empire and a few days later Italy and the Ottoman Empire signed a treaty ending the Italo-Turkish War. On December 3rd, Bulgaria, Greece, Montenegro, and Serbia (the Balkan League) signed an armistice with the Ottoman Empire, temporarily halting the First Balkan War. The armistice was to expire on February 3, 1913 and hostilities would resume. 
     In the United States, in January, New Mexico became the 47th state and in February, Arizona also became a state. Albert Berry made the first parachute jump from a flying airplane and the Girl Scouts were founded. The Mayor of Tokyo, Yukio Ozaki, sent a gift of 3,000 cherry blossom trees to be planted in Washington, DC. to symbolize the friendship between the two countries. Every year the Cherry Blossom Festival has been held in Washington. 
     In April, two baseball stadiums opened: Tiger Stadium in Detroit and Fenway Park in Boston. About three weeks later the Detroit Tigers went on strike to protest the suspension of Ty Cobb. A replacement team recruited from the coaching staff and local colleges was fielded to avoid a forfeiture to the Philadelphia Athletics, but the result was a lopsided loss. 
     The Republican National Convention nominated incumbent President William Howard Taft. On July 19th, a meteorite with an estimated mass of over 400 ponds exploded over the town of Holbrook in Navajo County, Arizona causing thousands of pieces of debris to rain down on the town. 
     Dissident Republicans formed the Progressive Party, also known as the Bull Moose Party, and nominated former President Theodore Roosevelt as their presidential candidate. While campaigning in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in mid-October, former President Theodore Roosevelt was shot by saloon keeper John Schrank. With a fresh flesh wound and the bullet still in him, Roosevelt delivered his scheduled speech. After finishing his speech, he went to the hospital, where it was deduced that if he had not had his speech in his breast pocket when he was shot, he most likely would have died. 
     The Boston Red Sox defeated the New York Giants in extra innings to win the 1912 World Series and on October 30, Vice President James S. Sherman died in office just days prior to the 1912 presidential election. Woodrow Wilson won a landslide victory over Teddy Roosevelt and President Taft, who finished third. 
     In chess, 1912 was the year Stepan Levitsky fell victim to Frank Marshall's famous Queen sacrifice in Breslau. In Opatija, Croatia, Spielmann crushed everybody and finished first by 3-5 points ahead of Reti and at Pistyan, a small resort northeast of Bratislava, Rubinstein scored on of his greatest triumphs. Despite making two quick draws at the end, he was still first by 2.5 points. The venue was Grand Hotel Royal in Pistyan, then part of Austria-Hungary, known today as Piestany in Slovakia. Photos from Edward Winter.

1) Rubinstein 14.0 
2) Spielmann 11.5 
3) Marshall 10.5 
4-6) Schlechter,Duras and Teichmann 10.0 
7-8) Balla and Breyer 9.5 
 9-11) Alapin, Sterk and Salwe 9.0 
2) Lowcki 8.0 
13-14) Barasz and Yates 6.0 
15-16) Hromadka and Cohn 5.5 
17) Leonhardt 5.5 
18) Johner 4.5 

    One of the more instructive games from the tournament was Rubinstein's win over Spielmann. 

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