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Friday, July 13, 2018

Post-Steinitz Era, Moderns and Hypermoderns

     After Steinitz came what is sometimes called the Modern Era which produced players like Lasker, Tarrasch, Schlechter, Maroczy as well as attacking geniuses Pillsbury, Marshall and Janowski and host of others too numerous to mention.
     One of the characteristics of this era was the much higher standard of play which made it harder to bowl over one's opponent. Positional chess became the order of the day because generally it was necessary to outplay the opponent positionally in order to create favorable conditions for tactical play. Emanuel Lasker once wrote: "If you play well positionally, the combinations will come of themselves." 
     This era also included the rise of the Hypermoderns and those who, while not strictly speaking were Hypermoderns themselves, adapted a blend of play that made them giants who far exceeded the older generation in their understanding. Players like Rubinstein, Nimzovich, Bernstein, Capablanca, Tartakower, Spielmann and Vidmar. They not only applied what they had learned from the great players of the past, but they and made their own additions and corrections to theory. 
     By 1914 it had become pretty clear that Nimzovich and Alekhine were evolving a new school of chess thought whose effect was to turn the current theories upside down. During and after the World War, they were joined by such masters as Reti, Bogoljubow and Breyer. 
     As those players began to dominate the tournament world, their successes began to gain respect and along came a new crop of players such as Euwe, Flohr, Kashdan, Fine, Reshevsky, Botvinnik and Keres, to name a few. They all had their disparate styles and preferences and few preconceptions. As a result every game was treated in whatever way the situation demanded; something the older generation was rarely capable of. 
     The following Bogoljubow-Alekhine game took place in the last round and enabled Alkehine to win the tournament 1/2 a point ahead of Rubinstein. The game is fairly well known and Euwe included it in Strategy and Tactics in Chess as an example of an “obstructive combination” which he used to describe situations where the pieces are not in a position to perform their ordinary functions, if changing their position requires a lot of time or if parrying a threat takes too much time. 
     Richard Reti wrote that the game illustrated the Hypermodern school's emphasis on positional play in opposition to the routine play of the classical style of chess that was set down by Tarrasch and Steinitz. 
     Rather than duplicate effort, I refer you to James Stripes excellent account of this game that he presented on his website HERE. Since Mr. Stripes doesn't give the game using KnightVision, I give it below without notes so you can follow his notes easier. 

1) Alekhine 7.5-2.5 
2) Rubinstein 7.0-3.0 
3-4) and Bogoljubow and Thomas 4.5-5.5 
5) Tarrasch 4.0-6.0 
6) Yates 2.5-7.5 

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