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     Volume 4 Issue 41 | April 8, 2005 |

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Time Out

Great tournaments Chess

London 1851 was the first ever international tournament . Since then thousands of major tournaments have been organised in different parts of the world and some of them have gone down in history as very special events. For example, the great tournament in Hastings which was organised by a small club in 1895 is still remembered for the number of top players taking part in it. Almost all leading world masters gathered at the small beach town to face each other. The result was some really exciting encounters. The little known American, Harry Nelson Pillsbury, was the ultimate winner.

The Hastings tournament brought about a major change in international chess. Chess organisers in Europe and America realised the importance of holding big events. And only three years later, a very interesting tournament was organised in Vienna when the Emperor of Austro-Hungary was celebrating the 50th year of his coming to the throne. It was a royal event in the truest sense. Twenty masters played in a double-round robin league, which meant 38 games for everyone. With the days off, it rolled on to nearly two months!

The number of tournaments continued to rise sharply in the new century until the First World War. The war affected chess like many other things. But the 1920's were a great time for the game. There were some remarkable events. The great Pistyan tournament in 1922 was won by Bogolyubov and then there were events like New York 1924, Baden Baden 1925 etc. Alekhine and Capablanca usually dominated these events. There were, however, many other upcoming masters who were doing well in big tournaments. The emergence of the hyper moderns was a significant development of the decade.

Some very strong tournaments were organised in the 1930's. Bled 1931 is specially known for the galaxy of supermasters that it attracted. Then there were Nottingham 1936 and AVRO 1938. That was the time when players like Botvinnik, Keres and Fine emerged as strong contenders for the world title. On the other hand, both Capablanca and Alekhine were in their declining years.

Here is a game from the great Hastings 1895 tournament.

White-George Marco
Black-Amos Burn [C11]
Hastings 1895

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 dxe4 5.Nxe4 Be7 6.Bxf6 gxf6 7.c3 f5 8.Ng3 c5 9.Nf3 Nc6 10.Bb5 Qb6 11.Bxc6+ bxc6 12.00 h5 13.Qd2 h4 14.Ne2 Ba6 15.Rfe1 000 16.a3 Rh7 17.b4 c4 18.a4 Rg7 19.Reb1 Rdg8 20.Ne1 Bb7 21.f3 Qd8 22.b5 c5 23.Qe3 Qc7 24.a5 Bg5 25.f4 Be7 26.g3 Qd7 27.dxc5 hxg3 28.hxg3 Qd5 29.c6 Bc5 30.cxb7+ Kxb7 31.Nd4 Rxg3+ 0-1


Position after 26...Qd7


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