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Great Tournaments of the Past: New York 1927

  • GM dbojkov
  • | Mar 2, 2011
  • | 8380 views
  • | 25 comments

Three years after the majestic tournament of 1924, New York hosted another great event. This time only six players competed in a quadruple round robin tournament from February to March. Naturally, the favourite was the reigning champion Capablanca, but two other remarkable players had an important fight of their own.

Both Alexander Alekhine and Aaron Nimzowitsch challenged the champion at the beginning of that year, but the Cuban had not yet answered those challenges definitively. Alekhine stated that “Nimzowitsch’s challenge was purely platonic” (i.e. he did not have the money to raise the prize fund in accordance with the recently established London rules for the World Championship). Nevertheless, in private correspondence, Capablanca strongly advised Alekhine that participation in the event was necessary in order for him to define his challenger. Thus, the tournament had the unofficial status of qualification for a World Championship match.

A curious fact is that one of the strongest players of the time Efim Bogoljubow refused to take part in this “mediocre tournament” and offered instead a direct match between himself and the champion. He was then replaced by Rudolph Spielman. The field was rounded out with the American Champion Frank Marshall and Milan Vidmar.

The event became an absolute triumph for Jose Raul Capablanca, who claimed the title undefeated, scoring 14/20. He also won the best game prize:

 

Second came Alekhine, 2.5 points behind the champion; and likewise took the second best game prize (although the jury considered this game most beautiful):

 

Third in overall results, and “surprisingly” in the best game contest was Nimzowitsch.

 

Milan Vidmar took the last best game prize for this effort:

 

The tournament did the World Champion a great disservice, as he then believed that he was untouchable, and did not prepare well for his WCC match in Buenos Aires the same year. Contrary to him, his rival Alekhine carefully studied and annotated the games from the event, which convinced him that Capablanca was a man--not an inhuman chess machine-- after all.

Comments


  • 4 years ago

    Pau

    You can see another interesting game in the time between Capablanca and Herman Steiner (a living game) here:

    http://www.chess.com/forum/view/fun-with-chess/a-living-game

  • 4 years ago

    Artemi

    The tragedy is that he cannot sold his soul to the devil for the second time for the rematch!!!

  • 4 years ago

    Artemi

    It is as if Alekhine sold his soul to the devil to beat the mighty chess machine Jose Raul Capablanca!!!! 

  • 4 years ago

    madpawn

    You have to admire Alekhine, he worked like a Trojan to overcome Capablanca in their World Title match. But it was also good to see my old friend Nimzowitsch in the Best Game category, although he was also a victim against Vidmar. 

  • 4 years ago

    NimzoRoy

    Thanks for the article & great puzzles!

  • 4 years ago

    mossmm

    very good games.

  • 4 years ago

    Osokor

    Great tournament with many legendary maestro's. In childhood I often read paper book about this tournament. And played some games for aesthetic pleasure.

  • 4 years ago

    TheMancunianSpy

    Very interesting article. Thank you GM and I look forward to reading more pieces by you.

  • 4 years ago

    coppola

    i am looking through my attic right now to see if I can find the signed Botvinnik photograph he gave me in 48, and if i find it, you are quite welcome to it. 

  • 4 years ago

    GM dbojkov

    I am jealous at you Mr coppola, to have the chance to meet those great players, and to chat Botvinnik! And, thank you, Mr Angryrook, flattered!

  • 4 years ago

    Angryrook28

    Alexander Alekhine is a great player for sure...and so do you , hope you'll write more articles

  • 4 years ago

    TheWinningGenius

    good article

  • 4 years ago

    coppola

    you are probably right mr GM dbojkov, it was quite a longtime ago so my date might npot be accurate in any case i was there and even chatted with Botvinnik for a hour! I believe i have a signed photo with him somewhere....

  • 4 years ago

    AlexiShirov

    What an awesome chess playing !! without programs ,and without great computers find the best move after matches .. they are genius .

  • 4 years ago

    GM dbojkov

    I thought that the World Championship Hague-Moscow was 1948, was not it, Mr coppola?

  • 4 years ago

    Pau

    great!

  • 4 years ago

    lucifer1860

    oh god very nice

    i think i love chess more than before now...

  • 4 years ago

    yogendra-art

    last one  i can't solev but three puzzle i have done clear 

  • 4 years ago

    coppola

    i have been lucky enough to be present the the 1947 The Hague World Championship, i hope that an article will be created about it

  • 4 years ago

    Lawdoginator

    I love this series on the great tournaments of the past. 

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