Pilnik v. Stahlberg (1943): Swedish School 2

Mar 23, 2011, 2:53 AM |

This Stahlberg game is considered "one of his finest" from the period he spent in Argentina from 1939-1948.  In 1930, Alekhine had defeated Nimzovitch's French Defense-Maroczy Bind so sensationally, that the C15 variation of the French Defense was thought to be forever untenable for Black.  However, Stahlberg had developed some surprise 'improvements' to his favored French Defense which he sprung on Argentine GM Herman Pilnik.  These home-spun Stahlberg improvements included an unwelcome visit from Black's Queen to a2 while White was focused on breaking the bind!

War had broke out in Europe during the 1939 Buenos Aires Chess Olympics tournament.  Several chess masters, (e.g. Najdorf), elected to remain in Argentina which understandably made the city an important chess site during this period.  One of the notable figures who was at the tournament that settled in Argentina was Swedish citizen Gideon Stahlberg, the other half of the dynamic team with Stoltz (see earlier blog, Speilmann v. Stoltz (1931).  Stahlberg himself had won matches over luminaries such as Speilmann and Nimzowitch.  Stahlberg remained in Latin America until 1948, and he umpired later World Championship matches.

I hope you enjoy this game of historical note!  All comments by Reuben Fine (1951).