|St. Petersburg (1914)|
The St Petersburg Tournament of 1914 featured the joint winners of the 1914 All Russian Championship and players who had won at least one major tournament.
There were the veterans Blackburne and Gunsberg, established masters such as Tarrasch, Bernstein, Janowski, Nimzowitsch, Alekhine and Marshall as well as the World Champion Lasker and his two most prominent rivals, Rubinstein and Capablanca.
The tournament was divided into two sections. The first stage from the 21st April to the 6th of May was an all-play-all event with the first five finishers proceeding into the second stage which ran from the 10th to the 22nd of May. This second stage was a double round all-play-all with the scores from the preliminaries being carried over to the final.
It was expected that there would be a great struggle between Lasker, Capablanca and Rubinstein, but the latter failed to make the final, leaving Lasker and Capablanca to battle it out.
Lasker was 1½ points behind Capablanca at the start of the finals but in the end ran out the winner by a ½ point, by scoring seven points from eight games.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1
1 Capablanca * ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 1 1 1 8
2 Lasker ½ * ½ ½ ½ 0 1 ½ 1 1 1 6½
3 Tarrasch ½ ½ * ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 1 0 1 6½
4 Alekhine 0 ½ ½ * 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 6
5 Marshall ½ ½ ½ 0 * 1 ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 6
6 Bernstein 0 1 0 ½ 0 * ½ ½ ½ 1 1 5
7 Rubinstein ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ * ½ ½ 1 1 5
8 Nimzowitsch 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ * 0 ½ 1 4
9 Blackburne 0 0 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 * 0 1 3½
10 Janowski 0 0 1 ½ 0 0 0 ½ 1 * ½ 3½
11 Gunsberg 0 0 0 0 ½ 0 0 0 0 ½ * 1
Prizes amounted to 1200, 800, 500, 300 and 200 Rubles. Each non-prizewinner received 20 Rubles for every game won and 10 Rubles for every drawn game.
1 Lasker 6½ ** ½1 11 1½ 11 13½
2 Capablanca 8 ½0 ** ½1 10 11 13
3 Alekhine 6 00 ½0 ** 11 1½ 10
4 Tarrasch 6½ 0½ 01 00 ** 0½ 8½
5 Marshall 6 00 00 0½ 1½ ** 8
A brilliancy prize was being considered for Nimzowitsch vs Tarrasch, 1914 after the 5th round's finish, but more than 2 rounds later, it was awarded a 2nd brilliancy prize as the runner-up to the Capablanca vs O Bernstein, 1914 coup.
The main source for this collection was the St. Petersburg 1914 International Chess Tournament book by Dr Siegbert Tarrasch. ISBN 0-939433-17-6.
Original Collection : Game Collection: St Petersburg 1914, by User: Benzol.
| page 1 of 3; games 1-25 of 75
| page 1 of 3; games 1-25 of 75
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< Earlier Kibitzing · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·
|Aug-19-16|| ||zanzibar: The link to the photograph in the intro is stale.|
|Aug-19-16|| ||zanzibar: From the intro:
<It was expected that there would be a great struggle between Lasker, Capablanca and Rubinstein, but the latter failed to make the final, [...]>
The first two certainly were well expected as finalists for 1st, but Rubinstein?
According to EDOchess, both Alekhine and Marshall rated higher than Rubinstein at the time of the tournament:
And none of them were within striking range of Lasker and Capablanca.
What might be said is that it was surprising that Rubinstein didn't make it to the finals. Similarly for Nimzowitsch, though.
|Aug-19-16|| ||zanzibar: A little more can be found here:
Not to denigrate the efforts of the fine authors here on <CG>, but to read an article like the one in the link above is to almost be transported back to the tournament itself.
|Aug-20-16|| ||Retireborn: <z> Certainly Rubinstein's Russian/Polish supporters were expecting him to do well at Petersburg, recalling the five tournaments he won in 1912, no doubt.|
In Winter's Capablanca book he quotes Capa writing in Capablanca Magazine about the Mannheim tournament, held a little later that year. Capa points out that the "five strongest players in the world today" were absent; he lists them as Lasker, Rubinstein, Schlechter, Teichmann and himself.
I'm somewhat agnostic as to the meaning of retrospective ratings, but Rubinstein's wiki page does quote Chessmetrics rating him world no 1 between mid-1912 and mid-1914.
|Aug-20-16|| ||Benzol: Before this tournament Rubinstein had a plus score against both Lasker and Capablanca. Lasker lost to him in 1909 and Capablanca in 1911.|
|Aug-20-16|| ||Retireborn: <Benzol> Indeed, a plus score against all of the participants except Bernstein (1-1 with several draws), Blackburne (1 draw), and Gunsberg (no previous encounters.)|
|Aug-20-16|| ||zanzibar: Perhaps I should moderate my comment above... given that the pre-history must factor out the results of the tournament itself.|
One trouble is the lack of tournament play by both Rubinstein and Lasker in 1913.
Rubinstein peaked in 1912 according to EDO:
But his peak, 2656 isn't enough to challenge Lasker's relative minimum of 2715 of 1910.
(EDO has Lasker playing 0 games in 1911, 1912, 1913.
EDO has Rubinstein playing 0 games in 1913)
Capablanca had reach 2730 during a very busy 1913 (54 games). Clearly he was a contender for 1st.
But Alekhine was also very active in 1913, having reached a rating of 2623 with 35 games.
To summarize, one must assume Capablanca and Lasker belong to the 1st class contenders alone, assuming Lasker's strength equivalent to 1910 (it wasn't, he was actually stronger!).
And if Rubinstein is to be mentioned, then, at a minimum, Alekhine had already earned his mention as well.
Of course, one could avoid all this detailed analysis by finding a contemporaneous source which agrees with the intro's assessment!
(As concerns my heavy reliance of EDO chess, suffice it to say that Tim Harding across quotes heavily from this source as well - it's a great, informative and well organized source - one of the best on the net).
|Aug-20-16|| ||Retireborn: <z> It's interesting that Rubinstein didn't play at all in 1913. I wonder why that was? Lack of practice may well have been a factor in his relative failure here.|
As for contemporaneous sources, the following link to Levenfish might be interesting (scroll down a bit to #3):
[The remark about Marshall having a dash of Indian blood made me laugh, I'm afraid!]
It's true that after WWI Rubinstein would lose to Alekhine and Nimzowitsch rather more often than he beat them (and some of those games are quite famous.) But in 1907-1914 he would have been expected to finish ahead of them in tournaments, I think.
|Aug-20-16|| ||zanzibar: Yes, perhaps. Knowing his decline was in effect by 1914 colors my view I suppose.|
And the tournament photograph did feature him, prominently sitting across from Lasker at the table.
Of course, Burn is also given a central role, and he's not even a participant (I believe he was there as Field reporter primarily).
I'm sure <offramp> will say it's because the Russian were rather taken with his beard!
|Aug-20-16|| ||zanzibar: <RB> thanks to you and <Rishi9> for the Levenfish reminisces on the tournament.|
|Aug-20-16|| ||zanzibar: Levenfish finishes with this:
<The tournament produced many fine specimens of chess artistry, and one can only regret that so far no collection of games from this first-class event has been published in Russian...>
He died in 1961, and his writing was published posthumously, but still... that's a shocking omission on the part of the Russians/Soviets.
|Aug-20-16|| ||Retireborn: <z> Many interesting things in that photo: Lasker's confident gaze, Alekhine's uniform (?), Nimzo looking in the wrong direction, Marshall's possibly Indian hair(!) and so on.|
I do wonder about the Wainstein standing next to Marshall. Probably not an ancestor of Garry, although it would be neat if he was.
|Aug-20-16|| ||zanzibar: <RB> you might need to buy a vowel...|
|Aug-21-16|| ||zanzibar: OK, here's my best version of the group photograph, plus some other handsome portraits...|
Maybe I should post this over at Doll?
<CG> How about using the group photo above?
|Aug-23-16|| ||zanzibar: Surprised noone has commented on Alekhine's hat.
Here's maybe a better version of the same photo:
|Feb-01-17|| ||keypusher: <zanzibar> Courtesy of Karpova, here is Capablanca's assessment of Rubinstein, in 1912:|
<Rubinstein, who, at the chess board, is the glory of Russia, was born in Łódź in 1882, and is thus 30 years old. He is extremely astute and a profound student of the game; it is related that he studies for two or three hours every morning; he is a great admirer of Morphy, whose games he probably knows by heart. He is very observant and when, in San Sebastián in 1911, I was amusing myself playing fast games against Dr Bernstein, his compatriot, he always came to watch the contest, often making the observation that I possessed tactical ability superior to anyone else’s. This is clear proof of the great Russian expert’s modesty.
Rubinstein has made a special study of the queen’s pawn opening, and his opponents can be entirely sure that as White he will open with 1 d4. There have been occasions when he has varied, but these have been rare. With Black he almost always plays the French Defense against 1 e4 and he has made a special study of this opening too.
His openings are irreproachable because he plays only what he has studied in the greatest depth. His middle-game play is worthy of the great master that he is, while it is generally agreed that he is extraordinarily strong in the endgame. From this it may be deduced that the Russian master is very difficult to defeat. To beat him it is necessary to proceed step by step and with great care because he is forever preparing traps for his opponent.
His main successes have been Carlsbad, 1907, first prize; Ostend, 1907, first and second prizes equal with Bernstein; St Petersburg, 1909, first and second prizes equal with Lasker, the world champion, whom he beat in their individual game; San Sebastián, 1911, second and third prizes equal with Vidmar, and finally San Sebastián, 1912 first prize.
Rubinstein has never been lower than third in an international tournament, which is a record matched by no other player except Lasker. <Today Rubinstein is, in my opinion, the strongest European player, leaving aside Lasker, who, as world champion, has the right to be considered the first.>>
I think that is what pretty much anyone would have said going into the St. Petersburg tournament, except they might not agree that Lasker (who had not played serious chess since 1910) was entitled to outrank Rubinstein.
|Jul-18-17|| ||ZonszeinP: Great Rubinstein missed an opportunity here, to show the world he was the best at the time|
|Jul-18-17|| ||JimNorCal: Yes, this was Rubinstein's first slip, I believe. Nathan Divinsky wrote a fictional "Rubinstein diary" covering the tournament. It's fictional and not everyone's cup of tea but it does IMO give a plausible description of the emotions that must've been swirling.|
|Jul-23-17|| ||ZonszeinP: Nowadays nobody wears hats like Alkehine's
Good old days
Gone for good
|Sep-29-18|| ||JimNorCal: The discussion on the Grand Master title is interesting. I think Marshall discussed it in one of his books but I don't recall if he gave a photo of a medallion or proclamation or anything. I don't have the Marshall book anymore.|
I don't recall Alekhine, Capa, Lasker or other sources talking about it.
Here's a snip from Wikipedia
"According to Marshall's 1942 autobiography ... Tsar Nicholas II conferred the title of "Grandmaster" on Marshall and the other four finalists. Chess historian Edward Winter has questioned this ..."
|Sep-30-18|| ||TheFocus: <JimNorCal: The discussion on the Grand Master title is interesting. I think Marshall discussed it in one of his books but I don't recall if he gave a photo of a medallion or proclamation or anything. I don't have the Marshall book anymore.>|
Marshall gave a photo on pg. 20 of <My Fifty Years of Chess> with the first five finishers. Written on it is "the five woodshifters".
On pg. 21, he says: <It was at this tournament that the Tsar of Russia conferred on each of the five finalists the title "Grandmaster of Chess">.
This is just fiction by Marshall.
|Sep-30-18|| ||TheFocus: Certainly Rubinstein was a much stronger player than Marshall. Very hard to believe that a Tsar had the power to grant grandmaster titles on anyone.|
|Sep-30-18|| ||john barleycorn: <TheFocus: ... Very hard to believe that a Tsar had the power to grant grandmaster titles on anyone.>|
That comes with feudalism. The Tsar did not give rules and/or regulations but titles and benefits.
|Sep-30-18|| ||JimNorCal: Yeah I'm sure the Tsar could proclaim any darn thing he wanted. There was no FIDE to grant titles. |
Did Lasker, Capa, Tarrasch or Alekhine--for that matter, any contemporary publications or others of the masters-- mention anything?
|Oct-02-18|| ||john barleycorn: <JimNorCal: ...
Did Lasker, Capa, Tarrasch or Alekhine--for that matter, any contemporary publications or others of the masters-- mention anything?>
I have not seen any tournament/match book that would mention the title grandmaster. Take New York 1924 by Aljechin. Never says GM Em. Lasker vs. GM Capablanca etc pp. Even Tarrasch never shy to praise his accomplishments mentions his GM title, afaik
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