|San Sebastian (1911)|
In the early spring of 1911, fifteen chess masters were invited to the seaside town of San Sebastian, Spain to compete in a round robin tournament. (1) Each player was invited based on a previous result. Every participant had won either first or second place in a chess master tournament, or two or more fourth place prizes. The turnout was a veritable who's who of chess mastery: Established masters such as Tarrasch, Frank James Marshall, Carl Schlechter, Geza Maroczy, David Janowski, and Amos Burn, and newer stars like Akiba Rubinstein, Aron Nimzowitsch, and Rudolph Spielmann were all in attendance. The tournament also marked the European debut of Jose Raul Capablanca, who had garnered fame for defeating Marshall in a match. The only noticeable absence was the world champion, Emanuel Lasker. As a result of this method of invitation, this tournament is often considered to be one of the strongest held in chess history. Games were played in the Gran Casino from February 20th to March 17th. The time control for the tournament stipulated that fifteen moves must be played each hour. Initially, Ossip Bernstein had objected to Jacques Mieses, the tournament organizer, about Capablanca's inclusion in the tournament based on one match victory. Capablanca proved himself first by defeating Bernstein in the first round, silencing his protests for the rest of the tournament. He then went on admirably to win clear first in the tournament, taking home the 5000 Franc prize, as well as winning the brilliancy prize. Rubinstein and Dr. Milan Vidmar shared second place behind Capablanca, while Marshall took clear fourth. The tournament was a landmark both in its strength and in heralding the arrival of Capablanca, a superb tournament player with a long career of victories ahead as well as becoming future world champion.
The final standings and crosstable:
San Sebastian (1912) became the next in this series of tournaments.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5
1 Capablanca * 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 1 ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 1 9½
=2 Rubinstein 1 * ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 1 9
=2 Vidmar ½ ½ * 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 1 1 1 9
4 Marshall ½ ½ 1 * ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ 0 1 8½
=5 Tarrasch ½ ½ ½ ½ * ½ 1 1 ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 0 ½ 7½
=5 Schlechter ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ * ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ 7½
=5 Nimzowitsch 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ * ½ 1 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 7½
=8 Bernstein 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 1 ½ * 1 1 1 ½ 0 1 0 7
=8 Spielmann 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 0 * ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 1 7
10 Teichmann ½ ½ ½ 0 1 ½ 0 0 ½ * ½ 0 ½ 1 1 6½
=11 Maroczy ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 0 ½ * 1 ½ ½ 0 6
=11 Janowski 0 0 0 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 0 * 1 1 1 6
=13 Burn 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 0 * 0 ½ 5
=13 Duras ½ 0 0 1 1 0 ½ 0 0 0 ½ 0 1 * ½ 5
15 Leonhardt 0 0 0 0 ½ ½ 0 1 0 0 1 0 ½ ½ * 4
References: (1) Wikipedia article: San Sebastian chess tournament, (2) Original collection: Game Collection: San Sebastian 1911, by User: suenteus po 147.
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| page 1 of 5; games 1-25 of 105
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|Jan-25-13|| ||Caissanist: It is often said that Capablanca was only allowed into this tournament because Marshall insisted that he be included based on Capablanca's match win over him. Has there been anything published on just what kind of lobbying Marshall did, and why? Was it perhaps some kind of quid pro quo in return for Capablanca not pressing a claim for the US championship title?|
|Nov-13-13|| ||David2009: <Caissanist: It is often said that Capablanca was only allowed into this tournament because Marshall insisted that he be included based on Capablanca's match win over him. Has there been anything published on just what kind of lobbying Marshall did, and why? Was it perhaps some kind of quid pro quo in return for Capablanca not pressing a claim for the US championship title?> The simplest explanation is likely to be the true one. Marshall was famous for his sportsmanship throughout his long and illustrious career. Moreover, Marshall was in the running to win the San Sebastian tournament: a victory without Capablanca playing against him would be a hollow one. Indeed had he beaten Capablanca in his match with other results unchanged, he would have shared first prize. In those days there was no attempt to differentiate equal scores by considering who had played whom and with what result.|
Since Capablanca was not a US citizen, he could not be US champion, period. The rules were very clear.
|Apr-11-14|| ||Karpova: The directorate of the San Sebastian Gran Casino and the tournament director Jacques Mieses announced that only masters of the 1st rank were to be invited, no more than 16. Only masters would be invited who at minimum won two 4th prizes in international tournaments during the last decade.|
The editors of the 'Wiener Schachzeitung' add, that these strict regulations would allow only for Dr. E Lasker, Tarrasch, Spielmann, Janowski, Rubinstein, Dr. Bernstein, Niemzowitsch, Schlechter, Maroczy, Duras, Marco, Forgacs, Vidmar, Marshall and Leonhardt. According to reports, an exception shall be made for Capablanca.
Source: 'Wiener Schachzeitung', December 1910, p. 397
|Jun-01-14|| ||visayanbraindoctor: This tournament is a possible candidate for an early super GM tournament. The participants were all of GM or super GM strength.|
|Aug-12-15|| ||zanzibar: According to Golombek's Encyclopedia of Chess,
<One of Miese's most important contributions to chess history was the payment of travelling and living expenses during a tournament, which he insisted on when running the famous tournament at San Sebastian 1911 - it was only thenceforth that this procedure became the norm>
p199 under Mieses entry.
|Feb-09-16|| ||King.Arthur.Brazil: Looking at the final places, somebody could not understand precisely what happen. Bernstein is a quite unpredictable player which win and loose in same rate, call him, unstable, so he gave easy points to ones and took points from others. Seemed that MARSHALL could be first with CAPABLANCA, if only if he had won his desperate game against DURAS. Maybe DURAS presented good chess only against MARSHALL and TARRASCH. Maybe, MARSHALL have not took him so seriously and made a terrible blunder after several sacrifices and a very risky attack. RUBSTEIN had the big chance to win the tournament, but even though he was not defeated, he had so much tie, that missed a half point for win.|
|May-08-17|| ||Caissanist: <David2009> Who thought highly of Marshall's sportsmanship? I've never heard of anyone saying that he was a particularly good sport. Edward Lasker, at least, thought he was not a good sport at all after their US championship match.|
|May-08-17|| ||Petrosianic: <Since Capablanca was not a US citizen, he could not be US champion, period. The rules were very clear.>|
The US Championship would not change hands in a tournament played in Spain in any event. That would be like saying Reshevsky took the US Title from Fischer at Buenos Aires 1960.
Clear or not, Marshall DID play a US Championship Match against Capablanca, and only challenged Capa's legitimacy after he lost the match, which is less than sporting. Capa was allowed in the tournament based on the result of the Marshall Match, but I've never heard that it was Marshall himself who insisted on including him.
|May-08-17|| ||JimNorCal: <Caissnist> Edward Lasker, at least, thought he was not a good sport at all after their US championship match.|
True, as described in Chess Secrets. The anger lasted for years, too. But later in the same book Ed Lasker describes a scene in which FJM publicly praises EdL. EdL somewhat grudgingly notes Frank's speech saying something to the effect "Most resent those they have wronged but Marshall proved himself better than that".
Also, one assumes most masters would be annoyed by an opponent who played on in a lost position in hopes of a swindle, yet from what I've read Marshall was popular amongst the Euro chess professionals.
From those two bits of data I find it believable that Marshall was capable of sportsmanship (and charm), whether or not that was the key element for standing up for Capa at this time,
|May-08-17|| ||offramp: Perhaps Marshall intended winning this tournament.|
If he did win it, but Capablanca had <not> taken part, people would say, "Good result, mate... But you're still not as good as Capablanca." Because Marshall had lost the 1909 match.
If he had won this tournament with Capablanca present, that would partially negate the match result.
|May-08-17|| ||Petrosianic: It was just one tournament among many. Marshall played in a lot of tournaments that Capablanca wasn't in.|
If you want a tournament to "negate" the match result, check out Havana 1913. Although nobody took it that way. People were quite strident then (and some still are) about tournaments being unsuitable for determining the best player.
Supposedly Capablanca made the Mayor of Havana clear the playing hall before he'd resign the game.
|May-08-17|| ||Sally Simpson: "Supposedly Capablanca made the Mayor of Havana clear the playing hall..."|
I hate to see a good story busted but sadly that never happened.
You were told this 7 years ago Petro my old mate. Please try and keep up. :)
Capablanca vs Marshall, 1913 (kibitz #64)
|May-09-17|| ||offramp: <Petrosianic: It was just one tournament among many. Marshall played in a lot of tournaments that Capablanca wasn't in.>|
I will try to put it more simply.
SCENARIO A: Marshall wins San Sebastian (1911) but Capablanca has not taken part.
SCENARIO B: Marshall wins San Sebastian (1911) and Capablanca has taken part.
I am saying that Scenario B counterbalances the result of the recent 1909 match more than Scenario A would have done.
This is a "What if" kind of thing. Marshall did not win San Sebastian (1911). There is no need for anyone to start trawling through chess history finding counterexamples, or spitting fire because he or she finds the suggestion too ridiculous to comprehend. I just ran something up the flagpole to see if anyone saluted.
|May-09-17|| ||Sally Simpson: Hi offramp.
"I just ran something up the flagpole to see if anyone saluted."
A quote from '12 Angry Men' Yes?
A great film.
|May-09-17|| ||offramp: < Sally Simpson: Hi offramp.
"I just ran something up the flagpole to see if anyone saluted."|
A quote from '12 Angry Men' Yes? >
LOL! It was on telly yesterday. I think it was Film 4.
|May-10-17|| ||offramp: <visayanbraindoctor: This tournament is a possible candidate for an early super GM tournament. The participants were all of GM or super GM strength.>|
It also has, coincidentally, a high % of drawn games for the time: 53%,
Karlsbad (1911) had 29.5%.
|May-10-17|| ||nok: <People were quite strident then (and some still are) about tournaments being unsuitable for determining the best player.>|
Matches fans were strident because tournaments had theirs, too. Steinitz often felt it necessary to belabor the point. For example, after Mackenzie won the prestigious Frankfurt (1887), Steinitz writes:
<I have made him an offer which I consider a very fair compromise namely that he may declare himself the tournament champion but he should acknowledge my being the match champion.>
|May-10-17|| ||Sally Simpson: Hello Again Offramp,
I was following the interesting discussion at Karlsbad (1911) which in turn took me to Harry Nelson Pillsbury
One guy lost his temper and said:
"I'm like Lee J. Cobb from "12 Angry Men".
Harry Nelson Pillsbury (kibitz #759)
The film is getting a good pluv. (wonder if they will ever attempt to do a remake. )
I'm now off back to that interesting thread, I see they are agreeing on something, think I'll do a Henry Fonda and disagree. I'll 'put something in the bowl and see if the cat licks it.'
|May-10-17|| ||offramp: <Sally Simpson>, you must have seen Hancock's very funny half-hour version. ( www.dailymotion.com/video/x48w3iu ).
The original was a great film. Al in one room - 12 great actors desperate not to be upstaged!|
Oddity - there are no women jurors in the USA film set in 1957, but there are a few in the Hancock version (1959).
Mind you, there are no women in Lawrence of Arabia, either!
A remake would have to be called 12 Angry Men and Women, or 12 Angry People. Not quite the same.
|May-10-17|| ||Sally Simpson: Hi offramp,
One of Hancock's classics, it's up there with 'Blood Donor', 'The Radio Ham' and my favourite: 'The Missing Page.'
Just discovered they did a remake of '12 Angry Men'.
And apparently it is not too bad. (they sneak in a female judge.) I'm going to see if I can get my hands on a copy.
|May-10-17|| ||offramp: I wanna get my hands on the judge!|
|May-19-18|| ||machuelo: Answer to Caissanist, (2013) the real people involved in Capablanca been invited to San Sebastián was his compatriot Manuel Márquez Sterling. There were several mentions to a patron of the Belgians tournaments of Ostend called "M. Marquet" who was a pseudonym used by Marquez Sterling. In the book "Campeonato Mundial 1927" by the argentinian Paulino Alles Monasterios he revealed that Marquez Sterling told him the story while serving in Buenos Aires in the Cuban diplomatic corp. The full story can be find in the book "José Raúl Capablanca, a Chess Biography", McFarland 2015 wrote by Miguel A. Sánchez.|
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