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San Sebastian Tournament

Jose Raul Capablanca9.5/14(+6 -1 =7)[view games]
Akiba Rubinstein9/14(+4 -0 =10)[view games]
Milan Vidmar9/14(+5 -1 =8)[view games]
Frank James Marshall8.5/14(+4 -1 =9)[view games]
Siegbert Tarrasch7.5/14(+3 -2 =9)[view games]
Carl Schlechter7.5/14(+2 -1 =11)[view games]
Aron Nimzowitsch7.5/14(+3 -2 =9)[view games]
Ossip Bernstein7/14(+5 -5 =4)[view games]
Rudolf Spielmann7/14(+3 -3 =8)[view games]
Richard Teichmann6.5/14(+3 -4 =7)[view games]
Geza Maroczy6/14(+1 -3 =10)[view games]
David Janowski6/14(+4 -6 =4)[view games]
Amos Burn5/14(+1 -5 =8)[view games]
Oldrich Duras5/14(+3 -7 =4)[view games]
Paul Saladin Leonhardt4/14(+2 -8 =4)[view games]
* Chess Event Description
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:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 1 Capablanca * 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 9 =2 Rubinstein 1 * 1 1 1 9 =2 Vidmar * 0 1 1 1 1 1 9 4 Marshall 1 * 1 1 0 1 8 =5 Tarrasch * 1 1 0 1 0 7 =5 Schlechter * 0 1 1 7 =5 Nimzowitsch 0 0 * 1 1 1 7 =8 Bernstein 0 0 0 1 * 1 1 1 0 1 0 7 =8 Spielmann 0 0 0 * 1 1 1 7 10 Teichmann 0 1 0 0 * 0 1 1 6 =11 Maroczy 0 0 * 1 0 6 =11 Janowski 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 * 1 1 1 6 =13 Burn 0 0 0 1 0 * 0 5 =13 Duras 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 * 5 15 Leonhardt 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 * 4

San Sebastian (1912) became the next in this series of tournaments.

References: (1) Wikipedia article: San Sebastian chess tournament, (2) Original collection: Game Collection: San Sebastian 1911, by User: suenteus po 147.

 page 1 of 5; games 1-25 of 105  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Rubinstein vs Teichmann ½-½52 1911 San SebastianD33 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
2. Capablanca vs O Bernstein 1-034 1911 San SebastianC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
3. Duras vs Janowski 0-1161 1911 San SebastianC77 Ruy Lopez
4. Nimzowitsch vs Tarrasch 0-139 1911 San SebastianC45 Scotch Game
5. Maroczy vs Marshall ½-½38 1911 San SebastianC42 Petrov Defense
6. Schlechter vs Burn ½-½42 1911 San SebastianC88 Ruy Lopez
7. Spielmann vs Vidmar ½-½31 1911 San SebastianC26 Vienna
8. Leonhardt vs Duras ½-½32 1911 San SebastianD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
9. Vidmar vs Rubinstein ½-½22 1911 San SebastianD02 Queen's Pawn Game
10. Janowski vs Nimzowitsch ½-½33 1911 San SebastianD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
11. Tarrasch vs Schlechter ½-½24 1911 San SebastianC54 Giuoco Piano
12. O Bernstein vs Spielmann 1-037 1911 San SebastianC14 French, Classical
13. Burn vs Maroczy  ½-½18 1911 San SebastianC01 French, Exchange
14. Marshall vs Capablanca ½-½32 1911 San SebastianD10 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
15. Spielmann vs Marshall  ½-½32 1911 San SebastianC42 Petrov Defense
16. Teichmann vs Vidmar ½-½35 1911 San SebastianC82 Ruy Lopez, Open
17. Maroczy vs Tarrasch ½-½47 1911 San SebastianC80 Ruy Lopez, Open
18. Rubinstein vs O Bernstein ½-½41 1911 San SebastianB01 Scandinavian
19. Schlechter vs Janowski 1-027 1911 San SebastianC25 Vienna
20. Capablanca vs Burn 1-046 1911 San SebastianC77 Ruy Lopez
21. Nimzowitsch vs Leonhardt 1-048 1911 San SebastianC49 Four Knights
22. Leonhardt vs Schlechter  ½-½18 1911 San SebastianC46 Three Knights
23. Janowski vs Maroczy  0-153 1911 San SebastianD05 Queen's Pawn Game
24. Duras vs Nimzowitsch ½-½40 1911 San SebastianC87 Ruy Lopez
25. Tarrasch vs Capablanca ½-½38 1911 San SebastianC54 Giuoco Piano
 page 1 of 5; games 1-25 of 105  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  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?
Premium Chessgames Member
  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

Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: This tournament is a possible candidate for an early super GM tournament. The participants were all of GM or super GM strength.
Premium Chessgames Member
  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.
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