The 28th Hastings Christmas Chess Congress featured the following players:
Max Blau, William Albert Fairhurst, Harry Golombek, Edward Lasker, Antonio Angel Medina Garcia, Jonathan Penrose, Jakob Adolf Seitz, Theodore Tylor, Robert Wade, Daniel Abraham Yanofsky.
The British contingent was a split between the older (Fairhurst, Golombek, Tylor) and younger (Penrose, Wade) generations. Of the foreigners, Yanofsky and Medina Garcia were younger players, Lasker and Seitz sentimental older choices, and Blau kind in the middle.
This was a balanced entry with no clear favorite, and promised a close fight for first place. By the finish, no player had avoided defeat and only three points separated first from last.
Fairhurst 0 Penrose; Lasker 1/2 Yanofsky; Seitz 0 Medina Garcia; Tylor 0 Blau; Wade 0 Golombek
1.0: Blau, Golombek, Medina Garcia, Penrose; <0.5>: Lasker, Yanofsky; <0.0>: Fairhurst, Seitz, Tylor, Wade
Edge to the younger players so far. Perhaps the most interesting game was Medina Garcia's slow win as Black in the Spanish Exchange Variation.
Blau 1/2 Fairhurst; Golombek 1/2 Tylor; Medina Garcia 1 Lasker; Penrose 1 Seitz; Yanofsky 1/2 Wade
2.0: Medina Garcia, Penrose; <1.5>: Blau, Golombek; <1.0>: Yanofsky; <0.5>: Fairhurst, Lasker, Tylor, Wade; <0.0>: Seitz
Fairhurst let a simple win slip away. Lasker got into a cramped position, and succumbed to the usual Nf5 sacrifice in the Ruy Lopez. Penrose joined Medina at the top with some incisive play against Seitz's awkward development.
Fairhurst 1/2 Golombek; Lasker 1/2 Wade; Medina Garcia 1/2 Penrose; Seitz 1/2 Blau; Tylor 1/2 Yanofsky
2.5: Medina Garcia, Penrose; <2.0>: Blau, Golombek; <1.5>: Yanofsky; <1.0>: Fairhurst, Lasker, Tylor, Wade; <0.5>: Seitz
Very quiet result-wise, and of course there was no change in the leaders. Lasker and Wade had a real slugfest. The battle between the leaders was about as quiet a game as can come out of the Four Pawn Attack in the Alekhine. Yanofsky, hungry for a win, continued an eventful game with Tylor for about 20 moves longer than necessary.
Blau 1 Medina Garcia; Golombek 1 Seitz; Penrose 1 Lasker; Wade 1/2 Tylor; Yanofsky 0 Fairhurst
3.5: Penrose; <3.0>: Blau, Golombek; <2.5>: Medina Garcia; <2.0>: Fairhurst; <1.5>: Tylor, Wade, Yanofsky; <1.0>: Lasker; <0.5>: Seitz
On the other hand, this round's results did result in a few changes up top! Blau's two knights wound up snatching a couple of pawns from Medina's bishop pair. Golombek upheld the honor of the bishop pair, winding up three pawns ahead. The encounter between the 19-year-old Penrose and the 67-year-old Lasker saw the younger man grind out a victory with endgame technique. And Yanofsky, one of the favorites coming in, was sent below 50% by Fairhurst's patient play.
Fairhurst 1/2 Wade; Lasker 1 Tylor; Medina Garcia 1 Golombek; Penrose 1 Blau; Seitz 0 Yanofsky
4.5: Penrose; <3.5>: Medina Garcia; <3.0>: Blau, Golombek; <2.5>: Fairhurst, Yanofsky; <2.0>: Lasker, Wade; <1.5>: Tylor; <0.5>: Seitz
Penrose soared into a full-point lead, taking out one of his closest pursuers by outclassing Blau while Golombek was falling to strong attacking play from Medina. Yanofsky, who had been averaging over 50 moves a game, upped that with a 74-mover against Seitz to finally score his first win.
Blau 0 Lasker; Golombek 1 Penrose; Tylor 1/2 Fairhurst; Wade 1/2 Seitz; Yanofsky 1/2 Medina Garcia
4.5: Penrose; <4.0>: Golombek, Medina Garcia; <3.0>: Blau, Fairhurst, Lasker, Yanofsky; <2.5>: Wade; <2.0>: Tylor; <1.0>: Seitz
Obviously someone had to slow Penrose down, and Golombek took that little chore on himself by chipping away at a slightly weaker pawn formation. Yanofsky, for the 6th round in a row, played his longest game of the tournament so far, but Medina's knight and passed pawn held the draw against Yanofsky's rook (or was it the other way around?). Lasker got his second win in textbook fashion.
Blau 1 Golombek; Lasker 0 Fairhurst; Medina Garcia 1 Wade; Penrose 0 Yanofsky; Seitz 1/2 Tylor
5.0: Medina Garcia; <4.5>: Penrose; <4.0>: Blau, Fairhurst, Golombek, Yanofsky; <3.0>: Lasker; <2.5>: Tylor, Wade; <1.5>: Seitz
Penrose's momentum was completely gone by now. After six rounds of increasingly longer games, Yanofsky switched gears and blew away the leader in just 27 moves with Black. But Golombek was unable to take advantage, as the given-up-for-dead Blau outplayed him and finished nicely. Medina thus vaulted into the lead with another strong game. Lasker was doing well against Fairhurst, but weakened as the game went on.
In the last two rounds, Medina had Fairhurst and Tylor to play, not a demanding schedule. Penrose had an easier time with Tylor and Wade, but was staggering. The four-pointers probably had only a theoretical chance to catch up.
Fairhurst 1/2 Seitz; Golombek 1 Lasker; Tylor 1 Medina Garcia; Wade 1/2 Penrose; Yanofsky 1 Blau
5.0: Golombek, Medina Garcia, Penrose, Yanofsky; <4.5>: Fairhurst; <4.0>: Blau; <3.5>: Tylor; <3.0>: Lasker, Wade; <2.0>: Seitz
Parity comes to Hastings! Tylor picked a fine time to get his first win, knocking off the leader in a B vs. N ending. Golombek hit Lasker with a few fancy dazzlers and cruised in the ending. Penrose recovered his equilibrium in a hard fight with Wade, while Yanofsky continued the return trip from nowhere after an obvious move from Blau turned into a mistake. Fairhurst had his chance to join the leaders, but could never get going against tail-ender Seitz's Budapest Defense.
For the last round, co-leaders Yanofsky and Golombek would play, Medina took on Fairhurst, while young Penrose would contend with Tylor. Would they play safely or sharply?
Blau 1/2 Wade; Golombek 1/2 Yanofsky; Lasker 1/2 Seitz; Medina Garcia 1/2 Fairhurst; Penrose 1/2 Tylor
Dullsville, perhaps. But given the adventures of the previous rounds, it was more a case of discretion. The leaders played 11, 12, and 29 moves, and never strayed far from equality. The two oldest players put on the longest fight, Lasker and Seitz battling for 51 moves.
Hastings 1951/52 (1951) was the 27th Christmas festival and Hastings 1953/54 (1953) was the next annual event.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0
1 Yanofsky * = = 1 0 1 = = = 1 5.5
2 Medina Garcia = * 1 = = 0 0 1 1 1 5.5
3 Golombek = 0 * 1 = 0 = 1 1 1 5.5
4 Penrose 0 = 0 * 1 1 = = 1 1 5.5
5 Fairhurst 1 = = 0 * = = = 1 = 5.0
6 Blau 0 1 1 0 = * 1 = 0 = 4.5
7 Tylor = 1 = = = 0 * = 0 = 4.0
8 Wade = 0 0 = = = = * = = 3.5
9 Lasker = 0 0 0 0 1 1 = * = 3.5
10 Seitz 0 0 0 0 = = = = = * 2.5
Original collection: Game Collection: Hastings 1952/53, by User: Phony Benoni