|Berlin Grandmasters (1918)|
In 1918, toward the end of the Great War, Bernhard Kagan organized several chess events in the city of Berlin, Germany. Among these events was a Großmeister-Turnier held in the Kerkau-Palast from September 28th to October 11th. Four famous, top players participated in the double round robin tournament, including the world champion Emanuel Lasker, former world crown challenger Dr. Siegbert Tarrasch, potential world challenger Akiba Rubinstein, and former world crown challenger Carl Schlechter. Lasker had managed well during the course of the war and was in fine shape for the event. Rubinstein had journeyed to Berlin earlier in the spring and had improved his form over the year. As to the other players, Dr. Tarrasch had suffered tragedies, losing three of his sons to the war, and Schlechter arrived for the event obviously sick and malnourished. These facts can be said to outline the course of the tournament, with Lasker triumphing and both he and Rubinstein going undefeated, while Schlechter and Tarrasch had terrible results, especially in the second half, each losing to Lasker. Lasker was awarded the grand prize of 1200 marks for his win, while the remaining prize purse was divided among the final three with Rubinstein being awarded 1000 marks, Schlechter 900 marks, and Tarrasch 700 marks. The final tragedy of the tournament was that it proved to be Schlechter's last elite competition with the best in the world. The great gentleman chess master, who had been the only challenger ever to draw Lasker in a match, died two months later on December 27th, 1918.
The final standings and crosstable:
Original collection: Game Collection: Berlin 1918, by User: suenteus po 147.
1 Lasker ** ˝˝ ˝1 11 4˝
2 Rubinstein ˝˝ ** 1˝ ˝1 4
3 Schlechter ˝0 0˝ ** ˝˝ 2
4 Tarrasch 00 ˝0 ˝˝ ** 1˝
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|May-02-14|| ||offramp: The British (in France in 1918) look forward to arriving in Berlin. From Blackadder Goes Forth:|
<<George>: Well, but this time I'm absolutely positive we'll break through! It's
ice cream in Berlin in 15 days.>
<<Melchett>: Excellent! Well then. See you all in Berlin for coffee
<<George>: Well, this is splendid, comradely news! Together, we'll fight for king
and country, and be sucking sausages in Berlin by teatime.
<Edmund>: Yes, I hope their cafés are well stocked; everyone seems determined
to eat out the moment they arrive.>
|May-02-14|| ||keypusher: <offramp> Well, to be fair, they <did> break through in 1918.|
|Jun-01-14|| ||visayanbraindoctor: Another super GM pre-WW2 tournament. With a limited number of participants in a double round robin, it resembles a Bilbao super GM tournament.|
|Dec-14-16|| ||offramp: This tournament had many games of 50+ moves.|
|Dec-14-16|| ||alexmagnus: The prices here... is that in gold or paper marks? Considering the inflation Germany underwent between 1914 and 1923, the difference was quite substantial by 1918 (around 3 times I guess - the rate was 2 paper marks for 1 gold mark at the beginning of 1918 and 4 for 1 at its end, according to Wikipedia).|
|Dec-14-16|| ||alexmagnus: Prizes*|
|Dec-14-16|| ||Nosnibor: Herewith a quote by Kmoch on the game between Rubinstein and Schlechter After Schlechter`s 20th move "Half famished Schlechter-what a great contestant he was ! He stands confined and senses the highly dangerous attack of the White King Knight Pawn. Hence he resolves upon the spirited sacrifice of a Pawn, which even at White`s best play,offers far better drawing chances than a passive defense"|
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