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Vilnius 1912 (All-Russian Masters)
Compiled by Phony Benoni
--*--

The All-Russian Masters tournament held in Vilnius (also Vilna or Vilno) from August 19-September 17, 1912 was the last of Akiba Rubinstein's string of consective tournament victories that year. (See also Game Collection: San Sebastian 1912 and Game Collection: Bad Pistyan 1912). The entrants in this double round-robin event were: Semion Alapin, Alexander Alekhine, Ossip Bernstein, Alexander Flamberg, Grigory Levenfish, Stefan Levitsky, Aron Nimzowitsch, Abram Isaakovich Rabinovich, Akiba Rubinstein, Georg Salwe, and Sergey Nikolaevich von Freymann.

Rabinovich dropped out before the end of the first cycle, and the nine games he played did not count in the final results. As a result, each player received in effect four byes, which makes the course of the event difficult to track. In addition, about half of the 99 games played are not available. When a Rubinstein v. Alekhine game cannot be found, you have to be pessimistic about others showing up!

Given these caveats and emptors, it appears that Nimzowitsch took the early lead with 6.5/9 after the first cycle, followed by Bernstein, Flamberg, and Rubinstein on 5.5. However, Nimzowitsch started the second half with a famous loss to Alekhine in round 12 (featuring two noteworthy queen sacrifices that didn't happen), and never recovered his edge.

Rubinstein, who had lost two of his first three games, suffered another reversal at the hands of Freymann in round 13 and trailed Bernstein by a point. However, he promptly won his next four games to take a 1.5 point lead and coast home from there.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 1. Rubinstein XX == 1= =1 11 11 11 00 01 == 12.0 2. Bernstein == XX 1= 0= 11 00 0= 11 11 11 11.5 3. Levitsky 0= 0= XX =1 == 11 0= 1= =1 11 11.0 4. Nimzowitsch =0 1= =0 XX == =0 1= 1= =1 11 10.5 5. Flamberg 00 00 == == XX 1= 10 =1 1= 1= 9.0 6. Alekhine 00 11 00 =1 0= XX 11 0= 01 10 8.5 7. Levenfish 00 1= 1= 0= 01 00 XX =1 =1 == 8.5 8. Freymann 11 00 0= 0= =0 1= =0 XX =1 10 8.0 9. Alapin 10 00 =0 =0 0= 10 =0 =0 XX =1 6.0 10 Salwe == 00 00 00 0= 01 == 01 =0 XX 5.0

A fine result for Levitsky, a bad tournament for Alekhine, and whatever was Rubinstein thinking about when he played the bottom three finsihers?

Here are the results of the tournament, round by round. I have used the Gregorian calendar date, which was 13 days later than the Julian calendar used in Russia at the time. Games followed by an <*> are not in the database. Remember that all of Rabinovich's games were eventually cancelled.

Round 1 (Monday, August 19): Levenfish 0 Rubinstein, Freymann 0 Bernstein, Alapin 1/2 Levitsky, Rabinovich 1/2 Flamberg (cancelled), Alekhine 1/2 Nimzowitsch (Salwe bye)

Round 2 (Tuesday, August 20): Flamberg 1 Alekhine*, Levitsky 1 Rabinovich (cancelled), Bernstein 1 Alapin, Rubinstein 0 Freymann, Salwe 1/2 Levenfish* (Nimzowitsch bye)

Round 3 (Thursday, August 22): Freymann 1 Salwe, Alapin 1 Rubinstein, Alekhine 0 Levitsky, Rabinovich 1/2 Bernstein (cancelled)*, Nimzowitsch 1/2 Flamberg* (Levenfish bye)

Round 4 (Friday, August 23): Levitsky 1/2 Nimzowitsch, Bernstein 0 Alekhine, Rubinstein 1 Rabinovich (cancelled)*, Salwe 1/2 Alapin*, Levenfish 1/2 Freymann* (Flamberg bye)

Round 5 (Saturday, August 23): Alapin 1/2 Levenfish*, Rabinovich 1/2 Salwe (cancelled)*, Alekhine 0 Rubinstein, Nimmzovisch 1 Bernstein, Flamberg 1/2 Levitsky* (Freymann bye)

Round 6 (Tuesday, August 27): Bernstein 1 Flamberg, Rubinstein 1/2 Nimzowitsch*, Salwe 0 Alekhine, Levenfish 1 Rabinovich (cancelled), Freymann 1/2 Alapin (Levitsky bye)

Round 7 (Wednesday, August 28): Rabinovich 0 Freymann (cancelled), Alekhine 1 Levenfish, Nimzowitsch 1 Salwe, Flamberg 0 Rubinstein*, Levitsky 0 Bernstein (Alapin bye)

Round 8 (Thursday, August 29): Rubinstein 1 Levitsky, Salwe 0 Flamberg, Levenfish 0 Nimzowitsch, Freymann 1 Alekhine, Alapin 1 Rabinovich (cancelled)* (Bernstein bye)

Round 9 (Saturday, August 31): Alekhine 0 Alapin, Nimzowitsch 1 Freymann, Flamberg 1 Levenfish, Levitsky 1 Salwe, Bernstein 1/2 Rubinstein (Rabinovich bye--not cancelled)

Round 10 (Sunday, September 1): Salwe 0 Bernstein*, Levenfish 1 Levitsky*, Freymann 1/2 Flamberg*, Alapin 1/2 Nimzowitsch, Rabinovich 0 Alekhine (cancelled) (Rubinstein bye)

Round 11 (Monday, September 2): Flamberg 1 Alapin*, Levitsky 1 Von Freymann, Bernstein 0 Levenfish, Rubinstein 1/2 Salwe* (Alekhine, Nimzowitsch Bye)

Round 12 (Tuewday, September 3): Rubinstein 1 Levenfish, Bernstein 1 Freymann*, Levitzky 1 Alapin*, Nimzowitsch 0 Alekhine (Flamberg, Salwe bye)

Round 13 (Thursday, September 5): Alekhine 1/2 Flamberg*, Alapin 0 Bernstein*, Freymann 1 Rubinstein, Levenfish 1/2 Salwe*, (Levitzky, Nimzowitsch bye)

Round 14 (Friday, September 6): Salwe 1 Freymann*, Rubinstein 1 Alapin*, Levitsky 1 Alekhine*, Flamberg 1/2 Nimzowitsch* (Bernstein, Levenfish bye)

Round 15 (Saturday, September 7): Nimzowitsch 0 Levitsky*, Alekhine 1 Bernstein, Alapin 1 Salwe*, Freymann 0 Levenfish* (Flamberg, Rubinstein bye)

Round 16 (Monday, September 9): Levenfish 1 Alapin, Rubinstein 1 Alekhine*, Bernstein 1/2 Nimmzowitsch, Levitsky 1/2 Flamberg* (Salwe, Freymann bye)

Round 17 (Tuesday, September 10): Flamberg 0 Bernstein, Nimzowitsch 0 Rubinstein, Alekhine 0 Salwe*, Alapin 0 Freymann (Levenfish, Levitsky bye)

Round 18 (Thursday, September 12): Levenfish 0 Alekhiune, Salwe 0 Nimzowitsch*, Rubinstein 1 Flamberg*, Bernstein 1/2 Levitsky* (Alapin, Freymann bye)

Round 19 (Friday, September 13): Levitsky 1/2 Rubinstein, Flamberg 1/2 Salwe*, Nimzowitsch 1/2 Levenfish*, Alekhine 1/2 Freymann (Alapin, Bernstein bye)

Round 20 (Saturday, September 14): Alapin 0 Alekhine*, Freymann 1/2 Nimzowitsch*, Levenfish 1 Flamberg, Salwe 0 Levitsky*, Rubinstein 1/2 Bernstein (No bye this round; would have gone to Rabinovich)

Round 21 (Monday, September 16): Bernstein 1 Salwe*, Levitsky 1/2 Levenfish*, Flamberg 1 FReymann*, Nimzowitsch 1 Alapin* (Alekhine, Rubinstein bye)

Round 22 (Tuesday, September 17): Alapin 1/2 Flamberg*, Freymann 1/2 Levitsky*, Levenfish 1/2 Bernstein*, Salwe 1/2 Rubinstein* (Alekhine, Nimzowitsch Bye)

Many thanks to <The Focus> for supplying dates for the rounds and verifying the reconstruction, and to <Calli> for verifying much of the information. If you know of further information about or games from this tournament, please leave a note in my forum.

Round 1 (Monday, August 19)
Levenfish vs Rubinstein, 1912 
(C45) Scotch Game, 47 moves, 0-1

Round 1 (Monday, August 19)
S Von Freymann vs O Bernstein, 1912
(C55) Two Knights Defense, 30 moves, 0-1

Round 1 (Monday, August 19)
Alapin vs S Levitsky, 1912
(C77) Ruy Lopez, 65 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 1 (Monday, August 19) (Cancelled)
A Rabinovich vs Flamberg, 1912
(C77) Ruy Lopez, 28 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 1 (Monday, August 19)
Alekhine vs Nimzowitsch, 1912
(A46) Queen's Pawn Game, 25 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 2 (Tuesday, August 20) (Cancelled)
S Levitsky vs A Rabinovich, 1912 
(C44) King's Pawn Game, 27 moves, 1-0

Round 2 (Tuesday, August 20)
O Bernstein vs Alapin, 1912 
(D02) Queen's Pawn Game, 24 moves, 1-0

Round 2 (Tuesday, August 20)
Rubinstein vs S Von Freymann, 1912 
(C12) French, McCutcheon, 38 moves, 0-1

Round 3 (Thursday, August 22)
S Von Freymann vs Salwe, 1912
(C77) Ruy Lopez, 49 moves, 1-0

Round 3 (Thursday, August 22)
Alapin vs Rubinstein, 1912 
(B29) Sicilian, Nimzovich-Rubinstein, 28 moves, 1-0

Round 3 (Thursday, August 22)
Alekhine vs S Levitsky, 1912 
(A22) English, 41 moves, 0-1

Round 4 (Friday, August 23)
S Levitsky vs Nimzowitsch, 1912
(C50) Giuoco Piano, 38 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 4 (Friday, August 23)
O Bernstein vs Alekhine, 1912 
(D11) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 44 moves, 0-1

Round 5 (Saturday, August 23)
Alekhine vs Rubinstein, 1912  
(C83) Ruy Lopez, Open, 27 moves, 0-1

Round 5 (Saturday, August 23)
Nimzowitsch vs O Bernstein, 1912  
(C02) French, Advance, 61 moves, 1-0

Round 6 (Tuesday, August 27)
O Bernstein vs Flamberg, 1912
(C49) Four Knights, 50 moves, 1-0

Round 6 (Tuesday, August 27)
Salwe vs Alekhine, 1912
(A40) Queen's Pawn Game, 43 moves, 0-1

Round 6 (Tuesday, August 27) (Cancelled)
Levenfish vs A Rabinovich, 1912
(D25) Queen's Gambit Accepted, 36 moves, 1-0

Round 6 (Tuesday, August 27)
S Von Freymann vs Alapin, 1912
(C11) French, 34 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 7 (Wednesday, August 28) (Cancelled)
A Rabinovich vs S Von Freymann, 1912
(C65) Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense, 42 moves, 0-1

Round 7 (Wednesday, August 28)
Alekhine vs Levenfish, 1912 
(B40) Sicilian, 26 moves, 1-0

Round 7 (Wednesday, August 28)
Nimzowitsch vs Salwe, 1912 
(C46) Three Knights, 39 moves, 1-0

Round 7 (Wednesday, August 28)
S Levitsky vs O Bernstein, 1912
(C50) Giuoco Piano, 58 moves, 0-1

Round 8 (Thursday, August 29)
Rubinstein vs S Levitsky, 1912
(D02) Queen's Pawn Game, 22 moves, 1-0

Round 8 (Thursday, August 29)
Salwe vs Flamberg, 1912 
(D02) Queen's Pawn Game, 29 moves, 0-1

Round 8 (Thursday, August 29)
Levenfish vs Nimzowitsch, 1912 
(B10) Caro-Kann, 29 moves, 0-1

Round 8 (Thursday, August 29)
S Von Freymann vs Alekhine, 1912 
(A84) Dutch, 40 moves, 1-0

Round 9 (Saturday, August 31)
Alekhine vs Alapin, 1912 
(C00) French Defense, 39 moves, 0-1

Round 9 (Saturday, August 31)
Nimzowitsch vs S Von Freymann, 1912 
(C02) French, Advance, 50 moves, 1-0

Round 9 (Saturday, August 31)
Flamberg vs Levenfish, 1912
(C14) French, Classical, 36 moves, 1-0

Round 9 (Saturday, August 31)
S Levitsky vs Salwe, 1912
(C30) King's Gambit Declined, 34 moves, 1-0

Round 9 (Saturday, August 31)
O Bernstein vs Rubinstein, 1912  
(C48) Four Knights, 22 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 10 (Sunday, September 1)
Alapin vs Nimzowitsch, 1912
(C41) Philidor Defense, 54 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 10 (Sunday, September 1) (Cancelled)
A Rabinovich vs Alekhine, 1912 
(B23) Sicilian, Closed, 32 moves, 0-1

Round 11 (Monday, September 2)
S Levitsky vs S Von Freymann, 1912 
(D31) Queen's Gambit Declined, 29 moves, 1-0

Round 11 (Monday, September 2)
O Bernstein vs Levenfish, 1912
(D34) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch, 38 moves, 0-1

Round 12 (Tuewday, September 3)
Rubinstein vs Levenfish, 1912  
(A84) Dutch, 33 moves, 1-0

Round 12 (Tuewday, September 3)
Nimzowitsch vs Alekhine, 1912 
(D02) Queen's Pawn Game, 36 moves, 0-1

Round 13 (Thursday, September 5)
S Von Freymann vs Rubinstein, 1912  
(A02) Bird's Opening, 32 moves, 1-0

Round 15 (Saturday, September 7)
Alekhine vs O Bernstein, 1912 
(B43) Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3, 46 moves, 1-0

Round 16 (Monday, September 9)
Levenfish vs Alapin, 1912 
(B10) Caro-Kann, 33 moves, 1-0

Round 16 (Monday, September 9)
O Bernstein vs Nimzowitsch, 1912 
(C41) Philidor Defense, 49 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 17 (Tuesday, September 10)
Flamberg vs O Bernstein, 1912 
(C82) Ruy Lopez, Open, 41 moves, 0-1

Round 17 (Tuesday, September 10)
Nimzowitsch vs Rubinstein, 1912  
(C45) Scotch Game, 29 moves, 0-1

Round 17 (Tuesday, September 10)
Alapin vs S Von Freymann, 1912 
(D31) Queen's Gambit Declined, 28 moves, 0-1

Round 18 (Thursday, September 12)
Levenfish vs Alekhine, 1912 
(C77) Ruy Lopez, 43 moves, 0-1

Round 19 (Friday, September 13)
S Levitsky vs Rubinstein, 1912 
(D00) Queen's Pawn Game, 16 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 19 (Friday, September 13)
Alekhine vs S Von Freymann, 1912
(C48) Four Knights, 15 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 20 (Saturday, September 14)
Levenfish vs Flamberg, 1912
(C77) Ruy Lopez, 55 moves, 1-0

Round 20 (Saturday, September 14)
Rubinstein vs O Bernstein, 1912
(D66) Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense, Bd3 line, 23 moves, 1/2-1/2

50 games

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