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Hastings 1934/35
Compiled by Phony Benoni
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Of all the memorable Hastings tournaments, this one must rank near the top for suspense and unexpected twists. The list of players was one of the most impressive in Hastings history, with former World Champion Capablanca, future champions Euwe and Botvinnik, championship contender Flohr, and the brilliant young Hungarian, Lilienthal.

But with all the firepower at the top, here were the standings going into the last round:

George Alan Thomas 6.5 Max Euwe 6.0 Salomon Flohr 5.5 Jose Raul Capablanca 5.0 Mikhail Botvinnik 4.5 Andre Lilienthal 4.5 Reginald Pryce Michell 3.0 Vera Menchik 2.5 Philip Stuart Milner-Barry 1.5 George Marshall Norman 1.0

The tournament had gotten off to a slow start, with only Thomas able to win in the first round. Then things picked up a bit, as Thomas proceded to outplay Capablanca and Botvinnik in rounds 2 and 3.

Euwe put a temporary halt to the foolishness by beating Thomas in round 4 to tie for the lead, and kept up the good work by following with three points from his next four games. However, this only sufficed for second place, since Thomas scored 3 1/2, including a win over Lilienthal and a draw with Flohr.

So that set up the last round. Not only was Thomas having the tournament of his life, his last round opponent was was fellow countryman Michell. In almost any other country, at any other time, the result would have been foreordained: a friendly draw, and Thomas finishes no worse than a tie for first. Indeed, many players had to be rooting for the universally beloved Thomas to win and come in sole first.

But that's not how Sir George Thomas played chess. The game was hard-fought, and Michell emerged victorious. But there was a happy ending; Max Euwe, in a better position against tail-ender Norman, made a sporting gesture of his own by offering a draw and settling for a first-place tie with Thomas and Flohr, who had been hanging around in the background the whole time.

They don't build 'em like that anymore.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 Euwe * 1 1 1 1 6.5 2 Thomas 0 * 1 1 1 0 1 1 1 6.5 3 Flohr * 1 1 1 1 6.5 4 Capablanca 0 * 0 1 1 1 1 5.5 5 Lilienthal 0 1 * 1 5.0 6 Botvinnik 0 0 * 1 1 1 5.0 7 Michell 0 1 0 0 0 * 1 1 4.0 8 Menchik 0 0 0 0 * 1 3.0 9 Norman 0 0 0 0 0 * 0 1.5 10 Milner Barry 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 * 1.5

Round 1 (Thursday, December 27)
Euwe vs Capablanca, 1934 
(D64) Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox, Rubinstein Attack, 38 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 1 (Thursday, December 27)
Flohr vs Botvinnik, 1934
(E34) Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation, 42 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 1 (Thursday, December 27)
Menchik vs R P Michell, 1934
(A12) English with b3, 41 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 1 (Thursday, December 27)
Milner-Barry vs Lilienthal, 1934
(C07) French, Tarrasch, 43 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 1 (Thursday, December 27)
G A Thomas vs G Norman, 1934 
(A07) King's Indian Attack, 32 moves, 1-0

Round 2 (Friday, December 28)
Botvinnik vs Euwe, 1934 
(B13) Caro-Kann, Exchange, 56 moves, 0-1

Round 2 (Friday, December 28)
Capablanca vs G A Thomas, 1934 
(D51) Queen's Gambit Declined, 53 moves, 0-1

Round 2 (Friday, December 28)
Flohr vs Lilienthal, 1934
(D19) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Dutch, 39 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 2 (Friday, December 28)
R P Michell vs Milner-Barry, 1934 
(C42) Petrov Defense, 30 moves, 1-0

Round 2 (Friday, December 28)
G Norman vs Menchik, 1934
(D51) Queen's Gambit Declined, 48 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 3 (Saturday, December 29)
Euwe vs Flohr, 1934
(D39) Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin, Vienna Variation, 27 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 3 (Saturday, December 29)
Lilienthal vs R P Michell, 1934 
(E49) Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Botvinnik System, 39 moves, 1-0

Round 3 (Saturday, December 29)
Menchik vs Capablanca, 1934 
(E16) Queen's Indian, 55 moves, 0-1

Round 3 (Saturday, December 29)
Milner-Barry vs G Norman, 1934 
(B24) Sicilian, Closed, 28 moves, 1-0

Round 3 (Saturday, December 29)
G A Thomas vs Botvinnik, 1934 
(B40) Sicilian, 60 moves, 1-0

Round 4 (Monday, December 31)
Botvinnik vs Menchik, 1934 
(D37) Queen's Gambit Declined, 25 moves, 1-0

Round 4 (Monday, December 31)
Capablanca vs Milner-Barry, 1934 
(E33) Nimzo-Indian, Classical, 51 moves, 1-0

Round 4 (Monday, December 31)
Euwe vs G A Thomas, 1934 
(D69) Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense, Classical, 13.de, 26 moves, 1-0

Round 4 (Monday, December 31)
R P Michell vs Flohr, 1934
(E94) King's Indian, Orthodox, 24 moves, 0-1

Round 4 (Monday, December 31)
G Norman vs Lilienthal, 1934 
(D45) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 82 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 5 (Tuesday, January 1)
Flohr vs G A Thomas, 1935
(D43) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 72 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 5 (Tuesday, January 1)
Lilienthal vs Capablanca, 1935 
(E24) Nimzo-Indian, Samisch, 26 moves, 1-0

Round 5 (Tuesday, January 1)
Menchik vs Euwe, 1935 
(D43) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 55 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 5 (Tuesday, January 1)
R P Michell vs G Norman, 1935
(D45) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 21 moves, 1-0

Round 5 (Tuesday, January 1)
Milner-Barry vs Botvinnik, 1935 
(C19) French, Winawer, Advance, 54 moves, 0-1

Round 6 (Wednesday, January 2)
Botvinnik vs Lilienthal, 1935
(E34) Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation, 35 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 6 (Wednesday, January 2)
Capablanca vs R P Michell, 1935 
(D52) Queen's Gambit Declined, 35 moves, 1-0

Round 6 (Wednesday, January 2)
Euwe vs Milner-Barry, 1935 
(A27) English, Three Knights System, 34 moves, 1-0

Round 6 (Wednesday, January 2)
Flohr vs G Norman, 1935
(A18) English, Mikenas-Carls, 27 moves, 1-0

Round 6 (Wednesday, January 2)
G A Thomas vs Menchik, 1935 
(A56) Benoni Defense, 46 moves, 1-0

Round 7 (Thursday, January 3)
Lilienthal vs Euwe, 1935 
(D94) Grunfeld, 28 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 7 (Thursday, January 3)
Menchik vs Flohr, 1935 
(E15) Queen's Indian, 35 moves, 0-1

Round 7 (Thursday, January 3)
R P Michell vs Botvinnik, 1935 
(B83) Sicilian, 44 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 7 (Thursday, January 3)
Milner-Barry vs G A Thomas, 1935
(A07) King's Indian Attack, 44 moves, 0-1

Round 7 (Thursday, January 3)
G Norman vs Capablanca, 1935 
(E80) King's Indian, Samisch Variation, 35 moves, 0-1

Round 8 (Friday, January 4)
Botvinnik vs G Norman, 1935 
(E72) King's Indian, 20 moves, 1-0

Round 8 (Friday, January 4)
Capablanca vs Flohr, 1935 
(D85) Grunfeld, 32 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 8 (Friday, January 4)
Euwe vs R P Michell, 1935 
(D52) Queen's Gambit Declined, 26 moves, 1-0

Round 8 (Friday, January 4)
Menchik vs Milner-Barry, 1935 
(D15) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 25 moves, 1-0

Round 8 (Friday, January 4)
G A Thomas vs Lilienthal, 1935 
(C01) French, Exchange, 40 moves, 1-0

Round 9 (Saturday, January 5)
Capablanca vs Botvinnik, 1935 
(A91) Dutch Defense, 40 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 9 (Saturday, January 5)
Lilienthal vs Menchik, 1935
(D51) Queen's Gambit Declined, 38 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 9 (Saturday, January 5)
R P Michell vs G A Thomas, 1935
(D52) Queen's Gambit Declined, 58 moves, 1-0

Round 9 (Saturday, January 5)
Milner-Barry vs Flohr, 1935
(B13) Caro-Kann, Exchange, 31 moves, 0-1

Round 9 (Saturday, January 5)
G Norman vs Euwe, 1935 
(D12) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 42 moves, 1/2-1/2

45 games

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