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Abraham Kupchik vs Carlos Torre Repetto
Metropolitan Chess League (1925), New York, NY USA, rd 7, Mar-21
Gruenfeld Defense: General (D80)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: "If there is anything to be learned from this game, it is to cultivate our appreciation of beauty in chess. We must try to restrain our impulse to effect seemingly brilliant combinations that are however without positional justification, for to give it free rein retards our development, if indeed not fully deforming it. Furthermore, by giving in to that impulse we trade real beauty for an artificial incongruity."

-- Carlos Torre

[quoted in “The Life and Games of Carlos Torre”, by Gabriel Velasco, translated by Taylor Kingston, Russell Enterprises, Inc., ©2000, page 111]

Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: Torre's other very interesting comment concerning this game is with regard to his 27. ... b5(?) about which he said the following (as quoted by Velasco at page 110): "Completely mistaken. Black has played a good positional game to this point, his position is practically winning, and there was no need to resort to this tactic. Sufficient was 27. ... ♖c3!. ... A reason, perhaps, that the greats of the chessboard: Lasker, Capablanca, Alekhine, lose so few games, is that, contrary to other masters, they never make a move against their better judgement."

Velasco, by the way, commenting on the position at White's 35th move (at page 110), concludes that notwithstanding that Black's 27th move was "imprecise", his position remained winning, and that: "Torre's highly critical comments on that move are somewhat exaggerated; however they show his passionate desire for perfection in every move, a characteristic of the great champions."

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: There's an historical question about this game.

In 1925, the Manhattan Chess Club scheduled a ten-game match between Torre and Kupchik, the winner to receive $500 towards expenses to play in the upcoming international tournament in Baden-Baden.

Kupchik won game one, Torre game two, then four draws followed. Here the stories diverge.

One version is that word was received from Baden-Baden that only Torre would be issued an invitation. With no further reason to play on, the match was abandoned as a draw.

On the other hand, Gino Di Felice's <Chess Results 1921-1930> lists a seventh game, won by Torre, which is the one on this page. The <New York Times> of March 29, 1925, gave this story:

<"Torre nearly lost the chance to sail with Marshall, for it was a question whether he or Kupchik should make the trip. The matter was to have been decided by a match between them, but the contest dragged on without a decision. There was a tie, one victory apiece and several draws when the men met in the Metropolitan League team match between the Stuyvesant Chess Club and the Marshall Chess Club. The Mexican tightened his belt for this critical encounter, played one of his very best games, and won the trip to Europe.">

Hermann Helms, in his <Brooklyn Daily Eagle> column of March 26, 1925, gives the results of the match between Stuyvesant and Marshall mentioned above (which had been played on the previous Saturday, March 20). Kupchik did lose to Torre, and the colors match (though the game score was not given).

Helms also mentions that Torre and Marshall would be sailing for Europe in two days. However, he says nothing about this game clinching the invitation for Torre.

The NYT story seems unlikely to me. Why would the match continute as part of a Metropolitan League match, and why cut it off after seven games? I'll keep digging, but I wonder if anybody has definite information.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: <Phony Benoni> I think you will find the answers to your questions in the book, "The Life and Games of Carlos Torre", by Gabriel Velasco. Velasco reviewed the 1925 match between Kupchik and Torre in considerable detail.

Velasco stated that after game six, a telegram was received: <...."on March 13th, as preparations were under way for the seventh game, came a telegram from Dr. Tarrasch saying that two places in the tournament had been reserved for Marshall and Torre. Naturally these tidings did not please Abraham Kupchik, but he had no choice but to accept the final decision of the Baden-Baden organizers.">

A few days after the suspension of their match, Kupchik and Torre played each other on first board for their clubs, in the New York Metropolitan League.

Torre played board one for the Marshall Chess Club, and Kupchik played board one for the Stuyvesant Chess Club. Kupchik's team won the match 4 1/2 - 3 1/2. Torre obtained the highest percentage of all first board players, but in the final league standings his Marshall Club finshed a half-point behind the Stuyvesant Club (captained by Kupchik), and the Columbia University team (captained by M.A. Schapiro).

Velasco stated, <"This game excited considerable interest, as it was seen as a sort of unofficial decision to their inconclusive match.">

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <Pawn and Two> Thanks for clearing that up.
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Featured in the Following Game Collection[what is this?]
March, p. 48 [Game 36 / 4686]
from American Chess Bulletin 1925 by Phony Benoni

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