Of all the memorable Hastings tournaments, this one must rank near the top for suspense and unexpected twists. (1) 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:
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.
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
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 3½, 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 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.
Hastings, England, 27 December 1934 - 5 January 1935
Hastings (1933/34) was the previous annual event of this city.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 Pts
1 Euwe * 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 1 ½ ½ 1 6.5
2 Thomas 0 * ½ 1 1 1 0 1 1 1 6.5
3 Flohr ½ ½ * ½ ½ ½ 1 1 1 1 6.5
4 Capablanca ½ 0 ½ * 0 ½ 1 1 1 1 5.5
5 Lilienthal ½ 0 ½ 1 * ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 5.0
6 Botvinnik 0 0 ½ ½ ½ * ½ 1 1 1 5.0
7 Michell 0 1 0 0 0 ½ * ½ 1 1 4.0
8 Menchik ½ 0 0 0 ½ 0 ½ * ½ 1 3.0
9 Norman ½ 0 0 0 ½ 0 0 ½ * 0 1.5
10 Milner Barry 0 0 0 0 ½ 0 0 0 1 * 1.5
Original collection: Game Collection: Hastings 1934/35, by User: Phony Benoni.
| page 1 of 1; 9 games
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