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Berlin 1918
Compiled by suenteus po 147

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 of malnutrition two months later on December 27th, 1918.

The final standings and crosstable:

1st Lasker 4½/6 ** ½½ ½1 11

2nd Rubinstein 4/6 ½½ ** 1½ ½1

3rd Schlechter 2/6 ½0 0½ ** ½½

4th Tarrasch 1½/6 00 ½0 ½½ **

Round One
Lasker vs Rubinstein, 1918 
(C78) Ruy Lopez, 56 moves, 1/2-1/2

Tarrasch vs Schlechter, 1918 
(C78) Ruy Lopez, 30 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round Two
Lasker vs Tarrasch, 1918 
(D34) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch, 56 moves, 1-0

Rubinstein vs Schlechter, 1918  
(A54) Old Indian, Ukrainian Variation, 4.Nf3, 49 moves, 1-0

Round Three
Schlechter vs Lasker, 1918 
(C28) Vienna Game, 57 moves, 1/2-1/2

Tarrasch vs Rubinstein, 1918
(C54) Giuoco Piano, 30 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round Four
Rubinstein vs Lasker, 1918 
(D33) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch, 50 moves, 1/2-1/2

Schlechter vs Tarrasch, 1918
(C26) Vienna, 52 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round Five
Schlechter vs Rubinstein, 1918 
(C28) Vienna Game, 57 moves, 1/2-1/2

Tarrasch vs Lasker, 1918 
(C50) Giuoco Piano, 52 moves, 0-1

Round Six
Lasker vs Schlechter, 1918 
(D30) Queen's Gambit Declined, 54 moves, 1-0

Rubinstein vs Tarrasch, 1918 
(A43) Old Benoni, 51 moves, 1-0

12 games

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