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Berlin 1928
Compiled by suenteus po 147

In 1928 the Berliner Schachgesellschaft celebrated its centenary with a tournament from February 4th to the 20th followed by another tournament, the Ehrenpreis der Stadt Berlin, held from September 22nd to October 6th. It was on the heels of this event that Jacques Mieses organized an 'Elite Turnier' through his newspaper, the Berliner Tageblatt. The Elite Turnier was held in the Café König, Unter den Linden, Berlin from October 11th to the 29th. Eight of the world's best players were invited to participate in the double round robin event, including former world champion Jose Capablanca, former world challengers Siegbert Tarrasch and Frank Marshall, and potential world challengers Akiba Rubinstein and Aron Nimzowitsch. The line up was rounded out by two hypermodernists, Richard Réti and Savielly Tartakower, and the romantic player Rudolph Spielmann. The collection of top players was quite a coup for Mieses who had only secured 10,000 marks for the tournament's budget. The time control for the tournament was 30 moves in two hours followed by 15 moves in one hour. If by 5pm of the day of play games were not normally concluded, then they were to be adjourned until they could be completed on rest days.

The tournament was an important success for the recently defeated, former world champion Capablanca. Despite his loss of the world title, this victory typified Capablanca's continued presence and dominance at top events for years to come. Despite earning a majority of his total wins against a declining Marshall and an out of form Reti, Capablanca's accurate play and invulnerability yielded another impressive performance at an elite event earning the grand prize of 2000 marks. Second place went to Nimzowitsch, who overtook Spielmann's lead against him when Spielmann suffered two losses in the second half of play. They earned 1400 and 1000 marks respectively. For some players the tournament was an ending of sorts. Rubinstein suffered a terrible performance, losing a won game to Marshall by overstepping the time limit, which was followed by depressive behavior and erratic play for the rest of the tournament. He would place fifth and win only 600 marks. Réti's performance, despite spirited play, was poor for him and he placed second to last. He would die the following summer from scarlet fever. As for Marshall, he placed last, his glory days as top world contender long behind him. Tarrasch only ended up playing three rounds, losing all three of his games before he withdrew due to illness. His results from the tournament were expunged and he was presented with 200 marks by way of compensation. The games are presented here for complete historical accuracy, and also because they were to be the great master's last games from elite competition.

The final standings and crosstable:

1st Capablanca 8½/12 ** ½½ ½½ ½½ 1½ 11 11

2nd Nimzowitsch 7/12 ½½ ** ½0 ½½ 01 11 1½

3rd Spielmann 6½/12 ½½ ½1 ** ½0 11 ½0 ½½

4th Tartakower 5½/12 ½½ ½½ ½1 ** 00 ½0 1½

=5th Rubinstein 5/12 0½ 10 00 11 ** 01 0½

=5th Réti 5/12 00 00 ½1 ½1 10 ** ½½

7th Marshall 4½/12 00 0½ ½½ 0½ 1½ ½½ **

*This game collection could not have been possible without the tireless effort and generosity of <sneaky pete>. He has my continuing and everlasting gratitude.

Round One, October 11th
Tarrasch vs Capablanca, 1928 
(C71) Ruy Lopez, 48 moves, 0-1

Reti vs Rubinstein, 1928 
(D47) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 21 moves, 1-0

Tartakower vs Marshall, 1928 
(E20) Nimzo-Indian, 53 moves, 1-0

Spielmann vs Nimzowitsch, 1928 
(C03) French, Tarrasch, 57 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round Two, October 12th
Rubinstein vs Tarrasch, 1928 
(A31) English, Symmetrical, Benoni Formation, 37 moves, 1-0

Marshall vs Nimzowitsch, 1928 
(A46) Queen's Pawn Game, 73 moves, 0-1

Capablanca vs Spielmann, 1928 
(D47) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 68 moves, 1/2-1/2

Tartakower vs Reti, 1928
(E22) Nimzo-Indian, Spielmann Variation, 73 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round Three, October 13th
Tarrasch vs Tartakower, 1928 
(B29) Sicilian, Nimzovich-Rubinstein, 48 moves, 0-1

Reti vs Marshall, 1928 
(E27) Nimzo-Indian, Samisch Variation, 69 moves, 1/2-1/2

Spielmann vs Rubinstein, 1928 
(C86) Ruy Lopez, Worrall Attack, 31 moves, 1-0

Nimzowitsch vs Capablanca, 1928 
(A16) English, 17 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round Four, October 15th
Marshall vs Capablanca, 1928 
(E11) Bogo-Indian Defense, 33 moves, 0-1

Rubinstein vs Nimzowitsch, 1928 
(E32) Nimzo-Indian, Classical, 43 moves, 1-0

Tartakower vs Spielmann, 1928
(A09) Reti Opening, 23 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round Five, October 16th
Spielmann vs Reti, 1928
(D51) Queen's Gambit Declined, 27 moves, 1/2-1/2

Nimzowitsch vs Tartakower, 1928 
(D70) Neo-Grunfeld Defense, 30 moves, 1/2-1/2

Capablanca vs Rubinstein, 1928 
(D02) Queen's Pawn Game, 44 moves, 1-0

Round Six, October 18th
Marshall vs Rubinstein, 1928 
(D52) Queen's Gambit Declined, 30 moves, 1-0

Tartakower vs Capablanca, 1928 
(C72) Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense, 5.O-O, 20 moves, 1/2-1/2

Reti vs Nimzowitsch, 1928 
(E38) Nimzo-Indian, Classical, 4...c5, 57 moves, 0-1

Round Seven, October 19th
Spielmann vs Marshall, 1928
(C42) Petrov Defense, 30 moves, 1/2-1/2

Capablanca vs Reti, 1928 
(D51) Queen's Gambit Declined, 42 moves, 1-0

Rubinstein vs Tartakower, 1928 
(A84) Dutch, 55 moves, 1-0

Round Eight, October 20th
Marshall vs Tartakower, 1928
(A46) Queen's Pawn Game, 32 moves, 1/2-1/2

Rubinstein vs Reti, 1928 
(D52) Queen's Gambit Declined, 57 moves, 1-0

Nimzowitsch vs Spielmann, 1928 
(A28) English, 64 moves, 0-1

Round Nine, October 22nd
Nimzowitsch vs Marshall, 1928 
(C49) Four Knights, 30 moves, 1/2-1/2

Spielmann vs Capablanca, 1928 
(D15) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 23 moves, 1/2-1/2

Reti vs Tartakower, 1928 
(A80) Dutch, 40 moves, 1-0

Round Ten, October 23rd
Marshall vs Reti, 1928 
(A47) Queen's Indian, 28 moves, 1/2-1/2

Rubinstein vs Spielmann, 1928 
(A46) Queen's Pawn Game, 46 moves, 0-1

Capablanca vs Nimzowitsch, 1928 
(E34) Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation, 15 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round Eleven, October 25th
Capablanca vs Marshall, 1928 
(A56) Benoni Defense, 46 moves, 1-0

Nimzowitsch vs Rubinstein, 1928 
(A06) Reti Opening, 32 moves, 1-0

Spielmann vs Tartakower, 1928 
(B29) Sicilian, Nimzovich-Rubinstein, 46 moves, 0-1

Round Twelve, October 26th
Reti vs Spielmann, 1928 
(D10) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 67 moves, 1-0

Tartakower vs Nimzowitsch, 1928 
(E20) Nimzo-Indian, 21 moves, 1/2-1/2

Rubinstein vs Capablanca, 1928 
(A46) Queen's Pawn Game, 32 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round Thirteen, October 27th
Rubinstein vs Marshall, 1928 
(E10) Queen's Pawn Game, 29 moves, 1/2-1/2

Capablanca vs Tartakower, 1928 
(C01) French, Exchange, 16 moves, 1/2-1/2

Nimzowitsch vs Reti, 1928 
(A28) English, 62 moves, 1-0

Round Fourteen, October 29th
Marshall vs Spielmann, 1928
(A40) Queen's Pawn Game, 31 moves, 1/2-1/2

Reti vs Capablanca, 1928 
(C74) Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense, 18 moves, 0-1

Tartakower vs Rubinstein, 1928 
(D51) Queen's Gambit Declined, 44 moves, 0-1

45 games

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