ALEKHINE AND BLED
Siegbert Tarrasch made a great effort to organise the first important German chess tournament after the Great War. The best players took part, except for the top two, Capablanca and Lasker. Their additional financial demands were not accepted. The tournament was played in the Kurhaus of Baden-Baden from 15 iv until 20 v 1925. A super tournament had been played at the same place in 1870.
Alekhine had an amazing start of 9˝/10. He finished with twelve wins and eight draws. Rubinstein could not keep up in the race and scored 1˝ points less. Sämisch became third and Bogoljubow fourth.
San Remo 1930
The first international tournament occurred in Italy from 16 i until 4 ii 1930. Chess was played in the casino of San Remo during daytime. The playing hall was used for dancing in the evening. World champion Alekhine defeated Nimzowitsch by restriction and won the event with 14/15, 3˝ points before Nimzo! He got 10,000 liras.
Vidmar’s idea to organise an important chess tournament was well received in Bled and his birthplace Ljubljana. Hans Kmoch accepted the invitation to manage the event. All rounds, except one, took place in the health resort Bled. Capablanca could not be invited due to his problems with world champion Alekhine. Euwe and Sultan Khan had other obligations. Rubinstein reacted too confused at the request. Fourteen important chess players accepted the invitation.
The players stayed in Hotel Toplice. Round one started in the large salon on August 23. The visitors took many liberties for an entrance fee. An ‘amateur’ asked Bogoljubow for a light! Round two was carried out in a quiet room with a view on Lake Bled. Playing conditions remained perfect until the last round on September 28. The tempo was 35 moves in two hours, followed by 15 in one. Alekhine had shown a complete superiority again. Therefore, only his games have been selected.
The scores against Alekhine in two cycles were: Asztalos, Kashdan and Spielmann 1, Bogoljubow, Flohr, Tartakower, Kostic and Vidmar ˝, Maróczy, Colle, Stoltz, Pirc and Nimzowitsch 0. Alekhine scored 20˝/26, 5˝ points before Bogoljubow!
His gambit style was humiliating for the other players. The first prize of 30,000 Dinars was well deserved. Unfortunately he displayed public drunkenness for the first time. Hopefully it did not upset the Queen of Yugoslavia and her children, who stayed in the same hotel.
Kmoch wrote a tournament book with extensive analyses. The German original could not be published due to the recession, but a Russian adaptation appeared in 1934. An English translation by Jimmy Adams was published in 1987.
The tenth anniversary of Alekhine’s death was glorified in Moscow 1956. Botvinnik and Smyslov won by beating the lesser talent. The top eight (of eighteen players) produced six decided games out of their 28 mutual encounters. The relative scores among the top eight were Taimanov and Keres +2, Botvinnik, Smyslov and Bronstein 0, Pachman and Gligoric -1, and Najdorf -2.
Tal played a fine tournament in Bled after he had lost the world title. A thrilling race with Fischer was the highlight.
The tournament occurred in Hotel Toplice and lasted from 3 ix until 3 x 1961.