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John Saunders


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Tournament: Hastings Six Masters • all 30 games
Venue: Hastings Town Hall • Dates: 9-21 September 1922 Download PGN • Last Edited: Monday 1 August, 2022 7:22 PM

1922 Hastings Six Masters Tournament, 9-21 September

1922 Hastings Six Masters Nat'y 1 2 3 4 5 6  Total 
1 Alekhine,Alexander Russia
11 11
2 Rubinstein,Akiba Poland
11 ½1 7
3 Thomas, (Sir) George Alan England 00
½½ ½½ 11
4 Bogoljubow,Efim Ukraine 00 00 ½½
½1 11
5 Tarrasch,Siegbert Germany ½½ ½0
6 Yates,Fred Dewhirst England ½0 00 00

[The Times, 4 September 1922] "CHESS AT HASTINGS BRITISH AND FOREIGN MASTERS’ TOURNAMENT. (By Our Chess Correspondent.)

The chess tournament which begins at Hastings next Saturday is the first one in this country promoted and financed by any town as an item in its attractions. Provided no unforeseen circumstances arise during the next few days, the competitors will be as follows: — Sir G. A. Thomas, F. D. Yates (British champion), A. Alekhine, E. D. Bogoljubow, A. Rubinstein, and Dr. Tarrasch. Taking the form of the last few years as a guide, there is little to choose between Sir George Thomas and Mr. Yates, and there will be much interest in the games between the former and the foreign competitors at Hastings. Dr. Lasker, after first accepting an invitation to compete, now finds himself unable to come, a decision that may be due to the fact that Señor Capablanca is not competing. The tournament will be a double round event, with two sessions each day, probably from 2 till 6, and 8 till 10, on the same lines as those of the Westminster tournament."


The Hastings Chess Congress began at the Town Hall this afternoon, when Alderman E. C. Smith, the Deputy-Mayor, welcomed the players in the absence of the Mayor. For this tournament the time limit has been fixed at seventeen moves per hour, three fewer than at Westminster: an experiment, so far as this country is concerned during recent years. Sir G. A. Thomas thinks that the slower time limit is an advantage from the player’s point of view, as it should give him more time, in what appears to be a favourable position, to find the winning continuation, but it did not prevent Rubinstein having to make ten moves in as many minutes to-day.

"In the game between Sir George Thomas and Dr. Tarrasch there was a dispute about the number of moves played. When Thomas's score sheet showed thirty-three moves played on either side, Tarrasch's showed thirty-four. If the former was right he could have claimed the game under the time limit, but as he was not certain he made no claim. I played the game over during the interval, from the official score, and found that the position was reached by taking only thirty-three moves. Hence there is no doubt that Tarrasch made a mistake, as he did, curiously enough, at Hastings in 1895 against J. Mason." ...


To-day saw the final stages of the Hastings Chess Congress, which has ended in Alekhine winning the first prize, with Rubinstein second. The feature of the day’s play was the fine fight made by Thomas in drawing his game with Rubinstein. Until this game was concluded the destination of none of the prizes was certain. The first of the adjourned games finished in the morning was that between Thomas and Bogoljubow, which was eventually drawn on the sixty-third move. Tarrasch and Alekhine drew in one move less; and Tarrasch and Rubinstein drew in one move less still. Then came the game between Alekhine and Thomas, the former finding the winning method on his sixtieth move. This left only the game between Rubinstein and Thomas. The latter was already certain, of tying for fourth prize with Tarrasch, while if he drew the game he tied with Bogoljubow for third and fourth prizes, and if he won he secured the third prize for himself. Rubinstein had to win to tie with Alekhine for first and second prizes, a draw or a loss putting him second. Calculations, based on the morning’s value of the mark, were made in the display board room that a draw or a loss would cost Rubinstein 80,000 marks.

"So far as the game was concerned the spectators saw a most stubborn contest. Thomas gradually extricated himself from his previously cramped position, and he certainly played this part of the game better than his opponent, who had missed at least one chance of winning in the earlier stages, and seemed afraid to risk a pawn advance that offered the only real chance of doing anything. Thomas forced an exchange of rooks on his sixty-seventh move, bringing it down to a queen, knight, and pawn ending, with the material exactly level. The game was resumed in the afternoon, Thomas still stubbornly defending, while Rubinstein could apparently find no way of doing more than hold his own, with the time for prize-giving drawing appreciably nearer. As a draw or loss made no difference to Rubinstein, the situation clearly called for an attempt to find a way to win, or else offer his opponent the inevitable draw. It was not until the 90th move that he did make the attempt to win, by which time Thomas’s patience had nearly worn out, or so he said. Anyway he took the initiative, Rubinstein played the inferior moves, and Thomas was able to force the exchange of queens, win a pawn, and reduce it to a knight and pawn ending. In the course of this each made a queen, and Thomas finally forced a draw by perpetual check. The game lasted for 114 moves, and took about twelve hours in all to play. Thomas received a great ovation from the spectators. It was, I think, the finest ending I have ever seen him play."

File updated

Date Notes
12 January 2022 First uploaded.
1 August 2022 Some cosmetic amendments. Thanks to Philip Jurgens for proofreaing points.