A review of San Remo 1930 International Chess Tournament by Robert Sherwood

Reviewed by P.P.O. Kane

San Remo 1930 International Chess Tournament
By Robert Sherwood
Caissa Editions, 2013
ISBN: 0939433745

Alekhine dominated the tournament held at San Remo in 1930, showing a clear superiority over his closest rivals. He came first with a whopping 14 points (out of a possible 15), finishing 3 and a half points ahead of Nimzowitsch in second place. Rubinstein and Bogojubow were third and fourth respectively, while Spielmann and Tartakower only made mid-table standings. But note that Lasker and in particular Capablanca were absent.

The masterly win against Nimzowitsch, a model of power play and logic, ranks amongst Alekhine’s very best, and it’s just one of many brilliant games he played here. Rubinstein kept pace with Alekhine for much of the tournament – if never ever realistically threatening to overtake him – but faltered toward the end, spoiling a good position against Spielmann and making elementary oversights when playing Maroczy and Alekhine himself. His earlier game against Colle – a real discovery – showed colossal fighting spirit after a bad start. Nimzowitsch played well enough to benefit from Rubinstein’s collapse, his best games being against Bogojubow and Ahues. He was merciless against the weaker players.

This is an excellent tournament book, which gives a genuine flavour of the chess milieu of the time. All the games are annotated, the vast majority by Robert Sherwood, though some by Alekhine, Nimzowitsch and other players and contemporary commentators.

A banquet of beautiful chess.

About the reviewer: P.P.O. Kane lives and works in Manchester, England. He welcomes responses to his reviews and you can reach him at ludic@europe.com