Friday, November 19, 2010

Brilliancy Prize

The very first Brilliancy Prize was awarded to Henry Bird in 1876. This game was included and annotated in Reuben Fine's The World's Great Chess Games.
Henry Edward Bird vs. James Mason
New York | 1876  | 1-0

In this game which won the 1st Brilliancy Prize in Paris 1900, White leaves his Queen en pris for a half-dozen surprising moves -

Jacques Mieses vs. David Janowski
Paris | 1900 | 1-0

White won the 1st Brilliancy Prize in Frankfurt 1887 possible partly based on the deflection on move 16, followed up with impeccable technique. -

Emmanuel Schiffers vs. Max Harmonist
Frankfort | 1887 | ECO: C54 | 1-0

This pretty Queen sac let Janowski share the 1st Brilliancy Prize at Ostende 1906-

David Janowski vs. Georg Salwe
Ostende | 1906 | 1-0

Blackburne also shared the 1st Brilliancy Prize at Ostende 1906 with this win over Walter John. - 

Joseph Henry Blackburne vs. Walter John
Ostend | 1906 | 1-0

Oldrich Duras also shared the Ostende 1906 1st Brilliancy Prize for his win over Teichmann.

The fourth shared 1st Brilliancy Prize at Ostende 1906 went to Frank Marshall, playing Black. -

Rudolf Swiderski vs. Frank James Marshall
Ostend | 1906 | 0-1
Next we have what might be considered Capablanca's coming-out party. The 1st Brilliancy Prize was awarded to Capa for his win over Ossip Bernstein at San Sebastian - which was also his first major tournament victory.

Jose Raul Capablanca vs. Ossip Bernstein
San Sebastian | 20 Feb 1911 | 1-0

And Finally . . . Although the New York 1924 was won by Em. Lasker and although Reti ended Capablanca's 8 yr. 1 mo. non-losing streak (63 games : 40 wins, 23 draws) in that same tournament, it was the following game against Bogoljubov that won Reti the 1st Brilliancy Prize.

The committee was torn in the decision, but as Alekhine himself noted in the annotations: "Rightfully, this game was awarded the first brilliancy prize."

Richard Reti vs. Efim Bogoljubov
New York | 1924 | 1-0

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