The Grand International Masters’ Chess Tournament at St. Petersburg, 1914

by David McKay

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For over a month, from April 21 to May 22, 1914 the top chess players from around the world converged in St. Petersburg. Play for the tournament took place at the St. Petersburg Chess Club, beginning in the afternoon and lasting through the evening. Players were treated to large banquets and winners were awarded large monetary prizes.During the tournament, players utilized a variety of unique moves, such as the Exchange Variation of the Ruy Lopez, and some surprisingly passive play for example. This work offers a breakdown of matches between such players as then world champion, Emanuel Lasker, José Raúl Capablanca, Alexander Alekhine and Aron Nimzowitsch. Though it took place over a century ago, it remains one of the strongest tournaments in chess history.