June 28, 2010
A Belgian North Sea resort which hosted three top tournaments during the twentieth century, in 1907, 1937, 1956 and a series of Open Tournaments in the 1980s.
The participants at Ostende in 1937
The winners were: 1905 I Geza Maroczy, II George Marco, 1906 I Carl Schlechter II Olrich Duras, 1907 I Siegbert Tarrasch, II Osip Bernstein and Akiba Rubinstein, 1936 Erik Lundin, 1937 Reuben Fine, Henri Grob and Paul Keres, 1956 Alberic O’Kelly, 1983 John Van der Wiel, 1984 Jacov Murey, 1985 Antony Miles and Hans Ree, 1986 Antony Miles, 1987 Lehmann, Stuart Conquest and Keith Arkell, 1989 Paul Van der Sterren, 1990 Jeroen Piket, 1991 Antony Miles, 1992 Christofer Lutz and 1993 Lev Psakhis
This tournament among successful chessmasters of the present was organised on the occasion of the Chess Congress in Ostende 1906 and also followed the fifteenth Congress of the German Chess Association in Nuremberg. The merit of the Ostende Committee that it did not let itself be put off by the refusals of Dr. Lasker and Maroczy, is even greater; nevertheless, it managed to organise such a tournament. “It’s a great phenomenon” – these words were written in the program book of this Committee published in three languages where it was announced about the coming chess Congress in Ostende. Those chess players that were allowed to participate in such tournaments showed only best performances, while others, having proved to be successful in duels, achieved slight results in such tournaments. Both sides had its champions, who could be champions with equal rights, and it is understandable that those either holding or striving for the title of the World Champion had to stand out and to be the first.
The Committee had a plan that for the first time was discussed in Nuremberg, but not at the Congress: it was planned to have the six best Grandmasters that before showed the best results. Besides, it would not be difficult to organise a match between Lasker and the winner of this tournament. The following masters were invited to participate in this tournament: Janowski, Marshall, Shlechter, Tarrash and Burn and Chigorin were invited instead of Lasker and Maroczy with the aim to attach to this tournament the international character, the following countries presented their chess players in it: Germany, Austria, France, England, Russia and America. The prize fund of the tournament was determined as 10,000 francs. In addition, the winner was supposed to take a gold medal and a diploma, where it certified him as a World Champion.
The tournament started on 16 May 1907 and was over on 13 June.
The winner of the tournament became Dr. Tarrash, the second-Shlechter, the third-Janowski and Marshall took the fourth place. Dr. Tarrash lost one game and won four; Shlechter lost three and won four; Marshall lost four and won four; Janowski lost six and won two. Janowski owes his success to Burn and Chigorin, who could not play against him at all and out of 8 games lost 7.5.
The determined prize fund of 10,000 francs was divided according to the Tietz System. In spite of the gold medal, Dr. Tarrash received 2603 francs 50 centiments, Shlechter-2277 francs 50 cents, Janowski and Marshall 1950 francs 50 cents, Burn-779 francs 50 cents and Chigorin 438 francs 50 cents. The prizes for the most interesting games were given to Prof. Rice, Baron Rothschild and Oppenheim.
The winner, whose participation in international tournaments numbers 14 times, took the first place for the seventh time.