Carl Schechter, was only 21 at the time of Hastings. He only learned chess 5 years prior to this event and only became serious at playing in competitions three years prior to this event. He finishes in ninth place after a phenomenal record of 12 draws and 5 wins. He beats Pillsbury in round 18 as he was virtually undefeated with the exception to one loss up to that point! However, his formula was rather dull.
I collected some of the twelve draws here. There are a couple of Petroffs that rapidly dissolve into draws after early queen exchanges. I already covered his draws with Bird and Blackburne . His play against the stronger players seemed to be formula driven with develop then rapidly exchange major pieces.
The exception is his draw against Steinitz. Steinitz offers a Bishop to prevent Schlecter from castling, an interesting maneuver by the older master. Then he misplays the middle game and creates an opportunity for a Rook and Queen Skewer by Schlechter. He fights back, down in material, with a mobile pawn force in a last ditch effort and pulls a dubious combination:
I've had to overcome my personal avoidance of watching over drawn games. Psychologically I want to see how an player CRUSHES his opponent. But the thing that draws teach us is that exact play can show how to play against strong lines in openings. That was not entirely the case here in reviewing Schlechter's games, he was a formula man that seemed to deliberately play for a draw and on occasion win a good game.
The commentary in the book about round 18 and the leader, Pillsbury, suggests Schlechter was a force to be feared. He ends up winning the game as Pillsbury trips up the endgame and ends up in a lost R+P ending:
There was talk that Pillsbury's first place positioning was now in extreme jeopardy but the way the next round played out, it put him back on top. Schlechter's wins secured him a place in the top 10 and some handsome prize money of 13 pounds!
One thing is for sure, where London 1851 had mutton chops, Hastings 1895 had the extreme mustaches!
Up next: Richard Teichmann.
I hope you enjoyed this.