3rd Chess Olympiad: Hamburg 1930

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Basic data

3rd Tournament of Nations (Chess Olympiad)
(see all-time tournament summary)
Date: 13th - 27th July 1930
City: Hamburg, Germany
Venue: Provinzialloge von Niedersachsen
Head of Organizing Committee: Mr. Walter Robinow (GER)
Tournament Director: Mr. Julius Drimer (GER)
Chief Arbiter: N/A
Teams participating: 18
Players participating: 88
Games played: 612 (incl. 7 forfeits)
Competition format: Four board round robin.
Final order decided by: 1. Game points; 2. Match points (perhaps)
Time control: 40 moves in 120 minutes, then unknown
Downloadable game file: 30olm.zip
Special thanks to Detlef Döll for preparing the game file.


Photos provided by Jan Kalendovský (1-3) and Alejandro Melchor (4)

Tournament review

The 3rd Tourney of Nations was organized by German Chess Federation to celebrate the centenary of the Hamburg Chess Club. Walter Robinow was head of the event. Luckily for the kibitzers and the quality of the games the ban on professionals was withdrawn. Most of 18 teams participating were represented by their top players. Former World Champion Capablanca was missing but Cuba, his home nation, would have been the tail-enders even with him at top board since they had no more good players. Nimzowitsch missed Denmark's top board and Euwe weakened his home nation, Holland. The rest were at the place. France brought World Champion Alekhine on top board but nevertheless they did not seem to be favourites. Poland lead by Akiba Rubinstein were given best chances. Although he was almost 20 years after his prime he played with flying colours and gave one of most memorable performances ever seen at the Olympiads. Tartakower played for Polish team as well though he was not Polish, he had never lived in Poland and he even did not speak Polish. The rest of the pack were master-class players as well.

Who else? Certainly the Hungarians, again lead by Maróczy were very strong. Germany lead by Ahues and Sämisch aspired for top places. Flohr was top board of Czechoslovak team but he did not have enough support from his team-mates. US team with Kashdan and Marshall on top boards was considered strong enough to earn the medal.

The hit was to come in the very beginning: Rubinstein's easy win over Maróczy was followed by Poland's incredible rout of helpless Hungarians who recovered amazingly quickly in the following rounds. Poland dropped some points and were caught by the chasing group. Romania were sensational leader after round 4, but they were ahead of the rest by the narrowest of fractions and their toughest games were yet to come. Indeed, they came back to earth quickly after they had firmly lost to Poland and Lithuania. Hungary pushed on steadily and soon got into the leading group which comprised of some six teams taking turns in the lead. USA lost to Hungary 1-3 in round 7 and were down in 4th place while Holland went on a winning track showing surprising outburst of form. Poland were in the lead in the halfway with 23 points, a fraction ahead of Holland. Germany were in bronze medal position with 21 points, a point ahead of USA followed by Hungary and the rest of the teams. Round 9 brought next leader shift as Holland beat Poland thanks to Noteboom who defeated Frydman in the decisive game of the match. Germany outscored Latvia and drew level with Poland, a half of the point behind the leaders.

The pressure was apparently much beyond the capabilities of the Dutch players who sensationally lost to Lithuanian outsiders in the next round of the competition. Hungary took the lead despite their early disaster. In round 11 USA and Czechoslovakia ran over poor Scandinavian teams with a clear record and took the lead. The above together with Poland and Hungary were clustered within half point range. The next round did not change much. The summit match between Poland and Czechoslovakia might be decisive for the final results. Poland had very easy finish and a win meant the rest would have been formality. But they lost, and Hungary only drew to Germany. Austria, who were way behind the leading four demolished USA winning all the games! The Austrians surprisingly found themselves in the runner-up position and they only had to play Germany apart from some minnows. It seemed they were favourites to win the Olympiad, but not this time... In the next round they lost full 2 points against weak Romanians and were surpassed by Hungary and Poland who beat Iceland and Spain respectively, both by 4-0. In 15th round Czechoslovakia lost firmly to Latvia and Austria once again failed to win a match and it became clear that only Poland and Hungary compete for a title. Both scored 4 points in penultimate round and Hungary kept the ½ point advantage but were yet to face strong Dutch team and Poland had easy run against Finland. The Hungarians took necessary risk but it proved ineffective, as usual. They lost their most important match and Poland easily beat Finland 3½-½. Poland were the winners, Hungary took 2nd place, Germany's good finish assured them bronze medals.

Poland truly deserved the win lead by fantastic Rubinstein who scored 15/17 and Tartakower with no much worse performance. Hungary achieved good percentage performance but it proved too little. Havasi played, as usual, virtually every game with White pieces and perhaps this helped him to score noteworthy 12/14 (3rd best individual result). Old Maróczy lacked bit of strength this time, however. Germany did well, with no exceptions. Hadn't they lost to USA by ½-3½ it would have probably ended up even better for them. 19-year old Eliskases' star shone with full glare. Young Flohr won 14 games and hold a record for many years, but the rest of the team were disappointing. USA team did decently. Veteran F.J. Marshall and youngster Kashdan played very well, but this proved too little. Holland beat all three medallists but played exceptionally bad against lower ranked teams, perhaps something with their psyche did not work properly. Exotic Pakistani Sultan Khan played on top board of the British team and performed fairly well.

The games were very hard, 9 teams were in the lead in the course of the event and most time there was no clear leader, just the leading group. Each team lost at least two matches. The games were organised beyond reproach and the standard of games was very high. The FIDE congress debating parallelly decided that since 1931 fixed board order should be adopted. The new rules made in Hamburg laid the foundations of future improvements and amendments to the Olympic regulations.

Best board results

no. name flag code pts gms %
1. Rubinstein, Akiba POL 15 17 88.2
2. Flohr, Salomon CSR 14½ 17 85.3
3. Kashdan, Isaac USA 14 17 82.4
4. Marshall, Frank James USA 12½ 17 73.5
5. Lundin, Erik SWE 12 17 70.6
5. Tartakower, Ksawery POL 12 16 75.0

The individual ratings were solely based on number of points scored. No board order was applied and only top 3 individual results were awarded with a prize.

Best game prizes

1st best game prize:
Ståhlberg, Gideon (SWE) - Alekhine, Alexander (FRA) 0 - 1

Shared 2nd best game prize:
Richter, Kurt (GER) - Abramavičius, Leonardas (LTU) 1 - 0

Shared 2nd best game prize:
Voisin, A. (FRA) - Noteboom, Daniël (NED) 0 - 1


Best ending prize:
Kashdan, Isaac (USA) - Flohr, Salomon (CSR) 1 - 0

Interesting games

White fought truly hard but this time it proved not enough.
Olsen, Åge (DEN) - Rubinstein, Akiba (POL) 0 - 1

Sensational but well-earned win of Dutch master.
Flohr, Salomon (CSR) - Noteboom, Daniël (NED) 0 - 1

Great Akiba seizes all the chances and defeats his exotic rival.
Rubinstein, Akiba (POL) - Sultan Khan, Mir (ENG) 1 - 0

Poland's impressive start was followed by this prestigious win.
Rubinstein, Akiba (POL) - Maróczy, Géza (HUN) 1 - 0

Very subtle and virulent Kashdan's strategy.
Ståhlberg, Gideon (SWE) - Kashdan, Isaac (USA) 0 - 1

The shortest game of the Olympiad.
Yates, Frederick (ENG) - Marin y Llovet, Valentín (ESP) 1 - 0

Tartakower's only defeat.
Tartakower, Ksawery (POL) - Petrovs, Vladimirs (LAT) 0 - 1

Petrovs beaten in a miniature!
Marshall, Frank James (USA) - Petrovs, Vladimirs (LAT) 1 - 0

Drawish opening line quickly lost by white.
Golmayo de la Torriente, Manuel (ESP) - Makarczyk, Kazimierz (POL) 0 - 1

Mate threats vs passed pawn.
Winter, William (ENG) - Steiner, Endre (HUN) 1 - 0

Sämisch swerves perfectly.
Stoltz, Gösta (SWE) - Sämisch, Friedrich (GER) 0 - 1

Surprisingly White wins the bishop ending.
Lokvenc, Josef (AUT) - Feigins, Movsas (LAT) 1 - 0

Perfect positional play by White.
Flohr, Salomon (CSR) - Yates, Frederick (ENG) 1 - 0

Famous Olympic blunder. Black was winning but overlooked simple mate in 2!
Marshall, Frank James (USA) - Treybal, Karel (CSR) 1 - 0

Never put off castling, this can't wait.
Feigins, Movsas (LAT) - Þorvaldsson, Einar (ISL) 1 - 0

Alekhine close to disaster.
Alekhine, Alexander (FRA) - Baratz, Abraham (ROM) 1 - 0


Flohr's record of 14 wins was best pre-war performance of that sort.


Havasi once again played most games with White pieces (13/14). His team-mate Endre Steiner played 12 out of 14 with Black with very good result (68%).


Every player scored at least one half of a point.


Alekhine and Abramavičius for Lithuania were the only two not to score a single draw.