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Jose Raul Capablanca vs David Janowski
Havana (1913), Havana CUB, rd 13, Mar-04
Spanish Game: Berlin Defense. Improved Steinitz Defense (C66)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
May-28-05  paladin at large: Janowski makes a typically bold offer of the exchange with 13.....Nc5, which Capablanca does not accept until 17. Bxf8. Janowski then gets a menacing pawn center supported by his beloved bishop pair. Capablanca typically gives back the exchange and wins a pawn as heavy pieces go off, and as his rook is more active, wins an extra pawn to seal the win.

Interesting sequences.

Jul-16-09  The Brain99: <paladin at large: Janowski makes a typically bold offer of the exchange with 13.....Nc5, which Capablanca does not accept until 17. Bxf8. Janowski then gets a menacing pawn center supported by his beloved bishop pair. Capablanca typically gives back the exchange and wins a pawn as heavy pieces go off, and as his rook is more active, wins an extra pawn to seal the win. Interesting sequences.>

In Capablanca's book, Chess Fundamentals, Nick de Firmian comments that more modern attacking players such as Tal would consider the pawn center to be compensation for the exchange sac. However, he criticizes Black's way of going about continuing the attack. He says, after Black's 23rd and subsequent moves, that he should play his attack slower, developing his pieces with ...Bb7, ...Qf6, and ...Re8. Only then would Black's powerful center make a difference in the long run. It also brings up another idea, I'd love to see Tal play this position!

Jul-17-09  visayanbraindoctor: Is it possible that GM de Firmian is underestimating Janowski? Even in post WW2 games, I see that the most successful attacks (even by Tal) are the attacks that are played at a 'rapid' pace - 'whirlwind attacks'. Janowski was an excellent attacker and knew this, although it is indeed possible that this game is an exception and should be played by Black more slowly. I could very well imagine Tal in Janowski's place playing the attack as 'quickly' as Janowski did, as it is usually these types of attacks that succeed.

It is possible that the attack would have succeeded against a lesser master. [I wonder how GM de Firmian himself would fare if he got himself into a similar position on the defending side of a hypothetical game played with Janowski himself doing the attacking. (",)] But it was Capablanca who was doing the defense, spewing out one computer-like move after the another. If the attack was unsound in the first place, it would almost never succeed against a Capablanca at his prime. The way I see it, this game was a typical Janowski attack and also a typically brilliant Capablanca middlegame that he proficiently steered into an advantageous endgame that only required precise mopping-up operations to win.

Jan-29-10  KingG: <Even in post WW2 games, I see that the most successful attacks (even by Tal) are the attacks that are played at a 'rapid' pace - 'whirlwind attacks'.> I think the point is you should be as fully developped as possible before launching an attack. Black has some long term compensation for the exchange, and should build up his position first before lurching forward with his pawns.

To be honest, I don't see why the exchange sac should be praised. It looks to me like it's virtually forced. What exactly is he meant to do instead? Once he the sacrifice was made and he aquired his compensation, it looks like he didn't really know how to make best use of it, and maybe didn't really believe in his compensation that much, otherwise he might have played more patiently.

Jan-29-10  visayanbraindoctor: <KingG>

and other interested kibitzers, for your information:

Exchange sac - see my post in David Janowski

and Game Collection: David Janowsky's exchange sacrifices

These games should be better known in fairness to Janowski, who has not gotten much credit as the first master who regularly employed the exchange sac as part of his arsenal.

<KingG> I have already posted all these stuff in the Capablanca page, and in the Janowski page. Frankly your degradation of Janowski, and your following my posts around trying to disprove every one of them IMO borders on trolling already. If I did not come to this page, I would not have noticed your post, and other kibitzers who would come here would have the idea that you are right (again as usual you hope).

So one more time, let me say that if you do this stuff again, I shall consider myself free to troll you back.

Jan-30-10  KingG: Trolling? What the hell are you talking about? You directed me to these games, and after playing through one of them I made a comment. Is that some sort of crime?

As for who is right or wrong, I'll leave it for others to decide. I'm always ready to change my views if presented with some convincing evidence. Maybe some strong player will come to this page and tell me I'm an idiot, and that Janowski's play was brilliant. I didn't exactly do an in-depth analysis of this game, so it's entirely possible.

Sep-19-15  Ulhumbrus: The move 23...f4 prevents Ng3 so it could have been intended to prevent Ng3 eg 23...Bb7 24 Nxd4 cxd4 25 Ng3 f4 26 Qg4+
Aug-23-18  DrGridlock: Black's 12 ... g6 is the move which initiates the "exchange sac" flavor of this game. Capablanca's analysis is, "without considering at all whether or not such a course was justified on the part of black, it is evident that as far as white is concerned there is only one thing to do, viz., to win the exchange and then prepare to weather the storm."

Computer analysis suggests that the exchange sac was not black's best way of dealing with his position at move 13, but not a horrible option either. His position is cramped and requires something, but the computer likes sacrificing one of his doubled c-pawns as a way of continuing:

12 ... f6
13 Bc1 g6
14 Qc4+ Qf7
15 Qxc6 Nb6

Jose Raul Capablanca - David Janowski

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at which point play may continue with good chances for both sides.

The ending is certainly more than a "mopping up" operation for White. Capablanca writes (after black's move 40), "The ending is very difficult to win." And later, "After an uneventful opening - a Ruy Lopez - in one of its normal variations, my opponent suddenly made things interesting by offering the exchange; an offer which, of course, I accepted. Then followed a very hard, arduous struggle, in which I had to defend myself against a very dangerous attack made possible by the excellent manouevring of my adversary. Finally, there came the time when I could give back the material and change off most of the pieces, and come to and ending in which I clearly had the advantage. But yet the ending itself was nto as simple as it first appeared, and finally - perhaps through one weak move on my part - it became a very difficult matter to win. Had I been a weak end-game player the game would hprobably have ended in a draw, and all my previous efforts would have been in vain."

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