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Aron Nimzowitsch vs Jose Raul Capablanca
"Heavy Artillery" (game of the day Aug-18-2018)
New York (1927), New York, NY USA, rd 15, Mar-13
Caro-Kann Defense: Advance Variation (B12)  ·  0-1

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Given 90 times; par: 90 [what's this?]

Annotations by Raymond Keene.      [407 more games annotated by Keene]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 7 OF 7 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Aug-31-13  notyetagm: Nimzowitsch vs Capablanca, 1927

<JoergWalter: <notyetagm> see how good Nimzowitsch's system is? When Capablanca applied it the inventor was helpless...>

LOL

Aug-31-13  parisattack: <Fusilli ...Must have been nerve-racking to be on the defensive side of a slow positional game against Capablanca!>

Nimzo almost always looked helpless against Alekhine and Capablanca. Sure they were superior, but not *that* much more - so think there must have been some sort of psychological block.

As a big fan of Nimzo its tough even to play over some of those games for me.

Aug-31-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: <paris> ditto. Reminds me a bit of playing over Kasparov vs the computers.
Jan-07-14  john barleycorn: <kbob> Alekhine comments from the tournament book: (my translation)

<10.a3! [...]

The surprise attack
10.b4 would produce anything good:

10.... Qxb4!
11.Nb5 Na6
12.Ba3 Qa5
13.Bxc5 Nxc5
14.Nd6+ Kd7!
15.Qg3 Rhg8
16.Nxf7 Nf5 etc.
with advantage for black.>

Jan-07-14  john barleycorn: I think Nimzowitsch "learned" his respect for Capablanca early:

<During the course of the tournament many incidents of more or less interest took place. Niemzowitch, who considered himself very superior to me and others in the tournament, became very arrogant during the course of one of his lightning games against Bernstein, saying, because of a remark that I made, that I should not interfere in their game, as they were reputed masters and I had yet to become one. The outcome of his discourteous remark was a series of quick games for a side bet, which I won with ridiculous ease, and ended by his retracting the statement he had previously made.>

from: My Chess Career by Capablanca

Feb-13-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  kbob: <john barleycorn> Thanks, though I appear to have withdrawn my original comment. And Kasparov in PredecessorsI prefers to refute 10. b4 with 10. ...Bxb5 11. Rb1 Qa5
Apr-12-14  Conrad93: What's wrong with 18. f5!?
Aug-21-14  Chessman1504: A fine game representative of Capablanca at his best. This is not an extremely complicated tactical position. It's a simple, classic demonstration of the third world champion's genius for planning and intuitive grasp of position. A fine effort indeed.
Sep-13-14  princecharming: I feel kind of silly offering a substitute move for the key play of the game (the zugzwang), but I would have played 45...Rd2 instead. If Queen takes 46.Qxd2, then 46...h4+ and wherever the King moves, 47...Qxf3. White can do nothing to stop the mate next move short of offering his Queen up for nothing. If Queen doesn't take, White is not going to be much better off than if it does.
Sep-21-14  Chessman1504: Well, if 46...h4+, then simply 47. Kf2 and I don't see any way for Black to make progress. If 47...Qxh2, Ke3 or Ke1 defends.
Apr-12-15  Atking: "but it is not clear what." Fusilli why not something similar to the game Qb3-Qd1-Re1 with a decisive attack.
May-20-15  Chessman1504: This is one of the first games I reviewed when I was first seriously interested in chess. This one game amazes me every time. The ability, at least presumably since it is Capablanca, to be able to envision a scenario in which Nimzowitsch is so unbelievably cramped that he'll be left without moves despite heavy pieces being on the board, is a stroke of genius. If I could play just one game like this, I would be very happy.
May-20-15  RookFile: Nimzo brings out his prize bishop on move 4 and swaps it off for black's problem bishop. But he does succeed later in getting rid of his own problematic c1 bishop. Against a lesser player Nimzo gets his draw, but not Capa.
Mar-12-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: This game was played 90 years ago today. It is famous for showing a top player doing absolutely nothing. Nimzowitsch plays 18. g5 and then gives up. He shuffles his queen and rooks around until they run out of moves. He must have had a huge inferiority complex against the mighty Cuban.

Anyway, I play this type of Caro-Kann as Black myself, so I think it is a superb victory.

May-10-17  User not found: There's no coming back from the 36th move onwards so it's pointless talking about move 42 or whatever, but this is the point of no return.. kg2?


click for larger view

If 36.Rxc4 or e4 it's still slightly in blacks favour but with all the major pieces in a kinda zugzwang white could draw the game if played accurately.. It's a complicated game at the best of times but this is one of the best examples I've come across in an early 20th century game in quite a while.

Nov-04-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: It is but Nimzovich didn't need to lose. Capablanca's method included, in this case, keeping the Queens on. Nimzovich played to passively overall but not badly until 16. ... g5

Keene wrote a book about Nimzovitch (I'l use the easier spelling) which quite detailed although someone said he omitted analysis by Larsen etc. His point in general that Nimzovich has some very good ideas and played some great games.

I think that Keene's point at the end is relevant. Capablanca's decision to swap Bishops is 'disputed' by the computer. I went through this game last night as it is in a book on strategy and tried to work out what Capa would play. I had a knight retreat and also the capture only after I realised the other N could well get to f5. But Stockfish here prefers

16. ... Nfg7

By the way, later two moves are very important by Capablanca.

1) 29. ... a5

Here while Black is better, White is not lost at all. (But his g4 is surprising as a GM says, 'especially made by Nimzovich' (I think there are psychological factors working here, the errors are strange but in a real OTB game they are sometimes inexplicable, and immediately after the game we all realise the mistake or silliness of the move).

An the other good move by Capa was

2) 35. ... Qb5

But these are "grandmaster moves" perhaps not computer perfect but instructive.

Nov-04-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: The key position, the position is =


click for larger view

Now Nimzovich "disobeys" his own positional instincts and evaluation and plays 16. g4?


click for larger view

This isn't fatal but from now on his position is difficult. Black has a small (but not winning) advantage. Then this weakness causes, probably for psychological and other reasons more errors and so on.

Nov-04-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: From here Capablanca makes use of the major pieces (Rooks and Queen) to eventually break through. It is not forced but Capablanca knew it would be difficult to defend White's position.
Aug-18-18  ClockPunchingMonkey: Ray Keene's suggestion of 7...Qa6 could be met by 8. Qh3 with advantage to white. Capa's 7....c5 is the strongest move on the board.
Aug-18-18  saturn2: Nice to see how black's superiority on the queen side resulted finally in attacking the white king.
Aug-18-18  Howard: Was there a GOTD yesterday, on the 17th ?
Aug-18-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <Howard> Sort of. There was a game listed but the link to it was broken. Second time I've seen that recently.
Aug-18-18  gars: Poor Nimzowitsch! Twice victim of "zugzwang", against Capablanca (this game) and Alekhine (San Remo, 1930).
Aug-18-18  RookFile: That's the problem with not playing dynamically. A guy like Marshall made plenty of mistakes, but the sharp nature of the position made it possible for him to pull of swindles.
Nov-27-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Nowadays, of course, 4 Bd3 is rarely played as it is considered ineffective. Already, 6 Nc3 was a new move. 14 c3?! was too passive; better was Alekhine's recommendation 14 Rac1..Nc6 15 Bf2!..h5 16 c4..dxc 17 Qxc4..0-0 18 Rfd1 with equality. After 16 g4? White was stregically lost; better would have been 16 Bf2..h5 17 Rd2 (with the idea of Rc1 and c4) and White should be OK. 22..Na5? was a waste of time; Capablanca had been planning ..Nc4 but realized that White would have dangerous counterplay possibilities involving f5..exf e6. 25 Nxc6 would have made White's position easier to defend. 30 Rfd2 was necessary maintaining sufficient control of d4.

Capablanca's play in the ending is really fantastic.

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