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Jose Raul Capablanca vs Alexander Alekhine
Capablanca - Alekhine World Championship Match (1927), Buenos Aires ARG, rd 21, Oct-26
Queen's Gambit Declined: Orthodox Defense. Henneberger Variation (D63)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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May-10-09  WhiteRook48: <ouch>!
Jul-13-09  birthtimes: Howz about 18. Qa1 followed by Rc1 and eventually Bd1?!
Premium Chessgames Member
  LIFE Master AJ: First of all, so I don't offend any C-fans, let me say that Capa was one of the greatest, perhaps even the greatest natural player to have ever lived.

Having said that, White was outplyed here, and his 32nd move was a blunder.

However, as solace to the many die-hard Capa fans, you can probably count the total number of his blunders on the fingers of one hand. (Very few other players can say this, if any!.)

Oct-29-10  Ulhumbrus: According to Kasparov, Alekhine says that on 12 b4 a5 13 Qb3 ab 14 ab g5 15 Bg3 Nd5 Black has the initiative. Kasparov disagrees and says that on 16 0-0 White stands better.

After 12 b4 a5 12 Qb3 ab 14 ab g5 15 Bg3 Nd5 16 0-0 one way for Black to lose is 16...c6 17 Nxd5! exd5 18 Bd3 f5 19 Ne5 f4 20 ef gf 21 Nxc6 fxg3 22 Qxd5+ Rf7 23 Bg6 gh+ 24 Kxh2 Qe8 25 Rc7 Rd8 26 Rxd7 Rxd7 27 Bxf7+ Qxf7 28 Qxd7

Oct-29-10  Ulhumbrus: An alternative to 14 Nd4 is 14 Qc2 before Black has a Rook on the c file and on 14..Rc8 15 Qb1 withdrawing the Queen to b1 as in the game Rubinstein vs Maroczy, 1920
Mar-18-11  Llawdogg: Wow! 32 ... Nxe3! was a spectacular game winning sacrifice by Alekhine. Even the great World Champion Capablanca never saw that discovered attack coming. Brilliant! Just brilliant.
Jul-07-13  Karpova: Some annotations can be found in this interesting article: http://streathambrixtonchess.blogsp...
Jan-02-14  MarkFinan: Well I think Capablanca is doing okay with probably chances of drawing, with him being an endgame expert n all, till 32.R.d1?? Very strange that he didn't just take the Bishop!
Sep-04-14  coldsweat: Classic game, Alekhine outthinks the reigning champ.
Nov-23-14  yurikvelo:
Stockfish deep analyze
Nov-23-14  JimNorCal: Wow <karpova> that article is quite a takedown!
Nov-24-14  RookFile: As a few have pointed out, it's an equal game after 20. Qb1. As in, 0.00. Evidently white can follow up with Nc5. Chances for both sides!
Nov-24-14  aliejin: To a certain height all the games are
"Equal games ...." but this is a static analysis ... (artifical way to analyze chess I would say)
abstracting from the fact that players are preparing / planning their movements ....

Towards the move 20 Capablanca already was subtly disoriented and Alekhine was going further in the interpretation of the position.

Dec-22-15  Howard: Andrew Soltis said in CL & R back in 1976 that in the 1927 WC, Alekhine "played the most conservative chess of his life", and this game is a good example of such.

Simply put, Alekhine beat Capablanca in Capa-style---pure and simple.

Dec-23-16  1971: Was this plan/piece placement in practice before this game/match?
Aug-24-18  WorstPlayerEver: 22... Nxc3 23. Bxb7 Qxb7 24. Rxc3 Rd8 and White is facing serious trouble:

click for larger view

25. a4 e5 26. Nf3 bxa4 27. Qc2 Qe4

click for larger view


22... Nxc3 23. Bxb7 Qxb7 24. Qxc3 Bf6 25. a4 Rd8 26. axb5 axb5 27. h4 Qd5 28. Kh2 h5 29. Ra1 Bxd4 30. Qxd4 Qxd4 31. exd4 Rxd4

click for larger view


Better defense was:

27. Rf1 Rd8 28. axb5 axb5

click for larger view

Nov-26-20  yurikvelo:

deep multiPV of decisive Capablanka mistakes

May-06-21  SymphonicKnight: As few have pointed out; Capablanca does make a notable error in playing 22.Nc3? (~-1.7 Stockfish) instead of 23.Nc5! but as Lasker noted for example 23...Bxc5!? 24.bxc5 Rc8 25.e4 Nf6 26.a4! Rxc5 27.Qb4! Nd7 28.axb5 a5 29.Qe1 when black only has a very slight advantage (~-0.3)) or 23...Nd2! 24.Qb2 Nxf3+ 25.Nxf3 Rc8 26.Nxb7 Qxb7 27.Be5 Rxc1 28.Qxc1 (~-0.2)).

Black was slowly outplaying white until 30...e4! (~-2.0), but Capablanca missed the slightly better 31.Nh2 (~-2.0) and played Nd4 (~-2.3), and then after the fatal 31...Bxd4, 32.Rd1?? (~-7) just loses immediately.

Jan-27-22  N.O.F. NAJDORF: In his book, 'Chess Fundamentals,' Capablanca gave an example of white's queen's bishop being completely shut out of the game, and in this game white's bishop never gets into the game.

Capablanca's play is, as Alekhine complained of his play in general, too passive, and Alekhine's 21 ... Qa8 is typical of his own play, trying to produce tension in the position.

Everything is wrong with white's position as he is gradually starved of space.

I do agree with the critic who said that Capablanca should have started at least some games with 1. e4.

I cannot believe he would have been so comprehensively outplayed as in this game had he been playing a Ruy Lopez - or even against an Alekhine's Defence.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <I do agree with the critic who said that Capablanca should have started at least some games with 1. e4.>

Capablanca vs Alekhine, 1927 (kibitz #105)

Jan-27-22  RookFile: 1. c4 is pretty good too. It's a way to get an unbalanced pawn formation.
Jan-27-22  N.O.F. NAJDORF: Thank you keypusher, for reminding me that Capablanca did play 1. e4 in the first game of the match and was comprehensively outplayed then too. It may be that it was such a shock that he decided not to play it again, but Capablanca failed to heed his own advice in that game too!

Capablanca vs Alekhine, 1927

<N.O.F. NAJDORF: It is hard to believe that the loser of this game had some six years earlier had a book published, called 'Chess Fundamentals,' in which he emphasised the importance of the 'co-ordination of the pieces.' The first time I played through this game, I too had the idea of playing Nd1, but not only with the intention of playing Ne3, but c3 too. If Capablanca had played c3 - a fairly typical Capablanca move - he could never have got into the difficulties he did later. The pawn on c2, bishop blocked in on e3, and knight misplaced on f4, provide Alekhine with the opportunity to win the very first game of the match, with the black pieces! Perhaps the most humiliating aspect of Capa's defeat is that the main variation contains a back-row mate - his specialty.>

May-03-22  N.O.F. NAJDORF: It is curious that Capablanca overlooked

32 ... Nxe3

in the game

because presumably he decided not to sacrifice the exchange ten moves earlier on account of

22. Rxc4 bxc4 23. Qxc4 Nxe3 (24. fxe3 Bxe4 25. Nxe6 Bxf3 26. Nxf8 Bxg2 27. Ng6 Bg5)

May-03-22  N.O.F. NAJDORF: I think Capablanca made many wrong moves.
I think he should have played 11.Bd3 instead of 11.Be2

and that

14.Nd4, 15.b4, 16.Bg3 and 17.Qb3

were all wrong too,

giving him a very passive position.

One of the big differences between his position and black's is that black's bishops get to do things, while white's are just waiting.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: An iconic game for me because of the Knight outpost manoevering to c4 which I was able to use in some of my own games. At the time of seeing this game annotated in one of my chess books, it wasn't made entirely clear that Alekhine was a largely combinational-centric player before adaption for this match with Capablanca.
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