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Jose Raul Capablanca vs Alexander Alekhine
Capablanca - Alekhine World Championship Match (1927), Buenos Aires ARG, rd 27, Nov-09
Queen's Gambit Declined: Orthodox Defense. Henneberger Variation (D63)  ·  1/2-1/2

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Oct-06-07  notyetagm: <Green Bishop: Capa missed a win with 38. Kf2. The correct move was 38. Ke2, avoiding perpetual check.>

What a tragedy for Capablanca!

Position after 37 ... ♕c5-c1+


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Now 38 ♔f1-e2! wins since White can escape from <PERPETUAL CHECK>.

(VAR) Position after winning 38 ♔f1-e2!


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But instead poor Capablanca actually blundered terribly here and played 38 ♔f1-f2??, after which his king cannot escape from the <CHECKS> of the Black queen.

Position after drawing 38 ♔f1-f2?? :


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Chess can be such a cruel game. Here Capablanca -totally- outplays Alekhine but then he makes one mistake (38 ♔f1-f2??) and he is deprived of his much-deserved victory.

Oct-06-07  notyetagm: <crafty: 38. Ke2 Qxb2+ 39. Kf3 Qc3+ 40. Kg4 Kh8 41. Rxg8+ (eval 2.14; depth 13 ply; 500M nodes)>


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The win that Capablanca missed, with the White king successfully escaping <PERPETUAL CHECK> by fleeing to g4.

Oct-06-07  notyetagm: <offramp: I think Kasparov reckoned that 36.b4 might be the best move. But Capablanca would never have played that because he didn't notice that the c5p had been attacked.>

Position after 35 ... ♕g7-f8:


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<offramp> How do you know that Capablanca missed the obvious threat of 36 ... ♕f8xc5 ?

And yes, Kasparov's <PROPHYLACTIC> 36 b2-b4!? looks very good here since it prevents the only threat that Black has here in the position, not to the White c5-pawn but rather of breaking into the White position with his queen and going for a <PERPETUAL> against the very exposed White king.

(VAR) Position after Kasparov's 36 b2-b4!?:


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Oct-07-07  notyetagm: Damn, what a disaster for Capablanca.
Oct-07-07  euripides: If <38.Ke2 Qxb2+ 39.Kf3> Qb3+ how does the king escape ? e.g. 40.Kg4 Qd1+ and if 41.Kh4 then ...Qh1+ or if 41.Kh3 then...Qh5 mate.
Oct-07-07  notyetagm: <euripides: If <38.Ke2 Qxb2+ 39.Kf3> Qb3+ how does the king escape ?>

I think that then the winning move is 40 ♔f3-f2!:


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Putting the White king on the dark square f2 makes it more difficult for the Black queen on the light square b3 to give check.

That's a generality. Here the concrete point is that now the Black queen has only three checks, on b2, a2, and b6, but from neither square can she reach the critical d1-square.

My idea is that then the White king -can- escape to shelter on the h-file because then Black will not have the ... ♕d1-h5+ maneuver at his disposal.

For example, 40 ♔f3-f2! ♕b3-b2+ 41 ♔f2-g1 ♕b2-c1+ 42 ♔g1-h2


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and there are no more checks, or 40 ♔f3-f2! ♕b3-b6+ 41 ♔f2-f1!


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and there are no more checks(!) because the White a4-pawn covers b5 and the White e4-queen covers b1!

So I think 39 ... ♕b2-b3+ loses to 40 ♔f3-f2! but you'll have to verify this with a comp. This is solely my analysis so there may be holes in it.

Again, the main idea is to seek shelter on h2 when Black is unable to play ... ♕d1-h5+ and I think I have shown how to do that.

Oct-10-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Interesting discussion, long analysis proves Capa's instincts with 30 Nxd7 were correct, but was he letting Alekhine off the hook by cashing in right away?

Investigating on move 30 then, Shredder found the "creeping move" 30 Qd3! paralyses Black


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if 30...Bc8 31 Qd6 walking right into Black's position.


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if 31...Re8 32 Nxf7!

and if 31...Qf8 there is the equally startling 32 Ng4 Kg7 33 Nf6! leaving Black movebound.

Oct-15-07  notyetagm: <tamar: ... Investigating on move 30 then, Shredder found the "creeping move" 30 Qd3! paralyses Black ...

if 30...Bc8 31 Qd6 walking right into Black's position...

and if 31...Qf8 there is the equally startling 32 Ng4 Kg7 33 Nf6! leaving Black movebound. >

(VAR) Position after 30 ♕c2-d3! ♗d7-c8 31 ♕d3-d6 ♕g7-f8 32 ♘e5-g4 ♔g8-g7 33 ♘g4-f6!:


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And the White f6-knight is taboo on account of the <SNAP MATE> 33 ... ♔g7x♘f6?? 34 ♕d6-e5#


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<tamar> Nice find, that 30 ♕c2-d3!, one of those Spassky "creeping queen moves". Now two questions:

1) What is the Shredder eval of Capabanca's 30 ♘e5x♗d7 ?

2) What is the Shredder eval of the superior 30 ♕c2-d3! ?

3) What is the Shredder eval of the position after 33 ♘g4-f6! ?

Thanks

Mar-04-08  Knight13: 22. Bb!? Oh, that's a tiny little big move.
Mar-31-08  crwynn: This must have deeply shaken Capablanca's confidence, I think that this as much as the blown half-point is why Alekhine considered it so crucial. Capablanca had been getting little or nothing with White in game after game, but with his previous White he had really pressed, and now he just plain stomped his opponent - had he pulled out the victory the momentum of the match might have changed a great deal.
Apr-14-09  notyetagm: 39 ?


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<panandh: What is wrong with the idea of hiding behind g2/g3 pawns with 39Kg1 followed with 40Kh2? <Green Bishop: 39.kg1, Qd1+ 40.Kh2,Qh5+ and black wins.>>

(VAR) 40 ♔g1-h2?? ♕d1-h5+ <double attack: g6,h2>


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And the 2-2 <LOOSE> White g6-rook goes back into the box.

Sep-03-09  WhiteRook48: kf2??? =
Dec-02-13  Owl: Capablanca misses a win with 38. Ke2
Dec-02-13  Petrosianic: <Owl: Capablanca misses a win with 38. Ke2>

You have an uncanny ability of reading the posts above yours and repeating them back.

Nov-27-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: I haven't read any comments to this game yet. I will after I post. But just looking at the position after move 28 I think Kasparov is right - White is winning!

If this were 1921 and JRC was playing Lasker, Capa would have dealt a death blow and won this game in under 40 moves.

Sep-23-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <notyetagm: <offramp: I think Kasparov reckoned that 36.b4 might be the best move. But Capablanca would never have played that because he didn't notice that the c5♙ had been attacked.> Position after 35 ... ♕g7-f8:

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<offramp> How do you know that Capablanca missed the obvious threat of 36 ... ♕f8xc5 ?>

I believe I read this in Alekhine's <200 Parties D'Echecs>. Alekhine wrote that white had missed the move Qxc5. If someone has the book he or she might be able to verify it.

Sep-23-15  morfishine: Probably Alekhine's worst game of the match (even though he didn't lose), marked by its uninspired sloppiness; but no biggie, some game had to have that distinction and he won the match anyways
Dec-17-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: ***

"And as Dr. Nunn would say, <LOOSE PIECES DROP OFF>: "

A technical point here in the variation to escape three fold rep and the 'loose piece.'

(I'd better not use 'perpetual' when discussing a technical point because there is no such thing as perpetual check.)


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The g6 Rook is not an unprotected piece nor will it be turned into one. It will be removed from the board whilst under the protection of two pieces.

This game does furnish a unprotected piece playing it's part.


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Apparently White cannot take the b7 pawn due to Bc1 hitting the Queen and the loose Knight on e4.

But 22.Qxb7 Bc1 23.Nxc6 Bxb7 Nxd8 and c6 and White has two pawns for the piece and can start rolling the queenside pawns with b4 and b5. So it's not quite resignable. It's not a winner, Black at the very least can sac-back a piece for the two pawns.

John Nunn has done a good job by bringing the dangers of unprotected pieces to a modern readership but all this was known to the old masters. Eugene Znosko-Borovsky devoted a whole chapter to the 'unprotected piece.' in his 'The Art of Chess Combination' [1936] and before him other writers have pointed out the dangers of unprotected 'loose' pieces.

Not doubt in 20 years time another author will appear and re-invent the wheel. Loose pieces never lose their flavour or go stale.

"One despairs when one thinks of all the effort expended on the study of chess, and of the poverty of results. Year after year the same elementary mistakes are repeated, the same antediluvian* traps claim their victims. It is almost incredible, yet so it is..." Eugene Znosko-Borovsky

Anyway, why am I here. Abrahams in 'The Chess Mind' thinks Capa's mistake on move 38 may have been due to time trouble, (as far as I can gather it was 40 moves in 2½ hours.)

PS: I too had to look up 'antediluvian', it is a time before the biblical Flood.

***

Dec-17-18  RookFile: This game had 1-0 written all over it. It was shocking that Alekhine escaped with a draw.
Feb-10-20  maxi: After going over this game you may wish to take a look at my comment in game Capablanca vs Kan, 1935
Mar-17-21  PJs Studio: I played over this game without comments and thought b4 was best before I looked ahead. Black is tied down. So I assumed I missed some defense black had that the (seemingly) slow b4 would enable.

Heartbreaking for the Great Capablanca to lose this game at such an important juncture in the match.

Mar-17-21  Margetic D: Personally i m not feeling very well to comment chess giants like Capablanca and Alekhine.My level is too low to do this. However i can try my best, with descriptions of my thoughts, not only variants.

My personal opinion is that the game is quite equally until 19. black move. Alekhine had (probably) the idea, to not exchange his Bishop against white s Night and played 19. ...Nc5: , not fatal, but maybe there are better positional solutions . Maybe instead of 19. ... Nc5: "simply" 19. ...Rb8, and if indeed 20.Be6:, black should be well looking after 20. ..Re6:. Other moves for white : 20.Qc2 , to increase pressure on the center (field e4) seem not to lead to any problems : after 20. .. Nc5:("prevents" 21.Na6: although it is not a concern) or even 20... Bf5 (ignore the possibility 21.Na6:) , 21. Na6:, ba6: 22.Nc6:, Qf6, 23.Nb8:, Rb8: . Or 20. ... Nc5: (as mentioned want to prevent the tactic possibility with 21.Na6:), 21.dc5: (alt. would be 21.Qc5:), 21....Ne4 (21. ..Qf6 ), 22.Be4:, de4: , i would say it looks quite equally after 23.Nc4, Bc4:, 24. Qc4;, Qd2. But in the game, after some to my understanding passive moves by Alekhine, after 24.e4 the positional /territorial advantage and better white pieces position makes it dufficult for black.

I bow to the legendary Capablanca and Alekhine. Always a highest pleasure to analyze such games.

Mar-17-21  Petrosianic: You have a lot to say for someone who doesn't feel qualified to say it.
Apr-30-21  SymphonicKnight: Capablanca played a great game until his blunder, which gets all the attention, but Alekhine was lost, having made a few inaccurate moves:

19...Nxc5? (Rb8!)
23...Ne6? (Rb8!)
25...Re7?! (Nc7!)
29...Qg7? (Kh7!)

May-03-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <SymphonicKnight> I agree 29...Qg7 looks bad, but maybe Alekhine didn't like 29...Kh7 <30. Nxg6>. Do you have in mind any specific line?
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