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Jose Raul Capablanca vs Max Euwe
Capablanca - Euwe (1931), Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam and Scheveningen NED, rd 9, Jul-28
Slav Defense: Czech. Carlsbad Variation (D17)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-02-04  Lawrence: Euwe's game went downhill after 22.....g6. Bxa1 or Bxe4 would have been much better. (Junior 8)
Apr-08-05  rumcutter: Why doesn't Capablanca play Qxb4?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <rumcutter> I presume your talking about White's 19th move where he Capablanca plays 19.♗xe5.

If he'd played 19.♕xb4 Black can reply 19...♖d1+ 20.♗f1 is forced because White plays 20.♖xd1 Black captures White's Queen.

Black then plays 20...♕xb4 21.♖xb4 regains the Queen but Black then wins the exchange with 21...♖xa1.

Hope this helps.

Apr-08-05  psmith: Lawrence: "Euwe's game went downhill after 22.....g6. Bxa1 or Bxe4 would have been much better. (Junior 8)"

What does Junior have in mind in these variations? They seem to me to give White good play. Here's my attempt to analyze (as usual I'm probably missing something).

22... Ba1 23. Bf5 (threats of 24. Be6 and Qh7; Bh7 and Bg8; and also Ra1.) 23... e4 24. Qb3 Rd5 25. Be6 Kh8 26. Bd5 Qd5 27. Qd5 cd5 28. Ra1 with a piece up; 23 ... g6 24. Bg6 or 23. ... Rf5 24. Qf5 should win. What's the defense I'm missing?

And on 22... Be4 23. Qe4 g6 24. Nh7 Kh7 25. Rb7 Kh6 (25... Kh8 26. Qg6) Qh4#; 24...Rd6 25. Nf8 Ba1 26. Ng6.; 24... Ba1 25 Qg6 Kh8 26. Nf6 looks to be winning...

So, again, what am I missing?

(can anyone tell me how to make my replies register as replies?)

Apr-08-05  Shams: <Lawrence> simply enclose the name of the person you are replying to, or the pertinent text (such as <can anyone tell me how to make my replies register as replies>) in left and right angle brackets. it's a cinch.
Apr-09-05  Lawrence: <psmith>, <Bxa1 or Bxe4 would have been much better> doesn't mean that Black is ahead. As you say, White has good play, but Black isn't taking a shellacking. In your first line Junior would not play 24.....Rd5 but 24.....Kh8. Then, after 25.Nf7+ Rxf7 26.Qxf7 White is up almost a pawn, but Black hasn't lost....yet.

In your second line, Black would play not 24....Kxh7 but 24.....Rf5. Now Junior shows virtual equality, -0.21

Apr-09-05  Calli: Capablanca pointed out a defense two moves before:
"20...Bc3 Not the best. Black's defense is extremely difficult. It is touch and go, yet 20...Bf7 would probably save the game. After the text move White wins by force." - JRC
Jan-27-08  notyetagm: (VAR) Position after 26 ♖b7x♖d7+ ♗f5x♖d7 27 ♕a2-a3!

click for larger view

Golombek points out this instant win that Capablanca missed, this <QUEEN FORK> of the <UNDEFENDED> Black c3-bishop and e7-<FORKING SQUARE>.

White (Capablanca) is simultaneously threatening both 28 ♕a3x♗c3 as well as 28 ♕a3-e7+, 29 ♕e7x♗d7.

Jan-27-08  Calli: Ok, but I like 27.Rb8!! in that line:

click for larger view

Jan-27-08  notyetagm: <Calli: Ok, but I like 27.Rb8!! in that line:>

Well, I was thinking along the lines that the f7- and h7-squares next to the Black g7-king might make better targets than the <UNDEFENDED> Black d7-bishop.

Jan-27-08  notyetagm: <Calli: Ok, but I like 27.Rb8!! in that line:>

click for larger view

A very nice <REMOVAL OF THE GUARD> tactic. If Black takes the White b8-rook with 27 ... ♖f8x♖b8??, then the Black f8-rook no longer <DEFENDS> the critical f7-square and its mate in 3.

click for larger view

Jan-27-08  Calli: Black can try 27...Bc8 but then he runs into 28.Bd3! and its over because if Qa5 then Rxc8. Anyway, yes, Capa missed the quick one, but Harry G. missed, IHMO, the more "chessy" variation.
Dec-04-08  paladin at large: In a 1981 interview Euwe commented that Capablanca had a "little luck" to win here, as Capa had a "bad opening". (My quotes.) However, it seems to me that white is looking fine after move 13.

This win clinched the match victory for Capa.

Jun-26-09  AnalyzeThis: I think what Euwe meant regarding the luck was that Capa didn't see everything in the complications, but his marvelous intution was proven correct. Regarding the opening, Euwe may mean that he had full equality.
Jun-26-09  WhiteRook48: make that mate in 2 if black is careless
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Discussion of this game can be found at:

Feb-06-12  RookFile: Just win, baby, as Al Davis would say.
Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: A photo from the beginning of the 1931 match:
Feb-21-19  sakredkow: I really like the pawn sac with 16. b4. And then after 18...O-O the deflection 19...Rd1+! keeps white from 19. Qxb4.
Feb-21-19  sudoplatov: Another step on Euwe's road to the World Championship. He did come through in the clutch though.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Euwe's career took a curious path, in that his reputation before his victory over Alekhine was founded largely on narrow defeats in matches against top players of his day, rather than tournament or match wins.
Feb-21-19  sudoplatov: According to the Euwe page here, he won 102 tournaments. That's not bad even if these weren't all super strong.
Premium Chessgames Member
  woldsmandriffield: Capablanca emerged on top in the opening after 15..Be7?! (15..f6) 16 b4!

On move 18 though Capablanca should have traded the well-placed Knight: 18 Bxe5 fxe5 19 Rab1 Be7 20 Qxb7 with positional dominance. The rather casual 18 Rfb1? allowed Euwe a tactical opportunity:

click for larger view

18..Nc4! with the idea 19 Qxb4? Rd1+ 20 Bf1? Qxb4 -+ Perhaps Euwe feared 19 Nxf6+ but Black has the calm defense 19..Kf7! and after 20 Qxb4 Rd1+ 21 Rxd1 Qxb4 22 Ne4 he stands no worse.

The move played 18..o-o was OK and as pointed out by Capablanca, 20..Bf7 would keep the game in balance.

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