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Friedrich Saemisch vs Jose Raul Capablanca
"Do You Know the Way to Beat José?" (game of the day Apr-29-2014)
Karlsbad (1929), Karlsbad CSR, rd 16, Aug-19
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Saemisch Variation. Accelerated (E24)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: A game famous for Capablanca's blunder in the opening and the salacious explanations for it. Was he distracted by his girlfriend's sudden appearance? His wife's? Saemisch's wife's? Vera Menchik's? We may never know for sure.

Saemisch never gets too excitied or impatient, adopting the Balance of Trade approach to exploiting his advantage There is one nice cheapo after <25...h4>:

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<26.Nd4!> and the knight is immune due to 25...exd4 26.cxd4 trapping the queen. However, Capablanca had already used up his month's supply of blunder, so that possibility was too much to expect.

In short, anybody who planned to beat Capablanca by waiting for him to blunder a piece in the opening would lose on time a thousand times over before it happened again. Still, that was probably a legitimate strategy.

Apr-29-14  waustad: How to beat Jose? Use Fritz.
Apr-29-14  newzild: Capablanca pays the price for disobeying his own rule: "Every move - no matter how obvious - must be checked". He then goes on to put up a tremendous fight for another 50 moves. What a champ!
Apr-29-14  Aniara: Love the pun. With a dream in your heart you're never alone.
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: Who was this impostor playing under the name of Capablanca?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: < perfidious: Kasparov in OMGP on Capablanca's blunder:

< '....The secret of this "blunder of the year" was revealed by the victim himself. It turns out that before Capa's ninth move a beautiful brunette appeared in the hall-his wife Gloria, who had turned up out of the blue from Havana. This "opening surprise" shocked the master: he was having an affair with a beautiful blonde....'>>

Is Carlsen partial or affected by beautiful blonds? If so, assuming he is "batting for our side", then something could be arranged by Anand or another rival!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: <brankat: There is another memorable game which Capablanca lost as Black when playing Saemisch variation of Nimzo Indian:

Lilienthal vs Capablanca, 1935

A beautiful win by Lilienthal!>

Thanks for this - yes, a great game by Lillienthal. He was a great master in his day.

Apr-29-14  anjyplayer: Whats so great about this game ?
Apr-29-14  john barleycorn: <anjyplayer: Whats so great about this game ?>

That Saemisch did not lose on time.

Apr-29-14  gars: Great pun! As for games in this tournament I prefer Capa vs Mattison.
Apr-29-14  Mating Net: Great pun, game not so much.
Apr-29-14  john barleycorn: no way, Jose.
Apr-29-14  solskytz: Why must I lose to this idiot?
Apr-29-14  psmith: <LIFE Master AJ>: It's Capablanca playing the magnificent defense after the horrible blunder, and lasting 60+ moves against Saemisch. Which perhaps makes things more understandable, but still gives credit to Saemisch.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: It looked like black's connectors would win, but they fell a step short.

A RARE Capa misjudgment.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Sad to see that these two played only twice- with one win each.
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: I loved the song and I loved living in San Jose in 2005. What a great time and too short. When I was a child the song came out and it brings back double memories of childhood and living in the city.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: A possible alternative explanation for why Capa was distracted:


Jun-06-14  wellsometimes: Tales are interesting, amusing. Strictly from the standpoint of learning, once Capa made his blunder, things change to how Saemisch should have technically managed to win the game. To stop, to slow, to unharm, somehow, the desperate Black's pawn storm on the kingside, seems to be fruitful. Why not to play, for instance, 23.h4? Commentators would have analyzed moves like that? Which are their downsides?
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: I often get the impression that Capablanca was very uncomfortable with any opening that evolved after 1914.
Jun-23-16  edubueno: The presence of Gloria affected Capa's game.
Jun-05-18  Whitehat1963: Thursday puzzle after 26...Bd7.
Nov-24-18  mikealando: It would be kind to note that Saemisch owned the opening.
Sep-10-20  m.okun: In my opinion, Capablanca played the opening carelessly and lost a piece.
Sep-10-20  Granny O Doul: <m.okun> I think your view falls well within the main stream.
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