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Jose Raul Capablanca vs Rudolf Spielmann
San Sebastian (1911), San Sebastian ESP, rd 12, Mar-10
Queen Pawn Game: Krause Variation (D02)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Zorts>
<23...gxf2 24.Rxf2, e3 25.Rf7, Qe5 26.Rf5, Qxf5 27.Qxf5, Rd1+ 28.Qf1, e2 29.Qe1, Rxe1 30.Kf2, Rb1 31.Kxe2, Rxb2>

But all that isn't forced, is it? What about 23...gxf2+ 24. Rxf2 e3 25. Rf1 Rd2 26. Bc1 Rxa2 27. Bxe3, etc. where at first glance, White is a pawn up with a good position?

Sep-18-06  Zorts: I stand corrected. I thought it was forced because I found too many mates and got over optimistic for black's position-sorry. The best he had after 23...gxf2+ 24. Rxf2 e3 25. Rf1 Qe5 26. Bc1 e2 however was a drawn game.
Sep-18-06  syracrophy: 30.Qxg7+! Qxg7 31.Re8+ Qf8 <31...Qg8 32.Be5+ Rf6 33.Bxf6#> 32.Rxf8+ Kg7 33.Bh6+! Kxh6 34.Rxf2 wins
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Zorts: The best he had after 23...gxf2+ 24. Rxf2 e3 25. Rf1 Qe5 26. Bc1 e2 however was a drawn game.>

But even this isn't forced, is it? What if 23...gxf2+ 24. Rxf2 e3 25. Rf1 Qe5 26. Re1, so ...e2 is prevented and it still looks to me like White's a pawn up with a good position.

Oct-16-06  Zorts: Yes, you're correct! I do think that 23..gxf2+ leads to a more prolonged game without the nice tactics that Capa displayed. I got carried away when I saw 24.Rxf2 e3 25.Rf1 Qe5 (pinning the c3 pawn against the white bish) 26.Re1 e2 27.Rxe2 Rd1+ but white can simply go 27.Qxe2 and win. Black didn't have any 'magical position' after all like the R. Byrne vs. Fischer 1963 21 move game.
Oct-16-06  RookFile: Oh, I see, at one point, chessgames had the wrong 16th move for white, but it got corrected later to 16. Rad1.
Oct-16-06  Zorts: Both played well for a blindfold game. I still like the <Capablanca vs Spielmann, 1927> game better though.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: <Zorts: Both played well for a blindfold game>

This game was not a blindfold game. It was played in round 12 of the very strong San Sebastian 1911 tournament. According to Chessmetrics, San Sebastian 1911 was the 2nd strongest tournament, 2nd only to St. Petersburg 1914, during the period 1900 to 1920.

If Black had played 23..gxf2+, then best per the tournament book, was 24.Rxf2 e3 25.Rf1.

Now if Black plays 25...Rd2, as suggested by beatgiant, then 26.Rf7! wins.

Instead, Black should play 25...Qe5, again as suggested in the tournament book.

Now if 26.Bc1?? then e2 is not a draw, as you have indicated, but is an immediate win for Black.

As you have noted, 26.Re1 e2??, is a win for White.

Instead, if 26.Re1, then 19...Bg5. The tournament book indicates this was Black's best move, giving Black has a strong game.

However, a review by Fritz 9, after 23...gxf2+ 24.Rxf2 e3 25.Rf1 Qe5 26.Re1 Bg5 27.Ba1 Qf6 28.Qe2, indicates an equal position.

Also, after 23...gxf2+ 24.Rxf2 e3 25.Rf1 Qe5, Fritz 9 found 26.Qf3 h6 27.Re1 Bg5, with an equal position.

Oct-21-06  Zorts: Thank you, Pawn & Two, for the helpful analysis. I need to get one of those Fritz 9's-maybe for Christmas. Any thoughts on the Stahlberg vs Keres 1936 Nimzo-Indian game? Do you think white had a chance at an equal position there?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: <Zorts> I will do a review of Stahlberg - Keres, Bad Nauheim 1936, and post some notes on that game page.
Oct-22-06  Zorts: <Pawn & Two> You, sir, are a chess player/analyst of the hightest caliber! For this relief, much thanks!
May-21-07  micartouse: Both players courageously go in for a reversed Slav.
Jul-04-07  notyetagm: <ksadler: Some nice basic tactics at the end to force the win. A nice finish by Capablanca.>

A tactial tour de force by Capablanca ends the game.

Capablanca was the absolute master of simple tactics. Martin Weteschnik writes in "Understanding Chess Tactics", page 151:

<Capablanca, although better known as a strategist rather than a deadly tactician, was superb in dealing with elementary tactics.>

Position after 28 ♗c1-f4!

click for larger view

A) <REMOVES THE GUARD>: attacks the Black c7-queen defender of the <LOOSE> Black e7-bishop

B) <LINE-CLOSING>: <BLOCKS> the line c7-h2 of the Black c7-queen and the line f2-f8 of the Black f2-rook

28 ... Qc7-d8 only square from which the Black c7-queen can continue to <DEFEND> the Black e7-bishop 29 Re4xBe7! Qd8-f8 since if 29 ... Qd8xRe7 30 Qg4-c8+ mates

Position after 28 ... ♕c7-d8 29 ♖e4x♗e7!

click for larger view

A) <WEAK BACK RANK>: 29 ... Qd8xRe7 <DEFLECTS> the Black d8-queen from <DEFENDING> the c8-checking focal point

B) <REMOVE THE GUARD>: Black needs =two= pieces to control f8 so that he can support a <BLOCK> on this square; after White exchanges a non-attacker of this square (White e4-rook) for a Black piece which controls this square (Black e7-bishop), Black has only =one= piece covering this square

Position after 29 ... ♕d8-f8 30 ♕g4xg7+!

click for larger view

30 Qg4xg7+! forces mate using the mating pattern <KING TRAPPED IN A DIAGONAL CORRDOR>

Final mating position

click for larger view

Feb-21-08  Alphastar: <notyetagm> Certainly it is not forced mate, because black could play 30. ..Qxg7 31. Re8+ Qf8 32. Rxf8+ Kg7, which is ofcourse also hopeless, but still mate isn't anytime soon.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: <Alphastar> 30. ..Qxg7 31.Re8+ Qf8 32.Rxf8+ Kg7 <33.Bh6+! Kxh6 34.Rxf2>
Jul-08-08  Ulhumbrus: The manoeuvre Bc1-f4 prepares the sacrifice Rxe7 by making possible Kxh2 in reply to ..Rd1+. This is because it relieves the White Q from having to play the capture Qxd1 in reply to the check ..Rd1+ and so frees the Q for Qc8+ in reply to ...Qxe7 after Rxe7
Apr-08-09  NARC: Does anyone like 19 ... Nf3+
instead of 19 ... Ng4?
Nov-26-14  jakc: <notyetagm> Certainly it is not forced mate, because black could play 30. ..Qxg7 31. Re8+ Qf8 32. Rxf8+ Kg7, which is of course also hopeless, but still mate isn't anytime soon.

Actually, that is still a forced mate. As chancho points out, the rook is lost after K-g7. black is now down a rook and a pawn, with the advanced h pawn doomed, the a and b pawns unable to advance or prevent white from promoting a pawn (and the king forever cut-off) and the backward h-pawn of no use. I don't know whether the quickest forced mate is by advancing the king for a king/rook mate or promoting a pawn, but there are surely several mates that are 10 or 15 moves away and cannot be avoided.

Aug-30-17  N.O.F. NAJDORF: Capablanca's bishop manoeuvre reminds me of Fischer's in this game, except that Fischer was attacking black's king, not queen:

Fischer vs K Darga, 1960

I really don't see the point of Spielmann's 29...Qf8, although it is hard to think of another move.

Aug-30-17  RookFile: Maybe there was some time trouble involved and he just played Qf8 to stop mate in 1 as a reflex action. The game is already over, of course.
Apr-18-19  N.O.F. NAJDORF: I've just seen your reply for the first time!

I don't think black was in time trouble, but of course you're right : he was guarding against Qxg7 made, although he couldn't actually prevent the same move with check.

I thought Spielmann was trying to threaten the bishop, which was impossible because of his own back rank weakness, and that is what puzzled me.

Could it be that he hoped that Capablanca would blunder with 30 Bg3??

He could have resigned instead, as even 30 Bd6 would have won easily.

Sep-22-19  zydeco: Capablanca played very similarly to Carlsen in this tournament: simple moves, mostly on defense, and winning with absolute economy.
Aug-22-20  C. Auguste Dupin: In his days, Capablanca was believed to have solved the game of chess. While that may not be true, games like these really give one that impression. The maneauver 27.Bc1 28.Bf4 really 'solves' the position for white. Before this maneauver, at a glance, white's position looks really difficult. There are some nasty back rank issues and all of Black's pieces are menacingly active and aggressively placed. Within two moves, especially the brilliant Bf4, the position is completely reversed. The queen no longer defends the h2 pawn, so back rank problems are solved. Nearly all of black's attacking possibilities are non existent. Meanwhile, black's queen is under attack as well as overloaded as black's own back rank weaknesses have started to trouble him. The black rook is cut off from reaching the back rank to help out. The next couple of moves as well ( from white) are simple and brilliant. But Bf4 is a gem. Capablanca's quick sight of the board really puts him at par with the modern GM's if not above, at least in shorter time formats.
Aug-22-20  JimNorCal: Apr-08-09 "Does anyone like 19 ... Nf3+
instead of 19 ... Ng4?"

Does anyone like 19 ... Nd3
instead of 19 ... Ng4?

Aug-23-20  SChesshevsky: < Does anyone like 19...Nf3+ instead of 19...Ng4?...Does anyone like 19...Nd3 instead of 19...Ng4?>

Feels like this game worked into some type of reversed QGD Vienna position. Normal play can go where black tries to keep the extra queen side pawn at the expense of a big white center and potentially having the black king side uncomfortable.

Typically white wants to be active. Figuring if black can stabilize the qside majority will eventually be a problem.

In this reversed QGD Vienna game, it's black that probably really has to be active. With same situation and tempo down.

Seems by move 19., Capablanca busted up blacks big center without any damage to his qside majority. So that leaves blacks best or maybe only counter chance at the white king side. So 19...Ng4 and the continuation appears to make sense.

Don't think 19...Nf3+ works. Probably sac only works if mate or at least mate threats are imminently dangerous. I don't see it and apparently Spielmann didn't see it either.

Probably 19...Nd3 very playable. Looks solid but not sure if it accomplishes much toward giving black chances to equalize. White has to be cautious playing around the posted N but all his advantages seem to remain and any exchanges probably going to help realize those plusses.

Given the way the opening played out 19...Ng4 appears logical and maybe more to Spielmann's taste. But 19...Nd3 probably isn't bad and worth considering.

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