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Jose Raul Capablanca vs Emanuel Lasker
"Capa Don't Preach" (game of the day Mar-25-2018)
Lasker - Capablanca World Championship Match (1921), Havana CUB, rd 5, Mar-29
Queen's Gambit Declined: Orthodox Defense. Main Line (D63)  ·  1-0



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Given 60 times; par: 63 [what's this?]

Annotations by Jose Raul Capablanca.      [26 more games annotated by Capablanca]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: For a similar manoeuvre to Capablanca's 25.Rd1-d4, see 20.Rd1-d4 in Kashdan vs Reshevsky, 1942.
Jun-02-15  Tomlinsky: Naroditsky provides, in my opinion, a far more accurate and objective annotation of this classic than Capa here...

Aug-23-16  WorstPlayerEver: Hard to get, even for Capa and SF7, but 34. Rf5 is indeed the best move. Behind the board Capa showed excellent intuition. In fact his intuition sometimes troubled his skills so that he couldn't find the right continuation afterwards. Most peculiar.
Nov-21-16  chessrookstwo: Give it up for capa the man had the invite for chess
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Seirawan analyzes this game at He completely disagrees with the notion that Capablanca refuted Lasker's opening play, and points out a number of improvements for Lasker that likely would have changed the result of this critical game in the match, the first decisive result after four draws.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Naroditsky rejects 31...h6, since after 32.h5 Lasker's king would have been "stuck forever." Any strong player is extremely reluctant to defend such a situation. But Seirawan says that neither he nor his engine (which gives White a huge plus) can figure out how to break down Black's fortress!
Dec-20-17  RookFile: Yeah, Lasker's opening play seems terrific. It stands to reason that if one or two screws was tightened up black would do well here. Anything beats playing a stodgy defense typical of the Queen's gambit.
Dec-22-17  lost in space: I have the impression that 16...Bxf3 was a mistake.

I can not see how white has a chance to win after 16...cxd4 taking advantage of the uncastled white king - or in general the lack of development of the white pieces.

click for larger view

In fact my silicon monster sees a huge advantage for Black after 16...cxd4. But after 16...Bxf3 a big advantage white. So the brave 16...Bxf3 was a blunder?!

Dec-22-17  Olavi: <lost in space:>

Normally the variation 17.Rxc8 Rxc8 18. 0-0 is given, with clear advantage (18...Bxa6 19.Qxa6 Rc2 20.Qa4). What does the monster see?

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: This is a great game right the way through, except for Lasker's error at the end. It is high tension stuff... One or two slightly wrong moves and the opponent will be on top.
Dec-23-17  lost in space: <<Olavi>: <lost in space:> Normally the variation 17.Rxc8 Rxc8 18. 0-0 is given, with clear advantage (18...Bxa6 19.Qxa6 Rc2 20.Qa4). What does the monster see?>

I made a mistake. When adding the position into the comp I forgot to give white the right to castle. And that explains the advantage for black. Sorry for my mistake.

With the right to castle also my comp agrees that white has significant advantage (+1,22) after 16...cxd4

Dec-23-17  RookFile: It appears black could have played 11.....Nxd5 12. Qxd5 Bb7 13. Bxe7 Qxe7 14. Qg5 Qxg5 15. Nxg5 cxd4 15. exd4 Nf6 with equality. White is nominally a pawn ahead but lags in development. I think a guy like Marshall might have tried this, it seems like his style.
Dec-24-17  Dionysius1: Just occurred to me the point of Capablanca's note to Lasker's 45th move makes sense because the match terms agreed they would play at 15 moves per hour so this would have been Lasker's last move before a time control.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: <RookFile: Yeah, Lasker's opening play seems terrific. It stands to reason that if one or two screws was tightened up black would do well here. Anything beats playing a stodgy defense typical of the Queen's gambit.>

The move c6 rather than b6 is considered better but Stockfish here for what it's worth prefers 9. Bb5 ...

Seirawan is very good but he has some prejudices. Lasker didn't play this match in the spirited way he had in the past. He wanted to give away his title then they persuaded him with prize money.

Capablanca probably thought, in the absence of a strong reaction by Lasker that he had refuted this line. It does look a bit dubious though for Black. More solid appears 7. ... c6 which is mostly played nowadays. However that 8. ... c5 is almost losing is probably not true...

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: It seems that after 9. Qa4 better is Bb7...It seems logical. And after that White seems to not really get much as exchanging the B from c8 off is not really that significant for Black. So, I don't know much about the QP openings, and I have seen similar confidant misapprehensions by modern masters; but I suppose only a super being would know that Capa's game was "correct"...

I see more often that GMs today are less sure of any position unless it is very obviously lost. In so many positions there are counter attacks or tactical-strategical resolutions that seem to cancel out what appear to be "clearly superior" positions.

Premium Chessgames Member
  SpaceRunner: "The play here was extremely difficult. I probably did not find the best system of defense. I can not yet tell which was the best defense here, but it is my believe that with the best play White should win."

Indeed stockfish suggest 21.Kf1! Like Capablanca..

Mar-25-18  thegoodanarchist: Excellent - a game between two elites of the chess world is presented as GOTD, instead of some crap by sub-2200 players.

Too bad the pun is based on an obnoxious Madonna song.

Mar-25-18  Sho: Capa don't take no mess
Mar-25-18  morfishine: Game-title is backwards and thus stupid, there's no reference as usual, it doesn't even rhyme, I mean for god's sake, shouldn't there be at least one positive value?

Here, there's none, as usual



Mar-25-18  actinia: <morfishine> I also prefer when you can tell by title who wins the game
Mar-25-18  actinia: even the mommas and the capas would have been better, and that was first off the top of my head
Apr-28-20  joddon: masterly executed plan by Capa!!
Aug-11-21  RookFile: A very interesting game. Even in defeat, past his prime, you get hints of Lasker's greatness in dynamic play.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: It was better to insert 15...Bxf3 before taking the Bishop on f6. Also 11...Nxd5 12.Qxd5 Bb7 could have been a bit thougher test of Capa's idea.
Aug-28-23  andrea volponi: 45...Kd6! -Qf3 Nd5+ - Kf1 Qd2 -Qg3+ Kc6 -Qf3 Kd6 = .
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