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Ossip Bernstein vs Jose Raul Capablanca
"Phi Beta Capa" (game of the day Nov-28-2014)
Moscow (1914), Moscow RUE, rd 1, Feb-04
Queen's Gambit Declined: Orthodox Defense. Main Line (D63)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Video analysis of this game:
Jan-20-18  Whitehat1963: Stockfish suggests: 27.Nd4 Qf6 28.a3 g6 29.Qd3 Nf4 30.Qf1 Nd5 31.Qd3
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: I love weak back rank tricks of this kind. Of course, 30.Rc2 or 30.Rd3 is followed by 30...Qb1+.
Oct-30-19  zb2cr: 29. ... Qb2! exploits White's back rank.

If White plays 30. Rc2, Qb1+; 31. Qf1, Qxc2.

Meantime, the White Queen and Rook are both hanging.

Oct-30-19  Skewbrow: Happy to figure out that 29...Qb2 wins (rather than going for the back rank immediately).

The only defence I had to think about a bit was the counter 30.Rc8, threatening mate, pinning the black rook (and leaving c1 covered in the continuation 30...Rxc8 31.Qxb2). But then, with the white rook also hanging, black can go for the backrank, trade queens and capture c8.

Oct-30-19  patzer2: White's decisive mistake was the pawn grab 27. Nxc3? Nxc3 -+ (-5.03 @ 33 ply, Stockfish 10).

Instead, repeating moves with 27. Nd4 = (0.00 @ 31 ply, Stockfish 10) keeps the game fully level.

Oct-30-19  saturn2: I saw 29...Qb2 30. Rc2 Qb1+ winning a piece.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Level 2: 35... ?
Salwe vs Rubinstein, 1907

click for larger view

Oct-30-19  areknames: A bit too well known for a puzzle perhaps, but good stuff nonetheless.
Oct-30-19  1stboard: Qb2 !!!

Too famous a game.

I find it ironic the two great players never provided a flight square for their King in this game. Otherwise Qb2 would never happen.

Premium Chessgames Member
  piltdown man: Way too famous!
Oct-30-19  malt: Well known game.
Oct-30-19  TheaN: Though sadly, this Capablanca gem is so well known that the key move is probably known to a lot of players. <Still>, working through the problems for White is still great.

After <29....Qb2> the main threat is <forking the queen and rook>. Additionally, Black scopes on another back rank square (a1) so if the defense <leaves the back rank> altogether Black mates. In fact, we can probably deduce the best move in <all> situations, considering White has at best 30 or so moves.

#1) Qxb2 and Qd1 allow <30....R(x)d1#>.

A) After a pawn move, a rook move not to c2, c8 or d3, Qd2 and Kh1 Black simply plays <30....QxQ> -+.

B) Qf3, Qg4, Qh5 abandons the back rank <30....Qb1+ 31.Rc1 Qxc1+ 32.Qd1 Rxd1#>.

C) Qc2 does so too but differently <30....Qa1+ 31.Qc1 Rd1+ 32.Qxd1 Qxd1#>.

D) Qc4, Qb5 and Qa6 allow <30....Rd1+ 31.Qf1 Rxf1+ 32.Kxf1 Qxc3 -+> and mate soon.

E) Rc2, Rc8 and Rd3 are tricky because White threatens to abuse Black's back rank, but now Black solves all threats with the rook to boot <30....Qb1+ 31.Qf1> else the queen just takes whatever interposes with mate <31....Qxf1+ 32.Kxf1 RxR -+>.

F) Qe1 tries to tie all knots, but fails because now the queen's way overworked <30....Qxc3 -+> if 31.Qxc3 Rd1+ 32.Qe1 Rxe1#.

G) Kf1 and Qf1 are probably the best moves by engine, as these are the only moves that 'force' Black to 'just' take the rook <30....Qxc3 -+>. Of course, Black will be able to simplify quickly.

Oct-30-19  eblunt: 30 Rd3 might have been worth an attempt for the swindle ...
Premium Chessgames Member
  Diocletian: The best enjoyments of life are found in its festival of genius.
Oct-30-19  TheBish: Too famous. This is one of the first games I ever played over from a book. I believe it was one of Chernev's books, maybe The Golden Dozen.
Premium Chessgames Member
  boringplayer: TY < Visayanbraindoctor > for the links to those games.
Premium Chessgames Member
  doubledrooks: <agb2002>: 35...Qe1+ does the trick.

Thanks for the problem.

Dec-26-19  Jaadoo: White can be saved by 30-Rb3
Dec-26-19  Jaadoo: 30....Q-a2 31-Qd3
Mar-28-20  SpamIAm: <Jaadoo>, if white plays 30.Rb3 then black simply plays 30...Qxe2.
Nov-15-20  damafe: Another game in Queen's Gambit series :D
Mar-13-21  C. Auguste Dupin: A Capa classic. Any move Bernstein makes is losing. But, we have to appreciate his aesthetic sense to leave it just there. The final position is beautiful.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <VBD....When the masters of his time tried to outcombine Capablanca, they had better be sure that their combinations were utterly correct, because the Cuban chess machine had already figured it out even before they embarked on the combination.>

Capablanca's abilities in his prime were indeed extraordinary--he had no equal in that quick sight of the board and deadly accuracy which characterised his play at its zenith.

Apr-15-21  Stolzenberg: <29. ... Qb2>
A little summary:
30. Qxb2 Rd1#
30. Rc2 Qb1+
30. Qe1 Qxc3
30. Rd3 Qb1+
30. Rc8 Qb1+
30. Qd3 Qa1+
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