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Jose Raul Capablanca vs Juan Corzo
"Last Bishop of Havana" (game of the day Jul-29-2021)
Capablanca - Corzo (1901), Habana CUB, rd 11, Dec-15
Queen Pawn Game: Krause Variation (D02)  ·  1-0



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Given 167 times; par: 108 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 5 OF 5 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Mar-11-14  visayanbraindoctor: <TheFocus: <visayanbraindoctor> Here are the times for all the games in the Capablanca - Corzo match.

The times are from <The Unknown Capablanca> by Hooper & Brandreth. Originally from British Chess Magazine.

1 Capablanca – Corzo (0:40 – 0:20)
2 Corzo – Capablanca (0:17 – 0:17)
3 Capablanca – Corzo (0:38 – 1:15)
4 Corzo – Capablanca No times given.
5 Capablanca – Corzo (0:45 – 1:10)
6 Corzo – Capablanca (0:21 – 0:10)
7 Capablanca – Corzo (0:20 – 0:40)
8 Corzo – Capablanca (0:40 – 0:05)
9 Capablanca – Corzo (0:24 – 0:43)
10 Corzo – Capablanca (0:55 – 0:35)
11 Capablanca – Corzo (0:42 – 1:35)
12 Corzo – Capablanca (1:02 – 0:19)
13 Capablanca – Corzo (0:28 – 0:40)>

Note game 11, Capablanca – Corzo (0:42 – 1:35), this game.

This 12 to 13 year old played a kind of game that even a super GM would be proud of; and more than that he sacked his Queen in a complicated middlegame and proceeded to play a freakishly precise 60 move ending, all in a freakishly unbelievable 42 minutes. That's less than a minute per move. How can any one play that well that fast? And this a mere kid?

Capablanca would be an unbeatable beast in the World Cup tiebreak quick games and the World Blitz championships.

Sep-09-14  Dave12: Was he really 13 ??
Premium Chessgames Member
  RookFile: Corzo set a neat trap with 59..... Ka6.
60. Kc6, he queens the pawn, stalemate!
Nov-05-14  domradave: Irving Chernov says this game is even better, as far as prodigies go, than Fischer's game against Donald Byrne. I still think Bobby's was better and I still get a thrill when I watch it on
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: To compare this to Byrne-Fischer does neither full credit; for they are both magnificent conceptions by the victor, despite David Levy's mean-spirited and dismissive comments on the latter game in <How Fischer Plays Chess>.
Nov-05-14  gofer: <visayanbraindoctor:That's less than a minute per move.>

0:42 + 1:35 = 137 minutes

60 moves in 137 minutes

2+ minutes per move

The <difference> on the clocks is more telling. Capa was beating hit opponent over the head with his clock, playing (on average) more than three times faster than his opponent. That's going to demoralise most opponents even if the moves are only half decent. But here they are kind of special...

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: White had to be careful not to take the pawn earlier, as two rook pawns would NOT win as the bishop is the wrong color. Capa, or course was careful to guarentee a KNIGHT'S pawn to win with.
Nov-05-14  newhampshireboy: Incredible! Capablanca was the Mozart of chess.
Nov-05-14  lemaire90: 32.Nh4! would have been a beautiful finish to the attack ! : threatening Nxf5 and neutralizing in advance black's text variation defense of Qxf1, because if 32...gxh5, white can attack the pinned rook with 33.Rg1, a threat that Qxf1 would not take care of.

29.Qxb5 is really a stunning move, justifying the dark squared bishop fiachetto played as of move 4, as white's two center pawns can then be unleashed.

Move like this one are really when chess gets beyond me. In an OTB game, I probably would not have considered it. Capa is really an artist.

Nov-15-14  Tal1949: I rate this the best game ever played by a young teenager. Only 42 minutes for the whole game and a Queen sacrifice as well. Remarkable!

Amazingly none of my chess engines want to play the Queen sacrifice, they all prefer to move away. Yet when I show them Capa's move they love it. Very strange.

And the ending was fantastic. First he could have captured at the wrong point and ended up not able to use his bishop on the a8 square, and it also could have been a horrible stalemate on that last move.

60 Kc6?? 60...g1(Q) 61Bxg1 stalemate

Sep-11-16  Albion 1959: On move 56 Capablanca played Kd4, which is just about what everybody else would have played - yes? Because we all know that if he had taken the pawn on a5 the position is a "book" draw because the bishop does not control the queening square a8. However, Rybka actually suggests taking on a5! isolating the a-pawns. This looks as if white can never win now and is analogous to game five of the Karpov v Korchnoi match in 1978. However, as good as Rybka is, it does have a failure to comprehend the long-term nature of certain types of endgames. Here is a case in point.
Premium Chessgames Member
  jackmandoo: Play the middlegame like a magician and the endgame like a machine they said. So he did.
Feb-22-18  hudman653: Wait didn't Capa get to use Corso's time as well? So 42 minutes to make his moves is not quite correct
Feb-22-18  TheFocus: <hudman653: Wait didn't Capa get to use Corso's time as well? So 42 minutes to make his moves is not quite correct>

Well, Corzo got to use Capa's time also, and still lost.

Premium Chessgames Member
  OrangeTulip: I find this Stockfish annotations quite irritating.
Mar-04-19  Garech: What a dazzling game from the 13-year old who has never read a book on chess!
Feb-08-20  BartolomeuJoao: Move 42.Ng8+ is very deep.
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: I just googled the game title, trying to figure out the pun. The only response was this game. So, what does the pun mean?
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Is it a movie or TV show? Famous novel?
Jul-29-21  Brenin: It's a long shot, but there's a film about Idi Amin called The Last King of Scotland.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Whitehat1963: Still love this game!
Jul-29-21  Stanco: My take on the pun:
Juan Corzo was the Cuban champion at the time, therefore once beaten he became the last "bishop" of Havana, becouse the era of minor pieces (read players) of Cuba (or bishops so to say) came to an end! Capablanca was the king! They were "small" players compared to him.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Perhaps it's just a reference to the bishop being the last piece standing. My first thought was "Last Night in Marienbad", but of course that was "Last Year...".

By the way, this game was used as GOTD on Nov-05-14 with the title "Crash Corzo". That's the second time this week we've reused a game with a different pun. If we can do that now, I've got a few doozies to submit!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Whitehat1963: Stockfish suggests that black missed an opportunity: 23...exf5 24. e6 f4 25. Qe2 Rae8 26. Bf5 Nh6 27. Bxg6 Rxe6 28. Ne5 Rgxg6 29. Qf3 Qd6 30. Nxg6+ Rxg6 31. Qe2 Re6 32. Qh5 Nf5 33. Rxe6 Qxe6 34. Qxg5 Ne3+ 35. Kg1 Nxf1 36. Kxf1 Qxh3+ 37. Ke1 Qe3+ 38. Kd1 Qf3+ 39. Kd2 Qe4 40. Qe5+ Kg8.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: I had a Cuba pun put up as GOTD a couple of years back. I submitted

<Our Man in Havana>, using Fischer's teletype game to play a Cuba tournament. Fischer was playing from the Marshall Chess Club in Manhattan, if memory serves. Cuba became off limits for American sportsmen and business people after Castro took control.

Our Man in Havana was a British comedy about a bumbling MI-5 'spy', a spoof on the James Bond franchise.

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