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Jacob Bernstein vs Jose Raul Capablanca
Rice Memorial (1916), New York, NY USA, rd 7, Jan-25
Four Knights Game: Spanish. Symmetrical Variation (C49)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Sep-18-07  Kaspablanca: The idea of 28...Rxe3 is to deflect the f pawn thus open the diagonal that allows Capa to play the decisive and killer 29...Qc4!! theating a forced mate on Qe4 and pinning the queen with Rf1!! both threat cant be avoided, so 30 Rg5 was forced to avoid mate but couldnt avoid Rf1 winning the queen, that`s why 29...Qc4 was the winning move, great tactical shot by the chess machine!.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: There's 28. .Rxe3 of course, but all that does is clear a path for the other rook to go to f1, where it can't go.

What else? Playing ...Qxe4+ would be effective, but the only way there is via 28...Qc4 and White can defend.

But ah-ha! The queen on c4 would also cover f1, so I bet 28. ..Rxe3 29.fxe3 Qc4 is the sequence -- with further variations, of course.

Sep-07-17  Walter Glattke: 30.Rf5 Rxf5 31.exf5 Qe4+ 32.Qg2 Qxg2+
33.Kxg2 Kf7 is won ending for black.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: 30.Rf5 Qxe4+ looks considerably simpler.
Sep-07-17  ChessHigherCat: Very hard to find anything there, but I think the first move must be 28...Qc4 threatening 1) Rxe3 followed by Rf1, pinning the Q and 2) Qxe4 with a strong potential discovered check. = If 29. Qg5 30. Qf1+ Qg1 31. Rxe3 and if fxe3 then 32. Qf3+ Qg2 33. Qd1+ Kg2 (Qg1?? 34. Rf1!) 34. Qe2+ Kg3 (Kh8? 35. Rf1!) 35. Rf3+ has to either mate or win the rook.

Lez checkydoubt maaaaaaaaaaaan!

Sep-07-17  ChessHigherCat: Well, having checktidoubt maaan, I messed up some of the subvariants but I still think this variant works:

28....Qc4 29. Qg5 (Qe1/c1 Rxe3 fxe3 Rf1+) Qf1+ 30. Qg1 Rxe3 31. fxe3 Qf3+ 32. Qg2 Qd1+ 33. Qg1 Rf1

Sep-07-17  ChessHigherCat: As a final P.S. (I promise!), in the subvariant 28....Qc4 29. Qe1/c1 Rxe3 30. Qxe3 Qf1#
Sep-07-17  ChessHigherCat: P.S.S. Damn, I hallucinated with Rxe3 in the first variant, it has to be like this:

28. Rxh5 Qc4 29. Qg5 Qf1+ 30. Qg1 Qc4 31. Qg4 Rxe3

Sep-07-17  patzer2: Seeing as how it was Capablanca playing the Black pieces, it was easy to guess the first move of today's Thursday (28.?) would be simplification with 28. Rxe3!! 29. fxe3, after which Black has several winning options.

However, the strongest of ,Black's second move alternatives is 29...Qc4! threatening a decisive pin on the Queen with 30...Rf1 or a winning Queen fork after 30. Rf5? Qxe4+ -+ winning a whole Rook.

The maneuver 30. Rg5 leaves the Rook free to give a few spite checks, but without the Queen being able to join in the attack due to the Rook pin, Black can maneuver the King to safety and then capture the White Queen at his leisure.

P.S.: For an improvement for White, following the popular opening mainline and computer choice 11. h3 ⩲ to =as in Naiditsch vs M Klauser, 2014 looks more advisable than the passive Bishop move 11. Bf1 =.

Sep-07-17  Walter Glattke: Yes, 30.Rf5 Qxe4+ costs the rook.
Sep-07-17  diagonalley: guessed that 28... RxB was probably the key move, but failed to envisage the follow-up (no problem for capa though!)
Sep-07-17  gofer: Well, to me the continuation is obvious; <28 ... Rxe3 29 fxe3>. Job done, nothing more to say.

Black is winning at a canter. White can try to force a stalemate, by sacrificing its rook, at some point, but while the black queen stays on the a2-g8 diagonal it can always come back to help. So regardless of anything else, this is what I would do.

But, after my gut instincts have been reigned in, I started to look at our second move. This is Capablanca's game after all. Surely, there is something more that just a simple positional win available. So <29 ... Qxa2> gets discarded when I find the much better <29 ... Qc4!>. We are still on the a2-g8 diagonal, but now we have MASSIVE threats with Rf1 and Qxe4+.

<28 ... Rxe3>
<29 fxe3 Qc4!>

Ouch! White can resign!

30 Rf5 Qxe4+ -+ Rook lost for nothing!

30 Qg2/h2/h3 Rf1+ -+ Queen lost for a rook

30 Qg4? Qf1+
31 Qg1 Qf3+
32 Qg2 Qd1+
33 Qg1 Rf1 -+ Queen lost for a rook

30 Rg5 Rf1
31 Rxg7+ Kf1 Queen lost for a rook and pawn (the black king will escape to c6 and move into a won Q v R endgame)


I see <notyetagm> and <like a GM> agreed a long time ago...

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: I've solved them all so far this week. This one was a little tricky. It will be harder tomorrow.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: The Ruy lopez they employ looks rather similar to some of the current Ruy Lopez and Guicco Piano lines...

Clearly they played better chess in the days of Capablanca.

Sep-07-17  Altairvega: Eventually the game is won through the promotion of a pawn, the a-pawn of the black. But I moved prematurely the d pawn,28..d5 overlooking the answer 29.Dg5 of the white with threats. May be 29. ..Re3 is a continuation . I have no computer program to consult..
Sep-07-17  malt: 28...R:e3! to open the f file
Sep-07-17  schachfuchs: The only little improvement I might contribute is

30 Qg4? Qf1+
31 Qg1 Qf3+
32 Qg2 Qxh5 ;-)

Sep-07-17  saturn2: I got black's moves 28 and 29. A bit of consolation after yesterday's desaster.
Sep-07-17  malt: On 29...Qc4! 30.Rg5 Q:e4+ 31.Rg2,Qc4
29...Qc4! 30.Rg5 Rf1 31.Rg7+ Kf8
black avoids the checks to reach c6
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: White cannot stop black from pinning the queen.
Premium Chessgames Member
  drollere: i got as far as 29. .. Qc4 with the puzzle and thought at that point white would resign. harassing the black K to the opposite side of the board was a plucky idea to give the Rp a chance to queen, but white is mated when it does.
Sep-07-17  Altairvega: Another thought 28..Rh3. Exchanges favour the side of the superior pawn structure. If 29.Rh3 Qh3 with next destination Qf3+. If 29. Rh5 Qf6 with the same destination to be avoided only by White through exchange of the Queens. The endgame easily to be won by Black. Of course the simplification made by the great Capablanca which also you all have found is much more superior. Just allow me to explore some alternatives, All victorious for Black
Sep-07-17  Whitehat1963: What happens if 13. Qxf3?
Sep-07-17  ughaibu: 13....exd4
Sep-08-17  The Kings Domain: Didn't crack this. Thought of the text move but couldn't see the follow-up and decided on the prosaic 28)... d5 instead. Good game, always nice to see Capa's sacrificial flair.
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