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Jose Raul Capablanca vs Nikolai Riumin
Moscow (1936), Moscow URS, rd 3, May-16
Old Indian Defense: General (A53)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-21-05  mjk: Black suffers an attack of blindness on move 26.
Dec-30-05  setebos: Maybe Riumin had a hot date and was running late.
May-20-07  CapablancaFan: What a game! Riumin going for an immortal sacs his queen on move 26! Wait a minute, Riumin sacced his queen on move 26? LOL!
May-20-07  paladin at large: Overall, Riumin played Capa tough, and Capa respected him. Here is Capa's comment after Riumin blundered away his queen: "A terrible mistake, which immediately forces Black to capitulate. Riumin had eight minutes left for 14 moves, and he was naturally beginning to grow nervous. A great pity, since the game was setting both players very difficult problems....."
Premium Chessgames Member
  fm avari viraf: "To err is human & To accept it is real Humane".
Sep-29-07  laskereshevsky: <Here is Capa's comment.....:Riumin had eight minutes left for 14 moves, and he was naturally beginning to grow nervous....>

its interesting to comparaise this with the RYUMIN's comment in th tournamenz book: < One is not supposed to get agitated in time-trouble, but if there is only a MINUTE of thinking time left for 14 moves, then, understandably, it is not easy to keep a clear head!..>

Sep-29-07  Calli: Capablanca's 8 min for 14 moves seems more reasonable than Riumin's 1 min. Would he really put himself in a situation where he had to play a move every 4 seconds against Capa? Perhaps it is a bad translation of Riumin's comment?
Sep-29-07  paladin at large: <Calli> Very plausible. Apart from that, it sounds better as an excuse for the blunder to say that you only had one minute for 14 moves. In the darkest time of Stalin's Soviet Union, I imagine everybody was under enormous pressure.
Sep-29-07  Calli: Capablanca, BTW, wrote his comments for the tournament bulletin, so the game was fresh in his mind. Perhaps Riumin, without mentioning the 8 minutes, wrote that he could think a maximum of one minute per move on the remaining 14 moves. The normal strategy since spending several minutes on a move would surely lose in the end anyway even if you found the correct move. The translator might have misinterpreted the statement. Someone with the original Russian text could, of course, check it.
Apr-09-08  T.Ramesh: In case the blunder was not made, then Riumin would have moved the queen to b6 or a7. The position with accurate play would eventually end up in a draw.
Jul-06-12  Al2009: To explain his blunder, Riumin wrote:
"I was in time trouble, but suddenly I saw a "combination": 26...Nc5 followed by 27...Qxf2+ and 28...Nd3+ gaining a piece. I immediately moved the Knight in c5 and pressed the button". Unfortunately for Riumin, his "combination" had a little flaw: his Queen was "en prise", and Capablanca took it.
Jul-06-12  Calli: To Err is Riumin?
Mar-01-13  IndigoViolet: Picture from this game:
Mar-02-13  paul1959: The photograph does question the actual move order as it seems to show that Black moved the Knight to g7 before pushing a7-a5.
Mar-02-13  IndigoViolet: Your eyes must be better than mine. When Capa annotated this game for <64>, the move order appeared as above.

I like his comment on 13...f6. <To be honest, I did not understand this move.> He recommends ...Kh8.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: <paul1959 & IndigoViolet> The game position photograph on Winter's site does appear to be inconsistent with the gamescore.

In the photograph, all of White's first 11 moves can clearly be determined. In addition, based on the position of his clock time button, it appears to be White's turn to move. However, in the photograph, the Black pawn is still on a7, and the Black knight appears to have made his move from e8 to g7.

From my observation of the photograph and the gamescore, it appears Black has played 11...Ne8g7, and that 12.a3 a5 will be the next moves in the game.

However, the databases I checked, and the Caissa Editions tournament book, give the same move order as we have on

The photographic evidence appears to be strong, can anyone find additional information to help resolve this mystery?

Mar-03-13  IndigoViolet: My guess is that what you think is the knight on g7 is actually the pawn on g6.

BTW, the link to the picture has changed:

Mar-06-13  Tired Tim: And further debate today - and a better picture - seems to reinforce the doubts over the accepted move order
Mar-07-13  paul1959: The picture and contemporary scores indicate that the move order is 11-O-O Ng7
12-Bh6 a5
13-a3 f6

It seems that Capablanca himself gave the wrong move order in his annotations to the game for a special edition of 64 and that Riumin used that version to give his own notes.

Feb-23-17  ughaibu: So, if neither of them could even remember the correct move order, how much faith can we have in their memories of the remaining time?
Feb-23-17  RookFile: I thought 13....Bg5 would have been a good try. Stockfish appears to agree with me after a couple of minutes thought. Black may have thought that the f6 and h6 squares would be weak but I see no way for white to exploit them.

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