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Alfred Kreymborg vs Jose Raul Capablanca
New York Masters (1911), New York, NY USA, rd 9, Jan-30
Queen Pawn Game: General (D00)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Judging from the number of comments this is not one of Capablanca's famous masterpieces, but there are some interesting points even in these unknown games.

Take 3...c4. We've all been taught not to play this move against a Colle or Stonewall setup. "Don't relax the tension!" and all that. But Capa does it here, and it's absolutely the right decision.

Why? Ask yourself, "What is the purpose of the Bd3 in these situation?" Partly, it's the kingside attack, but more importantly it's the support for the e3-e4 push at a point where White can profit from opening up the center.

Usually, the opportunity for ...c4 by Black comes after White has played c3, allowing the bishop to retreat to c2. From there, it still participates in kingside action and still supports e3-e4--which has been given added oomph because it's precisely what White wants to play to undermine the c4 pawn.

But in this game, White has not played c3. The bishop has to retreat passively, and White is never able to get the activating e4 push in until it's far too late.

Then there's the little tactical interlude beginning with 17...e4 18.c4. I get the impression White is just trying to mess with Capablanca's head, planning to answer 18...exf3 with 19.Qxf5. So Black just counters by protecting or moving the knight, White moves his knight, and we get on with life? Right?

Not quite! Now, Capablanca sees no advantage in releasing the tension, so he just keeps improving his position elsewhere. White goes along with the gag until 21...Qb5! smacks him upside the head.

Now the threat is 22...exf3 23.Qxf5 Qe2, threatening mate and the unprotected bishop on d2--which works because, at this moment, White doesn't have the move Rf1-f2 available. After 22.Ne1 Qe2 White is in a world of hurt; if, say, 23.Qc3 to protect the e-pawn, then 23...Bxf4 24.exf4 e3 25.Bxe3 (25.Bc1 Qf2+ 26.Kh1 Qf1#) 25...Nxe3 with threats of mate on both f1 and g2.

So White gives up the knight and mounts a desperate assault which at least allows him the moral victory of a mate threat. This goes nowhere fast, and Black soon has the chance to trade queens. Naturally, the great master of simplification and endgame play ... spurns the trade and scores with a mating attack of his own.

You don't mess around with Capa.

Jun-22-07  Ziggurat: <Phony> Very perceptive comments.
May-24-09  blacksburg: good stuff, <PB>. i overlooked the significance of 21...Qb5! until i read your comments.
Premium Chessgames Member
  technical draw: This Kreymborg is a pretty strong amateur. Even his opening "mistakes" appear to be just tactical moves. I play a lot of games like this on the internet, players making strange opening moves or making tricky moves that will work against lesser players. But this is Mr. Capablanca. It works against your friends but not against the world champion.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: 22.Kf2?? was simply an awful blunder.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: 3...c4 is nearly justifiable if given an a6 followup but it seems White could have had a slight advantage with the undermining move b3 because of Nc6 being the follow up:

Alfred Kreymborg - Jose Raul Capablanca 0-1 9.0, New York Masters 1911

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Analysis by Stockfish 15 - 3 threads max:

1. ⩲ (0.43): 5...cxb3 6.axb3 e6 7.Nf3 Nf6 8.0-0 b6 9.c4 Bb7 10.Nc3 Bb4 11.Qc2 0-0 12.Ba3 Bxa3 13.Rxa3 Qe7 14.Raa1

As an analogous example of what can go wrong in these positions, there is my "Dark square strangulation" video showing how Karpov health with Polgar when c4 was played:

Also f6 by Capablanca was "shakey" - White misses e4:

Alfred Kreymborg - Jose Raul Capablanca 0-1 9.0, New York Masters 1911

click for larger view

Analysis by Stockfish 15 - 3 threads max:

1. ⩲ (0.59): 11...dxe4 12.Nxc6 bxc6 13.Bxc4 Nd5 14.Qe1 e3 15.Nb3 a5 16.Bxe3 a4 17.Nc5 Qe7 18.Rf2 0-0 19.a3 Ra5 20.Na6 Qb7 21.Nb4 Re8 22.Bd3 Qc7 23.Qd2 Raa8 24.h3 Nxe3 25.Qxe3 c5 26.Na6

So basically two "rule violations" if I were to be objective about the truth in this game and what it might be instructive for :

1) Tension release with c4
2) f6 active operation when king in the center still

This stuff would be punished by modern Grandmasters in my view

Cheers, K

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