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Jose Raul Capablanca vs Miguel Najdorf
Margate (1939), Margate ENG, rd 3, Apr-14
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Classical. Noa Variation (E34)  ·  1/2-1/2


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Kibitzer's Corner
May-29-03  tud: How about 20f5. It seems like Capablanca missed the opportunity here.
May-29-03  drukenknight: no I dont think so; black is behind in material so he wants to attack the K. so 20 f5 Qe3+ 21 Qe3 Qc1+ 22 Qd1 QxQ 23 KxQ then either the B or a R gives check.

Yes black is only down by one pawn, no big deal but that is when you should rely on theory as much as possible, becuase the game is so close.

If theory is true (that black should attack after he lost the e pawn) then maybe he should play Qh6 on move 18 not 19.

That is how minor mistakes can be at this level. I dont know for sure if that was mistake but just off the top it might be...

Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: Why didn't Capa win this game a pawn up? Putting the rook out of play with Rxh6 and Rh5 would seem to be the culprit. Maybe he should give up the exchange at that point with 26.bxc5 gxh6 27.e5 etc. What do you think?
Feb-09-06  Resignation Trap: <Calli> <<Why didn't Capa win this game a pawn up?>>

Perhaps Najdorf can answer this. This is what he wrote in 1969 about this game:

"Vain and proud as I was, I thought I had 'made it' as a chessplayer because I had a chance to do battle with an acknowledged chess genius. Under the sway of my emotions, I came out with my prepared opening; Capablanca meanwhile was totally relaxed. Two very pretty women were following his actions as if mesmerized. Without ever taking his eyes off them for long, he built up a commanding initiative. My position went steadily downhill, and the most galling thing for me was the sense of being disdained and made a fool of. In my desperation I tried reminding myself: 'Being beaten by Capablanca isn't a calamity. It's an honor just to have sat opposite him at a chessboard.' Yet I couldn't shake off the feeling of humiliation. 'To hell with chess,' I thought. 'I'm going to devote myself to other things. I'm going to invent a <new> game.' With my head spinning, I set a trap, and Capablanca, true to his usual practice, made his reply without thinking for very long. Luckily for me it was an oversight, and he was soon forced to give up some material. Immediately he offered a draw. I refused."

When Najdorf declined the Cuban's offer with only one minute left on his clock for 17 moves, the word spread like wildfire among the spectators: "That man's mad or a genius!" ("Nowadays we know that he's both!"- Max Euwe )

As a result of some further errors the game ended in a draw after all. At the time, Najdorf thought: "It's a triumph to draw with Capablanca of all players, but I'm damned if I don't owe it to those two women who've been devouring him with their eyes."

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jim Bartle: Great story.
Jul-17-08  DiscoJew: Resignation Trap
Great story!!!Both obvios gentlemen and all around PIMP's of there day. I would have sat right there and tried getting both those girls right from Capa, Najdorf could help. I WOULD share. My play is elevating itself to a type of Najdorf-Capa esque sorta thing so this story had special meaning for me. Clifford G in Oz B Tell me ya found this one man!!
Jun-10-09  WhiteRook48: Capablanca must be in love...
Jun-10-09  visayanbraindoctor: Capablanca was probably in love with all pretty women. I wonder if the stereotype of the suave Latin lover began with him?

BTW, Najdorf's remarkable story has similarities with the masters who actually had the opportunity to play Capablanca. They all regarded his chess abilities with the highest esteem.

Mar-15-11  ughaibu: What was the time limit?
Jul-12-15  Zonszein: 8:30PM!

Otherwise Capablanca would be late to his rendez-vous galant And he hated that

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <I wonder if the stereotype of the suave Latin lover began with him?>

To quote Wreck-It Ralph, “Ha!...and, no.”

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