Members · Prefs · Laboratory · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing

Jose Raul Capablanca vs Harry Golombek
Margate (1939), Margate ENG, rd 7, Apr-19
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Classical. Noa Variation (E34)  ·  1-0


explore this opening
find similar games 1,166 more games of Capablanca
PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

TIP: You can change the color of the light and dark squares by registering a free account then visiting your preferences page. Or, you can change it with the "SETTINGS" link in the lower right.

PGN Viewer:  What is this?
For help with this chess viewer, please see the Olga Chess Viewer Quickstart Guide.

Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-03-05  Saruman: Ra1 coming up and the queen is trapped.
Dec-03-05  CapablancaFan: Typical Capablanca. By the way this guy (Golombek) wrote a very fine book on Capablanca's best games.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: <By the way this guy (Golombek) wrote a very fine book on Capablanca's best games.>

The book in question is <Capablanca's Hundred Best Games.>(1947) That book has him credited as "GM" Harry Golombek.In actuality, he was an International Master.(1950) Only later getting the honorary title of Grandmaster in 1983.

Sep-03-06  R.Sergiu: " It was a unique feeling of helplessness. Of course, I knew very well I was outclassed not only by him but also by all the other seven world champions against whom I have played. But at least when I played them I had the feeling (often illusory) that there was at least a chance for me, possibly to draw and even, on rare occasion, to win. In the game with Capablanca there was no such feeling. Even my first move looked a little suspect to me!" Harry Golombek impresions from the game
Sep-21-06  woodenbishop: Harry Golombek published a very informative and interesting book called "Golombek's Encyclopedia of Chess" in the USA in 1977 by Crown Publishers, Inc.

I recommend it to anyone who has a passion for the history of chess.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jonathan Sarfati: Golombek's book describes this encounter:

"An impeccably played game by White, typical of his seemingly effortless simplicity. "

May-21-07  micartouse: 12. Bg3 sets a little trap I failed to notice: ... Nh5? 13. Nxd5! with a standard Carlsbad structure combo.

Can anyone explain the idea behind the 18. Na4 maneuver? I see it works out and all, but I don't know why he hit upon the move; it seems pointless to me. Why didn't White just play b5 or something?

May-21-07  euripides: <micar> usually White wants to control c5 before playing b5 in this structure. Here 18.b5 c5 doesn't look absolutely clear though I guess it's good for White; the b5 breakthrough in the game is clearer.
May-21-07  micartouse: <euripides: usually White wants to control c5 before playing b5 in this structure.>

Excellent, thanks!

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <micartouse> Not sure how applicable it is to Capablanca-Golombek specifically, but the generaly utility of controlling c5 with this kind of pawn structure is vividly illustrated in this game:

Rubinstein vs S Takacs, 1926

May-21-07  micartouse: <keypusher> Thanks - I like these kind of games. I figure I can never calculate like Capa and Rubinstein, but maybe some of these quiet ideas will help me in a crunch.

It all clicks now. Prevent a possible c5 response. Otherwise, Black gets rid of his weakness!

May-21-07  Nasruddin Hodja: <micartouse>: fyi, Capablanca seldom engaged in concrete calculation of variations, and in fact he supposedly even used to boast "I see only one move ahead--the best move." (though I don't know the source of this remark; it might be apocryphal) What Capablanca and some of his contemporaries such as Rubinstein had was an amazing intuitive feel for positions which made both of them stronger in the endgame than most of their opponents.

This positional strength sometimes had paradoxical tactical effects. I could be wrong, but I doubt Capablanca even set out intentionally to trap black's queen in this game and merely concentrated on the optimal placement for his own pieces. That the black queen ended up trapped (and can only be saved by 29. ... Qa3, losing the exchange) may only have been a byproduct of Capa's positional play.

May-21-07  Wolfgang01: <Nasruddin Hodja> No. Positional strength has often tactical „side-effects“!!

I agree Capa's plan wasn't meant to trap the queen, when he startet his queenside-attack. But when the attack and the plan continued, he saw it some three or five moves later … At last that's, what made Capa world-champion and we stay „patzers“!!

May-21-07  RookFile: Any time you're talking about a world champion, you can only speak in relative terms. So, it's probably true that Capa calculated less than Fischer, for example. However, I'm sure that Capa calculated a lot more than any of us here. He had a wonderful tactical eye, especially for his 'petite combinations'.
May-21-07  euripides: There's a reasonably reputable story where Capablanca explained his opponent's resignation by instantly demonstrating a mate in ten. To him, that may not have felt like calculation.
May-21-07  RookFile: Nobody played blitz chess against Capa and survived. Not Alekhine, not Lasker, not Reuben Fine..... nobody.

It was said that Capa had the 'fastest sight of the board'. I interpret this to mean tactical alertness, especially for petite combinations.

May-21-07  micartouse: Capablanca was a phenomenal calculater if we only go by his relatively few blunders and his effortless combining. We just tend not to think of him that way since he was content to take some b-pawn whereas Alekhine was always possessed by the castled king position. But it's possible that neither really calculated more than the other.

<To him, that may not have felt like calculation.> That's why Capablanca's own words are unreliable. He doesn't even know he's calculating.

Oct-31-07  Cibator: There's a telling comment in the aforementioned book by Golombek (though the comment itself was written in the foreword, by Julius du Mont): something to the effect that Capa was sometimes unexpectedly poor at explaining his own games, probably because he played more by intuition than by conscious calculation.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: <euripides: <micar> usually White wants to control c5 before playing b5 in this structure. Here 18.b5 c5 doesn't look absolutely clear though I guess it's good for White; the b5 breakthrough in the game is clearer.> True in general, but one always have to verify every particular case. After 18.b5 c5 19.dxc5 Bxc5 20.Bxf5 Nxf5 21.Rbd1, the d pawn is a target. White would have a big edge too.
Jan-18-09  MorphysMojo: Capablanca makes it look easy with his simplicity focused play. It's easier to calculate when you have supreme natural talent like he did, and the position is simple, and you are playing a guy who was not in his class. Golombek was very well known, a great author, and a mere IM (awarded GM emeritus only). He finished 7th out of 10 in this tournament with a score of 3.5/5.5, while Capa finished 2nd (behind Keres) going undefeated with a score of 6.5/2.5. Golombek was outclassed for sure. He did well as a Brit, against other Brits, but G.B. of the 30s', 40's and 50s' was not nearly of the quality of play and world power compared to the G.B. players of the 80's, 90's and present. In this game Golombek could have tried Nd7 on either move 17 or 18. Capablancas' minority pawn attack with b5 is superb and gives lasting advantage.
Jul-26-15  RookFile: 12. Bg3 was a terrific move. It doesn't allow ...Ne4 from black, and as noted above, it meets ....Nh5 with 13. Nxd5! winning. As a result, black is left with a cramped game.
NOTE: You need to pick a username and password to post a reply. Getting your account takes less than a minute, is totally anonymous, and 100% free—plus, it entitles you to features otherwise unavailable. Pick your username now and join the chessgames community!
If you already have an account, you should login now.
Please observe our posting guidelines:
  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, profane, raunchy, or disgusting language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, duplicate or nonsense posts.
  3. No malicious personal attacks, including cyber stalking, systematic antagonism, or gratuitous name-calling of any member Iincludinfgall Admin and Owners or any of their family, friends, associates, or business interests. If you think someone is an idiot, then provide evidence that their reasoning is invalid and/or idiotic, instead of just calling them an idiot. It's a subtle but important distinction, even in political discussions.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. No malicious posting of or linking to personal, private, and/or negative information (aka "doxing" or "doxxing") about any member, (including all Admin and Owners) or any of their family, friends, associates, or business interests. This includes all media: text, images, video, audio, or otherwise. Such actions will result in severe sanctions for any violators.
  6. NO TROLLING. Admin and Owners know it when they see it, and sanctions for any trolls will be significant.
  7. Any off-topic posts which distract from the primary topic of discussion are subject to removal.
  8. The use of "sock puppet" accounts to circumvent disciplinary action taken by Moderators is expressly prohibited.
  9. The use of "sock puppet" accounts in an attempt to undermine any side of a debate—or to create a false impression of consensus or support—is prohibited.
  10. All decisions with respect to deleting posts, and any subsequent discipline, are final, and occur at the sole discretion of the Moderators, Admin, and Owners.
  11. Please try to maintain a semblance of civility at all times.
Blow the Whistle See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform a Moderator.

NOTE: Keep all discussion on the topic of this page. This forum is for this specific game and nothing else. If you want to discuss chess in general, or this site, visit the Kibitzer's Café.

Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of, its employees, or sponsors. All Moderator actions taken are at the sole discretion of the Admin and Owners—who will strive to act fairly and consistently at all times.

This game is type: CLASSICAL. Please report incorrect or missing information by submitting a correction slip to help us improve the quality of our content.

Featured in the Following Game Collections[what is this?]
from Middlegame Strategy by jakaiden
by Sven W
from Capablanca's Best Games (Golombek) by Incremental
from Middlegame Strategy by Del ToRo
29 Nc6! blocks only line of retreat of Black a4-queen a tempo
from Capablanca's Best Games (Golombek) by Chessdreamer
by chocobonbon
#3 minority attack
from Aurora by jbo
Jose Raul Capablanca's Best Games
by dcruggeroli
Game 97
from Veliki majstori saha 12 CAPABLANCA (Petrovic) by Chessdreamer
Jose Raul Capablanca's Best Games
by KingG
Jarocadar's favorite games
by Jarocadar
from Middlegame Strategy by Patca63
Round Seven, April 19th
from Margate 1939 by suenteus po 147
Pepitin17's favorite games
by Pepitin17
Simple minority attack win. Capa makes it look easy!
from Development of chess understanding by alligator
Beautiful simplicity
from Malfurion's favorite games - QGD lines/ideas by Malfurion
from Capablanca's Best Games (Golombek) by CherrylandCafe
Iban2's favorite games
by Iban2
Quickly Perhaps Prickly QG Poked Fredthebear
by fredthebear
plus 5 more collections (not shown)

home | about | login | logout | F.A.Q. | your profile | preferences | Premium Membership | Kibitzer's Café | Biographer's Bistro | new kibitzing | chessforums | Tournament Index | Player Directory | Notable Games | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | privacy notice | contact us
Copyright 2001-2019, Chessgames Services LLC