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Jose Raul Capablanca vs Frank James Marshall
New York (1927), New York, NY USA, rd 11, Mar-06
Benoni Defense: Fianchetto Variation (A62)  ·  1/2-1/2
ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-02-09  Travis Bickle: Capa and Marshall in a 60 move fight that ends in draw.
Jul-27-09  visayanbraindoctor: This is the game where the Knight maneuver Nd2 followed by Nc4 is introduced, by none other than the founder of the Modern Benoni himself, Capablanca.
Jul-27-09  AnalyzeThis: Did Capa play the Modern Benoni with black? Marshall certainly did.
Jul-27-09  visayanbraindoctor: <AnalyzeThis: Did Capa play the Modern Benoni with black? Marshall certainly did.>

Probably not on purpose from the first move. Certainly Capablanca steered this game from round 5 Alekhine vs Capablanca, 1927 into a Modern Benoni by transposition when he had the opportunity. This particular game itself (Capablanca vs Marshall, 1927) occurred in Round 11. Marshall thought to use Capa's own weapon against him. However, it's possible that Marshall already got interested in the Modern Benoni in the New York 1924 tournament when Capa employed it for the first time in chess history with colors reversed in this game Capablanca vs Janowski, 1924. Please see my little research in Benoni (A61).

Because of Capa's role in the Modern Benoni's founding, I believe it should properly be named as the Capablanca Benoni (or the Capablanca System or the Capablanca Opening or the Capablanca Game).

Even after the thrashing Nimzo gave him in a later round (Round 17) in this game Nimzowitsch vs Marshall, 1927 Marshall did not give up.

He once again employed it against Capablanca (of all people!) this time in this game Capablanca vs Marshall, 1928.

Capablanca who had an uncanny sense of danger must have suspected that Marshall had prepared a novelty against the Knight maneuver to c4 (Nf3 - Nd2 - Nc4), which Capa himself employed for the first time in chess history in this particular game itself (Capablanca vs Marshall, 1927) and which Nimzowitsch later also used (Nimzowitsch vs Marshall, 1927 - click on the link above). So he sidestepped any Marshall prep by employing an entirely different strategy. This time he developed his KB to d3, his KN to e2, buttressed his c4 square with b3, opened up the center and the d-file by dxe6, retreated his KB on d3 to c2 thereby allowing the use of the d-file, and then transferred his major pieces to the d-file as rapidly as possible. Marshall got caught off-guard and quickly lost a pawn, and eventually the game. After the thrashing that Nimzo and Capa gave him, Marshall seemed to have given up on the Modern Benoni.

Ironically, it was Capablanca himself who probably ruined his creation's reputation.

Feb-05-12  Naniwazu: <visayanbraindoctor: This is the game where the Knight maneuver Nd2 followed by Nc4 is introduced, by none other than the founder of the Modern Benoni himself, Capablanca.>

Then why does the chessgames database have games dating back to 1899 where the Modern Benoni was played?

Feb-05-12  King Death: <visayanbraindoctor: ...Certainly Capablanca steered this game from round 5 Alekhine vs Capablanca, 1927 into a Modern Benoni by transposition when he had the opportunity.>

The game you mention isn't a Modern Benoni, it's a line of the Queen's Indian that was unpopular for Black although Capablanca managed to win this game anyway. In the 1980s then in the 2000s the variation was revived but Black has scored poorly in it.

Games Like Alekhine vs Capablanca, 1927

Feb-05-12  fokers13: Why on earth did Capa drop a pawn and didn't play either 34.Bd3 or d6 both of which are probably winning?:(
Feb-05-12  visayanbraindoctor: <Naniwazu: Then why does the chessgames database have games dating back to 1899 where the Modern Benoni was played>

Most of these games were Czek/ Hromadka Benoni. It was only in the 1920s that the Modern Benoni was played regularly and treated in the modern manner, beginning with Capablanca vs Janowski, 1924. (Note that this was a reverse modern Benoni, but one can just imagine that White is Black and Black is White.)

<King Death: The game you mention isn't a Modern Benoni, it's a line of the Queen's Indian that was unpopular for Black although Capablanca managed to win this game anyway. In the 1980s then in the 2000s the variation was revived but Black has scored poorly in it.>

You are right in that it begins as a QID. Chess sources would thus classify it as such. My belief is that Capablanca deliberately steered it into a Benoni type set-up a bit later, hoping to steer away from Alekhine's prep and into an opening terrain in which he was more at home.

Feb-05-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Marshall defended well in this endgame.
Jan-03-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jonathan Sarfati: Marshall was a very good endgame player; below Lasker and Capablanca but better than most of his peers. This is documented in Soltis's biography http://www.amazon.com/Frank-Marshal...
Jan-03-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Oh great. Now we have Marshall as an endgame genius?

Sorry, but his games show that he was weak in the endgame.

Jan-03-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Perhaps he should have studied Fine's or Smyslov's books.
Jan-03-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jonathan Sarfati: Marshall had justifiable confidence in his ability to outplay most European masters in the endgame. Here are some examples:

Teichmann vs Marshall, 1911
Tarrasch vs Marshall, 1914
Nimzowitsch vs Marshall, 1925
Marshall vs G Marco, 1904

I haven't got the Soltis book with me at present.

May-21-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  BAJones: This game abounds in 'petit combinations', which were a hallmark of Capablanca's play, namely 25.Bxh6, 31.Nxd6, 50.d6, 53.h5! (after which, Black's remaining pawns are all lined-up on the 5th. rank, ready to be captured one after the other), and 60.Kc3. Marshall just manages to escape, most players would have succumbed.
Jul-11-18  DEEPAK KUMAR: Do anybody know about improved marshal attack?
Jul-11-18  Howard: How do you mean ?
Feb-01-19  ughaibu: Who invented the modern benoni? Maybe Pollock is the best candidate: Von Bardeleben vs W Pollock, 1895 and Burn vs W Pollock, 1895.
Feb-01-19  Whitehat1963: Stockfish thinks Capa missed an opportunity:

+2.43 (22 ply) 34.d6 Rb4 35.Rc1 Qxe4 36.Qxe4 Rbxe4 37.Rxc5 Rd8 38.Bc4 Be5 39.Rc7 Bxd6 40.Bxf7+ Kf8 41.Bxg6 Bxc7 42.Bxe4 Rd2 43.h4 Be5 44.h5 Bd4 45.h6 Rxf2+ 46.Kh3 Rf6 47.Ra8+ Ke7 48.h7 Rf8 49.Ra5

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