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Aron Nimzowitsch vs Jose Raul Capablanca
"The Other Immortal Zugzwang" (game of the day Feb-01-09)
New York (1927)  ·  Caro-Kann Defense: Advance Variation (B12)  ·  0-1
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Given 79 times; par: 90 [what's this?]

Annotations by Raymond Keene.      [406 more games annotated by Keene]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 7 OF 7 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-23-09  WhiteRook48: two fascinating Zugzwangs
Sep-15-09  Wayne Proudlove: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWNs...
May-19-10  thickhead: <keypusher: <paladinatlarge> <Jedi> I checked with Shredder. Strongest after 46. Kh3 is 46....Rc2 47. Qg3 h4. But 46....Rc3 47. Rg3 h4 (there it is again) is quite good enough. > the second option 46....Rc3 47.Rg3 h4 on first look I thought is not correct due to 48.Kxh4 but on second thought 48.... Qd1 solves it.
May-19-10  thickhead: Actually White was in zwugzwang on move 45.White had to close the position by 46.b3 which suits white well since his weakness of b pawn in case of exchange of pieces is of no consequence now. Alternative 45.Rb3 turns out badly after 45....Qe4. 46.Rxb4 Rd3+ 47.Kh4 Rf3.Also 45...Re3 disallowing Black Q access to e4 is not possible because of disruption of Q support to d pawn.I have not gone through all 6 pages of kibitzing. If mine is a repetetion of somebody's comment I am sorry.
Jul-08-10  igiene: "One might suppose from this game that Capablanca had carefully read My System and then used all the theories contained therein against their inventor!" One might also suppose that Nimzo intentionally played passively to let Capa show the correctness of Nimzo's theories. If you consider the love for paradox , typical of great Nimzovitch, it's possible.
Oct-16-10  sevenseaman: Whatever White does, Black will eat into his position like a termite.
Jan-10-11  Salaskan: Nimzo defended too passively; if he pressured with 32.Qh4 Re4 33.Rf2 Kg6 34.Rh3 Rh8 he would've drawn easily because black can't make any progress.

After move 45, if white passes black can also simply play Qd1-Rxb3 and queening.

Feb-06-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: This game has been video annotated here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ms7R...

Feb-06-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <Salaskan: Nimzo defended too passively; if he pressured with 32.Qh4 Re4 33.Rf2 Kg6 34.Rh3 Rh8 he would've drawn easily because black can't make any progress.>

That leads to this position:


click for larger view

Statically speaking, it looks like Black is slightly better. White's rook and queen are being stopped by just a rook, which suggests Black should have a shot at doing something on the queenside, but it is not clear what. White will keep the h-rook on the third rank, and that appears sufficient to stop everything, especially if Black plays ...a4, which fixes the position. In any event, you are right that Nimzo's chance was with making sure Capa would always have to keep that rook on h8 or only one tempo away from h8.

Must have been nerve-racking to be on the defensive side of a slow positional game against Capablanca!

Aug-31-13  notyetagm: Nimzowitsch vs Capablanca, 1927

<<<<notyetagm:>>> This game is just the most beautiful positional squeeze. Special Prize for the Best Played Game indeed. I also love Capa's crushing of Alekhine with the 2 knight outposts on b3/d3 and his First Brilliancy Prize Game miniature victory over Spielmann from the same New York 1927 Tournament. Still can't believe he lost 6-3 to Alekhine just a few months later.>

My very first kibitz on <CG.COM>, on March 15, 2004.

Aug-31-13  JoergWalter: <notyetagm> see how good Nimzowitsch's system is? When Capablanca applied it the inventor was helpless...
Aug-31-13  notyetagm: Nimzowitsch vs Capablanca, 1927

<JoergWalter: <notyetagm> see how good Nimzowitsch's system is? When Capablanca applied it the inventor was helpless...>

LOL

Aug-31-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  parisattack: <Fusilli ...Must have been nerve-racking to be on the defensive side of a slow positional game against Capablanca!>

Nimzo almost always looked helpless against Alekhine and Capablanca. Sure they were superior, but not *that* much more - so think there must have been some sort of psychological block.

As a big fan of Nimzo its tough even to play over some of those games for me.

Aug-31-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: <paris> ditto. Reminds me a bit of playing over Kasparov vs the computers.
Jan-07-14  john barleycorn: <kbob> Alekhine comments from the tournament book: (my translation)

<10.a3! [...]

The surprise attack
10.b4 would produce anything good:

10.... Qxb4!
11.Nb5 Na6
12.Ba3 Qa5
13.Bxc5 Nxc5
14.Nd6+ Kd7!
15.Qg3 Rhg8
16.Nxf7 Nf5 etc.
with advantage for black.>

Jan-07-14  john barleycorn: I think Nimzowitsch "learned" his respect for Capablanca early:

<During the course of the tournament many incidents of more or less interest took place. Niemzowitch, who considered himself very superior to me and others in the tournament, became very arrogant during the course of one of his lightning games against Bernstein, saying, because of a remark that I made, that I should not interfere in their game, as they were reputed masters and I had yet to become one. The outcome of his discourteous remark was a series of quick games for a side bet, which I won with ridiculous ease, and ended by his retracting the statement he had previously made.>

from: My Chess Career by Capablanca

Feb-13-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  kbob: <john barleycorn> Thanks, though I appear to have withdrawn my original comment. And Kasparov in PredecessorsI prefers to refute 10. b4 with 10. ...Bxb5 11. Rb1 Qa5
Apr-12-14  Conrad93: What's wrong with 18. f5!?
Aug-21-14  Chessman1504: A fine game representative of Capablanca at his best. This is not an extremely complicated tactical position. It's a simple, classic demonstration of the third world champion's genius for planning and intuitive grasp of position. A fine effort indeed.
Sep-13-14  princecharming: I feel kind of silly offering a substitute move for the key play of the game (the zugzwang), but I would have played 45...Rd2 instead. If Queen takes 46.Qxd2, then 46...h4+ and wherever the King moves, 47...Qxf3. White can do nothing to stop the mate next move short of offering his Queen up for nothing. If Queen doesn't take, White is not going to be much better off than if it does.
Sep-21-14  Chessman1504: Well, if 46...h4+, then simply 47. Kf2 and I don't see any way for Black to make progress. If 47...Qxh2, Ke3 or Ke1 defends.
Apr-12-15  Atking: "but it is not clear what." Fusilli why not something similar to the game Qb3-Qd1-Re1 with a decisive attack.
May-20-15  Chessman1504: This is one of the first games I reviewed when I was first seriously interested in chess. This one game amazes me every time. The ability, at least presumably since it is Capablanca, to be able to envision a scenario in which Nimzowitsch is so unbelievably cramped that he'll be left without moves despite heavy pieces being on the board, is a stroke of genius. If I could play just one game like this, I would be very happy.
May-20-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  RookFile: Nimzo brings out his prize bishop on move 4 and swaps it off for black's problem bishop. But he does succeed later in getting rid of his own problematic c1 bishop. Against a lesser player Nimzo gets his draw, but not Capa.
Mar-12-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: This game was played 90 years ago today. It is famous for showing a top player doing absolutely nothing. Nimzowitsch plays 18. g5 and then gives up. He shuffles his queen and rooks around until they run out of moves. He must have had a huge inferiority complex against the mighty Cuban.

Anyway, I play this type of Caro-Kann as Black myself, so I think it is a superb victory.

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