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

(If you register a free account you won't see all these ads!)
Aron Nimzowitsch vs Jose Raul Capablanca
"The Other Immortal Zugzwang" (game of the day Feb-01-2009)
New York (1927), New York, NY USA, rd 15, Mar-13
Caro-Kann Defense: Advance Variation (B12)  ·  0-1
ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

Click Here to play Guess-the-Move
Given 79 times; par: 90 [what's this?]

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

NOTE: You are using our new chess viewer, "Olga." For more info see the Olga Quickstart Guide. You can switch back to the old viewer (pgn4web) from the pulldown menu below. If you have questions or suggestions see our Olga chessforum.

explore this opening
find similar games 10 more Nimzowitsch/Capablanca games
PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

TIP: You can get computer analysis by clicking the "ENGINE" button below the game.

PGN Viewer:  What is this?
For help with this chess viewer, please see the Olga Chess Viewer Quickstart Guide.
PREMIUM MEMBERS CAN REQUEST COMPUTER ANALYSIS [more info]

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 7 OF 7 ·  Later Kibitzing>
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
Premium Chessgames Member
  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
Premium Chessgames Member
  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  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
Premium Chessgames Member
  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
Premium Chessgames Member
  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  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.

May-10-17  User not found: There's no coming back from the 36th move onwards so it's pointless talking about move 42 or whatever, but this is the point of no return.. kg2?


click for larger view

If 36.Rxc4 or e4 it's still slightly in blacks favour but with all the major pieces in a kinda zugzwang white could draw the game if played accurately.. It's a complicated game at the best of times but this is one of the best examples I've come across in an early 20th century game in quite a while.

Nov-04-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: It is but Nimzovich didn't need to lose. Capablanca's method included, in this case, keeping the Queens on. Nimzovich played to passively overall but not badly until 16. ... g5

Keene wrote a book about Nimzovitch (I'l use the easier spelling) which quite detailed although someone said he omitted analysis by Larsen etc. His point in general that Nimzovich has some very good ideas and played some great games.

I think that Keene's point at the end is relevant. Capablanca's decision to swap Bishops is 'disputed' by the computer. I went through this game last night as it is in a book on strategy and tried to work out what Capa would play. I had a knight retreat and also the capture only after I realised the other N could well get to f5. But Stockfish here prefers

16. ... Nfg7

By the way, later two moves are very important by Capablanca.

1) 29. ... a5

Here while Black is better, White is not lost at all. (But his g4 is surprising as a GM says, 'especially made by Nimzovich' (I think there are psychological factors working here, the errors are strange but in a real OTB game they are sometimes inexplicable, and immediately after the game we all realise the mistake or silliness of the move).

An the other good move by Capa was

2) 35. ... Qb5

But these are "grandmaster moves" perhaps not computer perfect but instructive.

Nov-04-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: The key position, the position is =


click for larger view

Now Nimzovich "disobeys" his own positional instincts and evaluation and plays 16. g4?


click for larger view

This isn't fatal but from now on his position is difficult. Black has a small (but not winning) advantage. Then this weakness causes, probably for psychological and other reasons more errors and so on.

Nov-04-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: From here Capablanca makes use of the major pieces (Rooks and Queen) to eventually break through. It is not forced but Capablanca knew it would be difficult to defend White's position.
Jump to page #    (enter # from 1 to 7)
search thread:   
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 7 OF 7 ·  Later Kibitzing>
NOTE: You need to pick a username and password to post a reply. Getting your account takes less than a minute, 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, or profane language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, or duplicating posts.
  3. No personal attacks against other members.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. No posting personal information of members.
Blow the Whistle See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform an administrator.


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, you might try the Kibitzer's Café.
Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of Chessgames.com, its employees, or sponsors.
Spot an error? Please submit a correction slip and help us eliminate database mistakes!
This game is type: CLASSICAL (Disagree? Please submit a correction slip.)

Featured in the Following Game Collections [what is this?]
Examplary blockade game
from MJCB favorite games by MJCB
beautiful squeeze
from positional by old coot
Game 103
from Garry Kasparov's On My Great Predecessors (1A) by nakul1964
500 Master Games
by Prefontaine
bobbyboomer's favorite games
by bobbyboomer
franskfranz's favorite games as black
by franskfranz
EVERY MOVE HAS A MEANING
from PuReZHHa by Jaredfchess
"The Immortal Games of Capablanca" by Reinfeld
from Schiller's First. Fredthebears Third?!? by fredthebear
JoseTigranTalFischer's favorite games
by JoseTigranTalFischer
Capa defeats the hyper-modern master, gives les in "My System."
from Chess genius - and Original GM: J.R. Capablanca! by LIFE Master AJ
Round 15 March 13th
from New York 1927 by Benzol
Nimzowitsch's Immortal Punishment
from 03_Heavy pieces in action: pure QRR middlegames by whiteshark
0711 C-K; overwicht van z op damevleugel; DTT/DTT
from Q. Voorstander's nagespeelde partijen by Q. Voorstander
Game 12 [4. ...Qb6]
from Beating the Caro-Kann (Kotronias) by AdrianP
Game 52
from Masters of the Chessboard (Reti) by Qindarka
SG-7
from Strategy Giant: Nimzo by Domdaniel
Capablanca's Best Chess Endings
by nakul1964
28
from Caro-Kann : Move by Move by jakaiden
Caro-Kann Defense: Advance Variation
from ANNOTATED GAMES by gambitfan
zugzwang mania!
by grook
plus 185 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 2001-2017, Chessgames Services LLC