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Jose Raul Capablanca vs Samuel Reshevsky
Nottingham (1936), Nottingham ENG, rd 9, Aug-20
Queen's Gambit Accepted: Mannheim Variation (D23)  ·  1-0


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May-15-07  paladin at large: I did some checking - Capa had six games between this game on 20 August and the appearance of his annotations for it in "64" on 30 August in Moscow so, I infer he did not put much time into his analysis.
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  Mateo: Whatever one can say about the unexpected 27...exd5, I would say this is not at all the losing move. The turning point is the strange 42...Kg6?. 42...Kf6 43.Kd3 Ke5 holds, as the White King cannot invade. Maybe 42...Kg6? was based on some miscalculation.
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  Calli: <Mateo> Can White win the b pawn in your line? 44.Nc2 followed by Kc3-Kb4, Nd4
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  Mateo: <Calli: <Mateo> Can White win the b pawn in your line? 44.Nc2 followed by Kc3-Kb4, Nd4> Yes, but Black gets counterplay on the other side. 44.Nc2 Bc6 (only move) 45.Nd4 Be8 46.Kc3 h5! 47.gxh5 Bxh5 48.Kb4 g4 49.fxg4 Bxg4 50.Kxb5 Ke4. It should be a draw, isn't it?
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  Calli: Mateo, yes that should be sufficient. Reshevsky probably did not see this way to draw which explains his move.
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  offramp: A position from the above-mentioned Flohr-Capablanca game:

click for larger view

Sep-08-09  birthtimes: 39. f4 axb3 40. axb3 gxf4 41. exf4 Be8 42. Ke3 Kf7 43. Kd4 Ke6 44. Nb4 Bf7 45. Nc2 Bg6 46. Ne3 b4 47. Nxd5 Bc2 48. f5+ Bxf5 49. Nxb4 Kf6 also draws...
May-04-10  dcloh2003: Thankyou all for your analysis - Calli, Matteo, acirce - you've saved my sleep, which has been lost pondering why Black had to play 50...Be8, and could not have played 50...Kf3 instead. At acirce, 29th June 2006, may I offer the conclusion to White's advantage in Bondarevsky's variation? White indeed has the advantage here, since the Knight and pawn ending is just barely won for White: 57...Kxe4 58.f8Q Qf2+ 59.Ke7 Qxf8+ 60.Kxf8 Kd3 61.Nc5+ Kd4 62.Na6 b4 (immediately attempting to draw by repetition of moves 62...Kc3 fails to 62..b4) 63.Ke7! (dodging the trap 63.Nxb4 Kc3 drawing) 63...Kc3 64.Nc5 Kd4 65.Kd6 after which White can defend the Knight (who in turn defends White's pawn) at the same time as going after Black's pawn.
Dec-05-10  knightmare949: why not 47 gxf4
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  Benzol: <knightmare949> <why not 47 gxf4>

<knightmare949> I imagine if 47...gxf4 then 48.exf4 and Capablanca will have a passed pawn that Reshevsky will have some trouble dealing with.

Mar-19-11  lost in space: Have mercy! With all respect, this was not won by Capa but lost by Reshevski. Have a look at the position after move 23

click for larger view

If there is someone better (slightly ) than it is black.

Mar-19-11  mojonera: good game capa !
Mar-24-12  RookFile: lost in space - one small detail is that it is white's turn to move in your diagram. That's worth a lot, and Qd4 takes advantage. As it was, Reshevsky missed a miracle draw in the endgame.
Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: After Sammy's 27...exd5?, the ending left on the board is one of B versus N with Pawns on both sides of the board, which is usually considered to favor the side with the Bishop. But in this case the Black d Pawn is so weak that it gives the White pieces a winning chance.
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  perfidious: Alekhine's note to 27....exd5 in the tournament book, cited on the first page by <Benzol>, is a propos.

As noted by <lost in space>, merely several moves before, Reshevsky was not worse in this quiet middlegame.

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  maxi: Well, Mr. <perfidious>, it depends what do you mean by "not worse". There is no forced win, and if Black keeps his cool he can certainly draw. But in practice Black has to be always nursing and worried about his feeble serf the d Pawn, and easily can lose the game, as it happened in this case. I used to play chess with this (rather unpleasant) German guy, and he was always saying "Chess is just tactics, just tactics". It is just easier to screw up...
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  perfidious: <maxi> Did you even read the second paragraph/sentence before posting?

It does not take a top-class GM to ascertain that the position after 27....exd5 is unpleasant for Black, but that is not germane to my statement which followed.

Apr-17-14  SChesshevsky: 27...exd5 does present the weakness but makes sense if Black is looking for a win.

Black's probably good after 29. Qxe4 dxe4 and maybe even better after 31. exd4.

Even in the text with control of the c-file and White's Rook not well placed on d4 Black still probably has a slight advantage.

Maybe he keeps it with 32...Rb1 instead of the more natural text. It freezes both Qside pawns and still forces 33. Rd2 but appears to make 34...a4 much stronger with the exchange possibly forced then threatening ...a3 and/or ...Ba6 then Bc4.

I didn't play it all out but I think Black definitely still had some interesting play after 27...exd5

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  maxi: <SChesshevsky> : It did occur to me that Reshevsky was playing for a win with 27...exd5, but perhaps it was more like "playing for a loss". I completely agree with you on that point. But I don't like 32...Rb1 because of 33.e4 where White's e Pawn cannot be taken.

<perfidious> Sure I read the stuff in the previous pages. My comment on the technical aspects of the end game (B vs N & weak d Pawn) was addressed to the interested weaker player.

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  maxi: In his notes to the game (that I found in E. Winter's book), Capablanca says that Black has to avoid at all costs the Rook exchange in this endgame.
Apr-19-14  SChesshevsky: <maxi: ...But I don't like 32...Rb1 because of 33.e4 where White's e Pawn cannot be taken...>

I'm guessing Reshevsky's idea for the win was the exchange of the e pawn for an a-file passer.

I didn't bother to calculate it all out but it looks like ...Rb2+ gives tempo so Black King can get to d7 and with Bishop at c6, after White's e6 after exd5, it might take awhile for White to advance the pawn.

Especially tough if White has to defend against protected passed pawn on a4 with King and Knight not well positioned on 1st rank. If Black's blockade can hold for awhile, he's probably better and certainly more dominant.

Black thinking maybe White ends up exchanging the e for a-pawn, might also be able to position for exchange of rooks with advantage giving Black end game chances with better King position and better placed pieces.

Given Reshevsky had already beaten Capablanca, I think, and that he certainly saw that 27...Bxd5 likely draws but probably eliminates any winning chances tried to play out the Qside advantage but seems to me the two tempo loss with Rook and bad exchange gave White the pull combined with Capablanca's end game feel is really what did him in.

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  maxi: It seems to me that the White d Pawn will advance very fast making the draw unlikely. It is interesting to take a look at Saidy vs Fischer, 1964
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  plang: The game started as a Queen's Gambit Accepted but transposed into the Catalan; 6..a6 was a new move and led to Black getting an easy equality. 19..Bd5 would have been more active with a slight edge for Black. There was no reason to allow exchanges with 21..Nd7; 21..f6 was an alternative. By the time Reshevsky played 27..dxe? any advantage he had was gone; for the rest of the game he was fighting for a draw. Reshevsky did not have toexchange queens with 30..Qxd4?; his subpar play from moves 19-31 was very out of character. Alekhine commented (and Fine agreed in Basic Chess Endings) that passive defense with 37..Kf7 would have been hopeless but Timman provided extensive analysis to show that Black had defensive resources with this approach and may, in fact, have had better practical drawing chances than in the approach chosen in the game. The alternative 50 Nf7..Bxf5 51 Kxf5..Kf3 52 Nd5..g3 53 Nf4..Kxe3 54 Ke5..b4 would have resulted in a draw.
Jun-18-18  Omnipotent00001: 56. Kd5 is mate in 23 moves.
Jul-15-19  sudoplatov: The local version of Stockfish prefers 27... ed5 to 27... Bd5 (to which it likes 28.f3 rather than 28.e4.)
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