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Jose Raul Capablanca vs Alexander Alekhine
"First Blood" (game of the day Feb-21-2017)
Capablanca - Alekhine World Championship Match (1927), Buenos Aires ARG, rd 1, Sep-16
French Defense: Winawer. Delayed Exchange Variation (C01)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
May-28-14  Ashperov1988: First things first, play 14.c3 However kudus to Alekhine for being so tactically aware and capitalising on the error
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <Ashperov1988: ...Kudus to Alekhine>

Aye! Kudus alekhina f'thagn!!

Sep-01-14  coldsweat: Capablanca must have been stunned by the sharpness and aggressiveness of his opponent. Also, it is apparent that Alekhine was very well prepared. What a treat to play through this historic earthquake in the pantheon of the chess greats.
Sep-01-14  aliejin: Last Friday I visited the Club Argentino Ajdedrez
(I play chess occasionally .........)
I went to the first floor and sat in front of the table the Match Capablanca - Alekhine .....
A great emotion.
Sep-22-14  Bezlitosci: Here are my analyses of the game.

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.exd5 exd5 5.Bd3 Nc6 6.Ne2 Nge7 7.O-O Bf5 8.Bxf5 Nxf5 9.Qd3 Qd7 10.Nd1 O-O 11.Ne3 Nxe3 12.Bxe3 Rfe8 13.Nf4 Bd6 14.Rfe1 Nb4

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First inaccuracy, as the game progress shows. Better was 15.Qd2. Note that after 15.Qd2 Bxf4 is bad, as after 16.Bxf4 Rxe1 17.Rxe1 black cannot take on a2, since he couldn't retreat.

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Coming back to game:

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Second inaccuracy. Probably best what white could do (after previous move's error) was 16.Nd3 and accept doubled pawns. Also 16.Rec1 was acceptable, although black would be better (16...Bxf4 17.Bxf4 Qxf4 18.Qxb4 Re2 19.Rf1).

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Move 16.Rac1 actually harms white in two ways. First - by leaving rook on e1 undefended after possible Rxc2, second - by leaving pawn a2 undefended. Second issue could be exploited by 16...a5 17.c3 a4 18.Qd1 Nxa2. Alekhine exploited the first weakness.

16...Nxc2 17.Rxc2 Qxf4 18.g3 Qf5 19.Rce2 b6 20.Qb5 h5 21.h4 Re4

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Black is threatening some nasty stuff, like Rae8, Qg4, f5, f4 etc. Therefore white has to do something, but he should play 22.Bf4

22.Bd2 Rxd4 23.Bc3 Rd3
A mistake. Alekhine should play 23...Rg4, as will be seen soon.


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Now 24...Bc5 doesn't work because of 25.b4. If the rook was on g4, b4 wouldn't be possible, and white could play 24...Bc5 with solid advantage.

24.Be5 Rd8 25.Bxd6 Rxd6 26.Re5 Qf3 27.Rxh5

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27...Qh5 Bigger advantage could black keep after 27...Rh6

28.Re8+ Kh7 29.Qxd3+ Qg6 30.Qd1 Re6 31.Ra8 Re5 32.Rxa7 c5 33.Rd7

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After black gave much of his advantage, now white makes a mistake. This moves lets black gain tempo and control strongly the center with his pieces.

33...Qe6 34.Qd3+ g6 35.Rd8 d4 36.a4

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Black threatened Qxa2, but now white loses quickly. Defensive move like 36.Kg2 was neccesary. Now black can either win white's rook by 36...Qe7, e.x. 37.Rc8 Qb7 with attack on the rook and mate threat of Re1 (white could prolonge the whole sequence by 37.Rb8 Qc7 38.Rf8 Kg7 39.Ra8 Qb7) or play more sophisticated idea, like Alekhine in the game, where black in few moves forces white to weaken his King's defence, and white with idle Rook cannot defend.

36.a4 Re1+ 37.Kg2 Qc6+ 38.f3 Re3 39.Qd1 Qe6 40.g4 Re2+0 41.Kh3 Qe3 42.Qh1 Qf4 43.h5 Rf2 0-1

Sep-22-14  cwcarlson: Houdini says White holds with 33.Qf3 Rf5 34.Qd3 intending 35.Rb7.
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: <offramp: <Ashperov1988: ...Kudus to Alekhine>

Aye! Kudus alekhina f'thagn!!>

Yes, I believe this was the only WC match in which the winner was paid with livestock:

Sep-26-16  Tomasito: I was not mate yet, was it? Nor it was inevitable, I think?
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <Tomasito: I was not mate yet, was it? Nor it was inevitable, I think?>

First of welcome to! I really hope you enjoy your time here, as I have.

Here is the final position. Black has just played 43...Rf2.

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Black is threatening the f3 pawn, 44...Rxf3+.

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White could now play 45. Kh4, which would be met by 45...g5#, or he could play 45. Kg2, which would be met by 45...Qg3#. The only other move would be 45. Qxf3, but after 45...Qxf3+ 46. Kh2 Black's queen and passed pawns would win easily: they are too strong for the rook.

So after 42...Rf2 what can White do to stop 43...Rxf3+? He can try 43.hxg6+. Black will respond 43...Kg7 and now there is no sensible way to protect the pawn on f3.

click for larger view

Here is a possible continuation:
45. gxf7 Rxf3+ 46. Qxf3 Qxf3+ 47. Kh2 Kxf7 48. Rd7+ Ke8 49. Rg7 d3 50. Rg8+ Kf7 51. Rd8 Qxg4 52. Rxd3 Qe2+ 53. Kg1 Qxd3 54. Kg2 Kg6 55. b3 Kg5 56. a5 Kg4 57. axb6 Qe2+ 58. Kg1 Kg3 59. b7 Qe1#

Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: "In the adjourned first game of the world chess championship series between Capablanca and Alekhine at Buenos Aires yesterday, Capablanca made one move, bringing the total number of moves for the game up to 43, and then resigned."

"Dundee Courier", Monday 19th September 1927, p.7.

Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: Now I understand why the info page estimates Capablanca's rating to be somewhere in the range from 1893 to 1941 whereas Alekhine's ELO is thought to have been a bit higher, between 1903 and 1946. That shows not only that Alekhine was better but also how much stricter the ratings were back then.
Premium Chessgames Member
  GerMalaz: That looks like years active to me, not ELO (Capa died in 1942, Alekhine in 1946).
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: The whole match is worth playing through. The picture emerges that Capablanca didn't do so badly. He was a bit demoralized by reversals. Then Alekhine avoided a rematch and played weaker opponents. Alekhine's main strength was his positional skills in this match, which he improved by annotating the Hastings tournament and studying Capablanca's games. That was most impressive side in the match, but Capablanca was a seemed a bit out of form.
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: Alekhine said while it was exciting to play this game, there were so many errors by both players, it became almost comical


Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: <GerMalaz: That looks like years active to me, not ELO (Capa died in 1942, Alekhine in 1946).> It was supposed to be a joke
Feb-21-17  AlicesKnight: <morfishine: Alekhine said while it was exciting to play this game, there were so many errors by both players, it became almost comical> I thought it was the eleventh game that was the 'comedy of errors'. Apologies if I am wrong.
Feb-21-17  The Kings Domain: Clash of the Titans. Aside from Alekhine, only Lasker was able to send Capa reeling this badly towards the end of the game.
Feb-21-17  stst: < but Capablanca was a seemed a bit out of form>

Many commented that Capa was too lazy or relaxed, doing nothing to prepare. He simply relied on his innate genius. He may also did not consider this match to be an important one. Alek was completely the opposite - he was totally concentrated to get this crown, then, just wanted to keep it for ever, without agreeing to any re-match.

This is not acceptable in modern times.

I bought the Dover edition of the match, and still keep it today. The games are pretty "bored," but, that's a match - almost all games in matches are pretty bored. Yet still, of course, they provided a classic reference to how actually the top masters play.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: extreme power vs extreme precision.
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: <AlicesKnight> UR correct my mistake


Feb-21-17  aliejin: "He simply relied on his innate genius."

Ivanchuck in a report said
That this was pure fantasy ....
I think the same. Capablanza worked
In chess like any other chess player.
Surely with very personal methods
Surely not with the intensity of
A Alekhine, lasker or Botvinik. But to say
he left everything relegated to his "genius"
Is childish by now

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <morfishine: Alekhine said while it was exciting to play this game, there were so many errors by both players, it became almost comical>

I believe that was this one, #11:

Capablanca vs Alekhine, 1927

Courtesy of Peligroso Patzer:

<This is what Alekhine himself had to say about this game: “In my opinion this game has been praised too much, the whole world over. It was doubtless very exciting both for the players – who were continuously short of time – and the public. But its final part [i.e., after adjournment at move 42] represents a true comedy of errors in which my opponent several times missed a draw and I missed about the same number of winning opportunities. In short, but for its outstanding sporting importance (it became, in fact, the crucial point of the match) I would hardly have included it in this collection [My Best Games of Chess, 1924-1937].”>

Feb-21-17  RookFile: Capa wasn't in the right frame of mind for this game. He could have played either 14. c3 or the more complex 14. Nxd5 Bxh2+ 15. Kxh2 Qxd5 and had no worries.
Feb-21-17  cunctatorg: When I had firstly studied (and a little-bit analyzed) this game, some thirty-five years ago (with the help of Kotov's book about Alexander Alekhine) I didn't know what to admire more; Capablanca's tremendous defensive resourcefulness (after move 14) or Alekhine's tremendous stamina to overcome the aforementioned defense!!...
Dec-05-17  tgyuid: dont mess with france
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