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Jose Raul Capablanca vs Alexander Alekhine
Capablanca - Alekhine World Championship Match (1927), Buenos Aires ARG, rd 21, Oct-26
Queen's Gambit Declined: Orthodox Defense. Henneberger Variation (D63)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Mar-04-08  Knight13: Alekhine Domination starting with ...Rc4!
Mar-31-08  crwynn: It seems to me Capablanca's opening was just not very good, look at this position:

click for larger view

I think Black's QB is just better-placed, Alekhine seems to agree, the main point of his 20.Qb1 is to find some gainful employment for the Bg3. In the game it never makes another move, and Black walks in along the q-side dark squares.

<Instead of <20. Rxc4> Aljecin suggested <20. Qb1!> to reduce the pressure, e.g. <20... Rd8 21. Nd2 Rxc1 22. Rxc1 Qa8 23. Bc7>>

Notice that White is first threatening to put something on d6, hence ...Rd8, then Nd2 lets him play the bishop to c7, I suppose he intends Bb6 and a large number of pieces leave the board.

Also, note that this f3 bf2 idea of Lasker's was an attempt to do something with the piece on g3, actually I had just been looking at this move at some point earlier in the game, but it never seemed very practical. Alekhine's kt on d5 was useful in discouraging any weakening of e3.

Mar-31-08  RookFile: Whiteshark: I seem to recall that it was Lasker, in his "Manual of Chess", that suggested that Capa could improve his play with 26. axb5.
May-28-08  Ulhumbrus: After 18...Rc4 instead of 19 Ne4, 19 Be2! forces the R back to c8 and then on 19...Rc8 20 Bf3 offers to repeat moves.

Black has the initiative on the c file because Black has a QN on d7 which does not obstruct Black's QR while White has a N on c3 which obstructs White's QR on c1. However this suggests the question of what White can get out of White's QN placed on c3. The advance a4 at the right moment, perhaps?

At move 15, suppose White tries 15 a4 instead of 15 b4. Then on 15...b4 16 Nb1 Black has a Q side exposed permanently to attack.

Sep-21-08  capin: Is not true that Capablanca doesn't make obvious errors in this game.

Really, Capablanca choose a bad move in 22. Nc3?. After that, Capablanca is in worst position and maybe the game is lost to the white side.

Alekhine said that 20. Rxc4 was the error: 'I am inclined to consider this change as the decisive lack'. But not, it isn't an error. The Capablanca intuition in working fine here. Interestingly, Kasparov thinks in the same terms that Alekhine!.

Only the great Lasker found the correct move: 22. Nc5!, but Lasker gives an incorrect line: 22. Nc5! Bxc5 23. bxc5 Rc8 24. Be2?

The right move is play now 24. a4! (maybe preceded by e4). For example the next game was obtained using Rybka 2.2 with 2 cores (white side) and Toga II 1.4.5 2 cores (black side):

22. Nc5! Bxc5 23. bxc5 Rc8 24. e4 Nf6 25. a4!! Rxc5 26. Qb4 Qf8 27. axb5 a5 28. Qc3 Bxe4 29. Nb3 Rc8 30. Be2 a4 31. Bxc4 Nd5 32. Qa1 axb3 33. Bxb3 Rxc1+ 34. Qxc1 Qb4 35. Bc4 Qc5 36. Qf1 Nb6 37. Be2 Bd5 38. Qa1 Bc4 39. Bxc4 Qxc4 40. Qb1 Na4 41. Be5 f6 42. Ba1 Nb6 43. h4 Kf7 44. h5 Kf8 45. Qf1 Qb4 46. Qd3 Nd5 47. g3 Qe1+ 48. Qf1 Qd2 49. Qb1 Nb6 50. Kg2 Qd5+ 51. Kg1 Qc4 52. Bb2 Qb3 53. Qa1 Kg8 54. Qa6 Qd1+ 55. Kg2 Qd5+ 56. Kg1 Qd1+ draw.

Feb-21-09  birthtimes: At move 15, suppose White tries 15 a4 instead of 15 b4. Then on 15...b4 16 Nb1 Black has a Q side exposed permanently to attack.

16...Qd7 17.Bxf3 Bxf3 18.Qxf3 Nd5 19.Bxe7 Nxe7 20.Nd2 e5 and Black has pressure in the center of the board and on the queenside.

Feb-21-09  birthtimes: 18.Ne4 Rxc1 19.Rxc1 Nxb4 20.Nxe6 Bd5 21.Nxd8 Bxb3 22.axb4 Rxd8 23.Nc5 seems to give White an edge as the Black a-pawn is backwards.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <birthtimes>
At first glance, after 15. a4 Black can reply 15...Nxa4 16. Nxa4 Rxc1 17. Qxc1 bxa4. What do you see for White in that case?
Mar-05-09  M.D. Wilson: 22. Nc3? looks like a mistake.
May-10-09  WhiteRook48: <ouch>!
Jul-13-09  birthtimes: Howz about 18. Qa1 followed by Rc1 and eventually Bd1?!
Sep-06-09  LIFE Master AJ: First of all, so I don't offend any C-fans, let me say that Capa was one of the greatest, perhaps even the greatest natural player to have ever lived.

Having said that, White was outplyed here, and his 32nd move was a blunder.

However, as solace to the many die-hard Capa fans, you can probably count the total number of his blunders on the fingers of one hand. (Very few other players can say this, if any!.)

Oct-29-10  Ulhumbrus: According to Kasparov, Alekhine says that on 12 b4 a5 13 Qb3 ab 14 ab g5 15 Bg3 Nd5 Black has the initiative. Kasparov disagrees and says that on 16 0-0 White stands better.

After 12 b4 a5 12 Qb3 ab 14 ab g5 15 Bg3 Nd5 16 0-0 one way for Black to lose is 16...c6 17 Nxd5! exd5 18 Bd3 f5 19 Ne5 f4 20 ef gf 21 Nxc6 fxg3 22 Qxd5+ Rf7 23 Bg6 gh+ 24 Kxh2 Qe8 25 Rc7 Rd8 26 Rxd7 Rxd7 27 Bxf7+ Qxf7 28 Qxd7

Oct-29-10  Ulhumbrus: An alternative to 14 Nd4 is 14 Qc2 before Black has a Rook on the c file and on 14..Rc8 15 Qb1 withdrawing the Queen to b1 as in the game Rubinstein vs Maroczy, 1920
Mar-18-11  Llawdogg: Wow! 32 ... Nxe3! was a spectacular game winning sacrifice by Alekhine. Even the great World Champion Capablanca never saw that discovered attack coming. Brilliant! Just brilliant.
Jul-07-13  Karpova: Some annotations can be found in this interesting article: http://streathambrixtonchess.blogsp...
Jan-02-14  MarkFinan: Well I think Capablanca is doing okay with probably chances of drawing, with him being an endgame expert n all, till 32.R.d1?? Very strange that he didn't just take the Bishop!
Sep-04-14  coldsweat: Classic game, Alekhine outthinks the reigning champ.
Nov-23-14  yurikvelo:
Stockfish deep analyze
Nov-23-14  JimNorCal: Wow <karpova> that article is quite a takedown!
Nov-24-14  RookFile: As a few have pointed out, it's an equal game after 20. Qb1. As in, 0.00. Evidently white can follow up with Nc5. Chances for both sides!
Nov-24-14  aliejin: To a certain height all the games are
"Equal games ...." but this is a static analysis ... (artifical way to analyze chess I would say)
abstracting from the fact that players are preparing / planning their movements ....

Towards the move 20 Capablanca already was subtly disoriented and Alekhine was going further in the interpretation of the position.

Dec-22-15  Howard: Andrew Soltis said in CL & R back in 1976 that in the 1927 WC, Alekhine "played the most conservative chess of his life", and this game is a good example of such.

Simply put, Alekhine beat Capablanca in Capa-style---pure and simple.

Dec-23-16  1971: Was this plan/piece placement in practice before this game/match?
Aug-24-18  WorstPlayerEver: 22... Nxc3 23. Bxb7 Qxb7 24. Rxc3 Rd8 and White is facing serious trouble:

click for larger view

25. a4 e5 26. Nf3 bxa4 27. Qc2 Qe4

click for larger view


22... Nxc3 23. Bxb7 Qxb7 24. Qxc3 Bf6 25. a4 Rd8 26. axb5 axb5 27. h4 Qd5 28. Kh2 h5 29. Ra1 Bxd4 30. Qxd4 Qxd4 31. exd4 Rxd4

click for larger view


Better defense was:

27. Rf1 Rd8 28. axb5 axb5

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