thegoodanarchist: <<paladin at large:> At a certain point I changed from the line of play I followed at Havana in order to throw my opponent a little more on his own resources. A few moves later Euwe made a weak move, which he followed up with another weak move, and finally with a third yet weaker, which lost him a pawn and thereby the game. This must have been the result of a little nervousness on his part. -Capablanca >
<<birthtimes:> This game is commented on by Euwe in game 7 of his fantastic book entitled, "The Road to Chess Mastery."
Euwe said that "White was afraid to play 14.Qxb6>
Thank you for these quotes. I find it quite unusual that a future world champion, at the age of 21, should play nervously against the champion.
Typically the young lion fights aggressively, especially in his early twenties, when given the opportunity to prove himself against a current or former champion. See for example Tal v. Botvinnik 1960, Kasparov v. Karpov 1984 and again in 1985, and of course Carlsen v. Anand in 2013.
Somehow amongst world champions Euwe was a peculiar bird. Has any other champion failed so utterly in an elite tournament a mere 11 years after holding the title, as Euwe did in the 1948 WC tournament?
And then also keep in mind Euwe was renowned amongst former champions for peculiar tactical oversights.
Yet exactly how to explain all of this is quite out of range of my finger being put on it. Perhaps it was the distraction of his normal life. Fischer noted that Euwe he was "too normal" for a chess champion, describing the condition as being "something wrong with that man"!
Euwe was a noted mathematician, author, and not least, family man. Isn't Kasparov on his 4th marriage, for counter example?
I think this is an issue best delved into by a master psychologist and chess GM. Where's Reuben Fine when you need him? :)