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Max Euwe vs Jose Raul Capablanca
London (1922), London ENG, rd 1, Jul-31
Spanish Game: Berlin Defense. Closed Wolf Variation (C66)  ·  0-1
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Kibitzer's Corner
Apr-18-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: 14.Na4 looks dubious. Why is white losing time playing such a move to force the exchange of Queens which black anyhow intended to do? 14.Bd3 or even 14.Qxb6 deserved attention. 16.e5 was not good idea but black's position seems to be also slightly preferable after 16.exd5 Nxd5. 17.g3 loses a pawn and the game, although to find any satisfactory continuation for white there was already quite difficult. Capablanca's realization of advantage was precise and smooth.
Apr-18-05  RookFile: I agree with you Honza. For that
matter 10. f3 can't be right, 10. b3
must be better.

Ivanchuk vs Short, 1994

Nov-29-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: 14.Na4?!, instead of 14.Qxb6 (with an equal ending) was the beginning of Euwe problems. 17.g3? loses a pawn. Instead 17.Bd3 is a better defence, not allowing the Black Bishop to go to f5, although Black wins space on the queenside with 17...b5 18.Nc3 Bc5+, and the better position.
Aug-29-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: Heres the photo from the above game:

http://www.skakskolinn.is/images/Ca...

Nov-21-07  paladin at large: <chancho> Nice find with that photo - Euwe's expression captures the way nearly everyone would feel.

And Capa's comments from his articles for The Times are in line with the kibitzing above:

"Young Euwe started by playing a very solid variation of the Ruy Lopez, on the lines of the 12th game of the championship match at Havana. There is nothing for Black to do in such cases but to sit patiently and wait. 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. It was his first game of the tournament, and he did not play with the necessary amount of confidence once he was left to his own resources. A little more steadiness might have given him a draw." (From Winter's fine book.)

Nov-21-07  paladin at large: Euwe had noticed Capa's shaky play in this game -

Lasker vs Capablanca, 1921

See Capa's notes from move 13 on.

Feb-24-10  technical draw: Capa's comments confirmed my idea that Euwe played a very lackluster game. You can almost feel the nervousness.
Aug-19-10  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 because after 14...axb6, Black has a half-open file that compensates for his doubled pawn but not more than that. But if White then answers now or later a3 he has no particular difficulty because of Black's half-open file."

Dec-22-14  Ulhumbrus: 17 g3 loses a pawn because 17...Bf5 gains a tempo and then 18...b5 gains another tempo and then 19...Bc5+ gains yet another tempo

Euwe may have had his experience of meeting Capablanca for the first time in this game in mind when he said in his book <The Road to Chess Mastery> something like this: < When an amateur faces a master he faces a very different kind of chess from that which he faces when meeting even the strongest amateur. There is something crushing or overwhelming about the master's play which makes it evident that the master possesses specific skills and insights which the amateur does not possess. The master has, so to speak, <an extra dimension> at his disposal...>

Dec-30-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  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? :)

Jan-21-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <paladin at large: Euwe had noticed Capa's shaky play in this game -

Lasker vs Capablanca, 1921 >

Here, Black plan was a bit more solid: Lasker vs Capablanca, 1921

Sep-15-16  edubueno: Euwe 13 Ad2 is a mistake. Much in accordance with the position 13 b3!
Sep-16-16  Aunt Jemima: Did white just blunder a pawn with 17.g3?
Jul-13-18  PJs Studio: From the days when players played with their own resources and not a all powerful engine. Except, Capablanca was a machine himself!

“Lazy, vain, invincible”

Dec-08-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: In final position 39.Nxc5 is followed with 39...Rg4+ 40.Kh1 (40.Kh3 Rf3#) 40...e3+ with mate in a few moves.
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