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William Winter vs Jose Raul Capablanca
"Cold Winter" (game of the day Sep-21-2006)
Hastings (1919), Hastings ENG, rd 5, Aug-15
Four Knights Game: Nimzowitsch (Paulsen) (C49)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jun-13-03  bishop: A famous and instructive game where after 10.Nd5? Capablanca renders White's Queen Bishop useless.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: Even worse than 10.Nd5 is 11.Nxf6+? which loses a vital tempo. Instead 11.Bg3 Nxd5 12.exd5 Bg4 13.Re1 Qf6 14.Re3 and he is still in the game.
Aug-27-04  Whitehat1963: Now is the Winter of his discontent ...
Aug-24-05  yunis: yea 'i agree with this point thats the bishop is useless' and note the quik of changing from king-side to a Q side attack!!
Aug-24-05  Koster: In his notes to Nd5 Capa comments that "white should have considered that a player of my strength would never allow such a move if it was good". Quoting this from memory so it may not be exact, but a typical Capablanca comment. Of course Nxg5 just loses to Nxd5.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Kasparov says that this ending is not lost at all - he says that white should just have sat tight.
Sep-21-06  think: White's bishop may be useless, but black's isn't doing much. It never moves after move 7.
Sep-21-06  CapablancaFan: No wonder Winter resigned, he was down a whole piece. Lol.
Sep-21-06  Plato: <offramp> Kasparov doesn't say that the final position is not lost, obviously. What he says is that White could have created a fortress with 19.c4!, which would have probably held the draw.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: The move that is instructive is 10...g5 which is usually only good if Black hasn't castled - it would be important to show a weaker player or someone who was being instructed by this game that that move was carefully considered as frequently Nxg5 happens and is it was (we assume)as we know (or assume) that Capablanca had taken that into account - but it should be shown that it is safe by specific variations.
Sep-21-06  lvlaple: What's with the resignation? What a coward.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: In what at first glance appears to be a drawish position, Capablanca exploits White pawn weaknesses with 22...b5! to set up 23...c4! and the decisive 24...cxb3! .
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: I,too would resign this position vs Capa-lol The white bishop is useless,he is a pawn down,and he's playing a game against one of the greatest players in history-if that's not hopeless,nothing is.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Instead of 10. Nd5?! g5 , White should consider 10. Qe2 .
Premium Chessgames Member
  YouRang: It seems to me that the winning maneuver here was that as soon as the queens came off, Capablanca pushed his king toward the center (moves 17 and 18).

At the end of the game, Capablanca's king is a strong contributing player, while Winter's king is stuck in the corner with his useless bishop. Capa also has a passed pawn to the good.

Practically speaking, it's like Capa is up by a couple pieces. The resignation is quite justifiable.

Sep-21-06  Boomie: Was this a match? I can't find a reference to a tournament at Hastings in 1919.
Sep-21-06  Resignation Trap: It was a tournament: .
Jan-08-08  erniecohen: I think even 22 c4 saves this game for white.
Feb-04-09  paladin at large: Capablanca commented that after 15...f6 he would be operating with an extra piece on the queenside and that the result could therefore not be in doubt. <Plato> cites Kasparov as stating that with 19. c4! a fortress would probably save the draw. Probably (?) against Capa in 1919?
Feb-04-09  AnalyzeThis: This is very interesting commentatry. The problem of the entombed white bishop on g3 is well known in a lot of openings. What I learned today is the notion of 19. c4, which I find very interesting.
Feb-05-09  M.D. Wilson: 1919 was perhaps Capa's peak year. Anyone have any numbers?
Feb-05-09  Karpova: <M.D. Wilson: 1919 was perhaps Capa's peak year. Anyone have any numbers?>


Capablanca's own assessment:

From "The New York Times", 1927.02.17, page 10: <We are aware, however, that such conditions are not permanent and that we may now be somewhat weaker then when at our best ten years ago. In the writer's opinion, he was at his best in Havana when playing Kostic the match which Kostic lost in five straight games.> (Winter, p. 158)

"El Mundo", 1927.12.28, page 31: <While it is true that the games of that time are open to little criticism, since serious faults have not been found in them, it is equally the case that those games do not provide evidence of the energy which I possessed in 1917 and which was a decisive factor in my superiority.> (Winter, page 205)

"Homenaje a Capablanca", Havana 1943, page 107: <Now, with lower blood pressure, I feel physically much better. I am not the Capablanca of 1918 when, at the age of thirty, my conception was even more lucid and effective than the Capablanca of 1921, who won the world championship.> (Winter, page 304)

Feb-06-09  M.D. Wilson: Interesting, Karpova. The match with Kostic was really telling. In those days, however, Capablanca owned everyone, so it's no disgrace on Kostic's part. What a frighteningly powerful performance. So perhaps Capablanca's best years were centred around the ages of 28-32. That sounds about right.
May-11-10  Oceanlake: If 11 Nxg5, Nxd5
Premium Chessgames Member
  Marmot PFL: I thought Capa's peak, as far as being ahead of the rest of the world, might be 1922, when he won London almost effortlessly. He had already won his match from Lasker, and Rubinstein was in decline. After that Capa seemed to get a bit bored, and Lasker made a resurgence while Alekhine kept improving.
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