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Jose Raul Capablanca vs David Janowski
San Sebastian (1911), San Sebastian ESP, rd 5, Feb-27
Queen Pawn Game: Colle System (D04)  ·  1-0


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Given 68 times; par: 109 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Feb-27-13  SirChrislov: <Ghengis Pawn II: 53. BxP Q-K8 ch??

A mistake which affected the destinies of three great chess masters. It was a tragedy in Janowski's life that he did not bring this brilliant game to a fitting conclusion with Q-R8 ch, followed by N x B and Q-N7. Capablanca won the tournament as a result of this game. Thus he became the favorite contender for the world championship overnight, and he brought Cuba into the news thoughout Europe in such a flattering manner that the Cuban Government gave him employment in its diplomatic service, thereby relieving him of making a living for the rest of his life. Rubinstein, on the other hand, who had been considered the logical heir to Lasker's throne, was pushed into the background because of Janowski's defeat, despite the fact that he had won his individual game against Capablanca in classic style.

Chess Secrets I Learned From the Masters, Edward Lasker>

Premium Chessgames Member
  Garech: Fantastic game.


Aug-29-13  Dragi: Great game ...and indeed after 53.Qh1+ game is over because : 54.Ka2 Nxe5 55.Qe2 (probably only correct move for white ) than black answers with 55.Qg2 ,56.Nc3 Qxe2+ ,57.Nxe2 Nd7 and black wins because of passing pawn on h sguare and weak white knight wich is stuck to prevent his promotion ...

Easy to see , hard to achieve this position ..

Pity for Janowski , he deserved at least a draw in his winninig game ...

Mar-11-15  Ulhumbrus: Following the move 13...Be6 if White combines the pawn advance e4 with the capture Nxe6 this fractures Black's pawns, as in the game Capablanca vs Znosko-Borovsky, 1938
Dec-04-15  thejack: I would be curious to know what Kasparov had to say about 10.-b6. Does anyone own his MGP on Capablanca?

I donīt like this move at all [it creates a glaring hole on c6], but neither Capablanca himself nor Lakdawala in his new book criticize it!?

Premium Chessgames Member
  sleepyirv: <Good Knight and Good Luck>

Perhaps the most amazing "comeback" in Chess history. You can't blame Janowski for playing for a win because he HAD a win. But the point of repeating moves is to save time on the clock. Does anyone know the time pressure Janowski faced in this game?

Dec-05-15  dannygjk: Ironically 58...Kh7 may be a losing move.
May-15-16  Albion 1959: With hindsight and the use of powerful and far-reaching search engines we can pin point with a fair degree of accuracy the subtleties and errors of this game. I first came across this game in Capablanca's Best Chess Endings by Irving Chernev (Game 7 page 23). An author I rate, though I have to be a touch critical because while he lavishes exclamation marks for good moves and brilliant play, he never seems to give moves question marks when they are bad moves! For example - 52. b6 should be a ? Qxc4+ was the correct move for Capa: 58. Ne4 Kh7 (deserves a ?)
Rybka gives Qe3 (prevents Qd3)and black hangs on:
59. Qd3 g6? (another ?)
Better was
59. Qd3 g5!
60. Nxg5+ Kh6
61. Nxh3 Qe6+
With a barrage of checks, where black should not lose:
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <dannygjk: Ironically 58...Kh7 may be a losing move.>

I can't see the irony.

May-16-16  TheFocus: <offramp> <dannygjk: Ironically 58...Kh7 may be a losing move.>

<<I can't see the irony.>>

That... is the ironic part.

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: "I could not play either 17.♘xd5 or 17.♘c6, as close analysis will show. I would have lost a piece in either case." - Capablanca

Kasparov, or his stand-ins, decided to have fun with this quote by not giving it verbatim, but by paraphrasing it and making the tone even more imperious.

"As is easily verified, 17 Nxd5? and 17 Nc6? both lose material." OMGP V 1 page 236

It has to be a joke, as why else not use the original quote. Capablanca does not say it is easily verified, only that it is based on close analysis.

Their joke backfires because a little checking even with engines of their day would reveal 17 Nc6 as close to winning. if 17...Rxc6 18 bxc6 Ne5 19 Qa4 Nxf3+ 20 gxf3 Nd7!? 21 f4 (taking 21 cxd7 allows perpetual with 21...Qg5+ 22 Kh1 Qh4) and White gradually consolidates .84/33 Stockfish 030916

The other variation, the one both players probably intended 17 Nc6 d4, it is fairly certain Garry did not check, as it is right in his wheelhouse even without a computer.

18 Qd1! Rxc6 19 bxc6 dxc3 20 Qxd6 cxb2 21 Rad1! and it is clear Black is out of steam even queening the b pawn. Stockfish gives it + 1.51/31

click for larger view

Can we have a correction Garry?

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Have to wonder what mood Capa was in when he made these notes. Take this suggestion after his 23 Bb2

"I had already seen what was coming, but I also felt that my only chance was to weather the storm. Perhaps 23 f3 or 23 Nxe6 followed by 24 f3 would have held the game, but at any rate, Black had an advantage."

But 23 f3 Ng4! wins out of hand

The variations are worth playing over as Black just sweeps aside all defense. 24 g3 Bxg3 25 Nf5 Qc7 26 Nxg3 Nxg3 27 Bd1 Ne2+ 28 Kf1 Nc1 29 Qb2 Nxe3+ 30 Kg1 Nd1 Ouch! Not just unplayable but mate in 15 from here.

click for larger view

23 Nxe6 fxe6 24 f3 Ng4! is hopeless also as the pieces pour in on White's King.

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Does anyone have "My Chess Career by Capablanca?

The suggestion of 23 f3 attributed to Capa in OMGP loses so badly that I wonder if the original said 23 g3, which looks like it holds.

Mar-17-17  Olavi: The Dover edition of 1966 has it as quoted.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: thanks for that, Olavi. I just found an online copy and it does say f3 in descriptive notation there as well.

This is the game where Capa claimed that after move 23 he played perfectly to the end, which Bobby Fischer mentioned in one of his radio interviews as obviously wrong.

Just a carelessly annotated game from Capa, who was obviously relieved that Janowski did not finish him off.

Oct-08-17  bkpov: Maintaining dominance over your peers for years is very difficult. Being a world champion is comparatively easy, most of the time through chicanery. In the past century there were three greats; Capablanca, Karpov and Kasparov who were head and shoulder above their peers. I rank capablanca first.
Aug-10-18  Plato: <bkpov> You rank Capablanca ahead of Karpov and Kasparov in terms of who best maintained dominance over their peers?!

Capablanca did not finish ahead of Lasker in a tournament until 1936 when Lasker was 68 years old. Not in St. Petersburg 1914. Not in New York 1924. Not in Moscow 1925. Not even in Moscow 1935 when Lasker was 67.

Capablanca is chess royalty, of course, but when it comes to dominance Kasparov is King. It's hard to compare players of different eras, but if the question is "Who was more dominant?" then there is a clear answer, at least between Gazza and Capablanca. Frankly it's not even close.

Aug-10-18  Straclonoor: <Capablanca did not finish ahead of Lasker in a tournament until 1936 when Lasker was 68 years old. Not in St. Petersburg 1914. Not in New York 1924. Not in Moscow 1925. Not even in Moscow 1935 when Lasker was 67.> And so what?

Capablanca lost only 35 games during his chess career, Lasker more then 100. Lasker lost match vs. Capablanca without wins. This is good example of dominance. In tournament other persons involved in struggle.

Aug-10-18  ughaibu: Straclonoor: how do you define "dominance" such that the dominant player can consistently perform below the level of a different player?

By the way, in the tournaments before 1936, that both Capablanca and Lasker played in, Lasker lost fewer games than Capablanca did, so by your own measure, Lasker appears the more dominant.

Aug-10-18  Straclonoor: <ughaibu>: Main is total score. I.e. Capablanca had +6, -2, and a lot fo draws vs. Lasker. So who is dominant in this pair clear for me.

Losses in chess CAREER is very important index. I.e. there was only 5 chessplayers, who beat Capablanca more then once. For Lasker, I think, it's more then 10.

Aug-10-18  ughaibu: <Main is total score>

Keres had a positive score against Capablanca. I guess that blows his dominance.

Aug-10-18  Plato: <straclonoor>

Acording to retroactive chess ratings, Lasker was ranked #1 in the world for 292 months, over 24 years. Capablanca was ranked #1 in the world for a total of 85 months, or 7 years. Of all his tournaments and matches, Capablanca had four 2800+ performances. Lasker had twelve.

Who was the more dominant player over his contemporaries?

Lasker was 20 years older than Capablanca. They were of different generations, so naturally the third world champion may have reached a higher level than the second. But in terms of dominance over their peers, again, it isn't very close.

Aug-10-18  Plato: <straclonoor> For the record, Lasker didn't lose over 100 serious games in his career. He lost 68. You are counting simuls, odds games, casual games etc, which you are conveniently not counting in Capablanca's case. Lasker also had a much longer chess career than Capablanca, playing until he was 72 years old, so comparing dominance based on number of games lost is absurd.
Premium Chessgames Member
  JRaul: Hi folks, I've been searching online for a good chess game (engine? I'm not sure about the difference, if any) and can't make a decision based on what I've seen. I used to have Houdini once upon a time, but it hasn't received very good reviews in the sites I searched. I'm interested in a program that I'll play against and make suggestions. I'm not interested in game collections. I can use for that. Thanks.
Aug-10-18  Plato: <straclonoor> Since the only criterion you seem to consider is head-to-head records, you may be surprised to learn that this index favors Lasker as well... According to chessmetrics, the 30 top ranked common opponents that Lasker and Capablanca played throughout their careers are: Blackburne, Burn, Mieses, Janowski, Tarrasch, Teichmann, Maroczy, Schlechter, Marshall, Rubinstein, Duras, Bernstein, Spielmann, Vidmar, Nimzowitsch, Tartakower, Levenfish, Bogoljubow, Reti, Alekhine, Gruenfeld, Euwe, Torre, Pirc, Flohr, Botvinnik, Lilienthal, Reshevsky, Eliskases, and Fine. Here are the results:

Lasker's overall score vs top 30 common opponents:

173 / 243 = 71%

Capablanca's overall score vs top 30 common opponents:

173.5 / 278 = 62%

Yet again, no matter how it is measured, if the criterion is dominance over contemporaries then Lasker wins hands down. And my initial comment that you responded to was about a comparison between Capablanca and Kasparov in terms of dominance, and of course that one is no contest whatsoever.

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