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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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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
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>

http://chessmetrics.com/cm/CM2/Play...

http://www.chessmetrics.com/cm/CM2/...

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.
Aug-10-18
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 chessgames.com 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.

Sep-20-18  RookFile: Some excellent points about Lasker in this thread.
Sep-20-18  Howard: Trying to compare, say, Alekhine to Blackburne is like comparing Woody Allen to Arnold Schwarznegger (sp!).

Keep in mind that Capablanca played Alekhine a hell of a lot more often than Lasker did. Even if you don't count their 1927 marathon, Capa probably still played him more often.

Using a "top 30" list can be very misleading.

Sep-20-18  Boomie: This is clearly a Tarrasch, not a Colle.


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Sep-20-18  Boomie: 5...Be7 is not good according to the Opening Explorer. White has had great results against it.

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Sep-20-18  JimNorCal: <Boomie>: this is clearly a Tarrasch

You should file a correction slip, no?

Sep-20-18  Boomie: <JimNorCal: <Boomie>: this is clearly a Tarrasch You should file a correction slip, no?>

Thanks for the suggestion. I turned in a slip after I posted that comment.

Sep-21-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Yes, very clearly; had the order of moves been 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 c5 4.e3 instead, the game would already be listed as a QGD Tarrasch.
Sep-21-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: If anything this game should more properly be referred to as a Semi-Tarrasch (ECO D40). The Tarrasch proper (ECO D42) arises after 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5 when after 4.cxd5 Black can only recapture with the e-pawn, 4...exd5, leading to positions where Black typically has either hanging pawns at c4 and d5 or an IQP at d5.

But the interposition of ...Nf6 prior to ...c5 as in the game allows, after 1.d4 d5 2.e3 Nf6 3.Nf3 c5 4.c4 e6 5.cxd5(or, more typically, 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 c5 5.cxd5), the recapture 5..Nxd5 avoiding the IQP and (typically) the hanging pawns.

But what's in a name? After all, a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. The reason for my nit-picking is because it is still classified as a Colle system even though a correction slip was submitted by <Boomie> (admittedly just yesterday) to reclassify it as a Tarrasch. Which is my segue into one of my favorite stories:

A small town wanted to honor one of its returning war veterans and organized an event to do so. The local newspaper publicized the event and referred to the returning war veteran as a "battle scared" veteran. Several readers pointed out the mistake and the local newspaper acknowledged out the error along with an apology and a retraction saying "We apologize. Our local war veteran should have been clearly identified as a 'bottle scarred' veteran." Sometimes you just can't win with these "corrections".

Sep-21-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <Genghis Pawn II and others> I would disagree with Edward Lasker and others that this tournament, while a fine achievement, became <the> favorite contender for the world championship overnight. After all, this was Capablanca's first international tournament and could have been considered a flash in the pan, like Pillsbury (because of illness) effectively was after his clear first at Hastings 1895. And Capablanca finished only 1/2 point ahead of Rubinstein who had won or shared first place in two major international tournaments already, and was to finish in first place in 5 consecutive tournaments just one year later so he would hardly have been "pushed into the background" as a result of not winning this tournament. Had Janowski won this game as it was apparently possible for him to have done, then Capablanca and Rubinstein could very well have shared first place in San Sebastian 1911. Had there been tie breakers in those days then Rubinstein would probably have been declared the tournament winner as a result of his win over Capablanca.

Of course, Capablanca finished first in 8 out of the next 12 tournaments he entered and established/confirmed his claim as <the> favorite contender for the world championship, particularly after Rubinstein's decline following WW I. But I don't think that this happened overnight.

Sep-21-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<sleepyirv> Perhaps the most amazing "comeback" in Chess history.>

Perhaps. But FWIW this one is my favorite: Portisch vs Tal, 1964. I described it somewhat here: kingscrusher chessforum (kibitz #249). As I mentioned in that post, Chess Life's conclusion was "A game such as one seldom sees".

Sep-21-18  john barleycorn: <AylerKupp: ... Pillsbury (because of illness) effectively was after his clear first at Hastings 1895. And Capablanca finished only 1/2 point ahead of Rubinstein ... >

Pillsbury won Hastings 0.5 points ahead of Chigorin if I am not mistaken.

Sep-21-18  RookFile: The way I look at this opening is that Capablanca was playing the Queen's Gambit Accepted with the colors reversed, and an extra tempo or two for white. That may be less exciting than it sounds, because the QGA is a neutralizing defense, rather than one designed to attack.
Sep-22-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<john barleycorn> Pillsbury won Hastings 0.5 points ahead of Chigorin if I am not mistaken.>

No, you are not. The only point I was trying to make is that, like Capablanca, Pillsbury won the first international chess tournament he entered but then, because of illness, he never won another one. So it was possible that Capablanca could also have been a one hit wonder and never won another international tournament again. But, of course, he did win several others and never finished lower than 2nd prior to his WCC match with Lasker.

And I don't know if after Hastings 1895 anyone considered Pillsbury the favorite contender for the world championship. If anyone did, they were unfortunately and sadly mistaken.

Sep-22-18  john barleycorn: <AylerKupp: ...

No, you are not. The only point I was trying to make is that, like Capablanca, Pillsbury won the first international chess tournament he entered but then, because of illness, he never won another one. ...>

I compared your "after his clear first at Hastings" about Pillsbury to that "Capablanca finished only 1/2 point ahead".

Sep-23-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<john barleycorn> I compared your "after his clear first at Hastings" about Pillsbury to that "Capablanca finished only 1/2 point ahead".>

Oh, OK. My comment about Capablanca finishing only point ahead is that this didn't seem like a good reason to cause him to become "the favorite contender for the world championship overnight" particularly since this was his first international tournament and the presumably favorite contender for the world championship, Rubinstein, was the one that finished point behind <and> defeated Capablanca in their individual encounter. After all, no one knew whether Capablanca could duplicate such a good success so anointing him the favorite contender for the world championship seemed somewhat premature, even though it was ultimately correct.

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