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Jose Raul Capablanca vs Savielly Tartakower
"Rook Before you Leap" (game of the day Jan-10-12)
New York (1924)  ·  Horwitz Defense: General (A80)  ·  1-0
To move:
Last move:

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Given 85 times; par: 102 [what's this?]

Annotations by Alexander Alekhine.      [77 more games annotated by Alekhine]

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find similar games 14 more Capablanca/Tartakower games
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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  NM JRousselle: AJ,
This is one of my top 2 favorite rook endings. I'm torn between this one and Schlechter - Rubinstein 1912.

In both cases, these endgame magicians make the wins look so-o-o-o-o easy.

Sep-04-13  LIFE Master AJ: <NM Jim Rous> Yes, agreed.
Sep-06-13  JoergWalter: < LIE Master AJ: To me, the amazing thing was how similar it was to some of Nimzovich's (Aron Nimzowitsch) celebrated victories.>

Which ones?

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <JoergWalter> <Which ones?>

ROFL! I bet you he cannot name too many games won by Nimzowitsch that showed any type of endgame artistry such as this.

Nimzowitsch was not the best endgame player. I think that was his biggest weakness as a player. He was strong enough in the endgame, just not in the upper tier.

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <AJ> <it was Tartakower's failure to completely grasp all of the doctrine that Nimzovich outlined when playing against the doubled Pawns ... and this was eventually his undoing.>

Nonsense. When examining games by Tartakower and Nimzowitsch, I would say there was no difference in their understanding of how to do battle against doubled Pawns.

Any master worth his salt would understand the process. It is not rocket science <AJ>!!

Dang. Even I play against doubled Pawns on Nimzowitsch's level. And I daresay that <AJ> does too.

Premium Chessgames Member
  DrGridlock: <Joerg> and <Focus>,

Admirable, but likely futile effort to get <AJ> to document his bloviations.

It's more likely to end in some retread comment pointing out that unless you have a video and a web-page, you're not allowed to point out that the emperor has no clothes.

Sep-09-13  JoergWalter: Another example for Capablanca's manoeuvre:

Kramnik vs Leko, 2004

Premium Chessgames Member
  RookFile: If you want to really get provocative, I submit to you that the Nimzo-Indian should be renamed to be the Alek-Indian. Alekhine played it as early as Nimzo did, in a far more modern manner, and with much better results than old Nimzo had.
Oct-26-13  Chessman1504: A gem of simplicity and grace. This is why I play chess.
Feb-28-14  LIFE Master AJ: Soltis - in his book, "The 100 Best" - gives this game something like 15 exclaims. (Incredible R+P play by the Cuban genius ... and perhaps one of the greatest endgames of all time.)
Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: <Pawn and Two> cites a comment by <Peligroso Patzer> quoting Russian analysis of the position after 36.Kh4. The move 36...a6 seems to be the best for Black in this position. The answer suggested is the notable 37.Kh5. I have analyzed this move and have found no working defense for Black. The strongest line seems 36...a6 37.Kh5! b5 38.Kg6 b4 39.Rh8+ Ke7 40.Kxf5 b3 41.Rb8 Kf7 42.Ke5 and wins. I am a little baffled by this result. It is hard to believe there is no defense already by move 36.
Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: Perhaps somebody may wish to take a look at 36...a6 37.♔h5 b5 38.♔g6 ♖c6+ 39.♔xf5 bxa4.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: I'd like to know what < LIFE Master AJ>'s opinion of this game is.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: The previous post belongs at the Odd Lie page.
Apr-14-14  Howard: As some of you may be aware, Steve Giddins book The Greatest Ever Chess Endgames analyzes this endgame in detail, and a few people have posted comments about that back in May, 2012 (Flip back about three pages.)

Furthermore, ran some extensive analysis on this ending in a November, 2004---just looked it up !

So here's where I'm a bit confused...once Capablanca played his celebrated 35.Kg3, WAS the endgame still won ? Granted, Tartakower certainly could have put up stiffer resistance, but did he actually have a draw ?!

Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: The ChessCafe notes from 2004 I have seen don't consider 35...a6, but they may be others I don't know about. Perhaps you can be a bit more precise.
Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: <Howard> In a word, after 35.Kg3 Rxc+ is a weak move. The move 35...a6 is much better. Russian analysis have suggested that 36.Kh4 wins even against this better move. I have been going over the position using the Russian suggestion and it seems the position was won already. But remember chess is very tricky...
Apr-14-14  john barleycorn: I found this regarding 35...a6 . Don't know whether the russian analysts stole it from the same source:

< 35...Rxc3+;
The only move Black can really play in this position.

I should also point out that I analyzed this game on a friend's computer with the computer program Fritz 4. (This was like in 1996.) The computer thought for over an hour, (in this position); and it still considered this position to be ... completely winning for BLACK!!! (ha ha ha)

[ 35...a6?!; 36.Kh4 Rxc3; 37.g6 c5; 38.dxc5 bxc5!?; 39.Kg5! Re3; 40.Kf6! Kg8; 41.Rg7+! Kh8; 42.Rc7! Re8; 43.Kxf5! c4; (Bad is: 43...Kg8?!; when Black is setting himself up for a fork as White advances his f-pawn.) 44.Kg5 Rd8; 45.f5 d4; 46.f6 Kg8; (46...d3; 47.Kh6 d2; 48.g7+ Kg8; 49.f7#) 47.Kh6, (" ") and White is winning. ].>

Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: I have been careless in my notes and sometimes I have mixed above two different variations, the one coming from 35.Kg3 Rxc3+ 36.Kh4 a6 and the one from 35.Kg3 a6 right away. But in either case White wins if his King follows the route Kg3-h4-h5 right away.
Jul-15-14  Howard: This just in ! Chernev's well-known classic The Most Instructive Games of Chess Ever Played is now coming out in.....algebraic ! You can pre-order it now.

That book has been around for about 50 years---tells you something about its enduring appeal.

Dec-15-14  Howard: So, thus, it appears that.....35...a6 would have put up much stronger resistance, but the mighty Cuban still should have won anyway.

Is that correct ?!

Jun-26-15  Howard: So the "point of no return" was when Black failed to play 33...Nd1. After that, the game was lost completely---correct ?
Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: <Howard> After 33...Nf5 34.BxN gxf 35.Kg3 there seems to exist no defense at all. The best is 35...a6. What is remarkable is that as far as I could tell in all variations White wins by infiltrating his King via Kg3-h4-h5. That was completely unexpected to me.

As to the options to 33...Nf5, sorry, but I have not gone over that.

Sep-09-15  The Kings Domain: This has been one of my all-time favorites. Capablanca's classical style of play has all the beauty and subtlety of the finest masterwork only a truly outstanding artist can conceive. One can't fail to appreciate his complete dominance of the game: the way he alters threats on both the kingside and queenside at the start; the sacrifice of his pawn on the h-file in order to bring his rook into play, changing the course of the game; and the masterly endgame, where he sacrifices his pawns in order not to lose momentum at his advanced pawns at black's kingside. His confidence in his game is admirable considering the tense position. Gotta love the sly and nimble move where he hides his king behind black's pawn rather than capturing it, nullifying black's chances at delaying checks. He had his opponent dancing to his tune from start to finish, and none could do it more elegantly.
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