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Ilia Abramovich Kan vs Jose Raul Capablanca
Moscow (1936)  ·  Vienna Game: Anderssen Defense (C25)  ·  0-1
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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-17-04  Lawrence: Strange that Capa didn't fling his Rook and go for a Queen with 55...c3. (Junior 8) Maybe he felt he didn't need a Queen.
Feb-17-04  Kenkaku: The game was over at that point anyway. A simple reluctance to part with material when it wasn't necessary is most likely what held him back.
Feb-17-04  drukenknight: How to lose an endgame. Another lesson, again there is a passed pawn situation and white's K is totally out of position. How did that happen? It's not really about counting or anything like that, look at move 49....
Feb-20-04  Lawrence: This game receives 4 pages of analysis in "OMGP" vol. 1, both Capa's own comments and Garry Kimovich's. Euwe praised it as being the best game of the tournament and especially lauded Capa's endgame, but Gazza finds fault with 34...g4?! (34...Rb8!) and 40...g3?! (40...Rh1!). 40...g3 was probably made in time trouble.

Kan sealed his reply, move 41, and when the game was readjourned an official came up to Kan and said "Mr. Capablanca says that if your sealed move is 41.f4 he offers you a draw." Unfortunately, it wasn't. However, Kan played f4 on move 42 and Gazza says that now it loses immediately.

May-12-04
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: Chessgames: Kan vs Capablanca, 1936

is a duplicate that should be deleted. White did play 57.Kf3 as in this game according to the tournament book.

Dec-11-05  chesscrazy: According to Bruce Pandolfini, Kan played 57.Kf3 before resigning.

Analysis by Bruce Pandolfini (only of the endgame, starting from 29...g5): 29...g5! 30.h3 h5 31.Rh1 (to discourage 31...g4)31...Rd4+ 32.Ke2 Rg8 33.Rd3 Ra4 (Black should keep both rooks until he has a clear advantage)34.Rhd1 g4 35.hxg4 hxg4 36.Ke3 (fortifying the e-pawn and clearing the second rank for defensive purposes)36...Rh8! (fearlessly allowing 37.fxg4, because white is lost after 37...Rg8 38.Kf3 Rf8+ 39.Ke3 Rf4) 37.Rb3 Rh2 38.Rd2 Rd4! (threatening Rxd2)39.Re2 c6 40.Rc3 g3 (threatening Rf1)41.Rd3? (Reinfeld points out that after 41.f4 Rh4 42.fxe5 Rdxe4+ 43.Kf3 Rhf4+ 44.Kxg3 Rg4+ 45.Kf3 Rxe2 46.Kxe2 Rxg2+ 47.Kf3 Rh2 48.Kg3! white can probably draw)41...Rh1! 42.f4 Rf1! 43.f5+ Kf6 44.c3 Rxd3+ 45.Kxd3 d5! 46.b3?! (not necessarily the best move, white severely weakens his a and c-pawns)46...c4+ 47.bxc4 bxc4+ 48.Ke3 Ra1! 49.Kf3 Rxa3 50.Kxg3 Rxc3+ 51.Kh4 (hoping to sneak in g4 and g5+)51...Rc1! 52.g4 Rh1+ 53.Kg3 d4 54.Ra2 d3 55.Kg2 Re1 56.Kf2 Rxe4 57.Kf3 (either 57...Rf4+ or 57...Rd4 wins)0-1

Jun-25-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  notyetagm: From http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail...:

<The endgame genius of José Raúl Capablanca

25.06.2008 – Moscow 1936.

Soviet master Ilya Kan had drawn his first game against former world champion Capablanca, and things were looking very peaceful in their second encounter. But, as our Playchess lecturer Dennis Monokroussos shows, the great "Capa" was able to wring out a win in a "drawn" position, with deep strategic technique. Be there and learn – the show is free.

Dennis Monokroussos writes:

The great Cuban world chess champion, José Raúl Capablanca, was renowned for his endgame technique, and rightly so. Like every other player, he committed the occasional lapse in the final phase of the game, but overall he gained many, many more half points in the ending than he lost. Indeed, his endgame technique was so good that it helped lead to the sobriquet "The Chess Machine". As developing players, all of us can learn a lot from a careful examination of Capablanca's endgame play, and this week's ChessBase show is offered as a step in that direction.

Our game is from Moscow 1936, a major double round-robin event won by Capablanca ahead of (then) future world champion Mikhail Botvinnik and a number of other stars including Salo Flohr, former world champion Emanuel Lasker and the still-living Andor Lilienthal. Another participant was the strong Soviet master Ilya Kan, best known today as the founding father of the eponymous variation of the Sicilian Defense (1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6). While not in Capablanca's class, Kan was a respectable player in his own right, and managed to defeat the third-placed Flohr 1.5-0.5 in the event and split a pair of games with Lasker. He also drew his first game with Capablanca – with black, no less – and so with white the second time around it would seem he had reasonable chances to split their match.

Nothing about the opening suggested he'd have any difficulties in this regard. The players traded pieces as if they had prearranged a draw and wanted to make it look good for the audience. Yet despite reaching a double rook ending by move 23, the game was not yet drawn. While best play would surely result in a drawn outcome, Capablanca possessed a number of very small advantages. The difficulty for Kan was twofold: first, he was probably psychologically unprepared to fight for a draw, and may have just hoped it would fall into his lap with "normal", "good" moves. Second, there wasn't any way for him to force a draw. Capablanca could do this and that, improving his position on one side of the board, then the other side, and Kan needed to react – sometimes prophylactically, but sometimes with activity of his own. In short, Capablanca's position still had play, and Kan still had enough rope to hang himself.

The game is a model in several respects. "Capa" illustrates how to utilize a small advantage from both the practical and the psychological point of view. Conversely, we can learn from Kan's errors how to better prepare ourselves for a long defense. And concretely, there are various techniques Capablanca uses that we can adopt: play on both wings, using the minority attack in the endgame, the proper timing of pawn breaks, combining horizontal and vertical attacking ideas with rooks, and more. It's a beautiful game by one of chess's all-time greats, and you can watch it, live and for free, on ChessBase's Playchess.com server tomorrow (Wednesday) night at 9 p.m. ET. Directions for watching the show are here.

Hope to see you then! >

Jun-25-08  radu stancu: <<Lawrence>:Kan sealed his reply, move 41, and when the game was readjourned an official came up to Kan and said "Mr. Capablanca says that if your sealed move is 41.f4 he offers you a draw." Unfortunately, it wasn't. However, Kan played f4 on move 42 and Gazza says that now it loses immediately.>

Ouch, that must have been a weird moment for Kan... If adjournments were still in use I'd propose a rule against saying anything about the sealed move. You could use that as a form of psychological war - although you'd have to keep the bluffs-to-real-comment ratio pretty low to keep the tactic useful.

Jun-25-08  RookFile: Yes, I don't think you can do that today. In theory, even if Kan had sealed 41. f4, he would then have the right to respond to Capa's proposal by demanding that Capa come to the board, make a move, and then Kan could either accept or reject the draw offer.
Jun-26-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  notyetagm: <radu stancu: <<Lawrence>:Kan sealed his reply, move 41, and when the game was readjourned an official came up to Kan and said "Mr. Capablanca says that if your sealed move is 41.f4 he offers you a draw." Unfortunately, it wasn't. However, Kan played f4 on move 42 and Gazza says that now it loses immediately.>>

LOL

Jun-26-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: Kasparov's account of the adjournment makes no sense to me. Draws were often agreed to during adjournment. A player would send word of an offer probably in the morning before the session and if the draw was agreed neither would have to show up at the hall. In this description, both would have to be there. Kan to get the message and Capa if Kan didn't play f4. Capa could just offer the draw in person or simply wait till the envelope was opened.
Feb-19-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Garech: Beautiful endgame from Capa - as always.
Feb-19-10  AnalyzeThis: I thought that Kan handled the opening cleverly, in obtaining the two bishops. Should he have played 8. Qd1 instead of 8. Bg5?
Jun-13-12  solskytz: <Calli> Take into account that Capablanca, with his latin charm, was given to theatrical gestures...

a well known case was a tournament, I think New York 1927, where he was sure to win the tournament three rounds before the end, and was supposed to meet three of the contenders for second place in the last three rounds.

He then said, that he was going to make draws with all of them, 'so as not to influence the fight for second place'.

More than that, Nimzowitsch played overambitiously against him when it was his turn to face the Champion, I think it was in the round before last. He ran into trouble - at which point Capablanca called the arbiter, and told him so - "Unless Nimzowitsch will now play the exact moves that I will dictate to him, in order to improve his game (!), I shall be forced to beat him, against my will!".

The arbiter than dictated the following seven moves to Nimzowitsch, as given by Capablanca, and then the game could end in a draw.

OK to kill me if a detail or two in this story are historically inaccurate... I'm just a musician, not a chess historian, and I'm telling this anecdote from memory (and yes I know that Calli wrote what he wrote 4 years ago)

Jun-13-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <solskytz>< Take into account that Capablanca, with his latin charm, was given to theatrical gestures... a well known case was a tournament, I think New York 1927, where he was sure to win the tournament three rounds before the end, and was supposed to meet three of the contenders for second place in the last three rounds.

He then said, that he was going to make draws with all of them, 'so as not to influence the fight for second place'.

More than that, Nimzowitsch played overambitiously against him when it was his turn to face the Champion, I think it was in the round before last. He ran into trouble - at which point Capablanca called the arbiter, and told him so - "Unless Nimzowitsch will now play the exact moves that I will dictate to him, in order to improve his game (!), I shall be forced to beat him, against my will!".

The arbiter than dictated the following seven moves to Nimzowitsch, as given by Capablanca, and then the game could end in a draw.>

Quite theatrical, but not very charming. Of course Calli knows all this stuff.

Capablanca vs Nimzowitsch, 1927

Jun-13-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: Heh... <After Nimzo messed up, Capa was heard to say "Why must I win against this idiot?">

Btw, I suppose the renewed interest in this game has something to do with Radjabov vs Carlsen, 2012 that was played today at the Tal Memorial - there's quite a remarkable similarity between the two games, and Carlsen himself mentioned it as something that inspired him, or at least that he remembered. (That is, he was talking about "some game" by Capablanca, but from the description it's quite clear that's the one.) It's right at the start of the press conference: http://video.russiachess.org/view/h...

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