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Emanuel Lasker vs Jose Raul Capablanca
"Havana Knights" (game of the day Oct-17-2008)
Lasker - Capablanca World Championship Match (1921), Havana CUB, rd 10, Apr-08
Queen's Gambit Declined: Orthodox Defense. Rubinstein Variation (D61)  ·  0-1


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Given 55 times; par: 139 [what's this?]

Annotations by Jose Raul Capablanca.      [26 more games annotated by Capablanca]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-03-05  SnoopDogg: Funny, today I see Modern GM's agreeing to a draw in such simplified positions. I have this crazy idea that GM's below 2700 or even any of them do not have as much skill as Capablanca did in the endgame. If any do, they don't show it.
Jan-09-06  Caplasker: After 61...Rf2+, Capablanca writes in his book:

"Again the rook moves have a definate object, and that is to have the same position as before but with the White Rook at K3, so as to facilitate the advance of the Pawns. Black could, of course, have won without these moves, but it would have taken longer."

Can someone explain this comment?
Why does having White's Rook at E3
(or K3 as Capa refers to it)facilitate the advance of the pawns?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: < Does anyone have his best endgame, with annotation?> I believe that Dover Publications still has in print the following book first publshed in 1982: Capablanca's Best Endings, by Irving Chernev, which covers 60 complete games with emphasis on annotating the endgames. This game (Round #10 from the 1921 Match for the World Championship) is game #32 in the Chernev book.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Marmot PFL: Bernstein: "Have you made any preparations for the match?" Lasker: "No."
"Have you taken time out to rest?"
"At least are you taking along a chessboard in order to study chess on the voyage?" "No."
"Have you reviewed the openings you will play and studied the games of Capablanca." "No."
"That is pure madness," I said. There was no answer.
May-08-06  Open Defence: <Caplasker> look at the position after White's 61st move .. and then after White's 65th move .. they are identical except that Black has already played e5 .. this is what 61..♖f2+ did, it won an important tempo for Black to play e5 without White having changed the position of his pieces ..
Jun-21-06  Ulhumbrus: 48...g5 serves to hinder counterplay by h4, gaining a passed h pawn. If White tries supporting h4 by moving his King to g4, that pins the d pawn and invites ...e5 in a position where White cannot respond by d4xe5. Lasker therefore plays 49 g4, making the g pawn backward,planning Nf3 and only now does Capablanca release his control of h4 by 49...Nd6. Now Lasker plays 50 Ng1 intending Nf3 and perhaps h4. Capablanca however does not intend to wait for Nf3, and the move ...Nd6 has taken a step towards distracting Lasker from Nf3 by first 50...Ne4+ and then by giving checks with the Rook. With the Black Rook cutting White's King off on the back rank, Nf3 and h4 can be answered by ...Rg2 attacking the g4 pawn, which cannot then be defended.With the moves 53 ...Rb2-f2+ 54 Ke1 Ra2 Capablanca plans to play ...Kg7 with his R on a2 instead of on b2. The result is that if White's Rook tries to go to a flank file on the Queen side, it cannot go to a3 (with the Black Rook on a2) but has b3 undefended by Black's Rook instead - or rather, would have b3 available instead,but for the fact that moving the Rook to this square allows the fork ...Nd2+. Thus the effect of 53...Rb2-f2+ 54 Ke1 Ra2 is to deny to White's QR the ability to move to the Queen side flank. Lasker would like to play h4 before Capablanca plays ..g5, but Capablanca does not give him time, making threats on the the d4 pawn and the g3 pawn, and then playing ..g5 as soon as Lasker has become ready for h4. A piece of well timed play on Capablanca's part, then.
Jul-13-06  Crispin: Capa is really the best Chessplayer at all times.
Jul-13-06  CapablancaFan: Of course he is.:-)
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Capablanca couldn't really make a comment about 17.Bxd5. He said elsewhere that he never had a losing position in the match. When he looked over this game he probably saw the 17.Bxf6 was much better and close to winning so he preferred to keep silent about it.
Jul-13-06  Ulhumbrus: Capablanca comments on 17 Bxd5 in a later book, " a primer of chess". He says " At first glance Black seems to have the better position. Such , however, is not the case. White could play 17 Bxf6 Bxf6 ( Not 17...Nxf6 because of 18 Ng6 which would give White a winning game because after 18...fxg6 19 Rxe6 regains the piece ) 18 Bxd5 exd5 19 Qf5 leaving Black with a very difficult position to defend." (Capablanca)
Oct-14-06  notyetagm: Note that 23 ♖c5? fails to 23 ... ♖xd4!, <REMOVING THE GUARD> of the loose White c5-rook by capturing the White d4-pawn defender and replacing it with the White d1-rook which cannot defend the White c5-rook from the d4-square like the White d4-pawn could (<ILLUSORY PROTECTION, SUBSTITUTION>).

Position after 23 ♖c5? ♖xd4! (VARIATION):

click for larger view

Note that this tactical idea of capturing the pawn chain base which defends a loose rook and making the opponent recapture with the other rook to <REMOVE THE GUARD> was -exactly- what Topalov had in mind in Rapid Game 4 when he played 44 ... ♖xc5??. He captured the White c5-pawn chain base that defended the loose White b6-rook and thought that White would replace it with the White a5-rook, which cannot defend b6 from c5 (i.e., 45 ♖xc5+?? ♔xb6).

Unfortunately for Topalov, White does not have to play 45 ♖xc5+?? but instead wins with the simple <ZWISCHENSCHACH> sequence 45 ♖b7+! ♖xb7 46 ♖xc5+ ♔b6 47 axb7, winning a whole rook.

Jan-19-07  Shams: Capablanca's note to black's 54th:
<All these moves have a meaning. The student should carefully study them.>

he is world champion! I'm waiting for a GM to say, "I played this because I felt like putzing around".

Jan-19-07  Wolfgang01: Because white cannot move his knight after 14. … Rac8 whites plan starting with 15. Ne5 looks a little unlucky. I think 15. Qd3 would have been better in disabling Bb5 and threatning 16. Ne5.
Aug-13-07  sanyas: It should be pointed out that after 17.♗xf6 ♗xf6 18.♗xd5 exd5 19.♕f5 ♗c6 White can also try 20.♘d7!? ♗xd7 21.♕xd7 ♖fd8 22.♕f5 ♖c4 23.♘xd5?! (otherwise White seems to have nothing) but this runs into 23...♕xd5! 24.♖e8+ ♖xe8 25.♕xd5 ♖xd4 26.♕f3 ♖d2 and Black has much the better of it.
Dec-02-07  notyetagm: Game Collection: Grooming passed pawns for promotion

Lasker vs Capablanca, 1921

Position after 68 ... ♔c5-d5 0-1:

click for larger view

Black (Capablanca) supports his powerful Black d4-passed pawn with his d5-king, e4-knight, and a2-rook.

"There is nothing left. The Black pawn will advance and White will have to give up his Knight for it." -- Capablanca

Feb-20-08  positionalgenius: <Square dance> Here is the game
Mar-02-08  Knight13: This is a freakin' strategic masterpiece.
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: I wonder if this was one of the games that helped Petrosian develop his concept of "pawn islands." After 40 moves, White has 3 to Black's one, and all of them are weak.
Oct-17-08  CapablancaFan: It's the type of endgame that should be studied with great care by any seriously aspiring chess player. Look at how Capa conducts the endgame. Every move has purpose, nothing wasted. He does not try to "force" the pawn down immediately, but only moving it when conditions warrant it. Capa's knight is like kryptonite to Lasker's position, dominating everything around it. Once it settles in on e4, the rest of the game plays itself out.
Premium Chessgames Member
  sleepyirv: I always meant to study Capablanca's moves in this game from his suggestion. Somehow I always forgot to come back to this very interesting endgame.
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: Was 64...e5 *unquestionably* best? The maneuver Kc6-b5-c4 also seems to win. (White must be careful about playing Rb3 because of the fork.)
Oct-17-08  maxi: The justification for 9...h3 is the eventual threat of White playing ♗xh7+ and if Black plays ♘x♗ then ♗x♗ since the Black Queen is not there to retake.
Oct-17-08  Superbull: wow, a faultless endgame by Capa
Oct-17-08  KingV93: wow. Here we have a Capablanca game where he wins by a purely technical exploitation of a better endgame position. How can anybody call his games dry and boring? shocking. What impresses me the most is the modesty displayed in his annotations. Truly humble. Appropriate that this is a game of the day during the Anand-Kramnik drawfest.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: The result is a little more one-sided than it looks as Lasker won zero games to four for his opponent.

This was the second of these wins.

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