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Emanuel Lasker vs Jose Raul Capablanca
"The Whole Shooting Match" (game of the day Apr-09-2008)
Lasker - Capablanca World Championship Match (1921), Havana CUB, rd 14, Apr-20
Spanish Game: Berlin Defense. Closed Showalter Variation (C66)  ·  0-1
ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Given 29 times; par: 87 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Sep-22-05  ConfusedPatzer: It's a big misconception that players of the "classical era" of chess were a bunch of drones of the rigid "rules" of strategy. And to accuse Lasker of such a thing an even bigger outrage! It was exactly because of his flexible understanding of strategy that some said "he made bad moves on purpose".And one of the reasons he made Steinitz look like a patzer.
Sep-22-05  RookFile: 16.... c6 is a great move in this
game, probably the best move of the
whole game. In the book Dynamic Chess, by Coles, there are a number of examples given where the losing
side an opportunity to play a 'weakening' move like this, but failed to do so, and got ground down. Not so with Capablanca in this game.
Apr-28-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  cu8sfan: The last game of the 1921 Lasker - Capablanca match. It's 85 years to the day that Lasker gave up the match and Capablanca became World Champion.
Mar-02-08  Knight13: <RookFile: 16.... c6 is a great move in this game, probably the best move of the
whole game. >
Well, Black had to somehow kick that knight out of d5. Even an amateur would play it, but not with Capablanca's stated reason.
Apr-09-08  CapablancaFan: Great annotations by Capablanca. He even chastises himself on a particular move. I like the way Capa, in a few strokes, manages to work his queen from the queenside to the kingside. Obviously, 29.Kh2 is a blunder, but I would be interested in what people thought of 29.g4 instead? The position at this point in the game is very difficult, but wondered if this moved offered white better chances.
Apr-09-08  Samagonka: Whoever has the time to read so many notes?!
Apr-09-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: It was clear to me,if one game can show,that Lasker was tired and no ready to keep the championship. His sharp,aggressive play was blunted by Capablanca's precision.

In basketball talk,Lasker's play resulted in too many turnovers and too few points for himself.

Apr-09-08  Threlicus: Capa writes, about 47 c5, that it was forced because otherwise Rb2 wins a piece. I don't see it. I mean, Ndb1 doesn't look great for white, but I don't see him losing a piece... explanation?
Apr-09-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <Capablanca Fan> <Obviously, 29.Kh2 is a blunder, but I would be interested in what people thought of 29.g4 instead? The position at this point in the game is very difficult, but wondered if this moved offered white better chances.>

I liked the way that black patiently used his advantage gained off of the rook knight exchange to earn the victory.

In response to your inquiry, I would look at 29 Rfe3 very carefully. it protects the kingside pawn structure better than 29 g4 and would also allow for Nf3, harassing black's queen.


click for larger view

The match looks even at this point.

Apr-09-08  Riverbeast: <JimfromProvidence> I still like black in that position. 29...Nd7 prepares for a leap to c5 or e5 (white would lose a pawn on 30. b4 Ne5)

If 30. Nf3, 30. ...Qf4 maintains the pressure (threatening ...Nc5 and ...Bxf5)

Apr-09-08  Riverbeast: <I would be interested in what people thought of 29.g4 instead?>

After 29. g4, ...h5 looks strong

<Capa writes, about 47 c5, that it was forced because otherwise Rb2 wins a piece. I don't see it. I mean, Ndb1 doesn't look great for white, but I don't see him losing a piece... explanation?>

After ...Rb2, if white plays Ndb1 then ...Rab3. The knights are immobilized and black plays ...d5 and ...d4

If Ncb1, ...Rxg3 and ...d5 wins easily enough

Apr-09-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <Riverbeast> <I still like black in that position. 29...Nd7 prepares for a leap to c5 or e5 (white would lose a pawn on 30. b4 Ne5)

If 30, Nf3, 30. ...Qf4 maintains the pressure (threatening ...Nc5 and ...Bxf5)>

Assuming 29Nd7 30 Nf3 Qf4, then 31 b4.


click for larger view

Im not seeing a breakthrough for either side at this point.

Apr-09-08  Riverbeast: <JimfromProvidence> In that position, 31...b5 prepares to exchange white's c4 pawn (if 32. cxb5 axb5) and play ...d5
Apr-09-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: Riverbeast> <In that position, 31...b5 prepares to exchange white's c4 pawn (if 32. cxb5 axb5) and play ...d5>

OK. After 31 b5 32 cxb5 axb5 white plays 33 g3!


click for larger view

Apr-09-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: In retrospect, I think white should have played g3 earlier, specifically 31 g3 after 29Nd7 30 Nf3 Qf4.


click for larger view

Black's best play might be to retreat after 29Nd7 30 Nf3 with 30Qf6.

Apr-09-08  Riverbeast: <JimfromProvidence> Good move. I didn't see 33. g3

I still feel black is better here though... but I saw problems with my suggested ...Nf6 after 31. b4 (specifically, it doesn't threaten ...Bxf5 because of g3 again...After the queen ends up on h3, white plays Nd4 and Nxf5)

It's trickier than I thought. After 31. b4 maybe ...h5 is best. That way the queen can retreat to h6 after white plays g3, and the threats arising from the pin on the e3 rook are maintained (...b5, ...d5, etc)

Apr-09-08  Riverbeast: <JumfromProvidence> And in the position above, I think black can safely take on g3....After the queen ends up on h3 white no longer has Nd4 and Nxc6 (unless there's another tactical trick I'm missing)
Apr-09-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  ganso: <Professeur Y> <Euripides> Yes, Capa must have written, in Spanish, "ganar la calidad a cambio de un pen," which translates literally as "win the quality in exchange for a pawn," but really means "win the exchange for a pawn"
Apr-09-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <Riverbeast> <And in the position above, I think black can safely take on g3....After the queen ends up on h3 white no longer has Nd4 and Nxc6 (unless there's another tactical trick I'm missing)>

I strongly believe that playing 30Qf4 puts black in peril.

After 29Nd7 30 Nf3 Qf4 31 g3, then 31Qxg3+. Now 32 Rg2 Qxh3 33 Ne2, (threatening Rg3).


click for larger view

Apr-09-08  rogl: It is not only in French and Spanish that winning the exchange is literally translated to winning the quality. This is also true in German "die Qualitt gewinnen" and Swedish "vinna kvalitet" and I'm sure in several other languages.
Apr-09-08  drpoundsign: Props to the "Mozart" of chess. Beating grown men in Kindergarten.

What a Genius

May-09-08  jeeky1996: Lasker was having emotional problems at that time, so he was pretty nervous and lost to Capablanca. I still trying to analyse it.
May-09-08  Riverbeast: <JimfromProvidence> I never saw your reply until now, so we didn't get to continue our analysis.

Since g3 is such a troublesome move, after your initial suggestion of 29. Rfe3, I suggest 29...h5 immediately.

This way, if the black queen on f4 is attacked by g3, she can retreat to h6, maintain the pressure on the e3 rook, and play for ...d5.

If white's queen takes on d6, ...Bxf5 looks good for black

Black has to be better. White's dark squares are too weak. Lasker's 28. f5 was a highly anti-positional move.

(I think Fischer was probably thinking of games like this, when he said Lasker was a "coffeehouse player" who "didn't understand positional chess")

May-13-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <riverbeast> I think in that case, after 29 Rfe3 h5, then 30 b4.


click for larger view

Despite the awkwardness of white's position, he appears to be adequately defended.

Oct-17-08  AAAAron: Ok can someone PLEASE explain why Capablanca didn't take the pawn on e4 right away with 4. Nxe4. The only possible explanation for this is that playing as black he did not want to lose another tempo.
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