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Jose Raul Capablanca vs Ossip Bernstein
San Sebastian (1911), San Sebastian ESP, rd 1, Feb-20
Spanish Game: Berlin Defense (C65)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-18-05  RookFile: It was well known that you
DID NOT play a game for
money against Capblanca
when it was blitz. (Wagers
were very common.) The man
had an unrivalled fast
'sight of the board'.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: "Wow, almost as arrogant"

I don't agree. Capablanca was just stating the facts. When the book was published, no one disagreed.

Apr-18-05  RookFile: Capa backed it up with results.
He and Alekhine were simply head
and shoulders above Nimzo in playing
strength, and would take turns throughout their careers at slapping Nimzo silly.
Apr-18-05  Minor Piece Activity: None of the three above qualify as arrogance IMO, except maybe Fischer's, but I think that, in his mind, it's true and in that sense he's not boasting. The other two statements are just plain facts.
Sep-01-05  who: What's amazing to me is that this is the least magnificent of Capas wins over O. Bernstein. And it's still pretty nice.
Sep-01-05  RookFile: Except that I think Bernstein actually had a winning position just before the end, but you need to be a computer to find the moves.
Dec-09-05  ArturoRivera: “Nimzowitch, who considered himself very superior to me and others in the tournament, became very arrogant during the course of one of his lightning games against Bernstein, saying, because of a remark that I made, that I should not interfere in their game, as they were reputed masters and I had yet to become one. The outcome of his discourteous remark was a series of quick games for a side bet, which I won with ridiculous ease, and ended by his retracting the statement he had previously made. Many more of these games were played, until all the masters agreed that I had no equal at this kind of chess.” José Raul Capablanca

This is not arrogant, its proudly, worthy and correct, is Capablanca, the quote itself is so great!!!!!!

Dec-09-05  you vs yourself: <chancho> You up for a game on yahoo?
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: <you vs yourself> By the time you read this, we would have played already. :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  rhenry: <chessfather> I agree that 21... d5 is a strong alternative; Black may already be better here. I think Capa lost his way with 20. g4. I see two possible improvements earlier: 20. Qh3!? with the idea of Qh4 and Re3-g3, and 19. Neg3, already threatening sacrifices on h6 and g7. 19... Bxf5 seems virtually forced, but White is clearly better after 20. Nxf5 Kh7 21. Qg3 Ne6 22. e5. I think 17... Qa5 was indeed weak, even though White misplayed the attack later on.
Aug-21-06  capablancakarpov: According to Rogelio Caparros, the score of this game is incomplete. The final moves were:

34...Kh4 35.Qg3+ 1-0

Oct-08-06  syracrophy: 34...Kh4 35.Qg3+ Kg5 36.h4#

Charming! Bernstein just lost brilliantly to the player that he just said that shouldn't be accepted in the tournament! :-D

Oct-08-06  CapablancaFan: <syracrophy> It was actually Bernstein AND Nimzowitsch that tried to keep Capablanca out of the tournament because he hadn't met "previous tournament" requirements. It was Frank Marshall that successfully lobbied to allow Capa to participate. (Capa defeated Frank soundly in their previous encounter).
Oct-08-06  syracrophy: <CapablancaFan> Yes, I know. I have a book where comes some of chess history. And there appears that Capa won his entrance to the tournament by crushing Marshall 8-1 or something like that
Nov-24-07  Ulhumbrus: If Nimzovich objected to Capablanca "interfering" in his game, he gave the wrong reason, namely that Capablanca was not a master.If the real reason was that he objected to any outside comments at all, he could have said so. One commentator- possibly B H Wood -said that Capablanca "should have known" that he should not have interfered in Nimzovich's game, but that was wrong for two reasons (1) If there was no requirement of sllence, Capablanca's freedom of speech gave him a right to speak and (2) Capablanca had won against Marshall in a match. As for the idea of Capablanca relinquishing any part of his right to speak to Nimzovich, I suppose this could be a case of "give a man an inch of your civil liberty and he will take an ell". The move 22 Ne2 offers what may be an unsound sacrifice, as on move 24 instead of 25..Rh8 Black can turn the tables by 25..g5!. Capablanca said in his book "my chess career" that "there was nothing better" than 25...Rh8 but on later years he appeared to have changed his opinion and suggested 25..g5! Instead of 22 Ne2, 22 c4! setting up a Maroczy bind may be better
Feb-26-08  frank124c: After going over a few of Capa's games, would I be wrong to assume that Capa's style seems to be primarily an attack on the castled King?
Feb-26-08  euripides: <frank> early in his career he mainly played 1.e4, and this generated some very fine attacking games. Later he often played 1.d4 and some of the greatest games are attacks on a weakened queen's side. For this reason he is often called a 'positional' player, though his 'positional' games can be very sharp and incisive. See

Capablanca vs Spielmann, 1927

for one classic example.

Jul-12-08  Ulhumbrus: Capablanca's comment on 28...Nc5 is " Evidently an error which made the winning easier for White, as he took the Rook with the Knight and kept up the attack . Black should have played 28...Nxg7. Then would have followed: 29 Nf6+ Kg6 30 Nxd7 f6 (best) 31 e5 Kf7 31 Nxf6 Re7 33 Ne4 and Black should lose." (Capablanca) Taking this variation, can anyone provide the analysis which Fritz or Rybka give of the position after the move 33 Ne4?
Sep-15-10  Russian Grandmasters: This game won the tournament "Beauty Prize."
<Capablanca's> reception at <San Sebastian 1911>:

"The Europeans regarded Capablanca to be a "Greenhorn", the product of a heavy advertising campaign by American newspapers. When the Cuban arrived in the Basque resort, several participants in the tournament doubted whether the 22-year-old "cub" was sufficiently strong to compete with the world's leading players. The loudest protests came from Ossip Bernstein and Aron Nimzowitsch, sending a written objection to the organizers. The organizers, however, insisted that Capablanca play in the tournament. Not only that, Capablanca came "clean" first, and his game with Bernstein received the prize for beauty."

--Tomasz Lissowski
Chess Vistula

Jan-29-11  Eduardo Bermudez: from time to time one american chessplayer go to europe and won a big tournement, for instance: morphy,, fine, fischer, dominguez, nakamura !!
Jan-29-11  CapablancaFan: 22..Qxa2? 23...Qxc2? This is what happens when you're more concerned about pawn grabbing than what's going on around your king.
Premium Chessgames Member
  jessicafischerqueen: This is a video annotation of the game by <Kingscrusher>- part of his evolution of style series:


<Evolution of Style> playlist:

Jan-31-13  Llawdogg: Don't gossip, Ossip.
Feb-21-16  peterh99: One of the commenters says Capa was probably lost near the end but gives no variations. Hmm.... Since many readers by now have engines, was Capa lost near the end, in the 'opinion' of these engines?
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <peterh99: One of the commenters says Capa was probably lost near the end but gives no variations. Hmm.... Since many readers by now have engines, was Capa lost near the end, in the 'opinion' of these engines?>

Do mean this kibitz? It's the first one on this game.

<Lawrence:... Kasparov however in OMGP vol. 1 points out that Capa's plan was not waterproof and if B. had played 25.....g5 or 25.....Rg8 then Capa should not have won the game, maybe even lost it. 28.....Nc5?? (time trouble?) throws the game away. Bernstein should have played 28.....Rd8 (Gazza). Junior 8 on the other hand comes up with both 28.....Nxg7 and 28.....Reg8.>

click for larger view


click for larger view

White threatens Nxe8 followed by Nf6+. He also threatens ♙f5-f5. For example 29.f5 Nxg7 30.Nf6#!

click for larger view

A very unusual mate!

Kasparov apparently reckons that 28...Rd8 would have been better:

click for larger view

Play might then have gone

29. f5 Nf8 (Δ30...Qb6!=)

<(29... Nc5 30. g5 Nd3

<(30... hxg5 31. Qxg5 Qxe2 32. Nf6#)>

31. g6+ fxg6 32. fxg6+ Kg8 33. Rf1 Ne5 34. Ref2 Nxg6 35. Rg2 )>

30. Kh1 Kg8 31. g5 Nh7 32. g6 Ng5 33. h4 fxg6 34. hxg5 gxh5 35. gxh6 Kf7 36. Rg1

click for larger view

I don't think Black has a draw at move 28. Perhaps 28...Ref8 is a better idea.

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