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Jose Raul Capablanca vs Sidney Norman Bernstein
Simul, 46b (1928), Brooklyn Institute, New York, NY USA, Dec-01
Budapest Defense: Alekhine Variation (A52)  ·  1/2-1/2


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Kibitzer's Corner
Sep-18-06  Resignation Trap: Black in this game was Sidney Norman Bernstein , as it says on the "scoresheet".
Oct-23-07  Miacat: If I was black I don't think I'd of agreed a draw in the final position.
Oct-23-07  RookFile: Well, black isn't winning, but he sure isn't losing, either.
Premium Chessgames Member
  InspiredByMorphy: A minor piece and pawn is equal to the rook in this endgame. This is probably a theoretical draw.
Jun-12-10  jerseybob: Not sure I get Capa's 7.g3. 7.Nf3 seems better.
Nov-02-10  technical draw: <If I was black I don't think I'd of agreed a draw in the final position.>

Umm, that's the great Capablanca playing white. It's a simul. I don't know who offered the draw but if it was Capa then the 17 year old Bernstein did the proper thing in accepting and his smile probably lasted a few years.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: There is also the position. White's king has a near fortress in the center. Black can do very little because his King can't approach. If he tries to circle around to f3, for instance, Capa has plenty of time to play his Knight to c4 and attack the pawn on a5. I am guessing that Bernstein probably saw this and, offered the draw.
Nov-03-10  technical draw: <I am guessing that Bernstein probably saw this and, offered the draw.>

Do you really think a 17 year old would have the cojones to offer a draw to WC Capablanca? I don't think so. I rather think that young Bernstein was in awe that he lasted so long.

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: According to <Red Light, Green Light> magazine, the final exchange took place like this:

"Look, Syd. I can call you Syd, can't I? Look, I am tired, I have a date...did I say she had a sister? Well, let's take a draw, end this exhibition and you can with me on the town with me and two lovely ladies. If not... my driver Ramon will meet you later and break your bones. Which sounds better to you? My way, everybody goes home a winner. Your way, Ramon goes home a winner. Yeah, kid, I knew you would see it my way."

Nov-03-10  technical draw: <TheFocus> The way I heard it was that after Capa played 37.a4 he said to the kid: "te rompo la mano si te atreves a hacer otra jugada".

and the kid accepted the draw.

Nov-03-10  technical draw: Just one post is enough for my ignore list.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <technical draw> <TheFocus> <The way I heard it was that after Capa played 37.a4 he said to the kid: "te rompo la mano si te atreves a hacer otra jugada".>

LOL!! <I'll break your hand if you dare to make another move.>

I would have accepted the draw if Capa said that to me. I would just sit on my hands and nod 'yes' politely.

Oct-02-12  Blunderdome: <‘I first saw him when I visited the 1927 N.Y. tourney – he radiated more animal magnetism than any person I ever met. Years later we were introduced at the Marshall Club. ... I was one of 41 players opposing Capa at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 1928 (I think). After the “demise” of the other 40, Capa and I “were head to head”. I had played the Budapest Defense (my favorite of those years), and the game was one of the most exciting I’ve ever been involved in. Capa threw caution to the winds, castling queen’s [side] and allowing me to fork his rooks at f2 and win the exchange. But he attacked viciously (fiendishly) and chased my king all over the board. How I survived was a miracle – the black monarch finally ended up on the queen’s side and the queens were exchanged. In the ending his knight was unassailably installed at d5, while I had a rook. He had five pawns, all connected; I had four, also connected. There were no passed pawns. He proposed a draw, which I turned down. He became very angry – seems he had a ship to catch for Havana, and started to curse at me in Spanish. ’Twas about 3.30 a.m. and I finally relented. But one of the greatest tragedies of my chess life is that I don’t have the score of this drawn game.’>

A letter from Bernstein to Edward Winter, from Winter's article "A Great Chess Figure."

Oct-02-12  ughaibu: The description of the game is somewhat off, nevertheless, it'll be fun to see the Capablanca fans try to pooh-pooh his getting angry with an opponent, to the extent of cursing him during the game. In any case, how the hell did it take until 3:30 in the morning? It was Capablanca, fastest player ever.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <He proposed a draw, which I turned down. He became very angry – seems he had a ship to catch for Havana, and started to curse at me in Spanish. ’Twas about 3.30 a.m. and I finally relented.>

The <BDE> for Monday, 3rd December, 1928, p.29:

<It took Jose R. Capablanca a little over four hours to wind up his great exhibition of simultaneous play at the rooms of the Brooklyn Institute Chess Club, Saturday night, when he finished with the fine score - remarkable even for him - of 43 wins and three draws.

[...] Capablanca was as fresh as a daisy when he finished his big task.>

These seances typically began around 8 pm.

The <BDE> for 27th December, p.30, gave Bernstein's notes to the game, of which I give the first and last:

<(a) I played this defense because I knew that White believed it to be inferior, and I wished to see the method he would employ against it.


(r) At this point Senor Capablanca gave it as his opinion that Black could only win, if at all, by problem like play and, since it was very late, the game was called drawn. However, Black has quite an appreciable edge in the position.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: White has a Pawn for the exchange. All White Pawns are close enough so that they can be protected by the King and the Knight, and the Black 3 Pawns are blocked by an equal number of White Pawns. The White Knight has good central prancing squares. It is a clear draw.
Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: With 26.Be5 Capa sinned against the spirit of chess. He exchanges his great Bishop and at the same time allows Black to exchange his tremendous Rook. After 27.Rh6, with Rh7 in mind, Black would have to resign in a couple of moves. And with no aggravation.
Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: In my previous comment I meant to write: "After 26.Rh6, with Rh7 in mind, Black would have to resign in a couple of moves."
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: From a simultaneous exhibition in Brooklyn, New York on December 1, 1928.

Capablanca scored +43=3-0.

Source is Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

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Featured in the Following Game Collection [what is this?]
New York, NY (+43 -0 =3) 01.12.1928
from Capablanca plays the world... (III) by MissScarlett

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