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Jose Raul Capablanca vs Marc Fonaroff
"The Nutty Professor" (game of the day Jul-16-2011)
Casual Game (1918), New York, NY USA, Jun-18
Spanish Game: Berlin Defense. Hedgehog Variation (C66)  ·  1-0


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Given 96 times; par: 37 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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May-19-16  wooden nickel: here's how to slip up
20.Nh6+ Kh8 21.Nxf7+ Qxf7 22.Qxe5 Qxf2+ 23.Kh1 Qf1+

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Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: One of the classics.

Black must have thought Capa had blundered when he played 18....Rd1

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This one is up there with Morphy at the Opera. Both were 'friendly' games.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <saturn2: 20 f4 is not the solution but I dont think it weakens white's position. 20..Bxb2 21 e5 f6 and white still is attacking.>

In that case 22.Qb3+ wins the bishop, right? Black has to play 21...g6 to stop the mate.

May-19-16  Gregor Fenrir: Beautiful combination, but after 18. Bxe5 black should play 18.... Qa5! (attacks bishop and threatens a mate in one.) Then game could continue 19.Bc3 Bxc3 20.bxc3 Rg6 (only move) 21.Ne7+ Kh8 22.Nxg6+ hxg6.
May-19-16  JohnDMaster: No credit. One of my favorite Capa games I have memorized and show to my students.the entire game is instructive.
May-19-16  Tuan9371: Wow! A nice game
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Capa was able to carry out a win, despite a surprise move by opponent.
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: The original source, from Helms' NY Evening Post article, is available for viewing here:

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <Sally><Black must have thought Capa had blundered when he played 18....Rd1>

Or he thought,

"What the heck?! Hmmm... let me think...

I don't see it, but I'll bite - this has got to be good."

Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: Got this instantly! ... but only because it's a well-known game.

I can only speculate how I would have done if given the position without the players' names. That would have been the better test of my pattern recognition.

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <I can only speculate how I would have done if given the position without the players' names. That would have been the better test of my pattern recognition.>

I checked for the game over at <ChessTempo>, it's not there. I wonder if I should submit it to Richard.

It would be interesting to see what ratings it would get when presented as an anonymous position/problem.

May-19-16  northernfox: WooHoo! I got Monday through Thursday this week. The streak should end tomorrow.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <Zanzibar *** I checked for the game over at <ChessTempo>, it's not there. ***>

It was a casual game, so it may be missing from some databases, but it has been widely published due to the elegance of its concluding combination.

The historical context of the game has sometimes been reported inaccurately, as detailed by Edward Winter, here:

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <Peligroso> yes, you're right. I forgot that <CT> only takes master games.

Too bad, it's a great problem.

Wonder if there's a GM game with the motif revisited?

* * * * * *

As for Winter's article, it's a good ref for the game, and I linked it in my blog post.

May-19-16  erixn: I got this one fairly easily - but probably only because I had just gone over the GOTD with a back rank mate motif quite similar to this game. Good choice, CG!
May-19-16  King.Arthur.Brazil: Beautiful combination! 20. Nh6+ Kh8 (forced),21.Qxe5 (win the B) Qxe5 (if not lose the piece, look g7 is pin, Qc8, 22.Nf5...), 22.Nxf7+ recover the Q and win the B, obviously Rxf7, 22.Rd8+ and mate follow. See it quickly.
May-19-16  King.Arthur.Brazil: Looking at the game, the beggining of all:
17. Rxd6!! (is more impressive! Threatening 18.Rxf6...) Rxd6 18.Bxe5 Rd1 (it is just a desperate move, cause of three threatenings the Rd6, the Qc7 indirectly and Qxg7#). 19.Rxd1 Bxe5 arriving at today problem. I guess that CAPA had all the combination in mind, when he played 17.Rxd6!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi Zanzibar,

"Wonder if there's a GM game with the motif revisited?"


Alekhine vs Vidmar, 1911

White to play

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Larsen vs E Nievergelt, 1954

White to play. (a Thursday puzzle a while back.)

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Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <Sally> thanks for those examples.

I found this game also:

(White to move after 19...Red8)

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r2r2k1 /pbq2ppp/1p3b2/1B2nN2/8/1P4Q1/PB3PPP/3R1RK1 w - - 0 20

It's not exactly sharp, but has the same ideas going in both variations.

From a non-<CG> olm game:

<Takashima, B -- Allaham, M
1-0 (25) A01 1984.11
Thessaloniki olm: Thessaloniki olm (1)>

One idea missing is the WBR, but several of the other tactics are here too.

Feb-22-17  Jimmy720: memorize
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: Engines crack this game wide open, but lets not delve into distractions over Capa's achievement over another lesser-opponent

Capa built his legacy by crushing weaker opponents


Dec-07-17  sudoplatov: I have done the side switch a few times. Of course, none of the people involved were more than 1900 players (including me.)

I was watching a casual game from about move 20 or so when one of the players resigned. I thought the position was worse, but extremely complicated and that it could be defended. So I took over; set up a counter attack (lots of pieces on the board; I think only a pair of Knights and a Pair of Pawns had been exchanged.) I won.

Then the original player who had resigned wanted to try his position again (the one I had won from). I won the other side. Causal chess is fun.

Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: The funny farm is not Fonaroff
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eduardo Bermudez B.: One hundred years of this beautiful combination of the best and most outstanding student of Enmanuel Lasker !!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Dr Winston OBoogie: How classy is this.. QxB!

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..QxQ .Nxf7!!

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