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Jose Raul Capablanca vs Viacheslav Ragozin
Semmering/Baden (1937), Semmering/Baden AUT, rd 5, Sep-14
Queen's Gambit Declined: Orthodox Defense. Rubinstein Attack (D64)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Oct-13-10  ozmikey: Another ending uncharacteristically butchered by Capa at this tournament! 40. Rh1 wins instantly, as 41. Qh8+ and 42. Rf1+ will either mate or win a pile of material, and even 40. Rf4 is good enough to win fairly comfortably. Instead, 40. Rf6??
Oct-13-10  visayanbraindoctor: This is the first time I have seen this game. It comes from the later Capablanca, the over-the-hill genius now prone to superficial calculations and blunders. One year later he would suffer a stroke. Five years later, Capa would be dead from a hypertensive cerebral hemorrhage.

Yet even here he shows his class, and the game is quite instructive.

Typical of Capa, he plays a mediocre opening, and gets into this position after 13...Qe8

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Just how is White suppose to drum up winning chances? Most players would probably implement a plan that involves castling and then going for a thematic e4 push.

Ragozin, one of the strongest Soviet chess masters of the time (and probably almost any one else), must have never expected it, but Capa began a plan that involved a pawn storm on the Kingside while developing his king into the center. It's nearly looks crazy at this point.

First White gets his Bishop out of the way and into a better square at e5.

14. Bf4 Ne4 15. Ne5 Nxe5 16. Bxe5

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Ragozin happily develops his Queen into an attacking square.

16..Qg6 17. Nf4 Qh6

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But then comes 18. Bxe4 fxe4

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and then 19. Ke2?!

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What?! Ragozin mulls.. Capa just developed his King into the center!

It turns out that Capa was planning to pawnstorm Black and sac his g and h pawns in order to open up lines into the Black King's fortress.

19.. g6 20. g4 Bxh4 21. g5 Qxg5 Rcg1

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And White has a strong attack, apparently conjured out of nothing at all!

The fact that the over-the-hill Capablanca later spoiled the game with a simple blunder does not take away its instructive value.

Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: Nice presentation <visayanbraindoctor>. Capa's 14.Bf4 is a deep move, very characteristic of the Cuban genius.
Oct-14-10  ughaibu: It was bollocks, the stroke myth has been fully debunked.
Oct-14-10  BobCrisp: Yeah, it was just a really bad headache.
Oct-14-10  visayanbraindoctor: Indeed, such big bad headaches that they could cause complaints, consults, temporary changes in sensorium, coma, and eventually death.

<maxi> Please see some of my presentations for some computer-like play by Capablanca in his 1909 match with Marshall. This match has lots of superb games of the young Capablanca, slugging it out against a mature Marshall at his tactical peak.

Marshall vs Capablanca, 1909

Capablanca vs Marshall, 1909

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