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Jose Raul Capablanca vs Samuel Reshevsky
Semmering/Baden (1937), Semmering/Baden AUT, rd 11, Sep-23
English Opening: King's English. Four Knights Variation Flexible Line (A28)  ·  1/2-1/2

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
May-28-08  RookFile: This game was interesting. It looks like Reshevsky was on the knife's edge of defeat here, but saved himself with engergetic defense.
Oct-22-10  ozmikey: For a player of Capa's calibre, this should have been a trivial endgame win. He really must have been out of form in this event.
Oct-23-10  visayanbraindoctor: <ozmikey> I think he was. Only 5 years later, Capa would be dead from a hypertensive cerebral hemorrhage, and the pathology involved in these things do not just develop overnight. The now vulnerable Cuban chess machine at this point in his career was having lapses in concentration and had become more prone to superficial calculation and blunders, resulting in erratic tournament performances - a mixture of brilliant runs and strange collapses.

Please see

Capablanca vs Ragozin, 1937

for another ending that you yourself have noted that Capa had 'butchered' in the same tournament. I made some notes on his earlier brilliant play in the early middlegame, which he totally spoiled after what I think was a lapse in concentration.

Mar-24-12  RookFile: All very interesting, but did Capa actually miss a win in this game?
Mar-24-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: How about <26. Rc4> as a possible improvement? Then if 26...Nd4 27. Rc7+, or if 26...Rad8 27. Bc1. White wins a pawn, and I think Black's counterplay is less than in the game.
Mar-24-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sastre: 26.Rc4 Nd4 27.Rc7+ Kf6 28.Kf1 (28.Rxb7 Nf3+) Nf3 29.Rd1 Re7 looks fine for Black.
Mar-24-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Sastre>
You're right. Maybe 23. Ng5 was not as strong as it looks. How about 23. Nh4 Rad8 24. Nf5, maintaining the pressure?
Mar-24-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: Another interesting try is 33. Rg5 Nxa3 34. Rxg4 a5 35. Bd4, which looks strong at first glance.
Mar-24-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sastre: <beatgiant> Yes, 23.Nh4 seems to be a decent alternative to 23.Ng5.
Mar-24-12  RookFile: <beatgiant: Another interesting try is 33. Rg5 Nxa3 34. Rxg4 a5 35. Bd4, which looks strong at first glance. >

33. Rg5 Ne1+

Not obvious how white makes progress.

Mar-25-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <RookFile>
Right, or even 33. Rg5 Rg6 seems playable.

Your earlier point is well taken: <did Capa actually miss a win>? After the 23rd move, this doesn't seem like the <trivial endgame win> that <ozmikey> assumed above.

Any opinion of 23. Nh4 versus 23. Ng5?

Mar-25-12  Boomie: The opening was well played considering this is the first game played with 4...Bb4.

Reshevsky overplayed with 15...d5 and should have lost a pawn.


click for larger view

After 16. exd5 Nxd5 (Bxd5 may be better), white should just take the pawn with 17. Nxe5 Nxe5 18. Rxe5


click for larger view

Mar-25-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Boomie>
After 17. Nxe5, Black may also try <17...Nd4> with good positions for his pieces for a while. I don't see exactly what counterplay Capa foresaw, but there must be some.
Mar-26-12  Boomie: <beatgiant: <Boomie> After 17. Nxe5, Black may also try <17...Nd4>>

That could lead to a mass exchange.

17...Nd4 18. Rc1 Rfd8 19. Rc5 Rac8 20. Ng6! fxg6 21. Rxc8 Rxc8 22. Bxd5 Qf7 23. Bxe6 Nxe6 24. Re4


click for larger view

Maybe not winning but better than the game.

Mar-26-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Boomie>
Black should step out of the pin on the e-file, e.g. 17. Nxe5 Nd4 18. Rc1 <Qd6>, although I agree it looks better for White than the game.

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