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Jose Raul Capablanca vs Frank Marshall
New York (1927), New York, NY USA, rd 3, Feb-22
Bogo-Indian Defense: Exchange Variation (E11)  ·  1-0



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Given 18 times; par: 69 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-19-08  paladin at large: No endgame today, just a nice mate in five culminating with 36. h4#.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Just to be difficult, 36. h4+ is not mate. :-) Say, wasn't it Capablanca who said that queen and knight are better than queen and bishop? But Capablanca is better than Marshall...
Apr-08-08  Calli: < queen and knight >

Yes he did. Also ran across a less publicized annotation where Capablanca says that Rooks are better with a bishop. I think it was an ending with 2 rooks. Unfortunately, don't remember the game, but if I see it again, will post it on CG.

Mar-12-09  Bons92: Why not 24...Kf7?
Mar-12-09  guaguanco: 24...Kf7 25. Ne3 looks strong. I don't think black can't hold everything.
Mar-12-09  AnalyzeThis: Capablanca was fully capable of sitting down and outcalculating the best of them.
Mar-12-09  Granny O Doul: <keypusher> And pawn up is better than pawn down.
Mar-12-09  AnalyzeThis: Lasker once joked with an amatuer that it's an advantage to play with a queen deficit. He played the guy, every time Lasker gave queen odds, he won, but every time he let the amateur gave queen odds, he let the amateur win. He messed the guy up pretty good.
Mar-12-09  DrGridlock: <Bons92: Why not 24...Kf7?>

Kf7 is the favorite of Rybka, scoring it .16 for White after that move. All other moves result in +1 or greater for white.

Mar-13-09  visayanbraindoctor: Just came from the Linares 2009 page commenting on how modern dynamic chess commenced in the Lasker era. Here is a typical example. If you did not notice the names above (Capablanca vs. Marshall 1927), this game looks exactly like a high level GM game from ongoing tournaments today. Even the opening (with an early fianchetto by Capablanca) looks totally modern. Then there is the typical jockeying for the positional advantage in the early middlegame. Capa finishes with a precision attack which catches Marshall's King just before Marshall's own attack can get in; and so the game does not quite reach the endgame. 31.. h5 by Marshall threatened a killing h4 and h3. The incredible Capablanca probably has seen all this even 5 moves before, and knew exactly how to get in his own attack before Marshall.

I can't believe how so many kibitzers still adhere to the fallacious downplaying of Capablanca's games as very 'simple'. Even today's GMs would probably be hard pressed to coolly duplicate the precision of the final attack, especially when their own Kings are on the platter waiting to be served if their attack fails.

If this game did reach the endgame, no doubt we would have seen Capablanca exhibiting his typical superbly accurate endgame technique.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: On 24...Kf7, 25. e5 looks strong. White will break up Black's kingside.
Mar-13-09  Granny O Doul: <visayanbraindoctor> "Simple" is not a putdown. The final attack (i.e., check, check, check, check, check) was a piece of cake for any competent player. Black needed three moves in a row to make ....h5, ...h4, ...h3+ work.
Mar-13-09  visayanbraindoctor: <Granny O Doul>

Hhmmm, apparently you are one of those who truly believe Capa's games are 'simple'? Well, this game is not.

Capa probably had already seen the resource 30. e5 six moves before that, as early as 24. Bh3. Without this resource, Black has pretty strong threats, Qf3+ and h5, h4, h3. It's not that 'simple', especially figuring out a win when six moves ahead you get into a position where your own King is direly threatened.

The reason why Marshall did not move 24...Kf7 was he was purposely sacking his pawn, hoping to activate his Knight and Queen for an attack. Take a look at the position well without an engine please. Black has isolated a and c pawns. Marshall knew very well that Capa was bound to grind him down; and made a calculated risk to attack. Against a lesser player, it could even have succeeded.

Premium Chessgames Member
  penarol: As someon said, Capablanca┬┤s games are easy to understand but difficult to perform. He was achess genius, although there was considerable progress after his time.
Mar-13-09  Granny O Doul: <visayanbraindoctor> 30. e5 is a nice move, though not a difficult one. Even without it, though, Qd3 leaves White a healthy pawn up with better structure. Black still needs at least two moves in a row for reasonable counterplay.
Mar-13-09  visayanbraindoctor: <Granny O Doul>

We are talking in different wavelengths. So I will put it this way: You are in a tournament with one of the best attacking GMs in the world. He moves 23..Ba6, apparently inviting you to play the obvious 24. Bh3, offering his e6 pawn as a bait. You notice of course that 24. Bh3 leave a hole in your f3 square. Furthermore, once you have taken the e6 pawn, you have shuttled your bishop away from your King's defense. After some preliminary calculations you begin suspecting that your attacking opponent is planning to plant a Knight on d4 and a queen on g4 in order to exploit your f3 hole and your lured-away bishop; and probably is also planning to charge his h pawn down your side into your King.

Now if you are an ordinary master or expert, what do you do? Naturally, you would have no choice but to calculate all the possible subsequent bushes of variations over the board. Why? Because you know that your tactically strong opponent is trying to cook up a dangerous attack.

Capablanca at move 24, before even moving Bh3, must have done the this. He would have to. He also probably saw both Qd3 and e5 6 moves later, and naturally picked the stronger e5 when the moment did arrive. But there are lots of variations up to this point, and afterwards. In brief, if you are capable of doing so, you will have to calculate all the pertinent variations within a 5 to 10 move radius from move 24, in order to make sure you do not fall under a fatal attack.

You still think it's 'simple'?

I sincerely hope that this is your sincere opinion, <Granny O Doul>, that the game is 'simple', for then we can agree to disagree.

Mar-13-09  Granny O Doul: To describe Capablanca's play as "simple" is not to denigrate it. To understand Capablanca's moves after they are played is not as useful a talent as to actually play them. But Capablanca won this game mostly by surpassing Marshall in positional understanding. Marshall tried to solve the positional problems his bad opening brought him by tactical means (inviting 12. Qc7 Ba6) and the result was a thoroughly miserable game after 14 moves, with split Q-side pawns and a ridiculous knight on a6. I'm sorry, but Marshall's desperate flails later were just that.
Mar-14-09  visayanbraindoctor: So, does Marchall's tactics make the game simple? No it does not.

In spite of the correctness of your post, that Marshall tried tactics that backfired on him, this game is anything but simple. It's quite complex. Marshall in fact often got away with these tactics as he was a very strong tactical player. Denigrating the game or not because it is simple is not the point; the game simply is not simple in the first place.

If you still insist the game is simple, you are of course entitled to your opinion. I have made my point clear enough above.

Mar-15-09  Bons92: <Guaguanco> <24...Kf7 25. Ne3 looks strong. I don't think black can't hold everything.> 25...Qd6 and I don't think White have a great advantage
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Surprisingly, 6 g3 was a new move; Catalan-like setups had not yet achieved popularity. 12..Ba6? 13 a3..Bxf1 14 Bxf1 would have cost Black material. Certainly 14 dxc was not a very ambitious continuation but the response 14..bxc? was just a complete mystery; hard to imagine what Marshall had in mind. Alekhine pointed out that after 24..Kf7 White would still have had a lot of work to do; instead after Black surrendered the pawn for nothing he was just lost.

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