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Jose Raul Capablanca vs Milan Vidmar
New York (1927), New York, NY USA, rd 12, Mar-08
Spanish Game: Closed Variations. Chigorin Defense (C98)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: 35. b3! is a beautiful move. But is it the only move?

Look: 35. Ke3 Nax4 36. Bxb4 Nxb2 37. Bc3 Nc4+ 38. Kd3 and capturing on e5 is inevitable.

At that point we'd have a bishop and 4 pawns vs. a knight and 3 pawns, with all the pawns being on the same side of the board.

I don't know enough about endings to tell you if that's good enough to win. Anybody?

Aug-17-02  pawntificator: It doesn't look good enough to win... after 38. Kd3 Nd6 39. Bxe5 Nf7 I think black could play for a draw. The black King is back there ready to stop the advance of the white pawns and he could sacrifice his horse if he absolutely had to.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: You're probably right, especially considering that after 39...Nf7 the next move is rather difficult. (40. Kd4? Ng5 wins a pawn; 40. f4 Nxe5 looks like one of those 'doubled pawns not enough to win' type pawn endings.)

In any case there's no need to bust one's brain over that when such an easy win can be had with 35. b3!

Viva Capablanca!

Aug-17-02  pawntificator: I don't know if it's that easy: 37...Nc6 38. a6 Kf7 Ke3 and then black runs over to try to get the pawn while white works his way through the kingside mess. White still wins because blacks king has to abandon his pawns but it requires precise play.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: pawntif, I think you're making it harder than it is. 37 ...Nc6 38 a6 Kf7 39 Bc5

Then will come a7 and Black has to give up his knight for the pawn. Then you win on the kingside with your extra piece.

Jan-21-04  Whitehat1963: For more analysis, check out this link:
Jul-01-06  ChessDude33: I read something funny in Capablanca's best Chess Endings about 35. b3

"In a clearly winning position, Capablanca always plays the most precise moves. Naturally, there was also a win by 35. Bxb4 Nxa4 36.b3 Nd7 37. Bd6 Nd7 38. Ke3, and this was easy enough." - Alekhine

It's funny since if you haven't noticed it yet. If 35. Bxb4?? then 35...Nd3+ Wins the bishop! Goof by Alekhine, great game by Capablanca.

Aug-20-07  sanyas: Even Alekhine had his Kramnik moments.
Oct-13-10  Wayne Proudlove: By 24. Be3 it's curtains for Black what with its weak Queenside pawns and White's Bishops.
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: 11..0-0 12 h3 transposed to the main line; Black could have tried 11..Bg4!?. 14..b4? was a positional blunder weakening c4; usual is 14..Rb8. 19 Nxd6?..c4 20 Bc2..b3 21 Bb1 would have given Black the advantage.

L B Hansen afrer 25 Red1:
"Black's problem is that in the long run he cannot avoid the exchange of all the rooks, after which the a5-pawn is dead meat. Notice too that the black knight has no natural outpost in the centre where it can be safely placed and protected by a pawn. This was already outlined by Steinitz in his theory for how to exploit the two bishops: make sure that the knight has no good foothold in the centre!"

29 Bb6?..Nd7 30 Bxa5..Nc5 31 Bd5..Bxa4 would have been premature.

An instructive game - Capablanca at his very best.

Jun-21-20  sudoplatov: According to EDO, Vidmar was fairly strong during the 1920s. 1926 top 20 ratings:

1 Alekhine, Alexander 2719
2 Capablanca, José 2699
3 Nimzowitsch, Aron 2655
4 Vidmar, Milan 2644
5 Bogoljubow, Efim 2622
6 Rubinstein, Akiba 2589
7 Euwe, Machgielis 2571
8 Spielmann, Rudolf 2563
9 Marshall, Frank 2557
10 Kupchik, Abraham 2557
11 Maróczy, Géza 2548
12 Tartakover, Saviely 2541
13 Romanovsky, Peter 2538
14 Réti, Richard 2535
15 Bohatirchuk, Fedor 2534
16 Torre, Carlos 2533
17 Grünfeld, Ernst 2527
18 Rabinovich, Ilya 2526
19 Kashdan, Isaac 2525
20 Levenfish, Grigory 2519

Amazing how many of these guys were at 1911 Karlsbad.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: Nice instructive game - Nxe5 kind of not only gets the dark square bishop but also leaves lots of dark square targets making the endgame a lot of fun for White's dark square bishop. So the process of simplificaiton also combined with winning advantage as well.

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