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Salomon Flohr vs Jose Raul Capablanca
Nottingham (1936), Nottingham ENG, rd 3, Aug-12
Queen's Gambit Declined: Tartakower Defense. Exchange Variation (D59)  ·  1-0



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Given 9 times; par: 104 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jul-20-18  landshark: <WorstPlayerEver> I agree with you about 40.Nd6 Surely this is winning - ?
Jul-20-18  WorstPlayerEver: <landshark>

Yes, I checked with Stockfish. The 24. Bd3 line I gave also comes from Stockfish, btw.

That said, the way Capa handled this pos is worth a study. They tried to activate their pieces, but isolani d5 does not live up to this plan; it need to be defended. So the Black Rook is useless at the king side. Black's pieces don't coordinate well.

Jul-20-18  Cheapo by the Dozen: I went with 38 Bf5, with the plan of following up with e4 and threatening to win the exchange at the expense of either Black rook. The engine says that Black has so much counterplay as to give him an advantage.

However, the engine also says that White erred by not following my plan a couple of moves earlier, specifically via 37 e4.

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: The black queen is tied to the defense of the rook on c7. The knight is well placed to create threats. These details suggest 38.Nf5:

A) 38... Rxf5 39.Bxf5 wins an exchange (39... Qxf5 40.Qxc7 Nd3 41.Rc2 + - [2R vs b+n]).

B) 38... Rg6 39.Nd6

B.1) 39... Rxg3 40.Nxc8

B.1.a) 40... Rg4(5) 41.Nxb6, followed by Nxa4 or Nxd5, wins two pawns.

B.1.b) 40... Rg6 41.Bxg6 wins an exchange at least.

B.1.c) 40... Rxg2+ 41.Kxg2 Rxc8 42.Bf5 followed by Bg4-f3 with probably a won ending.

B.1.d) 40... B(R)xc8 41.hxg3 + - [R vs n].

B.2) 39... Qd7 40.Bxg6 fxg6 41.Qxg6 Rc6 42.Qe8+ Qxe8 43.Nxe8 Kf7 44.Nxg7 Kxg7 45.Rxd5 + - [R+3P vs b+n].

B.3) 39... Qd8 40.Bxg6 as above.

B.4) 39... Ne4 40.Nxc8

B.4.a) 40... Nxg3 41.Rxc7 wins an exchange at least.

B.4.b) 40... Rxc1 41.Rxc1 Nxg3 42.hxg3 wins a piece (42... Re6 43.Rc6 Rxc6 44.Ne7+ Kf8 45.Nxc6, etc.).

C) 38... g6 39.Nxh6+ wins a pawn at least.

D) 38... Qf8 39.Qxc7, etc.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Black's decisive mistake was 37...Qc8?, allowing today's Friday puzzle solution 38. Nf5! +- (+2.15 @ 40 ply, Stockfish 9 analysis of move 38...?).

Instead, 37...Rd7 = to ⩲ (+0.20 @ 40 ply, Stockfish 9 analysis of move 37...?) keeps the game nearly level.

Earlier in the opening, the computer prefers 12...c5 = as in Lisitsin vs A Vasiljev, 1947.

After the game continuation 12...a6 13. Rd1 ⩲, it becomes difficult for Black to avoid a weak isolated pawn -- a difficulty avoided with 12...c5 =. Perhaps it's also worth noting that this is the only game recorded with 12...a6 in our Opening Explorer.

Jul-20-18  malt: Had 38.Nf5 Rg6 39.Qe5
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: <"This interference on the part of Euwe was absolutely inadmissable; but the tournament director was at that time busy with his own correspondence...">

I'll take BS for 800, Alex. Riiiiight, Capablanca, for crying out loud, Capa in time trouble, a crowd gathers, and the TD is busy somewhere else.

Jul-20-18  malt: 38.Nf5 Rg6 39.Qe5 Rd7
(39...Bb7 40.Ne7+ )
40.R:d5 R:d5 41.Ne7+ Kf8
(41...Kh7 42.B:g6+ )
(41...Kh8 42.N:g6+ )

42.N:g6+ fg6 43.Q:d5

Jul-20-18  morfishine: Not really sure what went wrong here for Capa. Its rare to see him outcombined and edged out in the endgame, all in the same game!
Jul-20-18  Mayankk: Same as a few others, I had Nf5 threatening mate on g7, necessitating a Rg6 response followed by Qe5 which had the threat of Ne6 fork and Rxd5. But more importantly it didn’t seem that Black had any counter-threats and so White could slowly build on its position.

Too complex me after that, given the variety of side-lines it could branch into.

Jul-20-18  saturn2: I went with 39 Qe5 threatening Ne7 and Rxd5
Premium Chessgames Member
  ClassZPlaya: Found the main line and solved the puzzle, but I was impressed by how much play Black had left in the position. Flohr needed to continually play accurately to bring home the win.
Premium Chessgames Member
  NM JRousselle: I can't take credit for solving this one. I saw this game many years ago. It's interesting that the tournament report on this game has Euwe kibitzing and causing Capa to err.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: I liked the simple 49 f3, below, preventing 49...Be4+ which would be winning for black.

click for larger view

It also forces 49...Bxc2 because of the threat 50 Rc3 or 50 Rcd2.

As an aside, 49 f3 and 49 Rc8+ look like the only clearly winning moves for white at that point.

Jul-20-18  swclark25: I eventually found 38.Nf5 but assumed Black chose 38...Rxf5 (rather than the slightly better game move of 38...Rg6). Then that left 39.Bxf5 Qxf5 40.Qxc7 which wins the exchange per <agb2002's> line A)
Jul-20-18  popnstart: hmmm...Nd6 sac and win against Capa not in Flohr's "Notable Games" section?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Was hoping it was Capablanca to move. Mid-late week Capablanca puzzles are the only one I have a chance to solve. Just love the simplicity of his play.

I got 39.Nf5, but no idea what black would reply with.

What a short line.

Feb-19-20  erony: Euwe was not only "kibitzing" !
I read this in the tournament book :
"Max Euwe, who stood close to the table, spoke several times to Flohr, telling him the number of moves remaining to be made. [...] As I requested him to keep quiet, he started to argue with me, and tried to persuade me that he was entitled to speak. This interference on the part of Euwe was absolutely inadmissible ; but the tournament director was at that time busy with his own correspondence, and as a result of this interference, I made a grave error, losing the exchange"(J. R. Capablanca).
Feb-19-20  Count Wedgemore: So Capablanca engaged in that time-honoured tradition used by many a chess player: inventing an excuse for his loss. I find it hard to believe that Euwe, a man with a reputation of being an absolute gentleman both on and off the board, was disturbing the players and therefore was to be blamed for Capa's loss. I don't buy it for a second.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Count Wedgemore> Winter covers the incident in "Chess Notes" 5292. A. J. Mackenzie writes, <Capablanca's complaint is undoubtedly justified. Euwe (alone) apologizes for his small part in the affair and takes a mild "wigging" in good part.>
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: Maybe Euwe thought it was a good deed to tell the players, who had lost count of their moves, that they had passed the time control on move 36 and could reset their clocks. Unfortunately, Capablanca still believed he was in time pressure, told Euwe to be quiet, and played his blunder on the 37th move.
Feb-19-20  1d410: I consider this an attack on one of my favorite payers: Flohr
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <1d410>
<an attack... on Flohr>

What do you mean? We are talking about eyewitness accounts from the time that could be factual or not, but either way, I don't see any claim that Flohr did anything wrong.

Aug-08-21  jphamlore: Could Capablanca had he had the time and if he were playing his best have saved this game? No doubt, because a good argument can be made he is the greatest player of all time.

That does not change this game as being one of the most fundamental and important games anyone learning the Queen's Gambit Declined needs to play through to understand the defense. And that would be true even if Capablanca had played perfectly and perhaps even won.

Just randomly spectating a stream I saw recently an example of an inexperienced player with the QGD fianchetto-ing the lsb while leaving f5 weak, and the game developed much the same way with a White knight at d4 able to eventually blockade an isolated pawn while White also had a bishop at f5.

It's just not a good idea to arrive at a position out of the opening where only a Capablanca at his prime can save the game. That makes the game too hard for mere mortals like us.

Aug-08-21  RookFile: 35....Ne4 is totally equal and had Capa played it and offered a draw, Flohr probably would have accepted on the spot.
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