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Jose Raul Capablanca vs Alexander Alekhine
Nottingham (1936), Nottingham ENG, rd 2, Aug-11
Dutch Defense: Alekhine Variation (A92)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 6 OF 6 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Oct-15-11  Whitehat1963: Gregor Samsa Mendel's comment is interesting. What's best play after Capa's 23. Nf3? Can someone run a Rybka 4 analysis?
Jul-21-12  marljivi: I have analysed the position(although without computer) after the possible 24...Ba4 25.Qd2Ne4 26.Qe1g5(Alekhine suggestion).Alekhine judged this position to be "perhaps decesive positional advantage for black".I see that Atking had already analysed the moves 27.Ra3,27.Bd4,27.Nd4 and 27.b5.But what if whites position is still healthy enough,but too passive for any active moves,and needs retreat/exchanges,in particular the exchange of knights? Therefore I suggest the move 27.Nd2 instead.For example: a) 27...f4?! 28.Ne4fe3 29.Re3Bd4 30.Rf3 and white is a clear pawn up.

b) 27...Nc3?? 28.Rcc3Bc3 29.Rc3f4 30.gf4gf4 31.Bd5!Kg7 32.Bd4 .

c) 27...Bc6 28.Ne4Be4 29.Be4Qe4 30.f3Qe6 31.Rc2 and white seems to be ok (lets say,dinamic balance).

d) 27...Nd2! (Best in my opinion.) 28.Rd2...(28.Qd2?f4! 29.gf4gf4 30.Bf4Qe2 with a clear edge for black.) 28...Be5 (With the idea of f4,gf4gf4,Bd4Bd4,Rd4Qe2 ) 29.Bf3!...(Protecting e2 square.) 29...c5!? (Again threatening f4.If 29...f4,then 30.Bd4Bd7 31.Be5de5 32.c5! with sharp play,and if 29...g4,then 30.Bd5Kh8 31.Qf1 or 31.b5!?ab5 32.Bc6 with unclear play.) 30.Rd3...(Probably the only move.) 30...f4 31.Bd2 and again I don't think white is worse.

Of course,in all those variations white queen stands very passive on e1,but that can quickly be repaired,whereas black pawn structure (g5,f5) is more or less permanently exposed/weakened.

Jul-21-12  KingV93: I think AA played too passively here and made the mistake of getting into a closed endgame against Capablanca. The two rooks are powerles.
Jul-21-12  RookFile: I think this game is way over our heads.
Jan-04-13  tjipa: I agree to the previous RookFile's remark. I fed the final position to my Fritz (after 37...Kg6), it gave +2.68 for white, and still in the line it supports the white do NOT get through, they are obviously better (hence the +), yet the position remains closed, therefore a draw.
Jan-15-13  copablanco: Amusing, considering that Alekhine was the world champion taking the title from Capablanca in 1927. The "final" position which black resigned shows that he had no proper response. Black had the "open" king file but couldn't use it. Doubling up rooks on the king file, even if he could, was useless. White on the other hand looks more flexible, and fluid. Incidentally having the bishop pair, and the knight in this particular endgame for Capablanca is lethal. Furthermore black can't defend H5 nor the long diagonal that is open for white's queen bishop.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Arturo2nd: Alekhine remarked immediately after winning the title, "Somehow the rematch will never take place." He had pretended to be Capablanca's friend beforehand and was only able to play the match because Capablanca had persuaded wealthy Argentine friends to sponsor the match. Capablanca was rewarded by not only being refused a rematch, but by being trashed repeatedly in print and barred from appearing in any tournament in which Alekhine would appear. Effectively, this kept Capablanca from participating in almost all the major events with big purses and earning appearance fees. This was their first game against each other since the title match. It must have been a particularly sweet day in the Capablanca household.
Premium Chessgames Member
  jessicafischerqueen: <Alekhine remarked immediately after winning the title, "Somehow the rematch will never take place.">

What is your source for this?

<Capablanca had persuaded wealthy Argentine friends to sponsor the match>.

What is your source for this?

Dec-11-13  YvccChamp: Many of us have friends like the great Alekhine. We give to them a carrot;they reward us with a snake. The world lost a chance to see what would have been a match for the ages, because a return match in 1929 would have been won by the 41 year old Capablanca. Alekhine knew Capa was aging so he gave us the 2 Bogoloubov Matches instead. Alexander A Alekine is truly a great master, but lacked in in important character traits. I enjoy many of his games;however, the Cuban's talent was superior. Alekhine knew this!
Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: I am attracted to <RookFile>'s comment of two years ago: "I think this game is way over our heads."
Feb-06-14  SChesshevsky: <"I think this game is way over our heads.">

Certainly a great game. Maybe the best way to view is open lines and mobility.

I'm not sure what Alekhine's plan was but it looks likes Capablanca's plan was something like...

Around 7. Qb3 he wants to control the White squares while Black's QB is stuck, especially eying the a2 diagonal with a tempo check on the King.

Around 16. Nfd4, maybe he's attempting d4 control which might be important to Black especially the KB. It also opens the h1 white diagonal if needed.

19. Be3, now the fights definitely on for d4, thinking if he can get rid of Black's KB that weaken's Black on the dark squares as well.

24. Rd3, it appears Capablanca has already seen the following combinations and saw that getting rid of the two B's without open files for the Rooks to work on is better for him.

35. the exchange of Q's pretty much defuses any Black chances. Then it's just close up the Qside and open lines for the B's and make sure the open files are well covered.

For a good example of Capablanca's positional feel, at the final position count the number of useful squares each side has in enemy territory within a couple of moves.

Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: Whats interesting is what the players were thinking and how they assessed the position as the game progressed. As born out in the notes, Capablanca was unhappy with his opening play. Alekhine, though not admitting outright that his play was too passive, gives Black a slight edge on or about move 23. Fair enough

But Alekhine ventures into a line that is in effect, too transparent, which in turn, plays into Capablanca's greatest strengths: calculating and positional play. This miscalculation is somewhat odd since its not terribly deep or complex, the net effect being that Capablanca's task is eased and simplified.

One sees that both players were not thrilled about the opening. A draw was most likely when Alekhine decided to play for a win.

An excellent example of successful positional play emanating from a dry and inaccurate opening.


Mar-02-14  Everett: I've come too a loose conclusion based on the stories and results of Lasker, Capablanca, and Alekhine, and they are this: Lasker was the most professional, Capablanca the most talented, and Alekhine the most chess-obsessed.

Discuss ;-)

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Everett> In support of your view on Alekhine, while he and Capablanca were at London (1922), a patron took them to a show.

The way the account went, Capa never took his eyes off the girls, while Alekhine never removed his from his pocket set!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi perfidious:

I'm thinking as Everett mentions all three we have to take Lasker to the theatre as well.

So... Alekhine's eyes never his pocket chess set, Capablanca's eyes never leaves the dancing girls what would Lasker be doing if he was there?

Taking an occasional peep at what opening variations Alekhine was looking at and then studying the dancing girls to see if a mathematical formulae could be applied to dance choreography.

This is fun. Let's take them to the beach.

Capablanca randomly kicks some sand about and suddenly this beautiful sandcastle appears.

Lasker builds one of the most intricate and complex sandcastles ever seen complete with a moving drawbridge powered by a waterwheel that also supplies the electricity for the rampart search lights.

Alekhine builds a sand chess set.


Mar-07-14  Whitehat1963: What's the finish?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <Whitehat1963> See Capablanca vs Alekhine, 1936 and have a look at <Calli>'s comments.
Nov-02-14  erniecohen: Where is the win after 27...♘a4? (Lasker and Capablanca seem to agree that Black's mistake was in winning the exchange.)
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: A very strange game - neither player played up to their usual standards.

Capablanca's opening was very unsuccessful and he did not play the early part of the middle game well either. Had Alekhine played 24..Ba4 25 Qd2..Ne4 26 Qe1..g5 he would have had a large advantage. After 24..f4? his advantage was gone and after 27..c5? he was lost.

The game was adjourned and winning plan is described in several places here (ie. near the top of page 2).

May-24-15  Hesam7: 22 b4 was the losing move but Alekhine did not find the win which would have followed after 22...g5!

click for larger view

The following line is now more or less forced: 23 Nf3 f4 24 gf4 gf4 25 Bf4 Qg7 25 Bg3 Bf5 26 Qb3 Nc3 27 Rc3 Bc3

click for larger view

White is an exchange down but Black's threats are not over yet. e2 needs to be defended: 28 e3 Kh8 and now White has to deal with ...Bg4 & ...Be4.

Aug-16-16  sudoplatov: One reason that three Minor Pieces generally have an advantage over two Rooks is that the side with two Rooks cannot usually sacrifice the Exchange. This would yield a two Minor Piece vs Rook material. Of course BBN vs RR is more advantages (in general) than BNN vs RR; the RR side could sacrifice for the Bishop and perhaps do well.

Three Minor Pieces do not fight so well against the Queen as the Queen can mount her own mating attack or multiple attack on various points. The three Minors need anchors.

Similarly with RR vs Q, the Rooks generally have to guard against the Queen's possibility of multiple attacks or mating attacks. Again the Queens side cannot sacrifice a piece (at least not if these are the only pieces left.)

Many years ago, I had to go through a bunch of these analyses to write the evaluation function for a chess program. (LACHEX, we ran out of money and had to quit.)

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <sudoplatov: <(LACHEX, we ran out of money and had to quit.)>> --> Lachex
Oct-25-17  Toribio3: The 2 rooks of Alekhine are useless, they have no room to maneuver.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Obvious to Capa and Alekhine, but how the three pieces dominate 2 rooks is worth study

1) +3.00 (28 ply) 38...Kf6 39.Bc3+ Kg6 40.h4 Rc7 41.Kg1 Re7 42.Kg2 Kh6 43.Nf1 Rg8+ 44.Kh2 Rge8 45.Bc6 Rb8 46.Ne3 Kg6 47.Kg2 Rf7 48.Bd5 Rff8 49.h5+ Kxh5 50.Bg7 Kg6 51.Bxf8 Rxf8 52.Be6 h5 53.Nd5 Rb8 54.Kg3 Re8 55.Bd7 Re2 56.Nxb6

May-17-20  pepechuy: The position after black's 30th move appears in Fine's "Basic chess endings", but with white's pawn on a3 (instead of a2). It seems there is diagram typo there, but after 31. Nd2 he provides the variation 31... cb4 42. ab4, so he really has the pawn on a3. This appears in the revised edition by Pal Benko (I would expect such a mistake to have been corrected). I do not find any full game score that supports Fine's diagram (I checked the books on Capablanca by Panov, and by Caparros).
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