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Jose Raul Capablanca vs Alexander Alekhine
St. Petersburg (1914), St. Petersburg RUE, rd 10, May-22
French Defense: Classical Variation. Alekhine's Folly (C11)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Yes. But 6 exd5 exd5 is horrendous too. 4....h6 looks like an awful move.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Wow, Alekhine really played some zany openings. Earlier today I looked at a game against Stahlberg where he played 1.d4 d5 2.c4 g6?! 3.cxd5 Qxd5 and ended up getting an advantageous pawn-up ending (which Stahlberg managed to draw).
Sep-15-07  patzerboy: Looks as though Alekhine deliberately chose a less common opening variation which would give him good piece activity, albeit at the cost of a pawn. He does have good activity virtually all game. He probably hoped to outplay Capa in a game where he would have attacking chances. Alekhine was a tricky s.o.b. Didn't work out, though.
Jun-01-09  returnoftheking: h6 may have been a blunder but in a NIC article it is stated that 8..bxc6 would give a playable position nonetheless. In most variations black is able to ruin white's pawn structure later on by Bxc3 or Bxf3.
Nov-24-12  ksanat: f4 realy nice move by Capa..
Nov-24-12  cunctatorg: Well, the simple truth is that this game (and those players) glorify chess!! That's the definition of a masterpiece!
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: 18...Bxe2 would have made life much easier for Alekhine. That Knight on d4 was a monster.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <OCF> The middlegame was hardly wonderful in the face of the wretch which appeared on d4, but Alekhine well knew, I am sure, that to face a player with Capablanca's immense technical skills in the heavy-piece ending with a good pawn less would have been another form of death. The 3-1 queenside majority would have had its say in the proceedings ere long.

In the heading of E Zaiatz vs E Paehtz, 2007, 4....h6 is styled 'Alekhine's Folly', and so it was. The curious thing is that some fairly strong players have willingly put their head on the block by entering this mess since then. Opening Explorer

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: <perf> yeah, Black's 18th-20th were all questionable but probably didn't matter. I agree 4...h6 is a bizarre choice and would rate Capa's win chances at least 75% after.
Nov-24-12  Wyatt Gwyon: Probably unfortunate in retrospect that Capa kicked Alekhine's ass so thoroughly in these early games.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Wyatt Gwyon> Then there's this win by Capa, months before the match: Alekhine vs Capablanca, 1927.

In view of the way Capa played a dubious line (5....c5), got an inferior position and won anyway-not to mention that before Buenos Aires, he had never lost a game to Alekhine-small wonder that most top players tipped Capablanca to defend his title with ease.

Jan-07-14  YoGoSuN: I am guessing that Capa didn't do in for the 20. Nxe6 combo since after fxe6 21. Qxe6+ Kh8 22. Qxa6 Rd2 White will lose the d-pawn and be ravelled up in a tight knot. I also believe that Alekhine would have been able to liquidate the Q-side and easily hold the rook ending with pawns all on the K-side.
Premium Chessgames Member
  SpaceRunner: "YoGoSuN: I am guessing that Capa didn't do in for the 20. Nxe6 combo since after fxe6 21. Qxe6+ Kh8 22. Qxa6 Rd2 White will lose the d-pawn and be ravelled up in a tight knot. I also believe that Alekhine would have been able to liquidate the Q-side and easily hold the rook ending with pawns all on the K-side."

I agree Capablanca chose the best continuation. The knight is more useful here.I guess Alekhine learned not to give Capablanca extra material and a good endgame! Later in his career Alekhine improved a lot in the openings!

Jul-23-15  amarokarg: Maybe 43. Rh8#
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <amarokarg: Maybe 43. Rh8#> Well spotted! Lucky for Alekhine white's king was in check.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <amarokarg> Welcome to chessgames! I think you'll really enjoy it here.
Jul-25-15  amarokarg: Capablanca played the best movement. Both 43. g3 or 43. Kh1 would lead to 43. ... Qxf6 , and Alekhin easily could use his tower and queen to jackmate white's king.
Jan-14-21  Stolzenberg: Interesting position after 12. ... bxc6: pair of knights plus pawn vs pair of bishops
Jan-14-21  Viking707: Why didn't Capa play 43: Rh8 #???
Jan-14-21  Viking707: Forget it. I didn't see the check.
Jan-15-21  Stolzenberg: Another interesting position appeared after 20. ... Rad8: White is a pawn up and the knight is well placed on d4, but Black is fully developped and all his pieces are active. Black's position is far away from hopelessness. At least I cannot see any serious threat. But with the impatient and impetuous 21. ... e5 Alekhine opened the position, activating White's pieces.
Feb-02-22  N.O.F. NAJDORF: Compare:

Kasparov vs Karpov, 1986

Aug-23-22  the british: я из компетор ромолос
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: This line always struck me (and I think pretty much everyone who thought about it) as madness for Black. But now Stockfish 15.1 says that Black is only a little worse after 6...Bb4. It says that White has a 0.43 advantage at depth 63, which compares favorably (from Black's perspective) with some mainstream openings (e.g. 0.46 at depth 53 in the Richter-Rauzer). A few strong GMs (Abdusattorov, Jorden van Foreest, Bluebaum) have tried out the line for Black recently, albeit without great results so far.
Premium Chessgames Member
  SpaceRunner: A genius at work

Look at Capas knights!

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