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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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Given 38 times; par: 70 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jan-31-04  Lawrence: Why did Capa choose not to play 20.♘xe6 fxe6 21.♕xe6+ ♔h8 22.♕xa6? This is a combination that many of you young whizzes would have got in less time than it takes for light to travel from your pupil to your retina, specially if you have a large brain and small eyes.

Alexander Alexandrovich made a mistake with 36.....Kg8, should have played 36.....g6. (Junior 8)

Mar-03-04  bumpmobile: It's neat how alekhine walks into a triple knight fork on move 23 (quadruple if you count the pawn on a7), confident he will not lose the exchange.
Mar-03-04  CapAnson: Just simple calculation really. It didn't save him though..that d4 knight outpost is a killer..
Mar-03-04  capanegra: I was about to say the same thing. After 22…♖d2 followed by ♖ad8 white would have lost the initiative. Remember, Lawrence, that Capa always followed the simplest line, no matter how sound the alternatives –including sacrifices or combinations- may be.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: i agree. 20.Nxe6? would only draw.
Jan-04-06  mrjoshherman: Could anyone explain 31. Ne6?
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: <mrjoshherman> I believe the idea is this... if fxe6 then Rf8 followed by Rh8.

In the line played, Nf8+ should be played, according to Shredder on infinite analysis.

Jan-04-06  mrjoshherman: ah man, that makes sense now. Thanks a lot.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: If 37... Qxf2, then 38. Qb8+! Kh7 39. Nf8+ Kg8 40. Ng6+ Kh7 41. Nxe7 wins decisive material via a discovered check.
Apr-30-06  CapablancaFan: <patzer2: If 37... Qxf2, then 38. Qb8+! Kh7 39. Nf8+ Kg8 40. Ng6+ Kh7 41. Nxe7 wins decisive material via a discovered check.> Correct. On move 37 the white rook on f2 is poison.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Capa's 38. Re2! is a deflection to set up a deep double attack combination to force the exchange of Queen's and win a third pawn.
Apr-21-07  Quintiliano: Doesn't 5....Qxf6 loses a pawn anyway?
Any compensation to speak of?
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!

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