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Alexander Alekhine vs Jose Raul Capablanca
Capablanca - Alekhine World Championship Match (1927), Buenos Aires ARG, rd 8, Oct-03
Queen's Gambit Declined: Orthodox Defense. Rubinstein Variation Flohr Line (D62)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Instead of 19.Bb5, perhaps 19.Bf3 was better, attacking the IQP. I think Karpov would have played that.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: Although the final position is distinctly drawish, it strikes me that Black has some slight initiative (based on his advanced, and soon to be passed, h-pawn). It is true that, if Black captures on h3, then White will win the Black a-pawn, giving White a majority on the Q-side. Nevertheless, in this scenario, the Black h-pawn seems more dangerous than White's Q-side majority. I have no doubt that, if play had continued, the chances for a draw would have been at least 80-90%, but it may have been a sign of Capablanca's overconfidence (he had just taken the lead in the match for the first time by winning the game [#7] that preceded this one) that he did not bother to try to squeeze a full point out of this game. The next two decisive games in this match (##11 and 12) were both won by Alekhine, who thereby took a lead that he never thereafter relinquished. Indeed, throughout the remainder of the match, Capablanca won only one more game (#29), which reduced Alekhine's lead from two games to one. Thereafter, the only two decisive games (##32 and 34) were both won by Alekhine, who thereby closed out the match (18-1/2 to 15-1/2)
Mar-03-08  Knight13: Makes 42. Ke3?! seem stupid because he just throws away that h-pawn.
May-07-09  shalgo: <offramp> <Instead of 19.Bb5, perhaps 19.Bf3 was better, attacking the IQP.>

I think that 19.Bb5 was a fine move, resulting in a position where White has a strong knight versus a bad bishop, and Black is tied to the defense of the backward c6-pawn after 19...Ke7 20.Bxc6 bxc6 21.Rc5:

click for larger view

Capablanca defended well, though: 21...a5! was a strong move, which prevented White from establishing a bind on the queenside with an eventual b4.

I think that White goes astray later with 26.e4?

In this kind of position, it makes a more sense to gain space on the kingside, hoping to establish a second weakness there.

24.h3 (or 26.h3) followed by g4 therefore seems like the right plan. White should probably also play a4 at some point to prevent Black from getting counterplay with ...a4.

Black should be able to hold this position, but in this way White at least makes him suffer for a while. In the game continuation, Capablanca has no problems at all.

Feb-25-12  The Curious Emblem: 21. f5, attempting to restrict Black's pieces further, would fail: 21... Ra6 22. g4 g6 23. fxg6 hxg6 leaves the h-pawn a target; 23. h4 gxf5 24. gxf5 Rg8 gives Black counterplay.
Nov-30-13  Owl: 43. Rxh3 probably Capa should try for a win here
May-28-14  Ashperov1988: if 19...Bf3 Nd5 simplifies I think. After the 15th move I am indeed trying to find a way to get this bishop to attack the isolated pawn without making concessions as the king is misplaced in the centre to make this work smoothly and if you take too long black will be too active, albeit its from a glance of the position and not any proper analysis. until I do find an alternative, I believe alekhines Bb5 must be the best plan. active and suited more to his style.
Premium Chessgames Member
  20MovesAhead: in the final position , unless white plays 43. K-d4 (?) , Black will simply return his rook to c5 guarding his a-pawn
Dec-03-15  RookFile: gritty defense by Capa in this game.
Dec-03-15  ToTheDeath: 28 Nf5+? is inexplicable. Why trade the mighty steed for the miserable bishop on d7? Even a quiet continuation like 28.a3 would keep some advantage.

Capa could not press for a win in the final position as after 43...Rxh3 44.g5! White has more than enough play to hold. The h pawn cannot promote and a5 is falling. An interesting draw.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: This was game 9. Alekhine had lost game 8 and the score was now 2-1 to Capablanca.

In this position Alekhine seems to be doing well.

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He repeats moves: 24. Nb5+ Ke7 25. Nd4 Kd6 but then plays 26. e4. So he knew he was doing well; did not settle for an early draw.

But a little later,

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... he played 28.Nf5+. That led to a very drawn-looking rook-ending. He may have decided that there was nothing more than a draw in the position.

Apr-05-16  Howard: No, this is Game 8--not 9.

Alekhine lost the proceeding game, which was Game 7.

Apr-05-16  zanzibar: Yes, it would be nice if <CG> prominently displayed the round number right at the top of the page.
Apr-05-16  AlicesKnight: According to Gerald Abrahams, both titans were playing with their favoured minor piece. <offramp> Was Alekhine concerned about an endgame with pawns on both sides of the board and a knight against the bishop? True, the knight was better as things stood (as <Shalgo> and <Tothedeath> said), but if rooks start to go the bishop's greater speed across the board could tell. If this is so, playing 26.e4, opening up the centre to an extent, does look like an error (cf. <Shalgo>).
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <Howard: No, this is Game 8--not 9. Alekhine lost the proceeding game, which was Game 7.>

Yes I'm sorry about that. This was game 8.

Apr-06-16  Howard: Too late! I've already turned in your name to the people who run this website. You'll be getting a bill from them shortly---mistakes are costly.
Premium Chessgames Member
  WorstPlayerEver: 12. Be2 does not block the d-file, for instance:

12. Be2 Qb4+ 13. Qd2 Qxd2+ 14. Kxd2

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