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Alexander Alekhine vs Jose Raul Capablanca
Capablanca - Alekhine World Championship Match (1927), Buenos Aires ARG, rd 16, Oct-17
Queen's Gambit Declined: Orthodox Defense. Alekhine Variation (D67)  ·  1/2-1/2

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Kibitzer's Corner
Aug-20-07  Karpova: <The recipient was the President of the Club Argentino de Ajedrez, Lizardo Molina Carranza, to whom Alekhine complained of having read in the morning’s newspapers that game 17 would be played at the Jockey Club. Refusing to accept this, Alekhine commented that the previous day game 16 had been played there under conditions contrary to the spirit and letter of the match rules. In view of the unbearable noise in adjoining rooms, Capablanca had been obliged to stop his clock, thereby breaking off the game (an occurrence ‘probably unique in the annals of the world championship’). Finding mental effort impossible in such circumstances, Alekhine had accepted Capablanca’s draw offer despite having the better position.>

<It may be recalled (see C.N.s 824 and 861) that it was in connection with game 16 that the story arose of Capablanca falling asleep at the board. For example, on page 44 of Le match Capablanca Alekhine (Brussels, 1929) V. Soultanbéieff commented that, according to the United Press, this had occurred while Alekhine was reflecting on his 19th move and that Capablanca was not awoken by the match director until it was his move. A footnote on the same page stated that Alekhine had denied the sensational story.

Alekhine subsequently wrote about the matter in Auf dem Wege zur Weltmeisterschaft (Berlin, 1932), and here we quote the relevant passage from page 178 of the English edition, On the Road to the World Championship 1923-1927 (Oxford, 1984):

‘My decision to agree a draw so early is explained only by the quite unusual circumstances in which this game took place. In fact we were playing in the Jockey Club, not the usual venue, and it was so noisy there that we were forced to adjourn at move 24, i.e. even before the time control, in order to allow time for things to calm down. Later on, however, I was no longer in the mood for deep thought, and the game was agreed drawn without further ado.

Incidentally, the above lines may serve to show that the report that my opponent “fell asleep” during this game was nothing more than the invention of some witty newspaper man.’> http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/...

Mar-02-08  Knight13: <My decision to agree a draw so early is explained only by the quite unusual circumstances in which this game took place. In fact we were playing in the Jockey Club, not the usual venue, and it was so noisy there that we were forced to adjourn at move 24, i.e. even before the time control, in order to allow time for things to calm down. Later on, however, I was no longer in the mood for deep thought, and the game was agreed drawn without further ado.> Why even go in there in the first place!? You had the game winning!
Mar-03-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Knight13>
<You had the game winning!>

I agree White could play on here, but I think it's an exaggeration to call it <winning>.

For example, 24...Re8 25. Ne4 Ng6 26. Rd7 Nb5 27. a4 Nd4 28. Nd6 Nxe5 29. Nxe8 Nxd7 30. Nxd4 cxd4+ 31. Kxd4 Kf8, followed by ...Ke7 etc. White still is more active, but most of the pieces are gone and Black has no real weak points.

Mar-01-12  The Curious Emblem: <Knight13> White has no weak points to exploit in the final position, even though his poisition is more active. <beatgiant> is right.
May-04-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Los Angeles Times, October 19th 1927, Sect.I p.5:

<Chess fans brought the house down last night when their champion, Prof. Jose Capablanca, was in danger of losing his laurels though an unprecedented faux pas. The Cuban expert, holder of the world's title, dozed off into a profound slumber at a critical point in the game when his Russian opponent, Alexander Alekhine, lost all sense of time in a profound study of the nineteenth move.

Having performed what he considered practically a coup d'etat, the champion sat, heavy-lidded with fatigue as the contender struggled vainly to extricate his men from the engulfing array of pawns, backed up by the king, queen, bishops, knights and castles. Unable to fight off the inertia, the professor lapsed into a pleasant dream of bigger and better chess moves.

The onlookers, alarmed at the condition of their champion, loosed their throats and knocked their shoes against the woodwork in an effort to recall him to consciousness. Officials stormed up and down the arena wildly waving their hands for silence, but without avail.

The referee called time out, and soon Capablanca blinked his eyes and threw himself back into the fight. Four more moves were played, but the spectators having tested their lungs and found them good, liked the novelty of noise at a chess match, and the cheering became louder and funnier. By this time the players desperately were fingering their men, too nervous to concentrate on the game. The referee, looking over the situation and apparently shocked beyond all hope of recovery by the actions of the gallery, declared the game a draw.

However, the score still stands as it did yesterday, and the day before and even before that: Alekhine, 3; Capablanca, 2.>

May-05-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: I omitted an important detail from the beginning of <LA Times> piece: <BUENOS AIRES, Oct. 18. (Exclusive)>

This evidently is the UP article referred to by Soultanbéieff above.

<Pittsburgh Press>, October 18th 1927, p.28:

<By United Press. Buenos Aires, Oct. 18 - Jose Capablanca, of Cuba, the world chess champion, showed his disdain for Alexander Alekhine, the Franco-Russian challenger, by going to sleep during the 16th game of their tile [sic] match here last night.

The game had gone remarkably fast after a queen pawn's opening until the 19th move. Over that play the challenger cudgeled his brain. While the challenger pondered the champion dozed.

The referee had to awaken Capablanca when it was his turn to move.

The score to date is Alekhine 3 games, Capablanca 2, draws 11. The first player to win six games wins the match, which must end by Nov. 15.>

I don't know the source for this last detail - Game 34 began on November 26th.

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