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Alexander Alekhine vs Jose Raul Capablanca
Capablanca - Alekhine World Championship Match (1927), Buenos Aires ARG, rd 20, Oct-24
Queen's Gambit Declined: Orthodox Defense. Alekhine Variation (D67)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: Was it really necessary for Black to trade his h-pawn for White's e-pawn? I don't see any obvious reason not to play 23...h6 . For example, 24. ♗c4+ ♗e6 25. ♖f1+ ♔e7 26. ♘f5+ ♗xf5 27. ♖xf5 ♖f8 looks strong for Black.
Sep-23-04  Calli: Probably he was afraid of weakening the white squares and AA playing Ne2-f4-g6. A line might be 23...h6 24.Ne2 c5 25.Bc4+ Be6 26.Rf1+ Ke7 27.Nf4 etc
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: < Probably he was afraid of weakening the white squares and AA playing Ne2-f4-g6. A line might be 23...h6 24.Ne2 c5 25.Bc4+ Be6 26.Rf1+ Ke7 27.Nf4 etc>

Very instructive. And if then 27...♗xc4 28. ♔xc4 ♖d2 29. ♘d5+! brings to bear the advanced e-pawn as well.

This was a close-fought game!

Premium Chessgames Member
  waddayaplay: The alternative gamescore is probably the correct one, where black played 32...Rd8 and not 32...Rah8. With Rah8, black should simply win a pawn (Rxh2) after white's a4.

Aug-09-06  lopezexchange: The correct move sequence is: 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Bg5 Be7 5.e3 O-O 6.Nf3 Nbd7 7.Rc1 c6 8.Bd3 dxc4 9.Bxc4 Nd5 10.Bxe7 Qxe7 11.Ne4 N5f6 12.Ng3 Qb4+ 13.Qd2 Qxd2+ 14.Kxd2 Rd8 15.Bd3 e5 16.dxe5 Ng4 17.e6 Nde5 18.Nxe5 Nxe5 19.exf7+ Kxf7 20.Rc3 b5 21.f4 b4 22.fxe5 bxc3+ 23.Kxc3 Ke6 24.Ne2 Kxe5 25.Nd4 Bb7 26.Bxh7 c5 27.Nf3+ Kf6 28.Bd3 Re8 29.Re1 Bxf3 30.gxf3 Rh8 31.Re2 Rh4 32.Be4 Rd8 33.a4 g5 34.a5 g4 35.fxg4 Rxg4 36.Bd3 Ra4 37.Rf2+ Ke7 38.a6 Ra1 39.Rg2 c4 40.Bxc4 Rc8 41.b3 Rxa6 42.e4 Ra1 43.Kd4 Rh8 1/2-1/2

Capablanca did not play 32...Rah8. On retrospect he should have.

Mar-03-08  Knight13: One of those games that proves sometimes a minor piece such as a bishop can be as good as a rook.
Mar-08-08  mistreaver: <One of those games that proves sometimes a minor piece such as a bishop can be as good as a rook.> Sometimes it can be even better.
Karjakin vs Radjabov, 2005
Apr-27-08  hamham: I'm certain that the game score where one of the players blundered a pawn is correct, Kasparov said so himself. But I remember him saying the other did not recognize this mistake.
Nov-07-11  DrMAL: In my posts on QGD to follow, idea is not a survey (would take awhile!) but instead to show influence of key plans from classical greats on modern games. Kasparov does this with amazing knowledge in his OMGP books, I could not hope to imitate him but this method is very useful, it helped me as well. WC match here had 33 out 34 QGD games (in game 1 Capa tried 1.e4 and lost) and this one is maybe best example of how un-boring QGD can be with brilliant, creative players. Opening here was also foundation for many later famous games, and being on subject of Fischer-Spassky earlier it was reminde (particularly, Fischer vs Spassky, 1972 to be addressed next).

Both players, especially Capablanca, loved Orthodox variation 6...Nbd7 and Alekhine played 8.Bd3 line so much it was named after him. There are other moves to "fight for tempo" here, such as 8.a3 or 8.Qc2 (8...a6 9.a4) one way or another pawn on c4 is going to be taken. Alekhine did not bother with these waiting moves, and Capa always played 9...dxc4 to gain the tempo. Moreover, after recapture he would nearly always go 9...Nd5 I believe this variation is named after him (not indicated by CG). Idea behind 9...Nxd5 is very basic - when position is cramped (space disadvantage) to trade pieces. Alekhine's 11.Ne4 was to do the opposite, avoid trading Ns (e.g., after 11.0-0 probably the best move here, typical line is 11.0-0 Nxc3 12.Rxc3 e5 to activate B on f8 the fundamental issue in QGD that all its variations are designed around).

11...e5 here was also very strong, but Capa preferred to try and make another trade with 11...N5d6 leading to 12.Ng3 to again avoid it. With black so passive just now I think it was better to immediately open position with 12.Nxf6+ and either 12...Qxf6 13.0-0 e5 14.Qc2 exd4 15.Nxd4 or 12...Nxf6 13.0-0 b6 14.Ne5 c5 (or 14...Bb7) 15.Be2 for some advantage. After 12...Qb4+ and exchanging Qs as Capa did many times during match, and (typical) 14...Rd8 position is boring old QGD, right? No! Players here create interesting battle starting with 15.Bd3!? sharp move to stop B on c8 from developing via b6-Bg7 so 15...e5! alternative was played and, after exchange R opposite white K presents danger, 16...Ng4! capitalizes on this.

17.e6! complicates further if simply 17...fxe6 then 18.Ke2 gives black bad pawn structure and B on c8 still remains undeveloped, while white N has e4 square, with other N able to go on e5, white advantage would be obvious. Instead, Capa played best move 17...Nde5! and after exchanges (pair transpose) 20.Rc3 is forced and it looks like black does not have much attack. But 20...b5! starts advance to threaten pinned B. And Alekhine played 21.f4! also best, creative move to counterattack. This basically forced the exchange sac played, after 23.Kxc3 white has N+P+P (soon to be N+P) for R with interesting double-edged endgame. Play was very accurate on both sides, black kept small edge but could only draw. Game showed fundamental line that formed basis for opening theory as well as very creative play to make "oasis from desert" as Kasparov put it, this variation of QGD is very solid but certainly not devoid of interesting play.

Nov-07-11  AnalyzeThis: It's a great game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: After 21...b4 Alekhine, who often played the openings in this match with more verve...

click for larger view

22.fxe5 giving up the exchange (with check!).

After 39...c4, doubtless short of time...

click for larger view

...Alekhine may have missed a trick. The idea is to protect the ♙a6 before taking the ♙c4. 40.Rg7+ might have done that:
40...Kf6 41.Rg6+ Ke5 42.Bxc4 looks very good for white.

Dec-01-13  jdc2: <After 39...c4, doubtless short of time...

click for larger view

...Alekhine may have missed a trick. The idea is to protect the Pa6 before taking the Pc4. 40.Rg7+ might have done that: 40...Kf6 41.Rg6+ Ke5 42.Bxc4 looks very good for white.>

Yeah, but that's not the position in the game after 39...c4. The Black rooks are on a1 and d8, so the king can go to f8 after the check.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <jdc2> In the 1928 book on the match by FD Yates and W Winter, the move is given as 38...R-KB1. There follows
39.R-Kt2 P-B5.

It looks to me as if 39.R-Kt2 (ie 39.Rg2) was played to avoid an exchange of rooks.

May-09-20  pepechuy: Did Capablanca really play 38... Ra1?
(it is a quesiton, I do not imply it is a bad move). In the Encyclopedia of Chess Endings, volume 3, the move is 38... Rf8
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: The line with the early queen exchange is about as drawish as you can get. The line was played 7 times in the match (#16,18,20,22,24,28,30) with all being drawn. The players do deserve credit is this game for creating some interesting complications. Apparently unhappy with 15 Bd3 (as played in this game) Alekhine switched to 15 Rhd1 in the remaining 4 games with this line.

Kasparov on 21 f4:
"All "normal" moves lose - 21 b4?..a5 or 21 Ne4?..b4 22 Rb3..Ba6 23 Nc5..Nxd3 24 Nxd3..c5, and so Alekhine sacrifices the exchange!. I think that the subsequent turn of events must have been another psychological blow to Capablanca. Again he was inferior to his opponent in evaluating the dynamic resources of the position: he was hoping that the rook would outweigh the minor piece, and he almost lost... In fact, White has equal chances at the very least."

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