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Efim Bogoljubov vs Jose Raul Capablanca
Bad Kissingen (1928), Bad Kissingen GER, rd 9, Aug-21
Queen's Indian Defense: Kasparov Variation (E12)  ·  0-1



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Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Tartakover, who wrote the excellent tournament book suggested <18.a4> as probably most "relative minor evil".
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Background:
This game was played in round 9. Bogojubov was leading with 6.5/8 points ahead of Capablance and Euwe, both 5/8.

Finally Bogojubov became first with 8/11, one point ahead of Capablanca.

Dec-13-07  RookFile: Well, look at the bright side. Bogo only lost 47 times to Lasker, Capa, and Alekhine.
Apr-20-08  MaczynskiPratten: When I first started reading about chess I got the impression that Bogolyubov was a weak player because he appeared many times in the "best games" collections - and always on the losing side! Looking in more detail at his highly successful tournament record it would seem that he was very good at beating weaker players but not quite sound against absolutely top-class opposition - even if they often had to produce brilliancies to beat him! A bit like a heavyweight boxer with a big punch but a glass jaw. He was certainly an optimist - he is quoted as saying "When I am White I win because I am White. When I am Black I win because I am Bogoljubov!"
Apr-08-09  firefly3: h6 and a6 (played on moves 15 and 16) are moves I see a lot in endgames like this. Can someone please explain the purpose of these moves?

a6 here leads up to b5, but still... I see this move played in a lot of endgames in which there is no consequent pawn push. Is it just to control territory (i.e. the 4 squares that the pawn duo controls?) Also, black's move h6 prevents g5, but is that all it does? Is it really worth wasting a move to prevent white from moving g5?

So, to recap (no pun intended), I am curious as to the purpose of the moves h6 and a6, which seem archetypal to endgames like this.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: < firefly3: ... Also, black's move h6 prevents g5, but is that all it does? Is it really worth wasting a move to prevent white from moving g5? >

No, the <15...h6> was necessary to free the Rh8 rook from 'forever' defending a pawn on the h-file.

Apr-08-09  whatthefat: <firefly3>

I think 15...h6 has two purposes - one is to clamp down on the g5 square, as otherwise White will play g5 cramping Black's play on that side of the board - Black's king will no longer be able to access the f6 square. The other purpose is to blunt the attack of White's rook on the h-file, which allows Black's h8-rook to pursue other goals on the queenside.

As for 16...a6, I believe the point is to prepare ...b5 in response to the threat of b4. If Black played something else, say 16...Rhb8, then 17.b4 a6 and now 18.a4 looks strong to me. With 16...a6, Black is prepared to meet 17.b4 with 17...b5 with ...Rhb8 and ...a5 to follow. If 18.c5 then 18...a5 and Black will likely end up controlling the a-file.

As an aside, wouldn't most GMs have called it a draw at about move 12 here?

Apr-09-09  nuwanda: this game is subject of

interesting text:

Ukranian-German grandmaster Efim Bogoljubow (left, 1889-1952) was one of the strongest players in the world from the mid-20s through at least the early 30s, twice playing Alexander Alekhine for the world championship. He was unsuccessful on both occasions, but the fact that he twice contended says something about his strength. He won the major tournament in Moscow 1925 ahead of Emanuel Lasker and the then-world champion, José Raúl Capablanca (picture below), and won many other tournaments as well.

As I said, he defeated Capablanca (1888-1942) in that tournament, and in the tournament book for Moscow 1925 wrote the following: "Further, it is apparent that Capablanca finds it very difficult to separate himself from his dry style of play. His technique, on the other hand, has been at least equalled by Bogoljubow and is not especially feared by the other masters." Pretty cocky fellow, that Bogoljubow. Yes, he had won a prestigious event, but Capablanca was the world champion and lauded as an all-time great. Further, Capablanca had beaten "Bogo" in their individual game in the tournament, so a bit more humility might have been in order. At any rate, I imagine that everyone reading this knows what happened in their next game.

It took a while to occur, as tournaments were rarer in those days, but they next met in Bad Kissingen 1928. Capablanca had lost his crown to Alekhine the year before, and Bogoljubow's star was still on the rise – he would play his first match with Alekhine a year later. In fact, to Bogoljubow's credit, he won the tournament. In round nine, though, his game with Capablanca went exactly according to the script. They very quickly reached an endgame, one that started with Bogoljubow enjoying at least equality, and from that point on he was completely and brutally outplayed. On move 20, he was equal or possibly a touch better; by move 32, he was simply lost, and without having made any outright blunders.

It's a good story, but it's also an instructive game. Capablanca's endgame technique was almost always at an extremely high level, and there is much we can learn from him. Further, this particular ending is useful because of the pawn structure – it's one that arises fairly often in games of every level. And finally, the finish is very nice; a beautiful way of completing the humiliation Bogo should have felt in light of his earlier comments. There's a lesson to be learned, and it's not just a chess lesson.

Apr-09-09  blacksburg: what ever happened to the queen's indian? i don't remember the last time i saw this opening played at high level. is the slav really that much better?
Apr-09-09  tonsillolith: What is to be preferred about <25. Nc3> over <25. Nc5>? The biggest reason I would avoid playing d5 as black is to prevent the white knight from going to c5.
Apr-09-09  blacksburg: Reinfeld says 25.Nc5 e5!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: Capablanca - Bogoljubov: +5 -0 =2.
Apr-09-09  Riverbeast: Bogolyubov was a big trash talker, but Capablanca stroked him good this game...

Maybe after this, Capa looked at him and put a finger over his mouth.....

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: I wouldn't call it trash.
Apr-29-09  copablanco: "Capablanca was among the greatest of chessplayers,but not because of his endgame play. His trick was to keep his openings simple, and then play with such brilliance in the middle game that the game was decided--even though his opponent didn't always know it-before they arrived at the ending.He was the only great Latin player ever to emerge on the world scene." Bobby Fischer
Apr-29-09  AnalyzeThis: Just another good Bogo slappin' game.
May-17-10  timothee3331: Capablanca once said that you should concentrate on the winner during an analysis so that the logic of his play could penetrate you and help you to get the right frame of mind. Of course, such a way is very useful when studying the endgame. 14...Ke7! gets the King in its right place instead of castling which would be nonsense ! 15....h6! is a very economical move, parrying the positionnal threat of g5 (valorization of the doubled pawns) and the play on the open file while freeing the rook. 16..a6! and 17...Rhb8! give play on the queenside, the king rook is the best one because after the follow-up 18...b5! it avoids cxb5 with the a-Rook on the open file and it forces White to take a decision otherwise black opens the b-file at once. Then Black plays simply while White does nothing but uncoordinated actions and finishes his opponent with 41...Nc5! You should also pay attention to 38..R8c6! a very good move, application of the principle "do not hurry"
May-18-10  FHBradley: The problem with Capablanca's advice is that a won game is not always the logical result of how the winner has conducted the game. No doubt that's how Capablanca wanted to see and have it, but reality offers any number of counter examples.
May-24-10  timothee3331: Well <FHBradley> the interest is just to be able to perform good moves all the time when in practice, and to get the maximum benefit. In practice sometimes, you just have to play and you can't determine the best defence. After all is it really useful ?! Of course when you study defence or when you move further in chess, a more detailed analysis might be needed
Jul-20-10  sevenseaman: Terrific Nc5+. Frankly, I thought about this move quite a lot only to abandon it as foolish. Then Capa actually makes it and Bogo resigns. Further analysis only helped me to feel stupid as I had not been diligent enough.

One would keep on chipping at a strong lookig wall only if one were confident it would lead to opening a hidden door.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Paladin> Here's a well-known quote: 'When I'm White, I win because I'm White, and when I'm Black, I win because I'm Bogolyubov'.

He was a great tournament player, but in match play, utterly outclassed by the greatest players of the time, which is why Alekhine accepted his challenges in 1929 and 1934. No way AA was going to give Capablanca another go at it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: Clearly, <25.Nc5> had to be played. If now <25...e5> then White continues <26.a4> trying to close the position with 27.a5

After <26...a5> White continues <27.b3 Na3 28.Rb2> and the ridiculous final position is avoided

Gotta love Bogo though, a real character who soldiered on for another 25 years or so

"I lose with White when I make bad moves against great GM's like Capablanca"


Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: < perfidious: <Paladin> Here's a well-known quote: 'When I'm White, I win because I'm White and when I'm Black, I win because I'm Bogolyubov'.>

Rule number 8 at is that this quote <must> be mentioned at least once every 10 posts in every Bogoljubov game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: 1st RULE: You do not talk about <Rule number 8>.
Jan-21-14  RookFile: Bogo had a space advantage, then traded pieces at every opportunity, in order to reach an endgame against Capa.

In other words, he pursued an illogical strategy on general principles, in order to play into a strength of his opponent.

Not surprisingly, he lost the game.

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