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Jose Raul Capablanca vs Mikhail Botvinnik
Hastings (1934/35), Hastings ENG, rd 9, Jan-05
Dutch Defense: Classical Variation (A91)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-10-07  paladin at large: This game was on 5 January 1935 (not 1934), and was the last game of the Hastings 1934-1935 tournament. Capa came out of a nearly three and a half year retirement to get back in shape for competitive chess, motivated by his romance with Olga Chagodaeff, whom he met in 1934. Capa was rusty, and finished fourth, albeit ahead of Botvinnik
Nov-05-09  Plato: A decade after their simul game (when 14 year old Botvinnik was the only one to defeat Capablanca), these two giants meet for the first time in tournament play. It was not the climactic last round that had been anticipated, since both had already lost twice. As <paladin> mentions, Capablanca was rusty. And Botvinnik only tied for 5-6th out of 10.

I'm surprised Capablanca didn't try harder to break through on the queenside by preparing b5. Perhaps he was demoralized about his play in the tournament -- he came in 4th, and even a win here would not have caught the three leaders -- because he would usually torture and slowly crush his opponents with the kind of position he achieved by move 20. Botvinnik defended well.

As a side note, this tournament was the certainly the best performance of George Alan Thomas' career. He won his first three games -- including a round 2 victory (with Black) over Capablanca and a round 3 victory over Botvinnik. He went on to defeat Lilienthal and a few others, and was the sole leader throughout the tournament until a last round loss allowed Euwe and Flohr to tie for first.

Oct-30-13  tranquilsimplicity: Having been a Dutch defence practitioner I have come across a great deal of criticism regarding this defence including the argument that it is "suspect". Well now, what a great endorsement to the Dutch if Botvinnik employed it regularly!
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