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Jose Raul Capablanca vs Amos Burn
San Sebastian (1911), San Sebastian ESP, rd 3, Feb-23
Spanish Game: Morphy Defense. Anderssen Variation (C77)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-03-05  ArturoRivera: very nice endgame by capa
Nov-02-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: Amos Burn was 63 and Capablanca 23 when this game was played, but poor Amos is the one that looks unexperienced. Capa has annotated this game in his book Chess Fundamentals. About his opening line 5.d3 Capa says that it was a solid development that he often employed due to his ignorance of the openings.

He dislikes Burns' 11...♗c5 and says that 11...♗e6 is more natural and effective, and threatens ♗c4. If White parries the threat with 12.♘e3 he blocks the development of his Bishop. Capa goes on to say that 14...♕e7 is bad, "but then again the Black pieces do not have anymore a good game." Black has to take first the Knight before moving the Queen.

He comments that after 17.a4 Black should simply play 17...♘8d7 to consolidate his position: "Since the loss of a Pawn cannot be avoided, it should have been abandoned where it laid". After 17...b4 Black is lost, but Capablanca's game shows that curious machine-like precision that makes a player seem not only lost but helpless.

Feb-25-09  WhiteRook48: 46. g6 and Burn will get burned
Feb-25-09  visayanbraindoctor: <maxi: He dislikes Burns' 11...Bc5 and says that 11...Be6 is more natural and effective, and threatens Bc4. If White parries the threat with 12.Ne3 he blocks the development of his Bishop. Capa goes on to say that 14...Qe7 is bad, "but then again the Black pieces do not have anymore a good game." Black has to take first the Knight before moving the Queen.>

What Capa has been observing is that Burn was starting to lose the game at move 11. Now imagine this position (at move 11) occurring in a 21st century super GM tournament. Who among our Grandmasters would subsequently be able to play as precisely as Capa did for the rest of the game? The game just flows.

<Capablanca's game shows that curious machine-like precision that makes a player seem not only lost but helpless.>

Yep, Burn had the singular experience of playing a (carbon-based organic) computer in 1911. How could a human being get to be that efficient and accurate?

Feb-26-09  M.D. Wilson: <Yep, Burn had the singular experience of playing a (carbon-based organic) computer in 1911. How could a human being get to be that efficient and accurate?> They didn't call him the chess machine for nothing.
Feb-25-10  Sourav: What happens if black plays 17...ba4?
Feb-25-10  goldenbear: <Sourav> I don't know what Capa would play, but I would play 18.Bxa4 Rd8 19.b4 and 19.Bd6, the 20.Bb5, or else 19.Bb6, 20.c4, with the threat of Bb5 (Nxd7 Bxd7). Either way, White wins the a-pawn. <visayanbraindoctor> I actually think any modern GM would win this ending with ease. This, to me is one of the clearer ones. Some of Capa's other endgames are another matter. Actually, I expect I(!) would beat Capablanca in the ending after 23.gxh6, if I were White.
Feb-25-10  goldenbear: <visayanbraindoctor> I made my comment before I played through the final 23 moves. I don't know if anyone would be able to play this ending THAT precisely, which was your question, after all. I was very impressed with the "flow", as you termed it.
Feb-28-10  Sourav: <goldenbear> I cannot understand your suggestion 20.c4 against 18.Ba4 Rd8 19.b4 Bb6. Black can respond with 20... Qb4. And good luck for your dreams of beating Capablanca!!
Mar-03-10  goldenbear: <Sourav: "And good luck with your dreams of beating Capablanca!!"> I only said that I would expect to beat Capablanca if I were White in the ending after 23.gxh6. I wouldn't be rated over 2000 if I were unable to win endings a clear pawn to the good (and with the initiative to boot), so I cannot understand your invective reply. <"I cannot understand your suggestion 20.c4 against 18.Ba4 Rd8 19.b4 Bb6. Black can respond with 20.... Qxb4."> No, I don't think he can, <Sourav>. The queen is needed to defend! White would simply play 21.Bxf6 gxf6 22.Qe4, with the dual threats of d6 and Bc2 (not to mention Nh4). It is obvious that Black cannot survive a light-square attack, which is why I didn't even see Qxb4, allowing Bxf6.
Mar-03-10  acirce: I'm rated above 2000, but the thought that I would beat Capablanca (!!) from that position seems incredibly optimistic. Chances are a lot bigger I would lose.

And of course there was no invective in <Sourav>'s reply, just mild sarcasm.

Mar-03-10  goldenbear: <acirce> Do you really believe that acirce? I have a hard time believing that you do. Nf5 (the obvious move) h5 Bd1 (as played in the game) wins a second pawn. You think you might lose an endgame up 2 pawns? I think that's silly. I don't care who I'm playing against, be it Capablanca, Fischer, or Rybka, I can convert that ending up 2(!) pawns against anyone! I don't think that's optimistic; I don't even think doing so would imply I'm an above-average chess player. I also think I would easily beat Capablanca if I were given knight-odds, which, to me, amounts to about the same thing as winning that ending.
Mar-03-10  acirce: Well I think you are underestimating how hard chess is even in good positions. Have you tried it against Rybka? I think you might be surprised.
Mar-03-10  goldenbear: Sir, I'm a human being. I imagine I could climb Mt. Everest, or run a four-minute mile if I wanted. And I can darn sure crush Rybka in this particular ending. We were discussing how well Capablanca played this ending and I agreed, he played it perfectly. But for me, this is not one you'd rank as his best, since there were many ways to win anyway. I don't think I'm underestimating how hard chess is; I think you are underestimating how good we are at it.
Mar-07-10  Sourav: <goldenbear> Thank you so much for pointing out the defect with 20...Qb4. I did not notice the strong reply 21.Qe4. Also, apologies for having hurt your feelings. I was only trying to joke around a bit! I am sure you would be able to beat anyone after 23.gf6. The position is simply overwhelming. And yes, Capa did play with machine like precision.
Mar-27-10  Sourav: Why did black play 38...Ra6?
Apr-04-10  Sourav: Is 10.Qe2 a better positional move than 10.ed5?
Mar-11-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <What Capa has been observing is that Burn was starting to lose the game at move 11. Now imagine this position (at move 11) occurring in a 21st century super GM tournament. Who among our Grandmasters would subsequently be able to play as precisely as Capa did for the rest of the game? The game just flows.>

A modern GM would never face anyone as weak as Burn outside of a simul. Not only is 11....Bc5 bad, Black's 13th, 14th, 16th and 20th moves are all (by modern standards) somewhere between clear mistakes and downright blunders.

Which of our modern GMs could play like this against an opponent of Burn's strength? Each and every one of them.

White has an overwhelming position in the endgame (extra pawn, two connected passed pawns, better minor piece, better pawns), but he doesn't play it with "machine-like precision" by any means. 35.Rac1 actually permitted some counterplay with ...Rb4 which 35.Rd3 would have avoided. But Burn misses this.

Jun-14-12  Naniwazu: <Sourav: Why did black play 38...Ra6?>

If 38...Rxa4 then 39. Nxd6 wins the Bishop because the Knight defends the Rook. Therefore Black first defends the Bishop with 38...Ra6. After the text Black threatens in earnest to capture the a-pawn.

Apr-15-13  RookFile: If you took this game, showed it to folks, and told them that Magnus Carlsen had played white, many would probably believe you.

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