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Salomon Flohr vs Jose Raul Capablanca
Moscow (1935), Moscow URS, rd 13, Mar-05
Queen's Gambit Declined: Orthodox Defense. Rubinstein Variation Flohr Line (D62)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
May-27-04  fred lennox: 49 Ke5 saves black from loosing. An example of knight opposition. Vertical opposition would fail because it could not be maintained. 49 Kd5...Kd2
Apr-14-05  RookFile: This game is really the first one
in recorded history where somebody
showed how to defend in a good knight
vs. bad bishop ending. Solution: get those pawns on the OPPOSITE color as the bishop as FAST as possible!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <fred lennox: 49 [...] Ke5 saves black from losing. An example of knight opposition. Vertical opposition would fail because it could not be maintained. 49 [...] Kd5[?]... [50.] Kd2[!] [and White wins.]>

It also seems worth noting that (after 49. ... Ke5!) Flohr could still have tried 50. Kd2, which would have presented a greater technical challenge to the defense (albeit that Capablanca almost certainly would have been equal to the task). After a hypothetical 50. Kd2, the only drawing move would have been 50. ... h4, after which play could have continued: 51. gxh4 f4 52. h5 (52. exf4+ Kxf4 53. Ke2 is also a draw.) 52... fxe3+ and draws.

Losing (after 50. Kd2) would be such continuations as 50. ... Ke4? 51. Ke2! or 50. ... Kd5? 51. Ke1! .

Mar-13-10  Dr. Siggy: Reuben Fine, "Basic Chess Endings", New York 1941, page 247, about <the bad Bishop>:

"Where there is only one target [on the bad Bishop's side] the game is normally drawn. Thus the isolated QP without any further weaknesses is not fatal. This was shown in [...] Flohr-Capablanca, Moscow 1935 [...]"

Oct-23-11  DrMAL: Thanx <AnalyzeThis> for pointing out game in Pillsbury vs Tarrasch, 1895 yes, after 23.Kxc1 white had some edge with perfectly placed N, black B was not really bad and position was likely draw but it could have been different with play less reasonably accurate than Capablanca's here, cheers. <fred lennox: 49 Ke5 saves black from loosing.> 49...Kf7 also draws.
Oct-23-11  AnalyzeThis: It seems so simple to us today, but Keres for example gave high praise for moves like 25... b6 in his Practical Chess Endings.
Oct-24-11  DrMAL: <AnalyzeThis> Yes, technique considered quite basic today was not well known or easily accessed if known back then. Even few decades ago before computers high level chess was completely different game. Capablanca's play was exceptionally accurate for that time, reflecting his great ability, cheers.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: Yes, 50 Kd2 needs h4 (and it is still a draw) but Flohr didn't need to exchange the N, the position is drawn, it seems: so he can even play 48. Nh1 or Kc3 and it is still slightly better for White. But a draw with careful play by both it seems according to the machine.
Feb-22-17  Jimmy720: memorize
Premium Chessgames Member
  manselton: 28...a5

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Shereshevsky quotes Capablanca's "Last Chess Lectures" formulating the rule of where to place pawns with respect to Bishops. <When your opponent has a Bishop, keep your pawns on the squares of the same colour as this Bishop. But if you have a Bishop, then, irrespective of whether or not the opponent has a Bishop, keep your pawns on squares of the opposite colour to that of your Bishop.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  manselton: 33...h5?! Capablanca disobeys his own rule and gets into serious trouble.

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Shereshevsky explains it like this <Black must have thought that White intended to work his Knight to h4, play f4-f5, g3-g4 and then play his Knight to e6 when the Black King was on c6. This would force a winning K+P ending. But this is not necessary. Black has two defences a) when White plays Ne1 the reply ...Be4 prevents Ng2 b) there is also the defence ...g5 while the Knight is on h4, answering fxg5 with ...hxg5!? and Ng2 with ...g4!>

Premium Chessgames Member
  manselton: 36...g6

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<Black has no good moves. If instead 36...Bf7 37.f5 is unpleasant.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  manselton: Position after 39.f5!

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If now 39...Bxf5 Black loses a Pawn. 40.Nxd5 Bd7 41.Nxf6 Bxb5 42.Nd5

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And Black maybe cannot 42...Kc6 43.Ne7+. <Shereshevsky> But I'm not completely convinced. If I were Black I <would> play 42...Kc6 to keep the counter-chances with the b-Pawn.

However, Capa doggedly defends with ...gxf5

Premium Chessgames Member
  manselton: 40...Bd7

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Another small error by Capablanca. It is not necessarily fatal. He could have obliged White to play h2-h3 wasting a tempo move in any future K+P ending. K+P endings are often won and lost by single tempi. 40...Bg8 41.Nf4 Bf7 42. h3 Be8 still picks up the Pawn on b5. <Shereshevsky>

Premium Chessgames Member
  manselton: 40...Bc6

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<On no account must the Knight be allowed to return to f4. 43...Be8? 44.Nd5 Would have won a Pawn as 44...Ke6 45.Nc7+ is a winning K+P ending for White.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  manselton: 47...Bf1

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White now goes for the K+P ending and Black must be accurate to hold it. This task would have been easier if he <had> forced h2-h3 at move 40.

Premium Chessgames Member
  manselton: 49...Ke5!

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If White manages to play Kxf5 he will win by creating a passed h-Pawn to divert the Black King, take on f6 and queen the e-pawn. Black's drawing tactic is to sac his own h-Pawn timing this so that he can f5-f4xe3+ with check! and because of the check still he can still catch the h-Pawn. The King manoeuvres centre round this. Black achieves his aim if when White plays Ke2 he can reply ...Ke4

49...Kd5 50.Kd2 Ke5 51.Ke1! Kd5 52.Kf2! Ke6 53.Kf3 Ke5

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Now 54.h3 and White wins. (The ! acknowledge that White must not go to e2.)

If instead 51.Ke2 Ke4 52.Kf2 h4 53.gxh4 f4 54.h5 fxe3+ = Black achieves his aim.

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Premium Chessgames Member
  manselton: If 51.Kf2 h4! draws also

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