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Jose Raul Capablanca vs David Janowski
San Sebastian (1911), San Sebastian ESP, rd 5, Feb-27
Queen Pawn Game: Colle System (D40)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Aug-10-18  Plato: <straclonoor> Since the only criterion you seem to consider is head-to-head records, you may be surprised to learn that this index favors Lasker as well... According to chessmetrics, the 30 top ranked common opponents that Lasker and Capablanca played throughout their careers are: Blackburne, Burn, Mieses, Janowski, Tarrasch, Teichmann, Maroczy, Schlechter, Marshall, Rubinstein, Duras, Bernstein, Spielmann, Vidmar, Nimzowitsch, Tartakower, Levenfish, Bogoljubow, Reti, Alekhine, Gruenfeld, Euwe, Torre, Pirc, Flohr, Botvinnik, Lilienthal, Reshevsky, Eliskases, and Fine. Here are the results:

Lasker's overall score vs top 30 common opponents:

173 / 243 = 71%

Capablanca's overall score vs top 30 common opponents:

173.5 / 278 = 62%

Yet again, no matter how it is measured, if the criterion is dominance over contemporaries then Lasker wins hands down. And my initial comment that you responded to was about a comparison between Capablanca and Kasparov in terms of dominance, and of course that one is no contest whatsoever.

Sep-20-18  RookFile: Some excellent points about Lasker in this thread.
Sep-20-18  Howard: Trying to compare, say, Alekhine to Blackburne is like comparing Woody Allen to Arnold Schwarznegger (sp!).

Keep in mind that Capablanca played Alekhine a hell of a lot more often than Lasker did. Even if you don't count their 1927 marathon, Capa probably still played him more often.

Using a "top 30" list can be very misleading.

Sep-20-18  Boomie: This is clearly a Tarrasch, not a Colle.

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Sep-20-18  Boomie: 5...Be7 is not good according to the Opening Explorer. White has had great results against it.

Opening Explorer

Sep-20-18  JimNorCal: <Boomie>: this is clearly a Tarrasch

You should file a correction slip, no?

Sep-20-18  Boomie: <JimNorCal: <Boomie>: this is clearly a Tarrasch You should file a correction slip, no?>

Thanks for the suggestion. I turned in a slip after I posted that comment.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Yes, very clearly; had the order of moves been 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 c5 4.e3 instead, the game would already be listed as a QGD Tarrasch.
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: If anything this game should more properly be referred to as a Semi-Tarrasch (ECO D40). The Tarrasch proper (ECO D42) arises after 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5 when after 4.cxd5 Black can only recapture with the e-pawn, 4...exd5, leading to positions where Black typically has either hanging pawns at c4 and d5 or an IQP at d5.

But the interposition of ...Nf6 prior to ...c5 as in the game allows, after 1.d4 d5 2.e3 Nf6 3.Nf3 c5 4.c4 e6 5.cxd5(or, more typically, 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 c5 5.cxd5), the recapture 5..Nxd5 avoiding the IQP and (typically) the hanging pawns.

But what's in a name? After all, a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. The reason for my nit-picking is because it is still classified as a Colle system even though a correction slip was submitted by <Boomie> (admittedly just yesterday) to reclassify it as a Tarrasch. Which is my segue into one of my favorite stories:

A small town wanted to honor one of its returning war veterans and organized an event to do so. The local newspaper publicized the event and referred to the returning war veteran as a "battle scared" veteran. Several readers pointed out the mistake and the local newspaper acknowledged out the error along with an apology and a retraction saying "We apologize. Our local war veteran should have been clearly identified as a 'bottle scarred' veteran." Sometimes you just can't win with these "corrections".

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <Genghis Pawn II and others> I would disagree with Edward Lasker and others that this tournament, while a fine achievement, became <the> favorite contender for the world championship overnight. After all, this was Capablanca's first international tournament and could have been considered a flash in the pan, like Pillsbury (because of illness) effectively was after his clear first at Hastings 1895. And Capablanca finished only 1/2 point ahead of Rubinstein who had won or shared first place in two major international tournaments already, and was to finish in first place in 5 consecutive tournaments just one year later so he would hardly have been "pushed into the background" as a result of not winning this tournament. Had Janowski won this game as it was apparently possible for him to have done, then Capablanca and Rubinstein could very well have shared first place in San Sebastian 1911. Had there been tie breakers in those days then Rubinstein would probably have been declared the tournament winner as a result of his win over Capablanca.

Of course, Capablanca finished first in 8 out of the next 12 tournaments he entered and established/confirmed his claim as <the> favorite contender for the world championship, particularly after Rubinstein's decline following WW I. But I don't think that this happened overnight.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<sleepyirv> Perhaps the most amazing "comeback" in Chess history.>

Perhaps. But FWIW this one is my favorite: Portisch vs Tal, 1964. I described it somewhat here: kingscrusher chessforum (kibitz #249). As I mentioned in that post, Chess Life's conclusion was "A game such as one seldom sees".

Sep-21-18  john barleycorn: <AylerKupp: ... Pillsbury (because of illness) effectively was after his clear first at Hastings 1895. And Capablanca finished only 1/2 point ahead of Rubinstein ... >

Pillsbury won Hastings 0.5 points ahead of Chigorin if I am not mistaken.

Sep-21-18  RookFile: The way I look at this opening is that Capablanca was playing the Queen's Gambit Accepted with the colors reversed, and an extra tempo or two for white. That may be less exciting than it sounds, because the QGA is a neutralizing defense, rather than one designed to attack.
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<john barleycorn> Pillsbury won Hastings 0.5 points ahead of Chigorin if I am not mistaken.>

No, you are not. The only point I was trying to make is that, like Capablanca, Pillsbury won the first international chess tournament he entered but then, because of illness, he never won another one. So it was possible that Capablanca could also have been a one hit wonder and never won another international tournament again. But, of course, he did win several others and never finished lower than 2nd prior to his WCC match with Lasker.

And I don't know if after Hastings 1895 anyone considered Pillsbury the favorite contender for the world championship. If anyone did, they were unfortunately and sadly mistaken.

Sep-22-18  john barleycorn: <AylerKupp: ...

No, you are not. The only point I was trying to make is that, like Capablanca, Pillsbury won the first international chess tournament he entered but then, because of illness, he never won another one. ...>

I compared your "after his clear first at Hastings" about Pillsbury to that "Capablanca finished only 1/2 point ahead".

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<john barleycorn> I compared your "after his clear first at Hastings" about Pillsbury to that "Capablanca finished only 1/2 point ahead".>

Oh, OK. My comment about Capablanca finishing only ½ point ahead is that this didn't seem like a good reason to cause him to become "the favorite contender for the world championship overnight" particularly since this was his first international tournament and the presumably favorite contender for the world championship, Rubinstein, was the one that finished ½ point behind <and> defeated Capablanca in their individual encounter. After all, no one knew whether Capablanca could duplicate such a good success so anointing him the favorite contender for the world championship seemed somewhat premature, even though it was ultimately correct.

May-19-19  LoveThatJoker: GOTD: Hangin' Tough LTJ
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessmaletaja: The postion after 58. ♘c5-e4!

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Black has messed up. His King, Queen and Knight are living in three different worlds.

58...♔h7? lost the game.

58...♕h4 seems to make a draw. Note that this move also tries to give back some coordination between Black's pieces.

Premium Chessgames Member
  fiercebadger: Talk to your pieces ! Capa's Knight says bring me back into the game, when he does it dances ! ..53 Qe1 is losing better ..53 Qh1+ winning
Oct-16-21  N.O.F. NAJDORF: < pawntificator: 53...Qh1+ 54 Ka2 Nxe5 55 moves ...Qg2 and Janowski could have took it. >

That line allows white to queen his pawn with check.

Jul-24-23  Mathematicar: Janowski, Janowski!
Sep-03-23  Idk1992: I really want to to add a pun to this. I really like this game. Janowski absolutely demolishing Capa and him actively realising it and accepting that this was the first time in his career he felt that his opponent absolutely crushed him and was super ahead of him only for Janowski to make one small inaccuracy and giving it all away. I can't even imagine the heights Capablanca would reach if he was given today's technology...
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: <I can't even imagine the heights Capablanca would reach if he was given today's technology...>

Capablanca was born gifted for the game. Given the fact that in 1921 the population of the world was 2 billion and now it is 8 billion we would have to surmise that quite a few more Capablanca's have appeared.

If so and they have inherited all the Capablanca traits then today's modern game would be too much hard work for them. Today being gifted is not enough, you have work and study much harder and longer than any of the old masters.

Capablanca was notoriously lazy so all the new Capablanca's would not be into chess, they would be unemployable, probably poets, or if they are as good looking as Capablanca then gigolos.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: I don't think Capablanca can be held solely responsible for the population explosion.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: It stands to reason, do the maths, (one Capa per 2 billion) there must be at the very least four Capablancas out there.

Maybe they have not been born in the right environment. For all we know one might an Inuit making chess pieces out of snow and ice and not knowing why the are doing it.

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