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Jose Raul Capablanca vs David Janowski
New York (1924), New York, NY USA, rd 15, Apr-06
King's Indian Attack: Sicilian Variation (A08)  ·  1-0



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Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: It's time for me to show off my ability to overlook the simplest tactical tricks--why didn't Capablanca play 22.Bxh6,gxh6; 23.Qxh6+,Kg8; 24.Qxg6+ which seems to win two pawns?
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <An Englishman>
At first glance, after the suggested 22. Bxh6, then <22...Bxc4> 23. dxc4 e4 24. Nh2 e3, etc. looks strong for Black who is breaking through in the center and kingside.
Jan-11-07  paladin at large: 18. Nb6 would win the exchange, but Capa plays a developing move. What am I overlooking? He must have liked this setup and seen far ahead at this point.
Jan-11-07  Whitehat1963: <paladin> What happens if 18. Nb6 Rc7?
Jan-11-07  crwynn: "At first glance, after the suggested 22. Bxh6, then <22...Bxc4> 23. dxc4 e4 24. Nh2 e3, etc. looks strong for Black who is breaking through in the center and kingside."

Except the Kt on b5 is hanging, so ...Nc3 has to be inserted somewhere. Of course 22.Bxh6 Nc3 23.Ra1 Bxc4 24.dc e4 25.Nh2 e3 26.Bxe3 could get messy, but Black doesn't have to push e3.

But basically since Black has no reason to capture on h6, White is just winning the h-pawn and this is not really part of his plan. I wouldn't be suprised if Capa never even looked at it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <CRWynn>
Good point. Given the line you posted, my <first glance> was a miscalculation.

But also I find it unlikely that <Capa never even looked at> 22. Bxh6 because <just winning the h-pawn> wasn't part of his plan. If White could wave a magic wand and make the h-pawn disappear for nothing, he'd obviously do it.

So Capa must have evaluated some Black counterplay after 22. Bxh6 and saw something he didn't like.

On 22. Bxh6 Nc3 23. Ra1, Black improves with <23...e4> to answer 24. Nh2 with ...exd3.

White could try a tactical skirmish 22. Bxh6 Nc3 23. Ra1 e4 24. Nxd4!?, but then 24...Qxd4 25. Be3 Qxd3 26. Bf1 Qxf1+ 27. Kxf1 Bxc4+ 28. Kg2 Be5 and Black gets a nice position with three minor pieces for a queen.

Or White could vary with 22. Bxh6 Nc3 23. Rb3 (to answer ...e4 with Nxd4), but then Black has 23...Bf5 24. Bd2 Bxd3.

The main point is White would get into messy complications for no clear advantage, compared to the strong positional pressure he got in the game line.

Jul-04-07  sanyas: <When you are a great genius like Capablanca, you -make- theory as you play.>

Well, theory itself is basically GM games, and the notes to them.

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Since Janowski was planning to play ..f6 at some point he probably should have avoided 13..h6 which created weaknesses in his kingside which Capablanca later exploited. Alekhine criticized 15..Rc8 recommending 15..Qe7 instead with the idea of 16 h5..Nf8 17 c5..Bxc5 18 Nxe5..Nxe5 19 Rxe5..Bd6. After this error black's pieces were forced to awkward squares and Capablanca developed a strong initiative. If 34..Qxg6 35 hxg followed by 36 Bd5 would not have solved black's problems.
Sep-20-08  visayanbraindoctor: This Benoni (in reverse) game by Capablanca is truly amazing. There was no extensive theory on the Benoni during 1924 and so Capablanca was essentially inventing theory.

Yet Capablanca played vigorously and masterfully, playing the Benoni as it should be played. Note that Capablanca posted his knight on c4, and pawns on b4 and c5, and then after getting a clamp on the queenside, attacked on the kingside. This is precisely how the Benoni should be played. How could Capablanca know that in an era when the Benoni essentially did not even exist?

It surely qualifies as one of the best Benoni games ever in chess history.

Jan-30-10  AnalyzeThis: <plang: Alekhine criticized 15..Rc8 recommending 15..Qe7 instead with the idea of 16 h5..Nf8 17 c5..Bxc5 18 Nxe5..Nxe5 19 Rxe5..Bd6. >

I'm quite sure that Alekhine is right, that 15....Qe7 was the move. I spent some time looking at the possibilities, and all I got was a headache.

It's the great player (Lasker comes to mind) who comes up with 15...Qe7. The rest of us play 15...Rc8, and Capa's awesome precision takes over, and Capa plows right over his opponent.

Premium Chessgames Member
  scutigera: <sanyas>: In particular, GM games like this. Another would be Capa's OTB "commentary" to Marshall's long-prepared Ruy Lopez line (Capablanca vs Marshall, 1918). In the end, someone has to play the stemgame.
Oct-10-13  Howard: Another good Capablanca game !
Sep-14-14  Garech: What a game from Capa! This deserves GOTD someday.


May-27-16  edubueno: A century of difference between Capa and Janowsky
Jun-14-17  Dave12: A beautiful win, very esthetical from Capa.
Oct-10-17  Helios727: Capa could have opted for a reversed Gruenfeld with 4. d4. Would that not have been more dangerous to Black?
Oct-10-17  sudoplatov: Capablanca also effectively played a Benoni Gambit in 1914 against Nimzovich.

Nimzowitsch vs Capablanca, 1914

Oct-10-17  Helios727: sudoplatov, that was a Ruy Lopez.
Oct-10-17  sudoplatov: The opening was a Ruy, but the play on the a and b files was like that of the Benoni Gambit. Rooks on the files supported by a Bishop in g7. Compare Capablanca's play to that in the Benko Gambit.
Oct-11-17  Helios727: If 38...Qxd5 39. Qxe8+ Kh7 40. Ng6 Qg8 41. Qxg8+ Kxg8, how does White make further progress?

click for larger view

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Helios727>

42.Bxf4 ef 43.Re8+ Kf7 44.Rxb8 Nxb8 45.Rxa7 wins.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: Wow this game looks as though Capablanca is playing the Modern Benoni in reverse :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  fredthebear: You mean this is not a King's Indian Attack vs. the Sicilian (A08)?/s

<sarc> </sarc>


Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: A neat game in this line was Savon vs Spassky, 1961.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: <visayanbraindoctor> Quite agree - it seems this game is a bridge game between a favourite Tal opening and Capablanca. Tal was the great exponent for me of the Modern Benoni. Capablanca scorned the Sicilian defence apparently and to see him actually going the whole hog here playing a hypermodern opening which was peak popularity in the 60's is quite amazing and "ahead of it's time".

<fredthebear> :) I see it classified as that but it is not as informative of the key plans for White if it is treated as reverse benoni - pawn majority on queenside, light square play etc that one might expect from the Benoni in reverse.

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