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Friedrich Saemisch vs Jose Raul Capablanca
"Do You Know the Way to Beat José?" (game of the day Apr-29-2014)
Karlsbad (1929), Karlsbad CSR, rd 16, Aug-19
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Saemisch Variation. Accelerated (E24)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 1 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Sep-16-02  refutor: 9. ... Ba6?? was easily the worst move in capablanca's career...he could've resigned after 11.d5
Nov-30-03  Phoenix: Still, you have to give him ALOT of credit for being able to turn it into a respectable looking endgame position. Remember the line "The hardest thing in chess is to win a won game."
Nov-30-03  ughaibu: Maybe Samisch was dragging it out to get the full pleasure of beating Capablanca while expressing his pique at Capablanca's lack of grace in refusing to resign.
Dec-24-03  euripides: There is a story that Capablanca's wife and mistress unexpectedly both came to watch him the day this game was played.
Dec-24-03  pim: In Winter's great book on Capablanca it says: "It is frequently stated that Capablanca blundered against Samisch because of the unexpected arrival of his wife and/or a mystery woman (accounts vary) in the tournament hall." Two sources (Esteban Canal and Flohr) indicate that "some incident of the kind did indeed occur" (Winter, 1989, p.325). The "and/or" leaves room for considerable doubt.
Dec-27-03  Resignation Trap: I've heard that Saemisch very nearly exceeded the time controls three times during this game, so this at least explains Capablanca's decision to play a little longer than expected.
Jun-24-04  Whitehat1963: Capa plays the opening of the day against Samisch himself. I really like Samisch's "Knight Moves" 26. Nd4, 27. Nb3, 28. Nxa5 and 29. Nb3. Capa had some nerve, trotting out this variation against the person it's named after, but then, he was never short on ego! Oops! Then again, maybe it didn't have a name at that point. The database shows Capa as being the first person to play this particular variation, so maybe it wasn't so egotistical after all.
Sep-25-04  fgh: I've read this on one webpage, but it's related probably with other game: At that momment, the beautiful wife of Capablanca entered the tournament hall, and full of love, Capablanca forgot about his knight en prise. He lost the knight and the game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Strangely, here is a virtually identical blunder by Takacs

Rubinstein vs S Takacs, 1922

To be fair to Capablanca re playing on, this loss ruined his chances of winning the tournament. And he did get Samisch into serious time trouble before losing.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: < keypusher: ... And he did get Samisch into serious time trouble ... > Well, given the stories about Samisch, that was easy to do.
Mar-06-05  soberknight: <refutor: 9. ... Ba6?? was easily the worst move in capablanca's career> I don't think so. I read somewhere that Capablanca allowed a mate in one when he had black. The opponent had a queen on a4 and could have played Qe8 mate with Capa's king on g8 and pawns on h7, g7 and f5. However, the opponent didn't see it and the game continued. Does anybody know which game I might be thinking of?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: Never happened. It supposedly occurred during the Marshall match. Someone published the wrong score to a game which looked like both players missed a mate in one. Of course now it is impossible to erase this chess "legend".
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: Marshall vs Capablanca, 1909 is the game <Calli> refers to.
Mar-06-05  soberknight: Nothing like the position I recall appeared in the game Gypsy gives, or in any of the other 24 games in this database between Marshall and Capa where the latter played Black. Either my memory is a mirage, or the White player in that game, fictional or not, was not Marshall.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: Senor Capablanca's blunder in this game handed Nimzovich the latter's greatest triumph -- Carlsbad 1929: 1. Nizovich (15/21), 2-3. Capablanca & Spielmann (14.5), 4. Rubinstein (13.5), 5-7. Becker Euwe & Vidmar, 8. Bogolubov, 9. Gruenfeld, 10-11. Canal & Mattison, 12-15. K.Treybal Tartakower Maroczy & Colle, 16-17. Saemisch & Yates, 18-19. Johner & Marshall, 20. Gilg, 21. Thomas, 22. Menchik.
Jul-27-05  ILoveThisSite: Didn't Nimzovich once lose to Samisch and jump on the table and yell "Why must I lose to this idiot?" I'll bet Nimzovich wasn't calling him an idiot after this game.
Aug-31-05  elh: It's fine to _say_ that Capa should have resigned, but look how tenaciously he fights it out. Something about the really great players -- if you made a mistake against them, you were toast, but they could blunder horribly and you still had to play many sharp moves to win. I think one of Morphy's contemporaries pointed this out about him.
Aug-31-05  RookFile: Question: When do you resign?

Answer: When there is no reasonable
hope of defense or a swindle.

Question: Did Capa have hopeless situation here?

Answer: No, he was on life support,
of course, but it wasn't completely hopeless.

Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: I admit that Capablanca fought as hard as humanly possible to save this game.Most Masters after losing a piece resign the game right away, unless there are chances on the board that enable the master to play on.But losing a piece without any compensation and against a Grandmaster at that,and hope to win the game is a hopeless undertaking.If Saemisch had lost a piece in a game against Capa I doubt he would have played on.
May-18-06  s4life: <If Saemisch had lost a piece in a game against Capa I doubt he would have played on.>

But Saemisch is not Capa, Capa was not just another GM and he sort of proved his point of not resigning by dragging the game till move 62.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <keypusher: To be fair to Capablanca re playing on, this loss ruined his chances of winning the tournament.>

This is incorrect; the game occurred early in the tournament. It was this second defeat that ruined Capa's chances: Spielmann vs Capablanca, 1929

Nov-12-06  mack: Winter returns to the 'mystery woman' in CN 4712:
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: Although there is nothing new, it is nice to have all the accounts gathered in one Chess Note. Basically, we know that something happened but don't know what it was.
Nov-12-06  mack: <Basically, we know that something happened but don't know what it was.>


Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: As usual Capablanca was moving fast in the opening. Then he stood up to watch the other games. When he returned after <10.Qa4> he didn't stand up anymore during the rest of the game (7 hours).
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