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Savielly Tartakower vs Jose Raul Capablanca
New York (1924), New York, NY USA, rd 19, Apr-12
King's Gambit: Accepted. Tartakower Gambit (C33)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Mar-17-07  paladin at large: Capa had a bad cold at the start of the great 1924 tournament, acquired in the transition from balmy Havana to blustery New York. He should have arrived earlier. In any case, his result in the first five games was 0+ 4= 1- (losing to Réti). The rest of the way he was 10+ 5= 0- ; the game above was part of that stretch in excellent form.
Jun-26-07  Jake Robertson: 9 was a beautiful example of zwischenzug
Jun-26-07  CapablancaFan: <Jake Robertson> Yeah, you're right, 9 was a beautiful in between move. What we have here is that Tartakower basically tried to pull a fast one on Cap. Obviously, 9...Rxb8? loses the bishop. (Did he not think Capa would see this?). But it is Tartakower that overlooked 9...Nd5! this one move turns the entire game in Cap's favor. Forks are threatened, deadly checks loom and the king cannot find safety. Surprised this thing even lasted 30 moves.
Jun-26-07  newton296: capa is like a machine with the tactics, he's got forks , Checks, in-betweem moves and thats just on move ...9 .
Jun-27-07  Wolfgang01: Tartakower could try this line against other collegues but not Capa, Alekhine or the great Lasker. It's not only the zwischenzug 9. … Nd5. He plays the whole game foolish. 18. Bxh7+?? Did he think, Capa would become frightened and forget about his plan?
Sep-03-07  notyetagm: From

<Another example occurred in Tartakower-Capablanca, New York 1924,[1] which Irving Chernev christened "the Immortal Zwischenzug Game." In the position at right, Tartakower (White) has just played 9. Bxb8, thinking he has caught Capablanca in a trap: if 9...Rxb8, 10.Qa4+ and 11.Qxb4 wins a bishop. However, Capablanca sprang the zwischenzug 9...Nd5!, protecting his bishop and also threatening 10...Ne3+, forking White's king and queen. After Tartakower's 10.Kf2 Rxb8, Capablanca had regained his piece and went on to win in 20 more moves. Note that after 10.Bf4 (instead of 10.Kf2), Black would not play 10...Nxf4??, which would still allow 11.Qa4+, winning a piece. Instead, after 10.Bf4 Black would play a second zwischenzug, 10...Qf6!, attacking the bishop again, and also renewing the threat of 11...Ne3+. After a move like 11.Qc1, Black could then either take the bishop or consider still a further zwischenzug with 11...Bd6 or 11...g5.>

So one possible tactical sequence would be 9 ♗f4x♘b8 ♘f3-d5! <zwischenzug> 10 ♗b8-f4 ♕d8-f6! <zwischenzug> 11 ♕d1-c1 ♗b4-d6 <zwischenzug>. "Immortal Zwichenzug Game" indeed.

Sep-03-07  notyetagm: <Whitehat1963: Does Capa make anything but the best move here?>

Yes, it seems that Capablanca plays the absolute strongest move in this game move after move.

Sep-29-07  patzerboy: Capa was definitely "on" his game here.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Nice Zwischenzug, but immortal ? That's toplofty.
Jan-29-08  HNP: "18. Bxh7+?? Did he think, Capa would become frightened and forget about his plan?"

There is no alternative. If 18. Qd3 Qg5+ wins.

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: 3 Be2 was developed by the British master Bird in the 19th century. Tartakower reintroduced the variation in the tournament playing it four times scoring +1 (wins against Bogoljuboff and Yates and a draw against Alekhine). 3..d5 is a very logical response as the standard response in the Modern variation (3 Nf3..d5) after 4 exd..Nf6 is 5 Bc4 or 5 Bb5+ which would lose a tempo here. 5 Nf3 seems a more solid response than Bogoljuboff's 5 c4?!. The response 7 Bd2 would have been
7..Ne4!. 9 Bxb8? overlooked Capablanca's clever reply; 9 Bxc4 would have been better. Tartakower should have eliminated the Black knight with 12 Bxd5..Qxd5 14 Nc3 but by this time he was already clearly worse.
Jul-19-10  sevenseaman: 'Isolate and strangulate' is the theme here

click for larger view

Capablanca is as much entertainment as Alekhine and Tal.

Aug-25-10  muwatalli: <Tartakower could try this line against other collegues but not Capa, Alekhine or the great Lasker.> on the contrary he played the be2 kings gambit against alekhine in this same tournament and drew the game, he even had a winning tactic which he missed on move 29.
Nov-07-11  knighterrant999: There is nothing immortal about 9...Nd5
Apr-02-12  ephesians: Wonderful game by Capablanca.
Jan-02-13  jussu: <the Immortal Zwischenzug Game>

Besides, unlike the original immortal thing, it was a tournament game, and precisely played by at least one side.

Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: One can get an idea of how Tartakover felt in that he kept on playing after 26...RxB for four more moves.
Aug-23-13  Chessman1504: Once of my favorite Capablanca games. It shows that he wasn't some boring positional player. His moves look very natural, but are hard to find in all the complications!
Aug-23-13  Chessman1504: 8...dxc4! allowing 9.Bxb8, which appears to win a piece. However, 9...Nd5! is a zwischenzug that allows him to win the piece back safely.
Premium Chessgames Member
  dorsnikov: Does anyone have an exact score of Capa vs. Tartakower games ?
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <dorsnikov: Does anyone have an exact score of Capa vs. Tartakower games ?>

May-27-16  edubueno: The sun brining in the sky. Capa, brilliant.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <sevenseaman....Capablanca is as much entertainment as Alekhine and Tal.>

If only to play through the great man's games--one would imagine that Tartakower was less than amused at the way matters went in this classic example on the theme of interpolation.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: Nice in-between Zwischenzug indeed - so apparently they just referred to it as a "bit of finesse" before the term Zuichenzug was introduced according to:

Jul-16-22  YoungEd: Tartakower apparently prepared 2. Be2 just for this tournament, but it looks like he didn't repeat the experiment in his later games.
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