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Jose Raul Capablanca vs Davide Marotti
London (1922), London ENG, rd 15, Aug-18
Sicilian Defense: Old Sicilian. Open (B32)  ·  1-0



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Given 73 times; par: 32 [what's this?]

Annotations by Geza Maroczy.      [67 more games annotated by Maroczy]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: Move order! After 11. Bxg4 correct is 11 ... Bxd4 12. Bxd4 Bxg4 13. Qxg4 Nxd4 with White retaining a spatial advantage, but material is equal. The game continuation lost a Pawn to save a piece.

tpstar0-tealmx3 (Yahoo 8/25/04): 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cd 4. Nxd4 g6 5. c4 Bg7 6. Be3 d6 7. Nc3 Nf6 8. Be2 Bd7 9. 0-0 0-0 10. h3 (wimpy) Rc8 11. b3 a6 12. f4 e6 13. Kh2 h6 14. Qd2 Kh7 15. g4 Ng8 16. Rad1 f5!? 17. ef ef 18. gf Nxd4 19. fg+ Kh8 20. Bxd4 Nf6 21. f5 Bc6 22. Nd5! Bxd5 23. cxd5 Re8 24. Bf3 Ne4? 25. Qxh6+ Kg8 26. Qxg7# 1-0.

Mar-26-05  Whitehat1963: Capa uses the Opening of the Day to display easy superiority.
Jul-18-06  tonsillolith: Why not 14...Nxg6+ ?
Jul-18-06  CapablancaFan: After 24.Bh6 the rook on f8 cannot be saved. If 24...Rg8,Rd8,Rc8,Rb8 or Ra8 25.Qxf6+. If 24...Rf7 25.Re8+ would be the response. Great finish from Capa.
Dec-19-06  notyetagm: <CapablancaFan: After 24.Bh6 the rook on f8 cannot be saved. If 24...Rg8,Rd8,Rc8,Rb8 or Ra8 25.Qxf6+. If 24...Rf7 25.Re8+ would be the response. Great finish from Capa.>

Yes, the Black f8-rook must perform two tasks: defending the back rank e8-square and the f6-pawn, else mate occurs in both cases. To meet these two threats the Black f8-rook must stay on the back rank -and- the f-file, hence the f8-square, the intersection of these two lines.

After 24 ♗h6! the f8-square is no longer safe for the Black rook and since it cannot move the exchange is lost.

The ending of the Lutz-Kramnik 1995 Bundesliga game is very similar: a White rook must meet a threat on a file and on a rank, hence it must stay on the square it occupies to perform both tasks (the intersection), and then Black (Kramnik) simply attacks the defending rook with a bishop to dominate that square.

Dec-19-06  notyetagm: Kramnik's 35 ... ♗d2! attacking the White e1-rook in C Lutz vs Kramnik, 1995 is -exactly- like Capablanca's 24 ♗h6! attacking the Black f8-rook in this game, as I described in my previous post in this forum.
Sep-25-07  patzerboy: I think not 14...Nxg6+ because Black must lose a tempo to take the Knight at e7 since the other Knight then comes to d5 with an attack on the Queen. Capa prefers to maintain the initiative with an extra pawn rather than give Black any breathing room for a second pawn. By keeping on the pressure it shortens the game. Black has no time for proper defense.
Sep-25-07  patzerboy: addendum: Capa's style usually involves squelching counterplay as thoroughly as Petrosian would much later, though it was second nature to Capa, while Petrosian made a fetish out of it.
Jan-05-09  SAUL MARTINEZ: Dear sirs ChessGames:Iam not happy with your program, because Idon't speak english and it is for me very difficult!!! Do you have english program? If yes,advise please!

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Feb-05-10  kuna65: Slovenian GM Milan Vidmar told a story about this game. By the time every other games have already finished, Italian Davide Marotti was still thinking. His opponent, however was missing. Only Capablanca's rain coat was lying on the chair. Vidmar noticed that and decided to find his cuban friend. And there he was in the caffe - world champion flirting with young lady! "Mr. Capablanca, your clock has been running four about fifteen minutes!" Jose didn't seem shattered. He replied nonchalantly "Haven't I left my raincoat? This should be enough for Marotti." And after he charmed young lady he calmly returned to the board and we all know now what happened.
Feb-05-10  zanshin: <tpstar: Move order! After 11. Bxg4 correct is 11 ... Bxd4 12. Bxd4 Bxg4 13. Qxg4 Nxd4 >

This is also what I found. It seems the 'blunder' is not so much <10...Ng4>, but <11...Bxg4>.

Feb-05-10  Marmot PFL: 10...Ng4 would be never be played in a GM event today. Even in the 60's though I think Fischer sometimes won games this easily. Either it shows how far the standard of the average master has advanced or else the intimidation effect of facing a great player. Mostly the former i think as Nunn or somebody analyzed many early games with a computer and said it was really shocking how bad some of the players below top level were.
Feb-05-10  euripides: For some reason the annotator seems to like this formation. Well, bound to happen sometimes, I suppose.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <euripides: For some reason the annotator seems to like this formation. Well, bound to happen sometimes, I suppose.>

Of course ...Ng4 is a regular move in the Accelerated Dragon, or at least it used to be.

Here's another example of ...Ng4 going wrong in a Sicilian.

Lasker vs D C Golmayo, 1893

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <zanshin: <tpstar: Move order! After 11. Bxg4 correct is 11 ... Bxd4 12. Bxd4 Bxg4 13. Qxg4 Nxd4>

By analogy with Lasker-Golmayo 13.Qd3 is probably stronger. If 13...Nxd4 14.Qxd4 White has a sizable advantage.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: <kuna65> That was an interesting story about Vidmar's recollection of Capablanca and Marotti at the 1922 London tournment. I liked the story, but certain facts make me wonder if it is true.

In his story, Vidmar indicates that while the 24 move Capablanca - Marotti game was still in progress, all the other games for the round had been completed.

A review of the tournament scores show that the following game from the same round lasted 48 moves, Znosko-Borovsky vs C Watson, 1922

Then there is Vidmar's own game from that round, Euwe vs Vidmar, 1922. This game lasted 46 moves, and by winning it, Vidmar won the 3rd prize, 1/2 point ahead of Rubinstein.

Finally, there is Rubinstein's 52 move game with Yates, Yates vs Rubinstein, 1922.

Rubinstein needed a win in order to match Vidmar's score. In his report to the "The Times", Capablanca stated, <...and after a long fight the game was given up for a draw at 9:30 p.m.> Note: based on Capablanca's reports, the usual adjournment period was between 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.

Feb-07-10  kuna65: Interesting nonetheless. I believe Vidmar's story was basically trying to illustrate how inferior were Italian players in comparation to the greatest players of that period.
Oct-16-11  sevenseaman: When your feet do not seem to touch the sand at the bottom of the lake, you are going to drown.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: At least Black got to take the early train home after this final-round debacle.
Nov-17-12  RookFile: Yeah, in a way I sort of appreciate him trying to mix it up. What are you going to do, just let Capa grind you down? Of course, it didn't work, and Capa was also very tactically alert.
Jan-05-14  whiteshark: <10...Re8> or <10...a6> looks like playable alternatives.

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