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Frank Marshall vs Jose Raul Capablanca
Capablanca - Marshall (1909), New York, NY USA, rd 11, May-11
Queen's Gambit Declined: Lasker Defense (D53)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Nov-30-09  MaczynskiPratten: According to some sources, Black's final move was Bxd7, which seems more convincing than Bxf7.
Nov-30-09  MaczynskiPratten: Capablanca picked up most of the possible improvements, but Konstantinopolsky also found 19 d5 forcing exd5. If 19...Ba4 20 dxe6 Bxd1 21 exf7+ Kh8 22 Ng6+ hxg6 23 f3 followed by Qh3#.
Premium Chessgames Member
  technical draw: < I'm sure that against many a player, Marshall would have actually emerged victorious from this game>

I agree. Capablanca's defensive skill is just too much for Marshall. Marshall must have thought "What do I have to DO to beat this guy?"

Capa brings in the otherwise abandoned Bishop with 38..Be8 then offers the Queen exchange to simplify and it's time for the fat lady to sing.

Jul-23-10  sevenseaman: Its a difficult & complicated game to play. Seeing that Capablanca was on the defense against an outstanding and a remorseless attack almost the entire game, it is fair to say a lesser luminary would have lost it.
Jul-23-10  sevenseaman: <abandoned Bishop> indeed. On move 42 the wily but overly optimistic Marshall offers it a queen gratis. Acceptance of the bait is curtains Capablanca. Oodles to learn from this game, 'look before you leap' sort.
Jun-29-11  lost in space: Ow, what a game! I saw this game in the past but today I recognized how COMPLICATED this was to be defended. NICE! Capablanca was GREAT. Close to be THE GREATEST.
Jun-02-12  Amarande: <sevenseaman> Actually the poisoned lady is much deeper than that ...

From the very first offer until the very last move - which looks to be an error in the PGN: while Bxf7 wins (Black is a piece ahead after 44 Nxf7+ Rxf7 45 Qxf7 and 45 ... Qe7 covers the mate, with an easy win in the offing), Bxd7 is obvious. As for sources I know of with this game, Epic Battles of the Chessboard (Reinfeld, Coles, & Horowitz) gives 43 ... BxQ, while Edward Lasker's Chess Strategy gives White as resigning after 42 ... R-K2) - Black cannot take the Queen; FIVE opportunities to do so, and, in addition to the obvious mate swindle on move 42 (virtually a <specialite de la maison> for Marshall) they nearly all also turn sour:

* on the 35th, 37th, and 38th moves, taking the Queen results in a Knight fork in return, leaving White the Exchange up. Black has some compensation in the form of the outside passed a-pawn, but the exposed Q-side pawns are difficult to protect from frontal attack by the White Rook and White's advantage is definite.

* on the 40th move, the exchange of Queens is sorely tempting, but leaves Black quite lost against White's monstrous passed pawn after 41 exd6. The continuation would be 41 ... Rd7 42 Rf8 Rxd6 43 Rxe8 Rf6 44 e4, and Black, with no mobility to speak of and the passed White e-pawn marching down, is lost. Other defences fail also; if on move 41 Black moves his Rook along the e-file, 42 d7 wins immediately as Black cannot capture, while if 43 ... Rd7 rather than Rf6, White simply has 44 Rf8 and will win the Exchange with Nf7+ after which the endgame is also hopeless for Black.

* Qxd4 would have been playable on move 41, but the actual move is superior, ensuring that White has no hope in the endgame (whereas after 41 ... Qxd4 42 exd4 Black must still contend with White's strong passed pawns in the centre).

Perhaps one of the greatest defensive masterpieces ever played.

Jun-02-12  visayanbraindoctor: There is not any historical master that I know of that could play difficult and accurate defense as consistently and excellently as Capablanca. From the black side this game resembles a computer-generated game.

Marshall throws everything at Capablanca including the kitchen sink and his two front teeth. The machine calmly accepts, processes, and spits them out- thank you very much.

Dec-28-14  thegoodanarchist: < visayanbraindoctor: There is not any historical master that I know of that could play difficult and accurate defense as consistently and excellently as Capablanca. >

Indeed, any knowledgeable chess player who reviews this game comes away with a deep positive impression of the chess machine's defensive prowess.

Aug-27-16  maelith: Great defense by Capablanca.
Aug-21-17  KingG: Talk about throwing the kitchen sink at someone. Great inventiveness from Marshall, and amazing defence from Capablanca.
Mar-09-18  paavoh: This should be a GOTD for all to see. We need a worthy pun. Any takers?
Mar-09-18  morfishine: <visayanbraindoctor: There is not any historical master that I know of that could play difficult and accurate defense as consistently and excellently as Capablanca> Please, this constant gushing over Capablanca has now morphed into insulting GM's across the globe who most certainly can defend just as stoutly.

To state "not any historical master" is clearly biased and frankly, untrue


Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <paavoh: This should be a GOTD for all to see. We need a worthy pun. Any takers?>

I was thinking of one of these four:
<The Bo' Girl!>
<Take off that white hat!>
<Stop his Grog and Put It in the Log>
<Loots in his Boots>.

Mar-09-18  Retireborn: <offramp> You read Finnegans without an apostrophe Wake?

I think you might be a bad person.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <Retireborn: <offramp> You read Finnegans without an apostrophe Wake?>

I read it every now and then, episodes and excerpts. It is a fairly funny book that is worth knowing, but not worth getting to know.

If you have read it from page one right up to page 1 then I admire you!

Mar-10-18  Retireborn: <offramp> I have *not* read it, but some quotes from it have evidently penetrated my memory, somehow or other.

I did once attempt to read Tristram Shandy, but I didn't get very far. I am not stern enough (yes!) to cope with the stream-of-conciousness style.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <Retireborn:...I did once attempt to read Tristram Shandy...>

Same with me, and I found it very hard... Until I discovered the comic book version: by Martin Rowson, which made it much easier and shorter.

I feel sorry for people who study FW academically: I can bear a bit every 6 months, but not a permanent barrage.

Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: Computer analysis of this game is now available. =))
Premium Chessgames Member

click for larger view

Capablanca now recommended 29. Bd7! and Stockfish agrees. The basic idea is that if 29...Rxd7, then 30. Qh6 wins.

click for larger view

Because if 30...Qxf6, 31. Qf8#

Mar-11-18  morfishine: Thats some serious stuff, like the stuff I run into every day playing 2200+ players at in chess960 format lol


Jun-29-18  leroquentin: Wow! what a technique! Wonderful!
Jun-29-18  ChessHigherCat: <Offramp> Stockfish he no like 29. Bd7 after Kg7:

click for larger view

29. Bd7 Kg7 30. Ne8+ Rxe8 31. Bxe8 Kf8 32. Bxc6 Bxc6 33. Qg4 Qe6 34. Qxe6 fxe6 35. Rb1 Ke7

click for larger view

and the black pawns may be likened unto the starving hordes of Mongolia. But that's the <CG> 6-second wonder SF, maybe you used a better version.

Premium Chessgames Member
  louispaulsen88888888: The basic idea of 29.Bd7! would be to prevent ...Ne7 by pinning the knight. Sometimes I ask my students why they made a certain move and they may answer indignantly “ well, he can’t take it”! I then explain that that is not good enough reason for making a move.
Feb-09-20  Gaito: This is one of many games where young Capablanca was forced to put up a very difficult and precise defense against his oppponent's onslaught. Another one was a game against Janowsky in San Sebastian, 1911: Capablanca vs Janowski, 1911 [analysis]
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