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Frank Marshall vs Jose Raul Capablanca
Capablanca - Marshall (1909), New York, NY USA, rd 13, May-15
Queen's Gambit Declined: Lasker Defense (D53)  ·  0-1

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jun-27-03  coke934: this guy is great player to study his endgames as well as openings, not moves but the idea of his play!
Sep-26-03  popski: this guy?! ...hmm, strange comment ...
Nov-02-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: Very poor play for Marshall. 17. Qa3? loses the exchange.
Apr-30-06  patzer2: After 17. Qa3? (17. Qd1 ) Marshall's Rook becomes a trapped piece after Capa's 17...Bd7! Notice how the discovered attack 18...Bf5 gives Capa the tempo he needs to play 19...a6 and 20...Bd7 - +.
Aug-27-06  notyetagm: A lovely finishing shot by Capablaca, 49 ... h4!.

49 ... h4! 50 ♔xh4?? ♖h2#
49 ... h4! 50 gxh4? ♖d3+ and 51 ♖x♗

The White h3-king does not defend the h4-square because it cannot go due to a mating net on the h-file. And the White g3-pawn does not defend the h4-square since it must <BREAK THE ALIGNMENT> of the White h3-king and b3-bishop along the third rank, else ... ♖d2-d3+ <FORKS> them.

So since neither the White h3-king nor g3-pawn actually defends the h4-square, Black can play 49 ... h5-h4! with impunity.

This is one of my favorite tactical themes. It seems as though the h4-square has one attacker (Black h5-pawn) against two defenders (White h3-king and g3-pawn). But since the White <KING IS TOO VALUABLE> and the White g3-pawn must <BREAK AN ALIGNMENT>, neither of them can perform the defensive task of keeping the Black h5-pawn out of h4. So it is not really one attacker versus two defenders but really one attacker versus -zero- defenders.

Aug-27-06  notyetagm: Capablanca's moves 17-20 are an ingenius <petite combination>, a virtual study in using <TEMPO> to move your pieces for free.

The point of Capablanca's play is that he is able to win the exchange with 20 ... ♗d7 since he was able to play both 18 ... ♗f5 (threatening 19 ... ♗f5x♖b1) and 19 ... a6 (threatening 20 ... ♙a6X♗b5) with <TEMPO>.

A neat little tactical trick that the great tactician Marshall completely missed.

May-25-08  mate2900s: wow those pawn moves in the ending are amazing
May-11-10  Whitehat1963: Tuesday puzzle after 49. Kh3.
Aug-05-10  asiduodiego: 17. Qa3?. Probably trying to profit from the pin on the pawn on c5. Too bad Capablanca triangulates his bishop and wins the exchange. The rest of the game, flawless win by Capa.

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