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Fedor Parfenovich Bohatirchuk vs Jose Raul Capablanca
Moscow (1925), Moscow URS, rd 8, Nov-19
Sicilian Defense: Scheveningen. Modern Variation (B83)  ·  0-1

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Aug-07-02  refutor: 12.Qe1?! was an inaccuracy by bohatirchuk, current theory gives 12.Nxa5 avoiding the doubled pawns. after 12. ... Nxb3 13.cxb3 white will have to weaken his position greatly to keep black from capturing that pawn. plus now in the endgame, black's 2 queenside pawns can hold against white's 3 queenside pawns, and black has an advantage on the kingside.
Feb-25-03  kostich in time: A rare black Sicilian by Capa..played effortlessly and with quiet elegance.Interestingly, its in neither of the two major Capablanca anthologies, reinfeld or Golombek...you can find it in 500 master games of chess, by Tartakower and Dumont
Feb-26-03  mdorothy: I think white lost with 24. Nxd5. Any move suggestions? I can't really find an idea that I like.
Feb-26-03  Spitecheck: How's about h3? Lets see Bxd4 hxg4 Be3 yuck. He's already lost before he played Nd5. Maybe Bxc5 but I doubt it.
Jul-23-04  Calli: Very modern looking Sicilian. Agree with <refutor>, Black begins to attack the dark squares after 12.Qe1?! Nxb3. Bohatirchuk evidently missed 25...Kf8! which refutes 24.Nxd5? Capablanca rarely missed such moves. White has to play 24.Bxc5 and try to salvage a draw.
Oct-10-05  ConfusedPatzer: Too bad Capa didn't use the sicilian more often.
Dec-30-05  Whitehat1963: Killer of a complex exchange to end the game. Great fun.
Dec-05-08  cn1ght: Just a thought, but 16 N-d5 looks like it gives White a slightly better game to me... if 16... exd5 17 exd5 and White regains his piece whereas if the knight is allowed to take the bishop on e7 then White has 2 bishops... Again, if exd5 then the board opens up but White's Bishops seem better placed to me... But it's still a whole game to not lose of course.
Dec-05-08  AnalyzeThis: It's an interesting move. I wonder how the game would have proceeded after your suggestion?
Dec-05-08  desiobu: cn1ght: after 17...Nxd5 18. Bd5 both sides have the bishop pair, and white either has to surrender the long diagonal or trade.
Dec-05-08  Calli: Interesting idea, but after 16.Nd5 exd5 17.exd5 Nxd5 18.Bxd5 Qd7, I might lean to Black because the d pawn is passed and White's doubled Qside pawns could be attacked, Bf6 etc..
Jan-15-11  BobCrisp: <Capa> annotated this game in his usual sparse style for the January 1926 <Kagans Neuste Schachnachrichten>. After 6...e6, he opines: <This is now regarded as the only playable variation of the Sicilian Defense.>
May-25-20  iron john: why not 24 h3 ?
May-25-20  ferrabraz: After 24. h3 black has 24...Bd4 and now if 25.Dd4? Re1! If 25. hg4 Be3!
May-25-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <ferrabraz>
There are further complications because 24. h3 Bd4 25. Qxd4 Re1+ 26. Rxe1 Qxd4 <27. Ne2> attacks the back rank as well as the queen.

But Black can then get out with 27...Rxc1 28. Rxc1 <Qd1+> 29. Rxd1 Nf2+ forking back the queen, followed by 30...Nxd1 and the final result looks like a drawish ending.

May-26-20  sudoplatov: Checking with Stockfish (binary search; look at middle move and bisect forwards or backwards until a big change in evaluation) shows 24.Nxd5 to drop the position by about a Rook's worth for White. 24.h3 (as suggested here) seem better with either 24...Ne3 or 24...Bxd4, 25.Qxd4 Re1+ leading to a small advantage (.25 Pawn) for White. Of course, the local engine doesn't look very deep.
Feb-28-21  Gaito: Fedir Parfenovych Bohatyrchuk (1892-1984) was a doctor of medicine (radiologist). In 1949 he emigrated to Canada where he worked as a professor of medicine at the University of Ottawa, and there he also published many scientific studies. He was Soviet champion in 1927, and had a plus score against Botvinnik (+3 -0 =1).
Feb-28-21  Gaito: I agree with "refutor" that 12.Qe1?! is a dubious move in the following position:


click for larger view

I don't know which move is the "book move" (or "theory") for White in this position (refutor claims that 12.Nxa5 is the "theoretical move" or "book move"). I have been trying to see what the strongest chess engines would play as White in this position. Curiously enough, all engines play 12.e5 and give a positive evaluation to that move. (SF13, LcZero, Komodo 13 and other lesser known engines rated over 3600). A sample variation: (LcZero vs. LcZero at 30 seconds per move in a very fast computer): 12.e5 Ne8 13.Nxa5 Qxa5 14.Qd2 Rc8 15.Rfd1 Bc6 16.Ne4 Qxd2 17.Nxd2 g5!? 18.Nc4 Bd5 19.exd6 Bxd6 20.Nxd6 Nxd6 21.c3 Nc4 22.Bxc4 Rxc4 23.fxg5 Re4 with approximate equality (computer evalaution by LcZero: +0.14) (see diagram below):


click for larger view

Feb-28-21  Gaito: According to the machines both masters played "correct" chess up to move 23, if "correct" means that no move was made that altered the computer evaluation outside the interval from -0.70 to +0.70. But the first real mistake came (as some kibitzers pointed out above) from the following diagram:


click for larger view

.Nxd5?
White would have maintained equality with either 24.h3 (as pointed out above by some kibitzers) or even 24.Bxc5 (which is the move chosen by some lesser-known chess engines rated above 3700, like GNU Chess 6.2.7, Xiphos 0.6 or Vajolet2 2.8). A sample variation (Xiphos vs. Xiphos at 30 seconds per move in a very fast computer): 24.Bxc5 Rxc5 25.Qd4 Qxd4 26.Rxd4 Ne3 27.Kg1 Rc6 28.Rd3 h5 29.Kf2 Ng4+ 30.Kg1 Rce6 31.g3 g6 with equality (see diagram below):


click for larger view

Feb-28-21  Gaito: As a matter of fact, the move 24.Nxd5?? is a sort of hallucination by the Ukranian master Bohatyrchuk. A pity, because the game was very interesting up to that point. If I remember correctly, Bohatyrchuk defeated the Mexican master Carlos Torre in Moscow, 1925. About twenty years ago I wrote a book about Carlos Torre ("The Life and Games of Carlos Torre" published by Russel Enterprises in the year 2000), and I regret not having included the game Torre vs. Bohatyrchuk in my book. It was a very exciting game won by the Ukranian master in good style. The link is the following one: F Bohatirchuk vs Carlos Torre, 1925

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