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Richard Reti vs Jose Raul Capablanca
"A Knight in Capablanca" (game of the day Jul-11-2007)
New York (1924), New York, NY USA, rd 5, Mar-22
English Opening: Anglo-Indian Defense. King's Indian Formation (A15)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 7 OF 7 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-09-11  DrMAL: <qqdos> Agreed on all accounts. Nice to see some friendly chess banter rather than some sort of personal trashing. When one examines historical evidence, particularly Alekhine's comment that 26.Nd4 was the "most compelling move" it helps to consider that this game was a huge shocker, everyone at that tournament was completely stunned by Reti's win.

In any event, if you and <psmith> and others want to look at another game I have analyzed, I am most interested on comments regarding Judit Polgar vs Karpov, 2003 cheers.

Jun-09-12  Wyatt Gwyon: What a dirty little pun.
Mar-20-13  whiteshark: Reti's score sheet :
Dec-02-13  erniecohen: I didn't see any followup on the suggestion (from 6 years ago) of 27...♖xe3 28. fxe3 ♘e5}, which seems like it might save the game, e.g. 29. ♕c1 ♘g4 30. ♘f3 ♕xb5.
Apr-08-14  Eduardo Bermudez: Ninety years ago !
Apr-08-14  JimNorCal: <whiteshark>: "Reti's score sheet"

It appears that Reti started to write Alekhine ("Al") and then crossed it out to write "Capablanca".

I guess that even for strong GMs, players on the level of Alekhine, Capa and Lasker all look alike :)

Dec-28-14  thegoodanarchist: Reti takes the first serious win from Capa in about a decade.

Richard could have quoted George Costanza from "Seinfeld", when George was lying about designing the Guggenheim addition:

"It really didn't take me that long."

Mar-30-16  DrGridlock: Some discussion above on the merits of 26 R1d5 vs the game continuation of 26 Nd4. Modern engines (as noted in Kingscrusher's video of the game), confirm a preference for R1d5 against Alekhine's notation from 1924:

"White would have won the queen for a rook, knight and a pawn, but the final tussle in that case would have been much more difficult and tedious than after the best defense possible against the move in the text."

Looking at computer analysis after 26 R1d5:

Richard Reti - Jose Raul Capablanca

click for larger view

White's advantage lies on concrete lines, and not just on an abstract idea of how material values compare. After:

26 ... Bxd5
27 g4 Bxf3
28 gxh5 Bxh5
29 Bc6

Richard Reti - Jose Raul Capablanca

click for larger view

Black's pieces are rather tied up, and he has no defense to some further forced exchanges. Komodo likes an exchange sac for black as a way to unlock his knights and rook, but after:

29 ... Rxe3
30 fxe3 Bg4
31 Bxd7 Nxd7

Richard Reti - Jose Raul Capablanca

click for larger view

Black's rook is still stuck on a7, guarding (and blocked by) his knight on d7. Another forced exchange:

32 Qg2 h5
33 h3 Be6
34 Rxe6 fxe6

Richard Reti - Jose Raul Capablanca

click for larger view

Now White's queen is active, and black's pawns are going to start to fall.

35 Qxg6+ Kf8
36 Qxe6

Black has still not found a more active role for his rook than to sit on a7 guarding his knight, and his pawn on h5 is also going to fall after Qf5+ and Qxh5.

R1d5 is simply the better move for White at move 26 because:

(i) White can force exchanges in the following moves

(ii) Black's rook on a7 is inactive with no way to enter the game

(iii) White's queen is quite active and is soon going to start chomping black's pawns.

Mar-30-16  DrGridlock: <erniecohen: I didn't see any followup on the suggestion (from 6 years ago) of 27...♖xe3 28. fxe3 ♘e5}, which seems like it might save the game, e.g. 29. ♕c1 ♘g4 30. ♘f3 ♕xb5.>

Indeed, 27 ... Rxe3 is black's better continuation. Alekhine's notes here are rather silly: "Of course [black] could not play 27 ... Rxe3, on account of 28 fxe3 Qxd1 29 Nf5." Of course black is busted in this position, but Ne5 is a much better continuation for black at move 28 than Qxd1. After 27 ... Rxe3

Richard Reti - Jose Raul Capablanca

click for larger view

Komodo finds:

28 fxe3 Ne5 (not Alekhine's Qxd1)
29 Qe2 Qxe2+
30 Nxe2 Nc4
31 Kf3 Re7

Richard Reti - Jose Raul Capablanca

click for larger view

Here the game is not "saved" for black - White is clearly winning. But there's still "work to be done" for the victory.

May-26-16  edubueno: Having a better position, Capa made a mistake 14...Cf8? instead of 14...d5!
Sep-18-16  edubueno: 30...Txe3! would be done by Dr. Lasker without hesitation.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: A nice way to polish Capa off! I didn't notice that trap of the Q. But perhaps Capa was lost already.

Reti played a good Hypermodern game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <End of an Aura>
Dec-24-18  ughaibu: Reticulation of the Python.
Jan-09-19  Pyrandus: The Biggest Blunder of Capablanca?
Jan-09-19  Sally Simpson: ***

The coincidence that here Reti's last move 31.Rd1-d5 and resigns 1-0 was also the same as Reti vs Alekhine, 1924 31.Rd1-d5 and resigns 1-0

31.Rd1-d5 and resigns 1-0 also appeared in Gunsberg vs Burn, 1887 and P F Johner vs Marshall, 1908's it.


Jan-09-19  Retireborn: <Geoff> By coincidence I was looking at such a coincidence earlier today:-

Leonhardt vs Marshall, 1911

Stoltz vs Marshall, 1933

Same slightly unusual (5.Qxd3) opening, same Black player, same final move ...Ng3.

Nov-19-19  Eleuthero: The beauty of the final attack by Reti is that it's the epitome of Hypermodernism. All of Reti's pieces which once controlled the center from a distance now directly occupy the center. A beautiful game.
Jun-02-20  Chesgambit: Qxc4? very nice trick better is Nf6 white have slightly advantage d6 weak
Sep-30-21  OrangeTulip: Best pun I have seen, it is very poetic
Dec-10-21  The Kings Domain: A fine victory by Reti and an impressive one considering Capablanca's accomplishment by then. Hypermodern was here to stay.
Dec-21-21  Mathematicar: Famous end of Capablanca's strike of 8 years without a lost game in tournaments.
Feb-25-22  Albion 1959: The eight year run without a loss sounds impressive, but when you put into a different perspective, it was not that long of an unbeaten run. Between 1916 and this game, Capablanca only played in three tournaments. This was a total run of only 44 games before Reti defeated him ! He did play two matches against Kostich and Lasker where he played 19 games without a loss. This lifts the unbeaten run to 63 games. I wish could have a run like this. Tal has exceeded Capa's run twice and If I am correct, Karpov, Petrosian and probably Fischer have exceeded this run of 63 game. Has Magnus Carlsen beaten this sequence? One more thing, between 1916 and 1924, Capa played hundreds if not thousands of simul games. He was not very active during these years in tournament play, which is why eight years unbeaten sounds like a lot, but it in reality it was not long as it sounds:
Apr-01-22  Justin796: I always knew Capablanca was overrated and arrogant. I didn't like how he told a stranger...if you could beat me I would know who you are... instead of just playing him even though that may have been true.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: Whilst that is a perspective on Capablanca there is another one here which assumes Capa's simuls were exhausting.

The Simuls can be extremely exhausting. I remember Nigel Short saying how tired he was in the Simuls, one of which I played against him.

So it is not as if Capablanca was on a beach holiday when not playing in serious games. Factor in the (potential) exhaustion of Simul play and actually the record becomes much more impressive.

Reti's win also highlights a great moment for the Hypermodern movement in chess, where occupation of the center could be seen as just an option to control of the center. Great credit to Reti - one of the leading Hypermodernists.

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