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Jose Raul Capablanca vs Fred Dewhirst Yates
"Wheeler Dealer" (game of the day Feb-28-2010)
New York (1924), New York, NY USA, rd 7, Mar-25
Indian Game: Kingside Fianchetto (A48)  ·  1-0



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Given 23 times; par: 137 [what's this?]

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Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Good to see a game where Capa wins, for a change!

The final position is funny:

click for larger view

Each of black's six legal moves leads to mate in 3:

77... Bb7/ Ba6 78. Ng4 and mate with Nf6+ or Nh6+ can only be delayed the spite pawn check e5+.

77....Bd7 78. Nxd7 with Ndf6# to come after the same pointless e5+.

77...Nc6 78. Nxc6 and now the axe will fall with Nd7#

77...Nf7 78. Nxf7 with Nh6# to follow.

77...Nb7 and then either Nc6 or Nf7 will mate.

But how would white win if it was white to move instead of black in the position above?

Feb-28-10  Aniara: <Once:> Either b6, Kc3, or Ke3 would put black in Zugzwang, right?
Feb-28-10  SuperPatzer77: <Once> Yeah, it is one of my favorite endgames of José R. Capablanca. Truly the best ever!!!

I cannot resist the title called "Knight Wheel". No GM uses "Knight Wheel" in any chess games.


Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <Aniara> Spot on! The black bishop is guarding d7 and the black knight is guarding f7. So any pass move by white forces black to move his bishop or knight and open up one or other of these entry squares.

The other entry square for white is g4, but he could not play Ng4 straight away because e5+ followed by Bxg4 would be highly embarrassing.

<SuperPatzer77> Perhaps knight wheels are so rare because your opponent either has to be well tied up or pretty compliant to let you complete it?

Feb-28-10  goodevans: A lovely final position arrived at by some pretty dancing with the knights.

I wouldn't, however, class it as a true <zugzwang> because that would require black to be safe if he didn't have the move. Not true in this case because although he is forced to fall on his sword, he would be lost anyway in this position even if he didn't have the move.

Feb-28-10  WhiteRook48: 78 Nf7 comes next
Feb-28-10  SuperPatzer77: Capablanca's fine move is 73. Ne8!.

Black's best try is 73...Nd8 (trying to lure the White Knight out of the e5 square) but White's strong move is 74. b5! to immobilize Black's two minor pieces (bishop and knight) and force Black into the complete zugzwang.


Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: 78 Ng4 follows with mate at h6 or f6.
Mar-10-10  TheScroobiousPip: What's the difference between this opening and the "Barry Attack"? (Wonderful game, btw. Love how Capa brings about the weaknesses in his opponent's black squares...)
Sep-28-11  visayanbraindoctor: <Albertan: "The weaker the player the more terrible the Knight is to him, but as a player increases in strength the value of the Bishop becomes more evident to him, and of course there is, or should be, a corresponding decrease in his estimation of the value of the Knight as compared to the bishop." - Jose Capablanca>

How could Capa say that? I regard this as the greatest jumping horsey game ever played.

Jul-17-13  notyetagm: Capablanca vs Yates, 1924

40 ?

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40 ♘a4-c3! <attack defender: b5-rook>

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40 ... ♖b5-c5 41 ♘c3-e4 <attack defender: c5-rook>

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41 ... ♖c5-b5 42 ♘e4-d6 <attack defender: b5-rook>

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42 ... ♖b5-c5 43 ♘d6-b7 <double attack: a5 & c5>

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43 ... ♖c5-c7 44 ♘b7xa5

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Capablanca's famous <KNIGHT WHEEL> from his game against Yates at the great New York (1924) tournament. Capablanca wins a pawn, creating a dangerous <OUTSIDE PASSED PAWN> in the process, by "a series of finely calculated knight maneuvers (Reinfeld)".

40 ♘a4-c3!
41 ♘c3-e4
42 ♘e4-d6
43 ♘d6-b7
44 ♘b7xa5

Simply beautiful <KNIGHT PLAY> by Capablanca.

Dec-04-13  joegalby: notyetagm:in this position after blacks 39th move black is threatning 40...Rxb3+ and blacks problems are over after 41.Kxb3 Bxa4+ 42.Kxa4 Nc3+
Dec-04-13  joegalby: so yes 40. Nc3 is an excellent move
Dec-04-13  RookFile: First time the knight wheel used in recorded chess history.
Apr-28-14  Howard: If I remember correctly, Alekhine says in his famous book of the tournament that Yates might have had drawing chances if not for "the inconvenient pawn on his K3".

Seems a bit cryptic---what did he mean? Was he referring to the rather well-known, but complex, ending of K and two knights vs. king and pawn?

Mar-18-16  luftforlife: Devotees of the knight's tour, the knight wheel, or the windmill might enjoy the following offering from Rødgaard-Euwe (EUCup DEN, 1980, Round 2, 0-1), a game (not yet in <cg's> database) won, after ninety-five moves, by Dr. Euwe with the black pieces. The legendary grandmaster was nearly 80 years of age at the time of this valiant and resilient victory.

Here's the position after White's 72nd move:

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Here is Dr. Euwe's seven-move lightning-strike knight's-attack repelling White's king, rook, and bishop:

72. . . . Nc4 73. Kd3 Na5 74. Bd1 Nc6 75. Re4 Nb4 76. Ke3 Nd5 77. Kf3 Nc3 78. Re1 Nxd1.

Here's the aftermath:

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This paves the way for a remarkable king's march all the way to a new redoubt at a1, with queen and rook positioned formidably nearby, leading to Rødgaard's resignation:

79. Rxd1 b4 80. Ke4 b3 81. Rd7 Kb4 82. Kd3 Rxf4 83. Rb7 Ka3 84. Kc3 Rf3 85. Kc4 Ka2 86. Ra7 Kb1 87. Rb7 Kc2 88. Kd4 b2 89. Rc7 Kb1 90. Ra7 Kc2 91. Rc7 Kb3 92. Rb7 Ka2 93. Ra7 Ra3 94. Rxf7 b1=Q 95. Rf2 Ka1 0-1.

click for larger view

I call this beauty the "Round of the Knight's Table."

I submitted this for upload some time ago; in the meantime, one can find the complete game here (at the bottom of the pull-down menu):


Mar-19-16  RookFile: Strange opening play by black. He puts his pawns on light squares and then practically forces Capa to trade his weaker f4 bishop for the pride and joy on g7. By the end of the game, Capa totally dominates the dark squares, with among other things a knight on e5 that is boss of the position.
May-26-16  edubueno: It seems like Capa was waiting untill move 40. After that point the game is strongly controlled by white achieving a nice point.
Feb-18-17  Toribio3: Capablanca is a methodical technician.
May-03-19  brimarern: The knight wheel is indeed beautiful, but what happens AFTER the winning of the pawn (the conversion of the pawn to a win) is three times more exquisite. Remember now, Capablanca is doing this against World Class players.
Jul-04-19  Chesgambit: 77. g6! mate in 3
Ng4 e5+
or Nc6+


Ne7 #

Jul-04-19  Chesgambit: Ne8 ?
analysis of move 12.?
Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: The Jobava London system used by Capablanca before Jobava was born :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Tour de force by Capablanca's knights.
Premium Chessgames Member
  SpaceRunner: Left him with a bad bishop! From the glory days withuot AI
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