|Pawn and Two: At his 18th move, Capablanca held the advantage and had the choice of several good moves:|
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Fritz 12 prefers: (.97) (20 ply) 18.e5! Nd5 19.Ne4 c5, (1.10) (20 ply) 20.Nd6 Rc7 21.dxc5 bxc5 22.g3 Bc6 23.Bd3, or (1.09) (20 ply) 20.Nd6 Rxd6 21.exd6 Qxd6 22.Qe4 Nd7 23.dxc5 Nxc5 24.Qh4.
The tournament book, "Hastings 1934-1935", by Luis Eceizabarrena Gaba and Y Ricardo Alvarez Cela, recommended the move 18.b4. Fritz indicates this move is also in favor of White: (.62) (20 ply) 18.b4 Ne8 19.Bb3 c5 20.bxc5 bxc5 21.d5.
Capablanca's 18.Qb3, also favored White: 18.Qb3 Rc7 19.e5, (.57) (20 ply) 19...Nd5 20.Ne4 c5 21.g3 Bc6 22.Nd6, or 18.Qb3 Rc7 (.68) (20 ply), 19.h3 Ng6 20.e5 Nd5 21.Ne4.
Thomas's reply, 18...Qc7?, allowed Capablanca the chance to play: 19.e5! (.86) (20 ply) 19...Ne8 20.Ne4 c5 21.dxc5 bxc5 22.Qe3, or (1.10) (20 ply) 19...Nd5 20.Ne4 Ng6 21.Nd6 Rxd6 22.exd6 Qxd6 23.g3.
Capablanca's 19.Qa2?, allowed Thomas the chance to gain a slight edge with 19...b5!: (-.23) (20 ply) 20.Bf1 c5 21.Rc1 Qb6 22.Qb3 a6 23.dxc5 Rxc5.
Thomas missed 19...b5!, and his 19...c5 allowed Capablanca to obtain an equal position with: 20.d5!. Fritz indicates the following continuation as equal: 20...b5 21.dxe6 bxc4 22.exf7+ Qxf7 23.Ng5 Qg6 24.Qxc4+ Bd5 25.Rxd5 Nxd5 26.h4.
Others have recommended the move 20.dxc5?, but this move would have been an error, allowing Black to gain the advantage: 20.dxc5? (-.60) (20 ply) 20...Qxc5! 21.Rxd8 Rxd8 22,b4 Qc7 23.Qe2 Ng6.