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Emanuel Lasker vs Jose Raul Capablanca
"The Whole Shooting Match" (game of the day Apr-09-2008)
Lasker - Capablanca World Championship Match (1921), Havana CUB, rd 14, Apr-20
Spanish Game: Berlin Defense. Closed Showalter Variation (C66)  ·  0-1



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Given 32 times; par: 89 [what's this?]

Annotations by Jose Raul Capablanca.      [26 more games annotated by Capablanca]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Apr-09-08  Riverbeast: <JimfromProvidence> In that position, 31...b5 prepares to exchange white's c4 pawn (if 32. cxb5 axb5) and play ...d5
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: Riverbeast> <In that position, 31...b5 prepares to exchange white's c4 pawn (if 32. cxb5 axb5) and play ...d5>

OK. After 31 b5 32 cxb5 axb5 white plays 33 g3!

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Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: In retrospect, I think white should have played g3 earlier, specifically 31 g3 after 29Nd7 30 Nf3 Qf4.

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Black's best play might be to retreat after 29Nd7 30 Nf3 with 30Qf6.

Apr-09-08  Riverbeast: <JimfromProvidence> Good move. I didn't see 33. g3

I still feel black is better here though... but I saw problems with my suggested ...Nf6 after 31. b4 (specifically, it doesn't threaten ...Bxf5 because of g3 again...After the queen ends up on h3, white plays Nd4 and Nxf5)

It's trickier than I thought. After 31. b4 maybe ...h5 is best. That way the queen can retreat to h6 after white plays g3, and the threats arising from the pin on the e3 rook are maintained (...b5, ...d5, etc)

Apr-09-08  Riverbeast: <JumfromProvidence> And in the position above, I think black can safely take on g3....After the queen ends up on h3 white no longer has Nd4 and Nxc6 (unless there's another tactical trick I'm missing)
Premium Chessgames Member
  ganso: <Professeur Y> <Euripides> Yes, Capa must have written, in Spanish, "ganar la calidad a cambio de un pen," which translates literally as "win the quality in exchange for a pawn," but really means "win the exchange for a pawn"
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <Riverbeast> <And in the position above, I think black can safely take on g3....After the queen ends up on h3 white no longer has Nd4 and Nxc6 (unless there's another tactical trick I'm missing)>

I strongly believe that playing 30Qf4 puts black in peril.

After 29Nd7 30 Nf3 Qf4 31 g3, then 31Qxg3+. Now 32 Rg2 Qxh3 33 Ne2, (threatening Rg3).

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Apr-09-08  rogl: It is not only in French and Spanish that winning the exchange is literally translated to winning the quality. This is also true in German "die Qualitt gewinnen" and Swedish "vinna kvalitet" and I'm sure in several other languages.
Apr-09-08  drpoundsign: Props to the "Mozart" of chess. Beating grown men in Kindergarten.

What a Genius

May-09-08  jeeky1996: Lasker was having emotional problems at that time, so he was pretty nervous and lost to Capablanca. I still trying to analyse it.
May-09-08  Riverbeast: <JimfromProvidence> I never saw your reply until now, so we didn't get to continue our analysis.

Since g3 is such a troublesome move, after your initial suggestion of 29. Rfe3, I suggest 29...h5 immediately.

This way, if the black queen on f4 is attacked by g3, she can retreat to h6, maintain the pressure on the e3 rook, and play for ...d5.

If white's queen takes on d6, ...Bxf5 looks good for black

Black has to be better. White's dark squares are too weak. Lasker's 28. f5 was a highly anti-positional move.

(I think Fischer was probably thinking of games like this, when he said Lasker was a "coffeehouse player" who "didn't understand positional chess")

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <riverbeast> I think in that case, after 29 Rfe3 h5, then 30 b4.

click for larger view

Despite the awkwardness of white's position, he appears to be adequately defended.

Oct-17-08  AAAAron: Ok can someone PLEASE explain why Capablanca didn't take the pawn on e4 right away with 4. Nxe4. The only possible explanation for this is that playing as black he did not want to lose another tempo.
Oct-17-08  Shams: <AAAARon> taking on e4 is the most popular move by far: Opening Explorer

of course, white will get the pawn back promptly.

Oct-17-08  maxi: <AAAAron>: In general, in these positions in the opening where both sides have played their e Pawns to the center, it is not good for Black to take the e Pawn if the e file becomes open (clear of Pawns and pieces), since White's extra tempo becomes more noticeable.
Jul-23-09  Ricosupercapo: For some unexplained reason, there is no scoresheet in the game. Has someone deleted the moves?
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: Can you imagine a live game on this site and a move like Kh2 in the decisive game for the WC?
Jul-23-09  jussu: <maxi>, quite the contary. When black can grab a white central pawn without immediate tactical disaster, this is usually the best move. As <Shams> pointed out, 4...Nxe4 is by far the most popular move. The same applies for e.g. 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. 0-0?! Nxe4, or even the neat standard combination 1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. Nc3 Nxe4. Typically, black is not able to hold on to the extra material but anyway, a juicy central pawn is usually worth grabbing.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: <euripedes Calli> Quality is calidad in Spanish. In Chess, it's meaning is to win the "exchange."(ganar la calida) So Capa was saying that white(Lasker)could have regained the exchange for a pawn had he played 33.g4 followed by e5 and Ne4.
Oct-19-10  sevenseaman: After an absorbing engagement if a winner talks what all his opponent could have done for a better result in his favor, its more an expression of relief than a boast. The controlling muscles in the tongue just loosen up when imminence of danger is gone.
Oct-07-11  lostgalaxy: The original way of the Indian game.

Black ignores the d6 "weakness" for piece play. I think everything about chess was already mastered by the eldsters.

Oct-07-11  bronkenstein: <The original way of the Indian game. >

My thoughts exactly.

This is one of proto Kings Indians ( Exactly the way the founders of it , Bronstein , Gligoric, Geller and Boleslavsky played some 20-30 (!) years later , with weakness on d6 compensated by rich dynamics, somewhat blasphemic concept in those times ). Capas legendary intuition whispered him that the position is , in fact, OK =)

Nov-08-18  sudoplatov: The c4-e4 Pawn complex from the King's Indian (and its relatives) also occurs with colors reversed in the Tchigorin variation to the Ruy Lopez; here Black has Pawns on a6 and b5 also; this gains space but makes the position looser.
Apr-28-20  joddon: this game like Magnus, Capa is a master of putting his queen in any type of danger and being able to get it out freely......this is the skill of the most masterly talented chess world champions.
May-20-20  Ulhumbrus: An alternative to 17 Nc3 is 17 Ne3 preparing to place a N on f5
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