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Ossip Bernstein vs Jose Raul Capablanca
"Phi Beta Capa" (game of the day Nov-28-2014)
Moscow (1914), Moscow RUE, rd 1, Feb-04
Queen's Gambit Declined: Orthodox Defense. Main Line (D63)  ·  0-1

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 6 OF 7 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jun-21-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: Reading through John Emms’s annotations on this game in <The Mammoth Book of The World’s Greatest Chess Games, (New Expanded Edition [2010])>, by Graham Burgess, Dr. John Nunn, and John Emms, Constable & Robinson Ltd. ©1998, 2004, 2010, at pp. 73 et seq., I was struck with a curious positional similarity between:

(1) Capablanca’s <15. … c4!> in this game (which Emms says is “[p]erhaps the most significant move of the game”, ibid.., at p. 75); and

(2) Emanuel Lasker’s <12. f5!> in Lasker vs Capablanca, 1914 (played at the St. Petersburg tournament a mere 3-1/2 months later).

Oct-27-13  LIFE Master AJ: My web page on this game: http://www.ajschess.com/lifemastera....

My brand-new video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5V-....

Nov-28-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: The position after move 27 would make a good Wed. or Thurs. puzzle!
Nov-28-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: White's move 27, that is....
Nov-28-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: 27...Rdc8 wins a piece or the exchange. After 27...Nxc3 28. Qe1, white only loses a piece, so the two moves are roughly equal.
Nov-28-14  morfishine: You don't mess around and try to out-combine Capablanca. White could've made things easier for himself by simply playing 15.Qxb6 axb6 16.a3 (freeing up his Queen Knight)


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White can now form a plan contesting the central files and attacking Black's pawn mass with <Rfd1>

Nonetheless, a timeless game

*****

Nov-28-14  goodevans: This pun has been used before. I remember having to google it last time.

I also remember thinking it was pretty lame and unoriginal the first time so now doubly so!

Nov-28-14  welhelm1982: Beginers luck hahaha
Nov-28-14  1d410: hahahaha funny ending
Nov-28-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  eternaloptimist: I'm surprised that a high caliber player like Bernstein neglected protecting his back rank.
Nov-28-14  RookFile: Well, he thought of 29..... Qb1+ 30. Qf1 Rd1? 31. Rc8+, and he's the one exploiting the back rank. I guess that ...Qb2 is one of those moves, either you see it or you don't. Nothing major, just the fate of the entire game rests on that.
Dec-01-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: A great classic, punctuated by that final move. One of the greatest in history!!
Dec-01-14  visayanbraindoctor: <RookFile: Well, he thought of 29..... Qb1+ 30. Qf1 Rd1? 31. Rc8+, and he's the one exploiting the back rank. I guess that ...Qb2 is one of those moves, either you see it or you don't.>

You are right. Bernstein must have expected 29... Qb1+ after a series of tactical captures. Most chess players (including me) would. After all it is a check on the back rank, a move every chess player would think about. Then Capablanca, the machine that saw everything, floors him with a mouse slip Qb2.

We all have seen GMs miss these 'little' tactical shots in the internet live. But this young Capablanca literally saw everything, every tactic (and positional subtlety) in all positions, no matter how weird the move and how bizarre the position. It's one of the rarest things I have ever seen upon perusal of chess games, and a phenomenon I have seen approximated only in the 1969 to 1972 Fischer. As Euwe noted, the prime Capablanca's combinations are always correct.

Here are some Capa games that demonstrate this rare all seeing chess eye.

Nimzowitsch vs Capablanca, 1927

20. Rb1 Qe5 21. g3 Qd5 22. b4 Bf8 23. Bb2 Qa2 (Who would believe that the a2 square as a point to attack in move 20?)

Capablanca vs Marshall, 1909

Who could have seen 26. Re3!! from move 23?

Capablanca vs Euwe, 1931

The move 19. Qb1!! from perhaps half a dozen moves back.

Marshall vs Capablanca, 1909

28... Be4! from three moves back must have been difficult to see. There was a better continuation as Capablanca notes, but moves such as these highlight Capa's ability to see weird tactical shots.

Tartakower vs Capablanca, 1924

9. Bb8 Nd5! is a kind of zwichenzug tactical shot that many chess players routinely miss, but that the prime Capablanca never did.

When the masters of his time tried to outcombine Capablanca, they had better be sure that their combinations were utterly correct, because the Cuban chess machine had already figured it out even before they embarked on the combination.

Dec-26-14  TheFocus: <Excellent! I will still be in time for the ballet! - (upon defeating Ossip Bernstein in the famous 29 move exhibition game played in Moscow in 1914, and before setting off to the Bolshoi Theatre by horse-drawn carriage) > - Capablanca.
Jan-17-15  1 2 3 4: probably the best game ever played between masters
Mar-24-15  sls: 22. Rxc4? Nc3!
Sep-15-15  chazsmiley: The final position in the game is the very first position in Lev Alburt's Chess Training pocket book, interestingly enough.
Sep-08-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Video analysis of this game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9N....
Jan-20-18  Whitehat1963: Stockfish suggests: 27.Nd4 Qf6 28.a3 g6 29.Qd3 Nf4 30.Qf1 Nd5 31.Qd3
Jan-29-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: I love weak back rank tricks of this kind. Of course, 30.Rc2 or 30.Rd3 is followed by 30...Qb1+.
Oct-30-19  zb2cr: 29. ... Qb2! exploits White's back rank.

If White plays 30. Rc2, Qb1+; 31. Qf1, Qxc2.

Meantime, the White Queen and Rook are both hanging.

Oct-30-19  Skewbrow: Happy to figure out that 29...Qb2 wins (rather than going for the back rank immediately).

The only defence I had to think about a bit was the counter 30.Rc8, threatening mate, pinning the black rook (and leaving c1 covered in the continuation 30...Rxc8 31.Qxb2). But then, with the white rook also hanging, black can go for the backrank, trade queens and capture c8.

Oct-30-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: White's decisive mistake was the pawn grab 27. Nxc3? Nxc3 -+ (-5.03 @ 33 ply, Stockfish 10).

Instead, repeating moves with 27. Nd4 = (0.00 @ 31 ply, Stockfish 10) keeps the game fully level.

Oct-30-19  saturn2: I saw 29...Qb2 30. Rc2 Qb1+ winning a piece.
Oct-30-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Level 2: 35... ?
Salwe vs Rubinstein, 1907


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