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Jacob Bernstein vs Jose Raul Capablanca
New York Masters (1915), New York, NY USA, rd 3, Apr-22
Four Knights Game: Spanish. Rubinstein Variation (C48)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Oct-14-03  Kenkaku: Capablanca showing his ability to grind his opponent to dust in a lengthy drawish endgame.
Sep-17-07  patzerboy: Capablanca had two advantages, though, once it was down to Rooks and Pawns: 1.) he had the active Rook; 2.) he had a queenside pawn duo which was sure to yield a passed pawn. He used these advantages to get the win. I couldn't have done it, though. Once it became Queen vs Queen, I would have been lost. I HATE Q vs Q endgames.
Sep-17-07  paladin at large: <patzerboy> <I HATE Q vs Q endgames.>

Here's a nice nightmare for you with the white pieces:

J Van Den Bosch vs Capablanca, 1929

Sep-17-07  whiteshark: <patzerboy> <I HATE Q vs Q endgames.>

nosce te ipsum, <patzerboy> My guess is that you only don't understand Q endgames just as little as me.

First step: ask yourself where did Bernstein went wrong.

Sep-24-07  patzerboy: Yeah, Paladin, that's EXACTLY what I mean.

And yes, whiteshark, I don't understand Queen endgames well at all...

...but then, there is so much else that I don't understand about chess as well. LOL

Apr-05-08  ForeverYoung: This is a fantastic game! Before playing through it I was not aware that Capa had sweated out a Queen ending.

Key annototions from Less Known Chessmasterpieces:

If 14 dxc6 e4 with a strong attack.

31 Kd1 followed Kc2 so as to guard the "b" pawn with his King and free his Rook would probably have lead to an easy draw.

Instead of 40 ... Rxf2 Capa thought it would have been better to queen the "a" pawn as soon as possible instead of stopping to capture hostile pawns.

49 Ke3 would have drawn since Black couldn't have protected his "a" pawn and 49 ... Rxg4?? loses to 50 d7

56 Qg8 would probably still have drawn since the Black Queen could only have defended both Pawns by getting to g6 where it is out of play.

After 57 Qd7+ Qd5+ 58 Qxd5 Kxd5 should also draw with proper play.

Jan-17-10  visayanbraindoctor: If we take the game above as a model of one way of maximizing winning chances in a theoretically drawn (Q + 3 P vs Q + 2 P) endgame, what the attacker did was to exchange off one pair of pawns in such a way that he was left with a passed pawn. Then he started advancing the passed pawn, while at the same time creating threats against the defender's remaining pawn and King itself. In the case above, in the finale, the attacker disdained winning the defender's remaining pawn in order to use it as a shield against the defender's Queen, and directly attacked the opposing King with his own King and Queen. The attacker also opted not to advance his passed pawn too far, so that it could also function as additional shield against Queen checks.

At all times the attacker had to accurately calculate tons of exhausting variations that would have led to a perpetual, so he could avoid them.

Feb-05-10  paladin at large: <visay> Thanks, this is remarkable play. What also stands out is the patience, allowing the slow-footed king to get where he needs to be.
Premium Chessgames Member
  woldsmandriffield: Capablanca persisted and eventually won but this game suggests that in 1915 there were areas of his game that were not beyond improvement.

The opening and early middle game seem a bit casual. Black didn’t need to resolve the central tension with 17..exd4 since 17..Rhg8 was possible (Black could also consider grabbing the pawn with 17..Qxb2).

In the ending, Bernstein would have been safe with 23 Re1 but instead misplaced his Rook. Capablanca, however, advanced his Q-side pawns ahead of his King with 28..b5 instead of 28..Ka7. This gave Bernstein time to bring his own King over to the action and he would have been completely safe with 31 Kd1 followed by Kc2.

Capablanca gave away all of his advantage when allowing Bernstein counterplay with his passed d-pawn: 40..Rxf2 and 41..Kb3 were clear errors. The intermediate check 40..Re2+ would have finished matters quickly since 41 Kf3 Rc2 followed by ..Kb3 is decisive.

Bernstein started fishing in dangerous waters with 67 Qd3 allowing Capablanca to get ..f5 in (67 Kh3 =). But he still had a draw up to 79 Qb2+. Instead 79 Kh3! held

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: Speculative question - about Capablanca - is it possible that because Capablanca plays very quickly in the opening and middlegame, he is generally more refreshed than the opponent when the endgame comes along?

It seems as though the opponent got quite tired and collapsed in the endgame but also this happened with the game vs Ed Lasker in this tournament. Maybe opponent's stop calculating as much in the endgame through exhaustion.

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