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Jose Raul Capablanca vs Herman Steiner
"Hollywood Ending" (game of the day May-08-2010)
Living Chess Exhibition (1933) (exhibition), Los Angeles, CA USA, Apr-11
Four Knights Game: Spanish. Symmetrical Variation (C49)  ·  1-0



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Given 66 times; par: 29 [what's this?]

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Jose Raul Capablanca vs Herman Steiner (1933) Hollywood Ending

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 6 OF 6 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Oct-08-16  ughaibu: Clue? It's a dead give away.
Dec-10-16  ChessHigherCat: Rxf6 is obvious but since this is Saturday I was expecting a more subtle continuation like kxf6, 18. Qxh7, Rh8. 9.Rf1+, Nf5, Qg6+, 10. ke7, but I'm not sure it works. That's a fantastic photo of the human chessboard. I've heard of games where various glass/bottles of alcohol are used as pieces that have to be drunk by the opponent when captured (which may justify an early queen sacrifice if it's a bottle of Johnny Walker), but the human variant opens up all kinds of orgiastic possibilities!
Dec-10-16  scormus: <human pieces> I don't see anything wrong with a prearranged game, in the circumstances it's almost necessary.

When I was at uni the chess club arranged an exhibition game with human pieces as part of fund raising for charity. The club president played the Mayor in the city centre square. The club champion was the Mayor's "advisor".

The moves followed a published game, carefuly chosen to be interesting, not too long, and every piece and pawn getting a move.

The spectators thought it was a live game between the 2 club players but those of us in the club knew. BTW, The Mayor won.

Dec-10-16  YouRang: Saturday 17.?

click for larger view

I guessed pretty quickly that the lead-off move would be <17.Rxf6 Kxf6>. There's no better move to break into black's castle, especially since we can instantly bring our other rook into the attack with check via <18.Rf1+>

click for larger view

Black must block with the knight: <18...Nf5> (not 18...Kg7? 19.Rf7+ Kh8 20.Qxh7#), and then <19.exf5>

click for larger view

White threatens Qh6+ followed by Qxe6+, winning easily, and there's not much black can do to avoid having his king hopelessly exposed to relentless attacks.


I see that in the game, white opted for <19.Nxf5>, so there must be more than one way to skin this cat.

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Too famous.
Dec-10-16  The Kings Domain: Saw the text move but failed to see the mate, but boy, if it isn't one of the most aesthetic mates ever executed on the board. Very nice game.
Dec-10-16  gofer: <17 Rxf3 ...>

White threatens mate via Rf7+, so lots of moves lose immediately

17 ... Nf5 (et al.)
18 Rf7+ Kh8
19 Rxh7#/Qxh7#

Black cannot accept the rook sacrifice...

17 ... Kxf6
18 Rf1+ Nf5
19 Nxf5! exf5
20 Rxf5+ Ke7
21 Qf7+ Kd6
22 Rf6+ Kc5
23 Qxb7!

click for larger view

Black cannot block the attack on f7...

17 ... Ng6
18 Rxg6+ hxg6
19 Qxg6+ Kf7
20 Rf1+ Ke7
21 Rf7+ Kd6
22 Nf5+! Kc5
23 Qxe6

click for larger view

Black cannot defend f7...

17 ... Rf8
18 Rh6! Rh8
19 Rf1 Qe8
20 Qg5+ Ng6
21 Rf6 ...

White has 4 attackers and black only has 3 defenders, black cannot allow Nxg6, so must try to remove a rook...

click for larger view

21 ... Rf8
22 Rfxg6+ hxg6
23 Rxg6+ Qxg6
24 Qxg6+ Kh8

click for larger view

White can take off Pe6 and Pe5 without losing tempo and then play Nf5 causing black's remaining defences to crumble...

Game Over...

Dec-10-16  stacase: Well after a truly ugly week of getting skunked, coming up with several of the moves on a Saturday morning was OK.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Had a similar mate in a league game last weekend. Unfortunately I was on the receiving side... :(
Premium Chessgames Member
  WorstPlayerEver: Memory check ok.
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: I like the final rook sacrifice, which forces the Black queen to block her man's <Herman's> escape
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: FWIW, no one seems to name their boys <Herman> any more. I blame the TV show <The Muensters> for ruining the name.

And of course, <Hitler> ruined the name <Adolf>, but <Stalin> somehow did not ruin <Joseph>.

Dec-10-16  catlover: <stacase>. Yeah, I'm with you.

I got the first moves, but wasn't sure if was better to take black's knight via 19 pxN or 19 NxN. And in any case I couldn't see it all the way to mate.

That being said, I got further along on this POTD than on most of the rest of this week's puzzles.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gilmoy: For choosing between <19.Nxf5> and 19.exf5, I prefer to not block f with my own pawn. Since I've already sacked an R just to open f, I want to keep f open for my other R to project its power to f7 -- and especially to project <itself> to f6 :)

So I (almost instantly) leaned toward <19.Nxf5>, and calculated that Black's K escapes to c5. It still feels right, though, to plant the Rf6 behind him and trap him against my swarm of pawns, c.f. Polugaevsky vs Nezhmetdinov, 1958.

Dec-10-16  YouRang: <Gilmoy: For choosing between <19.Nxf5> and 19.exf5, I prefer to not block f with my own pawn. Since I've already sacked an R just to open f, I want to keep f open for my other R to project its power to f7 -- and especially to project <itself> to f6 :)>

Perfectly sound reasoning. I opted for 19.exf5 mainly because (1) the f file is easily reopened because of black's Pe6, (2) it makes the potent threat of Qh6+/Qxe6+, and (3) there is the material advantage: I keep my N which hits f5 nicely.

Dec-10-16  ChessHigherCat: <Good Anarchist: <Hitler> ruined the name <Adolf>, but <Stalin> somehow did not ruin <Joseph>.>

Nobody will probably even name their ducks "Donald" 4 years from now

Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: It is a bit too famous for a puzzle. 19.exf5 wins easily too giving white overwhelming attack with equal material, for example 19.exf5 Ke7 20.fxe6 Kd6 21.d4 exd4 22.cxd4 Kc7 23.Rf7+ Kb6 24.Qc5+ Ka6 25.Rf3 b6 26.Qa3+ Kb7 27.Rf7+ Kb8 28.Rd7 Qf8 29.Qe3 with Qe5+ in the air. Of course, there are many other sidelines here as well.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: <ChessHigherCat: <Good Anarchist: <Hitler> ruined the name <Adolf>, but <Stalin> somehow did not ruin <Joseph>.>

Nobody will probably even name their ducks "Donald" 4 years from now>

Thankfully, the name "Hillary" was spared of that fate.

Dec-10-16  AlicesKnight: Rxf6 leads to an elaborate king-hunt including the sacrifice of the other White rook. I would love to believe the game is genuine but it is clear from many more knowledgeable than I that there are "serious doubts"....
Dec-10-16  stst: Thought that Capa also played GO.
This could be an example, just surround but don't strike at first, or the Black K flees. To lock up the Black K,
17.Rf3 (Rg3 possible then) then options... (A) K flees Kf8 18.Raf1 Ng6
19.Qxh7 Rg7
20.Rxf6+ Ke8 (variation possible(*))
21.Qxg7 Qd7
22.QxN+ Kd8
23.Rf8+ Kc7
24.RxR and next 25.Rf7 etc

IF (*)20.......QxR, then
21.RxQ+ Ke8
22.QxR NxN ===> Qe7# or Kd8, QxN for easy win.

18.Rg3 if Kf7/f8 Qxh7, Kh8 will be suicide as NxN+ RxN, RxR etc 18..... if Rf1
19.NxN hxN
20.Qxg6 is devastating

see how Capa actually executed!

Dec-10-16  stst: <that there are "serious doubts"....> Indeed!
I also first wished to try Rxf6 which is so obvious, but I thought Capa should have something more elegant... hence the "GO game" rather than the direct assault. Maybe I thought ("guess?) too much....
Apr-16-18  kegon: Dear all,
Prins and Euwe wrote a Capablanca-biography, and report the last moves as:

23.Qxb7 Qb6 24.Rxc6+ Qxc6 25.Qb4 mate.

There is no discussion about authenticity, by the way, but the game is in a collection of odds and ends in the last chapter.

Apr-16-18  kegon: Dear all,

in their Capablanca-bio, Prins and Euwe report the last moves as:

23.Qxb7 Qb6 24.Rxc6+ Qxc6 25.Qb4mate.

Quite surprising.

They don‘t discuss authenticity, yet the game is placed in a final sort of odds-and-ends-chapter.

Jul-24-19  bamonson: People need to stop presenting this game as if it were real. It was 100 percent staged, preplanned days in advance, in fact.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <bamonson>, you stated the like over 6 years ago, also claiming that you'd been working for years on Steiner's biography. I take this to mean you were intending to write such a book. Are you still working on it, or did you have trouble finding a publisher?
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