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Abraham Kupchik vs Jose Raul Capablanca
"Jersey Sure" (game of the day Apr-09-2021)
Lake Hopatcong (1926), Lake Hopatcong, NJ USA, rd 2, Jul-08
Indian Game: Yusupov-Rubinstein System (A46)  ·  0-1

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-09-21  LivBlockade: I'll confess, the pun is also a play on words with Jersey Shore, the name of an American reality television series featuring characters including "Snooki' and "The Situation". That, combined with the fact that the game was played in New Jersey and the skill/confidence (Sure) demonstrated by Capablanca in the game.

And no, I never watched the show :)

Apr-09-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <LivBlockade>
Isn't that a bit like making a pun about "French Riviera" and then saying it was a play on words about a restaurant of that name? (In case you are not from the US, I should make clear that the Jersey shore was a major thing here long before the TV series.)
Apr-09-21  ajile: Black's clever move order gives him a Stonewall setup where White would need 2 moves to get in c4 which is the main way White attacks the Dutch. Black wins the opening in speed of development and strategy.
Apr-09-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: I understand the pun to reference Jersey Shore, a popular TV show.
Apr-09-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: Ok, I see <LB> confessed to being a fan of the show and in love with Snooki.
Apr-09-21  RandomVisitor: Capa's 5...Ne4 looks a little too bold - Stockfish thinks white might be able to use the position for an unsuspected advantage


click for larger view

Stockfish_21033108_x64_modern:

<51/69 1:28:33 +0.74 6.c4> a5 7.Nc3 Nxc3 8.bxc3 d6 9.e4 Nd7 10.Bf4 g6 11.e5 dxe5 12.Nxe5 Bd6 13.Re1 Nxe5 14.Bxe5 Qg5 15.Bf1 0-0 16.Bxd6 cxd6

Apr-09-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <RandomVisitor> Black's main problem in your engine line is the weak queenside caused by playing 6...a5, but I see no reason for Black to play that and I doubt Capablanca would have.

If Black follows this line without playing ...a5, we might get 6...d6 7. Nc3 Nxc3 8. bxc3 Nd7 9. e4 g6 10. Bf4 Be7 11. e5 dxe5 12. Nxe5 Bd6 13. Re1 Nxe5 14. Bxe5 Qg5 15. Bf1 0-0 16. Bxd6 cxd6, where Black has lost a move but his position is absolutely fine, bearing witness to the lack of benefit provided by 6...a5.


click for larger view

Apr-10-21  RandomVisitor: <beatgiant>The most annoying feature of chess 'engines' is that you see what they 'think' is the best move in each successive 'ply' of analysis, but you do not get to see the next best move, or in fact any reasoning applied to that 'thinking'. After 5...Ne4


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Stockfish_21033108_x64_modern:

<57/73 4:24:56 +0.50 6.c4> a5 7.a3 Be7 8.Qc2 f5 9.Nfd2 d5 10.cxd5 exd5 11.f3 Nd6 12.Bxf5 Nxf5 13.Qxf5 Qd7 14.Qxd7+ Nxd7 15.Nc3 Nf6 16.Rf2 0-0

Apr-10-21  RandomVisitor: After 6...f5


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Stockfish_21013116_x64_modern:

<60/81 5:12:37 +0.43 7.c4> Be7 8.Qc2 Nxd2 9.Bxd2 Bxf3 10.gxf3 Nc6 11.Be2 0-0 12.Kh1 Bb4 13.Bxb4 Nxb4 14.Qc3 Nc6 15.f4 Qh4 16.Bf3 Rac8 17.Rg1 Ne7

Apr-10-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <RandomVisitor> Using the "find similar games" feature on move 5, I find 8 games in the database where Black played 5...Ne4. The results were 3 wins for White, 2 wins for Black, and 3 draws. I took a look at the White wins and wasn't very convinced by the opening play.

The most interesting try for a tactical "refutation" of 5...Ne4 was H Abdullah vs S Celis, 2009 where White replied <6. Ne5> and it continued with 6...d6? <7. Nxf7> and a quick win for White.

Also 6. Ne5 f5? 7. Bxe4 Bxe4 8. Qh5+ g6 9. Nxg6 wins.

But 6. Ne5 d5 7. Qf3 Qf6 8. Qe2 Qd8 seems fine for Black, or even 6. Ne5 <Nf6> although both lines could lead to an early draw by repetition (6. Ne5 d5 7 Qf3 Qf6 8. Qe2 Qd8 9. Qf3 Qf6, etc. or 6. Ne5 Nf6 7. Nf3 Ne4 8. Ne5 Nf6, etc.)

Apr-11-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: < beatgiant: <RandomVisitor> Black's main problem in your engine line is the weak queenside caused by playing 6...a5, but I see no reason for Black to play that and I doubt Capablanca would have. If Black follows this line without playing ...a5, we might get 6...d6 7. Nc3 Nxc3 8. bxc3 Nd7 9. e4 g6 10. Bf4 Be7 11. e5 dxe5 12. Nxe5 Bd6 13. Re1 Nxe5 14. Bxe5 Qg5 15. Bf1 0-0 16. Bxd6 cxd6, where Black has lost a move but his position is absolutely fine, bearing witness to the lack of benefit provided by 6...a5.>

After 5....Ne4 6.c4, my SF evaluation is about +0.8. If 6....d6, then 7.Qc2 and the eval goes to about +1.5, with 7....Nf6 the engine's top choice. If 7....f5, which I assume is the idea, then 8.d5 ed 9.cd Bxd5 10.Nd4 is +2.8 at 33 ply.

One line from there is 12....c5 13.e4 cxd4 14.exd5 Kf7 15.cxd4 Nd7 16.Bf4 Nf6 17.Rac1 with an eval of about +2.9, and I think I can see why.


click for larger view

Apr-11-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: After 5....Ne4 6.c4 f5 is better than 6....d6. My SF continuation is 7.Nbd2 Be7 8.Qc2 Nxd2 9.Bxd2 Bxf3!?. If instead 9....0-0, then 10.e4 Na6! 11.a3 Bxe4 12.Bxe4 fxe4 13.Qxe4 with a +0.88 eval at 36 ply. I wouldn't hate playing that as Black, though.

I suspect there are a good number of sidelines and byways in the openings that SF would more or less refute. I think 5....Ne4 is one of them.

Apr-11-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <keypusher>
I was responding to the plan <RandomVisitor> posted above (Nc3 to trade off the advanced knight).

But White tried 6. c4 in E Gilfer vs Sultan Khan, 1930 and Black replied 6...f5. White won that game, but I don't perceive anything more than the usual slight advantage to White as of move 7.

Apr-11-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: I don’t think 5....Ne4 loses by force or anything. But given White’s first five moves he shouldn’t get any advantage at all. After 5....Ne4, he does.

Looking at the game, given the lines posted previously, it's unsurprising that SF thinks White can get a decent opening advantage with 7.c4 instead of 7.c3. A sample line goes 7....Be7 8.Qc2 Nxd2 9.Bxd2 and White is better after either 9....Bxf3 or 9....0-0.

Apr-11-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <keypusher>
I don't see anything particularly terrible about White's first five, except maybe 3. e3 is not the most ambitious, but I'd be surprised if Black has any move to completely equalize on move 5. I say this after looking at a number of other attempts in the Opening Explorer.

And to be clear, by "completely equalize" I mean something like "Black's position feels as comfortable as White's" and not "the engine eval is close to 0.00."

Apr-11-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <beatgiant>

One other point -- to study this opening, it's better to use Opening Explorer than Find Similar Games -- with OE you'll find 23 games with 6.c4. The most common continuation after 6.c4 f5 7.Nbd2 is 7....Bd6, incidentally. And SF comes up with 8.Bc2! with the simple plan of 9.Nxe4 fxe4 10.Nd2. 8.Bc2 isn't in OE, which tends to show that there are a lot of engine improvements lurking in these by-ways.

<And to be clear, by "completely equalize" I mean something like "Black's position feels as comfortable as White's" and not "the engine eval is close to 0.00.">

The engine equalizer is 5....d5 followed by ...Bd6 or ...c5, winding up in a 19th-century-style symmetrical queen's gambit. That looks pretty comfortable to me, though not exciting.

I'm sure 5....Ne4 scores very well in practice. If someone has started as passively as Kupchik did they'll probably continue to play that way. Back when I played in tournaments I won plenty of games by posting a knight to e4 as quickly as possible in quiet QP openings, followed by ...f5, ...g5-g4, ...Qh4 etc. But when I try to be a caveman against strong engines, f/e the Magnus app, it's a different story.

Apr-11-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <keypusher>
So the upshot is, 5...d5 is more tame and 5...Ne4 is more risk-taking but playable, while a caveman approach with an early ...Bd6 is flawed. You and I are not Capablanca, but surely neither of us should be surprised by the above statements and require deep engine confirmation? But you can call me old-fashioned if you like ;-)
Apr-11-21  sudoplatov: White's 0-0 seems premature. Perhaps 5.Nd2 would be better. As to 5...Ne4, Keres wrote somewhere that Capablanca had a fine feel for the openings and that Capa's ideas were usually worth considering.
Apr-11-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Since I've been rather free with my views, or rather SF's views, I should note that Kupchik, despite a modest personality, physique, and style, was a terrific chessplayer. I know that thanks to <Phony Benoni>, who gathered the games from a lot of his best events.

<sudoplatov: White's 0-0 seems premature. Perhaps 5.Nd2 would be better. As to 5...Ne4, Keres wrote somewhere that Capablanca had a fine feel for the openings and that Capa's ideas were usually worth considering.>

Yes, he did have a fine feel for the openings. SF's is better.

Apr-11-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <keypusher>
Thanks for those views. I'd like to ask for a few more.

Which is more prominent, the Jersey shore (the place) or "Jersey Shore" (the TV series named after the place)? If it's the latter, can you tell me exactly when the US cultural memory got replaced with TV? And finally, which office do I go to, to get my childhood back? (laughs)

Apr-11-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Which is more prominent, the Jersey shore (the place) or "Jersey Shore" (the TV series named after the place)? If it's the latter, can you tell me exactly when the US cultural memory got replaced with TV? And finally, which office do I go to, to get my childhood back? (laughs)>

You know, I stopped watching TV around the second season of The Sopranos. Which is to say after watching of decades of junk I stopped just when TV became worth watching, Jersey Shore notwithstanding.

But even though I never saw it, “Jersey Shore” the show was a bigger deal than the real shore, because Jersey Shore the place was just regional but “Jersey Shore” the program was nationwide, maybe worldwide. That it made the Jersey Shore the place into a byword for vice, stupidity and fake tans is just the magic of television!

Apr-11-21  DouglasGomes: The stock standard 6. c4 f5 should lead to Dutch setups. White is considered to have a real positional advantage more pronounced than in the Queen's pawn mainlines. Tricky play from then on should get punished. Interesting is 7. Nfd2 (Knight F to d2), after which 7... d5 or 7... Qh4 are not recommended! but rather the less desirable 7... Nf6 or 7.. Nxd2. If 7... Bd6, then 8. Bxe4 fxe4 Qh5+ g6 Qg4 and Black's position collapses.
Apr-11-21  DouglasGomes: Pretty sure Capablanca knew 6. c4 was possible, he has played from the White side of Dutch Rubinstein Variation many times.
Apr-12-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <beatgiant> The capitalized "Jersey Shore" is not a product of change in cultural memory. Our "puns" are generally treated like newspaper headlines in which every significant word is capitalized.

At least, this was the case in the Good Olde Days. I can't remember the last time I read an actual bricks-and-mortar newspaper, so I'm not shore what monstrosities are perpetrated These Days.

Apr-12-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Phony Benoni> The problem is not that "Jersey Shore" was capitalized. The problem is that no less than three kibitzers, who are probably all Americans, thought that the TV show was a bigger cultural icon than the legendary place the TV show was named after.
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