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Jose Raul Capablanca vs Juan Corzo
Capablanca - Corzo (1901), Havana CUB, rd 9, Dec-11
Dutch Defense: Staunton Gambit. Chigorin Variation (A83)  ·  1-0



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Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: Although <chessfritz1> was wrong about the pawn ending, my previous post was also wrong about Black's defense.

The point is 44...Kg7 45. Bd3 Nf6 46. Kf5 Nd5 47. Ke5 Nb4, it does indeed look like a draw after 48. Kd6? Nxd3, but White can instead play 48. Be4 Na2 49. Kd6 and White is a tempo up compared with <Chessical>'s earlier line. So if Black plays his typical counterattack with 49...c4 50. bxc4 Nc3 51. Bc6 Kxg6 52. Kc7, White will win both the a7 and b6 pawns and the game.

But on 44...Kg7 45. Bd3, Black can also try 45...Nd6 46. Kf4 Kf6 and it's still hard to prove a win, for example 47. g7 Kxg7 48. Ke5 Nb7 49. Be4 Na5 50. Bd5 Kg6.

It's a very tricky and instructive ending!

Dec-16-04  chessfritz1: <bg> Sorry bg looks like you are right about the king-pawn ending.It is a tricky ending, but won for white even after your line 51.Kd6 Kf5 52.Kc7 Ke5 53.Bg8 Kf6 54.Kb8 Nc6+ 55.Kb7 Nb4 56.Bh7 Ke5 57.Kxa7 Nd5 58.Bd3 Kd6 59.Kb7 Ke5 60.Kc6 correct me if i am wrong.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <chessfritz1>:
<Sorry bg looks like you are right about the king-pawn ending.It is a tricky ending, but won for white even after your line 51.Kd6 Kf5 52.Kc7 Ke5 53.Bg8 Kf6 54.Kb8 Nc6+ 55.Kb7 Nb4 56.Bh7 Ke5 57.Kxa7 Nd5 58.Bd3 Kd6 59.Kb7 Ke5 60.Kc6 correct me if i am wrong.>

It is not so direct.

After 44...Kg7 45. Bd3 Nd6 46. Kf4 Kf6 47. g7 Kxg7 48. Ke5 Nb7 49. Be4 Na5 50. Bd5 Kg6 51.Kd6 Kf5 52. Kc7, Black can temporize with 52...Kf4! 53. Kb8 Ke5.

If then 54. Bg8 Nc6+ 55. Kc7 Na5, or 54. Bg2 d3! 55. cd Nxb3 56. Kxa7 c4 57. dxc4 Nc5 58. Bc6 Kd4 59. Bb5 Nxa4.

The latter line again shows the typical counterplay with the pawn breakthrough.

Jul-03-05  AdrianP: 29... Nxe4 looks to me like it gives Black good chances. Chernev only gives 29...Kf7, "with good drawing chances according to Hooper" as an alternative.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <AdrainP>
<29...Nxe4> was discussed in the earlier posts <Dec-15-04> in which I gave a draw after 29...Ne4 30. Kxg4 Nf2+ 31. Kf4 Nxd3 32. cd Kd6 33. b4 =. Did you find some improvement for Black over this?
Jul-04-05  AdrianP: <beatgiant> I meant good chances to draw - I agree with your line and your assessment, although I don't know that 30 Kxg4 is necessarily best for White. Reading Chernev you get the impression that White is to be preferred after 29 Bd3! (his exclamation mark) but the reality seems to be that Black is at least equal after 29 ...Nxe4.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <AdrianP>
<I don't know that 30 Kxg4 is necessarily best for White> In the earlier discussion, <Calli> pointed out that Black wins after 29...Ne4 30. Bxe4, and I claimed Black has a draw after 29...Ne4 30. Kxg4.

Against other replies, Black could play ...g3. For example, 29...Ne4 30. c4 g3 looks like White is in trouble.

So I agree with you that <Chernev>'s assessment looks wrong.

Jul-04-05  paul dorion: <beatgiant> It all depends of the appreciation of 29...Ne4 30 c4 g3 31 Bxe4 dxe4 32 Kxg3 Ke6 33Kf4 e3 34Kxe3 Kf5 35b4 Kxg5 36 Ke4 which seems forced. Then Black has a difficult choice: If the King goes to the h file , White plays Ke5 and will queen first followed by a queen check on the h and g file to pick black queen. If Kf6 , then white has the better K position can he exploit that?
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <paul dorion>
The suggested 29...Ne4 30 c4 g3 31 Bxe4 dxe4 32 Kxg3 Ke6 33. Kf4 e3 34Kxe3 Kf5 35b4 Kxg5 36 Ke4 Kf6 gives Black the outside passed pawn, so I assumed that was an easy win for Black. But at least I highly doubt that <White> has any sort of advantage whatsoever in this line.
Aug-28-05  LeSwamp: A)7...Qe7+. Corzo's improvement over the 7th match game play? The game in question went 7...Bd6 8.Bd3 Be6?! (8...0-0 was better) 9.Qe2 Kd7 10.0-0-0 g6! 11.h4 f5 12.h5! f4?!/? (12...Re8 was far better) 13.Re1 fxg3 14.Qxe6+ Kc7 15.fxg3! Nd7 16.hxg6 hxg6 17.Rxh8 Qg5+ 18.Qe3! Qxe3+ 19.Rxe3 Rxh8 10.Nh3! White clear advantage. The game was a draw after 28 moves.

B) 31...c5?! Until now, White only had a small advantage. With this weak move, it's gonna change. Black's pawns must avoid getting stuck on black squares, where White's bishop would have no problem preventing their advance. 31.Kf8 with idea a7-a5-a4 with still a small advantage for White. Other good moves would be 31...Ne6 ou 31...Nb5.

C) 36...d4. 36...b5! is to be favoured . Still, White has a clear advantage.

D) 37.b3?! Too optimistic. Capablanca's first dubious move in this game! 37.Ba6! had to be played, keeping a clear advantage. See note B).

E) 37...Kg8?? The final blunder. After 38.a4! there is no hope for Black, as his hands are tied. The only plausible move was 37...b5! On which if 38.Bd7 a6. White advantage, still.

F) 40.Kh7. The only way to progress is 40.Be2, as Capablanca will realize later. See the 42nd move.

G) 40.Kg5? Oops! Loses all advantage... 40.Bb5! Ng7 41.Kg5

H) 44...Ke7?? Corzo had a draw after 44...Kg7! 45.Bb5 Ng6= Now Black is lost... again!

I) 57...Nd6?! Better was 57...bxa5 58.Kxc5! Kd7 still losing.

J) 58...bxa5. Better was 58...Nf5 59.axb6 Kb8 60.Kb5! Ng7 61.Kxc5 etc.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: <drukenknight: hmmn what if 44...Kg7?> Chernev showed a simple win for White. 45. Bb5 Nd6 46. Bd3 Ne8 47. Kf5, "and the King wanders over to the Queen-side to pick up some Pawns, his own passed Pawn being protected."

I may add that 45... Nc7 loses too. 46. Bd3 with the same idea. For instance, 46... Ne6 (or 46... Nd5) 47. Kf5, White wins.

Dec-01-06  Victor G.: 29...Ne4 loses
Dec-01-06  CapablancaFan: Lol, Capablanca forces Corzo's knight to go into a holding pattern while his king is free to devestate. In the end, Corzo's knight just looks pathetic.
Feb-05-07  Swyp: I am dizzy after watching this one.
Sep-18-07  Eric Lopez Molina: A classic endgame that only Capablanca among the greats shows the precision of clear and logical thinking. Here, you overwork and overextend the Knights role-either watch vigilantly the White King's movement or that puny but threatening pawn for queenship. At the end it loses its elasticity!!
Apr-22-08  Whitehat1963: Well explained on video here:

Apr-24-08  CapablancaFan: <Whitehat1963> Thanks for the video link. Highly instuctive. The annotator does an excellent job walking you through a very complex endgame and also explaining why Capa made the moves he made and even why Corzo refrained from some!
Apr-26-08  littlefermat: <Whitehat1963>

Thanks, that was a nice link! Makes you appreciate Capablanca's talent (at the mere age of 13!).

Apr-28-08  Whitehat1963: My pleasure, gentlemen.
May-08-10  Cercatore: Ending in 19 moves... amazing.
Jun-26-10  goodevans: "It was night. I went home and put my old house clothes on and set the chessmen out and mixed a drink and played over another Capablanca. It went fifty-nine moves. Beautiful, cold, remorseless chess, almost creepy in its silent implacability."

<Raymond Chandler, The High Window>

This is one of two games that seems to fit the bill, the other being Capablanca vs I A Horowitz, 1931.

Comparing the two I would reckon this to be the more likely candidate, but does anyone know for sure?

Jun-10-15  hadi706: در حرکت 19 بازی اگر مساوی اعلام میشد بازی تمام بود و حرکت 25 سیاه موجب از دست رفتن پیاده و کل بازی شد


Jan-30-19  Inocencio: The fighting King of Capablanca is amazing. The monarch went to the king side and thereafter to the queen side.
Oct-12-19  N.O.F. NAJDORF: Amazing endgame technique for a 13-year-old!

Fischer must have studied this game.


Fischer vs Taimanov, 1971

Apr-20-20  Ulhumbrus: After 48 Kd5 if Black's king tries to keep the white king out by taking the opposition by 48...Kd7 White's bishop can attack him on that square by 49 Bg4+ . Then the black king has to give way.If he goes towards the king side the white king invades the queen side while if he goes towards the queen side White's king invades the king side.

This suggests that one tiny part of the technique of this ending consists of using the bishop to control squares which lie on the same rank as that of the black king so that the black king can't keep the opposition in order to keep the white king out.

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