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Jose Raul Capablanca vs Allies
Consultation game (1913), Lodz, Nov-27
Spanish Game: Open Variations. Classical Defense (C83)  ·  1-0



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Given 41 times; par: 83 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jul-15-07  Karpova: <1 P-K4 P-K4 2 Kt-KB3 Kt-QB3 3 B-Kt5 P-QR3 4 B-R4 P-QKt4 5 B-Kt3 Kt-B3 6 O-O B-K2 7 P-B3 O-O 8 P-Q4 PxP 9 PxP P-Q3 10 B-K3 B-Kt5 11 QKt-Q2 Kt-QR4 12 P-Q5 KtxB 13 QxKt

In this position Black is lost because after a fairly long series of moves the black queen’s bishop’s pawn will remain backward, its advance being prevented by the white pawn at Q5. White will double his rooks on the open queen’s bishop file and if necessary would advance with his king if queens were exchanged. The black queen’s bishop pawn will be lost sooner or later since it is extremely difficult for Black to defend it without involuntarily creating other weaknesses in his position. On one occasion, back in 1913, I was in Łódź, in Poland, and played a consultation game in which we reached a position similar to this one. People around me asked what I intended to do because they thought the game was drawn, and I told them that Black was lost. When they asked me why, I explained the clear weakness of the backward queen’s bishop pawn.

I have shown you this opening and variation because it was played for many years. In the books you will find that it has been played in countless games, but people played for an attack and not for position. Of course, if one plays for an attack here victory is difficult, whereas by playing positionally and attacking the weak wing, the win cannot be in doubt. Formerly, attention was not paid to these general considerations which I have attempted to explain this evening and which avoid a great deal of unnecessary work and can help you to develop a solid and simple game. In such games one can see the advantages of the endgame principles I have been explaining. Referring to the position just mentioned, with the weak pawn, it can be seen that without queens on the board the question of time is very important. Another very important element is the mobility of the pieces in positions of this kind. White can move his rooks freely, whereas Black is unable to move with ease. Here the element of mobility is of great value and, combined with the element of time, leads to certain victory.>

Jose Raul Capablanca
Club de Comunicaciones de Prado in Cuba on 25 May 1932

Sep-10-07  patzerboy: That's gold.
Aug-07-09  sleepyirv: According to Irving Chernev, Capablanca claimed it was a win right after 18...0-0
May-17-10  maelith: Instructive game by Capablanca.
May-17-10  TheFocus: The Allies were Aronson, Goldfarb, Gottesdiener, Rosenbaum, and Salwe, G.
May-17-10  BobCrisp: Sounds like a work's party from the local synagogue.
Jul-06-10  Whitehat1963: Isn't there a perpetual check here?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: Black loses because they move the B several times and then take white's undeveloped B on c1. The White B moves aren't so relevant as Black's (B moves as black plays b5 and thus the weakness on c7 is developed. Because they waste time they cant get c5 in, and are saddled with a permanent weakness on the c file and a potential f5 advance.

10. ... 0-0 or 11. ... 0-0 are better.

Capablanca plays carefully not allowing any breaks by black and then pushes through after tying Black down.

Feb-15-13  chesskador: If we have noticed White's queen moved from left wing to right wing many times to provoke weaknesses in Black's camp. I called this: "Let's do cha-cha" tactic. Patience is important in chess. Fischer said once, "in chess we know when to duck and when to punch."
Nov-14-18  DrGridlock: Capablanca clearly loved this game, since he also included it under, "Some Possible Developments from a Ruy Lopez" in "Chess Fundamentals." In that book, Capablanca writes,

"Now we would have here the case of the backward QBP which will in no way be able to advance to QB4. Such a position may be said to be theoretically lost, and in practice a first-class master will invariably win it from black. (If I may be excused the reference, I will say that I won the game above referred to.)"

It's interesting to use modern computer analysis to add to Capablanca's observations. By move 16, Komodo still sees it as even for black:

Jose Raul Capablanca - Allies

click for larger view

Analysis by Komodo 5r1 32-bit :

1. = (0.08): 16...a5 17.Be3 0-0 18.f4 Bxc2 19.Qxc2 a4 20.Nd2 c5 21.Nf3 c4 22.f5 Ng5 23.Nd2 f6 24.Rad1 fxe5 25.dxe5 Qc8 26.Bxg5 Bxg5 27.Nf3 Qc5+ 28.Nd4 a3 29.b3 c3 30.Rd3

Komodo is not at all impressed with Black's plan to force the dark-square bishop exchange with Bg5.

It's really the combination of:
(i) the backward c-pawn, and;
(ii) the absence of the dark-square bishop which can no longer look after c5

that leads to black's demise in this game.

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