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Jose Raul Capablanca vs George Alan Thomas
"Battling Bishops" (game of the day Apr-12-2005)
Hastings (1929/30), Hastings ENG, rd 2, Dec-28
Bogo-Indian Defense: Grünfeld Variation (E11)  ·  1-0



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Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: I like how Capa first reduces the scope of Black's minors, and *then* swaps all of the major pieces. In the endgame, Black's Bishop is notably useless.
Apr-12-05  patzer2: Capa's 41. f4! illustrates the winning technique of creating a successful passed pawn with opposite colored Bishops. The two extra pawns, one on each wing, appear to be necessary.
Premium Chessgames Member <Where the heck are my beloved white bishops?> If you have problems with the java viewer the first thing to try is to restart your browser, or possibly reboot. 90% of the time that fixes the problem.
Apr-12-05  RookFile: Well, I think Thomas might have
actually had the microscopically
better position, but trading queens
was a big mistake. I think he's fine
after 26.... Qf7.
Apr-12-05  cuendillar: <gadfly> following your logic, this should have been player of the day: Crazy Bishop (Computer) or even John Pope
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Dear RookFile: 26...Qf7; 27.Qe7,Qg8; 28.Qd8+ forces the Queen exchange. However! 28...Qd8; 29.Bd8,Kc8; 30.Be7,Nb8!? threatens 31.Kd7, gaining another tempo to bring the King to the beleaguered King side, followed by redeploying the Knight to f8 and the Bishop to c8. This is still disadvantageous for Black (again, note how little scope the Bishop has), but might offer some better chances. White might have to try and penetrate the Queen side with his King.
Apr-12-05  RookFile: I must be tired, Englishmen, it looks
to me like there is a loose black
knight which the white queen can pick off. Let me look at this in the morning.
Apr-12-05  Marvol: < An Englishman: Dear RookFile: 26...Qf7; 27.Qe7,Qg8; 28.Qd8+ forces the Queen exchange.>

Good morning! You seem very keen on exchanging the queens. I wonder what Freud would have to say about that. In the line you give, what's wrong with 28 Qxd7?

Apr-12-05  gadfly: <cuendillar> Well, would not it be too much to make player of the day a computer program that lost almost all the games it played or a player with two games in the database. It is true that the Turk was player of the day once, but well the Turk is a legend. Plus, my first post was actually intended as a joke.
Apr-12-05  cade: 28... b5?? Why?
Apr-12-05  capanegra: <The two extra pawns, one on each wing, appear to be necessary.> In fact, they are mandatory! An opposite colored Bishop ending with ♗♙♙ vs ♗ cannot be won with both Pawns on the same side. A clear example of that is G Marco vs Schlechter, 1896
Apr-12-05  mymt: Frustration I think cade ,that 28.Be7 took out the rest of the Ns moves,Black could shift the K to allow ...Nb8-a6 but 29.d5 & Kd4 shut the door again.Great example of how to handle the " B pair "
Apr-12-05  who: <mymt> you are absolutely correct which begs the question 27...Bc8??
much! stronger is 27...Nf8 allowing black to post the knight at e6 or e5 (if white plays d4-d5 a move that shows a lot of weakness after the reply c7-c6)
Apr-12-05  MarvinTsai: <cade> I'm waiting for someone's analysis too. 28...b5 seems to be a blunder. All Thomas needed to do is adjust his knight's position.
Apr-12-05  RookFile: I guess the point was: Thomas
thought the bishops of opposite
colors would draw. 28.... b5
29. cxb5 Nb6 comes with the
thread of ...Nd5+ picking
off the bishop. Further, the
d5 square would be an absolutely
terrific square for the knight.

Obviously, Thomas wasn't counting on
Capa winning the bishops of opposite
colors ending anyway.

Apr-12-05  kevin86: It could only take a machine to win a very drawish opposite bishops game. It did-CAPA!
Apr-12-05  Ezzy: <who - much! stronger is 27...Nf8 allowing black to post the knight at e6 or e5 (if white plays d4-d5 a move that shows a lot of weakness after the reply c7-c6)> If 27..Nf8 28 d5 c6 29 Be7 Wins. 27..c5 28 d5 Kc7 is a safer move. 28..b5? 28..Bb7 and black has to wait and see if white can force his advantage into a win. I think black was alway on the defensive after 9..f5?! 9..Qg5! 10 Rg1 f5 seems much better. It stops white castling on the king side, and prevents whites Qh5.
Apr-12-05  RookFile: These endings where one side has
the two bishops are very tricky.
I can think of no more fitting
illustration of the power of the
two bishops than the fact that Bronstein
RESIGNED with King, 2 knights and FOUR
pawns against Botvinnik's King, 2 bishops
and THREE pawns, in the 23rd game of their
( 12 - 12 ) drawn match. You would
think that if Bronstein saw hope, with
a chance for the world championship
at stake, he would have played on.

You definitely don't want to be the
side that has to defend an ending
against the two bishops. Even Bent
Larsen was absolutely tortured by
Bobby Fischer for like 100 moves
defending a completely drawn ending
against Fischer's two bishops.

You can just keep making veiled
threat after veiled threat, and often,
the opponent cracks.

Apr-13-05  tuffy13: I don't see the win in this game. It seems like black will win the g-pawn, and as long as the black king stays in the a-corner, I don't see how the b-pawn queens. I've played both sides of this with Chessmaster 9000, and it always ends up as a draw.
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: RookFile & Marvol, why settle for the paltry material goods represented by an extra Knight when the chance presents itself to demonstrate an instructive win which also shows off my unsurpassed skill with Bishops of opposite color?

DARN IT! I hate it when I start channeling Nimzowitsch. He says hello, by the way.

Apr-14-05  mymt: 28. ...b5 to get OCB ending costs a pawn ,another [32. ...f4]for ...Bf5 to get behind the White pawns, but whats 34. ...Kc8 35. ...Kb7 all about?
Apr-14-05  RookFile: Glad to see you have a sense of humor,
Englishman. That is pretty funny.
The funny thing about that line was,
you had me going for a couple of minutes, it took me that long that night to see the knight was hanging. LOL.
Apr-14-05  zb2cr: <tuffy13>,

Then you've given up too early. Try this: 51 ... Bd3; 52 Kc5, Bg6; 53 Bd8, Bd3; 54 b6, Be4; 55 Kd4, Bc2; 56 Ke5, Kc8; 57 Bc7. Now Black's King is bound to the Queenside, to stop the QNP from marching in. White can march his King over and support his KNP, forcing Black to sacrifice his Bishop for it, eventually. Then, White wins easily with Bishop, Pawn and King against lone King. The key is that with White's King controlling the only squares from which Black's Bishop can cover both sides (e4 and d5) there will always be a way to force Black to choose one side or another--and then force the sacrifice.

Computerized analysis (such as Chessmaster 9000) doesn't do well in positions where an idea, not immediate tactics, is needed.

Apr-14-05  tuffy13: Thank you <zb2cr>. Shortly after my post I figured out what I was doing wrong. I agree on the Chessmaster comment.
Dec-30-14  Mating Net: 28.Be7 is quite instructive as it pertains to the restriction of the Black Knight. It is also one of the few Capa end game moves that is crystal clear in my mind as to what it accomplishes. So many others are too complex for my total understanding.
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