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Alexander Kevitz vs Jose Raul Capablanca
New York (1931), New York, NY USA, rd 2, Apr-19
Reti Opening: Anglo-Slav Variation. London Defensive System (A12)  ·  0-1



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Given 34 times; par: 71 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Calli>
You are right, it's a draw. So that leaves us with <Karsten Müller>'s try.

But I'm not sure I understand Black's winning plan after a line like 36...Ra4 37 g5 Kg7 38 h4 h6 39 gxh6+ Kxh6 40 Bf1 Kh5 41 Kg2, etc.

Apr-15-06  Calli: <beatgiant> Its still difficult. After 36...Ra4 37.g5 Kg7 38.h4 h6 39.gxh6+ Kxh6

40.Kg1 (40.Bf1? Rxe4) I don't see anything active for White at this point. Keeping the rook at f2 at least lets him play Rxf4+, if Kxh5 and also Rf3 to attack the a3 pawn if Black plays Rb4 40...Kh5 41.Kh2 Rb4 42.Rf3 Rxe4 43.Rxa3 Re2 threatens Bd5 44.Kg1 threatens Bf3+ 44...Kxh4 45.Rf3 Kg4 threat of Rxg2+ 46.Ra3 again Bf3+ 46...Rd2 finally threatening Bxa2 47.Bh3+ Kh4 48.Bxe6 fxe6 should win

Apr-04-07  yunis: 34.....f3 35.Bf1??why not to take on f3 ? i see nothing impending!
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <yunis>
On 35. Bxf3 Rb8, and the impending doom is ...Rb2 winning the a-pawn and probably soon winning a piece.
Feb-22-08  notyetagm: Game Collection: Endgame lesson: advanced/ing pawns create threat

Kevitz vs Capablanca, 1931

Position after 31 ... a4-a3!

click for larger view

31 ... a4-a3! <ADVANCED> Black a3-pawn creates strong threats; White must tread carefully.

Position after 40 ... ♖a2-a1 0-1

click for larger view

White failed to treat carefully and now the <ADVANCED> Black a3-pawn is a winner.

Apr-24-08  Whitehat1963: Thoroughly explained here:

Jul-11-10  whiteshark: Winter's explorations on this game:
Mar-30-12  King Sacrificer: I just played this game in Guess The Move. It was very hard for me to guess Capablanca's plan here. It looked like White had the material advantage with no serious positional weaknesses in the midgame.

It's fun to watch moves after 27...f3. Brilliant endgame technique.

Nov-01-17  visayanbraindoctor: After 15. Nf1 the game probably would have ended in a quick draw in the hands of most players given that there are two open files in which to do a massive exchange of major pieces.

Who in the world would think of replying with

15... Ba3?!

sacrificing the e5 pawn by placing his bishop in front of apparently the most unimportant White pawn, located on the edge of the chess board farthest away from the players' Kings. (I first thought it was some kind of typo, but then I'm no Capablanca; I wonder what Kevitz thought of it?)

The immediate goal is to weaken White's Queenside dark squares by exchanging off the DSB as the continuation shows:

16. Nxe5 Bxb2 17. Qxb2 Nxe5 18. Qxe5 Qa3

Now a pawn down Black might be expected to avoid exchanges. Instead, Capablanca merrily initiates it!

19. Ne3 Ng4!

After more simplification

20. Nxg4 Bxg4 21. h3 Be6 22. Re2 Rfd8 23. Qb2 Qc5 24. Rd2 Rxd2 25. Qxd2

Capablanca makes two creeping pawn moves, as though he has all the time in the world.

b6 26. Rd1 g6 (prophylaxis for back-rank checks)

before launching his real and astoundingly profound plan- to advance his Queenside pawns, fix White's a2 pawn, and capture it.

27. Qe2 a5 28. Kh2 b5 29. f4 a4 30. bxa4 bxa4 31. Rd2 a3

This begs the question: How in the world did Capablanca know that the a2 pawn was a legitimate target when he initiated the above plan by placing his Bishop in front of it with 15.. Ba3?!

A most profound and instructive game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: The move 15...Ba3 loses a pawn. It seems to me that Capa played it because he assumed that Kevitz wouldn't be able to put up a proper resistance to Capa's plan.

Capa's plan is to advance his queen side pawns and lay siege to White's backward queen side pawns, with the idea that his Bishop is very active on the a2-g8 diagonal, while white's bishop is sitting at g2 looking pretty but not doing much else.

Against a good defense it wouldn't have worked, but Kevitz obliged with several weak moves, beginning with 27.Qe2, which loses control of the square a5 and helps black to advance his queen side pawns. The best defense was h4 as soon as possible in order to play white's bishop to h3 and exchange Capa's clerical monster. But 29.f4 weakens the castle structure, like, bigly. Finally, Kevitz must have missed that black's f pawn can be advanced with impunity when he played 33.Qf2, a move which seems to me to lose the game. After that Capa was unstoppable.

Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: It is very interesting to observe from his games that Capa thought not in terms of individual moves, but in terms of plans. In his books he says so himself.
Nov-05-17  visayanbraindoctor: <maxi: It is very interesting to observe from his games that Capa thought not in terms of individual moves, but in terms of plans. In his books he says so himself.>

This game reminds me of Nimzowitsch vs Capablanca, 1927 (See my notes there.)

My theory is that Capa saw moving pictures of multitudes of positions in his chess eye. Choosing a move was a matter of picking one of them and steering the game to it. He never did conventional I-move-this he-moves-that analysis. That's why he was a relatively poor annotator.

I speculate that Capablanca was to chess as Ramanujan was to math. They got to the correct solutions without going through the proper analysis/proofs.

Nov-05-17  JimNorCal: <vbdoctor>: My theory is that Capa saw moving pictures of multitudes of positions in his chess eye. Choosing a move was a matter of picking one of them and steering the game to it.

Whoa! Sounds like the Guild Navigators from the sci-fi classic novel "Dune"

Nov-06-17  RookFile: Here's my guess. Capa played the pawn sac with an eye towards the ending. It loses a pawn, yes, but that is not necesarily fatal. Black gets a lot of queenside play. If that queenside play accomplishes nothing other than exchanging off all the queenside pawns (for both sides) then the 4 kingside pawns vs. 3 kingside pawns with random pieces should be draw.

In other words, defending such an ending is the worst case scenario, and Capa knew he could hold that for a draw. He figured there was a good chance it wouuld never come to that, and the game proved he was right.

Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: <visayanbraindoctor> The game you referred to, Nimzowitsch vs Capablanca, 1927, is a difficult one to play for black, in that it requires a great strategical acumen. It shows one of Capa's strong aspects. I agree with you in that these kinds of games are the trademark of the strongest players.

I had already noticed the similarities between Capa and Ramanujan. Like Capa, Ramanujan sometimes was at a loss when asked how he "knew" some expansion was true. "The goddess told me" or something to that effect he would say. The results of Ramanujan make you wonder not only how one could prove them, but they are so crazy that one wonders how could such ideas enter into someone's head, let alone be correct! I hear Capa answering to the reporter: "I look at the position and just KNOW what is the correct move."

Human brains can sometimes jump over the intermediate steps and see the most unexpected implications immediately.

Incidentally, Ramanujan, like Capa, also made mistakes. Some of his theormes were incorrect. But most were right on the money.

Nov-16-17  visayanbraindoctor: <maxi: Incidentally, Ramanujan, like Capa, also made mistakes. Some of his theorems were incorrect. But most were right on the money.>

It was a shame Ramanujan died so young, and of mundane third world diseases that are easily curable nowadays.

Yes they were both human. On the other hand some of their works from out of thin air are so fantastic that it would be difficult to believe the producers are human.

There are several Capablanca games here in CG that I've realized on closer look are IMO nearly humanly impossible to create within classical time control limits if one just analyzes with the I move this he moves that method.

I think you might also be interested in reading my post in Jonathan Sarfati chessforum

Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: <visayanbraindoctor> Is the cause of death of Ramanujan known?

Perhaps Ramanujan's magic was even more marvelous than Capa's. Many of his results are just beginning to be understood.

Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: I would add to your list at the Jonathan Sarfati chessforum the Caro-Kann Defense and the Queen's Indian Defense. Capa helped popularize these defenses, and contributed to their understanding. Although I would bet he did not spend one hour studying them on his own!
Nov-19-17  visayanbraindoctor: <maxi: <visayanbraindoctor> Is the cause of death of Ramanujan known?>

He was diagnosed with TB while in England. Other sources say he suffered from dysentery, which in the third world setting is often caused by amoebiasis or typhoid. He probably had both tuberculosis and dysentery.

Dysentery kills by dehydration. Both tuberculosis and dysentery also makes a patient more prone to all sorts of secondary bacterial infections; and they often die of sepsis eventually.

It was really strange that Ramanujan did not even have a college degree. Without a title of Ph.d. or even BS, I believe that he was unqualified to be hired even as an elementary school teacher! (Both in India and UK) But perhaps it was a blessing in disguise. Being without a stable job probably helped him make the decision to go to England where I believe Trinity college gave him free board and lodging and probably an ample allowance with a bit extra for him to support his wife and mother (although I am uncertain of this). Being named Fellow of the Royal Society must have been as great boon to him. I would opine that acquiring this Title helped him decide to go back to India, as he now had the qualification for being hired in a respectable University there. It was quite clear that he never was comfortable living in England, as the lack of food appropriate for a religious Hindu Brahmin was a huge problem for him. (Personally I believe that this was a major reason why he did not eventually call for his wife to join him in the UK.)

The fact that he continued his work in India on mathematics strengthens the above notion. IMO if he did not get terminally ill, he probably was planning to join a University as a salaried Professor and would have continued his researches full time in Mathematics in India, where he was more comfortable, while maintaining a steady correspondence with Hardy and Littlewood. He would have kept on discovering more theorems for the rest of his life, and would have trained a whole generation of Indian Mathematicians. Too bad for India (and the world) that he died in just a year.

<the Caro-Kann Defense and the Queen's Indian Defense. Capa helped popularize these defenses, and contributed to their understanding. Although I would bet he did not spend one hour studying them on his own!>

I do not think that Capablanca ever lost on the Back side of the Caro-Kann Defense. Moreover, instead of a kind of solid drawing shield, in Capablanca's hands, the Caro-Kann was often turned into a winning weapon.

He was also probably the most successful practitioner of the QID pre WW2. There are kibitzes here that opine that if Capablanca turned to using the QID instead of the QGD, he probably would have greater chances of winning the 1927 match.

Capabanca's games as White with the Ruy Lopez are also model examples to learn from. He never lost with the Ruy as White either.

Alekhine's very smart adoption of the French against Capa's e4 really threw him of kilter. AAA no doubt had studied all of Capa's games and realized that Capa was practically unbeatable with the Ruy. So AAA simply sidestepped Capa's Ruy with the French.

Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: <visayanbraindoctor> I greatly appreciate your information on Ramanujan. It was very interesting. But Ramanujan's life was all fascinating. Although I suspect he was a man who suffered greatly during his short life. I work as a theoretical physicist so I know a good deal of mathematics, and my main pastime during the last few years has been learning math. (It has been very detrimental to my chess ability!) I am fascinated by some of his results in the lost notebook. Perhaps I will get a chance to do research on them, perhaps not. Like Capa he was a blessed man, blessed with a gift. But some gifts come with a price.

With respect to what you say about Capa, I have always believed that entering an analysis contest with the best analyst in the world at the time was the worst strategy Capa could have chosen during the WCh. His genius was intuition and improvisation. Giving Alekhine the opportunity to play similar positions every game must made Alekhine want to say: Gracias, muchas gracias, Sr. Capablanca!

Nov-29-17  tonsillolith: Number theorist here. Woo Ramanujan!
Dec-01-17  visayanbraindoctor: <maxi: I work as a theoretical physicist> I would much appreciate it if you might want to comment on some of the physics topics that <twinlark> and I are discussing in his forum.
Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: <visayanbraindoctor> Thank you for your invitation. I am honored. I will read the thread in a few days.
Jan-05-18  todicav23: Ramanujan was a genius. But Grothendieck, Hilbert, Godel, Turing and others had greater impact and contributions. Not to mention the giants: Euler, Newton, Gauss.

Few people heard of Grothendieck. He is considered the greatest mathematician of the 20th century. He created and revolutionized many fields in mathematics. There should be a movie about Grothendieck instead.

Premium Chessgames Member
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