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Juan Corzo vs Jose Raul Capablanca
Capablanca - Corzo (1901), Havana CUB, rd 4, Nov-23
Four Knights Game: Spanish. Symmetrical Variation (C49)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-08-05  CeeFoR: Awesome game
Aug-27-05  LeSwamp: A) 11.Bxf6?! Better to retain this bishop, by 11.Be3, 11.Bd2 or even 11.Bc1 with, in all the cases, a relatively balanced position.

B) 14...Be6!?/?!. A more energetic play could have secured Black a small advantage, e.g. 14...b5 15.Bb3 b4 ; or 14...Rd8 intending d5 ; or 14...Bc7 intending b7-b5 or d6-d5.

C) 15.Nd2? A serious mistake! Corzo had to trade the bishops : 15.Bxe6! Qxe6 (or 15...fxe6 16.a4=) 16.Ng3=

D) 15...Qg5?! Capablanca is so eager to start playing the ending, that again he misses a way of getting a small advantage : 15...d5! 16.Bb3 (16.exd5 cxd5 17.Bb3! Qg5 Black advantage) Qh4 Black small advantage.

E) 20.g5!?/?! A risky business! White would have maintained equality with moves like 20.a4 ; 20.b4 or even 20.Kh2!?

F) 23.f3?! Puts the knight in trouble and open a very nice diagonal (a7-g1) for the black bishop. Better were moves like 23.Rad1= ; 23.Nf3= ; 23.a4=.

G) 24...c5?!= For a third time in this game, Capablanca misses an opportunity of getting some advantage! There is a general rule which recommends putting one's pawns on the color opposite to the one of his bishop. Three interesting lines : 24...d5 seems to bring a small advantage for Black ; 24...Bb6+ 25.Kh2 (25.Kh1 Be3 Black small advantage) Rf6 Black small advantage ; 24...Bd8 25.Nh3 (only move) Bb6+ 26.Kh2 (26.Nf2 g5 Black small advantage ; 26.d4 d5 Black small advantage) d5 Black small advantage.

H) 33.Rxh6?! Now Capablanca gets the a small advantage. Better was to let the boy do the trade, by playing a move like 33.Rh3, 33.Rh1 or even 33.Ng4 which encourages the trade.

I) 35...bxc4?! Loses all the small advantage, which would have been retained with 35...a6!

J) 42...Bb6. Better was 42...cxb4! 43.Nxb4 (43.axb4 Bc7=) Kg3 44.Kf1 (only move) Bb6=

K) 43.Nb2?? The losing move! Corzo had to keep the position shut. Now Capablanca gets a winning game in just a few moves! 43.b5! Kg3 (43...Ba5 44.Kf2 White small advantage ; 43...Bd8 44.Kf2 White small advantage) 44.Kf1 (only move) White small advantage.

L) 49.Nxc5?!. Better was 49.bxc5 Ba5! 50.h4 Kxe4 51.Kf2, but Black is winning, still.

M) 49...Kg3?? Too obvious! Capablanca would have gotten the win by playing : 49...Bd8! 50.b5 (50.Ne6 Be7! 51.b5 Kxe4 wins for Black) Bh4! and White is in zugzwang, which forces him to either gives the e4 pawn or the one on b5!

N) 50.Nd3?? Corzo misses his only chance of maybe saving the game! 50.Nd7 Bd4 (50...Bc7 51.h4 (only move) Kxh4 (51...Kg4 52.Kg2 Bd6 (52...Kxh4 53.Kf3! with a clear advantage for Black, but not a winning one!) 53.b5 Kxh4 54.Kf3 Black clear advantage) 52.Kg2 Black clear advantage) 51.h4 (only move) Kxh4 (51...Kg4 52.h5 (52.Nf6+ Kxh4 (only move) 53.Kg2 Black clear advantage) Kg5 (52...Kxh5 53.Kg2! Black clear advantage) 53.Kg2 Kxh5 54.Kf3 Black clear advantage) 52.Kg2 Black clear advantage ; 50.h4 would transpose in the above variation.

O) 61.Kf2. Better is 61.Nh2 Kxe4 62.Ng4 with idea Ne3. But Black is still winning.

P) 66.Nc8?. 66.Ne4+ Kxb5 67.Ke2 a5 68.Kd2 Kb4 69.Kd3 would have made things more complicated for Black.

Oct-22-08  ksadler: I don't understand 34. Nh3. Unless he was trying to blockade the pawn, but 34. Ng4 and then centralizing his knight is a better idea I think.
Mar-11-14  Whitehat1963: Brilliant endgame play by the 12-year-old legend.
Nov-26-15  TheFocus: 13-year-old, not 12.

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