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Enrique Corzo vs Jose Raul Capablanca
Havana casual (1902), Havana CUB, Feb-03
French Defense: Rubinstein. Fort Knox Variation (C10)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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May-30-08  Karpova: Juan Corzo: <It is 38 years since my friendship began with the then child prodigy Jose Raul Capablanca, who in due course won the world chess championship, becoming famous and gaining a reputation for his country and for the Latin race. Many of the characteristics of that serious boy who interrupted his habitual gravity with bursts of laughter when something amused him have stayed with him, giving him an appearance which is out of the ordinary. I do not have to describe him here, as all chess players know him and are aware of his extraordinary genius. I have repeatedly published the games of his match with me, some of them having received warm praise from the critics. Today I wish to publish a game played not with me but with my late brother Enrique. He was a strong amateur and is remembered at the Chess Club as one of the toughest opponents, who fought tenaciously even in the most difficult positions, putting faith in his resourcefulness. Capablanca always had great esteem for him. This game was played in 1902 when Jose Raul was thirteen years of age, and one admires the way a child had such profound chess knowledge. Although the game has blemishes, the conclusion makes it worthy of being remembered forever.>

From the Mexican magazine "Ajedrez", February 1938, page 129.

Source: Winter, Edward: "Capablanca: a compendium of games, notes, articles, correspondence, illustrations and other rare archival materials on the Cuban chess genius Jose Raul Capablanca, 1888-1942.", page 10

Jan-31-11  Llawdogg: 34 ... Kh5? pinned Capa's own rook to his king for no apparent reason and delayed checkmate by a move while he removed the pin. Kg7 would have been better.

Still, a fantastic game with great rooks and bishops slashing through the white position. Amazing play by a thirteen year old!

Apr-30-12  optimal play: A thirteen year old Capablanca introduces a new line into the French defence and comes up with this remarkable win. That's Capablanca Gold!

btw the game heading has Juan Corzo but the post by <Karpova> indicates it should be his brother Enrique Corzo.

Dec-17-12  12.12.12: capa's first french in this db
Dec-17-12  Wyatt Gwyon: surprised capa didn't play more french with this early success. maybe he did and it just wasn't recorded....
Dec-18-12  Shams: <optimal play> <A thirteen year old Capablanca introduces a new line into the French defence>

Is this really the first Fort Knox?

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Shams> In this DB at least, that looks to be the case: Opening Explorer.
Dec-18-12  Wyatt Gwyon: Cyrus Lakdawala states in "capablanca move by move" that it is indeed the very first Fort Knox.
Premium Chessgames Member
  yiotta: 25...Ba8! Excellent.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: There was no gold in Fort Knox until 35 years after this game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: I remember the tremendous impression this game made on me when I first saw it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: The Fort Knox should really be named after Capablanca.
Feb-09-17  heyRick: Capablanca's style used to convince me that learning how to play a decent game of chess couldn't possibly be as difficult as my father made it out to be.


Apr-21-18  AlbertoDominguez: According to every other source I've seen (Edward Winter, Hooper & Brandreth's The Unknown Capablanc, Reinfeld's The Immortal Capablanca, Panov's book, Linder's recent book on Capa, Lakdawala's Move by Move book, and the Chess Stars collection of Capa's games), White in this game was not E. Corzo, but his brother J. Corzo.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Stonehenge: See Karpova's post.
Aug-30-18  romancitog: Sweet game. I wonder why the French Defense has gone out of fashion the way it has. I really don't see it being played that often by GM's.
Aug-30-18  Dr Winston OBoogie: I had to let the engine take a look because of 22..Rf8 when I thought Rg8 looked better. I was of course wrong :)

click for larger view

Amazing how accurate black is, it's a mate in 11 from here.

He did play RxN here when Rxa2 was much better

click for larger view

Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: Same difference, 32...R2xg5 is a mate in 14; 32...Rxa2 is a mate in 10. Both are mates, mate.

It is amazing how computer-like young Capablanca's playing is. And how he avoids the "natural" moves.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: If it is 'same difference', then why bother posting over it?
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <maxi>
I don't see the quick mate if White plays <34. h4>. What am I missing?
Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: I don't agree that in practical play you can say that a move "was much better" because it was a mate in 10 and not in 14.
Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: It is great to see you <beatgiant> after so many years!

My guess is that you went for 32...R2xg5 33.fxg5+ Rxg5. Try 33...Kh5!

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <maxi>
I'm just following the <computer-like young Capablanca>, who did play 33...Rxg5 instead of 33...Kh5.

But suppose 33...Kh5 34. Kg2, I still don't see a quick mate.

Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: The shortest line is: 32.Ng5 R2xg5 33.fxg5+ Kh5 34.Kg2 exd5 35.Kf3 d4+ 36.Ke2 Be4 37.h4 Kxh4 38.a3 Rxg5 39.Rf8 Rg2+ 40.Kf1 Ra2 41.Ke1 Bd3 42.Rh8+ Kg5 43.Rg8+ Kh6 44.Rh8+ Kg7 45.Rg8+ Kxg8 46.a4 Ra1#
Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: This was friendly game with a 13 year old Capablanca. I am sure he could have calculated the whole line, but taking the knight should have resulted in immediate resignation. For some reason Enrique Corzo did not resign, but Black's position is overwhelming. My point had nothing to do with all of this, but only that in practical play a mate is a mate, even if it takes longer.

Incidentally, Capa once discussed what was the best move when you have a decisive advantage, and he wrote that the best move is the one that forces the fastest resignation.

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