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Alexander Alekhine vs Jose Raul Capablanca
Capablanca - Alekhine World Championship Match (1927), Buenos Aires ARG, rd 30, Nov-16
Queen's Gambit Declined: Orthodox Defense. Alekhine Variation (D67)  ·  1/2-1/2

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Kibitzer's Corner
Oct-25-06  Whitehat1963: Who got the better of this? I've always thought that a draw for black is nearly as good as a win. And yet, Capa looks to me like he has the slightly better position. Were there any missed opportunities?
May-06-07  goldenbear: Yeah this game shows that Capa outclasses Alekhine (at least in 1927) in terms of endgame evaluation and also in a postional middlegame without queens. I think that had he understood that, he would have played out many of the match games and simply could have worn out Alekhine. So I think a faulty match strategy doomed Capa. Incidently, I think 14.Nxd2 is correct, although White was still the stronger side until 16.e4??, which is a positional blunder I think.
May-06-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: OK, goldenbear, what does this game show?

Alekhine vs Capablanca, 1927

May-06-07  goldenbear: keypusher: you gave as proof a game that alekhine wins out of the opening. That confirms my opinion (stated elsewhere) that Capa is below 2000 strength in openings by today's standard.
May-06-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <goldenbear> Alekhine won that out of the opening? Ridiculous.

Capablanca under 2000 in openings by today's standards? Equally ridiculous.

May-06-07  goldenbear: What I really meant was that it seems to me that Alekhine is not good in static positions. Alekhine was always a great rook endgamer, Plato.
May-06-07  Plato: Capablanca vs Alekhine, 1924

Examine the endgame from move 30 on, noting the result.

Needless to say, I don't agree with the notion that one can draw sweeping conclusions based on a single game. In *this* game, I don't even know how such conclusions are reached.

-------

<goldenbear> Sorry, I was revising my comment so when I posted it, it came below yours. I would agree that Capablanca was better than Alekhine in static positions. I just think your conclusions based on this game were a bit extravagant.

May-06-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: Getting back to the main point, if Black was better at some point, where were the missed opportunities?
May-06-07  goldenbear: Which conclusion?
May-06-07  Plato: <goldenbear: Yeah this game shows that Capa outclasses Alekhine (at least in 1927) in terms of endgame evaluation and also in a postional middlegame without queens.>

And also your following two sentences. That's a lot to deduce from any single game, let alone this one.

May-06-07  Plato: < Getting back to the main point, if Black was better at some point, where were the missed opportunities?>

At what point was Black better? I don't see it. The most he achieved was equality; it didn't go beyond that IMO.

May-06-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Incidently, I think 14.Nxd2 is correct, although White was still the stronger side until 16.e4??, which is a positional blunder I think.>

White was the superior side for a long time after that...why do you think 16. e4 is bad?

Capablanca defended this thankless endgame repeatedly in the 1927 match, and held it each time. This was the closest he came to losing:

Alekhine vs Capablanca, 1927

May-06-07  goldenbear: Based on my understanding of chess, 16.e4 is a beginner's mistake. I don't know what to say to somebody who thinks differently.
May-06-07  goldenbear: I mean, what is he attacking? The pawn at e5 is very weak (f4 is not possible) and the "cramping" is illusory.
May-06-07  goldenbear: 31.Rc5 is attractive.
May-06-07  Plato: <goldenbear> Far from being a beginner's mistake, 16.e4 is the best move in that position. It gains space, drives Black's knight to a more passive post, and improves White's King position as well as the potential for his g3 knight. As for your comment that the pawn at e5 is very weak, that is not the case. White definitely has some advantage after 16.e4, but Capablanca managed to neutralize it.
May-07-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Based on my understanding of chess, 16.e4 is a beginner's mistake. I don't know what to say to somebody who thinks differently.>

You can start with: <I think 16. e4 is a beginner's mistake because...>. But don't continue <the pawn at e5 is weak, the cramping effect is illusory, and f4 can't be played> because, if you look at the game I posted, you'll see that the pawn at e5 is not weak, the cramping effect is anything but illusory, and f4 can be played.

This is comparatively trivial, but of course even if the pawn were weak on e5, that would not condemn 16. e4, unless e5 were forced as a followup. And it isn't.

May-07-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Plato>
<At what point was Black better? I don't see it. The most he achieved was equality; it didn't go beyond that IMO.>

It looks that way to me too, but <Whitehat1963> said Black looked better, and <goldenbear> said 16. e4 was a blunder. My point was, <if> White erred and Black was better, then where are the improvements for Black to show it?

Hope this clarifies.

May-07-07  goldenbear: keypusher: in the game you posted Kf8 is a blunder. c5! and Black is better. Admittedly I don't own/use/have anything to do with chess-playing computer programs but if you have one I bet it suggests c5 in that position.
May-07-07  goldenbear: beatgiant: to win Black must create a kingside weakness. 33.fxe5? is met by 34.Kxe5! and Black can't do that. If 31. Rc5! then 32.f4 f6! with the idea of Nc6
May-07-07  Plato: <beatgiant> Thanks for clarifying. I understood what you meant, but I just wanted to make it clear that I couldn't figure out why one (not you, per se) would get that impression in the first place.
May-07-07  Plato: <goldenbear: to win Black must create a kingside weakness. 33.fxe5? is met by 34.Kxe5! and Black can't do that. If 31. Rc5! then 32.f4 f6! with the idea of Nc6>

That doesn't give any winning chances either. Black cannot win by force because his position is not even better. After 31...Rc5, 32.f4 f6, White has many options. For one thing he can just exchange pawns with 33.exf6 gxf6 and then shuffle his rook back and forth on the first rank and there's nothing Black can do to make progress.

Instead of assuming that your understanding of positional nuances exceeds Alekhine's and Capablanca's, you should spend more time studying opening and endgame strategy. None of the so-called "mistakes" that you have pointed out for Alekhine or Capablanca were mistakes at all. In fact, these "mistakes" were almost invariably the best moves in the position. I'm referring also to your comments on the Alekhine vs Capablanca, 1927 page.

Mar-03-08  Knight13: 28. Nxb3? sucks.
Jun-26-17  RookFile: I looked into 16. Bd3, but after 16.....c5 17. Ne4 Bb7 18. Nxf6+ Nxf6 19. dxc5 Ne4+ 20. Ke2 Nxc5 white has nothing.
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