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Savielly Tartakower vs Jose Raul Capablanca
Vienna exhibition mt (1914) (exhibition), Vienna AUH, rd 1, Mar-13
Scotch Game: Schmidt Variation (C45)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: Deportes
Nicolás Guillén

¿Qué sé yo de boxeo,
yo, que confundo el jab con el upper cut?
Y sin embargo, a veces
sube desde mi infancia
como una nube inmensa desde el fondo de un valle,
sube, me llega Johnson,
el negro montañoso,
el dandy atlético magnético de betún.
Es un aparecido familiar,
melón redondo y cráneo,
sonrisa de abanico de plumas
y la azucena prohibida
que hacía rabiar a Lynch.

O bien, si no, percibo un rayo de la gloria
de Wills y Carpentier; o de la gloria
de Sam Langford... Gloria de cuando ellos
piafaban en sus guantes, relinchaban,
altos los puros cuellos,
húmedo el ojo casto
y la feroz manera
de retozar en un pasto
de soga y de madera.

Mas sobre todo, pienso
en Kid Charol, el gran rey sin corona,
y en Chocolate, el gran rey coronado,
y en Black Bill, con sus nervios de goma.

Yo, que confundo el jab con el upper cut,
canto el cuero, los guantes,
el ring... Busco palabras,
las robo a los cronistas deportivos
y grito entonces: ¡Salud, músculo y sangre,
victoria vuestra y nuestra!
Héroes también, titanes.
Sus peleas
fueron como claros poemas.
¿Pensáis tal vez que yo no puedo decir tanto,
porque confundo el jab con el upper cut?
¿Pensáis que yo exagero?
Junto a los yanquis y el francés,
los míos, mis campeones
de amargos puños y sólidos pies,
son sus iguales, son
como espejos que el tiempo no empaña,
mástiles músculos donde también ondea
nuestra bandera al fúlgido y álgido viento que sopla en la montaña.

¿Qué sé yo de ajedrez?
Nunca moví un alfil, un peón.
Tengo los ojos ciegos
para el álgebra, los caracteres griegos
y ese tablero filosófico
donde cada figura es
una interrogación.
Pero recuerdo a Capablanca, me lo recuerdan.
En los caminos
me asaltan voces como lanzas.
-Tú, que vienes de Cuba, ¿no has visto a Capablanca? (Yo respondo que Cuba
se hunde en los ríos como un cocodrilo verde.)
-Tú, que vienes de Cuba, ¿cómo era Capablanca?
(Yo respondo que Cuba
vuela en la tarde como una paloma triste.)
-Tú, que vienes de Cuba, ¿no vendrá Capablanca?
(Yo respondo que Cuba
suena en la noche como una guitarra sola.)
-Tú, que vienes de Cuba, ¿dónde está Capablanca?
(Yo respondo que Cuba es una lágrima.)

Pero las voces me vigilan,
me tienden trampas, me rodean
y me acuchillan y desangran;
pero las voces se levantan
como unas duras, finas bardas;
pero las voces se deslizan
como serpientes largas, húmedas;
pero las voces me persiguen
como alas...

Así pues Capablanca
no está en su trono, sino que anda,
camina, ejerce su gobierno
en las calles del mundo.
Bien está que nos lleve
de Noruega a Zanzíbar,
de Cáncer a la nieve.
Va en un caballo blanco,
sobre puentes y ríos,
junto a torres y alfiles,
el sombrero en la mano
(para las damas)
la sonrisa en el aire
(para los caballeros)
y su caballo blanco
sacando chispas puras
del empedrado...

Niño, jugué al béisbol.
Amé a Rubén Darío, es cierto,
con sus violentas rosas
sobre todas las cosas.
Él fue mi rey, mi sol.
Pero allá en lo más alto de mi sueño
un sitio puro y verde guardé siempre
para Méndez, el pitcher -mi otro dueño.

No me miréis con esos ojos.
¿Me permitís que ponga,
junto al metal del héroe
y la palma del mártir,
me permitís que ponga
estos nombres sin pólvora y sin sangre?

Feb-15-08  paladin at large: <maxi> Thank you for your comments - you have covered a lot of ground. I do not believe we have an argument. I never said Capa did not study the openings. As I have alluded above and stated on some other thread, Capa's statements about his own preparation or absence of preparation may have given some the impression he did not study, but that Capa's other comments about this or that line, and the preferences of his opponents, made it clear he was quite knowledgable. You are right, he did vary his openings more after his 1927 WCM loss and shifted to many more queen pawn openings. For example, Capa played 38 serious games on the white side of the Ruy Lopez - only 4 of those games were after 1922.

<Everyone I’ve spoken to who saw Capablanca play still speak of him with awe.> One of those Fischer spoke to was probably Reshevsky - Reshevsky saw a lot of players in the 20th century and felt that Capa was the best he had ever seen.

Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: paladin at large: I didn't know about that opinion of Reshevsky.
Feb-20-08  brankat: M.Botvinnik expressed the same opinion.
Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: What was it that Botvinnik said about Capa? In the interview he gave G. Sosonko he said that after his game with Capa in Amsterdam he could not get up from his seat, he felt so weak. He also makes in that interview a (to me, funny) comment about his victory over Capa in the simultaneous display in Leningrad, 1925. "Here Capablanca shoved together the pieces (to indicate that White resigned) and walked on. The expression on his face was far from cheerful. That is why I have my doubts about the story of several eye-witnesses that Capablanca spoke highly about my chess talent."
Feb-21-08  RookFile: <he played far fewer Ruy's later in his career: He probably did not want to have to work as hard again as he did to face down the original Marshall attack. >

Capa became a 1. d4 player, and did some amazing stuff with the minority attack. (Although Alekhine became champ by neutralizing Capa's prowess in the QGD.)

I don't think that Capa was afraid of the Marshall. It's just that 1. e4 games come rapidly to a head. He wants to win, of course, and you can play 1. d4 games 'forever' - and woe to the opponent who made the slightest positional mistake against Capa.

Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: <brankat>, if you can recall what Botvinnik said about Capablanca, I would appreciate you sharing it.
Feb-22-08  paladin at large: <RookFile> I agree. I think he realized he had to diversify his openings more (not that he changed his style regarding reliance on middle and endgame).
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <I don't think that Capa was afraid of the Marshall.>

Agree. AFAIK Capablanca and most every one else thought he had refuted it. It was almost unplayed for decades after 1918, and didn't really become popular until Spassky brought it back against Tal in 1965.

<It's just that 1. e4 games come rapidly to a head. He wants to win, of course, and you can play 1. d4 games 'forever' - and woe to the opponent who made the slightest positional mistake against Capa.>

There is something to that. But <maxi> posted somewhere that he played 1. e4 and 1. d4 with about equal frequency until the early 20s, when he more or less abandoned 1. e4. I think it was related to the drying out of his style that took place around then.

Feb-23-08  paladin at large: <keypusher> Thanks. I only meant to point out that Capa had a normal aversion to running into a prepared variation. Since he was most associated with White with the Ruy, it is not surprising he moved somewhat away from it. Of course, if he were afraid of the Marshall, he could play the Ruy and easily avoid the Marshall.

"Drying out of his style" is an interesting phrase.

Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: "Drying out of his style". Of Capablanca's games the ones I really enjoy playing over are the ones before 1924. I am not saying they are necessarily more sound, but they are more exciting and are filled with outrageous ideas.
Feb-23-08  paladin at large: <maxi> Just to name a quick few, I think these post 1924 games are exciting:

Capablanca vs Bogoljubov, 1925

Capablanca vs Marshall, 1927

Alekhine vs Capablanca, 1927

Capablanca vs Spielmann, 1927

Capablanca vs Alekhine, 1927

Capablanca vs Alekhine, 1927

Reti vs Capablanca, 1928

Bogoljubov vs Capablanca, 1928

Capablanca vs Czerniak, 1939

Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: Yes, <paladin at large>, they are exciting games, those games you quote. But almost all of Capa's games before 1924 are interesing in the sense he plays unexpected moves and his ideas are very original. That's my point.
Feb-28-08  persur63: Is it true that Capa was more of the time having fun at Buenos Aires 1927 while playing against Alekhine?how much is just a myth?
Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: The story is that the night before the first game Capa had spent the evening with Gloria Guzman, famous Argentinian movie star, and that she had seen him to the Chess Club till shortly before the game. She kept coming to the games, siting in front row, and they would leave together. Since Capa's game was not faring well, people noticed and there were comments, even in the paper El Clarín.
Sep-18-08  thathwamasi: wow wow... I think Philipps can have Capablanca as their brand ambassador. "Sense and Simplicity"
Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: I believe that Capa in 1927 had already been separated several years from Gloria Simoni, his (Cuban) wife. So it was understandable that he would see this other Gloria so openly. But, for the time, it must have be pretty scandalous.
Oct-05-09  Ulhumbrus: On 23...Qxc4 White cannot keep his Queen side pawns intact by 24 Rxc4 as that invites the fork 24...Nd2.
Jun-10-15  TheFocus: This is match game one of a two-game match. It was played in Vienna, Austria on February 4, 1914.

Capablanca won one game and drew the second.

Aug-14-16  zanzibar: Here's the critical position from the game, White has just blundered with 30.Re1-e5? (trying for a double jeopardy, instead of 30.Rxd2 -/=), Capablanca finds 30...Rd1+ and Tartakower plays the king fork with 31.Ke2:

Black to move

click for larger view

8 /p4kpp/2p5/2n1R3/2P2p2/N2r1P2/P1R1K1PP/3r4 b - - 0 31

This tactical was mentioned by another posting, who quoted Winter. I think the notes mentioned a mate, but the nice tactic doesn't play out that way for me in the study.

Try to find the move here - it's the game's winning move.

Aug-15-16  Retireborn: <z> If there's a mating line I'd be interested to see it. My own notes give the variation 34.Nb5 cxb5 35.c6 Rg1 36.Kf2 Rdd1 37.c7 Rdf1+ 38.Ke2 Rxg2+ winning; after 34.Nc4 as played there are three pawns the Rd1 can attack.
Aug-15-16  zanzibar: <RB> it looks like the notes are by Capablanca himself. <maxi> posted them here:

Tartakower vs Capablanca, 1914 (kibitz #23)

I found the position in a set of tactical studies I was recently doing. Here's Capablanca's own comments about the game from the point of the above diagram (or thereabouts):

<30 Re5

(A fatal error, but as can be seen this was the thirtieth move and my opponent had only a few seconds left, and could not think. 30 Rxd2 would be correct, but in any case Black has the upper hand.)

30 ... Rd1+ 31 Ke2

(If 31 Kf2 then 31 ... Ne6 would win since White would be obliged to give up the exchange to avoid mate. For example:

31 Kf2 Ne6! 32 Ra5

(If 32 Rce2 Nd4) 32 . .. Nd4 33 Rb2 Rh1! 34 Nb1 Rdd1 35 Nd2 Rde1 and White has no defense.)

31 ... Ne6 32 Rxe6 Kxe6 3 c5 Rd5 34 Nc4

(If 34 Nb5! cxb5 35 c6 Rg1! 36 Kf2 Rdd1 37 c7 Rdf1+ 38 Ke2 Rxg2+ 39 Kxf1 Rxc2 and wins.)

34 ... Rh1

(White could resign here, but enthusiasts will find the ending of interest since it shows how to win quickly and safely. [...] >

(Slightly edited, e.g. <maxi> likes "l" vs. "1" for some reason)

Aug-15-16  Retireborn: <z> Many thanks for that. I actually own the Winter book, but it's years now since I worked through it. My original source would have been the Hooper/Brandreth Unknown Capablanca book, one of the rather long list I no longer own.

Yes, after 31.Kf2 the line ending in 35...Rde1, Black is threatening 36...Re2# (found that hard to see at first!) and if Nd2 moves then ...Rhf1 is mate.

Premium Chessgames Member
  mifralu: Capablanca played 48. ..< h5 >.

Tartakower vs Capablanca, 1914 (kibitz #23)

Feb-08-19  Phony Benoni: For what it's worth, "American Chess Bulletin", May 1914, p. 101, also gives 48...h5.
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