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Jens Enevoldsen vs Jose Raul Capablanca
Buenos Aires Olympiad Final-A (1939), Buenos Aires ARG, rd 14, Sep-16
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Classical Variation (E32)  ·  0-1



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Given 50 times; par: 54 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-05-07  paladin at large: <karpova> Thanks for posting this game, which may be new to some Capa followers. Here is what Capa wrote the next day for the Argentine newspaper Crítica:

"By means of a series of interesting maneuvers I was able to obtain a position which immobilized most of the pieces of my opponent, who, however, persisted in thinking that he had a good position. Thus instead of making do with a passive position and awaiting events he tried to attack. I was therefore able to win quickly a game which would otherwise have been prolonged."

Nov-05-07  RookFile: In other words, this game was comparable to the 'Rope a Dope' tactics that Ali used in the 1970's to win fights.
Dec-28-08  Ulhumbrus: 15 f3 disturbs the King side pawns, and White does not follow it with 16 e4.
Dec-28-08  Emma: It's like seeing a car crash in slow motion
Jan-10-09  Ulhumbrus: Alekhine in his obituary on Capablanca described this game as a "true pearl of chess art".
Premium Chessgames Member
  sleepyirv: A very dominant position at the end- if White's king tries to make a run for it: 36.Kh4 37.Rxe3 38.Kh5 Qxh3+ 39.Kg5 Black will have the option of five different mates here!
Jan-17-09  Ulhumbrus: Instead of 15 f3, 15 Bxe4 Nxe4 16 Qc2 retains the superior minor piece.
May-29-11  hibolife: Yeah, 15.BxB, NxB. 16. Queen moves. The resulting line of Nc5, push the a pawn, then the f pawn, position is equal but black has clear plans.

24.Bd4! would be better, and white plays for a win. Ra3 seems to unwarrantedly give black an initiative.

Every little moves counts so much so that it blows my mind.

Mar-07-13  Garech: Beautifully played by Capa.


Feb-12-15  Ulhumbrus: <hibolife: ... 24.Bd4! would be better, and white plays for a win...> Let us try a few more moves : 24...Ne4 25 Bxe4 Qxe4 26 Bxg7 Qxe2 27 Bh8 Qe3+ 28 Kg2 Qxc3 29 Bxc3 Re4 forking the c4 and f4 pawns
Premium Chessgames Member
  ToTheDeath: Outstanding game! Such clarity and control, all the hallmarks of Capa at his best.
Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: Alekhine says 26. Bd4 was the decisive error, that white probably could have held the draw with 26. Bxe4.
Feb-27-21  Gaito: The following diagram shows the critical moment of the game:

click for larger view

Black has just played 25...Nf6-e4 This knight is a very strong and threatening piece, and so it should be exchanged right away. Therefore, the logical course was 26.Bxe4 fxe4 27.Qd2 Rf8 28.Kg2 Qh4 29.Bf2, and if then 29...Qxf4 (29...Qf6 would be worthy of consideration) 30.Qxf4 Rxf4 31.Ra8+ Rf8 32.Ra7 Rf7 (see diagram below)

click for larger view

Black has an extra pawn, but White's pieces enyoy great activity and mobility. With correct play by both sides this ending should be a draw. However, Capablanca often was able to extricate a win from a completely equal ending (just as Magnus Carlsen does in our days). I guess that Capa would have good chances to win this ending as Black against Enevoldsen, but certainly not against someone like Botvinnik, Reshevsky or Alekhine. Everybody knows that Capablanca's endgame skill was excellent.

Feb-27-21  Gaito: But White's decisive error would come in the following position:

click for larger view

Enevodsen played 27.e3?? which was a terrible blunder as this pawn only obstructs his own rook and his own bishop on d4. A sound alternative was 27.Bxe4 (Black's knight must be exchanged). If Enevoldsen didn't want to part with his bishop pair, then he should at least have tried something really weird or bizarre like this: 27.c5!? Qe1+ 28.Kh2 Qxb4 29.Ra4 Qe1 30.cxb6 Qg3+ 31.Kh1 cxb6 32.Ra7!? Qxf4 33.Rxg7+ Kf8 34.Qc7 (see diagram below)

click for larger view

At a cursory glance it looks like White has good attacking chances, but in fact White would be lost anyway. For instance: 34...Ng3+ 35.Rxg3 Qxg3 36.Qxh7 Qg6!, and Black defends well.

Feb-13-22  Albion 1959: If the databases are correct, then this was Capablanca's last-ever competitive game ?
Feb-13-22  Retireborn: <Albion> Think he played at least one more game (v Trompowsky) after this.

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