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Albert Whiting Fox vs Jose Raul Capablanca
Rice Memorial (1916), New York, NY USA, rd 5, Jan-23
Spanish Game: Exchange Variation. General (C68)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jul-24-08  kmgopinath: which is the move white made which can be termed as mistake?
Aug-26-10  WiseWizard: In this art piece, the cold-blooded master Capablanca makes brutality and cruelty look beautiful. Strict and precise, he carries out the justice of the position and convicts his victim.
Premium Chessgames Member
  markbstephenson: 19.c3-c4 is obviously too late - it could have been played a move or two earlier before the routine doubling of the rooks on the d file (which enabled Capa's combination). Another marvelous ending by the great Cuban!
Dec-07-12  DavidStyles: My first thought when starting to go through this was: "Wow, what a surprising choice when playing Capablanca, to take off 13 points worth of material in the opening moves."

But, noting the date to be 1916, perhaps at this time Capablanca was not so well-known yet for being the endgame monster he was.

Premium Chessgames Member
  gezafan: Capablanca once described himself as being exceptionally strong in positions with queens off the board. This was, of course, true.

If one had to play Capablanca the best chance might be to play for complicated positions which require hard calculation. Of course, that probably wouldn't work either, against one of the greatest players of all time.

Dec-08-12  Wyatt Gwyon: Capa was perfectly fine in complicated positions.

Capablanca vs Bogoljubov, 1925

Capablanca vs Marshall, 1918


Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: So precise and aesthetically pleasing.
Dec-08-12  syracrophy: Another good example of an endgame victory of the black ♖ vs ♘+♗ in this line of the Spanish is the game R Scrivener vs Carlos Torre, 1924:

After 18.♖de1:

click for larger view

Black played for a winning endgame and an advantegous simplification after <18...♗xf4! 19.gxf4 ♘xf4 20.♗g3 <20.Re3 Ng2> 20...♘xe2 21.♖xe2 ♗xe4 22.♘xe4 ♖xe4 23.♖xe4 ♖xe4>

click for larger view

And Black keeps an interesting plus in a somewhat hard struggle between ♘+♗ vs ♖+3♙.

Ordinarily, the exchange of two pieces for a rook and pawns is not equal but the slight difference here is <the strength of the position>. Black has a strong pawn mass that compensates the apparent disadvantage of forces.

Dec-08-12  Abdel Irada: <WiseWizard: In this art piece, the cold-blooded master Capablanca makes brutality and cruelty look beautiful. Strict and precise, he carries out the justice of the position and convicts his victim.>

Convicting the victim is indeed a cruel and cold-blooded justice.

Apr-23-14  yureesystem: Just wonderful played by Capablanca, he make it seem so easy. I interested to see how he play against the exchange variation in The Ruy Lopez.
Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: The final combination is equally precise: 52...RxB 53.KxR Kg3 and White is lost:

If 54.Ke2 f2 55.Ne2+ Kf3.

If 54.Kf1 b4 and it is over.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: Okay I am starting to really believe in the "Human chess machine" legend after this game.

The accuracy is astounding:

11 average centipawn loss - no blunders or detectable inaccuracies at that level of engine analysis applied.

This game is so accurate - it becomes "Smooth" as Maurice Ashley would say. Silky smooth accuracy. And here lies beauty incarnate.

Don't get me wrong - some other Capablanca games have me less enthralled to say the least but this game immediately shines.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Knightf7mate: I thought 16.Kf2 was the losing move because it led to the bishop sack followed by the knight fork. But the engine recommends 16.Kf2.

Chess is most difficult when the moves are not forced and you have a choice of strategies to pursue. I’m not good at calculating very far so in positions like this one I usually make inferior moves.

Aug-27-23  Albion 1959: Was 19 Bxe4!? Really a sacrifice? It looks more like a typical Capablanca exchange and simplify sequence of moves, to steer the endgame into one where he always appears to emerge with a slight, but tangible initiative that always gave him the edge:

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