02 May 2011

1921 Capablanca - Lasker, Game 10

The second game in this mini-series on More Capablanca Annotations is game ten from the 1921 Capablanca - Lasker Title Match and game 90 in Kasparov's Predecessors I. With the score +1-0=4 in Capablanca's favor after Game 5, there were four more draws. Game ten was a classic endgame that is quoted in many books specializing on that phase of the game. Years ago, when I first played through it, I was amazed at how Lasker's position crumbled in the face of Capablanca's lengthy maneuvers.

There are many points in the game worthy of examination, but I'm particularly interested in differences of opinion between Capablanca and Kasparov. As I mentioned in 'More Capablanca Annotations',

To locate differences of opinion required comparing punctuation and identifying obvious discrepancies, e.g. Kasparov's '?!' vs. Fischer's '!'. Comparing Capablanca's notes to Kasparov's proved to be more difficult because (1) Capablanca didn't use punctuation, and (2) Kasparov never referred to Capablanca's notes.

The only way to overcome point (1) was to assign punctuation according to Capablanca's notes. I came up with the following, shown along with Kasparov's punctuation.

[Event "wcc"]
[Site "Havana"]
[Date "1921.??.??"]
[Round "10"]
[White "Lasker Em"]
[Black "Capablanca J"]
[Result "0-1"]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 Be7 5.e3 O-O 6.Nf3 Nbd7 7.Qc2 c5 {KAS: '!'} 8.Rd1 Qa5 9.Bd3 h6 10.Bh4 cxd4 11.exd4 dxc4 12.Bxc4 Nb6 13.Bb3 Bd7 14.O-O Rac8 15.Ne5 Bb5 {CAP: '!'} 16.Rfe1 Nbd5 17.Bxd5 {KAS: '?'} 17...Nxd5 18.Bxe7 Nxe7 19.Qb3 Bc6 20.Nxc6 bxc6 21.Re5 Qb6 22.Qc2 Rfd8 23.Ne2 {CAP: '?'; KAS: '?'} 23...Rd5 {KAS: '!'} 24.Rxd5 cxd5 25.Qd2 Nf5 26.b3 {KAS: '?!'} 26...h5 {CAP: '!'} 27.h3 {CAP: '?'; KAS: '?'} 27...h4 {CAP: '!'; KAS: '!'} 28.Qd3 Rc6 29.Kf1 g6 30.Qb1 Qb4 31.Kg1 {CAP: '?!'} 31...a5 {KAS: '!'} 32.Qb2 a4 {CAP: '!'} 33.Qd2 Qxd2 34.Rxd2 axb3 35.axb3 Rb6 {CAP: '!'; KAS: '!'} 36.Rd3 Ra6 {KAS: '!'} 37.g4 hxg3 38.fxg3 Ra2 39.Nc3 Rc2 40.Nd1 Ne7 41.Nc3 Rc1+ 42.Kf2 Nc6 43.Nd1 {KAS: '!'} 43...Rb1 {KAS: '!'} 44.Ke2 {CAP: '!?'; KAS: '?'} 44...Rxb3 {KAS: '!'} 45.Ke3 Rb4 {KAS: '!'} 46.Nc3 Ne7 47.Ne2 Nf5+ 48.Kf2 g5 49.g4 Nd6 50.Ng1 Ne4+ 51.Kf1 Rb1+ 52.Kg2 Rb2+ 53.Kf1 Rf2+ 54.Ke1 Ra2 55.Kf1 Kg7 56.Re3 Kg6 57.Rd3 f6 58.Re3 Kf7 59.Rd3 Ke7 60.Re3 Kd6 61.Rd3 Rf2+ 62.Ke1 Rg2 63.Kf1 Ra2 64.Re3 e5 {CAP: '!'} 65.Rd3 exd4 66.Rxd4 Kc5 67.Rd1 d4 68.Rc1+ Kd5 0-1

Since the punctuation of the two World Champions compares fairly well, I think my approach is usable, and since the only real difference of opinion is on 44.Ke2, I'll look at that move in another post.

While looking at Kasparov's notes, I was surprised that he quoted Capablanca a few times, which contradicts my point (2) above. Moreover, although the quotes were not in the Cuban's notes to the 1921 match, they sounded familiar to me. A web search on one of the quotes ('against one of the strongest players the world has ever seen') revealed that Capablanca also annotated the game in his 'Primer of Chess', which I read long ago and which was likely my introduction to the game.

Against Capablanca's notes to 54...Ra2, I also found a familiar phrase -- 'All these moves have a meaning. The student should carefully study them' -- the same key phrase behind my series on Capablanca's Games 'To be studied very carefully'. To play through the complete game, see...

Emanuel Lasker vs Jose Raul Capablanca; World Championship Match 1921 [g.10]

...on Chessgames.com.

1 comment:

Harvey Kelly said...

Another top-quality post. Thank you very much!