16 August 2006

Marshall - Capablanca, match (game 5) 1909

This is the first post in a series on Capablanca's games 'to be studied'. The diagrammed position occurred earlier in the game than the point where Capablanca suggested that the position was worthy of study. It is a good example of Capablanca's minimalist approach to annotation. Capablanca played 26...Rxd4 and remarked,

Not the best, 26...Qf6 was the right move. Incidentally it would have saved me a great deal of trouble which I had to win the game. Here I will call attention to the poor notes sometimes written by analysts. Games are often annotated by unknown players who have not sufficient knowledge of the game. As a matter of fact, the games of the great masters, at least, can only be properly annotated by a few players. Of course even the best are not exempt from mistakes, but while they make them few and far between the others do so continuously.

Since he gave no further analysis, I looked closer at the suggested move.

Match 1909
Capablanca, Jose Raul

Marshall, Frank
(After 26.Qg3-c7)
[FEN "3r2k1/pbQ2pq1/1p2p2p/8/3PP1nP/8/P4PP1/1B1R2K1 b - - 0 26"]

Capablanca's recommended move 26...Qf6 threatens 27...Qxf2+ 28.Kh1 Rxd4 with mate in a few moves. The Knight on g4 plays a key role by confining the White King to the back rank.

If White plays 27.f3, then the same move played in the game, 27...Rxd4, is even more powerful. If White plays 27.Qg3, withdrawing the Queen from its aggressive position, then 27...h5 protects the Knight and keeps it active in the Kingside attack. It also provides an escape square on h6 should the Knight be forced to retreat by f2-f3. If there was any doubt, Capablanca was right; 26...Qf6 was a better move.

To play through the complete game see...

Frank James Marshall vs Jose Raul Capablanca, m 1909

...on Chessgames.com.

No comments: