21 September 2006

Endgame: Allies - Capablanca, Vienna 1914

I'm continuing with Réti learns a lesson from Capablanca (which has references plus a link to the complete game), the current game in Capablanca's games 'to be studied'. The diagram shows the position where Capablanca wrote,

From now each move should be studied with care as the coming endgame is very difficult. I consider it one of my very best.

Since Black threatened 25...Rg8+ 26.Kf1 Qa6+, the game continued 25.Qxf6 Rxf6. The Pawn count is five on each side, but Black is effectively a Pawn ahead because of the doubled h-Pawns. 26.Re3 Rb6. Capablanca gave the last move a '!' and remarked,

The beginning of a very elaborate plan, the first object of which is to force the advance of one of White's Queenside Pawns, so that the Rooks cannot be free to maneuver and attack Black's Queenside Pawns. Many of the other points, which would take pages to explain, will be revealed by the coming moves in the game.

Vienna 1914
Capablanca and Réti

Kaufmann and Fähndrich
(After 24...Kg8-h7)
[FEN "r4r2/pp5k/5q1p/3p1p2/3Qb3/5N1P/PPP2R1P/4R1K1 w - - 0 25"]

White played 27.b3. The move 27.c3 was bad because of 27...Rg8+ 28.Kf1 f4 and the attacked Rook has no good moves. Another possibility, 27.Rb3, loses to 27...Rxb3 28.axb3 Kg6 29.Kf1 Kf6 30.c3 Re8. Now The Black Rook can penetrate to the first and second ranks via the a-file, without sacrificing a Pawn, as in the game. The White Rook can be prevented from penetrating the Black position on the g-file by posting the King on f7. 27...Rc8. Capablanca:

To prevent the White Rook from going to c3. At the same time the attack on the c-Pawn holds the Knight at d4 and keeps a Rook defending the Pawn.

28.Nd4 Rf6 29.Rf4 Kg6. Capablanca:

Forcing the c-Pawn to advance, which is part of Black's plan.

This prevents a Rook from entering Black's position via the c-file. 30.c3. Capablanca:

If 30.Rf2 the f-Pawn will soon advance and the Black Rook will go to c3.

E.g. 30...f4 31.Re1 Rc3. 30...Kg5 31.Ne2 Ra6! Capablanca:

The plan is maturing. White will have to play 32.a4 and Black can then break through by 32...b5!

32.h4+ Kf6 33.a4 b5! Capablanca:

Now as the Rook goes through, and the King advances to the center, the enormous power of the Be4 becomes evident. The passed f-Pawn will soon advance and the game will be over.

That is exactly how the game developed. The remaining moves were: 34.axb5 Ra1+ 35.Rf1 Rxf1+ 36.Kxf1 Ke5 37.Nd4 f4 38.Rh3 Rg8 39.Ke1 Rg1+ 40.Ke2 Rg2+ 41.Kf1 Rb2 42.Ke1 h5 43.Kd1 Bf5 44.Nxf5 Kxf5 45.c4 Ke4 46.Rc3 f3 47.Ke1 d4 0-1

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