07 October 2006

Combination: Capablanca - Molina and Ruiz, Buenos Aires 1914

This is the last game in this series on Capablanca's games 'to be studied'. The future World Champion introduced the game with:

During this second visit [to Buenos Aires] I played several games of the so-called brilliant kind. The inexperience of my opponents made it possible for me to obtain positions where a win could be best secured through the sacrifice of one or more pieces. I give below an example, which I feel sure will please both the dilettante and the connoisseur.

In the diagrammed position Capablanca played 23.Nxh7!, and wrote,

Better than 23.Rh3 when would follow 23...h6 24.Nxf7+ Nxf7 25.Bxc4 d5. I daresay very few masters would have made this sacrifice. It requires not only very great power of combination, but what is still more, exceedingly accurate judgement. A very careful analysis will demonstrate that the sacrifice is absolutely sound.

Buenos Aires 1914
L.Molina and E.Ruiz

Capablanca, Jose Raul
(After 23...b5-c4(xP))
[FEN "r2nqr1k/1p3bpp/3p1n2/2p1pPN1/2p1P2Q/P2P1R2/BP1B3P/R5K1 w - - 0 23"]

The game continued 23...Nxh7 24.Rh3 Bg8. Capablanca:

24...Bh5 was no better. White could play 25.Qxh5 with advantage, but still better might be 25.Bxc4.

25.Bxc4 Rf7 Capablanca:

No doubt 25...Nf7 looks like the right move. White, however, could continue with 26.Kh1 in order to play 27.Rg1, and could also carry the game quickly by assault as follows: 26.f6! g5 27.Qh5 Nd8 28.Qh6! Rf7 29.Bxg5 Qf8 30.Kh1! Qxh6 31.Bxh6 Rxf6 (31...Nxf6 32.Rg1) 32.Rg1.

26.Kh1 b5 27.Bd5 Raa7 28.Rg1 Rf6 29.Bg5 Raf7 30.b3! Capablanca:

Now that the Black pieces are pinned, White proceeds to obtain a passed Pawn with which to win the game.

The allies resigned around the 40th move. To play through the complete game see...

Jose Raul Capablanca vs R Molina, Buenos Aries cg 1914

...on Chessgames.com. How many errors can you spot in the game's heading?

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