18 April 2011

More Capablanca Annotations

My post titled A Capablanca Brilliancy Dissected was the last in the series on Capablanca's Games 'To be studied very carefully'. After researching and writing that series, I'm convinced that when the Cuban World Champion recommended that his moves 'be studied very carefully', he wanted to avoid annotating them himself. It was his equivalent of saying 'the following moves are a matter of technique', where his technique was impeccable and worth studying. When I launched this latest series of posts in More Capablanca, I mentioned a second source of Capablanca's notes.

I'll compare Capablanca's annotations to his 1921 match with Lasker against the notes for games from that match selected by Kasparov for Predecessors I: games 5, 10, & 11. Kasparov seems to have overlooked that Capablanca wrote notes to the games, and since their annotation styles are opposite -- minimal for Capablanca, detailed for Kasparov -- I might learn a thing or two.

When I did a similar exercise for Fischer and Kasparov, 18 Memorable Games, Full Circle, it was easy to compare the notes of the two because Kasparov often incorporated Fischer's comments in full. 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.

My source for Capablanca's notes is 'World's Championship Matches, 1921 and 1927' (Dover 1977; see the book's page on Amazon.com for details), ostensibly by Capablanca, but according to the copyright page, 'an unabridged republication' of two books published in the 1920s, one by Capablanca, one by Yates and W.Winter. I'll tackle game five of the 1921 match in my next post.

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