23 May 2011

1921 Capablanca - Lasker, Game 11

The last game in this series titled More Capablanca Annotations,
was played just after the previous game, 1921 Capablanca - Lasker, Game 10. Capablanca was leading +2-0=8 and Lasker needed a win to retain any real hope for a favorable outcome to the match.

Just like that previous game, I had trouble assigning punctuation to Capablanca's notes, but the present game was even harder. After Black's 13th move, Capablanca wrote, 'I do not consider the system of defense adopted by Dr. Lasker in this game to be any good', without commenting on any of Lasker's preceding moves. The rest of his notes had an air of inevitability implying that the result of the game was a foregone conclusion. I weaseled out of the difficulty by using '!?' and '?!' when I couldn't decide if Capablanca meant that a move was the best of a bad lot or that something better had been overlooked. My interpretation of Capablanca's verbal comments is shown in the following game score along with Kasparov's punctuation from his first volume of 'My Great Predecessors'.

[Event "wcc"]
[Site "Havana"]
[Date "1921.??.??"]
[Round "11"]
[White "Capablanca J"]
[Black "Lasker Em"]
[Result "1-0"]

1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 e6 3.c4 Nf6 4.Bg5 Nbd7 5.e3 Be7 6.Nc3 O-O 7.Rc1 Re8 {KAS: '?!'} 8.Qc2 {KAS: '!'} 8...c6 9.Bd3 dxc4 10.Bxc4 Nd5 11.Bxe7 Rxe7 {KAS: '?!'} 12.O-O Nf8 {KAS: '?!'} 13.Rfd1 Bd7 14.e4 Nb6 {CAP: '!?'; KAS: '?!'} 15.Bf1 Rc8 16.b4 {CAP: '!'; KAS: '!'} 16...Be8 17.Qb3 {CAP: '!?'} 17...Rec7 18.a4 Ng6 19.a5 Nd7 20.e5 b6 21.Ne4 Rb8 22.Qc3 {CAP: '?!'} 22...Nf4 23.Nd6 Nd5 24.Qa3 f6 25.Nxe8 {CAP: '!'; KAS: '!'} 25...Qxe8 26.exf6 gxf6 {CAP: '!'} 27.b5 {CAP: '!'} 27...Rbc8 {KAS: '!'} 28.bxc6 Rxc6 29.Rxc6 Rxc6 30.axb6 axb6 31.Re1 {CAP: '?!'} 31...Qc8 32.Nd2 {CAP: '!'; KAS: '!'} 32...Nf8 {CAP: '!'; KAS: '?!'} 33.Ne4 {CAP: '!'} 33...Qd8 34.h4 {KAS: '!'} 34...Rc7 {CAP: '?'} 35.Qb3 {CAP: '!'} 35...Rg7 {KAS: '!'} 36.g3 Ra7 37.Bc4 Ra5 38.Nc3 {KAS: '!'} 38...Nxc3 39.Qxc3 Kf7 40.Qe3 Qd6 41.Qe4 Ra4 {CAP: '!?'; KAS: '?'} 42.Qb7+ Kg6 43.Qc8 {KAS: '?'} 43...Qb4 {KAS: '?'} 44.Rc1 {KAS: '!'} 44...Qe7 {KAS: '?!'} 45.Bd3+ {KAS: '!'} 45...Kh6 46.Rc7 Ra1+ 47.Kg2 Qd6 48.Qxf8+ {KAS: '!'} 1-0

The third and thirteenth World Champions appear to have a difference of opinion on the 14th, 32nd, and 41st moves, so I'll choose from one of those positions in my next post on this game. Again I discovered from Kasparov's notes (quoting Capablanca on his 27th move: 'the exposed position of the Black King is rather inviting') that the Cuban also included the game in his 'Primer of Chess', where his comments are more elaborate than his notes to the book of the match. Google Books has an incomplete copy of the 'Primer', so I'll try to find a complete copy or use what I can. To play through the complete game, see...

Jose Raul Capablanca vs Emanuel Lasker; World Championship Match 1921 [g.11]

...on Chessgames.com.

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