Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Jose Raul Capablanca vs. Frank James Marshall (1909) Ruy Lopez Opening

Event "New York"]
[Date "1909”]
[Round "08"]
[White "Jose Raul Capablanca"]
[Black "Frank James Marshall"]
[Result "1-0"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 {This Ruy Lopez game was played in 1909 or more
than a hundred years ago. I think that this is the type of chess opening
where its popularity has not diminished through the years. } 3... d6 {The
Steinitz variation (3.__d6) as opposed to the Morphy variation (3.__a6) can
be considered as a solid choice but it cramps the bishop at f8. } 4. O-O a6
Capablanca vs.  Marshall (after 21. Qh3)
5. Bxc6+ {White exchanges the bishop for the knight to create doubled pawns for black. } 5... bxc6 {i think these doubled pawns on c7 and c6 are more of an advantage rather than a weakness. It gave black the b file for the rook and the possibility of controlling the center with d5.} 6. d4 exd4 7. Nxd4 Bd7 8. Re1 c5 9. Nf3 Be7 10. Nc3 c6 11. Bf4 Be6 12. Qd3 Nf6 13. Rad1 d5 {Now black seemed to have challenged white's control of the center.} 14. Ng5 d4 15. Nxe6 fxe6 16. Na4 Qa5 17. b3 Rd8 18. Nb2 Nh5 19. Be5 O-O 20. Nc4 {Here we can see Capablanca's maneuvering technique. Despite black's pawn majority in the center, white is slowly gaining the advantage.} 20... Qb4 21. Qh3 {White attacks black's hanging pieces: the knight at h5 and the e6 pawn. } 21... g6 22. Qxe6+ Rf7 23. g4 {It is clear here that white has gained the advantage with a promising attack.} 23... Bh4 {Perhaps believing in the adage that the best defense is offense, black decides to counterattack.} 24. gxh5 {White decides to continue with his attack and so is black.} 24... Bxf2+ 25. Kh1 Qc3
Capablanca vs. Marshall (after 25.__Qc3)
This now became a battle of nerves. Here we see Capablanca cooly refutes Marshall's attack. Can you see the best defense?} 26. Re3 {Yes! this is the best defense. This now became a battle of nerves. In chess, it is necessary that the player should stay calm even in the midst of a strong attack. It is only in a state of calmness where the mind can find the most accurate defense.} 26... Qxc2 27. Red3 Qe2 28. Nd6 Rxd6 {Black has to sacrifice material to mitigate the impact of white's attack.} 29. Bxd6 Be1 30. Qe8+ Kg7 31. h6+ 1-0 

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