Thursday, March 01, 2012

Jose Raul Capablanca vs. Enrique Corzo (1901, Latvian Gambit; Fraser Defense)


[Event "Havana casual"]
[Site "Havana"]
[Date "1901"]
[White "Jose Raul Capablanca"]
[Black "Enrique Corzo"]
[Result "1-0"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 f5 {The "Latvian Gambit" is considered to be one of the most
daring opening by black. This gambit was once known as the "Greco Counter
Gambit" named after Greco who first popularized it in the early centuries.
This gambit appears to complicate the position at the earliest stage of the
game. Most experts say that this move is "unsound" but there appears to be no
concrete proof to such theory. Once and while, this gambit is even used in
tournament play.} 3. Nxe5 Nc6 {Chess history says that this move was
introduced in 1873 by Scot G. B. Fraser. This moves seems to further
complicate the position and evokes an aggressive stance on the part of
black.} 4. Nxc6 dxc6 5. e5 Be6 6. d4 {White achieved a momentary control of
the center squares and white's pawn structure is much better than black.}
6... Qd7 7. Be3 O-O-O 8. Qd2 Ne7 9. Qa5 Kb8 10. Nc3 Nd5 11. Nxd5 Bxd5 12.
O-O-O {Both castled on the queenside as if a prelude to an aggressive fight.}
12... Qe6 13. c4 {White seems to give up a pawn in exchange for a more
aggressive counter-play. } 13... b6 {This seems to be an error. Black loses
Capablanca v. Corzo (after 18. Bd2)
the bishop without compensation. Black should have taken instead the c4 pawn.} 14.cxd5 Rxd5 15. Qc3 Ra5 {This seems to be not the correct square for the rook.
I think it is better if the rook simply returned to d8. But now that white is a piece up, this is now a won game for Capablanca.} 16. Bc4 Qe7 17. a3 g5 18.Bd2 {White now targets the rook on a5.} 18... Bg7 19. Qb3 {White now won the exchange as the rook on a5 has no more safe square to run to.} 19... Ka8 {The only move.} 20. Bxa5 bxa5 {White has now won the exchange and Black's pawn structure has been destroyed further. With a whole rook, winning would be very
easy for Capablanca. Black, however, still opted to play on.} 21. Qa4 Qd7 22.d5 {This move gave black more problems.} 22... Bxe5 23. Qxc6+ Qxc6 24. dxc6 Rb8 25. Bb3 a4 26. Bxa4 Bxb2+ 27. Kc2 Bxa3 28. Rb1 Re8 29. Rhe1 {Since white is a piece up, the winning strategy is to exchange pieces to further simplify the game.} 29... Rd8 30. Rb7 {The game is clearly won Capablanca at this point.} 30... Bd6 31. Bb5 Rc8 32. Ba6 Rd8 33. Kb3 h5 34. Ka4 g4 35. h3 h4 36. Reb1 Bc5 37. Rb8+ Rxb8 38. Bb7+ Rxb7 39.cxb7+ Kb8 40. Ka5 Bxf2 41. Ka6 gxh3 42. Rd1 1-0


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