May. 7th, 2017

alexpgp: (Default)
So late last night, I get the bug to set up the chess pieces and play over a game from one of my stepdad's books. Easy peasy, right?

I was surprised.

It's not an excuse, but the book—Capablanca's 100 Best Games of Chess—was published using English Descriptive notation. And if it has been a long time since I've played over a game the way I did last night, it's been longer still that I've done so in descriptive (I've become used to algebraic over the past three decades), which led to a couple of interesting misinterpretations on my part, which got sorted out in the end. No biggie.

However, when I got to the following position from the game, after 27...Nd2, I was puzzled.

You see, annotators usually take pity on us poor amateurs who, while going over a game in some publication, may come up with moves that look obvious, but are actually outright bad moves. In this position, I could not help but notice that Black had apparently left his Queen en prise (open to capture). The annotations did not mention this at all, though I eventually did figure out that the Queen wasn't really "hanging."

After 28. gxf4, there would likely follow 28...gxf4+ 29. Kf2 fxe3+ 30. Kxe3 Bxh1 31. Kxd2 and while Black's position would likely be a fairly straightforward win for a grandmaster (especially one of Capablanca's caliber), it'd still give someone like me conniptions (which is to say, it's not exactly a no-brainer). I figure the weak spot is White's pawn on e6, which is advanced but also weak and blockaded by Black's King. At any rate, the win for White after 28. gxf4 is not obvious to me.


P.S. FWIW, here's the game score up to the position above:

[Event "Havana 1913"]
[White "J. Corzo"]
[Black "Capablanca"]
[Result "0-1"]
[CurrentPosition "8/pbp1k1rp/1p1pP3/1P4p1/2P2q2/4Q1P1/P2n3P/4RBKR w - - 1 28"]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 d6 3.Nc3 Nbd7 4.e4 e5 5.f4 exd4 6.Qxd4 Nc5 7.Be3 Qe7 8.Nd5 Nxd5 9.exd5 Bf5 10.Nf3 g6 11.Kf2 Rg8 12.Re1 Bg7 13.Qd1 Ne4+ 14.Kg1 Kf8 15.Bd4 g5 16.Bxg7+ Rxg7 17.Nd4 Bd7 18.f5 Qe5 19.Qd3 Re8 20.Ne6+ fxe6 21.fxe6 Rxe6 22.dxe6 Bc6 23.Qf3+ Qf4 24.Qe3 Ke7 25.b4 b6 26.b5 Bb7 27.g3 Nd2


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