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Jose R. Capablanca (2775) - Alexander A. Alekhine (2745) 

[D52]

World Championship Match in Buenos Aires, 
Argentina. (Game # 11), 1927.


The game began with the moves:
1. d4, d5; 2. c4, e6; 3. Nc3, Nf6; 4. Bg5, Nbd7; 
5. e3, c6; 6. Nf3, Qa5; 7. Nd2.

***

7. Nd2, was the move played in the game. 
But White does have other moves that he can play here.

***

We now analyze some (or all) of the [main] alternatives to 7. Nd2.


The alternatives are:  Variation # 1.):

7. cxd5, '!' - Best, according to Kasparov.  

7...Nxd5;  8. Qd2, N7b6; {'!'}

***

(See the diagram below.)

***

  (Analysis diagram.)  Position after 8...N7b6.
(The position following the move 8...N/7-b6. Analysis Diagram.)

***

(Not the only move, but considered the best line by many books!)

***

{8...N/7-b6;  is not the only move here.  Black can also play  8...Bb4.}

***

History repeated itself with:  8...Bb4!?;  9. Rc1 0-0;

***

Or  9...h6!?  [Maybe this is the best? - A.J.G.]

***
{See diagram directly below.} 

(Analysis diagram.)  The position after Black plays 9...h6!?
(Analysis diagram after 9...h6.)

***

10. Bh4 c5; 11. a3 Bxc3; 12. bxc3 Qxa3; 13. e4 N5f6; 
14. Bd3 Qa5; 15. d5 c4!?; 16. Bxc4 exd5
; 17. Bxd5, 

White is clearly a little better. ("
+/=")

***
(See the diagram below.)

  GM M. Gurevich is just a little better.  Can you tell me why?
(Analysis Diagram after 17. Bxd5.)

***

M. Gurevich - Cardon;  Belgium, 1994.

***
[ See MCO-14; pg.'s # 406-407, 
Columns # 41 through column # 42; and note # (r.). ]

***

 10. Bd3 h6!?;

***
(Nunn gives 10...h6 an exclamation point.)

[ See NCO; pg. # 415, line/row # 3. ]

***

* Remember this position after 10...h6. We shall return to it later. *

But first we shall look at another game of great interest to this line.

 

 

***

(The game of  historical significance  continued in this line.)

***

Also interesting is: 10...e5!;  (Maybe - '!?')

***
[See the diagram below.]

   Black breaks in the center, a tried-and-true tactic, especially if Black is trying to free his game.
(Black just played 10...e5.)

***

(This move, 10...e5; is considered by many opening analysts
to be the best move here. It is certainly one of the more
energetic options, immediately striking at the center.) {A.J.G.}

***

11. 0-0 exd4; 12.exd4 f6!?; 

***

But  NOT  12...N7f6?!;

***
(MCO does not give Black's 12th move a mark of any kind. 
But it must be bad, considering the outcome.)

***
13. Rfe1 h6; 14. Bxh6!,

***

  White just sacrificed on h6. If Black takes, White will probably have a winning attack against Black's King.

(White just played 14. Bxh6. See the diagram just above.)

***

The position is better for White. ("Plus over a line," or "+/".)

***

This is clearly better [very good] for White, according to GM Kasparov.

[ See MCO-14; pg.'s # 406-407, column # 42, and note # (u.). ]

***

13. Bh4, Rd8;

(The end of column # 42 of MCO-14. See the diagram just below.)

  White to move. What move would YOU play?
(Opening analysis position after MCO's 13...Rd8.)

***

What should White play?

***

***

***

 

(Main analysis Diagram, # 1.)
 (Analysis Diagram.)  White just played 14. a3!  This seems to result in a White advantage. White has more space and his two Bishops are definitely important. White has an isolated d-pawn, but Black seems unable to take advantage of it.  (Says L.M. A.J.)
(The position after 14. a3!)

***

Now 14.a3!,

***
("Plus over an equal sign," or "+/=".)

(White is better, according to Kasparov.)

***

This is the game, GM Garry Kasparov - GM Vassily Smyslov; 
FIDE World Championship's Challenger Final, Game # 3, Vilnius; 1984. 
[
See MCO - 14; page 407, and the very lengthy note (v). ] 

***

[ See also, "The Test of Time,"  by Garry Kasparov. 
Chap. # 22, page # 210. ]

***

NOTE: This was the first time 
(that I could find), that this
openin
g;

[The Cambridge Springs Defense.]

had made an appearance at the highest level  
in well-over 50 years!

***

Or White can play: 14. Qc2 Nf8; 15. Nxd5 cxd5; 16. Bg3 Bd6;
(
"The position is equal," or "=" .)

***
(Now see the diagram directly below.)

 Black just played ...Bd6. The game is pretty level.
( Black plays 16...Bd6; {"="} in the Cambridge Springs.)

***

And Black has equalized, according to GM N. DeFirmian. 
[ See MCO-14; pg.'s # 406-407, column # 42; and note # (v.). ]

***

Now after 14. a3!,  Black can play: 14...Bxc3;

***

Or:  Black can also play: 14...Bd6; 15. Nxd5 Qxd2; 16. Nxf6+ Nxf6; 
17. Nxd2 Bf4; 18. Rcd1 Rxd4; 19. Nf3,
White is just a little better.
("+/=")

***

(See the diagram directly below.)

  Who stands better in this position. Why?

(Analysis diagram after 19. Nf3.)

***

Kasparov judges this position to be clearly better [superior] for White.

***

[ See MCO-14; pg.'s # 406-407, column # 42, and note # (v.). ]

***

15. bxc3, Nf8;

***

OR:  15...Qxa3!?;  ('?!') 16. c4,

( White is clearly better. "+/=" or "+/" )

***

(See the diagram directly below.)

   The c-Pawn advances ...
(Analysis position after White's 16th move.)

***

" ... with a big edge for White,"  according to GM N. DeFirmian. 
[ See MCO-14; pg.'s # 406-407, column # 42; and note # (v.). ]
(White may be threatening to play c5 and try to trap Black's Queen.) 
{A.J.G.}

***  

Now the players 
[in the remainder of the game, Kasparov-Smyslov] 
continued:
16. Bg3, - White is clearly better.
("+/")
16...Be6; 17. Rfe1 Bf7; 
18. c4 Qxd2; 19. Nxd2 Nb6; 20. Nb3 Na4; 21. Bf1 Rd7; 
22. Na5 Ne6; 23. d5! Nd4; 24. dxc6 Nxc6; 25. Nxc6 bxc6; 
26. c5 Re8; 27. Rxe8+ Bxe8; 28. Bd6 Bf7; 29. Rb1 Bd5; 
30. Rb8+ Kf7; 31. Rf8+ Ke6!?; 32. g3 g6; 33. Ba6 Rxd6;
(!?)

***

  Black just felt compelled to capture on d6, sacrificing the exchange.
(Analysis Diagram after 33...Rxd6.)

***

Desperation. White threatened Bc8, pinning Black's Rook and 
winning the exchange. There was probably no good defense here.
(A.J.G.)

***

34. cxd6 Kxd6; 35. Rxf6+ Ke5; 36. Rf8 c5; 
37. Re8+ Kd4; 38. Rd8 Ke5; 39. f4+ Ke4; 40. Bf1,

***

Not the only winning move here.

(40. Rd7!? "+/-" ) {A.J.G.}

***

40...Bb3; 41. Kf2 Nb2;

***

(Second main analysis diagram.)
  White has a nearly won position.

(The analysis position from G. Kasparov - V. Smyslov;
Black just played 41...Nb2)

***

" ... and White [eventually] won.  Filigree technique  by Kasparov."
- GM N. DeFirmian in MCO-14. 
Kasparov - Smyslov;  Vilnius, Lithuania,1984. 
(FIDE World Championship Candidates Match)

***

[ See MCO-14; pg.'s # 406-407, column # 42; and note # (v.). ]

***

A game of great historical importance, at least from a chess-player's point of view. A game that is also key to the Cambridge Spring's Defense. It is also critical to the theory and to understanding the 10...e5!? line.

***

Right now the ball is in BLACK's court ... it is up to the second player to find an improvement (s) in this line. Maybe you are the one who will change the "Book" and help Black out?


( The first 10 moves were: 1. d4, d5; 2. c4, e6; 3. Nc3, Nf6;
4. Bg5, Nbd7; 5. e3, c6; 6. Nf3, Qa5; ('!') 7. cxd5, Nxd5;
8. Qd2, Bb4!?; 9. Rc1, 0-0; 10. Bd3, h6!; )

***

(In this line Black played 10...h6; instead of 10...e5; 
as in the Kasparov-Smyslov game.)

***

Now White can play:

 11. Bh4 e5; 12.a3!?,

***

   What does White hope to gain by playing a3?
(Analysis Diagram. White just played 12. a3.)

***

The position after 12. a3!?  Now there is a parting in the paths.

 

***

(Start of MCO analysis, beginning at move 12.)

***

Or  Instead of 12. a3!?, White can also castle.

***

So MCO-14 gives: 12. 0-0, exd4; 13. exd4 Re8;

    Black says, "I'll put a Rook in the middle ... Everybody is doin' it, doin' it; - doing it," says Black.

(Analysis Diagram. The position after 13...Re8.)

***

[The end of column # 41, MCO-14, pg. # 406.]

***

14. Bb1 Nf8; 15. Ne5 Be6;

***

And now there are a couple of different tries 
by White for an advantage:  16.Qd3, (!?)

***

   The first player just played 17. Nf3.  White might be slightly better.  Can you figure out why?
(Analysis Diagram after MCO's 17. Nf3.)

***

Or  16. Rfe1, c5; and now  17. Nf3, ("+/=")

(White is just a little better.)

***
{See the diagram directly above.}

***

This line is GM Smagin's recommendation.

***
[ See MCO - 14; pg.'s # 406-407, column # 42; and note # (t.). ]

***

But not  17. Nc4?,

***
Bad - a clear loss of time; ...  AND it drops a pawn.  {A.J.G.}   
Now 17...Qa6; 18. Ne3 Nxe3; 19. fxe3 Bxa2
"Black is clearly better." [Plus under a line, or
"/+".]

***

{See the diagram directly below.}

    Black just snacked on a pawn on a2. ---  Since White is a pawn down with little compensation, Black must be better.

(MCO analysis position after 19...Bxa2.)

***

Oll-Smagin; Copenhagen, 1993.

***
[ See MCO-14; pg.'s # 406-407, column # 42; and note # (t.). ]

***

(After 16. Qd3, we now have:)

***

16...Nf4; 17. Qf3 N4g6; 18. Bg3 NxN/e5;

***

(The position is equal. "=" )

***

{See the diagram directly below.}

   The position is probably pretty well balanced.
(Analysis Diagram after 16...Nxe5.)

***

Uhlmann-Smagin; Dortmund, 1991.

***
[ See MCO 14; page 406, column # 41, and note (t). ]

***

This seems to be one of the better lines for Black.

It would also seem to indicate that 16. Qd3!? is a rather lackluster move for White.  {A.J.G.}

***

(The end of the MCO analysis that began at move 12.)


Returning to the NCO (Nunn's) analysis -

( The first 10 moves were: 1. d4, d5; 2. c4, e6; 3. Nc3, Nf6;
4. Bg5, Nbd7; 5. e3, c6; 6. Nf3, Qa5; ('!') 7. cxd5, Nxd5;
8. Qd2, Bb4!?; 9. Rc1, 0-0; 10. Bd3, h6!; ['!?'] )

***

and then White can play:  11. Bh4 e5; 12.a3!?,

- so we continue  12...Bxc3; ("=") 13. bxc3 Re8;

***

Or: 13...exd4; 14. cxd4 Qxa3; 15. 0-0 Re8;

***
Rogers-Smagin; Prague, 1992.

***
[ See MCO-14; pg.'s # 406-407, 
columns # 41 through column # 42; and note # (s.). ]

***

Ftacnik [now] suggests: 16. e4 N5b6; 17. Rfe1; [Unclear]

***

   The debate rages. Does White have 'comp'?

(The analysis position after 17. Rfe1.)

***

"It is unclear whether White has enough compensation for the pawn."
 - GM N. DeFirmian.

***

 [ See MCO-14; pg.'s # 406-407, 
columns # 41 through column # 42; 
{Mainly column # 41.} and note # (s.). ]

***

14. c4 Qxd2+; 15. Nxd2 Ne7; 16. 0-0,

***

Or  16. Bxe7 Rxe7; 17. d5 Nc5;  [Unclear]

***
16...exd4; 17. exd4 Nf8; 18. Rfe1 Bf5;

(The position is equal.) ("=")

***

{See the diagram below.}

***

  The game/position is considered level. Why?   ("Oooh! Ooohh!  I know teacher, I know.")
(NCO analysis position after 18...Bf5; '"=".)

***

[ See NCO; pg.'s 415-416, line/row #3, note # 19. ]


(Back to the analysis of 7. cxd5 (!), 7...cxd5; 8. Qd2, N7b6;)

***

It is worth repeating here that the majority of the opening books 
today consider this move, 8...N/7-b6; to be the best move.

***

 9. Bd3 Nxc3; 10. bxc3 Na4; 11. 0-0 Qxc3; 12. Qe2 Qb2; 
(And now according to
GM John Nunn,  White has some compensation for the material sacrificed; the position could also be classified as unclear.)

***

[ The end of line/row # 3, page # 415. Nunn's Chess Openings; or NCO. ]

***

13. Bc2 Qb5; 14. Qd1,

***
  14. Bd3 Qb2;  transposes to  12...Qb2;  and is offering to 
repeat the position. I.e. 15. Bc2, Qb5; 16. Bd3, Qb2; etc.
- {A.J.G.}

***

   Can you correctly evaluate the very complex position above?
(The position following Nunn's 16. Bd3.)

***

14...Nc3; 15. Qd2 Bb4; 16. Bd3,

"White has some compensation for the pawn that he sacrificed."
- GM John Nunn.

***

{See the diagram directly above.}

***

[ See N.C.O;  pg.'s 415-416, line/row # 2, and note # 15. ]


Variations # 2 through # 5.

***

Some moves that are not quite satisfactory, according to theory, are: 
***

Variation # 2.):   7.  Bd3? dxc4;  8. Bxc4 Ne4;  
and Black is clearly better;
"/+", or
"a plus under a line."
(Maybe
"-/+" ?)

***

Or Variation # 3.):  7. Qc2!? (?!) 7...Ne4; ("=")
Black is at least equal, if not a little better. {A.J.G.}

***

Variation # 4.)  7. Bxf6!?, Nxf6; 8. Nd2, 

[ Or 8. Bd3, Bb4, 9. Qb3, dxc4; 10. Bxc4, b5!?; ("=")  (Maybe 10...c5!?) ]

(Now after 8. Nd2) 8...Be7; ("=") (Or maybe 8...g6!?)

***

Or Variation # 5.):  7. Be2!? Ne4; 8. 0-0 Nxg5; 9. Nxg5 dxc4; [Unclear.]

***
[ For variations 2-5; See NCO; pg. # 415, note # 9. ]

***
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