Tactical Chess Shot: What’s Capablanca’s Move?

White to play and win

Capablanca’s flawless chess technique was always admired. Here’s an interesting tactical shot he comes up in a game against Lasker. Can you see here how White could win? The event is the 1921 World Chess Championship. The answer is way too simple so you must replay the entire game as well in the extended post.

Capablanca Jose Raul (CUB) – Lasker Emanuel (GER)

Result: 1-0
Site: Habana (Cuba)
Date: 1921

[…] 1.d4 d5 2.¤f3 e6 3.c4 ¤f6 4.¥g5 ¤bd7 5.e3 ¥e7 6.¤c3 O-O 7.¦c1 ¦e8?! 8.£c2 c6

(8…h6 9.¥h4² Capablanca – Lasker, Havana (m/13) 1921)

9.¥d3 dxc4 10.¥xc4 ¤d5

(10…b5 11.¥d3 a6 12.¤e5 ¥b7 13.¤xd7 £xd7 14.¥xf6 ¥xf6 15.¥xh7+ ¢h8 Rubinstein – Capablanca, Peterburg 1914

16.¤e4!± Malkin)


(11.¤e4!? f5? 12.¥xe7 ¦xe7 13.¤ed2± Alekhine – Yates, London 1922)


(11…£xe7 12.¤e4!
(12.O-O ¤xc3 13.bxc3
(13.£xc3 e5²13.£xc3 e5² (13…b6²) )

13…e5 14.e4 b5 15.¥d3² Capablanca – Perkins, New York 1916)

12…¤5f6 13.¤g3 e5 14.O-O exd4 15.¤f5 £d8 16.¤3xd4 ¤e5 17.¥b3± With the idea Rfd1 Barcza, Florian)

12.O-O ¤f8 (12…¤xc3!? 13.£xc3 b6²) 13.¦fd1 ¥d7 14.e4 ¤b6?! (14…¤xc3!?) 15.¥f1 With the idea d5 15…¦c8 16.b4! ¥e8 17.£b3 ¦ec7 18.a4± Greater board room ¤g6 19.a5 ¤d7 20.e5 b6 21.¤e4 ¦b8 (21…bxa5!? Capablanca) 22.£c3?! (22.a6!?± With the idea Nd6) (22.£a3!?± Capablanca) 22…¤f4 23.¤d6 ¤d5 24.£a3 f6 (24…bxa5!? Lasker)

(24…£e7!? With the idea f6 Levenfish 25.¥c4!?± With the idea Bd5)

25.¤xe8! £xe8 26.exf6 gxf6 27.b5! ¦bc8 (27…c5?! 28.dxc5 bxc5 29.¥c4±) (27…cxb5 28.¦xc7 ¤xc7 29.£d6 ¤d5 30.¥xb5±) 28.bxc6 ¦xc6 29.¦xc6 ¦xc6 30.axb6 axb6 31.¦e1 (31.¥b5!?± Capablanca) 31…£c8 32.¤d2! ¤f8

(32…¦c3!? 33.£d6 (33.£a1 ¤f8 34.¤e4 ¦c7 Lasker) 33…¤f8 34.¤e4 ¦c6 35.£a3± Panov)

33.¤e4 £d8 34.h4! ¦c7?

(34…f5 35.£g3+!?
(35.¤g5?! h6 36.¤f3 ¦c3 37.£a1 ¦xf3 38.gxf3 ¤f4 With counter-play Lasker (38…£xh4 With counter-play) )
(35.¥b5! ¦c7 36.¤g5 ¦e7 (36…¦c3 37.£a2ќ) 37.¥c4ќ Capablanca)

35…¢h8 36.£e5+ ¢g8 37.¥b5 ¦c7 38.¤g5 ¦e7 39.¥c4 ¤c7 40.h5! b5 41.¥b3ќ With the idea d5 Panov)

(34…h6!?± With the idea f5 Capablanca) 35.£b3 With the idea Bc4 35…¦g7! 36.g3 ¦a7 37.¥c4 With the idea 38. Bd5 ed 39. Qd5! 37…¦a5 38.¤c3! ¤xc3 39.£xc3 ¢f7 40.£e3 £d6 41.£e4 ¦a4?!

(41…¦a7!? 42.d5 e5 Lasker 43.¥f1± With the idea Bh3 Panov)

42.£b7+ ¢g6 (42…£e7 43.£c6 ¦a7 44.d5ќ) 43.£c8 £b4?

(43…¦a7! 44.£e8+
(44.¥xe6 ¤xe6 45.¦xe6 £xd4 46.£g8+ ¢h5 Unclear Lasker)


44.¦c1!ќ £e7

(44…£a3 45.¥d3+ f5 (45…£xd3 46.£e8+ќ) (45…¢h6 46.¦c7ќ With the idea Qf8!) 46.£e8+ ¢h6 47.¦e1 ¦a8 48.¦xe6+ ¤xe6 49.£xe6+ ¢g7 50.£e5+ќ With attack Capablanca)

45.¥d3+ ¢h6

(45…f5 46.¥xf5+! ¢f6 47.¦c7 £d6 48.¦c6 £b4 49.¦c5!ќ Panov)

46.¦c7 ¦a1+ 47.¢g2 £d6 48.£xf8+!

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