Games
[Event "Kent County CA-32 Premier"] [Site "Margate"] [Date "1939.04.12"] [Round "1"] [White "Capablanca, Jose Raul"] [Black "Wheatcroft, George Shorrock"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B20"] [Annotator "MJDonnelly"] [PlyCount "39"] [EventDate "1939.04.12"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "ENG"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2016.10.25"] [SourceQuality "1"] {[%evp 0,39,80,25,32,32,55,21,21,14,9,-8,3,7,48,19,21,-8,-27,-18,43,26,43,39, 64,38,78,76,84,84,84,84,123,98,110,120,109,113,323,325,319,323]} 1. e4 c5 2. Ne2 {Other knight moves such as Nf3 and Nc3 are far and away more common so Black is already under a bit of psychological pressure even on move 2. Paul Keres also sometimes used to play like this, keeping his opponents guessing as to whether he was to play an open sicilian with a subsequent d4 or not, and had a remarkable record with the move both before and after WW2. However, "Capa", the former World Champion, already a chess legend years earlier, had himself ventured the move 2. Ne2 a few times himself before the Margate event. Playing it in a way interestingly, that is some 90 years later, currently very fashionable!} d6 (2... Nf6 3. Nbc3 Nc6 4. g3 g6 5. Bg2 Bg7 6. d3 d6 7. Be3 O-O 8. Qc1 e6 9. Bg5 {Capablanca-Bucelo, Havana 1936.}) (2... Nc6 3. Nbc3 d6 4. g3 g6 5. Bg2 Bg7 6. d3 Nf6 7. Be3 O-O 8. h3 Bd7 9. Qd2 a6 10. Bh6 { Capablanca-Rather, New York 1936.}) 3. g3 (3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. f3 Nc6 6. c4 g6 7. Nc3 Bg7 8. Be3 O-O 9. Qd2 Qa5 10. Nb3 Qb4 11. Qc2 Nd7 {and Black had a good position in Keres-Capablanca, Semmering Baden 1937.}) 3... Nc6 4. Bg2 g6 5. c3 {Taking advantage of the White move order to shift the game from more usual channels to one where White can obtain e4/d4 pawns and control the centre.} (5. Nbc3 Bg7 6. O-O Nf6 7. d3 O-O {would transpose to the so-called Chameleon variation recommended by Hansen}) 5... Bg7 6. d4 e5 (6... cxd4 { is often played in recent times when play may go} 7. cxd4 Qb6 8. Nbc3 {with advantage as Black cannnot grab the d-pawn without encountering difficulties after} Nxd4 9. Nd5) 7. dxc5 {Perhaps played in Capablanca's simplifying style and aiming for an ending where his play, as in simple positions, was often absolutely outstanding.} ({Instead} 7. d5 {gives a healthy space advantage but then "Capa" would have to "bother" himself considering whether Black gets counter-play in the type of position that has arisen in a number of highly rated player's games in recent years after} Nce7 8. O-O f5 {one example being Wen-Sirin, W-ch U20 Gaziantep 2008.}) 7... dxc5 8. O-O {Now White can play in "auto-pilot" mode without too much exertion.} Be6 9. Be3 Qxd1 10. Rxd1 b6 11. Na3 Rd8 ({Not} 11... Nge7 {as} 12. Nb5 {is awkward for Black as is}) (11... a6 {due to} 12. f4) 12. Nb5 Bc4 {This is OK but} (12... Rd7 {is even safer.}) 13. Nc7+ Ke7 14. Nd5+ {So far Black has played quite a decent game and is almost level. Now however, in keeping his king in the centre, which is usually highly desirable in the ending, he risks White taking advantage of its position.} Ke6 $6 (14... Kf8 {is required when after, for instance,} 15. Rd2 Nf6 {followed by exchanging on d5 gives Black a reasonable game.}) 15. Rd2 Nge7 16. Nc7+ Kf6 17. Rad1 Rxd2 18. Rxd2 Rd8 $2 {A terrible mistake. So far e8 has been guarded at all times in the game but this is not so after the exchange of rooks. This is actually quite a common error in club/league chess even in current times-a player fails to spot, either too late in analysis or not at all in the game, that a possibility has arisen that has never been a sensible option previously. } (18... Nc8 {prevents Rd6+, keeps e8 under control and Black in the game, even though at some disadvantage.}) 19. Rxd8 Nxd8 20. Ne8+ ({After} 20. Ne8+ { White wins the bishop on g7, and can secure a retreat for the errant knight, whilst ensuring his own knight on e2 is not left without consideration. The variations are not "dead-simple" but its easy to imagine that Wheatcroft thought that Capablanca, one of the greatest players of all time, would see everything:} Ke6 21. Nxg7+ Kf6 (21... Kd6 22. Ne8+ Kd7 23. Nf6+ Ke6 24. Bg5 Bxe2 (24... h6 25. Bh3+ Kd6 26. Ne8+ Kc6 27. Bxe7 Bxe2 28. Bxd8) 25. Bh3+ Kd6 26. Ne8+ Kc6 27. Bxe7) (21... Kd7 22. Bh3+ Ne6 23. Nxe6) 22. Ne8+ Ke6 23. Bh3+ f5 24. Nc1 Kd7 (24... Kf7 25. Nd6+) 25. Nf6+ Ke6 26. Nxh7) 1-0