Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Back-rank combination by Chess Legend Capablanca

We all know about back rank, when rook or queen delivered checkmate from last rank because king can not move to next rank because of his own pieces or pawns. Normally it has been seen that back rank mate occurs to low level players but the same motif is a base of some high level combination in grand master's games.

Everybody knows Capablanca, The chess genius is known for his intuition and endgame skill but here are some examples I am going to show you that he had also expertise in combination too. Even anyone who have used fritz 11 or 12 may be know that it say sometimes like 'Capablanca - King of little combination'.

(1) Capablanca,Jose-Raul - Fonaroff,Mark
New York casual, 18.06.1918

Position after Black's 16.... Rad8

Just try to guess what Capablanca played? 
He begun a beautiful combination with 17. Rxd6 - Rd6, 18. Bxe5 - Rd1?? (Computer shows that better was 18....Qa5, 19.Bc3 - Bxc3 19. bxc3 - Rg6 20. Ne7+ and winning rook back) but this is blunder which truly punished by Capa 19. Rd1 - Bxe5 20.Now back-rank combination with Nh6+!! - Kh8 21. Qxe5!!

Position after white's 21st move

21.... Qe5 (Can not capture knight as attack on Queen and g7 pawn is also pinned) 22. Nxf7+ and black resigned because if 22....Rxf7 then Rd8# and if Kg8 then Ne5 with clear piece up.

(2) Capablanca - Rossolimo
Paris 1938

This is the most famous example from Capablanca for Back-rank combination which we always show to our student. Both player reached to following position 

Position after Black's 26th Move

Here his opponent made a mistake which gave Capablanca knight free. He played 26.Nc3?? - Nc3 but his opponent didn't understand the little combination of Capa and played 27. Rc3 - Rc3 28. Rc3 - Qb2 

Queen attacks both rook and queen and Queen can not be captured because of Rd1# so his opponent resigned.

Now Question : Can't Capablanca directly played Qb1 on move no. 28 instead of Qb2 ? Solve it then check it with your computer program.

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