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If Alekhine had not spent the next 20 years dodging Capablanca, his claim to superiority would have been stronger. He not only refused to negotiate a rematch, he demanded double the honorarium from tournament organizers if Capablanca were to also be invited.
When this happens, it is a legitimate question why. Alekhine did take offense at some remark of Capablanca which was quoted in the newspapers after their match, which he took as an insult against his wife and demanded apology, which Capa refused. I never saw the exact quote, but it is certainly true that Alekhine had married a rich widow and lived off her money. Was this grounds to avoid a rematch with the strongest challenger for at least ten years?
It is not correct to claim Capablanca was "lazy" or unprepared in the openings. He introduced dozens of new opening ideas, there was simply much less emphasis on opening innovation in those days, Alekhine began the tradition of the Champion breaking ground in many new lines.
A big flaw to Lasker's reign as champion is that for at least 10 years of his record 27 year reign he didnt defend his title . In his day the champion could practically hand pick his opponents and avoid playing his most dangerous rivals if he so desired . Steinitz played more and didnt have a long period in which he didnt defend his title and he didnt duck anyone ... Take away Lasker's decade in which he didnt put his title on the line and his reign is reduced to 17 years , or add a 10 year stretch of not playing for the title to the reign of Steinitz and what would his record be ?
I do not see it as a "flaw" - no one came up with the purse to challenge. In those days, each side put up a purse, guaranteed by his sponsors. Few of the players who might have challenged Lasker could raise the money, Rubinstein was the only likely challenger who might actually have had a chance, but he lacked the sponsors.
There is no record of Lasker ever declining a challenge which came with the financial guarantees until he was ready to resign the title in favor of Capablanca after WWI. In the end, Capa's backers raised enough to entice Lasker to play anyway.
6-3 is pretty convincing in my book.
Capablanca fans love to say that Alekhine "dodged" a rematch, but are strangely silent about the fact that Capablanca had made Alekhine jump through hoops to get a match in the first place. It's hardly surprising that Alekhine would later figuratively flip Capa the bird.
Lasker, Capa, and Alekhine all did some dodging. If Alekhine lived off his wife, certainly Capa lived off the Cuban government, who gave him a stipend. These arguments are hard to judge at this distance in time, and probably best left alone.
These players had the "misfortune" to be contemporaries (or nearly so, with Lasker), unlike some other greats, so controversy is inevitable.
This is why, despite its flaws, the current system is not that bad. For the MOST part players have decide OTB who gets to challenge the champ and then the champ has to defend against that person lose the title (ala Fischer!)
They do need to tweak the system a bit to get a few more top candidates into the candidates tourmanent. A few of the guys are draw machines. Would love to see Nakamura get invited next time! Not sure if we would make it on through to the end but he would make it a fighting tournament! That is why is was great to see Ivanchuk in the candidates tournament! He is such a fighter that the throws the equilabrium off and he was a main reason why this tournament was exciting to the end!
I personally can't wait for the Carlsen-Anand match! I don't know who the root for and I like that!!
On another note I think Anand has to go down as one of the all time great champs! He has won the championship in three different formats, has been one of the top players for almost two decades, and has now successfully defended his title TWICE! Which is rare!
That is why this upcoming match is so exciting! Can Anand hold of the future one more time? Or is it Carlsen's time? That is super intrigueing and exciting since both players seem likeable (at least from a distance).
When looking at Carlsen's games I have the feeling that he follows Lasker and Karpov with his style.
He plays rather simple openings without searching for advantage but for getting a playable position and outplay the opponent in the endgame. This is what Lasker did - his openings did not change for 4 decades but he could beat anyone with them (look like he employed the reverse London setup against Reti at NY 1924 and outplayed the hypermodernist in classical style).
As for Karpov, he is the greatest master of converting micro-advantages into whole points. He exploited the smallest inacurracies unmercifuly and his opponents were not even aware which moves they could play better. Carlsen's technique is very similar. He waits for many moves until the opponent weakens his position minimally and then converts that slight advantage. He can find a plan to win even when the position looks like dead draw.
Carlsen is a great tactician ("calculator") anyway and burns his opponents in flames when the position calls for combinative play (Karpov did exactly the same - never risked if he could positionally pressure but won several beauty prizes when he found tactical approach giving him sure win and being faster than positional one).
As both Karpov and Lasker are my favourite WCs I wish Magnus wins the match and become the champion at similar age as his mentor Kasparov
The champion would, at that time, not usually "waste his time" on an unworthy player. Of course Alekhine would prove his worth later but, in his own words Alekhine refused to play in a tournament (before their match) if Capablaca was appearing because "I was prepared to play only in the event of Capablanca not participating....At the moment I am a weaker player than Capablanca and if he had participated in the tournament he would have taken first prize, and to finish below Capablanca now is not at all in my interests."
In other words, Alekhine, by his own admission, was dodging Capa even before their match. I do not fault him for this. This was part of his strategy to ultimately win the title when the time was right. Fischer agrees saying, "Alekhine developed as a player much more slowly than most. In his twenties, he was an atrocious chess player and didn't mature until he was well into his thirties."
Given that, there was no reason for Capa to rush into a match. I believe Alehkine would probably have won the rematch but he wasn't taking any chances and so, yes Capa's supporters are justified in accusing AA of dodging a rematch because he agreed to do so and then never would.
"I was prepared to play only in the event of Capablanca not participating....At the moment I am a weaker player than Capablanca and if he had participated in the tournament he would have taken first prize, and to finish below Capablanca now is not at all in my interests."
I can find no source for this quote. In fact I remember reading somewhere that Alekhine claimed he was already Capablanca's equal in 1925, two years before their match.
My source was "My Great Predecessors, Part I" by Kasparov but there is no attribution. He also says that AA's first challenge to Capa was a bluff and quotes AA as saying, "I did not feel fully mature in the chess sense. In many fields, especially in technique, Capablanca was undoubtedly stronger than me at that time, and his main opponent still remained Lasker... Therefore my challenge had only one aim - to strengthen my candidature for the future."
by Scottrf a few minutes ago
Fact: Carlsen will be historically mediocre
by socialista a few minutes ago
cant unusual openings be used to fox stronger opponents more often than not?
by RustInTime 3 minutes ago
what the #$%^was he playing and how did he win?
by 42FlamingZombies 3 minutes ago
How is this draw by insufficient material? I should have won on time
by Lisztae 4 minutes ago
Anand vs Carlsen: World Championship which game was the best.
by Shakaali 5 minutes ago
what is this whole "carlsen plays like a computer" nonsense
by brankz 8 minutes ago
12/5/2013 - Too Many Attackers, Too Little Defenders
by hafiznabolsi 9 minutes ago
Carlsen is mediocre - my analyses
by badger_song 14 minutes ago
The bad thing about chess is its fixed starting position.
by socialista 17 minutes ago
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