Botvinnik-Capablanca (Moscow 1936)

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The third Moscow international chess tournament in 1936 had an impressive field of participants, including two former world champions (Jose Raul Capablanca, Emanuel Lasker) and one future world champion (Mikhail Botvinnik).  The tournament took place at the Hall of Columns in Moscow, Russia from May 14th to June 8th, 1936.

The solid mix of Western and Soviet competitors were to play a double round-robin, consisting of eighteen total games.  Capablanca, nine years removed from being the world champion, was alone in first place at the halfway mark.  A point and a half behind him were Botvinnik, Lasker, and Viacheslav Ragozin. The only player to keep within reasonable distance of the leader was Botvinnik, but he eventually finished a full point behind the tournament champion, Capablanca.

The tournament book was written by one of the participants, Gregory Levenfish and later translated to English by Jimmy Adams.  Copies of the book are available HERE at Labate Chess, and feel free to mention the “Rook House” name to get an additional 10-15% off.

Lastly, the seventh round game between Capablanca and Botvinnik was an instant classic and is shown below. Enjoy.


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