Lessons from the Machine

benws
benws
Jan 3, 2010, 12:00 AM |
11 | Endgames

We can learn so much from the games of Jose Raul Capablanca (November 19, 1888 – March 8, 1942). However, we tend to overlook the fact that he was a great expert in the endgame. After all, it was he who said "In order to improve your game, you must study the endgame before anything else; for whereas the endings can be studied and mastered by themselves, the middlegame and the opening must be studied in relation to the endgame."

Take, for instance, this game he played against Esteban Canal in 1929. Capablanca appears to make a mistake, as he allows Canal to win two pieces for a rook. However, it is possible that he allowed the combination as a way to enter a favorable endgame. You be the judge on that.

The endgame that occurs is an extremely interesting one, with Capablanca's rook dueling Canal's knight and bishop. Both sides strive toward the queening of a passed pawn, and in the end, one pawn will inevitably queen. However, only an eagle eye could spot which pawn this is. Can you spot the correct pawn? I challenge you to do that. Were you close?

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