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All the Queen's Knights

Sep 20, 2009, 11:30 AM 23

In this game, Jose Capablanca faces off against Angel Arnal in Barcelona, 1935. I want to take the time to analyze the position right after White plays 12. d5 which offers up a free Pawn for Black. What is the great Capablanca thinking? Well, White's mindset when he sacrifices his Pawn is to remove the defender of the h5 and h7 by forcing the guardian of those two squares to e7 after a Bishop-Bishop exchange. We then arrive to a position where Capablanca is about to play a series of stunning moves that will leave Arnal in one sticky mess. So, analyze the position below and play like Capablanca: 







Solution & Explanation: Could you find the winning moves in that position? Well, the solution is 14. Bxh7+?! Kxh7 15. Ng5+ Kg8 16. Rxd7?! Qxd7 17. Qh5 Rd8 18. Qxf7+ Kh8 19. h4 Nf5 20. Nh5 Qe8 21. Nf6! 14. Bxh7+?! forces the King out into the open. 15. Ng5+ forces the King back to g8, not h6 or h8, because of 16. Qh5+-. 16. Rxd7?! is a seemingly crazy move, but upon close inspection, the reader may see that this move got rid of the pesky Knight that IF placed on f6 it would throw a wrench into White's plans. 17. Qh5 threatens mate in 1. 18. Qxf7+ takes advantage of the absence of Black's Rook to isolate his King in a corner. 19. h4 takes the pressure off of the Knight on g3 and makes it movable again. 20. Nh5 further entangles Black's position. 21. Nf6! assures that IF 21...gxf6 then [22. Qh7#] or IF 21...Qxf7 then [22. Nxf7#]. 


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