When direct methods dominated top contests

Chess Checks

In contrast the games were more combinative and the emphasis was more on King hunt in olden days.

The game which follows is one of the best ones played by the genius Capablanca against Alexander Alekhine in a World Championship match. What is interesting to note is that despite invading the enemy territory with his queen and rook, Black cannot defend against the systematic onslaught by Capablanca.

White: Jose Raoul Capablanca – Black: Alexander Alekhine
World Championship, Buenos Aires, 1927
Queen Pawn Opening
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 b6 3.g3 Bb7 4.Bg2 c5 5.0–0
If 5.dxc5 bxc5 6.c4
5...cxd4 6.Nxd4 Bxg2 7.Kxg2 d5
Also Black can consider 7...g6 8.c4 Qc8 9.b3 Bg7 10.Bb2 Nc6
8.c4 e6. Black had better option in 8...dxc4 9.Qa4+ Qd7 10.Nb5
9.Qa4+ Qd7. If 9...Nbd7 10.Bg5 11.Bg5 h6 12.Bxf6 Qxf6 13.Nc3 which favours White
10.Nb5. Threatening  11.Nc7+
10...Nc6 11.cxd5 exd5
If  11...Nxd5 12.e4 And if 11...Qxd5+ 12.e4 Qd7 13.Rd1 Qb7 14.Bf4 Rc8 15.Rc1 a6 16.Nc7
12.Bf4 Rc8 13.Rc1 Bc5 14.b4
Interesting move!
14. ..Bxb4
If 14...Nxb4 15.Nd6+ Kd8 16.Qxd7+ Kxd7 17.Nxc8 Rxc8
An interesting exchange sacrifice for two pieces! If 15.Nc7+ Rxc7 16.Bxc7 Bc5! 17.Bf4 0–0
If 15...Qxc6 16.Qxb4
16.Qxb4 Ne4 17.Nd2 Nxd2 18.Qxd2
If 18.Bxd2 Qe7 19.Qb2 (19.Qxe7+ Kxe7 20.Bb4+ Kf6 21.Rd1) 19...Qe4+ 20.f3 Qxe2+ 21.Kg1
18...0–0 19.Rd1 Rc5 20.Nd4 Re8 21.Nb3 Rcc8 22.e3 If 22.Qxd5 Qxd5+ 23.Rxd5 Rxe2
Also possible to play are 22...Red8 23.e4 and 22...Rcd8 23.f3 Qe7 24.Nd4 g5
23.Qxd5! Rc2
If 23...Qxa2 24.Ra1 Qb2 25.Rxa7
24.Rd2 Rxa2
If 24...Qxa2 25.Qd7 Rf8 26.Rxc2 Qxc2 27.Nd4 Qe4+
25.Rxa2 Qxa2 26.Qc6 Rf8
If 26...Rd8 27.Bc7 Rc8 28.Qd7 Qa6 29.Bd8 h6 30.Nd4
27.Nd4 Kh8
If 27...f6 28.Ne6 And if  27...Rd8 28.e4 h6 29.Be5 h5 (29...Qd2 30.Nf5 Qd7 31.Nxh6+) 30.Bxg7 Kxg7 31.Nf5+ Kg8 32.Qh6
28...f6 29.Ne6 Rg8
Black is pushed back into defence
 30.Bd4 h6
If 30...Qa5 31.Nxg7 Rxg7 32.Qa8+ Rg8 33.Bxf6 checkmate And if 30...a5 31.Nxg7 Rxg7 32.Qxf6 Qg8 33.h4 b5 34.h5 is advantageous for White
A good advance! The idea here is  32.Ng7 Rg7 33.Qf6 Qg8 34.Qh6

Diagram 1

A sacrifice which is the start of a neat combination! All of White’s combine magnificently
32. .. Qg6
Rushing back for defence! If 32...Rxg7 33.Qxf6 Qe4+ (33...Qh7 34.Qf8+ Qg8 35.Bxg7+ Kh7 36.Qxg8+) 34.Kg1 Qb7 35.Qxh6+ Kg8 36.Qxg7+ Qxg7 37.Bxg7 Kxg7 38.Kf1
33.h5. White is attacking
33. ..Qf7
If 33...Qxg7 34.Bxf6
White is in such a good position that the issues fresh threats with every move
 34. ..Kh7 35.Qe4
If 35.Qxf6 Qxf6 36.Bxf6 Rf8 is better for Black
35...Re8 36.Qf4
Also winning is 36.Qd3 Kh8 37.Nxh6 Qg7 38.Nf5 Qb7+ 39.f3 Qc6 40.e4 a5 41.Qe3
36...Qf8 37.Nd6 Re7
If 37...Re6 38.Qf5+ And if 37...Rd8 38.Bxf6
38.Bxf6 Qa8+ 39.e4 Rg7 40.Bxg7 Kxg7 41.Nf5+ Kf7 42.Qc7+ Finishing with a flourish! Black resigned as the position is hopeless.

Diagram 2

White to play and win
New game
1.Bxf6 gxh4
If 1...Bxf6 2.Qxh6 Bg7 3.Qxg5 f6 4.Qxf6
2.Rxg7+ Kf8 3.Rh7 and White wins

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