Sunday, April 18, 2010

Attacking a Castled King

Capablanca, known for his elegant and brilliant style, transforms a lead in development into a brutal attack on a castled king. Capablanca manages to crush Reti, one of the strongest grandmasters of the day, in just 18 moves.

Berlin Tageblatt, 1950
Ruy Lopez Opening

1. e4, e5
2. Nf3, Nc6
3. Bb5, d6
4. c3 .....

This creates a pawn lever as preparation to d4.

4. ..... a6
5. Ba4, f5

An aggressive move.  Black must be careful now since his King is opened a bit.

6. d4 .....

Reti grabs the center, but leaves the e-pawn hanging.

6. ..... fxe4
7. Ng5, exd4
8. Nxe4, Nf6

Black continues to develop and pressures the center.

9. Bg5, Be7
10. Qxd4 ?! .....

A fancy move that takes advantage of the pinned knight. This move is still extremely dangerous.

10. ..... b5!

Black breaks the pin and attacks the White Queen.

11. Nxf6+, gxf6
12. Qd5!, bxa4
13. Bh6 .....

White could have captured the Knight, but thought it best to prevent Black from castling.

13. ..... Qd7

Since he cannot castle on the king-side, Black prepares to castle on the other side.

14. 0-0, Bb7
15. Bg7! .....

Black's rook is trapped!

15. ..... 0-0-0
16. Bxh8, Ne5

A discovered attack on the Queen.

17. Qd1, Bf3!!

An unstoppable attack.  Now the White Queen can no longer protect the queen side.

18. gxf3, Qh3!
19. Resigns

White cannot stop Nxf3 threatening mate, and Rg8 with mate in a few moves.

To view the game in PGN format, you may visit Reti vs. Capablanca.

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