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Thus 22. f4 exf4 23. Rxf4 bxc4 24. dxc4?? (see diagram; clearing the third rank gives Black new tactical hope; on 24. bxc4! Qc3 25. Rb1 Rb6 26. Rxb6 axb6 27. Qh5 Qb2+ 28. Rf2 Qg7 29. g4 Kd7 30. Qd5, White retains his positional dominance) Qc3! hitting the rook on a1 and the pawn on g3, which would not have been exposed on 24. bxc4. White can still bail out here with 25. Rg4! Rxg4 26. Qxg4 Qxa1 27. Qc8+ Ke7 28. Qb7+ Kf8 29. Qxa6, with a probable draw, but Capablanca compounds his error with another uncharacteristic tactical oversight.
The finale: 25. Qe1?? (guarding both threatened squares, but the queen is badly overloaded) Rxa2+!, and White resigns as his material deficit is hopeless after 26. Rxa2 Qxe1.
1. Nf3 d5 2. b3 Nf6 3. Bb2 e6 4. c4 c5 5. e3 Nc6 6. cxd5 exd5 7. Bb5 Bd6 8. Ne5 O-O 9. Nxc6 bxc6 10. Be2 Re8 11. O-O Rb8 12. d3 Rb4 13. Nd2 Rh4 14. g3 Ng4 15. Bxg4 Bxg4 16. f3 Rxh2 17. fxg4 Rxe3 18. Bf6 Rh3 19. Rf3 Rxg3+ 20. Kh1 gxf6 21. Rxg3 Bxg3 22. Nf3 Qd7 White resigns.
1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. g3 Nf6 4. Bg2 d6 5. d3 Bg4 6. Nf3 Nd4 7. h3 Nxf3+ 8. Bxf3 Bxf3 9. Qxf3 e5 10. Bg5 Be7 11. Bxf6 Bxf6 12. Nd5 Rc8 13. c4 Qa5+ 14. Kf1 Rc6 15. Nxf6+ gxf6 16. Qxf6 Rg8 17. Qf3 Rb6 18. Qe2 Qb4 19. b3 Ra6 20. Kg2 Qa5 21. Rhf1 b5 22. f4 exf4 23. Rxf4 bxc4 24. dxc4 Qc3 25. Re1 Rxg3+ White resigns.
David R. Sands can be reached at 202/636-3178 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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About the Author
Raised in Northern Virginia, David R. Sands received an undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia and a master’s degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He worked as a reporter for several Washington-area business publications before joining The Washington Times.
At The Times, Mr. Sands has covered numerous beats, including international trade, banking, politics ...
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