Art of The Squeeze

Updated: Apr 11, 2020

Aron, Nimzowitsch – Jose Raul, Capablanca (B12) Game 3 Caro-Kann, Advance Variation

New York New York, NY USA

Nimzowitsch was one of the most influential players in modern chess history,his book "My System" is considered by many to be one of the best books in history. He's known for his deep strategic play. To view this game in Chessbase format or pgn format you can do it from this link: 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Bd3 Bxd3 5.Qxd3 e6 6.Nc3 an unnecessary move,white should develop his kingside pieces first,also white could need his c pawn later to support the center by c3

we've seen 6.Ne2 in Atkins-Capablanca,which is better than the text

6...Qb6 It's obvious from this game and the previous one (see game 3) that Capablanca liked this idea a lot

hitting the center right away with 6...c5 7.Nge2 Nc6 was more precise,avoiding threats against the queen such as Na4 and hitting the e5 pawn,note how awkward the knight is placed on c3

7.Nge2 7.Nf3 was better in my opinion,as the knight will guard more central square such as e5,white wants to play f4 but as we'll see this idea wasn't very efficient

7...c5 it's good to not that this setup with c5 was also something that Nimzowitsch used to play,so it's likely that Capablanca used to effect him psychologically

7...Qa6 was the idea we saw in game 3,but now white can move away with 8.Qh3 and 8...c5? falls to the lethal 9.Nxd5! exd5 10.Qc8+ Ke7 11.Qxc5++– and black is lost

8.dxc5 white could also ignore the threat with 8.0–0 Nc6 (or 8...cxd4 9.Nxd4 Nc6 10.Nxc6) 9.Be3

8...Bxc5 9.0–0 9.Na4? is bad due to 9...Bxf2+ 10.Kf1 Qc6

9...Ne7 9...Nc6 was good leading to a position similar to the game after 10.Na4 Qa5 11.Nxc5 Qxc5 12.Be3

10.Na4 a very common idea in this position that white usually plays without thinking ,though in this position white had an interesting alternative

10.b4!? is an unusual move ,but black must be very careful or he'll end up in a difficult situation: a)10...Qxb4 11.Nb5 Qa5 (11...Na6 12.Ba3 Qa4 13.Bxc5 Nxc5 14.Nd6+ with compensation for the pawn due to black's bad king) 12.Be3 a6 13.Rfb1! and black's position is difficult to play ,he'll probably have to give up the pawn to complete development b) 10...Bxb4 this is the better move, though it looks less natural than Qxb4. 11.Rb1 now white has saced a pawn ,but in return he opened a vital file for his rook and will take big initiative because of the pin on the queen 11...Qa5 (11...Qc5?? loses after 12.Nb5! Nf5 (if 12...0–0 13.Be3 and black loses the bishop) 13.g4) 12.Nb5 Nbc6 (is bad due to 12...0–0 13.Rxb4 Qxb4 14.Ba3 Qh4 15.g3 Qg5 16.f4 and black has to leave the knight) 13.a3 a6 14.Nd6+ Bxd6 15.exd6 Nf5 16.d7+! and a very double edged position arises, overall black should be fine but it'd have been difficult to find such moves over the board

10...Qc6 11.Nxc5 Qxc5 now the worst is over for black ,he has a good structure with a semi open file and 2 knights for a knight and bishop

12.Be3 Qc7 13.f4 Nf5 also possible was 13...0–0; and 13...Nbc6 when 14.Bc5? falls to 14...Nxe5!

14.c3 Nc6 15.Rad1 g6 now the position is around equal and both sides have good chances ,but now a hasten decision turns the flow of the game

15...h5 was a decent alternative ,but I suppose black wanted to invite white to play g4; 15...0–0 16.g4

16.g4? a big mistake ,white is not ready to open up his kingside

16.Bf2 was essential before going g4,i guess white saw after 16...h5 he wouldn't be able to play g4 so he decided to play it right away 17.h3

16...Nxe3 17.Qxe3 h5 challenging white's pawn avalanche

18.g5 white is forced to close up the kingside

trying to hold to the pawns with 18.h3? opens hell for white after 18...hxg4 19.hxg4 0–0–0 now black threats both Rh4 doubling on the g-file and g5 weakening the center pawns 20.Kg2 (or 20.g5 Rh4) 20...g5; 18.f5 falls to 18...gxf5 19.gxf5 0–0–0 and the e5 pawn will fall sooner than later

18...0–0 now black will start to play on the queenside ,with white having no counterplay whatsoever on the kingside. Black has the upper hand

19.Nd4 white now is the one looking for a draw ,trying to exchange pieces

19...Qb6 leaving all the chances open ,white has to waste some moves to get out of the pin

19...Nxd4 was an option ,though having more pieces is more practical and offers more chances for black 20.Rxd4

20.Rf2 Rfc8 21.a3 Rc7 putting all his pieces on the queenside ,targeting the c4 square

22.Rd3 Na5 22...Rac8

23.Re2 Re8!? this move seems odd at first,but after some analysis it turns out to have a very logical reason behind it

23...Rac8! was the expected move in this position,the move black was most likely fearing in this position was 24.f5 and now the only move to keep advantage for black is 24...Nc4! (the normal 24...exf5? is met by 25.e6! and now suddenly white is back in the game) 25.Qf2 exf5 26.e6 (see diagram) and now white looks to have good chances to hold the game....if not for black's astounding move 26...Re8!! and after (26...Re7? 27.exf7+ Rxf7 28.Re6) 27.exf7+ Kxf7 28.Rxe8 Kxe8 the black king returns to his starting position in the middle of the board ,but white has no counterplay at all and black's extra pawn should tell

24.Kg2 Nc6 25.Red2 25.Nxc6 Qxc6 and taking the pawn with 26.Qxa7?? loses to 26...b6 27.Qa6 Ra8 and the queen is trapped

25...Rec8 now black isn't afraid anymore of f5

26.Re2 after 26.Nxc6 all captures are valid ,perhaps the best in my view would be 26...bxc6 27.Qxb6 axb6 with a very strong structure ,black has a lot of freedom and many choices to open the queenside

26...Ne7 preventing any f5 plans and also wants to play Nf5 himself in the future

27.Red2 Rc4 the rook is very well placed on c4,putting pressure on f4 in case white moves with his knight

28.Qh3 Kg7 29.Rf2 a5 white's attacking ideas are all in vain

30.Re2 Nf5 a good move ,but black could've been more precise

30...Nc6! (see diagram) is winning on the spot ,all white's moves fail such as: 31.Nxc6 is white's best try ,though after

a) 31.Nf3 loses the f pawn 31...Rxf4;

b) 31.Red2 also loses after 31...Nxd4 32.Rxd4 Rxd4 33.cxd4 (33.Rxd4 Qxb2+–+) 33...Rc4 and black has a much better version of what happened in the game;

31...Qxc6 32.Qf3 b5 black will crush white's queenside with b4 next move

31.Nxf5+ gxf5 black isn't afraid to leave the h pawn

32.Qf3 is met by 32.Qxh5 Rh8 33.Qf3 Rh4 and now the f4 pawn falls and the rest of the kingside pawn will be vulnerable

32...Kg6 black will now start invading with his rooks ,white's position is awfully cramped. Black will start to squeeze white slowly ,which is ironic due to the fact that's the style Nimzowitsch is known to master

33.Red2 Re4 34.Rd4 Rc4?! 34...Rxd4 35.cxd4 Rc1 was winning easily ,it's very likely that both players were running low on time before the 40th move

35.Qf2? mutual inaccuracies in time trouble

35.Rxc4 was white's last escape, after 35...Rxc4 36.Qf2 white's position is still bad ,but far from over

35...Qb5 now black is easily winning ,the rest doesn't need commentary

36.Kg3 36.Rxe4 Rxe4

36...Rcxd4 37.cxd4 Qc4 38.Kg2 b5 39.Kg1 b4 40.axb4 axb4 41.Kg2 Qc1 42.Kg3 Qh1 43.Rd3 Re1 44.Rf3 Rd1 45.b3 Rc1 46.Re3 Rf1


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