Thursday, 5 November 2015

La petit combination

One of the features of the play of Jose Capablanca was his use of the 'petit combination'. This was a short tactical sequence that was designed to create a positional advantage. It usually involved a brief investment of material, which was then won back a few moves later, with an improved position being the ultimate reward.
Here is a more recent example of such a combination (based on a game I saw last night, but I suspect not an exact replica). White has just swung the rook to b1, offering the knight on c3. After 1. ... Qxc3 2. Rxb8+ Nxb8 3.Qe8+ Bf8 4.Qxe6+ Kg7 5.Bf1 White has a much better position, and won soon after (I think the Black king was checkmated on h4 at the end).
Interestingly, more recent examinations of Capablanca's games has shown that in some instances his opponents missed better defences, which would have thrown some doubt on the soundness of the combination. And so it was in the position (although maybe not the actual game). Instead of recapturing on b8, Black could have surrendered the exchange with 2. ... Bf8 gaining an extra tempo to capture the pawn on d3 (Qe1+ is also a threat),  with plenty of play.


Anonymous said...

white f pawn should be on f4 and black on f6, otherwise correct

Anonymous said...

and no white pawn on a2