Monday, March 17

Capablanca in Vienna: Cuban ace defeats Reti in difficult endgame

José R. Capablanca scored a fine endgame victory over Richard Reti in an exhibition contest held at Vienna on the 15th inst. Capablanca, with the White pieces, opted for the Ruy Lopez, to which Reti replied with the Rio de Janeiro variation. The players followed the course of the 14th game between Doctors Tarrasch and Lasker from their World Championship match of 1908 until Black's 16th move, when Reti at last varied from that earlier encounter, choosing 16...Qf6 in preference to Lasker's 16...Qh4. By the 23rd move a series of exchanges had brought about a seemingly level endgame, with each player in possession of a Rook and Bishop, the Bishops commanding squares of opposite colors. Here, however, Capablanca began to demonstrate his true strength, first sacrificing material in order obtain a dangerous passed pawn on the Queen-side and then exploiting a slight error by Reti (31...Kf8? in place of the superior 31...Rb4) to win his opponent's Bishop for two pawns. The position nevertheless remained most delicate, and it required all Capablanca's considerable endgame skill to thwart Black's efforts to exchange White's remaining pawns and achieve a draw. Reti resigned at the 50th move at a point when he might have played for one last trap with 50...d4, as indicated in the notes, although it is extremely unlikely that Capablanca would have allowed himself to be led astray with the goal so near at hand.

We present the game below. Capablanca now sets off for Paris, from where we expect to receive news of his activities in the coming days.

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