New York 1924, Round 18: Capablanca defends, Marshall attacks

by Johannes Fischer
5/22/2020 – In round 18 of the New York Tournament 1924 World Champion José Raúl Capablanca once again showed why he is so hard to beat. After a bad opening he still managed to win against Edward Lasker with strong positional play. Frank Marshall defeated Efim Bogoljubow with a fantastic attack, sacrificing a number of pieces on his way to victory. | Photo: José Raúl Capablanca (Archive)

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Attack and defense

In 1921 Capablanca defeated Dr. Emanuel Lasker in their World Championship match in Havana and became new World Champion. The match was rather one-sided and after 4 losses and 10 draws Dr. Lasker decided to resign the match that was played for six wins. However, at the tournament in New York the old World Champion Lasker seems to be at least equal to the new World Champion Capablanca – after 17 of 22 rounds Lasker was sole first with 11½/15 and had one and a half point more than Capablanca, who was sole second with 10.0/15.

But Capablanca seems to be willing to try everything to catch up with Lasker. In round 18, the World Champion played against Edward Lasker and right from the start Capablanca was striving for a double-edged position. However, after the opening the World Champion was clearly worse.

But with an interesting positional pawn sacrifice, Capablanca launched a strong counterattack in a queenless middlegame. Edward Lasker found no concept which gave Capablanca the chance to show his remarkable skills in the endgame.


After the game Edward Lasker admitted that the is gread admirer of Capablanca. Indeed, he went so far to talk about "the absolute certainty of defeat I cannot help feeling whenever I face him in a game".

Edward Lasker also shared his impressions about Capablanca as a person:

"Capablanca struck everyone as a very likeable fellow, but he did not appear to have the inquisitive mind and intellectual faculties which were so impressive in men like Emanuel Lasker, Ossip Bernstein, Richard Teichmann or Siegbert Tarrasch. The Cuban seemed eminently practical, a quality which was completely absent in the European masters."

After his win against Edward Lasker Capablanca is only point behind Emanuel Lasker who drew an unspectular game against Alexander Alekhine.


US Champion Frank Marshall was responsible for the second highlight of the round. He won with a fine and powerful attack against Efim Bogolyubov.


Frederick Yates scored the third win of the round. He outplayed Savielly Tartakower in a Sicilian and finished the game with a nice combination.


Geza Maroczy played Richard Reti played a long fighting game but still drew after 58 moves.


Results of round 18

F. Yates 1-0 S. Tartakower
G. Maroczy ½-½ R. Reti
F. Marshall 1-0 E. Bogoljubow
Ed. Lasker 0-1 J.R. Capablanca
Em. Lasker ½-½ A. Alekhine

Bye: Dawid Janowsky

Standings after round 18

Rk. Name 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Pts.
1 Emanuel Lasker   ½0 11 ½  11 ½  ½1 ½  11 12.0
2 Jose Raul Capablanca ½1   ½½ ½½ ½1 ½1 ½1 11.0
3 Alexander Alekhine ½½   10 ½  ½½ ½  11 ½½ 10.0
4 Richard Reti 00 01   ½0 01 11 ½½ 9.5
5 Frank James Marshall ½  ½½ ½  ½1   01 ½0 ½  11 9.0
6 Efim Bogoljubow 00 ½½ 10 10   01 11 ½1 8.5
7 Savielly Tartakower ½  ½  00 ½1 10   ½½ 10 ½0 ½1 7.5
8 Geza Maroczy ½0 ½½ ½½   ½1 10 7.5
9 Frederick Dewhurst Yates ½0 00 ½  00 01   11 ½1 5.5
10 Edward Lasker ½  ½0 ½½ ½0 ½1 ½0 00   5.0
11 Dawid Markelowicz Janowsky 00 ½0 00 ½0 01 ½0   4.5




Johannes Fischer was born in 1963 in Hamburg and studied English and German literature in Frankfurt. He now lives as a writer and translator in Nürnberg. He is a FIDE-Master and regularly writes for KARL, a German chess magazine focusing on the links between culture and chess. On his own blog he regularly publishes notes on "Film, Literature and Chess".


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