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Capablanca System: A Top Down approach

Nimzowitsch devised a full system to positionally beat an opponent. The system was based on middle-game plans. Most of the players of that time were looking for an advantage in opening to middle game phases. Steinitz, Lasker and Nimzowitsch systems were popular with them.

But Capablanca revised the Morphy approach in a new format. He was a master of endgames. So, equality or even limited inferiority in opening to middle games phases could not deter Capablanca. He took the games to endgames and won there. Most of the Capablanca games were planned keeping end game positional advantages in view.

Another, attribute Capa had was very long combinational calculations. If a combination is too long it is more strategic than tactical as it can take a game from opening to endgame. Capa was a master of strategic combinations.

One of Capablanca's strategies can be described like this:

1. Play common balanced openings like Queens gambit declined or Ruy Lopez where serious disadvantage shall not be there. Equality is OK.

2. Control the center with pawns (Unlike Nimzowitsch who said to control with pieces, here Capa followed Steinitz).

3. Exchange opponent's one bishop with your bishop, one knight with your knight, rooks & queens with your rooks & queen and one knight with your bishop (Here Capa differed with Steinitz and most chess thinkers).

4. In this way, bring the game to endgame where you have one knight and opponent one bishop.

5. Keep more and more (especially central) pawns on the board. As far as possible opponent's pawns shall be fixed on the same color squares as of his bishop. Pawn structure shall be made rigid. This will restrict bishop's movements and make it bad.

6. Now utilize your knight which will jump over the pawns and take one or two.

7. Centralize king and win the game supporting pawns to queen.

8. If queens are on the board, its better as queen and knight complement each other better than queen and bishop. Then plan to mate the opponent's king.


Alekhine System 

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