Shelves: favorites This is a classic, and justly so. There are basically 3 versions of this book in English. The old one, which this appears to be, in descriptive notation. Chess Fundamentals The "Revised" version, where both the descriptive notation has been replaced with algebraic thank you! Chess Fundamentals, Revised The other algebraic edition, which simply replaces the descriptive notation but does not change any of the text.

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He was also known for his quick speed of play, as well as an unmatched ability to look at a position briefly and come up with the best move - almost as if he was a computer. At the age of 8, he started playing at the Havana chess club. By the age of 13, he narrowly defeated the Cuban Champion, Juan Corzo, in a match. He continued to play well and progress throughout the early s, before moving to New York in to attend Columbia University.

It was in New York that Capablanca joined the Manhattan chess club and began to make a big name for himself. He eventually dropped out of Columbia University in order to focus on chess.

Capablanca would continue his success over the coming years, often traveling around the US performing simultaneous exhibitions. His success in these exhibitions allowed him to play a match versus the US Champion, Frank Marshall , in Capablanca won the match convincingly.

This victory gave him enough credit on the world stage to challenge World Champion Lasker. Unfortunately, Lasker and Capablanca could not agree to terms, so the match did not happen at this time.

Capablanca continued his rise to prominence from , winning multiple large tournaments. Alekhine left and Capablanca right in St. Petersburg Photo: Wikipedia In , Capablanca played in the famous St. He started off the tournament as the sole leader, clearly winning the first stage. During the St.

Petersburg tournament, Capablanca was giving time odds in blitz games of 5 minutes to 1 minute against the other tournament participants, and was beating everyone. Petersburg tournament. The War put international chess tournaments on hold for almost 5 years. Capablanca won tournaments in New York from , and easily defeated Borislav Kostic in a match.

The match with Kostic was supposed to be the first to 6 wins, but Kostic resigned the match after losing the first four games. Here is the 4th game of the match, where Capablanca displays fantastic endgame technique: In , the first international tournament since WW I began in Hastings. In the beginning of , Capablanca and Lasker agreed to terms to play for the World Championship title in the following year. He would finally have his chance at the title.

The match was scheduled to be over when one player reached 6 wins. Capablanca became the first world champion in history to win the title without losing a single game in the match. Here is a memorable game from the Capablanca-Lasker match: Capablanca was an active world champion.

He won the London tournament of , far ahead of Alekhine, Vidmar, Rubinstein and others. In , he suffered his first tournament loss in 8 years, but still managed to get second place behind Lasker in the New York tournament. Several players attempted to play Capablanca for the World Championship, but only Alexander Alekhine could secure the funds for the match to take place. It was agreed that Capablanca and Alekhine would play for the title in September of Before that match, the New York tournament occurred.

Alekhine had never beaten Capablanca even once in a tournament, and Capablanca was coming off of a very strong victory in the New York tournament. Alekhine, himself, admitted to being surprised that he had defeated Capablanca.

By his own estimations, Alekhine did not feel that he was superior to Capablanca in Alekhine left and Capablanca right in Photo: Wikipedia Life After the World Championship After losing the title, Capablanca attempted to negotiate a rematch with Alekhine who immediately offered Capablanca a return match under identical conditions.

Many times from the late s through the early s it seemed like an agreement was close, but the rematch never materialized mostly because of difficulty to raise the appropriate funds during the Great Depression in the United States. They would rarely play at the same tournaments as one another, and eventually none at all. Capablanca continued playing at the highest level of the chess world from He won many tournaments, and defeated future World Champion Max Euwe in a match in , but eventually took a break from serious chess in the same year.

He returned to chess in the Hastings tournament in , finishing in 4th place ahead of Mikhail Botvinnik and other strong contenders. He continued to have solid and respectable finishes, before winning the Nottingham tournament sharing first place with Botvinnik. In he won a tournament in Paris, and represented Cuba in the 8th Chess Olympiad winning a gold medal for his performance on board 1. It was around this time that Capablanca made a final attempt to secure a match for the world championship title with Alekhine, but Alekhine declined the offer.

A young Capablanca. Photo: Wikipedia Legacy Capablanca continued to play chess until his premature death in , when he collapsed in the Manhattan chess club. His legacy is almost immeasurable. His endgame play has been the source for countless chess books, articles , videos , and other instructional materials. The chess legend is widely accepted as one of the top 5 players to ever play the game, and continues to be a neverending inspiration for players world wide. Best Game.


José Raúl Capablanca

He left Columbia after one semester to devote himself to chess full-time. After the match, Capablanca said that he had never opened a book on chess openings. Both Capablanca and Charles Jaffe won their four games in the knock-out preliminaries and met in a match to decide the winner, who would be the first to win two games. The first game was drawn and Capablanca won the second and third games. Capablanca was now recognized as a serious contender for the world championship.


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