In 1964, for ChessWorld Magazine, Robert James Fischer was asked to name the Top 10 Best Chess Players in the world.
Here is his list (in alphabetical order) of those players:
Alexander Alekhine, José Capablanca, Paul Morphy, Samuel Reshevsky, Boris Spassky, Howard Staunton, Wilhelm Steintz, Mikhail Tal, Siegbert Tarrash, and Mikhail Tchigorin.
José Capablanca - 1888 - 1942
Fischer said: He had the totally undeserved reputation of being the greatest living endgame player. His trick was to keep his openings simple and then play with such brilliance that it was decided in the middle game before reaching the ending -- even though his opponent didn't always know it. His almost complete lack of book knowledge forced him to push harder to squeeze the utmost out of every position.
Here is José in a short game against Frank Marshall:
Although Marshall lost to Capablanca far more often than he won (+2 −20 =28), he was one of a few players ever to beat him with the black pieces. We can compare Capablanca with Mozart, whose charming music appeared to have been a smooth flow. I get the impression that Capablanca did not even know why he preferred this or that move, he just moved the pieces with his hand. If he had worked a lot on chess, he might have played worse because he would have started to try to comprehend things. But Capablanca did not have to comprehend anything, he just had to move the pieces! - Vladimir Kramnik