A Passage in Capablanca's Life

A Passage in Capablanca's Life‎

GM Julio_Becerra
23 | Chess Players

The fame of invincibility that Capablanca had in his younger years is general knowledge. After his 8-1 victory in the match against Frank J. Marshall in 1909, there followed an almost uninterrupted series of successes until his crowning as World Champion in Havana 1921 against the unbeatable Emanuel Lasker, who had held the title of World Champion more time than anybody: 27 years! A record that seems unlikely to be surpassed. After the mentioned success versus Marshall, Capablanca would surprise the world with his triumph in San Sebastian 1911, an event to which were solely invited players honored in international events. The objections of some players to Capablanca's participation in the tournament are well known, the most famous being Nimzowich and Bernstein. The game against Bernstein can be found in many books, but less known is the victory against the author of “My System”, a game that culminated with a pretty combination of black minor pieces. Before continuing I wanted to share with you my dear readers this small chess jewel.

Many were the successes of Capablanca during the pre-war years and the first World War, among which a successful tour of Europe between 1913 and 1914 is counted, which culminated with a second place in the strong tournament of Saint Petersburg 1914, only half a point behind World Champion Emanuel Lasker. During the World War I period Capablanca won many tournaments in the United States, suffering a historical defeat in New York Rice 1916 against Oscar Chajes. By the importance of this game it is included here for your consideration.


It was not until the famous tournament of New York 1924 that the spell of the invincibility of “The Machine” broke, a nickname that accompanied Capablanca during many years. The “hangman” was Richard Reti who making use of a new system surprised his feared opponent. This game which we already talked about in a previous article dedicated to the “Hypermodern School”, became legendary not by the quality itself, but because it was the end of a legend. Apparently Capablanca never forgot that sad moment, and after that gave a little noble treatment to the author “Master of the Chessboard” and “New Ideas in Chess”. In order to close this small chapter in chess history I will conclude byshowing a game that I am sure Capablanca felt was a small revenge against the man who broke the myth. I'm talking about the game that they played in Berlin 1928, a miniature which I recommend the fans study at great length, because it shows the dangers when the principles of the game in the openings are violated, and the exemplary refutation given by Capablanca.


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