Great Chess Player's Gallery. Alechin. 3
428. Another Capablanca letter
Christian Sánchez (Rosario, Argentina) has sent us a letter written by Capablanca which was presented (and billed as previously unpublished) on page 25 of Magazine Actual, May 1997. Below are the original and our English translation:
‘8 December 1927President of the Club Argentino de Ajedrez
Dr Lizardo Molina Carranza
In my opinion, Dr Alekhine was already proclaimed world champion, not only here but throughout the entire world, from the moment when, through the official match referee, Dr C. Querencio, I sent the letter in which I resigned the final game.
Moreover, in similar cases I have always emphatically opposed any act of public ostentation. It is clear that the organizing committee of the match is applying a different criterion.
Given our difference of views with respect to these matters, permit me to refrain from attending tonight at the Chess Club.
As regards my share of the purse, I am asking Mr Ricardo Illa, the official match treasurer, kindly to retain it for me until I go to his office to collect it.
The context is that on 29 November 1927 Capablanca had written to Alekhine (in French) to resign the 34th and last match game, adding ‘you are therefore the world champion’. The day the above-quoted letter was written to Lizardo Molina Carranza (8 December 1927) Alekhine was ‘officially proclaimed world champion’ at the Club Argentino de Ajedrez, as reported on page 123 of the January 1928 issue of El Ajedrez Americano. After an address by Carranza on the significance of the match, Alekhine spoke, thanking the Club for its work and declaring himself against changes to the world title match rules.
A photograph of the ceremony appeared on page 166 of Match por el título mundial (Buenos Aires, 1978). On the far right is Lizardo Molina Carranza, with Alekhine standing on his right. Ricardo Illa is seated, his hands clasped.