Interesting Capablanca Letter

May 7, 2008, 1:08 PM |


José Capablanca Letter

May 18, 1923

Norbert Lederer was one of the great chess organizers in the United States in the 1920s.

Among tournaments that he organized were the legendary New York 1924 and 1927

tournaments. In the spring of 1923, he had written to the world champion, José Capablanca,

inquiring about the possibility of Capablanca participating in an upcoming tournament.

s reply...

(Russell Collection #1552)

From: J.R. Capablanca

To: Norbert Lederer

Date: May 18, 1923

Dear Mr. Lederer:

Your letter of the 5th at hand. As a general proposition I do not have any interests in small

tournaments. I have decided not to play except in tournaments of importance provided I get

a large enough retainer. I make of course exceptions to this rule when I think the

circumstances warrant it. I do believe that chess needs to be boosted in the U.S. and to that

effect I shall be willing to play, provided that the first prize be no less than $1,000 and the 2d

$700. My retainer would be $1,000 and I should receive in addition any expenses that may

be allowed to the other players for travelling and living purposes. That would be the

minimum. If you think you can raise the money let me know so as to fix the date as well as

the playing conditions that I would consider necessary for my participation.

Wishing you success in any case I remain

Sincerely yours

/s/ J.R. Capablanca