Capablanca - Having Some Fun in Simultaneous Games.
Capablanca Imperial Chess Club London. 1911.

Capablanca - Having Some Fun in Simultaneous Games.


Afternoon Everyone.

After a couple of weeks of making Capablanca look bad - particularly losing horribly to nobodies in simul play, I thought I would put things right to an extent and give you some fun that is not at his expense!!

As I said last time, he was phenomenal in simultaneous play. I believe his record display was 103 boards, with over 100 wins - don't recall the exact figures - but pretty incredible. He produced some technical masterpieces in his exhibitions - he was just outstandingly gifted in that department of the game, and it is 100% the way to go if you want to run up big scores in an exhibition.

However, when you are giving these exhibitions, you actually want to enjoy yourself as well!! So, I have ignored the displays of technical skill, and selected half a dozen of his 'fun' games that I have in various books.

Two are quite well known, so will leave them until last.

There are also huge numbers of photographs of Capablanca on simultaneous duties, and I will include a few of the ones that took me no effort to get on the page!!

O.K. Lets start.

Two games from an exhibition in Chicago - November 28th 1910 - part of a big U.S. simul tour.

If you play a simul without sacrificing a Bishop on h7 it has been a hard night!!

Capablanca as in 1909. W.S.1909. page 238.

At the same time he has this next game going on, and was given the chance to 'play to the gallery'. 

Not long afterwards on the same tour - December 10th - he was in St. Louis, and faced with an even worse opponent he was allowed to put a nice finish on the board.

Capablanca Simul. Glasgow 1919. ChessScotland.

Shortly before that last picture would have been taken, Capablanca was in Newcastle - September 22nd. 40 boards, and the contemporary report says that the display lasted over 3 hours!!!!!  That works out at something like 9 seconds per move. Factor in 3 seconds to move to the next board and readjust to the new position and he was playing 40 games at 6 seconds per move or so. WOW!!

Manhattan Chess Club.

O.K. On to the two better known games that came into my head when I started on this. In this next one Capablanca was clearly out to have some fun, and gets away with it. One advantage that his speed of play gave him was that it was difficult for his opponents  to find accurate defences in difficult positions. A case in point - the sacrifice wasn't sound, but it won.

Berlin 1929. wikipedia.

And to finish with, a game that has been much discussed. Various versions of the game score exist, along with questions about the soundness of it all, etc. I first saw it when I had been playing for about 18 months or so - all of 44 years ago - and it made a huge impression on me. All arguments aside, it's a beautiful game, against a pretty decent player.

Havana - possibly 1930 ( haven't researched it!)

Hope you have enjoyed the chess and pictures - back with something more serious when I can get it organised. Take care everyone, and please be kind to each other.