He was also known for his quick speed of play, as well as an unmatched ability to look at a position briefly and come up with the best move - almost as if he was a computer. At the age of 8, he started playing at the Havana chess club. By the age of 13, he narrowly defeated the Cuban Champion, Juan Corzo, in a match. He continued to play well and progress throughout the early s, before moving to New York in to attend Columbia University. It was in New York that Capablanca joined the Manhattan chess club and began to make a big name for himself. He eventually dropped out of Columbia University in order to focus on chess.
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Renowned for the simplicity of his play, his legendary endgame prowess, accuracy, and the speed of his play, he earned the nickname of the "Human Chess Machine". Background Capablanca, the second son of a Spanish Army officer, was born in Havana. He learned to play at an early age by watching his father and defeated Cuban Champion Juan Corzo in an informal match in by 6. Despite this and despite taking 4th place in the first Cuban Championship in , he did not focus on chess until when he left Columbia University where he had enrolled to study chemical engineering and play baseball.
He did, however, join the Manhattan Chess Club in , soon establishing his dominance in rapid chess. He won a rapid chess tournament in ahead of the World Champion Emanuel Lasker , and played many informal games against him.
He did so, but the match did not take place for another 10 years. Soon after the war, Capablanca crossed the Atlantic to decisively win the Hastings Victory tournament with Capablanca did not play another tournament until , the year after he won the title from Lasker.
This result, plus the fact that Alekhine had never defeated him in a game, made him a strong favourite to retain his title in the upcoming match against Alekhine. After losing the title, Capablanca settled in Paris and engaged in a flurry of tournament competition aimed at improving his chances for a rematch with Alekhine. However the latter dodged him, refusing to finalise negotiations for a rematch, boycotting events that included Capablanca, and insisting that Capablanca not be invited to tournaments in which he participated.
In , Capablanca won at Ramsgate with 5. He won at the Hastings tournament and came second at Hastings in , behind Max Euwe , his only loss being to Mir Sultan Khan. Perhaps discouraged by his inability to secure a rematch with Alekhine, there followed a hiatus for over three years before he reentered the fray with a fourth placing at Hastings in with 5. These latter two results were the only tournaments in which he finished ahead of Lasker, which enhanced his chances of challenging for the title, but a challenge to World Champion Euwe was out of the question until after the Euwe - Alekhine World Championship Rematch , which was won by Alekhine.
His health in this tournament was fragile as he had suffered severe hypertension, which affected his concentration towards the end of his games; he may have also suffered a slight stroke halfway through the tournament. Traveling between the numerous cities in which the tournament was played was also hard on the ageing master. Matches In addition to the informal match against Corzo in and the exhibition match against Marshall in see above , Capablanca played a three game match against Charles Jaffe in New York in , winning two and drawing one, and won the first game of a match against Chajes before the latter withdrew from the match.
In , he defeated Ossip Bernstein 1. On his way to the tournament in St Petersburg, he played two-game matches against Richard Teichmann and Jacques Mieses in Berlin, winning all his games. In , Lasker and Capablanca agreed to play the title match in , but a few months later, former was ready to surrender the title without a contest, saying, "You have earned the title not by the formality of a challenge, but by your brilliant mastery.
A group of Argentinean businessmen, backed by a guarantee from the president of Argentina, promised the funds for a World Championship match between Capablanca and Alekhine, and once the deadline for Nimzowitsch to lodge a deposit for a title match had passed, the title match was agreed to, beginning in September The match lasted over ten weeks, taking place behind closed doors, thus precluding spectators and photographers.
Before Capablanca and Alekhine left Buenos Aires after the match, they agreed in principle to stage a rematch, with Alekhine essentially sticking with the conditions initially imposed by Capablanca.
Despite on-again off-again negotiations over the next 13 years, the rematch never materialised, with Alekhine playing two title matches each against Bogolyubov and Euwe in the subsequent decade.
While Capablanca and Alekhine were both representing their countries at the Buenos Aires Olympiad in , an attempt was made by Augusto de Muro, the President of the Argentine Chess Federation, to arrange a World Championship match between the two.
Alekhine declined, saying he was obliged to be available to defend his adopted homeland, France, as World War II had just broken out. A couple of days prior to this, Capablanca had declined to play when his Cuban team played France, headed by Alekhine, in the Olympiad.
From December through February , Capablanca toured the USA and in 10 exhibitions he won games in a row before losing a game in Minneapolis; his final tally for that tour was games, winning In Capablanca gave a simultaneous exhibition in Leningrad and won every game but one, a loss against 12 year old Mikhail Botvinnik, whom he predicted would one day be champion. Capablanca still holds the record for the most games ever completed in simultaneous exhibitions, playing and completing games between His father died in and mother in In he divorced Gloria and in married Olga Chagodayev, a Russian princess.
During this time he played 63 games, winning 40 and drawing 23, including his successful title match against Lasker. Between and his World Championship match against Alekhine, Capablanca had only lost four games of the match and tournament games he had played. Pudovkin at the Moscow tournament. On 7 March , Capablanca collapsed at the Manhattan Chess Club and he was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he died the next morning from "a cerebral haemorrhage provoked by hypertension".
Emanuel Lasker had died in the same hospital the year before. Capablanca proposed a new chess variant, played on a 10x10 board or a 10x8 board. He introduced two new pieces.
The chancellor had the combined moves of a rook and knight the piece could move like a rook or a knight. The other piece was the archbishop that had the combined moves of a bishop and knight.
Botvinnik observed that Alekhine had received much schooling from Capablanca in positional play, before their fight for the world title made them bitter enemies. With his death, we have lost a very great chess genius whose like we shall never see again.
15 Best Chess Games by Jose Raul Capablanca
As one by one I mowed them down, my superiority soon became apparent. Whether chess is regarded as a science, or an art, or a sport, all the same psychology bears no relation to it and only stands in the way of real chess. Jose Raul Capablanca I always use only the openings that bring fruitful results in practice, regardless of the positions arising in the middle-game. The lust of battle, however, had been aroused within me. I felt that my judgment and skill were being challenged. I decided that I was honor bound, so to speak, to take the pawn and accept the challenge, as my judgment told me that my position should then be defensible. For instance, I remember and will always remember that in Babe Ruth hit sixty home runs.
Jose Raul Capablanca Chess Games