José Raúl Capablanca, who would
become within a few years a genius of universal chess, was born
in the Morro Castle of Havana on November 19th, 1888.
More than a century after his birth, his matches continue to
be an obliged subject of study for the most experienced specialists.
At the age of four, he started to move the pieces and he got
to know how important they were because he liked to watch his
father play and became a chess lover like him.
Eight years after that, the boy achieved the Cuban championship
having defeated in the final match one of the most experimented
players in the capital, Alfredo Corzo.
His name was known around the world owing to his successful
participation in several tournaments, mainly after World War
It was already 1921 when he conquered the world championship,
which he kept until 1927 when he was defeated by Dr. Enmanuel
Lasker. However, he was never given the chance to take revenge
maybe because Lasker knew he would not be able to defeat him
Capablanca became the first player in the world to ever challenge
more than a hundred opponents in a simultaneous match, in the
United States. He won 102 matches, tied two and lost only one.
Quite a deed!
He was a gentleman as a chess player and as a public man. He
exercised as a diplomat for years having an uncensurable behavior.
Death came without prior notice on March 8th, 1942 when he suffered
a severe heart attack while he watched a chess match at the
New York Chess Club.
Inspired by an idea of Commander Ernesto Che Guevara, a tournament
is held every year in Cuba, which is devoted to the memory of
the genius chess player and has been honored by the presence
of world high-rank players like Tigran Petrosian, Mijail Tal,
Miguel Najdorf or Robert Fisher.