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J.R. Capablanca – Third World Chess Champ

J.R. Capablanca


Hello boys and girls my name is Jose Raul Capablanca and I was the 3rd World Chess Champion.

People nicknamed me the “Human Chess Machine”. Well maybe I was worthy of calling that. I was born in Cuba, an island of the coast of Florida.  My reign world chess was from champion from 1921 to 1927.

Early Life

I was the second surviving son of a Spanish army officer and I was born in Havana on November 19, 1888.  The rules of the game I learned at the age of four by watching my father play. I   pointed out an illegal move by my father and then beat him twice. At the age of eight I was taken to Havana Chess Club, which had hosted many important contests, but on the advice of a doctor, I was not allowed to play frequently.

If you would like to read an article I wrote on how I learned to play chess you can see that here.
According to Columbia University, I enrolled at Columbia’s School of Mines, Engineering and Chemistry in September, 1910, to study chemical engineering. Later, my financial support was withdrawn because I preferred playing chess without studying engineering. I left Columbia after one semester to devote myself to chess full-time.

 Capablanca Chess Career

My skill in rapid chess lent itself to simultaneous exhibitions, and my increasing reputation in these events led to a USA-wide tour in 1909. This performance gained me an exhibition match that year against Marshall, the United States champion, who had won the 1904 Cambridge Springs tournament ahead of the World Champion Emanuel Lasker and David Janowski. I beat Marshall (8 wins, no losses, and 7 draws) and won the 1907 World Chess Championship match. After this match, I never opened a book on chess openings.
In September 1913, I accepted a job in the Cuban Foreign Office, which made me financially secure for life. I was considered one of the greatest players of all time, and I was renowned for my exceptional end game skill and speed of play.

World Championship

I became the World Chess Champion in 1921 by beating Emanuel Lasker but I lost the title in 1927 to Alexander Alekhine

Alekhine never granted me a rematch and as a result we became mortal enemies . We never competed again.

 My book Chess Fundamentals is still consider a classic and if you would like a PDF copy of it you can click here.

I think that you will have to lose hundreds of games before becoming a good player.


J.R. Capablanca brought to you bu Chess for Children
J.R Capablanca
Capablanca as a youngster
Capablanca as a youngster
Capablanca was a baseball player at 19
Capablanca was a baseball player at 19
Alekhine Capablanca World Championship 1927
Alekhine Capablanca World Championship 1927

Capablanca Games

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