This slim volume is composed of the last twelve lectures Capablanca delivered before his death in The lectures include some chess fundamentals and were delivered by short- wave radio to a Latin American audience shortly before the author’s death in Below is our translation of an improvised lecture given by Capablanca at the Club de Comunicaciones de Prado in Cuba on 25 May The full transcription.

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I have very often met players who know the openings by heart; that is to say, they have learned from some book or other and they think they know them very well. Media reporter, reviewer, producer, guest booker, blogger. Such is the advantage of a king advanced towards the center that sometimes even pawns can be given up to achieve this. Another very important element is the mobility of the pieces in positions of this kind.

In other cases White must maintain the initiative, which means maintain the attack. An isolated pawn cannot be defended with another pawn, and has to be protected by pieces, and is thus open to the risk of capture.

There are no discussion topics on this book yet. This is what is generally called position, the most important thing being to obtain a dominating position.


A Lecture by Capablanca () (presented by Edward Winter)

White has the first move and thus has a predominant advantage over the central squares; Black has to try to avoid this as much as possible. Joseph rated it really liked it Jan 11, Tim rated it really liked it Aug 26, The second is called the middle-game, which comes immediately after the opening; this is studied less than the opening and it may be the least studied phase of the three.

Xapablanca marked it as to-read Oct 30, It is called Chess Fundamentals and, as I have said, it begins with the endgame. Formerly, attention was not paid to capablancx general considerations which I have attempted to explain this evening and which avoid a great deal of unnecessary work and can help you to develop a solid and simple game. On a certain occasion, in a game in which he was carrying out a violent attack he sacrificed a piece or two or three pawns; I do not remember exactlybut it could be seen that this gentleman, despite the attack, would reach an endgame a piece or pawns down.


I draw your attention to these matters because you will find that whenever you derive advantage from the opening it is because of an exchange of this kind, which is considered to be an advantage which justifies the opening which is played.

Ben Murphy marked past as to-read Sep 29, Capablanca, a former chess World Champion and a prodigy who is generally considered to be one of the game’s three greatest masters, was particularly concerned with the endgame– “”whereas the endings can be studied and mastered by themselves, cspablanca middlegame and the opening must be studied in relation to the endgame”” and this is the major concern caapblanca this book. Each week, capabblanca editors select the one author and one book they believe to be most worthy of your attention and highlight them in our Pro Connect email alert.

I should like to conclude by recommending you to use your imagination as much as possible; a player has to lose many games if he is to progress.

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Anyone wishing to progress in chess must consider the game as a whole that may be divided into three parts. Diane marked it as to-read Aug 03, There are players who prefer bishops to knights and others who prefer the opposite. On the other hand, the bishop is preferable to the knight if this is possible without a pawn sacrifice. In this connection I will relate an anecdote about Dr Vidmar, one of the best players in the world who is also a man of science and a man of great ingenuity.

I have shown you this opening and variation because it was played for many years. In such games one can see the advantages of the endgame principles I have been explaining. I mention this anecdote because in reality one should never sacrifice anything when one is playing to win.

And finally, when you are, so to speak, bored with studying these phases, then is the time to begin studying the openings, for the openings are simply the beginning of the game and must lead to one of the other two phases. For instance, a knight situated on the fifth rank with no enemy pawn on either side to attack it becomes a piece of great strength.

Sandy marked it as to-read Jul 10, Refresh and try again.

I do not criticize this, because I believe that players must hold the initiative and attack as much as possible. Black, for his part, must, so to term it, restrict himself to marking time, trying to take the initiative in his turn. In pawn endings lecturew bishop is preferable to a knight; however, in queen endings the knight is stronger.


And indeed they do know them very well by heart, but nothing more. The delivery is casual and informal, occasionally anecdotal as he discusses specific games, Masters and styles. But those who are already knowledgeable and aspire to the first rank should do what Vidmar said: Sign up here to receive your FREE alerts.

Last Lectures The Chess Legacy of Jose Raoul Capablanca by José Raúl Capablanca

Scott added it Aug 18, Don Bush marked it as to-read May 25, I see in the audience a large number of strong players and I imagine that there is an even larger number of less strong players. Mohamed Al Sayyah marked it as to-read Aug 30, Trivia About Last Lectures The On the other hand, when the sacrifice is not good, you can see that lwctures best players in the world have played for years and years without making such offers, although they are often faced with an attack; they have lecthres up by winning because they gave up nothing except when they saw that the sacrifice was completely sound.

Capablxnca the endgame the element of time is much more important or, at least, equally important as position. At the London Tournament inin which we both participated, there was a relatively young player who did not have much experience.

Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Return to Book Page. In my book, which I mentioned earlier, you will find many of these positions which frequently arise in play; in this way players can train for positions which may easily occur in their own games.

Ron Hopper added it Jan 29, You will readily understand that it is much easier to handle one or two pieces than all the pieces together.