José Raúl Capablanca

Cuban chess player (1888-1942)

José Raúl Capablanca y Graupera (November 19, 1888 – March 8, 1942) was a Cuban world-class chess master in the early to mid-twentieth century. He was world chess champion between 1921 and 1927.


  • In order to improve your game you must study the endgame before anything else; for, whereas the endings can be studied and mastered by themselves, the middlegame and the opening must be studied in relation to the endgame.
    • Capablanca's Last Chess lectures (1966), p. 23
  • I am always reminded of the case of a noted American journalist, an excellent fellow, well educated, and, at the time I have in mind, chess champion of the state in which he resided. My friend devoted a great deal of time and energy to the study of the openings. Whenever I passed through his city he always came to the station for me and put me up at his house. We would have frequent con- versations during which he would ask me about this or that variation; to his great surprise I would almost always answer, "I don't know it" Then he would say: "What will you do when somebody plays it against you?" And I would reply, "Ninety percent of the book variations have no great value, because either they contain mistakes or they are based on fallacious assumptions; just forget about the openings and spend all that time on the endings. In the long run you will get much better results that way."
    • Capablanca's Last Chess lectures (1966), p. 24
  • Morphy's principal strength does not rest upon his power of combination but in his position play and his general style....Beginning with la Bourdonnais to the present, and including Lasker, we find that the greatest stylist has been Morphy. Whence the reason, although it might not be the only one, why he is generally considered the greatest of all.
    • In Pablo Morphy by V. F. Coria and L. Palau.
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