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Jose Raul Capablanca's Best Games
Compiled by KingG
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The best games of Capablanca's career.

As one by one I mowed them down, my superiority soon became apparent. – Jose Raul Capablanca

Why should I give her publicity? – Jose Raul Capablanca (on being asked to pose for a photo with a famous actress)

I always play carefully and try to avoid unnecessary risks. I consider my method to be right as any superfluous ‘daring’ runs counter to the essential character of chess, which is not a gamble but a purely intellectual combat conducted in accordance with the exact rules of logic. – Jose Raul Capablanca

When you sti down to play a game you should think only about the psotion, but not about the opponent. 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. – Jose Raul Capablanca

I thought for a little while before playing this, knowing that I would be subjected thereafter to a terrific attack, all the lines of which would be of necessity familiar to my adversary. 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. – Jose Raul Capablanca (on being confronted by Marshall's new Marshall Attack)

When a match is over I forget it. You can only remember so many things, so it is better to forget useless things that you can’t use and remember useful things that you can use. For instance, I remember and will always remember that in 1927 Babe Ruth hit sixty home runs. – Jose Raul Capablanca

I had to keep walking from table to table. I must have walked ten miles. In chess, as in baseball, the legs go first. Chess is not an old man’s game. – Jose Raul Capablanca (on giving a simul)

Sir, if you could beat me, I would know you. – Jose Raul Capablanca (to an unknown player who had rejected Capablanca's offer of queen odds, on the grounds that Capablanca didn't know him, and might lose)

Young man, you play remarkable chess! You never make a mistake! – Emanuel Lasker (after losing most of the games in a 10 game rapid transit match against a very young Capablanca)

He was of medium height, lean, but no padding needed for his shoulders. And such pride in the posture of his head! You would know no one could dingle-dangle that man. I can visualize him so clearly, with his dark hair and large gray-green eyes. Believe me, when he took a stroll, in his black derby hat and carrying a cane, no handsomer young gentleman ever graced Fifth Avenue. – Bernard Epstein (Capa's college roommate)

Capablanca's planning of the game is so full of that freshness of his genius for position play, that every hypermodern player can only envy him. – Alexander Alekhine

It is astonishing how carefully Capablanca's combinations are calculated. Turn and twist as you will, search the variations in every way possible, you come to the inevitable conclusion that the moves all fit in with the utmost precision. – Max Euwe

There is nothing more to fear from the Capablanca technique. – Efim Bogoljubow (shortly after which, Capablanca proceeded to crush him)

Capablanca didn’t make separate moves - he was creating a chess picture. Nobody could compare with him in this. – Mikhail Botvinnik

Whether this advantage is theoretically sufficient to win or not does not worry Capablanca. He simply wins the ending. That is why he is Capablanca! – Max Euwe (on a Capablanca game)

Chess was Capablanca's mother tongue. – Richard Reti

Learn carefully to work out strategic plans like Capablanca, and you will laugh at the plans told to you in ridiculous stories. – Emanuel Lasker

Poor Capablanca! Thou wert a brilliant technician, but no philosopher. Thou wert not capable of believing that in chess, another style could be victorious than the absolutely correct one. – Max Euwe

It’s entirely possible that Capa could not imagine that there could be a better move than one he thought was good and he was usually right. – Mike Franett

I was surprised to see that Capablanca did not initiate any active maneuvers and instead adopted a waiting game. In the end, his opponent made an imprecise move, the Cuban won a second pawn and soon the game. 'Why didn't you try to convert your material advantage straight away?' I ventured to ask the great chess virtuoso. He smiled indulgently: 'It was more practical to wait'. – Mikhail Botvinnik

Once in a lobby of the Hall of Columns of the Trade Union Center in Moscow a group of masters were analyzing an ending. They could not find the right way to go about things and there was a lot of arguing about it. Suddenly Capablanca came into the room. He was always find of walking about when it was his opponent's turn to move. Learning the reason for the dispute the Cuban bent down to the position, said 'Si, si,' and suddenly redistributed the pieces all over the board to show what the correct formation was for the side trying to win. I haven't exaggerated. Don Jose literally pushed the pieces around the board without making moves. He just put them in fresh positions where he thought they were needed. Suddenly everything became clear. The correct scheme of things had been set up and now the win was easy. We were delighted by Capablanca's mastery. – Alexander Kotov

During the last twenty years, Capablanca has contested in successive tournaments, and his games form a series of classics, noted chiefly for their grace and simplicity. This simplicity is, of course, the result of that art which conceals art. – B. Winkleman

He makes the game look easy. Art lies in the concealment of art. – Philip W. Sergeant (on Capablanca)

Capablanca had that art which hides art to an overwhelming degree. – Harry Golombek

I have known many chess players, but only one chess genius, Capablanca. – Emanuel Lasker

I think Capablanca had the greatest natural talent. – Mikhail Botvinnik

Capablanca was possibly the greatest player in the entire history of chess. – Bobby Fischer.

Beautiful, cold, remorseless chess, almost creepy in its silent implacability. – Raymond Chandler (on a Capablanca game)

What others could not see in a month's study, he saw at a glance. – Reuben Fine (on Capablanca)

I see only one move ahead, but it is always the correct one. – Jose R. Capablanca

Capablanca invariably chose the right option, no matter how intricate the position. – Garry Kasparov.

Capablanca’s games generally take the following course: he begins with a series of extremely fine prophylactic maneuvers, which neutralize his opponent’s attempts to complicate the game; he then proceeds, slowly but surely, to set up an attacking position. This attacking position, after a series of simplifications, is transformed into a favorable endgame, which he conducts with matchless technique. – Aaron Nimzowitsch

He had the totally undeserved reputation of being the greatest living endgame player. His trick was to keep his openings simple and then play with such brilliance that it was decided in the middle game before reaching the ending - even though his opponent didn't always know it. His almost complete lack of book knowledge forced him to push harder to squeeze the utmost out of every position. – Bobby Fischer (on Capablanca)

I honestly feel very humble when I study Capablanca's games. – Max Euwe

You cannot play chess unless you have studied his games. – Mikhail Botvinnik (on Capablanca)

Capablanca's play produced and still produces an irresistible artistic effect. In his games a tendency towards simplicity predominated, and in this simplicity there was a unique beauty of genuine depth. - Mikhail Botvinnik

Without technique it is impossible to reach the top in chess, and therefore we all try to borrow from Capablanca his wonderful, subtle technique. - Mikhail Tal

I was brought up on the games of Capablanca and Nimzowitsch, and they became part of my chess flesh and blood. - Tigran Petrosian

Capablanca was among the greatest of chess players, but not because of his endgame. His trick was to keep his openings simple, and then play with such brilliance in the middlegame that the game was decided - even though his opponent didn't always know it - before they arrived at the ending. - Robert Fischer

Capablanca never really devoted himself to chess, seldom made match preperations. His simplicity is a myth. His almost complete lack of book knowledge forced him to push harder to squeeze the utmost out of every position. Every move he made had to be super-sharp so as to make something out of nothing. His play was forced. He had to try harder than anybody else because he had so little to begin with. - Robert Fischer

The ideal in chess can only be a collective image, but in my opinion it is Capablanca who most closely approaches this... His book was the first chess book that I studied from cover to cover. Of course, his ideas influenced me. - Anatoly Karpov

I did not believe I was superior to him. Perhaps the chief reason for his defeat was the overestimation of his own powers arising out of his overwhelming victory in New York, 1927, and his underestimation of mine. – Alexander Alekhine (on Capablanca)

With his death, we have lost a very great chess genius whose like we shall never see again. – Alexander Alekhine (on Capablanca)

Alekhine was the rock-thrower, Capablanca the man who made it all seem easy. – Hans Ree

It was impossible to win against Capablanca; against Alekhine it was impossible to play. – Paul Keres

Against Alekhine you never knew what to expect. Against Capablanca, you knew what to expect, but you couldn't prevent it! – George Thomas

Capa's games looked as though they were turned out by a lathe, while Alekhine's resembled something produced with a mallet and chisel. – Charles Yaffe

I have known many chess players, but among them there has been only one genius - Capablanca! His ideal was to win by manoeuvering. Capablanca's gnius reveals itself in his probing of the opponent's weak points. The slightest weakness cannot escape from his keene eye. - Emanuel Lasker

Whereas Anderssen and Chigorin looked for accidental positions, Capablanca is guided by the logicality of strong positions. He values only that which is well-founded: solidity of position, pressure on a weak point, he does not trust the accidental, even if it be a problem-like mate, at the required moment he discovers and carries out subtle and far-sighted combinations... - Emanuel Lasker

Capablanca possessed an amazing ability to quickly see into a position and intuitively grasp its main features. His style, one of the purest, most crystal-clear in the entire history of chess, astonishes one with it's logic. - Garry Kasparov

Capablanca was a genius. He was an exception that did not obey any rule. - Vladimir Kramnik

We can compare Capablanca with Mozart, whose charming music appeared to have been a smooth flow. I get the impression that Capablanca did not even know why he preferred this or that move, he just moved the pieces with his hand. If he had worked a lot on chess, he might have played worse because he would have started to try to comprehend things. But Capablanca did not have to comprehend anything, he just had to move the pieces! - Vladimir Kramnik

J Corzo vs Capablanca, 1901 
(C25) Vienna, 26 moves, 0-1

Capablanca vs J Corzo, 1901 
(D02) Queen's Pawn Game, 60 moves, 1-0

E Corzo vs Capablanca, 1902 
(C10) French, 36 moves, 0-1

A W Fox vs Capablanca, 1906 
(C65) Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense, 35 moves, 0-1

Capablanca vs Marshall, 1909 
(C62) Ruy Lopez, Old Steinitz Defense, 39 moves, 1-0

Marshall vs Capablanca, 1909 
(D33) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch, 49 moves, 0-1

Capablanca vs Marshall, 1909 
(C62) Ruy Lopez, Old Steinitz Defense, 31 moves, 1-0

Marshall vs Capablanca, 1909 
(D53) Queen's Gambit Declined, 43 moves, 0-1

Capablanca vs C Jaffe, 1910 
(D46) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 20 moves, 1-0

Capablanca vs O Bernstein, 1911 
(C65) Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense, 34 moves, 1-0

Capablanca vs Janowski, 1911 
(D04) Queen's Pawn Game, 66 moves, 1-0

Capablanca vs Spielmann, 1911 
(D02) Queen's Pawn Game, 30 moves, 1-0

Capablanca vs J Baca Arus, 1912 
(D00) Queen's Pawn Game, 25 moves, 1-0

Capablanca vs Allies, 1913 
(C83) Ruy Lopez, Open, 53 moves, 1-0

J Corzo vs Capablanca, 1913 
(A53) Old Indian, 37 moves, 0-1

Capablanca vs R Blanco Estera, 1913 
(C10) French, 33 moves, 1-0

Capablanca vs Janowski, 1913 
(C48) Four Knights, 54 moves, 1-0

Mieses vs Capablanca, 1913 
(C22) Center Game, 44 moves, 0-1

Capablanca vs Teichmann, 1913 
(D63) Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense, 38 moves, 1-0

Capablanca vs Dus Chotimirsky, 1913 
(C88) Ruy Lopez, 47 moves, 1-0

Capablanca vs Alekhine, 1913 
(D30) Queen's Gambit Declined, 35 moves, 1-0

Nimzowitsch vs Capablanca, 1913 
(C50) Giuoco Piano, 64 moves, 0-1

H Kline vs Capablanca, 1913  
(A46) Queen's Pawn Game, 51 moves, 0-1

O Bernstein vs Capablanca, 1914 
(D63) Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense, 29 moves, 0-1

Nimzowitsch vs Capablanca, 1914 
(C62) Ruy Lopez, Old Steinitz Defense, 42 moves, 0-1

Capablanca vs O Bernstein, 1914 
(D37) Queen's Gambit Declined, 46 moves, 1-0

Capablanca vs Janowski, 1914 
(C68) Ruy Lopez, Exchange, 31 moves, 1-0

Alekhine vs Capablanca, 1914 
(C62) Ruy Lopez, Old Steinitz Defense, 35 moves, 0-1

Capablanca vs B H Villegas, 1914 
(D04) Queen's Pawn Game, 34 moves, 1-0

Capablanca vs Ruiz / Molina, 1914 
(C30) King's Gambit Declined, 39 moves, 1-0

Marshall vs Capablanca, 1914 
(C01) French, Exchange, 61 moves, 0-1

Tartakower vs Capablanca, 1914 
(C45) Scotch Game, 50 moves, 0-1

Capablanca vs Blackburne, 1914 
(C61) Ruy Lopez, Bird's Defense, 31 moves, 1-0

Ed. Lasker vs Capablanca, 1915 
(D37) Queen's Gambit Declined, 40 moves, 0-1

Janowski vs Capablanca, 1916  
(D15) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 46 moves, 0-1

Capablanca vs Marshall, 1918 
(C89) Ruy Lopez, Marshall, 36 moves, 1-0

Capablanca vs Janowski, 1918 
(D30) Queen's Gambit Declined, 30 moves, 1-0

Marshall vs Capablanca, 1918 
(D64) Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox, Rubinstein Attack, 39 moves, 0-1

Capablanca vs M Fonaroff, 1918 
(C62) Ruy Lopez, Old Steinitz Defense, 22 moves, 1-0

Capablanca vs G A Thomas, 1919 
(C66) Ruy Lopez, 29 moves, 1-0

W Winter vs Capablanca, 1919 
(C49) Four Knights, 29 moves, 0-1

R P Michell vs Capablanca, 1919 
(C72) Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense, 5.O-O, 54 moves, 0-1

Capablanca vs Yates, 1919 
(C88) Ruy Lopez, 61 moves, 1-0

Capablanca vs A G Conde, 1919 
(C79) Ruy Lopez, Steinitz Defense Deferred, 46 moves, 1-0

Capablanca vs Lasker, 1921  
(D63) Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense, 46 moves, 1-0

Lasker vs Capablanca, 1921  
(D61) Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox, Rubinstein Attack, 68 moves, 0-1

Capablanca vs Lasker, 1921  
(D63) Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense, 48 moves, 1-0

Capablanca vs Bogoljubov, 1922 
(C91) Ruy Lopez, Closed, 52 moves, 1-0

J S Morrison vs Capablanca, 1922  
(A46) Queen's Pawn Game, 57 moves, 0-1

H E Atkins vs Capablanca, 1922  
(B12) Caro-Kann Defense, 67 moves, 0-1

Capablanca vs Vidmar, 1922 
(D64) Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox, Rubinstein Attack, 42 moves, 1-0

Capablanca vs Santasiere, 1922 
(A33) English, Symmetrical, 33 moves, 1-0

Capablanca vs Tartakower, 1924  
(A80) Dutch, 52 moves, 1-0

Bogoljubov vs Capablanca, 1924 
(D05) Queen's Pawn Game, 32 moves, 0-1

Maroczy vs Capablanca, 1924 
(C96) Ruy Lopez, Closed, 57 moves, 0-1

Capablanca vs Yates, 1924 
(A48) King's Indian, 77 moves, 1-0

Capablanca vs Lasker, 1924 
(A50) Queen's Pawn Game, 50 moves, 1-0

Tartakower vs Capablanca, 1924 
(C33) King's Gambit Accepted, 30 moves, 0-1

Capablanca vs Bogoljubov, 1925 
(D30) Queen's Gambit Declined, 32 moves, 1-0

Dus Chotimirsky vs Capablanca, 1925 
(A48) King's Indian, 48 moves, 0-1

Capablanca vs Marshall, 1925 
(A14) English, 29 moves, 1-0

Capablanca vs N Zubarev, 1925 
(D30) Queen's Gambit Declined, 43 moves, 1-0

Yates vs Capablanca, 1925 
(B02) Alekhine's Defense, 38 moves, 0-1

Kupchik vs Capablanca, 1926 
(A46) Queen's Pawn Game, 39 moves, 0-1

Maroczy vs Capablanca, 1926 
(B13) Caro-Kann, Exchange, 49 moves, 0-1

Nimzowitsch vs Capablanca, 1927  
(B12) Caro-Kann Defense, 46 moves, 0-1

Capablanca vs Alekhine, 1927 
(D52) Queen's Gambit Declined, 36 moves, 1-0

Capablanca vs Alekhine, 1927 
(D52) Queen's Gambit Declined, 70 moves, 1-0

Capablanca vs Spielmann, 1927 
(D37) Queen's Gambit Declined, 26 moves, 1-0

Nimzowitsch vs Capablanca, 1927 
(E10) Queen's Pawn Game, 41 moves, 0-1

Alekhine vs Capablanca, 1927 
(E15) Queen's Indian, 42 moves, 0-1

Capablanca vs Alekhine, 1927 
(A47) Queen's Indian, 42 moves, 1-0

Capablanca vs Vidmar, 1927 
(C98) Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin, 37 moves, 1-0

Capablanca vs Tartakower, 1928 
(A52) Budapest Gambit, 40 moves, 1-0

Capablanca vs Mieses, 1928 
(D63) Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense, 33 moves, 1-0

Bogoljubov vs Capablanca, 1928 
(E12) Queen's Indian, 41 moves, 0-1

Capablanca vs Rubinstein, 1928 
(D02) Queen's Pawn Game, 44 moves, 1-0

Marshall vs Capablanca, 1928 
(E11) Bogo-Indian Defense, 33 moves, 0-1

Capablanca vs H Steiner, 1928 
(D67) Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense, Bd3 line, 37 moves, 1-0

Capablanca vs K Havasi, 1928 
(D30) Queen's Gambit Declined, 27 moves, 1-0

Capablanca vs Z von Balla, 1928 
(E38) Nimzo-Indian, Classical, 4...c5, 38 moves, 1-0

E Steiner vs Capablanca, 1928 
(C74) Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense, 67 moves, 0-1

P F Johner vs Capablanca, 1929 
(E47) Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3 O-O 5.Bd3, 48 moves, 0-1

Capablanca vs A Becker, 1929 
(D30) Queen's Gambit Declined, 18 moves, 1-0

Capablanca vs K Treybal, 1929 
(D11) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 58 moves, 1-0

Capablanca vs H K Mattison, 1929 
(E38) Nimzo-Indian, Classical, 4...c5, 20 moves, 1-0

Capablanca vs Gilg, 1929 
(D30) Queen's Gambit Declined, 38 moves, 1-0

Colle vs Capablanca, 1929 
(A47) Queen's Indian, 34 moves, 0-1

Capablanca vs Maroczy, 1929 
(D64) Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox, Rubinstein Attack, 29 moves, 1-0

E Canal vs Capablanca, 1929 
(E16) Queen's Indian, 57 moves, 0-1

M Monticelli vs Capablanca, 1929 
(A47) Queen's Indian, 33 moves, 0-1

Capablanca vs Yates, 1929 
(A15) English, 32 moves, 1-0

Capablanca vs Colle, 1929 
(B36) Sicilian, Accelerated Fianchetto, 31 moves, 1-0

Capablanca vs Yates, 1930 
(D66) Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense, Bd3 line, 87 moves, 1-0

Capablanca vs Colle, 1930 
(E34) Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation, 39 moves, 1-0

Capablanca vs Santasiere, 1931 
(A04) Reti Opening, 37 moves, 1-0

Marshall vs Capablanca, 1931 
(E16) Queen's Indian, 36 moves, 0-1

Capablanca vs Euwe, 1931 
(D17) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 35 moves, 1-0

Capablanca vs Euwe, 1931 
(E35) Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation, 5.cd ed, 31 moves, 1-0

Capablanca vs H Steiner, 1933 
(C49) Four Knights, 25 moves, 1-0

Capablanca vs Ragozin, 1935 
(E24) Nimzo-Indian, Samisch, 49 moves, 1-0

Capablanca vs G A Thomas, 1935 
(E11) Bogo-Indian Defense, 34 moves, 1-0

Alatortsev vs Capablanca, 1935 
(D53) Queen's Gambit Declined, 23 moves, 0-1

Flohr vs Capablanca, 1935 
(D62) Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox, Rubinstein Attack, 52 moves, 1/2-1/2

Capablanca vs Levenfish, 1935 
(D49) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, Meran, 26 moves, 1-0

Capablanca vs Menchik, 1935 
(E85) King's Indian, Samisch, Orthodox Variation, 32 moves, 1-0

E G Sergeant vs Capablanca, 1935 
(C01) French, Exchange, 37 moves, 0-1

Capablanca vs Milner-Barry, 1935 
(C78) Ruy Lopez, 18 moves, 1-0

Capablanca vs A Ribera Arnal, 1935 
(B10) Caro-Kann, 21 moves, 1-0

Capablanca vs Milner-Barry, 1936 
(A25) English, 36 moves, 1-0

Lasker vs Capablanca, 1936 
(B58) Sicilian, 54 moves, 0-1

Capablanca vs Lilienthal, 1936 
(A12) English with b3, 54 moves, 1-0

Kan vs Capablanca, 1936 
(C25) Vienna, 56 moves, 0-1

G A Thomas vs Capablanca, 1936  
(C73) Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense, 37 moves, 0-1

Capablanca vs Reshevsky, 1936 
(D23) Queen's Gambit Accepted, 58 moves, 1-0

Capablanca vs E Eliskases, 1936 
(C50) Giuoco Piano, 54 moves, 1-0

Ragozin vs Capablanca, 1937 
(D19) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Dutch, 40 moves, 0-1

Capablanca vs Znosko-Borovsky, 1938 
(D34) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch, 32 moves, 1-0

Capablanca vs Euwe, 1938 
(E34) Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation, 40 moves, 1-0

Capablanca vs V Mikenas, 1939 
(E33) Nimzo-Indian, Classical, 26 moves, 1-0

Capablanca vs M Czerniak, 1939 
(B13) Caro-Kann, Exchange, 36 moves, 1-0

Capablanca vs Golombek, 1939 
(E34) Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation, 29 moves, 1-0

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