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Ramon Iglesias vs Jose Raul Capablanca
Odds game (1893) (unorthodox), Havana CUB, Sep-17
Chess variants (000)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-24-09  WhiteRook48: 34...Kxg7 is not illegal
Mar-05-09  WhiteRook48: Damiano's Defense with Queen advantage?
Feb-07-10  AnalyzeThis: Why not? The usual problem with 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 Nxe4 is 4. Qe2. With the queen missing, that's no problem here.

Even in this early game, you can see Capablanca's wonderful ability to play clear chess, and make it seem simple.

Apr-04-10  Chess Network: Wow! 4 year old Capa!
Apr-05-10  miguelito: falso , yo conoci a alberto garcia amigo personal de capa y organizador del primer capa in memoriam 1952 y me dijo que capa no jugaba a los 4 años .
May-30-10  wladimirsky: It is impossible for this game to have been played by a 4-year old.

The orderly development, the breakthrough c5, activation of the king in the end-game - those are not actions of a prodigy, those are actions of a player with a basic understanding and study of chess principles.

He may have played that when he was 8 but not 4. One thing is to be a prodigy, the other is to have learned chess positional concepts. Given me a break.

May-30-10  wladimirsky: And chess bios of Capa confirm he learned to play chess at a later age. 4-year old, get real.
May-30-10  SufferingBruin: <wladimirsky>, initially, I shared your incredulity. But I say it's possible. And Capablanca, FWIW, was nearly five when this game was played (4yrs 10mos).

Mozart at three was watching his sister play the piano, started screwing around and within two years, he was composing. I remember reading a story of a toddler, just barely learning to crawl, arranging building blocks into the form of a roman numeral clock. It is exceedingly rare but very young children have done some amazing things.

I can't recall how often I've read that Capablanca was the most naturally gifted player ever to push a piece of wood. I'm sure if you and I got together, we would find a hundred references. I cannot explain how a four-year old could play like this but it's a mite easier to accept that the child was, in point of fact, nearly five. That's kindergarten age, wlad, and I say that's possible. Incredible, but possible.

Jul-23-10  Achilles87: miguelito: falso , yo conoci a alberto garcia amigo personal de capa y organizador del primer capa in memoriam 1952 y me dijo que capa no jugaba a los 4 años .

False, I knew an Alberto Garcia personal friend of Capa, and the organizer of the first Capa memorial in 1952 and he told me that Capa didn't play when he was 4 years old.

Aug-24-10  asiduodiego: If true, it's really impressive for a four years old. Surely Iglesias wasn't playing too seriously, and he was only trying to test the kid. In any case, nicely played. :P
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: If the date of the scoresheet is accurate, (Sept 17, 1893) then Capa was 4 years, and 10 months old when he played Iglesias.

(as observed by <SufferingBruin>)

Capa's birthday is on Nov 19, 1888.

Mar-31-11  Dionysius: Interesting that the only time Capablanca took notice of his queen enough to move it was when he sacrificed it. As if he's been saying all along "thanks Senor Iglesias, but I really don't need the queen odds - you do see that, don't you?"
Apr-18-11  SeanBurdine: Another one listed in "Great Games by Chess Prodigies". According to the book, Capa really did play this well at the age of 4 years and 10 months. The authors' comment is "Normally, odds games are decided by blunders made by the odds-reciever, but here he makes no blunders."
Apr-18-11  drnooo: in another vein, Fine said that Fischer at thirteen was the better and greatest prodigy at thirteen, so you pays your money and takes your choice a silly argument of course but it is an interesting one the 13 year old Fischer playing the 13 year old Capa who had the greater talent all opening knowledge of course thrown out the window, we know for certain at eight who was greater, but then Fischer himself once said all of a sudden I just got good
Premium Chessgames Member
  Troller: I wonder who could write with the best punctuation at age 4?
Feb-07-17  MrJafari: It was the first time that I saw a formal chess game without a queen at the beginning!
Feb-07-17  ChessHigherCat: Capablanca was actually at a terrible disadvantage in this game because it was impossible for him to win his opponent's queen in any variation!
Feb-07-17  ughaibu: Is a player who gives queen odds forbidden to promote a pawn to a queen?
Feb-07-17  ChessHigherCat: Aha got me there. Speaking of which, I remember I saw Roman Dzindzin etc. play in Washington Square Park a million years ago and the way he gave odds was to let you choose a pawn (by placing tinfoil from a Marlboro pack around the top of it) and he had to promote that pawn and mate you with it or else he lost (so if you could take that pawn before he promoted it, he lost).
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Never heard of that method of odds-giving other than the capped knight, also from nineteenth-century games.

Never knew Dzin offered odds other than on money--number which comes to mind was typically on the order of 20-1. From my own experience with him, I wouldn't know, because we only played straight up.

Feb-08-17  ChessHigherCat: Well if you could hold your own with that guy, my compliments because he was a real blitz demon.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: I beat GMs at blitz now and again, but he was one of the toughest I faced--and that included players such as Browne, Benjamin and Dlugy.
Apr-25-17  Wavy: I thought there is something wrong with my computer because I can't see one of the queens. lol

I'm amazed at how a 4 year old Capablanca can move with strategy. My 8 year old daughter moves her pieces randomly.

May-09-17  capa72: mozart a los 5 aÑos compuso su primer soneto porque se duda si capa pudo jugar este juego a tan temprana edad? la logica del juego la desarrollo instintivamente y eso no se aprende en los libros de todas manera es una clara leccion de juego posicional que fue su caracteristica personal
Jan-07-18  schnarre: ...The first Capablaca game I can remember.
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