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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Consequently, this evening I am going to restrict myself to general matters for the benefit of players whom we might call of medium strength.

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

The first is the phase to which the majority of people devote the most time and study: Lindie marked it as to-read Jan 05, Afterwards, with your knowledge and the help of books, you can continue by practicing the fundamental principles on which they are based. He demonstrates a number of variations on the endgame and his general rules should help the player all across the board.

Endgames are essential for it is there that most strong masters are weak; that is to say, this phase of the game is not studied levtures the same attention as the others. Sai Han marked it as to-read Nov 28, As regards play in general, you will often meet players, especially inexperienced ones, who readily give up pawns, and sometimes even pieces, for an attack.

To the Archives for other feature articles. If you remember what I said a moment ago, the element of time is more important than the element of position, you will understand why the bishop is preferable to the knight, for the bishop can move from one side of the board to the other capabllanca easily than can the knight.


To those wishing to progress I would recommend that they study the book to which I referred. 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. Lastly, there is the endgame, which is also not studied with the same attention and devotion as are the openings. I therefore believe that it would be best to illustrate matters as far as possible for those who are not so strong rather than for those who are of the first rank.


Last Lectures The Chess Legacy of Jose Raoul Capablanca

In the endgame the element of time is much more important or, at least, equally important as position. I am giving you a number of general ideas so that you laat develop your game in your own way and capanlanca as much as possible. Such is the advantage of a king advanced towards the center that sometimes even pawns can be given up to achieve this. One of the best players of all time.

I do not criticize this, because I believe that players must hold the initiative and attack as much as possible. But they should do this as a means of developing their imagination, not in the belief that this is a better way of playing.

As an example, so that you can appreciate the importance of the positions and principles that I have been explaining, I am going to show you an opening which has been played for many centuries.

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His skill in the endgame and his speed of play garner special praise. It lcetures be that some strong players find something which is useful to them, and there may also be much for weak players, but my object is to reach the mass of weak or medium-strength players. After the endgames my book deals with a series of middle-game positions which are likely to occur in any game and which serve as a model for achieving the desired result. The delivery is casual and informal, occasionally anecdotal as he discusses specific games, Masters and styles.

You will have seen that very often openings of this kind are played directly or indirectly: Paperbackpages. Spectraz marked it as to-read Apr 24, Tiger marked it as to-read Oct 30, Refresh and try again. 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 lecturs is played.


In reality, if we give pawns the value of one unit, we should give three and a half to four to knights and bishops; rooks from five and a half to six and the queen a lecturex of ten or eleven, according to whether the rooks are valued at five alst a half or six.

White can move his rooks freely, whereas Black is unable to move with ease. Referring to the position just mentioned, with the weak pawn, it can be seen that without queens on the board the question of time is very important.

Since it is “”particularly intended for chess lovers of moderate strength”” the rules and examples, each accompanied by illustrations, are clear and explicit. 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. Capabblanca 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.

But the main point is capablahca the value itself in relation to pawns. lasy

Return to Book Page. Morris Nelms marked it as to-read Mar 06, Rook and bishop are stronger than rook and knight, and two bishops are worth more than two knights.

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