Thursday, 14 August 2008
THE FIRST GRANDMASTERS OF CHESS PART 4
By finishing 2nd in the St Petersburg 1914 tournament Capablanca become one of the first 5 grandmasters of chess.The grandmasters title is now awarded through tournament results and rating points.
But then it was created by the Tsar of Russia for the first 5 finishers in the great tournament.
Capablanca finished runner up to Lasker the then World Champion in this tournament.He was some 7 years later to beat Lasker for the World Championship in 1921.
Capablanca's early career promised great things, but for many reasons he did not fullfill this promise.
He held the World Championship for 6 years only Max Euwe held the title for a shorter time amonst the pre-2nd world war champions.
Capablanca won tournments and matches and was clearly head and shoulders above the other players,i think he thought this will last for a very long time.
This i think was his undoing he was a great player (i think the greatest) but in the 20's opennings were not studied deeply.So as long as you played sound openning moves you should be o.k.He later struggled against lesser players that were better prepared in the opennings.
Capablanca excelled in the middle and endgame in fact a book has been written about his best endings.
When he became champion his play did not inprove but seem to stand still,his clear play was not always their.Tournament results were o.k but not great New York 1924 2nd to Lasker, Moscow 1925 3rd.
He showed the pre-1921 Capablanca in New York 1927 a great win,Alekhine came second, and i think Capablanca thought in the World Championship match with Alekhine later that year he would win comfortably.
But he did not nor did he get a chance to win back the title.
during his career he found chess easy very easy and even thought of adding to the pieces and expand the board to make chess more interesting.
If he had not found chess easy or had tougher opposition during his early years he might of studied the game and stayed champion longer.
Having said all that he produced many wonderfull games.
I give a game against Marshall in 1918,Marshall had prepared a special line for Capablanca who met the prepared line and went on to win a fine game.