127 ( +1 | -1 ) CapablancaWas the greatest natural genius in chess history. Bobby Fischer said: "Capablanca was possibly the greatest player in the history of chess. Botvinnik said: "You can not play chess unless you have studied Capablanca's games". Even Kasparov said: "Capablanca invariably chose the right option, no matter how intricate the position". In his entire carere, Capa lost only 34 games. Who can compare to him. His blood pressure problems created blunders in the latter part of his career. The Speedy Gonzalez even found himself in time trouble, which in his younger age never occurred. From 1916 to 1924 he didn't lose a single game, until Richard Reti beat him in the New York tournament of 1924. The other child prodigies (wunderkindern) like Morphy and Reshevsky had to be taught chess, Capa watched his father's games when he was 4, and learned by himself from watching only. Capa never read a chess book. He didn't have to! but he studied the endgames, especially about a thousand rook+pawn endings, and only Rubinstein could rival him in that kind of endings. By the way, when speaking of great players who never became world champions, all of you omitted Salo Flohr.
44 ( +1 | -1 ) FlohrYes he was omitted and, I feel, with just cause. his tournament victories often depended on his high score against the tail-enders; he was rarely able to win a tournament game against his equals. In the great AVRO tournament of 1938, the worlds eight best players competed in a double round robin. Flohr didn't win a single game and came in dead last. I think we were quite right in omitting him.
49 ( +1 | -1 ) Amazing?Thats typical for those times. Serious players often neglected their health, their teeth, their clothes. When the Fischer-Spassky match took place in 72 and most Americans saw Spassky for the first time, they were amazed. He looked like a tennis pro, tall, athletic and well dressed. Someone in the russian contingent had arrainged a dental visit for Spassky. He had eight teeth filled! I guess somethings never change.
28 ( +1 | -1 ) Zukertortwas participating in several wars and was shoot and wounded in all of them. This was back in the 1800's, so everyone can imaging what kind of surgery, he has to go thru. Still he was a fantastic chessplayer :-))
80 ( +1 | -1 ) CapablancaHad a minor stroke, but it was after he lost the title to Alekhine, not before it! Zukertort was not only a gifted chess player, he also knew 11 languages (including Hebrew). He was a more talented player than is mortal enemy Steinitz, but the latter was stronger in duels. Capa was a better person than Alekhine. The latter refused Capa a rematch. He also married 3 women, all of them older than him, only to exploit them financially. His support for the Nazis was the reason why no player wanted to play with him after WW II. Lasker was ready to let Capa be world champion without playing! what a difference with Alekhine. It was Capa that insisted a match will take place, Lasker agreed since WW I left him broke and the money was welcome.
8 ( +1 | -1 ) capablanca had set asworldchampion a high fee that the challenger had to pay him. Alekhine basicly did the same thing.
5 ( +1 | -1 ) alekhine was no angelbut Capablanca certainly wasn't Jezus himself
102 ( +1 | -1 ) desertfoxOn the German collaboration statement and the anti-semitic articles, Alekhine claimed he was under duress. It seems to me that if the Nazi propaganda machine felt they could exploit his name (After all. he was the chess king) then they would certainly do so. What if they came to Alekhine and said something like---Play ball with us, do as we say and we can make life very comfortable for you and your wife. If you dont do as we say, we have ways of making your lives very difficult. It does have a ring of truth to it.
If Alekhine was truly anti-semitic, wouldn't it have come out on occasions previous to the incidents in WWII. Look at Fischer, he's anti-semitic but he's been speaking out against the Jews all his life.
I can't recall a single incident where Alekhiine had (previously) made anti Jewish statements or written articles. Can people put such feelings in a box and bring them out only at the end of their life?
Sir, if you have some facts on the issue, share them with us.
101 ( +1 | -1 ) TonelsuAlekine was a drunk (that's why he lost his first match with Max Euwe, who was a perfect gentleman and gave him a rematch). Alekhine was a lecher (too many wives, all of which older than him and of course rich). He was a parasite to put things mildly. He was "afraid" for his wife's assests in France, and agreed to play in nazi sponsored tournaments in Europe and wrote six anti-semitic articles. He was worried to lose property is he didn't cooperate with them. He couldn't care less about the welfare of his much older than himself English wife. Read what Spielmann wrote about him about his refusal to play a rematch against Capa. If I found what I did on the net you could too. I don't have the addresses of the sites, but any good search engine could help you. If I could do it without much internet knowledge, I am sure you could. Besides, at those times, anti-semitism was rampant. The Protocoles of the Sages of Zion were not written on the banks of the Rio Grande as much as I remember.
118 ( +1 | -1 ) TonelsuAlekine was a drunk (that's why he lost his first match with Max Euwe, who was a perfect gentleman and gave him a rematch). Alekhine was a lecher (too many wives, all of which older than him and of course rich). He was a parasite to put things mildly. He was "afraid" for his wife's assests in France, and agreed to play in nazi sponsored tournaments in Europe and wrote six anti-semitic articles. He was worried to lose property is he didn't cooperate with them. He couldn't care less about the welfare of his much older than himself English wife. Read what Spielmann wrote about him about his refusal to play a rematch against Capa. If I found what I did on the net you could too. I don't have the addresses of the sites, but any good search engine could help you. If I could do it without much internet knowledge, I am sure you could. Besides, at those times, anti-semitism was rampant. The Protocoles of the Sages of Zion were not written on the banks of the Rio Grande as much as I remember. Some of what I just said is between the lines, you just have to think for yourself. Those who wrote officially, could not use the language I do here, in an unofficial way.
23 ( +1 | -1 ) Also the fact thatIn many occasions Alekhine denied writing the anti-semitic articles certainly speaks for the possibility that he was under pressure by Nazis. Or perhaps an opportunist like Alekhine simply wrote few articles for reward...?
159 ( +1 | -1 ) AlekhineYou say Alekhine was a drunk and thats why he lost his first match with Euwe. I would say alcoholic is more accurate. Apparently, you dont feel it was very admirable to overcome this problem and decisively defeat Euwe in the rematch.
I wouldn't describe either man as a lecher but of the two---Capablanca was the ladies man! This is how Schonberg describes Capablanca in "Grandmasters of Chess" p171.
"Easygoing, full of Latin charm, he was five feet, eight inches tall, clean shaven, with an olive complexion and a brilliant smile---He was also a ladies' man." I found the following remarks in Hooper and Whylds' "Companion to Chess."
"Of dark complexion, blue eyed clean shaven, with black hair" "Darling of the ladies" p56
Desertfox seems to be hung up on the age thing. That ones spouse is older does not make you a bad person.
I've heard, from different sources over the years, that Capablanca didn't really want a rematch. It was just a front to maintain his dignity. A second loss to Alekhine would have been very hard to swallow. You'll have to admit, Alekhine in the late 20's and early 30's was overwhelming.
You failed to address my question. If Alekhine was anti-semitic how come it only came out only in the last years of his life? He really didn't much care for the Germans. He fled to Spain and Portugal. It was his wife who refused to leave France and their property.
I think I'll go with Peppe on this one. He says perhaps he was pressured, perhaps he did it for the money, perhaps , perhaps, perhaps. It's certainly not the slam-dunk case you make it out to be.
94 ( +1 | -1 ) Writing anti-semitic articles is, in itself, an act that makes Alekhine a despicable character, regardless of whether it was hearfelt or not. Remember, countless prominent Germans (and many more in German occupied countries) refused to w**** themselves to the Nazis for their own advancement. And as important as Alekhine was to the chess world, it's unlikely that he was considered important enough to suffer from major, physically dangerous pressure from the Nazis to become part of their propaganda machine -- more likely he either believed what he wrote or wrote his articles to ingratiate himself with the regime. It's quite possible that Alekhine was not anti-Semitic (who'll ever know), but what is known is that he had no backbone and few scrupples. He did, in fact, initially deny writing and doing what he did -- but this was later to be proven false.
Or, as some suggested, he did it for money. And just how does that make him any better???
"He <Alekhine> avoided Capablanca by insisting that the winner get $10,000 in gold, just as he got in Buenos Aires. But after the stock market crash, there were no backers."
I also agree that Alekhine was in his prime and that Capa was past his. Surely Capa (with the aid of the Cuban government) could have raised the $10K for a rematch. Maybe Tonlesu has a point about Capa not really wanting a rematch.
"...refused to w**** themselves to the Nazis for their own advancement."
I would disagree with your above statement. Instead of "advancement", I'd say Alekhine did what he did to SURVIVE...as others had suggested.
Yes, his actions were regrettable, but I wonder...if you were in his shoes, would you be virtuous enough to sacrifice your life by not appeasing your captor's demands? If not, does that make you "a despicable character"?
"And as important as Alekhine was to the chess world, it's unlikely that he was considered important enough to suffer from major, physically dangerous pressure from the Nazis to become part of their propaganda machine."
I would also disagree with this viewpoint. Alekhine was Russian after all (not Aryan), and I don't see any reason why the Nazis would have kept him alive if they couldn't use him for anti-semitic propoganda.
As a sidemark to other comments-don't forget, he (and his family) lost everything during the Bolshevik revolution...I'm sure he didn't want history to repeat itself when the Nazis occupied France. No doubt, this also prompted him to cooperate with the Nazis.
I'm not saying he was a saint. In fact, he was far from it. I'd describe him as an alcoholic opportunist...oh yeah, and a chess genius.
13 ( +1 | -1 ) is it truethat his name is supposed to be expunged from chess history or something like that or was that just a rumor
18 ( +1 | -1 ) IhunterWhile we're at it, lets not forget he liked older women. Man that's sick. Someone should did that sucker up and hang his bones in effigy.
You write an interesting post.
30 ( +1 | -1 ) anywayEven if Alekhin really was anti-semit (I' don' t believe that), who can denie that after 1927 he was better chessplayer then Capablanka. But also I' can agree that he tryed to avoid the match of revenge(at least until San Remo) , because first match wasn,t easy.
188 ( +1 | -1 ) Alekhinedid not marry one woman older than he was. He did it several times, and all of them were rich. This is what we call a pattern. If it was one case of true love, I wouldn't mention it. By the way he was a sore loser in chess. He used to throw his king at his opponent, instead of resigning like a gentleman. When did Capa do such a thing? Nimzowitsch did. He lost a game in a transit tournament on the way to a greater tournament in Berlin. That game cost him the first place. He climbed on a chair and said in German "Why should I lose againt this idiot?" Gentlemen don't do such things. Alekhine was playing in the great International Team Tournament at Buenos Aires when WW II broke out. He returned to Europe to serve as interpreter-lieutenant in the French Army. He was the chess players' champion linguist among chess players (speaking Russian, French, German, English, Sapnish and Dutch fluently; Zukertort in his time knew 11 languages!). His chateau near Dieppe fell into the hands of the Germans, with his wife in residence. He fled to Lisbon and could possibly have escaped, but returned to her. He was worried for his property. People all over Europe paid with their property and lives and didn't yield to the Nazis. And what this this Alcoholic, opportunitsic womanizer do? all he could think about was his property (it belonged to his wife. So he worried about her only because it was hers. If she were poor he wouldn't have cared about her welfare. Rudolf Spielmann, who was a lawyer, but never worked in that profession (just like Morphy and Alekine), wrote an article "J'accuse" in which he critized the attitude of Alekine. I found that article (letter) in Spanish. Its called Yo acuso. Go to msn and you will find emile's Zola "j'accuse" and Spielmann's letter. Read and and you will understand better what I am talking about.
42 ( +1 | -1 ) Who cares what Speilman says (unless, of course, he's talking of sacrifices). Yes, he was a member of the free French army under De Gaule and was captured by the Germans. That kind of clashes with your theory, doesn't it? Who can say what true love is? His widow had his remains returned to France and they now lay side by side in the cemetery at Montparnasse.
As you say, it may not be true love, but it'll do until' the real thing comes along.
20 ( +1 | -1 ) desertfoxI dont care about Alekhins private life and other things like that. I'm interested his games of chess more. Try to play in his level and then you will be able so critical.
19 ( +1 | -1 ) actuallyStyle of desertfox reminding me something like a soviet propogande. Falled in love to Capablanka he's trying to find all bad things about his opponent, who defeated him. He's doing it in level of tabloid.
30 ( +1 | -1 ) tonlesuYou don't want to read the truth? it won't disapper because of that. As for you werewolf, when you reach my rating you will speak. Right now you don't even know to spell the name CAPABLANCA correctly. Your English is lousy, try to improve it together with your chess. Smert facisma!
77 ( +1 | -1 ) And werewolfAlekine wrote 3 articles he shouldn't, but Latvians collaborated with the Nazis in the killing of innocent people. The Soviet Union gave 20,000,000 lives to save us from Facism. What did Latvia do. Even the Latvian gambit was called the Greco Gambit long before Lativa existed. Your two champions Aaron Nimzowitsch and Michael Tal were not Latvians but Jews who lived in Riga. The local Nazis of Riga assembled and killed Jews in the forest near Riga. How about that? Alekhine at least invented himself the Alekhine Defense. The so called Lativan Gambit got its name since in the 20th century Behting and other Latvians popularized it. Who was the best real Latvian player, Edmar Mednis? he was only a master.
77 ( +1 | -1 ) And werewolfAlekine wrote 3 articles he shouldn't, but Latvians collaborated with the Nazis in the killing of innocent people. The Soviet Union gave 20,000,000 lives to save us from Facism. What did Latvia do? Even the Latvian gambit was called the Greco Gambit long before Lativa existed. Your two champions Aaron Nimzowitsch and Michael Tal were not Latvians but Jews who lived in Riga. The local Nazis of Riga assembled and killed Jews in the forest near Riga. How about that? Alekhine at least invented himself the Alekhine Defense. The so called Lativan Gambit got its name since in the 20th century Behting and other Latvians popularized it. Who was the best real Latvian player, Edmar Mednis? he was only a master.
113 ( +1 | -1 ) desertfox1) Edmar Mednis is GM you had to know that. 2)About The Latvian Gambit - Bething gave singificant contribution in this opening and in opening theory at all more than your Capablanca. 3) If some latvians collaborated with nazis then lets count how many jews collaborated with Soviet ocupants in Latvia. you know that chief of local NKVD Semjon Shustin was Jew? and he was not alone. 4) About Soviet Union - if we start to count victims of communists (especially victims of Stalin) then we can conclude that Hitler was a small tiran in age of Stalin. 5)About Alekhin - if you was in his place what you will do. Now we can judge with clever-clever physiognomy how he had to do, after 60 years,m but try imagine yourself in his place. 6) Else about opening theory, can you compare contribution of opening theory of Capablanca and contribution of Alekhin? 7)Returning to chessplayers of Latvia do you know that present champions of USA Alexey Shabalov and Ann Han are coming from Latvia? and dont you know about great chess compositor Herman Matison? If you don't know that level of your chess culture is simply miserable.
161 ( +1 | -1 ) WerewolfI corrected myself and said that Edmar Mednis (1937-2001) made it to GM. But was not so strong. My post was not showing for some technical reason, so I repeat it now. Contribution of Alekhine to opening theory? Alekhine's defense is incorrect just like the Latvian Gambit. I beat Alekhine's Defence every time I play against it. Mednis was a prolific chess writer and wrote "How to beat Bobby Fischer", but he will never be remembered in the same breath as the best Riga players, Nimzowitsch and Tal. By the way Zukertort was also from Riga. German influence in the Baltics is well known. It was German monks that built the city of Riga. Tomorrow is the Holocaust Remembrance Day. We lost too many family members to be able to forget the Nazis. What would I do in the place of Alekhine. Well, for your information, I lost all my money in a similar situation and I don't regret it for a second. Alekine was just a coward and a parasite. He was selfishly thinking of himself and only himself. Safety of his wife? he would marry another, all he cared is the money. He got the end he deserved. If he played a rematch against Capablanca he would have lost, just like he won against Euwe in the second match. The truth is Capa and Alekhine were great friends before that match. After it Alekhine was afraid to lose his title. All of you refused to read what Spielmann had to say about it. All he did is play Bugolyobov who played well in tournaments but was not good in matches. He was a great players, I will give him that, but it is more important to be a man. He was a lousy human being otherwise in end would have been different.
50 ( +1 | -1 ) oh man......Alekhine defense is incorrect????? What a bullshit!!! If your opponentsd ae weaker players it doesn't means that opening is bad. Please tell me a refutation of the Latvian gambit and Alekhine defense.(if you can). German influence in Baltic? What do you mean wioth that? Actually your information is in level of 19-th century. Talking about moral qualities of Alekhin - dont judge and you won't be judged. It' well known fact that the biggest blackguards are speaking abput moral the most.
103 ( +1 | -1 ) Blackguards?You have no manners for your elders do you? I didn't call you by names did I? I read you profile. At least your best loved players according to yourself don't include Alekhine but AAron Nimzowitsch and Schlechter two players I respect a lot. Even if the language of Nimzo is not easy, the ideas are clear. Someone here told me "My System" and Nimzo are irrelevant today. I suppose that's why every serious player who became a GM read that book. Capa was a better player but Nimzo was a greater teacher. His argument with Dr. Tarrasch is famous. I like them both. Not for being Jews, but for their contribution to our understanding of the game. This concludes the discussion since otherwise it will last forever and there is no point in that is there? I find it easier to learn how to play from Capa than from Alekhine, whose ideas are much more difficult to grasp. Learning from Capa and Rubinstein about the endings gave me a lot of dividends, especially in my blitz games.
36 ( +1 | -1 ) desertfoxYou could say it from the beggining not attack Alekhin personally. The fact taht his ideas is difficult doesn't mean that they are worse. And I din't called you blackguard. I simply dont like people who are telling others what they had to do. but the fact that blackguards talking about moral the most it's doesnt means that you are blackguard.
54 ( +1 | -1 ) capablancais capa's record of so many years without a loss so great if you consider ALL THOSE DRAWS meaning games in which he opted to draw out instead to risk trying for a win ??? many another great player may have been able to extend their own record of no loss if they had opted as often as capablanca to draw and not fight !!!!! huh any response to this ?? anyone ??? and this by no means means that i am not a big capablanca fan . but in my opinion RUBINSTEIN WAS A FAR GREATER CHESS ARTIST THAN CAPABLANCA . HOW ABOUT THAT .. yours bluebabygirl
32 ( +1 | -1 ) to desert fox you statethat fischer said capablanca was possibly the greatest player in history . well fischer originaly called LASKER a no talent hack , but later placed him the top in ten best . so even fischer can review and revise his early opinion of a player . and if capa was that great how did alekhine beat him huh ?? yours bluebabygirl .
263 ( +1 | -1 ) BluebabygirlI know that Lasker according to today's rating system would be about 2780 points, just like Fischer in his best. Kramnik is over 2800 and Kasparov is circa 2830. That's not the issue. The issue is who played in a style you could imitate and get the best results. I think Tal was a speculant. He wanted to capitalize on the fact that OTB a refutation will not be found to his sacrifices. That does not suit me. I try to play in Capablanca's style. Being a drawing master does not bother me. I look for crystal clear positions and simplifications just like Capa did. It works especially well in blitz games. I maneuver until my opponent's time ends and I win by "time loss". I am not trying to win a beauty prize, I try to outplay the opponent in any possible way. Sometime ago,I visited a friend of mine out of town and had a few games with his chess program (junior 7). I lost 3 in a raw until I understood that my usual style is not suited for play against such a super aggressive program. So in the next game I played in tal's style (super aggressively). Towards the end of the game I had a +11, meaning the program was completely outplayed. Since then I use the first game to sound my opponent and see how he plays. In the next games I play the moves which psychologically speaking will perplex him the most. But I still think a sound positional game is the basis of all. If you have a good positional game, the combination will come by themselves (so said Lasker, accused by Alekhine in the articles I mentioned in another thread of being the chief exponent of a Jewish defensive chess system, ruining the Christian,Aryan aggressive style. Alekhine who was not friend of Capa since their championship match in 1937. Said that the attacking Capa studied at Columbia University and was influenced by the Jewish "school" and his style of game became "defensive". Alekhine wrote the articles himself, maybe under duress, but his style is recognizable. Later he denied it saying he could never write such crap. I say that a win is a win. What is regarded by some as a boring win, such as in a rook+pawns ending, is regarded by me as the most difficult type of game to win. Today when everyone reads books, it is difficult to play games in the dashing attacking style of Morphy. You better get used to play like Steinitz, about whom it was said that "he plays like a pickpocket, steals a pawns and hopes to keep it all the game and convert it into a win". Lasker knew better than Steinitz himself how to play defensively. Steintinz was the greater thinker while Lasker the greater fighter.
31 ( +1 | -1 ) wellAbout sound positional playing i can only agree with desertfox. but instead of Lasker or Capablanka I'wpuld say that Schlehter and Nimzovich was better positional players. The plus of Lasker was knowledges of psychology of his opponents. About Capablanca - he played well, but most of he's games are not very impressive.
93 ( +1 | -1 ) Capablanca, Tal, Alekhine, Lasker...all of them great players! You can learn from all of them. You can have fun with all of them. The deeper your chess knowledge, the more chess you know, the more fun you'll have with the games.
About Capablanca's undefeated strike, it reminds me of Tahl's. Yes! Tahl, with his style, was undefeated for almost 100 games, twice. He had two such streaks of undefeatedness. It was in the 70s. Tahl also won many beauty prizes for games where he ended drawing. But how those games where drawn!
A statician who worked for Kasparov, Sonnas, did a backwards rating calculus of players, using his slight improvement over the ELO system (straight curve, which more accurately predicts results), and according to that, the best players are: Capablanca - 2921 Fischer - 2914 Kasparov - 2895 Lasker - 2886
This can be fount in www.chessmetrics.com
It is a curious site.
4 ( +1 | -1 ) I agreeWe can learn from all strong chessplayers
38 ( +1 | -1 ) a curious site indeedI noticed your results were for peak 1 year ratings I looked at the peak 15 year ratings and things line up like this:
43 ( +1 | -1 ) Capablanca TalOf course Capablanca's streak stretched over a ten year period---Tal's was about a year. But such statistics dont really tell us much. At that level these guys can almost draw at will. I would be interested to know the win-draw ratio of the two players during their runs. If one has an abundance of wins over draws then I'm assuming he wasn't playing for the draw. I think I'll go with Capablanca.
Based on what bluebabygirl (BBG) wrote in a previous thread, I would think Tal would have the greater win to draw ratio. Of course, I have nothing to substantiate BBG's assertion of Capa settling for draws. Would anyone know how to find more info on this?
60 ( +1 | -1 ) to allabout capa i am a fan of his and he was a true genius but not the great "artist" that AKIBA RUBINSTEIN was ( rubinstein probably played more so called masterpieces than anyone - my personal opinion and im very biased since he RUBINSTEIN is my number 1 hero!!!!)AND TAL played way more "SPECTACULAR GAMES " than CAPA again my personal opinion and im biased because im usually very PRO TAL !!!!! but i will state again that CAPA chose to draw way too often and im not the only one that believes this !!! I thank you all and all replies are most welcome , even if they prove me WRONG !!!! YOURS BLUEBABYGIRL
26 ( +1 | -1 ) Capa win/draw ratioDuring his 8 years undefeated streak, he had a very good win/draw ratio, lot better than most people would expect:
He played 63* games
white 30 games +21-0=9 85% score 70% victories
black 33 games +19-0=14 78.78% score 57.57% victories
*searched in database
18 ( +1 | -1 ) brucehumI find it hard to believe that Capa played only 63 games during a period of eight years. That number seems quite low. Which database did you use?
37 ( +1 | -1 ) In olden times, people played less gamesThere where less players, too. The 63 games are vs some 24 players.
I used a download from chessopolis.com Said database had a bad result in one of the games, as it gave the victory to Capablanca's opponent, when in fact it was Capablanca who won! Once I get home, I can probably check Tahl too! Difficult for him to have better win/draw ratios, as capablanca's are wonderful, with white, impressive!
42 ( +1 | -1 ) Some factorsCapa's run came during the war years (not much activity for any master) and he had independent income (did not depend on chess for livelihood).
Also during his run he played a match with lasker. such championship matches are always top heavy with draws. Probably a 1/3 of his draws during this period came from this match.
I'll take Capablanca's lifetime winning percentage against Rubinstein, Tal, Bronstein etc., etc., etc.
30 ( +1 | -1 ) Total scores, statisticsSome players and their statistics.
I think I should better post more players in a new thread, better formated et al, as it is not only about Capablanca. I was going to do so, but thought it is really pointless. It is just stats!