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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Jefferson Saltorio marked it as to-read Laet 19, Sandy marked it as to-read Aug 26, His skill in the endgame and his speed of play garner special praise. I mention this anecdote because in reality one should never sacrifice anything when one is playing to win. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. 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 more easily than can the knight.

Generally speaking, apart from middle-game combinations it is necessary for one side to capwblanca and for the other to allow the placing of pieces in positions from which they cannot be dislodged by pawns, but can be moved only by pieces of equal or superior strength. Diane marked it as to-read Aug 03, Alberto rated it really liked it Lecturees 24, Joseph rated it really liked it Jan 11, The outcome of a game often depends on being able to obtain this combination.

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.

Lastly, there is the endgame, which is also not studied with the same attention and devotion as are the openings. Sai Han marked it as to-read Nov 28, Published by Cornerstone Library first published May 15th They do not understand the objectives behind the openings and therefore do not know what advantage has to be taken of them, and it often thus happens that they lose.


That is to say: Randy lash it really liked it Mar 02, Tiger marked it as to-read Oct 30, Ben Murphy marked it as to-read Sep 29, The second is called the middle-game, which comes immediately after the opening; this is studied less than the opening and it may be the least studied phase of the three.

Last Lectures The Chess Legacy of Jose Raoul Capablanca by José Raúl Capablanca

An isolated pawn cannot be defended with another pawn, and has to be protected by pieces, and is thus open to the risk of capture. Mohamed Al Sayyah marked it as to-read Aug 30, Here the element of mobility is of great value and, combined with the element of time, leads to certain victory.

P-Kt3 followed by B-Kt2, with the aim of controlling the center from afar, or by moving the central pawns. 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. Sign up here to receive your FREE alerts. The matters that can be dealt with are so varied; there is also such a great difference in the strength of those listening, with capablsnca result that it is almost impossible in a single lecture to indicate or show anything that will be of particular benefit to a specific group.


One of the most important things in the opening is rapid development of pieces, and if you can bring them out attacking at the same time, so much the better. Capablaca a certain occasion, lst a game in which he was carrying out a violent attack he sacrificed a piece or two or three pawns; I do not remember exactlybut it could be seen that this gentleman, despite the attack, would reach an endgame a piece or pawns down.

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Of course, if one plays for an attack here victory is difficult, whereas by playing positionally and attacking the weak wing, the win cannot be in doubt.

When winning a player thinks he is doing very well and he does not realize the mistakes he is making; but when he loses he appreciates that somewhere he was mistaken and he attempts not to make the same errors in the future. Scott added it Aug 18, Capablanca, a former chess World Champion and a prodigy who is generally considered to be one of the game’s three greatest masters, was particularly concerned with the endgame– “”whereas the endings can be studied and mastered by themselves, the middlegame and the opening must be studied in relation to the endgame”” and this is the major concern of this book.

LAST LECTURES by Jose Raoul Capablanca | Kirkus Reviews

Another very important element is the mobility of the pieces in positions of this kind. And they lose because they have studied the openings badly without learning them or because they have not studied them in depth.

There are players who prefer bishops to knights and others who prefer the opposite. Consequently, this evening I am going to restrict myself to general matters for the benefit of players whom we might call of medium strength.

Queen and knight, however, are stronger than queen and bishop. For instance, a knight situated on the fifth rank with no enemy pawn on either capablancw to attack it becomes a piece of great strength. In other cases White must maintain the initiative, which means maintain the kast.

There are many chessplayers who believe that three pawns are of the same value as a bishop or knight, but this is not so.