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

Many players sometimes become annoyed because they lose, but lasf learns more by losing than by winning. All these are general points which may be useful to you in your progress at chess.

Lindie marked it as to-read Jan 05, And so in many openings the chief objective is to leave the opponent with an isolated pawn. In the books you will find that it has been played in countless games, but people played for an attack and not for position. 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. I wish to insist on this point because sacrificing a piece for an uncertain attack can give a bad result; a piece is too valuable to give it up on the basis of pure speculation.

To the Chess Notes main page. To the Archives for other feature articles. Trivia About Last Lectures The This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Jefferson Saltorio marked it as to-read Sep 19, If you consider what I have been saying you will see why.

The outcome of the game depends on it because the player who calls the tune has all the advantages and, except if he makes a mistake, all the winning chances. On the other hand, the bishop is preferable to the knight if this is possible without a pawn sacrifice. In other words, one should not, for instance, sacrifice a pawn in order to retain a bishop against a knight.

And they lose because they have studied the openings badly without learning them or because they have not studied them in depth. In other cases White must maintain the initiative, which means maintain the attack. The matters that can be dealt with are so varied; there is also such a great difference in the strength of those listening, with the 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 caoablanca at the same time, so much the better.


I do not wish to explain to you all the variations which can occur, because that would be a difficult task and, as I have already mentioned, you can find them in any number of books, and I believe that the most important thing is to know the general outline of the purpose of the openings.

In 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. Pradip Pate marked it as to-read Apr 09, The center of the board comprises the four squares K4, Q4, K5 and Q5 from each side, which are the focal point of all openings.

Donald is currently reading it Mar 21, Another very important element is the mobility lfctures the pieces in positions of this kind.

Last Lectures The Chess Legacy of Jose Raoul Capablanca

But they should do this as a means of developing their imagination, not in the belief that this is a better way of playing. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Media reporter, reviewer, producer, guest booker, blogger. In my book, which Capablanfa mentioned earlier, you will find many of these positions which frequently arise in play; in this way players can train for positions which may easily occur in their own games.

I have shown you this opening and variation because it was played for many years.

Black, for his part, must, so to term it, restrict himself to marking time, trying to take the initiative in his turn. I should like to conclude by recommending you to use your imagination as much as possible; a player has to lose many games if he is to progress. 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.

White has the first move and thus has a predominant advantage over the central squares; Black has to try to lwst this as much as possible. I do not criticize this, because I believe that players must hold the initiative and attack as much as possible.


The first is the phase to which the majority of people devote the most time and study: Alberto rated it really liked it May 24, Scott added it Aug 18, Want to Read Currently Reading Read. And finally, when you are, so to speak, bored with studying these phases, then is the time to begin studying the openings, for lwctures openings are simply the beginning of the game and must lead to one of the other two phases.

Naturally in the middle game, in order to obtain positional strength, time is often of great importance, since an attack can depend upon placing a piece at a particular point at a certain moment, before the opponent can prepare his defense.

On a certain occasion, in 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.

An isolated pawn cannot be defended with another pawn, and elctures to be protected by pieces, and is thus open to the risk of capture. James Dwulit rated it it was amazing Aug 11, The delivery is casual and informal, occasionally anecdotal as he discusses specific games, Masters and styles. On the other hand, when the sacrifice is not good, you can see that the best lecturex in the world have played for years and years without making such offers, although they are often faced with an attack; they have ended up by winning because they gave up nothing except when they saw that the sacrifice was completely sound.

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This slim volume is composed of the last twelve lectures Capablanca delivered before his death in Each week, our editors select the one author and one book they believe to be most capablacna of your attention and highlight them in lcetures Pro Connect email alert. Tiger marked it as to-read Oct 30, Andrea added it Oct 01, Diane marked it as to-read Aug 03, There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Lectoragradecido added it Apr 16,