Saturday, 7 April 2007
Capablanca's Chess Fundamentals
At his peak Cuban world chess champion Jose Raoul Capablanca was close to unbeatable. His play seemingly effortlessly smooth and his handling of endings was legendary. At the same time though he was considered as 'lazy' and spent little time learning opening theory.
His famous book, "Chess Fundamentals", is an oddity. A mish-mash that has parts for absolute beginners coupled with sections that the strongest player could learn from. He covers chess basics, advanced principles, particularly on the endings, a few complex tactical positions, and a handful of annotated games. Often, Capablanca leaves variations for the reader to find out ('to save space!').
This 'simple' endgame position is typical. Capablanca points out that White can win by f4-f5, and that Black's best defensive try would then be g7-g6. So, answers to me by Monday on roger AT 21thoughts DOT com: how does White win after 1. f5 g6 ? (I admit I resorted to a board to work it out).
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Chess Tales by Roger Coathup: A collection of online articles about chess and chess players.