Statistical ranking systems place Jose Capablanca high among the greatest players of all time. As the third World Champion of chess and a true Grandmaster he was regarded as the Human Chess Machine. As an adult, Capablanca lost only 34 serious games, being undefeated from February 1916 all the way until March 1924 when he lost to Richard Reti. Boris Spassky, World Champion from ‘69 to ‘72, considered Capablanca to be the best player of all time, a bold statement for anyone. Capablanca was known for his light touch on the board and his ability to perceive his next move quickly. One of his biggest strengths was that he had no real school of chess, although that strength has now been coined as a style which reproduced newer Grandmasters such as Bobby Fischer. Capablanca literally wrote the book on Chess.
Capablanca, born in Havana Cuba November 19, 1888 was the second son of a Spanish Army officer. He grew up watching his father play chess competitively with world class players. Nevertheless, he didn’t find a passion for chess until 1906 at the age of 28. Capablanca got his official start in chess in college. While studying chemical engineering at Columbia University it is said that he was never really interested in chess but instead enjoyed it as a sort of hobby. In his early career he was a cigar smoker, but later it was found that he quit all his vices and took up exercise and diet to further his mental and physical potential. Capablanca’s true passion was for Baseball.
Jose Raul Capablanca was a legend, a real Grandmaster. He took what is arguably the most mentally taxing games and turned it on its head for eight straight years. More importantly, he changed the way people looked at chess and inspired many Grandmasters that play today. He took his humble beginnings from Cuba and mastered his own destiny becoming a legend worldwide. Our hats are off to Jose for innovating the game of chess and for overcoming adversity while inspiring the world.