CHESS

The Star Early Edition - - TONIGHT -

The chess his­to­rian, Ed­ward Win­ter, wrote a book on the Cuban chess ge­nius, Jose Raul Ca­pablanca in which he sys­tem­at­i­cally compiled nu­mer­ous ar­ti­cles and rare archival ma­te­ri­als. Whilst on a si­mul­ta­ne­ous tour in Eng­land in 1919 that included an ex­hi­bi­tion at the House of Com­mons in Lon­don, Ca­pablanca was crit­i­cised for his con­ceit and van­ity with state­ments such as the fol­low­ing: ‘I wish to say I have never played my best chess, for I have never been re­quired to ex­ert my­self to de­feat such play­ers as I have en­coun­tered…I ex­pect to open the eyes of chess play­ers. I am in­bued with an am­bi­tion to be ac­knowl­edged chess cham­pion of the world’ (Ca­pablanca) Invit­ing this re­sponse in the Bri­tish Chess magazine: ‘To ex­pect supreme ge­nius to ab­stain from all self-lau­da­tion would per­haps be ask­ing too much from hu­man na­ture; but in­dul­gence in that weak­ness should never be al­lowed to de­gen­er­ate into an orgy.’ (J.H Blake) And the fol­low­ing de­fence: ‘There is no trace of con­ceit in Ca­pablanca’s make-up, and his crit­ics have not al­lowed or un­der­stood the dif­fer­ence be­tween a South­ern tem­per­a­ment and a Bri­tish one.’ (J. du Mont) The fol­low­ing po­si­tion is taken from a si­mul­ta­ne­ous dis­play con­ducted by Ca­pablanca in Brad­ford, Eng­land in 1919.

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