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Friday, November 26, 2010

Capablanca on his Predecessors

Edward Winter translated a Capa article from the Uruguayan chess magazine Mundial, May 1927. An excerpt:


“Morphy was a great stylist. In the opening he aimed to develop all his pieces rapidly. Developing them and quickly bringing them into action was his idea. In this sense, from the point of view of style, he was completely correct. In his time the question of Position was not properly understood, except by himself. This brought him enormous advantages, and he deserves nothing but praise… Players of the time thought that violent attacks against the king and other combinations of this kind were the only things worthy of consideration. It may be said that they began by making combinations from the first move, without paying sufficient attention to the question of development, about which Morphy was extremely careful. His games show that he “had an outstanding playing style.”


"Contrary to the general belief, which is the result of ignorance, Morphy’s main strength was not his combinative power but his positional play and his general style.”


“Concerning an oft-repeated declaration by a large number of admirers, who believe that Morphy would beat all today’s players, as we have already said, this has no foundation. On the other hand, if Morphy were resurrected and were to play immediately only with the knowledge of his time, he would most certainly be defeated by many present-day masters.”


Read the whole article HERE.

It’s a good feeling to discover that Capablanca agrees with me! I have long contended that if you substitute any name you want in the blank, Capa’s statement holds true even today: If ______were resurrected and were to play immediately only with the knowledge of his time, he would most certainly be defeated by many present-day masters.

1 comment:

  1. "with the knowledge of his time" is the key sentence here.
    If every single chess player past and present was given the same current theory and they played against each other then the best would be decided by their skill.
    In this regard my money would be on Paul Morphy first then Capablanca

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