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José Raúl Capablanca, who would become within a few years a genius of universal chess, was born in the Morro Castle of Havana on November 19th, 1888.
More than a century after his birth, his matches continue to be an obliged subject of study for the most experienced specialists.
At the age of four, he started to move the pieces and he got to know how important they were because he liked to watch his father play and became a chess lover like him.
Eight years after that, the boy achieved the Cuban championship having defeated in the final match one of the most experimented players in the capital, Alfredo Corzo.
His name was known around the world owing to his successful participation in several tournaments, mainly after World War I.
It was already 1921 when he conquered the world championship, which he kept until 1927 when he was defeated by Dr. Enmanuel Lasker. However, he was never given the chance to take revenge maybe because Lasker knew he would not be able to defeat him again.
Capablanca became the first player in the world to ever challenge more than a hundred opponents in a simultaneous match, in the United States. He won 102 matches, tied two and lost only one. Quite a deed!
He was a gentleman as a chess player and as a public man. He exercised as a diplomat for years having an uncensurable behavior.
Death came without prior notice on March 8th, 1942 when he suffered a severe heart attack while he watched a chess match at the New York Chess Club.
Inspired by an idea of Commander Ernesto Che Guevara, a tournament is held every year in Cuba, which is devoted to the memory of the genius chess player and has been honored by the presence of world high-rank players like Tigran Petrosian, Mijail Tal, Miguel Najdorf or Robert Fisher.

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