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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Minor corner wear. Small scribble at the top of the first blank page. No other marks.
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Chess Fundamentals (Algebraic) Paperback – September 1, 1994

4.5 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Jose Capablanca's classic instructional manual 'Chess Fundamentals' first appeared in 1921, the year he defeated Emanuel Lasker for the world championship title. This handbook is packed with timeless advice on different aspects of practical play and illustrated by Capablanca's own games. Topics covered include first principles, planning, the initiative, endgame strategy, and much more. After capturing the world championship, Jose Capablanca was for a time regarded as practically invincible. However, after his upset defeat by Alexander Alekhine in 1927, Capablanca was never able to obtain a revenge match for the world title, though he remained one of the leading players during the 1930s. (5 2/4' X 8 1/4', 121 pages, illustrations)

About the Author

After capturing the world championship in 1921, Capablanca was for a time regarded as practically invincible. Although he surprisingly lost his title to Alexander Alekhine in 1927, Capablanca remained a leading player until his death in New York in 1942.
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Product Details

  • Series: Cadagon Chess Books
  • Paperback: 122 pages
  • Publisher: Everyman Chess; 1 edition (September 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857440730
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857440737
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.4 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #157,072 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Claudio Rivera on February 25, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Only few words we know about Capablanca himself of his conception of the game. This book is an absolute classic. Like the books of Lasker and others of their time, they are best to get their view of the game than to learn how to play.

I have been investigating the thinking methods of the old champions and this little book introduce the concept of the calculation by visualizing future positions. Capa doesn't expose details about it, but his writing help us to get the concept: visualize the goal position in mind and then try to construct it at the board. That method was repeated in Lasker's Manual writing about positional and combinatory players. In our days this conception is regained by Silman and Beim as new concepts and without proper credits to the old guys.

As any classic, get this book!
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Format: Paperback
This book is the best way to jumpstart a beginning to chess mastery. Capablanca gives a mild technical backdrop before presenting some of his own games. Capablanca synthesized positional ideas when the rest of the world was trying to figure out how to out calculate their opponent. This book gives an introduction to the system of thought that gave legends like Fischer, Karpov, and Kramnik their start. Warning:Opening theory has evolved to make the games most of the games in this book obsolete from the standpoint of theory. But if you want to know how an intuitive chessplayer thinks, read this book.
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Format: Paperback
Chess Fundamentals is a book anyone can find space on their shelf for. However, before going further, I'd like to remind people this is a self-teaching book, not a reference. Many have complained that this book is sparse on explanations and that Capablanca left the student to find most variations. They seem to have lost the point that this book is meant to teach through hands-on experience, the best method, rather than by just telling everything.

Treatise aside, this book is superb. It has a great focus on endgames and explains the opening well. The only fault I could find was that the middlegame section focused too much on combinations and not enough on positional play--however, positional play could take 100 books to fully explain, so it doesn't really matter. After reading this book, my rating on playchess.com rose by over 300 points! I highly recomend it.
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By rj on June 22, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am beginner to intermediate level. Great book for me! Capablanca explains every move. I learned simple things I thought I knew, but in fact I never got completely. Making much less mistakes now and improved my play in very short time, because I start winning endgames against slightly better players where I never knew what to do before! There is an edited version available where only part of the text is Capablanca's original, but I don't know that one. This here is the original, only the notation is edited to algebraic, and I can really recommend this book!
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By A Customer on March 17, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The strength of this book lies in its endgame instruction and in 14 annotated games, but even here Capa tends to be a bit sketchy.
The book isn't much help for the opening. Also, the chapter called "Planning a Win in the Middlegame" has nothing to do with planning. In it, he has a brief section called Attacking Without Knights in which he simply shows two short tactical combinations that don't involve knights. No attempt is made to provide any prinicples about attacking without knights. It's the sign of an author who apparently doesn't understand the difference between instruction and description.
Maybe four stars is too generous. This is not, IMHO, an "essential" chess book.
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A handsome "ladies man," Capablanca had a cameo in the remarkable 1925 Russian silent comedy, "Chess Fever" (which is a must-see for players at any level). Incapable of concealing his vanity, he constantly stares straight into the camera lens. One story about Capa suggests that when he was preparing for a comeback, he purchased some of the most recent chess books – something he had apparently never done before. It was an admission of concern for the great advances that had been made in chess analysis. But after finding scads of errors in his new chess books, he threw them out in disgust! For Capa, chess seemed to be an effortless joy.
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Chess Fundamental's by Capablanca is very instructive and easy to read and also it's in the algebraic edition. You can't go wrong with this book, written by one of the greatest chess player of all time. Great for learning and improving your game. Great book.
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Great classic from the last "natural" world champion.
It is the algebraic edition of the original 1921 book, that was several times reprinted.
However, it contains several errors that do not appear in the previous version.
For instance: in examples 14 and 15, the white King does not appear! It does not make any difference, I agree.
In several examples, the moves reported are incorrect, being impossible. They are correct in the previous version.
In sum, this version of the classic lacks quality control. I would recommend it to a patient person.
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