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My Chess Career: Masterpieces by the Master of Chess (Hardinge Simpole chess classics) Paperback – 17 Oct 2003


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Product details

  • Paperback: 236 pages
  • Publisher: Hardinge Simpole Publishing; annotated edition edition (17 Oct. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1843820919
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843820918
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.4 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,448,075 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By P. J. Beadham on 9 Sept. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In chess publishing, there seems to be an obsession with books on combinations. You can get books collecting as many as 500 combinations. In a book of 500, a combination is like a person in a crowd - just one of many. However, when seen in the context of an individual game, it becomes something beautiful & remarkable. This is why it is more satisfying going through Capablanca's games, using the 'cover up & work out the next move' method, than it is just ploughing through lists of combos in other books. Some people might disagree, saying that they cannot even follow the thinking of grandmasters, in their games. This book, however, starts with a game from when Capablanca was 12, so presents a progression, which is easier to follow. Highly recommended, if you're at the stage in which you've got the self-discipline to do 'cover up & work out'.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Hugh Davies on 6 July 2007
Format: Paperback
The seminal work of the Cuban genius who repeated the exploits of Morphy, suddenly bursting onto the European scene and annihilating the great masters who had hitherto dominated the international arena. This book captures the magic of Capablanca's early victory at San Sebastian 1911 and his second place - bowing only to Lasker - at St Petersburg 1914. All in all, 35 games are annotated by Capablanca in person with remarkable objectivity - bestowing praise and hurling criticism as and when required. Capablanca was a natural chess genius in the mould of Morphy, Kasparov and Fischer. He has been described as the Mozart of chess to Alekhine's Beethoven.
Capa - as he was known - was born in Cuba in 1888, and by 1921 he was world champion, having disposed of Lasker in a match where the defending champion could not win a single game. Capa was virtually indestructible and it was only towards the end of his career in the late 1930's that the younger generation could begin to score consistent victories against him. Meanwhile his reputation for invincibility remains in the annals of chess.
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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Laura Truger on 30 Oct. 2005
Format: Paperback
Sometimes it's surprising how well words are able to capture imagery and do real life experiences justice. In the wonderfully descriptive and magnificently apt work, 'my chess career' the Cuban chess whiz Capablanca is able to do just that. One can feel the complex mind processes going on inside a genius’s realm of thought as Capablanca annotates numerous games. Although my praises for his ability to make the reader feel that he's almost part of the experience are plentiful, I believe the writing is at times slightly too 'wordy' and although it's not a button I would like to push, I just have to say sometimes I felt that a point came when the word 'exaggeration' became relevant.
By the end of the read if anything the reader finds himself with a newfound respect for the genius involved in a game like chess and those who play it. The book will give you an insight into the human minds capability, a truly remarkable experience.
I would recommend this book highly to all those who have remote interests in the art of chess and its related functions.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 7 reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Beautiful games of Capablanca. 13 Dec. 2002
By Bryan Castro - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book presents several of Capablanca's games before he became a world champion. I really enjoyed (and still enjoy) studying and playing over these games. Capablanca was perhaps one of the top 3 world champs (with Fischer and Kasparov). His games show much clarity and are easy to understand even though the moves would be hard to find on one's own.
Capablanca has brief notes with a little analysis. I wish he would have had a little more. However, I enjoyed his notes, because in spots it elucidated a key point to a plan he had. However, these notes are few, perhaps one or two per game. Often, he makes a statement like "Better would have been X" without explaining. These comments are not very useful for amateur players. However, he sometimes (perhaps once a game) gives a more useful comment, such as the reasoning behind the move, or the reply to another dangerous looking move to the opponent.
The games themselves are beautiful. It is interesting seeing how Capablanca's game evolved from when he was a child. One great feature of the book is that before each "period" he talks about how he has changed. For example, he mentions that he did not know much about openings, but that he was very strong in the endgame since a youth. Later, he talks about how he matures and becomes a more complete player.
In summary:
Positive:
1. Incredible games by Capa. One can't help but feel "stronger" as a player after studying these games.
2. Interesting commentary on his development.
3. Analysis (when he gives it) is very insightful.
Negatives:
1. Not enough explaination behind the analysis.
2. Descriptive notation is not as common (a later version in algebraic is available, and I would give that 4 stars).
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
An Enjoyable Reading and a Good Chess Book 7 Aug. 2006
By David De Sousa - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
A great book that gives us the chance to known a little more about the events of the life of one of the greatest chess players of all time. Written one year before he became world champion, this nice book describes in Capablanca's own words 35 of his greatest games at the time. Among Capablanca opponents in these games one finds Alekhine, Niemzowitch, Janowski, Yates, Marshall, and Berstein among many others.

Each game is fully commented and annotated by Capablanca himself, and you can find suggestion that can help improve any reader's game in almost every paragraph.

Capablanca includes at the end of the book a short concluding essay on the basic precepts of opening, middle-game and end-game strategy.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A must have for chess hobbyists and connoisseurs 17 Feb. 2004
By beginner_mind - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Out of the 20+ chess titles in my library, My Chess Career, by Capablanca, remains my favorite.
The first hand explanations from the eventual world champion are useful, but sometimes abrupt. Nonetheless, the value of any of his commentary, in combination with games showing his historical development and clean elegant playing style, is simply a joy to read.
This book is more historical in intent than educational, yet my playing improved more through reading this chess book than any other, including those intended as educational.
Not meant for the beginner, yet, not much skill is required to enjoy it. A great read.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Handled with skill 30 Oct. 2005
By Laura Truger - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Sometimes it's surprising how well words are able to capture imagery and do real life experiences justice. In the wonderfully descriptive and magnificently apt work, 'my chess career' the Cuban chess whiz Capablanca is able to do just that. One can feel the complex mind processes going on inside a genius's realm of thought as Capablanca annotates numerous games. Although my praises for his ability to make the reader feel that he's almost part of the experience are plentiful, I believe the writing is at times slightly too 'wordy' and although it's not a button I would like to push, I just have to say sometimes I felt that a point came when the word 'exaggeration' became relevant.

By the end of the read if anything the reader finds himself with a newfound respect for the genius involved in a game like chess and those who play it. The book will give you an insight into the human minds capability, a truly remarkable experience.

I would recommend this book highly to all those who have remote interests in the art of chess and its related functions.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Synopsis 9 July 2007
By Hugh Davies - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The seminal work of the Cuban genius who repeated the exploits of Morphy, suddenly bursting onto the European scene and annihilating the great masters who had hitherto dominated the international arena. This book captures the magic of Capablanca's early victory at San Sebastian 1911 and his second place - bowing only to Lasker - at St Petersburg 1914. All in all, 35 games are annotated by Capablanca in person with remarkable objectivity - bestowing praise and hurling criticism as and when required. Capablanca was a natural chess genius in the mould of Morphy, Kasparov and Fischer. He has been described as the Mozart of chess to Alekhine's Beethoven.
Capa - as he was known - was born in Cuba in 1888, and by 1921 he was world champion, having disposed of Lasker in a match where the defending champion could not win a single game. Capa was virtually indestructible and it was only towards the end of his career in the late 1930's that the younger generation could begin to score consistent victories against him. Meanwhile his reputation for invincibility remains in the annals of chess.
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