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Jose Raul Capablanca
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Chess Champ
    (November 19, 1888-March 8, 1942)
    Born in Havana, Cuba
    World chess champion (1921-27)
    Wrote 'My Chess Career' and 'Chess Fundamentals'
    He dropped out of Columbia to play chess full time.
    He found financial security after the Cuban Foreign Office gave him a job with no specific duties.
    He delayed defending his title for six years by demanding a $10,000 purse, then lost his first defense to Alexander Alekhine.
    According to his wife Olga, he resented chess dominating his life and wished he had studied music or medicine instead.
    He used his diplomatic status to help several Jewish refugees escape Europe before WWII.
    Alekhine said of him, 'He was always good-humoured, the darling of the ladies, and enjoyed wonderful good health – really a dazzling appearance.'
    He played a simultaneous exhibition against 103 opponents, ending up with 102 wins and one draw (1922).
    Emmanuel Lasker said, 'I have known many chess players, but only one chess genius: Capablanca.'

Credit: C. Fishel


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