Scarce inscription by the World Champion Capablanca

A Primer of Chess

Jose Raul "J R" Capablanca y Graupera, (1888-1942)



xxix+281 pages with diagrams. Octavo (8 3/4" x 5 1/2") bound in original publisher's blue cloth with gilt lettering to spine with blind-stamped chess board to covers. Inscribed by Capablanca on front end paper. (Betts: 10-136) First American edition.

This work is in two parts. In part one the author gives basic instruction, first very briefly, the covering the same points in more detail. In part two he deals with endings, the middle-game, openings, in that order. This was published in London by Bell in the same year.

Jose Raul Capablanca y Graupera (19 November 1888-8 March 1942) was a Cuban chess player who was world chess champion from 1921 to 1927. A chess prodigy, he is considered by many as one of the greatest players of all time, widely renowned for his exceptional endgame skill and speed of play. Born in Havana, he beat Cuban champion Juan Corzo in a match two days before his thirteenth birthday on 17 November 1901. His victory over Frank Marshall in a match in 1909 earned him an invitation to the 1911 San Sebastian tournament, which he won ahead of players such as Akiba Rubinstein, Aron Nimzowitsch and Siegbert Tarrasch. During the next several years, Capablanca had a strong series of tournament results. After several unsuccessful attempts to arrange a match with the then world champion Emanuel Lasker, Capablanca finally won the title from Lasker in 1921. Capablanca was undefeated for eight years from 10 February 1916 to 21 March 1924, a period which included the world championship match with Lasker. Capablanca lost the title in 1927 to Alexander Alekhine, who had never beaten Capablanca before the match. Following unsuccessful attempts to arrange a return match over many years, relations between them became bitter. Capablanca continued his excellent tournament results in this period but withdrew from serious chess in 1931. He made a comeback in 1934, with some good results, but also showed symptoms of high blood pressure. He died in 1942 of "a cerebral hemorrhage provoked by hypertension". (Wikipieda)


Inscribed in Spanish on the half title which is clipped at the lower third of the page. Some internal soiling including title, spine ends rubbed and frayed, corners bumped, gilt dulled else a good copy of a rare inscription.

New York

Harcourt Brace and Company




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