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  1. 26 Apr '12 13:16
    Capablanca's "Chess Fundamentals" has been made available for download on Project Gutenberg. It's free, of course, as everything on Gutenberg. Its URL is http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/33870 .

    Of course, something like that is always nice to have and browse through, but what I'd like to know is, what is the forum's opinion on this book? Still good? Outdated? Outdated but still good anyway?

    In any case, greenpawn34 should be interested
    (and disgusted that he used the same idea as that boring end-gamer Capa!)
    . I looked through the first couple of chapters, and when I read the latest GP blog, the ending of Swiss Toni - kingphish reminded me very much of a game Capablanca shows in chapter 4.

    Richard
  2. 26 Apr '12 14:24
    Hi SB.

    The knowledge cannot be outdated. It's the same game he is talking about.
    But I reckon there are better books covering the same subject.
    Capa's is OK but not the best.

    I'm not a Capa hater, I'm just fed up seeing the same old examples of his being
    used to get across a point. Writers are lazy so they copy from each other.

    That is why I used Swiss Toni - kingphish ( )
    Old idea new setting and it is played by one of us simple woodpushers.

    Go to search forums - type in Capablanca. 3,870 hits.
    Swiss Toni gets one (now two when the web crawlers pick up this thread.)

    Writers are lazy so they copy from each other.
    So it appears do posters.
  3. 26 Apr '12 14:31 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Shallow Blue
    Capablanca's "Chess Fundamentals" has been made available for download on Project Gutenberg. It's free, of course, as everything on Gutenberg. Its URL is http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/33870 .

    Of course, something like that is always nice to have and browse through, but what I'd like to know is, what is the forum's opinion on this book? Still good? ...[text shortened]... Toni - kingphish reminded me very much of a game Capablanca shows in chapter 4.

    Richard
    hmmm i must admit that its not my favorite chess book, perhaps its due to the
    notation, although i do love Capas, My Chess Career, where he makes some
    outrageously bold statements, but then again, he was the special one! His games are
    just excellent to play through on their own.
  4. Standard member nimzo5
    Ronin
    27 Apr '12 01:26
    Swiss Toni is underated.

    that being said, I think Capa should have 500,000 more hits on rhp.I would venture to guess probably 50% of the population here have never even looked at a Capa game.
  5. 27 Apr '12 09:12
    thx for sharing the link.

    I looked at the pawn endings last night. Instructive to try them on a real board. I believe I can learn a lot from this book, so it can't be bad. Maybe the good players and addicted chess book readers don't like it, but they already know too much. They probably look at details: writing/annotation style, choice of examples etc. I just like the info that is in there.

    The descriptive notation is a bit confusing sometimes, but only because of comparison with algebraic notation. If you (want to) understand a bit of chess, you should be able to understand this notation as well.
  6. 27 Apr '12 13:21 / 2 edits
    There is an algebraic version out there but by all accounts they did a 'Fischer'
    on it and and editied the prose and notes. Quite a few of Capa's example games
    have been left out to be replaced with modern up to date theory wise examples.

    So we have this book written in the 1920's with games by Tal, Bronstein, Karpov,
    Kasparov, Anand and worst of all...Deep Blue...a bloody computer.
    This is ridiculous. What a complete waste of time and effort and a lost oportunity
    to bring this book to the modern market.

    (typical money making trick this, adding in the names of modern great players
    and a computer to cast the net as wide as possible. )

    The Original
    Reading/studying it will not do any harm at all. You will pick up things.
    It's horses for courses. All chess books are like that.
    It will click with some and not with others.

    Trying to recall my first brush with the book I remember loads of
    interesting moves that offered no explanation at all.
    Of course this was Capa wanting the student to work out things for themselves.

    Infact he says after leaving you at an interesting position something like;
    'you should be able to work out this for yourself.'

    Excellent. Except what looked like a natural spot for Capa to stop and let the
    reader work out other continuations was way beyond the grasp of the average player.
    At that stage I was not good enough to work things out and ended up getting
    into an even more complicated mess.
    Imagine Da Vinci stopping halway through painting the Mona Lisa and allowing
    a cartoonist to finish it off, then you will get the idea.

    Armed with only handful of tactical tricks I'm trying to win a technically won
    position with Knight forks and skewers.

    In reflection maybe I should have kept at it.

    Hi tvochess

    If you think you can learn a lot from the book then go for for it.
    Like all books it does need a determined effort from the reader so why
    not make this the one you can say you have done cover to cover.
    It will make you into a better player.
  7. 27 Apr '12 13:35
    Originally posted by greenpawn34
    Infact he says after leaving you at an interesting position something like;
    'you should be able to work out this for himself.'
    True. Or: "After this or that, the situation is like in one of the previous examples".

    He's probably right, but the situation is not one of the previous examples, it is only LIKE one of the previous examples. And it takes a lot more than one example to really, fully, completely, thoroughly understand positions LIKE the one shown. But it's understandable that he takes huge leaps, it's a book, not a coach. For a student, fully explaining all examples would not be stimulating and for a casual reader, it would be boring.
  8. 27 Apr '12 13:49
    Adding on to my previous post. (this bit should been blogged)

    Erwin Weinzinger should read the Capa book.
    Capa's, sadly very small, section on opening traps mentions this position.


    And White can now play 1.Bxf7+ Kxf7 2.Ne5+ and Nxg4.

    In Erwin Weinzinger - TPOL THP Ch 2012 Whie missed this shot though he did go on to win.

  9. 27 Apr '12 13:52
    Originally posted by greenpawn34
    If you think you can learn a lot from the book then go for for it.
    Like all books it does need a determined effort from the reader so why
    not make this the one you can say you have done cover to cover.
    It will make you into a better player.
    Well, I hope it has a certain 'completeness' that I miss from fora, blogs et cetera. However, going cover to cover trying to understand all examples seems like an impossible task for a human. I look at it more as a reference book on which to fall back for specific topics.
  10. 27 Apr '12 14:00 / 3 edits
    I'm not to sure it is a ref book.
    It's a learning from book, a work book.
    Most likely the reason why I gave up on it.
    I was going though my looking for a quick fix phase.
    (if you are not gifted there is not one.)

    If you get stuck, post. One of us will surely be able to guide the rest of us.
    It might read a bit like the blind leading the blind but maybe it might tempt
    one of the good players (after he has had a good laugh) into posting.

    Study it. Soon no doubt you will the one answering the questions.

    Edit:
    All you will really learn from the blog is to see situations that under 1800
    players blunder in and the occasional nice wrap up. (often missed.)
  11. 28 Apr '12 15:15
    Originally posted by tvochess
    Well, I hope it has a certain 'completeness' that I miss from fora, blogs et cetera. However, going cover to cover trying to understand all examples seems like an impossible task for a human. I look at it more as a reference book on which to fall back for specific topics.
    It's certainly not complete and it's certainly not a reference book. It's a teaching book for, AFAICT from a first read, very dedicated first-time players. I'm not sure I'd recommend it myself for a starter in 2012 - no, scratch that, I'm sure I wouldn't. There are many better introductory or reference works around these days. But at least it is an interesting read for those interested in chess history.

    Richard
  12. 28 Apr '12 15:40
    I thumbed through my copy last night.

    Capa clearly states he takes it for granted that the student has already reached
    a certain level and though he mat not fully understand every move he can derive
    benefit form any discussion with regard to them.

    So like ALL learners I thought I was much better than what I was so that
    is why it most likely made little impact on me.

    There is also the wonderful note in the Winter game after Winter has just played 10.Nd5


    "White should have considered that a player of my experience and strength
    could never allow such a move if it were any good."

    A brilliant note that one.

    I give the game up to the part where Capa shows you what is wrong with 10.Nd5.

    W.Winter - Capablanca Hastings 1919



    Now you know the plan. Enter the position into your favourite box,
    take Black and win it.
  13. Donation ketchuplover
    G.O.A.T.
    28 Apr '12 15:45
    Originally posted by greenpawn34
    Adding on to my previous post. (this bit should been blogged)

    Erwin Weinzinger should read the Capa book.
    Capa's, sadly very small, section on opening traps mentions this position.

    [fen]rn1qkb1r/ppp1pppp/5n2/8/2B3b1/2N2N2/PPPP1PPP/R1BQK2R w KQkq - 0 6[/fen]
    And White can now play 1.Bxf7+ Kxf7 2.Ne5+ and Nxg4.

    In Erwin Weinzinger - TPOL THP Ch ...[text shortened]... Qe2 Kh7 22. g3 Qa5 23. c4 Qc5 24. cxd5 cxd5 25. Qe7 Qxe7 26. Rxe7 Rd8 27. Bf4 d4 28. Be5[/pgn]
    In both positions I think 6.Ne5 is not too bad. Right? tia
  14. 02 May '12 14:08
    Originally posted by greenpawn34
    I thumbed through my copy last night.

    Capa clearly states he takes it for granted that the student has already reached
    a certain level and though he mat not fully understand every move he can derive
    benefit form any discussion with regard to them.

    So like ALL learners I thought I was much better than what I was so that
    is why it most likely made ...[text shortened]...

    Now you know the plan. Enter the position into your favourite box,
    take Black and win it.
    Capa is wrong! in my opinion
    16.c4 and white is okay.
    Me or Capa, who's your money on!
  15. 02 May '12 15:44
    Originally posted by ketchuplover
    In both positions I think 6.Ne5 is not too bad. Right? tia
    In blitz games I've played Ne5 in that position several times.

    Sometimes it works...


    And sometimes it doesn't...


    I think it's worth the risk as it's always nice to sac your queen for mate.