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22gigantes.com - Chess Fundamentals was first published thirteen years ago. Since then there have appeared at different times a number of articles dealing with the so-called Hypermodern Theory. Those who have read the articles may well have thought that something new, of vital importance, had been discovered. The fact is that the Hypermodern Theory is merely the application, during the opening stages generally, of the same old principles through the medium of somewhat new tactics. There has been no change in the fundamentals. The change has been only a change of form, and not always for the best at that.In chess the tactics may change but the strategic fundamental principles are always the same, so that Chess Fundamentals is as good now as it was thirteen years ago. It will be as good a hundred years from now; as long in fact as the laws and rules of the game remain what they are at present. The reader may therefore go over the contents of the book with the assurance that there is in it everything he needs, and that there is nothing to be added and nothing to be changed. Chess Fundamentals was the one standard work of its kind thirteen years ago and the author firmly believes that it is the one standard work of its kind now.
Most helpful customer reviews 87 of 93 people found the following review helpful. An incredible book by an All-Time great! By A.J. Goldsby I A Fantastic book by one of the All-Time Greats! ("Chess Fundamentals," by J.R. Capablanca.)First, it might be good for you to read most of the reviews on this page if you are seriously considering purchasing this book. You should also know I a Chess Master, and I teach chess for a living.IF you are a relative beginner, then this would be a GREAT first book for you!! (You should probably read "Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess" first, if you are a raw beginner who is just learning the game.)This book has two parts. Part One is instruction in six separate chapters. Part two contains 14 illustrative games.Most of what is in this book is simply outstanding. (A little of the material in this book is over-simplified and a little hackneyed. But it is still stuff you need to know if you are taking your first steps in chess.)Chapter One covers all of the simpler, basic mates. It covers pawn promotion and endings. There are a few examples of some very simple ideas of methods to win in the middle-game. There is a discussion of the relative value of the pieces, the general strategy of the opening, and a little bit on the importance of controlling the center.Chapter Two covers "Further Principles in Endgame Play." Chapter Three covers the Middle-game and how to win in that phase of the game. Chapter Four is general theory. Chapter Five is "Endgame Strategy." (This Chapter is very valuable. I have tested these positions on all categories of players. MANY MASTERS CANNOT CORRECTLY SOLVE THE ROOK & PAWN ENDINGS that are given here!) And Chapter Six covers, "Further Openings and principles."And as I said earlier, Part TWO covers 14 well-annotated games by Capablanca. The discussions in this part are in great detail and very well-explained. (I believe going over a COMPLETE game that is carefully annotated may be one of the best teaching tools there is, especially for the beginner!!)I taught a young man for a while on the Internet during the year 2000. He was fairly young and had been playing Tournament chess for over two years without much improvement. His dad told me he thought he needed more basics. I had him read and study this book IN GREAT DETAIL. He and his Father went over every word and every variation. The process took several months to complete. When they got finished, they went back through the entire book again!! [His Dad said the young man in question had virtual memorized the 14 annotated games!] The bottom-line? The young man in question had increased his rating close to 300 points in a single year!!! (This is a very significant increase.)Now while I cannot promise you that kind of improvement, I CAN guarantee that you will learn a tremendous amount. This book is so good, I may require ALL my beginning students to get and read this book. 'Nuff said? 37 of 39 people found the following review helpful. Top class semi-introductory chess book by towering genius By Dr. J. Sarfati Capablanca is widely regarded as one of the all-time great chess players, and possibly the greatest natural chess genius in history. His games were the greatest influence on modern great world champpions Bobby Fischer and Anatoly Karpov. Mikhail Botvinnik (three times world champ) also related how much he learned from Capablanca, and even pointed out that Alekhine received much schooling from him in positional play, before the struggle for the world title made them bitter foes.Capa's famous book is designed for players who know the moves and elementary tactics. It is ideal for helping players keen to improve, and was my first non-beginner's book.Capablanca stresses the importance of learning the endgames first, and he was renowned for his great strength in this area.Capa's book has good lessons about middlegame attacks -- the need to attack 'en masse' as Capa said, or as modern US GM Yasser Seirawan put it, 'inviting everyone to the party'. Capa also pointed out the the bishop was generally better than the knight, but queen + knight were often better than queen + bishop. According to Botvinnik, Capa was the first with this insight.Capa's book also gives common-sense opening principles.This book is very old now, and chess has developed tremendously. But most of this book has stood the test of time, especially for its intended audience.Chess teachers take note -- your pupils can't afford to skip this book!Note added 2016: this refers to the classic paperback edition. Do NOT get the butchered Nick De Firmian edition which ruins Capablanca's clear writing style and deletes a number of his games. Also, if you want a Kindle edition, don't get this one which is still in the original descriptive and the diagrams are not especially clear. Instead get this very nicely produced algebraic Kindle edition https://www.amazon.com/Chess-Fundamentals-Algebraic-Illustrated-Capablanca-ebook/dp/B0154WKH8S/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1469116210&sr=1-2&keywords=chess+fundamentals+capablanca 21 of 24 people found the following review helpful. The book I received is not the same as what is presented on Amazon... By Steve I purchased this book before xmas after hearing about it from a friend, however, the book is not the same book as presented by the "preview" or the "look inside" view. First of all, my copy has no figures or images. The cover is different, and there are many typos (probably because of OCR scan). The table of contents are missing. Example: on page 3, instead of reading "SOME SIMPLE MATES", my book states "SOME SIMPLE I IATES" and where a figure should be shown, I see "I'mm. f. m. mm Wim 'immi." (no kidding!, that exact text).... This poor reproduction of Capablanca's book is complete garbage! I have a kindle, but am not going for the kindle version because I am afraid that I will receive the exact same version that has all the "ILLUSTIL TIVE GAMES" stripped out (yeah, it contains that error too). Additionally, when referring to "White" moves, many occurences of "WTiite" are used instead. See all 28 customer reviews...
From the Inside Flap J.R. Capablanca was a World Chess Champion and one of the greatest players in chess history, yet he wrote very little about the game. "Chess Fundamentals, though normally for the beginning player, contains valuable insights that will benefit players at all levels of understanding, including masters. Capablanca explains: -How to obtain and nurture a passed pawn-How to get and keep the initiative-Cardinal rules for rook and pawn endings-How to attack using knight as the main force-How to cut off enemy pieces "Chess Fundamentals is one of the jewels of chess literature. About the Author Jose Capablanca was World Chess Champion from 1921-1927 and is rated as the strongest player in chess history prior to Bobby FischerJose Raul Capablanca was World Chess Champion 1921-1927. According to a study by Professor Arpad Elo in his book “The Rating of Chess Players, Past and Present” ISBN 0923891277, Jose Raul Capablanca was the strongest chess player who ever lived, prior to the arrival of Bobby Fischer. José Raúl Capablanca was born November 19, 1888 in Havana, Cuba, but lived most of his life in New York City, when he was not touring the world playing in chess tournaments.
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