Columbians Ahead of Their Time
Josť Raul Capablanca
Josť Raul Capablanca "A good player is always lucky."

José Raúl Capablanca (1888–1942)
Chess Champion
Engineering 1910

The world chess champion from 1921 to 1927 and one of the greatest natural chess players who ever lived, Josť Capablanca never read chess books or studied chess openings. His legend began when, at age four, he giggled at his father's poor move in a chess match. In 1900, at age 11, he became the Cuban chess champion. From then on, he won nearly all his games (531 of 567). From 1916 to 1924, he never lost a game. When he died in March 1942, he was buried with full honors in Havana and President Fulgencio Batista took personal charge of the funeral arrangements. Capablanca was posthumously inducted as a charter member of the World Chess Hall of Fame when it opened in 2001.

Capablanca enrolled at Columbia's School of Mines, Engineering and Chemistry in September 1910 to study chemical engineering. He was more diligent about chess than engineering; when his financial support was withdrawn because he preferred playing chess to studying, the young man left school after one semester to devote himself to the game full time.

Read more about Capablanca in the Columbia Encyclopedia

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