Quotations of the old world champions

Das Schachgenie Capablanca
Isaak Linder & Wladimir Linder
Sportverlag Berlin (1967)
ISBN: 3-328-00238-3

Although Capablanca achieved due to high technique victories, he was aggrieved by the many remises during championships. Already during the Moscow competition the world champion said after a remis with Rabinowitsch: “Chess will be played so easy that there will be a long row of unconquerable players.” Capablanca already thought about the coming danger of a “remises-sickness” between high class players during 1921, while he played the game against Lasker, which started with a series of 4 remises and he had the feeling that there would be no end ….

Sportverlag Berlin 1967
Capablanca vs. Lasker
Capablanca vs. Lasker

Laskers Vision

It is remarkable that Lasker, who loved the game of chess as passionately as Capablanca and dedicated his whole life to it – not only gave his attention also to the many remises, just like Capablanca, but also gave in his book “Mein Wettkampf mit Capablanca” an astounding declaration:

“The old game of chess will be doomed. Chess as it is now, will die of remises. The victory of knowledge and mechanics, which is unavoidable, will be the death of the game. New rules will have to be found, possibly the starting setup will have to be changed and the nuances of the winner and loser will have to be enlarged, to present new difficulties and new secrets. One cannot let the old game die.”


A revolutionary Idea

Capablanca also was afraid that the progress of the chess theories would sooner or later result in the fact that “ a good player can bring any game to a remis.” Therefore, he suggested to enlarge the board to 100 squares and to put new pieces next to the King and the Queen, which would combine the movements of the Rook and the Bishop and finally would allow the Pawns to move forward 3 squares. The mentioned article of Capablanca about the Moscow Competition in “Binestre Cubana” (1926), which unfortunately was not really well known outside of Cuba, also covered this problem. Capablancas proposition, being really path-breaking – was mentioned in the press in such a way accusing him of wanting to do away with chess. Thus the world champion felt obligated to declare the following:

“The articles I have read and heard of in this connection, make me realize, that I was not understood. There is really a lot of literature dealing with the game of chess, thousands of books about what is chess and how it is played today. A lot of things have to be thought about before taking a decision in order not to destroy everything. Further the limit in chess has so far not been reached. No player has been invincible till now. For 8 years I have been without loss during 4 competitions and 2 matches, but finally Reti won a match against me in 1924 during a New York competition. The other chess players could not level with me till now, thus one had to be content with the fact, that intended remis are impossible”….


Handmade Chessboard 10x10
Handmade Chessboard 10x10