Friday, March 23, 2012

Capablanca against a Martian

It is Friday again and time for some light-hearted article.

I found the following story at a site called Cyberprimo. It is an excellent story - some swear it is true  - but whatever the truth , it is too good not to share it. I took some liberties to translate it as the original story appeared in Spanish.

Capablanca was probably the greatest natural genius in chess  history, his style of play and way of life was very inspiring, so much so that the generations of today will continue to have a lot of admiration and respect, not to mention that we enjoyed many of the stories written in his memory, some as varied as this.

Rumor has it that Capablanca, in early life, was under the shade of a large tree, analyzing a few games as training for his match with Corzo, in Cuba, when suddenly  an unknown figure appeared asking him what he was doing. Surprised, he replied that he was analyzing a few games of chess.
The Martian being intelligent as all Martians are, became interested in the game and asked Capablanca to teach him (her?). Capablanca then gradually explained all the rules of chess ending with: "When a pawn reaches the eighth row, you can promote to any piece."

It was not  long before a game was started, and it was dramatic, until  the following position was reached :

Capablanca was  playing white and made ​​the move 1. Kc2, threatening unavoidable mate with 2. Bd4. Jose Raul savored the impending victory, but the Martian undaunted, played 1.... h1 = King!.


The Great Capa jumped up. "NO, you cannot"

"But you told me, you could promote to any piece!" Said the Martian.

Capablanca realized his mistake but had no choice but to continue the game with that rule and analyzed that 2. Bd4 indeed mated the  Black King on a1 , but the other was stalemated. It would be a draw!

So he made ​​a superhuman effort, he thought long and found the following move:  

2. a8 = Black King!

2. a8=BK!!

This time the Martian jumped up, but the rules were already clear ("... you can promote to any piece"), and had to accept Capablanca's move. The Martian played the only legal move  2. ... Kb8, White played 3. h7 black again has only 3. ... Ka8 and then with a gleam in his eyes, Capablanca played the coup de grace 4.h8 = Q#. 

All Three Black Kings are mated!

4. h8=Q mate

Original article here.

Reprinted and translated with the permission of CyberPrimo.


zhunhoong said...

Haha, 3 surprises !! Funny !

Ilham said...


The Chess Ninja said...

Capablanca for the win!!

Swee Leong said...

Interesting article!

Cyberprimo said...

Very Nice! I'm a fan of Capablanca =D

SomeDaysLikeThese said...

You wrote.... "I took some liberties to translate it as the original story appeared in Spanish"....

Wah Amigo... since when you speak Spanish?
Se habla espanol Senor Jimmy? Mucho bueno....

Jimmy Liew said...

No has oído hablar de Google Translate?

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