II Torneo Internacional: Capablanca in Memoriam

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Author: Barreras Merino, Jose Luis (tournament director)

Year: 1963

Publisher: Cuban Chess Federation

Place: Havana


Unnumbered round by round bulletins of the tournament with tables and index to openings. Quarto (11" x 8 3/4") bound in half leather with black pebbled boards and gilt lettering to spine. First edition.

The first Jose Raul Capablanca Memorial was held 20 April to 20 May 1962 in the Habana Libre hotel in Havana, Cuba. Miguel Najdorf was first in a field of 22 players, followed by Lev Polugaevsky and Boris Spassky, Svetozar Gligorić and Vasily Smyslov, Borislav Ivkov. The Capablanca Memorial (in Memoriam) became the best paid tournament in the world. Che Guevara could cover the costs as director of the National Bank and Minister of Industries.

The fourth tournament held in 1965 was marked by an unusual circumstance. U.S. Champion Bobby Fischer had been invited to play and was offered a $3000 appearance fee, but the United States Department of State would not allow him to travel to Cuba due to tension in Cuba-United States relations. American Grandmaster Larry Evans had been permitted to play in the tournament the year before, as he was also acting as a journalist. The U.S. Department of State often allowed newsmen and journalists to travel to off-limits countries, but it would not budge on Fischer even though he had made arrangements to write about the event for the Saturday Review. Fischer instead played his games by telex from the Marshall Chess Club in New York City. Capablanca's son Dr Jose Raul Capablanca Jr relayed the moves in Havana. When Fischer's participation seemed assured, Cuban President Fidel Castro called it a "great propaganda victory for Cuba", making headlines. When Fischer heard of this, he cabled Castro threatening to withdraw unless Castro stopped making political statements about Fischer's participation. A cabled reply from Castro eased Fischer's concern and he joined the field of 22 players, with 13 Grandmasters and 7 International Masters. Play by teletype added to the strain of the tournament. Although the English magazine Chess thought that this was an advantage for Fischer who became accustomed to this manner of play (each of his opponents experienced it only once), others considered it a handicap for Fischer who endured the extra labor in every game. Former World Champion Vasily Smyslov (USSR) won the tournament with 15 1/2 points of 21. Borislav Ivkov (Yugoslavia), Efim Geller (USSR), and Fischer shared second through fourth, a half point behind. Although Fischer did not win, his performance was widely considered a success given the playing conditions and the fact that Fischer was playing his first international tournament in three years. The Second Torneo Internacional (Capablanca In Memoriam) was played in Havana from August 25 through September 26 1963 with a win by Korchnoi with 16.5 of 21. Tal Geller and Pachman tied for second through fourth with scores of 16.


Tape repair to verso of first page else very good.