José Raúl Capablanca, Cuban chess player, 1888-1942

A chess prodigy, he beat Cuban champion Juan Corzo in a match in 1901. He won the 1911 San Sebastian tournament ahead of players such as Akiba Rubinstein, Aron Nimzowitsch and Siegbert Tarrasch. Capablanca was world chess champion from 1921 to 1927. He lost the title in 1927 to Alexander Alekhine, who had never beaten Capablanca before the match. Following unsuccessful attempts to arrange a rematch over many years, relations between them became bitter. Capablanca excelled in simple positions and endgames, he could play tactical chess when necessary, and had good defensive technique. His style of chess was influential in the play of future world champions Bobby Fischer and Anatoly Karpov.