Capablanca – Unknown, Paris 1927

After Alekhine captured the world title from Capablanca, the ex-champion spent part of his free time in a Parisian cafe. Friends, acquaintances and others often dropped in to chat or play a game with the charismatic Capablanca. One day, while Capablanca was drinking coffee and reading the newspaper, a stranger came to him at the table, pointed to a chess set, and indicated that he would play if Capablanca agreed. Capablanca’s face lit up. He folded the newspaper, set up the pieces, but pocketed his queen in the process. His opponent (who obviously had no idea who he was sitting opposite) reacted slightly annoyed and said dryly: “Hey! You don’t even know me! I’ll beat you!” Capablanca quietly replied with a polite smile, “If you could hit me, I would know you.”

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