Tuesday, February 12

Havana tournament: Blanco final participant

We are reliably informed that one of the leading Cuban players, Sr. Rafael Blanco Estera, will compete in the forthcoming Havana tourney, thus rounding out the eight-man field.  Already entered in the lists are Cuban Champion Juan Corzo y Principe, as well as the six invited Masters from the recent New York event (Capablanca, Marshall, Janowski, Jaffe, Chajes, and Kupchik), whose arrival by steamship is expected imminently in the island capital.

We avail ourselves of the opportunity provided by the above announcement to introduce to our readers the two native contenders who have joined the field. 

Juan Corzo, whose acquaintance we had the pleasure of making during a past visit to Cuba, has long enjoyed a deserved reputation as one of the strongest players on the island.  Indeed, it was Corzo against whom the prodigy Capablanca first tested his steel in a serious contest some dozen years ago, the youngster prevailing in a friendly match by the odd game, the strength of the foe adding lustre to the brilliance of his precocious achievement.  Corzo possesses a lively, attacking style, and, in his 40th year, retains his full powers, as evinced by his victory in the most recent Championship of the Havana Chess Club.  We present two of his games, one a brilliancy from several years ago and the other a victory from last year's Havana club tourney vs. Blanco, about whom more below.

Rafael Blanco (b. 1885), well-known among his countrymen as a caricaturist, displays equal talent at the chessboard.  The Havana tourney will furnish him with the opportunity to try his mettle against Masters of renown, and we should not be surprised to see him snatch more than a few points from his illustrious opponents.  There follow two of his games from the most recent Havana Club Championship: a victory over Portela and a hard-fought drawn battle with Corzo.

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