Netflix miniseries “The Queen’s Gambit” PSA no. 2: Capablanca’s ‘My Chess Career’

In the novel, the school librarian does not refer Beth to Capablanca’s autobiographical My Chess Career, but since that’s one of the most significant books in my life, I’ll let that incongruency (of which there are many) pass.

If you find yourself wanting to buy that book, avoid the Grandmasters Publishing edition compiled by Lyndon Laird. It’s a travesty.

The old Dover reprint of the original is most acceptable, and since it’s in the old-fashioned descriptive notation, the reader has to learn that language (which a serious player should do in any event). I haven’t seen the Everyman Chess edition in algebraic because they packaged it as a three-for-one deal with Chess Fundamentals and A Primer of Chess.

I suggest Chess Fundamentals in the old descriptive notation also, for this reason: Capablanca writes often “the student should work this out”. As a test, he embedded at least one howler of a mistake, but if those mistakes are “corrected” in modern editions of the book, the teaching value and charm is lost.

Do not buy my Capablanca book until you’ve read The Art of the Checkmate by Renaud and Kahn.