Havana: Jonas Buhl Bjerre in the footsteps of Bent Larsen

by André Schulz
5/16/2023 – The young Danish grandmaster Jonas Buhl Bjerre won the Capablanca Memorial in Havana by defeating Rasmus Svane in the final round. It is the second victory by a Dane in the series since Larsen's victory in 1967. | Photo: German Chess Federation

ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024 ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024

It is the program of choice for anyone who loves the game and wants to know more about it. Start your personal success story with ChessBase and enjoy the game even more.


The winner of the elite group of the 56th Capablanca Memorial was Jonas Buhl Bjerre. The young Danish grandmaster defeated Rasmus Svane in the final round and finished the tournament as the only player with 7 points. Alexandr Fier, who had been leading for a long time, finished second with 6.5 points after a quick draw against Elier Miranda.

Jonas Buhl Bjerre is the second Dane to enter the list of tournament winners after Bent Larsen in 1967.

Third place went to Luis Ernesto Quesada, who was the best Cuban in the field with 5.5 points. With 4.5 Rasmus Svane finished fourth on tiebreak, ahead of Eduardo Iturrizaga (Spain), Raunak Sadhwani (India) and Carlos Daniel Albornoz (Cuba), who also all finished with 4.5/9.

Final standing

Rk. Name Pts.  Tb1 
1 Bjerre, Jonas Buhl 7 0
2 Fier, Alexandr 6,5 0
3 Quesada Perez, Luis Ernesto 5,5 0
4 Svane, Rasmus 4,5 1,5
5 Iturrizaga Bonelli, Eduardo 4,5 1,5
Sadhwani, Raunak 4,5 1,5
7 Albornoz Cabrera, Carlos Daniel 4,5 1,5
8 Almeida Quintana, Omar 3 0
9 Martinez Duany, Lelys Stanley 2,5 0,5
10 Miranda Mesa, Elier 2,5 0,5


The Cuban Michel Alejandro Diaz won the Open on tiebreak, ahead of his compatriot Ernes Espinosa and the Canadian Bator Sambuev (all 8 points). Dagoberto Ibanez from Cuba won the 60+ tournament with 7.5 points after 9 rounds. Humberto Pecorelli and Pedro Rodriguez, who are also from Cuba, finished second and third respectively. Two youth tournaments were also held in the U16 and U12 age groups.

The Capablanca Memorial is held almost every year in memory of the only Cuban World Champion (1888-1942). After his success at the San Sebastian tournament 1911, José Raúl Capablanca was seen as a possible challenger of world champion Emanuel Lasker, but World War I prevented a possible World Championship match between these two. The match, which made Capablanca the third world champion in the history of chess finally took place in 1921.

Master Class Vol.4: José Raúl Capablanca

He was a child prodigy and he is surrounded by legends. In his best times he was considered to be unbeatable and by many he was reckoned to be the greatest chess talent of all time: Jose Raul Capablanca, born 1888 in Havana.

In 1927 Capablanca played Alexander Alekhine for the title in Buenos Aires and lost. Capablanca wanted a rematch with Alekhine all his life, but never got the chance. Capablanca was famous for his sound and seemingly simple play. He lost only 35 tournament games during his career while winning 302 and drawing 242.


André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.