[blind-chess] Annotated Game #16: Harry Nelson Pillsbury - Emanuel Lasker, St. Petersburg 1895

  • From: Roderick Macdonald <rmacd@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: Blind Chess Mailing List <blind-chess@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 5 Dec 2010 08:57:09 -1000 (HST)

Annotated Game #016:
Harry Nelson Pillsbury - Emanuel Lasker, St. Petersburg 1895
Adapted and Condensed from
Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia


++1     Harry Nelson Pillsbury
++1.A   Early life
++1.B   Hastings 1895
++1.C   St. Petersburg 1895
++1.D   U.S. Champion 1897
++1.E   Decline and death
++1.F   Lifetime records
++1.G   Blindfold skill
++2.    Emanuel Lasker
++2.A   Life and career
++2.A1  Early years 1868-1894
++2.A2  Chess competition 1894-1918
++2.A2a Match against Steinitz
++2.A2b Successes in tournaments
++2.A2c Matches against Marshall and Tarrasch
++2.A2d Matches against Janowski
++2.A2e Match against Schlechter
++2.A2f Abortive challenges
++2.A3    Academic activities 1894-1918
++2.A4  Other activities 1894-1918
++2.A5 Match against Capablanca
++2.A6 1921 - end of life
++2.B   Assessment
++2.B1  Chess strength and style
++2.B2  Influence on chess
++2.b3  Work in other fields
++2.C   Friends and relatives
++2.D   Publications
++2.D1  Chess
++2.D2  Mathematics
++2.D3  Other games
++2.D4  Philosophical
++2.E   Quotations
++2.E1  By Lasker
++2.E2  About Lasker
++2.F   Notable games
++2.G   Tournament results
++2.H   Match results
++3.    Harry Nelson Pillsbury - Emanuel Lasker, St. Petersburg

++1.    Harry Nelson Pillsbury

Harry Nelson Pillsbury was Born December 5, 1872, in Somerville,
Massachusetts, United States. He died June 17, 1906, at the age of

At age 22, Pillsbury won one of the strongest tournaments of the
time (Hastings 1895 chess tournament), but his illness and early
death prevented him from challenging for the World Chess

++1.A   Early life

Pillsbury was born in Somerville, Massachusetts, moved to New York
City in 1894, then to Philadelphia in 1898.

By 1890, having only played chess for two years, he beat noted
expert H. N. Stone. In April 1892, Pillsbury won a match two games
to one against World Champion Wilhelm Steinitz, who gave him odds
of a pawn. Pillsbury's rise was meteoric, and there was soon no one
to challenge him in the New York chess scene.

++1.B   Hastings 1895

Harry Pillsbury

The Brooklyn chess club sponsored his journey to Europe to play in
the Hastings 1895 chess tournament, in which all the greatest
players of the time participated. The 22-year-old Pillsbury became
a celebrity in the United States and abroad by winning the
tournament, finishing ahead of reigning world champion Emanuel
Lasker, former world champion Wilhelm Steinitz, recent challengers
Mikhail Chigorin and Isidor Gunsberg, and future challengers
Siegbert Tarrasch, Carl Schlechter and Dawid Janowski.

The dynamic style that Pillsbury exhibited during the tournament
also helped to popularize the Queen's Gambit during the 1890s,
including his famous win over Siegbert Tarrasch.

++1.C   St. Petersburg 1895

His next major tournament was in Saint Petersburg the same year, a
six-round round-robin tournament between four of the top five
finishers at Hastings (Pillsbury, Chigorin, Lasker and Steinitz;
Tarrasch did not play). Pillsbury appears to have contracted
syphilis prior to the start of the event. Although he was in the
lead after the first half of the tournament (Pillsbury 6= points
out of 9, Lasker 5.5, Steinitz 4.5, Chigorin 1=), he was affected
by severe headaches and scored only 1=/9 in the second half,
ultimately finishing third (Lasker 11=/18, Steinitz 9=, Pillsbury
8, Chigorin 7). He lost a critical fourth cycle encounter to
Lasker, and Garry Kasparov has suggested that had he won, he could
well have won the tournament and forced a world championship match
against Lasker.

++1.D   U.S. Champion 1897

In spite of his ill health, Pillsbury beat American champion
Jackson Showalter in 1897 to win the U.S. Chess Championship, a
title he held until his death in 1906.
++1.E   Decline and death

Poor health would prevent him from realizing his full potential
throughout the rest of his life. The stigma surrounding syphilis
makes it unlikely that he sought medical treatment. He succumbed to
the illness in 1906.

Pillsbury is buried in Laurel Hill Cemetery in Reading,

++1.F   Lifetime records

Pillsbury had an even record against Lasker (+5-5=4). He even beat
Lasker with the Black pieces at Saint Petersburg in 1895 and at
Augsburg in 1900. (however this was an offhand game, not played in
a tournament):

Lasker - Pillsbury, King's Gambit Declined
1. e4 e5
2. f4 d5
3. exd5 e4
4. Nc3 Nf6
5. Qe2 Bd6
6. d3 0-0
7. dxe4 Nxe4
8. Nxe4 Re8
9. Bd2 Bf5
10. 0-0-0 Bxe4
11. Qg4 f5
12. Qg3 Nd7
13. Bc3 Nf6
14. Nh3 Ng4
15. Be2 Be7
16. Bxg4

(see diagram below.)

16. ... Bh4
17. Bxf5 Bxg3
18. Be6+ Rxe6
19. dxe6 Qe8
20. hxg3 Bxg2
21. Rhe1 Bxh3
22. Rd7 Qg6
23. b3 Re8
24. Re5 Bxe6
25. Rxc7 Qxg3
26. Kb2 h6
27. Rxb7 Rc8
28. Bd4 Qg2
29. Rxa7 Rxc2+
30. Kb1 Qd2

White:  King at c1, Queen at g3, Rooks at d1 and h1, Bishops at c3
        and g4, Knight at h3, Pawns at a2, b2, c2, d5, f4, g2, h2
Black:  King at g8, Queen at d8, Rooks at a8 and e8, Bishops at e4
        and e7, Pawns at a7, b7, c7, f5, g7, h7
The position after 16. Bxg4

Pillsbury also had an even score against Steinitz (+5-5=3) and
Tarrasch (+5-5=2), but a slight minus against Chigorin (+7-8=6) and
against Joseph Henry Blackburne (+3-5=4), while he beat David
Janowski (+6-4=2) and Giza Marsczy (+4-3=7) and crushed Carl
Schlechter (+8-2=9).

++1.G   Blindfold skill

Pillsbury was a very strong blindfold chess player, and could play
checkers and chess simultaneously while playing a hand of whist,
and reciting a list of long words. His maximum was 22 simultaneous
blindfold games at Moscow 1902. However, his greatest feat was 21
simultaneous games against the players in the Hannover Hauptturnier
of 1902--the winner of the Hauptturnier would be recognized as a
master, yet Pillsbury scored +3-7=11. As a teenager, Edward Lasker
played Pillsbury in a blindfold exhibition in Breslau, against the
wishes of his mother, and recalled in Chess Secrets I learned from
the Masters:

But it soon became evident that I would have lost my game even if
I had been in the calmest of moods. Pillsbury gave a marvellous
performance, winning 13 of the 16 blindfold games, drawing two, and
losing only one. He played strong chess and made no mistakes
(presumably in recalling the positions). The picture of Pillsbury
sitting calmly in an armchair, with his back to the players,
smoking one cigar after another, and replying to his opponents'
moves after brief consideration in a clear, unhesitating manner,
came back to my mind 30 years later, when I refereed Alekhine's
world record performance at the Chicago World's Fair, where he
played 32 blindfold games simultaneously. It was quite an
astounding demonstration, but Alekhine made quite a number of
mistakes, and his performance did not impress me half as much as
Pillsbury's in Breslau.

++2.    Emanuel Lasker

World Champion 1894-1921

Emanuel Lasker (December 24, 1868 - January 11, 1941) was a German
chess player, mathematician, and philosopher who was World Chess
Champion for 27 years. In his prime Lasker was one of the most
dominant champions, and he is still generally regarded as one of
the strongest players ever.

His contemporaries used to say that Lasker used a "psychological"
approach to the game, and even that he sometimes deliberately
played inferior moves to confuse opponents. Recent analysis,
however, indicates that he was ahead of his time and used a more
flexible approach than his contemporaries, which mystified many of
them. Lasker knew the openings well but disagreed with many
contemporary analyses. He published chess magazines and five chess
books, but later players and commentators found it difficult to
draw lessons from his methods.

He demanded high fees for playing matches and tournaments, which
aroused criticism at the time but contributed to the development of
chess as a professional career. The conditions which Lasker
demanded for World Championship matches in the last ten years of
his reign were controversial, and prompted attempts, particularly
by his successor Jose Raul Capablanca, to define agreed rules for
championship matches.

Lasker made contributions to the development of other games. He was
a first-class contract bridge player and wrote about this and other
games, including Go and his own invention, Lasca. His books about
games presented a problem which is still considered notable in the
mathematical analysis of card games. Besides, Lasker was a research
mathematician who was known for his contributions to commutative
algebra, as he defined the primary decomposition property of the
ideals of some commutative rings when he proved that polynomial
rings have the primary decomposition property. On the other hand,
his philosophical works and a drama that he co-authored received
little attention.

++2.A   Life and career

++2.a1  Early years 1868-1894

Emanuel Lasker was born on December 24, 1868 at Berlinchen in
Neumark (now Barlinek in Poland), the son of a Jewish cantor. At
the age of eleven he was sent to Berlin to study mathematics, where
he lived with his brother Berthold, eight years his senior, who
taught him how to play chess. According to the website
Chessmetrics, Berthold was among the world's top ten players in the
early 1890s. To supplement their income Emanuel Lasker played chess
and card games for small stakes, especially at the Cafi Kaiserhof.

Emanuel Lasker shot up through the chess rankings in 1889, when he
won the Cafi Kaiserhof's annual Winter tournament 1888/89 and the
Hauptturnier A ("second division" tournament) at the sixth DSB
Congress (German Chess Federation's congress) held in Breslau. He
also finished second in an international tournament at Amsterdam,
ahead of some well-known masters, including Isidore Gunsberg
(assessed as the second strongest player in the world at that time
by Chessmetrics). In 1890 he finished third in Graz, then shared
first prize with his brother Berthold in a tournament in Berlin. In
spring 1892, he won two tournaments in London, the second and
stronger of these without losing a game. At New York 1893, he won
all thirteen games, one of the few times in chess history that a
player has achieved a perfect score in a significant tournament.

His record in matches was equally impressive: at Berlin in 1890 he
drew a short play-off match against his brother Berthold; and won
all his other matches from 1889 to 1893, mostly against top-class
opponents: Curt von Bardeleben (1889; ranked 9th best player in the
world by Chessmetrics at that time, Jacques Mieses (1889; ranked
11th, Henry Edward Bird (1890; then 60 years old; ranked 29th,
Berthold Englisch (1890; ranked 18th, Joseph Henry Blackburne
(1892, without losing a game; Blackburne was aged 51 then, but
still 9th in the world, Jackson Showalter (1892-1893; 22nd and
Celso Golmayo Zzpide (1893; 29th Chessmetrics calculates that
Emanuel Lasker became the world's strongest player in
mid-1890, and that he was in the top ten from the very beginning of
his recorded career in 1889.
The players and tournament officials at the New York 1893

In 1892 Lasker founded the first of his chess magazines, The London
Chess Fortnightly, which was published from August 15, 1892 to July
30, 1893. In the second quarter of 1893 there was a gap of ten
weeks between issues, allegedly because of problems with the
printer. Shortly after its last issue Lasker traveled to the USA,
where he spent the next two years.

Lasker challenged Siegbert Tarrasch, who had won three consecutive
strong international tournaments (Breslau 1889, Manchester 1890,
and Dresden 1892), to a match. Tarrasch haughtily declined, stating
that Lasker should first prove his mettle by attempting to win one
or two major international events.

++2.A2  Chess competition 1894-1918

++2.A2a Match against Steinitz

Wilhelm Steinitz, whom Lasker beat in World Championship matches in
1894 and 1896

Rebuffed by Tarrasch, Lasker challenged the reigning World Champion
Wilhelm Steinitz to a match for the title. Initially Lasker wanted
to play for US $5,000 a side and a match was agreed at stakes of
$3,000 a side, but Steinitz agreed to a series of reductions when
Lasker found it difficult to raise the money. The final figure was
$2,000, which was less than for some of Steinitz' earlier matches
(the final combined stake of $4,000 would be worth over $495,000 at
2006 values. Although this was publicly praised as an act of
sportsmanship on Steinitz' part, Steinitz may have desperately
needed the money. The match was played in 1894, at venues in New
York, Philadelphia, and Montreal. Steinitz had previously declared
he would win without doubt, so it came as a shock when Lasker won
the first game. Steinitz responded by winning the second, and was
able to maintain the balance through the sixth. However, Lasker won
all the games from the seventh to the eleventh, and Steinitz asked
for a week's rest. When the match resumed, Steinitz looked in
better shape and won the 13th and 14th games. Lasker struck back in
the 15th and 16th, and Steinitz was unable to compensate for his
losses in the middle of the match. Hence Lasker won convincingly
with ten wins, five losses and four
draws. Lasker thus became the second formally-recognized World
Chess Champion, and confirmed his title by beating Steinitz even
more convincingly in their re-match in 1896-1897 (ten wins, five
draws, and two losses).

++2.A2b Successes in tournaments

Sketch of Lasker, ca. 1894

Influential players and journalists belittled the 1894 match both
before and after it took place. Lasker's difficulty in getting
backing may have been caused by hostile pre-match comments from
Gunsberg and Leopold Hoffer, who had long been a bitter enemy of
Steinitz. One of the complaints was that Lasker had never played
the other two members of the top four, Siegbert Tarrasch and
Mikhail Chigorin - although Tarrasch had rejected a challenge from
Lasker in 1892, publicly telling him to go and win an international
tournament first. After the match some commentators, notably
Tarrasch, said Lasker had won mainly because Steinitz was old (58
in 1894).

Emanuel Lasker answered these criticisms by creating an even more
impressive playing record. Before World War I broke out his most
serious "setbacks" were third place at Hastings 1895 (where he may
have been suffering from the after-effects of typhoid), tie for
second at Cambridge Springs 1904, and tie for first at the Chigorin
Memorial in St. Petersburg 1909. He won first prizes at very strong
tournaments in St. Petersburg (1895-1896, Quadrangular), Nuremberg
(1896), London (1899), Paris (1900) and St. Petersburg (1914),
where he overcame a 1= point deficit to finish ahead of the rising
stars, Capablanca and Alexander Alekhine, who later became the next
two World Champions. For decades chess writers have reported that
Tsar Nicholas II of Russia conferred the title of "Grandmaster of
Chess" upon each of the five finalists at St. Petersburg 1914
(Lasker, Capablanca, Alekhine, Tarrasch and Marshall), but chess
historian Edward Winter has questioned this, stating that the
earliest known sources supporting this story were published in 1940

++2.A2c Matches against Marshall and Tarrasch

Lasker's match record was as impressive between his 1896-1897 re-
match with Steinitz and 1914: he won all but one of his normal
matches, and three of those were convincing defenses of his title.
He first faced Marshall in the World Chess Championship 1907, when
despite his aggressive style, Marshall could not win a single game,
losing eight and drawing seven (final score: 11.5-3.5).

He then played Tarrasch in the World Chess Championship 1908, first
at Duesseldorf then at Munich. Tarrasch firmly believed the game of
chess was governed by a precise set of principles. For him the
strength of a chess move was in its logic, not in its efficiency.
Because of his stubborn principles he considered Lasker as a
coffeehouse player who won his games only thanks to dubious tricks,
while Lasker mocked the arrogance of Tarrasch who, in his opinion,
shone more in salons than at the chessboard. At the opening
ceremony, Tarrasch refused to talk to Lasker, only saying: "Mr.
Lasker, I have only three words to say to you: check and mate!"

Lasker gave a brilliant answer on the chessboard, winning four of
the first five games, and playing a type of chess Tarrasch could
not understand. For example, in the second game after 19 moves
arose a situation (see diagram below) in which Lasker was a pawn
down, with a bad bishop and doubled pawns. At this point it
appeared Tarrasch was winning, but 20 moves later he was forced to
resign. Lasker eventually won by 10= -5= (eight wins, five draws,
and three losses). Tarrasch claimed the wet weather was the cause
of his defeat.

White:  King at f2, Queen at a7, Rooks at a1 and e1, Knight at f5,
        Pawns at a2, b3, c2, e4, g2, h2
Black:  King at h8, Queen at d7, Rooks at d8 and e8, Bishop at e7,
        Pawns at c6, c7, d6, f6, h7
Position after 19. Qxa7

++2.A2d Matches against Janowski

In 1909 Lasker drew a short match (two wins, two losses) against
Dawid Janowski, an all-out attacking Polish expatriate. Several
months later they played a longer match, and chess historians still
debate whether this was for the World Chess
Championship. Understanding Janowski's style, Lasker chose to
defend solidly so that Janowski unleashed his attacks too soon and
left himself vulnerable. Lasker easily won the match 8-2 (seven
wins, two draws, one loss). This victory was convincing for
everyone but Janowski, who asked for a revenge match. Lasker
accepted and they played World Chess Championship match in Paris in
November-December 1910. Lasker crushed his opponent, winning 9= -1=
(eight wins, three draws, no losses). Janowski was not able to
understand Lasker's moves, and after his first three losses he
declared to Edward Lasker, "Your homonym plays so stupidly that I
cannot even look at the chessboard when he thinks. I am afraid I
will not do anything good in this match."

++2.A2E Match against Schlechter

Between his two matches against Janowski, Lasker arranged another
World Chess Championship in January-February 1910 against Carl
Schlechter. Schlechter was a modest gentleman, who was generally
unlikely to win the major chess tournaments by his peaceful
inclination, his lack of aggressiveness and his willingness to
accept most draw offers from his opponents (about 80% of his games
finished by a draw). The conditions of the match against Lasker are
still debated among chess historians, but it seems Schlechter
accepted to play under very unfavourable conditions, notably that
he would need to finish two points ahead of Lasker to be declared
the winner of the match, and he would need to win a revenge match
to be declared World Champion. The match was originally meant to
consist of 30 games, but when it became obvious that there were
insufficient funds (Lasker demanded a fee of 1,000 marks per game
played), the number of games was reduced to ten, making the margin
of two points all the more difficult.

At the beginning, Lasker tried to attack but Schlechter had no
difficulty defending, so that the first four games finished in
draws. In the fifth game Lasker had a big advantage, but committed
a blunder that cost him the game. Hence at the middle of the match
Schlechter was one point ahead. The next four games were drawn,
despite fierce play from both players. In the sixth Schlechter
managed to draw a game being a pawn down. In the seventh Lasker
nearly lost because of a beautiful exchange sacrifice from
Schlechter. In the ninth only a blunder from Lasker allowed
Schlechter to draw a lost ending. The score before the last game
was thus 5-4 for Schlechter. In the tenth game Schlechter tried to
win tactically and took a big advantage, but he missed a clear win
at the 35th move, continued to take increasing risks and finished
by losing. Hence the match was a draw and Lasker remained World

++2.A2f Abortive challenges

Jose Raul Capablanca won the world title from Lasker in 1921.

In 1911 Lasker received a challenge for a world title match against
the rising star Jose Raul Capablanca. Lasker was unwilling to play
the traditional "first to win ten games" type of match in the semi-
tropical conditions of Havana, especially as drawn games were
becoming more frequent and the match might last for over six
months. He therefore made a counter-proposal: if neither player had
a lead of at least two games by the end of the match, it should be
considered a draw; the match should be limited to the best of
thirty games, counting draws; except that if either player won six
games and led by at least two games before thirty games were
completed, he should be declared the winner; the champion should
decide the venue and stakes, and should have the exclusive right to
publish the games; the challenger should deposit a forfeit of US
$2,000 (equivalent to over $194,000 in 2006 values; the time limit
should be twelve moves per hour; play should be limited to two
sessions of 2= hours each per day, five days a week. Capablanca
objected to the time limit, the short playing times, the thirty-
game limit, and especially the requirement that he must win by two
games to claim the title, which he regarded as unfair. Lasker took
offence at the terms in which Capablanca criticized the two-game
lead condition and broke off negotiations, and until 1914 Lasker
and Capablanca were not on speaking terms. However, at the 1914 St.
Petersburg tournament, Capablanca proposed a set of rules for the
conduct of World Championship matches, which were accepted by all
the leading players including Lasker.

Late in 1912 Lasker entered into negotiations for a world title
match with Akiba Rubinstein, whose tournament record for the
previous few years had been on a par with Lasker's and a little
ahead of Capablanca's. The two players agreed to play a match if
Rubinstein could raise the funds, but Rubinstein had few rich
friends to back him and the match was never played. The start of
World War I put an end to hopes that Lasker would play either
Rubinstein or Capablanca for the World Championship in the near
future. Throughout World War I (1914-1918) Lasker played in only
two serious chess events. He convincingly won (5= -=) a non-title
match against Tarrasch in 1916. In
September-October 1918, shortly before the armistice, he won a
quadrangular (four-player) tournament, half a point ahead of

++2.A3   Academic activities 1894-1918

David Hilbert encouraged Lasker to obtain a Ph.D in mathematics.

Despite his superb playing results, chess was not Lasker's only
interest. His parents recognized his intellectual talents,
especially for mathematics, and sent the adolescent Emanuel to
study in Berlin (where he found he also had a talent for chess).
Lasker gained his abitur (high school graduation certificate) at
Landsberg an der Warthe, now a Polish town named Gorzsw
Wielkopolski but then part of Prussia. He then studied mathematics
and philosophy at the universities in Berlin, Gottingen and

In 1895 Lasker published two mathematical articles in
Nature. On the advice of David Hilbert he registered for doctoral
studies at Erlangen during
1900-1902. In 1901 he presented his doctoral thesis \ber Reihen auf
der Convergenzgrenze ("On Series at Convergence Boundaries") at
Erlangen and in the same year it was published by the Royal
Society. He was awarded a doctorate in mathematics in 1902. His
most significant mathematical article, in 1905, published a theorem
of which Emmy Noether developed a more generalized form, which is
now regarded as of fundamental importance to modern algebra and
algebraic geometry.

Lasker held short-term positions as a mathematics lecturer at
Tulane University in New Orleans (1893) and Victoria University in
Manchester (1901; Victoria University was one of the "parents" of
the current University of Manchester). However he was unable to
secure a longer-term position, and pursued his scholarly interests

In 1906 Lasker published a booklet titled Kampf (Struggle), in
which he attempted to create a general theory of all competitive
activities, including chess, business and war. He produced two
other books which are generally categorized as philosophy, Das
Begreifen der Welt (Comprehending the World; 1913) and Die
Philosophie des Unvollendbar (The Philosophy of the Unattainable;

++2.A4   Other activities 1894-1918

In 1896-1897 Lasker published his book Common Sense in Chess, based
on lectures he had given in London in 1895.

Rice Gambit
Position after 1. e4 e5 2. f4 exf4 3. Nf3 g5 4. h4 g4 5. Ne5 Nf6 6.
Bc4 d5 7. exd5 Bd6 8. 0-0 -- White sacrifices the Knight on e5, in
order to get his King to safety and enable a Rook to join the
attack against the under-developed Black position.

In 1903, Lasker played in Ostend against Mikhail Chigorin, a six-
game match that was sponsored by the wealthy lawyer and
industrialist Isaac Rice in order to test the Rice Gambit. Lasker
narrowly lost the match. Three years later Lasker became secretary
of the Rice Gambit Association, founded by Rice in order to promote
the Rice Gambit, and in 1907 Lasker quoted with approval Rice's
views on the convergence of chess and military strategy.

In November 1904, Lasker founded Lasker's Chess Magazine, which ran
until 1909.

For a short time in 1906 Emanuel Lasker was interested in the
strategy game Go, but soon returned to chess. Curiously he was
introduced to the game by his namesake Edward Lasker, who wrote a
successful book Go and Go-Moku in 1934.

At the age of 42, in July 1911, Lasker married Martha Cohn (nie
Bamberger), a rich widow who was a year older than Lasker and
already a grandmother. They lived in Berlin.

Martha Cohn wrote popular stories under the pseudonym "L. Marco".

During World War I, Lasker invested all of his savings in German
war bonds. Since Germany lost the war, Lasker lost all his money.
During the war, he wrote a book which claimed that civilization
would be in danger if Germany lost the war.

++2.A5   Match against Capablanca

In January 1920 Lasker and Jose Raul Capablanca signed an agreement
to play a World Championship match in 1921, noting that Capablanca
was not free to play in 1920. Because of the delay Lasker insisted
on a final clause that: allowed him to play anyone else for the
championship in 1920; nullified the contract with Capablanca if
Lasker lost a title match in 1920; and stipulated that if Lasker
resigned the title Capablanca should become World Champion. Lasker
had previously included in his agreement before World War I to play
Akiba Rubinstein for the title a similar clause that if he resigned
the title, it should become Rubinstein's.
A report in the American Chess Bulletin (July-August 1920 issue)
said that Lasker had resigned the world title in favor of
Capablanca because the conditions of the match were unpopular in
the chess world. The American Chess Bulletin speculated that the
conditions were not sufficiently unpopular to warrant resignation
of the title, and that Lasker's real concern was that there was not
enough financial backing to justify his devoting nine months to the
match. When Lasker resigned the title in favor of Capablanca he was
unaware that enthusiasts in Havana had just raised $20,000 to fund
the match provided it was played there. When Capablanca learned of
Lasker's resignation he went to Holland, where Lasker was living at
the time, to inform him that Havana would finance the match. In
August 1920 Lasker agreed to play in Havana, but insisted that he
was the challenger as Capablanca was now the champion. Capablanca
signed an agreement that accepted this point, and soon afterwards
published a letter confirming this. Lasker also stated that, if he
beat Capablanca, he would resign the title so that younger masters
could compete for it.

The match was played in March-April 1921. After four draws, the
fifth game saw Lasker blunder with Black in an equal ending.
Capablanca's solid style allowed him to easily draw the next four
games, without taking any risks. In the tenth game, Lasker as White
played a position with an isolated queen pawn but failed to create
the necessary activity and Capablanca reached a superior ending,
which he duly won. The eleventh and fourteenth games were also won
by Capablanca, and Lasker resigned the match.

Reuben Fine and Harry Golombek attributed this to Lasker's being in
mysteriously poor form. On the other hand Vladimir Kramnik thought
that Lasker played quite well and the match was an "even and
fascinating fight" until Lasker blundered in the last game, and
explained that Capablanca was twenty years younger, a slightly
stronger player, and had more recent competitive practice.

++2.A6  1921 - end of life

By this time Lasker was nearly 53 years old, and he never played
another serious match; his only other match was a short exhibition
against Frank James Marshall in 1940, which he won. After winning
the New York 1924 chess tournament (1.5 points ahead of Capablanca)
and finishing second at Moscow in 1925 (1.5 points behind Efim
Bogoljubow, .5 point ahead of Capablanca), he effectively retired
from serious chess.

During the Moscow 1925 chess tournament, Emanuel Lasker received a
telegram informing him that the drama written by himself and his
brother Berthold, Vom Menschen die Geschichte ("History of
Mankind"), had been accepted for performance at the Lessing theatre
in Berlin. Emanuel Lasker was so distracted by this news that he
lost badly to Carlos Torre the same day. The play, however, was not
a success.

In 1926 Lasker wrote Lehrbuch des Schachspiels, which he re-wrote
in English in 1927 as Lasker's Manual of Chess. He also wrote books
on other games of mental skill: Encyclopedia of Games (1929) and
Das verstdndige Kartenspiel (means "Sensible Card Play"; 1929;
English translation in the same year), both of which posed a
problem in the mathematical analysis of card games; Brettspiele der
Vvlker ("Board Games of the Nations"; 1931), which includes 30
pages about Go and a section about a game he had invented in 1911,
Lasca; and Das Bridgespiel ("The Game of Bridge"; 1931). Lasker
became an expert bridge player, representing Germany at
international events in the early 1930s, and a registered teacher
of the Culbertson system.

In October 1928 Emanuel Lasker's brother Berthold

In spring 1933 Adolf Hitler started a campaign of
discrimination and intimidation against Jews, depriving them of
their property and citizenship. Lasker and his wife Martha, who
were both Jewish, were forced to leave Germany in the same year.
After a short stay in England, in 1935 they were invited to live in
the USSR by Nikolai Krylenko, the Commissar of Justice who was
responsible for the Moscow show trials and, in his other capacity
as Sports Minister, was an enthusiastic supporter of chess. In the
USSR, Lasker renounced his German citizenship and received Soviet
citizenship. He took permanent residence in Moscow, and was given
a post at Moscow's Institute for Mathematics and a post of trainer
of the USSR national team. Lasker returned to competitive chess to
make some money, finishing fifth in Zurich 1934 and third in Moscow
1935 (undefeated, .5 point behind Mikhail Botvinnik and Salo Flohr;
ahead of Capablanca, Rudolf Spielmann and several Soviet masters),
sixth in Moscow 1936 and seventh equal in Nottingham 1936. His
performance in Moscow 1935 at age 66 was hailed as "a biological

Unfortunately Stalin's Great Purge started at about the same time
the Laskers arrived in the USSR. In August 1937, Martha and Emanuel
Lasker decided to leave the Soviet Union, and they moved, via the
Netherlands, to the United States (first Chicago, next New York) in
October 1937. In the following year Emanuel Lasker's patron,
Krylenko, was purged. Lasker tried to support himself by giving
chess and bridge lectures and exhibitions, as he was now too old
for serious competition. In 1940 he published his last book, The
Community of the Future, in which he proposed solutions for serious
political problems, including anti-Semitism and
unemployment. He died of a kidney infection in New York on January
11, 1941, at the age of 72, as a charity patient at the Mount Sinai
Hospital. He was buried in the Beth Olom Cemetery, Queens, New
York. His was survived by his wife Martha and his sister, Mrs.
Lotta Hirschberg.

++2.B   Assessment

++2.B1  Chess strength and style

Lasker was considered to have a "psychological" method of play in
which he considered the subjective qualities of his opponent, in
addition to the objective requirements of his position on the
board. Richard Reti published a lengthy analysis of Lasker's play
in which he concluded that Lasker deliberately played inferior
moves that he knew would make his opponent uncomfortable. W. H. K.
Pollock commented, "It is no easy matter to reply correctly to
Lasker's bad moves."

Lasker himself denied the claim that he deliberately played bad
moves, and most modern writers agree. According to Grandmaster
Andrew Soltis and International Master John L. Watson, the features
that made his play mysterious to contemporaries now appear
regularly in modern play: the g2-g4 "Spike" attack against the
Dragon Sicilian; sacrifices to gain positional advantage; playing
the "practical" move rather than trying to find the best move;
counterattacking and complicating the game before a disadvantage
became serious. Former World Champion Vladimir Kramnik writes, "He
realized that different types of advantage could be
interchangeable: tactical edge could be converted into strategic
advantage and vice versa", which mystified contemporaries who were
just becoming used to the theories of Steinitz as codified by
Siegbert Tarrasch.

The famous win against Jose Raul Capablanca at St. Petersburg in
1914, which Lasker needed in order to retain any chance of catching
up with Capablanca, is sometimes offered as evidence of his
"psychological" approach. Reuben Fine describes Lasker's choice of
opening, the Exchange Variation of the Ruy Lopez, as "innocuous but
psychologically potent." However, an analysis of Lasker's use of
this variation throughout his career concludes that he had
excellent results with it as White against top-class opponents, and
sometimes used it in "must-win" situations. Ludek Pachman writes
that Lasker's choice presented his opponent with a dilemma: with
only a = point lead, Capablanca would have wanted to play safe; but
the Exchange Variation's pawn structure gives White an endgame
advantage, and Black must use his bishop pair aggressively in the
middle game to nullify this. In Kramnik's opinion, Lasker's play in
this game demonstrated deep positional understanding, rather than

Fine reckoned Lasker paid little attention to the openings., but
Capablanca thought Lasker knew the openings very well, but
disagreed with a lot of contemporary opening analysis. In fact
before the 1894 world title match Lasker studied the openings
thoroughly, especially Steinitz' favorite lines. In Capablanca's
opinion, no player surpassed Lasker in the ability to assess a
position quickly and accurately, in terms of who had the better
prospects of winning and what strategy each side should adopt.
Capablanca also wrote that Lasker was so adaptable that he played
in no definite style, and that he was both a tenacious defender and
a very efficient finisher of his own attacks.

In addition to his enormous chess skill Lasker had an excellent
competitive temperament: his bitter rival Siegbert Tarrasch once
said, "Lasker occasionally loses a game, but he never loses his
head." Lasker enjoyed the need to adapt to varying styles and to
the shifting fortunes of tournaments. Although very strong in
matches, he was even stronger in tournaments. For over twenty
years, he always finished ahead of the younger Capablanca: at St.
Petersburg 1914, New York 1924, Moscow 1925, and Moscow 1935. Only
in 1936 (15 years after their match), when Lasker was 67, was
Capablanca able to finish ahead of him.

In 1964, Chessworld magazine published an article in which future
World Champion Bobby Fischer listed the ten greatest players in
history. Fischer did not include Lasker in the list, deriding him
as a "coffee-house player (who) knew nothing about openings and
didn't understand positional chess." In a poll of the world's
leading players taken sometime after Fischer's list appeared, Tal,
Korchnoi, and Robert Byrne all said that Lasker was the greatest
player ever. Both Pal Benko and Byrne said that Fischer later
reconsidered and admitted that Lasker was a great player.

Statistical ranking systems place Lasker high among the greatest
players of all time. The book Warriors of the Mind places him
sixth, behind Garry Kasparov, Anatoly Karpov, Fischer, Mikhail
Botvinnik and Capablanca. In his 1978 book The Rating of
Chessplayers, Past and Present, Arpad Elo gave retrospective
ratings to players based on their performance over the best five-
year span of their career. He concluded that Lasker was the joint
second strongest player of those surveyed (tied with Botvinnik and
behind Capablanca). The most up-to-date system, Chessmetrics, is
rather sensitive to the length of the periods being compared, and
ranks Lasker between fifth and second strongest of all time for
peak periods ranging in length from one to twenty years. Its
author, the statistician Jeff Sonas, concluded that only Kasparov
and Karpov surpassed Lasker's long-term dominance of the game. By
Chessmetrics' reckoning, Lasker was the number 1 player in 292
different months - a total of over 24 years. His first No. 1 rank
was in June 1890, and his last in December 1926 - a span of 36=
years. Chessmetrics also considers him the strongest 67-year-old in
history: in December 1935, at age 67 years and 0 months, his rating
was 2691 (number 7 in the world), well above second-place Viktor
Korchnoi's rating at that age (2660, number 39 in the world, in
March 1998).

++2.B2  Influence on chess

Lasker at home in Berlin, in 1933

Lasker founded no school of players who played in a similar style.
Max Euwe, World Champion 1935-37 and a prolific writer of chess
manuals, who had a lifetime 0-3 score against Lasker, said, "It is
not possible to learn much from him. One can only stand and
wonder." However Lasker's pragmative, combative approach had a
great influence on Soviet players like Mikhail Tal and Viktor
There are several "Lasker Variations" in the chess openings,
including Lasker's Defense to the Queen's Gambit, Lasker's Defense
to the Evans Gambit (which effectively ended the use of this gambit
in tournament play until a revival in the 1990s), and the Lasker
Variation in the McCutcheon Variation of the French Defense.

One of Lasker's most famous games is Lasker - Bauer, Amsterdam
1889, in which he sacrificed both bishops in a maneuver later
repeated in a number of games. Similar sacrifices had already been
played by Cecil Valentine De Vere and John Owen, but these were not
in major events and Lasker probably had not seen them.

Lasker was shocked by the poverty in which Wilhelm Steinitz died
and did not intend to die in similar circumstances. He became
notorious for demanding high fees for playing matches and
tournaments, and he argued that players should own the copyright in
their games rather than let publishers get all the
profits. These demands initially angered editors and other players,
but helped to pave the way for the rise of full-time chess
professionals who earn most of their living from playing, writing
and teaching. Copyright in chess games had been contentious at
least as far back as the mid-1840s, and Steinitz and Lasker
vigorously asserted that players should own the copyright and wrote
copyright clauses into their match contracts. However Lasker's
demands that challengers should raise large purses prevented or
delayed some eagerly-awaited World Championship matches -- for
example Frank James Marshall challenged him in 1904 to a match for
the World Championship but could not raise the stakes demanded by
Lasker until 1907. This problem continued throughout the reign of
his successor Capablanca.

Some of the controversial conditions that Lasker insisted on for
championship matches led Capablanca to attempt twice (1914 and
1922) to publish rules for such matches, to which other top players
readily agreed.

++2.B3  Work in other fields

Lasker was also a mathematician. In his 1905 article on
commutative algebra, Lasker introduced the theory of primary
decomposition of ideals, which has influence in the theory of
Noetherian rings. Rings having the primary decomposition property
are called "Laskerian rings" in his honor.

His attempt to create a general theory of all competitive
activities were followed by more consistent efforts from von
Neumann on game theory, and his later writings about card games
presented a significant issue in the mathematical analysis of card

However, his dramatic and philosophical works have never been
highly regarded.

++2.C   Friends and relatives
Lasker was a good friend of Albert Einstein, who wrote the
introduction to the posthumous biography Emanuel Lasker, The Life
of a Chess Master from Dr. Jacques Hannak (1952). In this preface
Einstein express his satisfaction at having met Lasker, writing:

Emanuel Lasker was undoubtedly one of the most interesting people
I came to know in my later years. We must be thankful to those who
have penned the story of his life for this and succeeding
generations. For there are few men who have had a warm interest in
all the great human problems and at the same time kept their
personality so uniquely independent.

Poetess Else Lasker-Schueler was his sister-in-law. Edward Lasker,
born in Kempen (Kepno), Greater Poland (then Prussia), the German-
American chess master, engineer, and author, claimed that he was
distantly related to Emanuel Lasker. They both played in the great
New York 1924 chess tournament.

++2.D   Publications

++2.D1  Chess

*       The London Chess Fortnightly, 1892-1893
*       Common Sense in Chess, 1896 (an abstract of 12 lectures
        delivered to a London audience in 1895)
*       Lasker's How to Play Chess: An Elementary Text Book for
        Beginners, Which Teaches Chess By a New, Easy and
        Comprehensive Method, 1900
*       Lasker's Chess Magazine, OCLC 5002324, 1904-1907.
*       The International Chess Congress, St. Petersburg, 1909,
*       Lasker's Manual of Chess, 1925, is as famous in chess
        circles for its philosophical tone as for its content.
*       Lehrbuch des Schachspiels, 1926 - English version Lasker's
        Manual of Chess published in 1927.
*       Lasker's Chess Primer, 1934.

++2.D2  Mathematics

*       Lasker, Emanuel (August 1895). "Metrical Relations of Plane
        Spaces of n Manifoldness". Nature 52 (1345): 340-343.
*       Lasker, Emanuel (October 1895). "About a certain Class of
        Curved Lines in Space of n Manifoldness". Nature 52 (1355):

++2.F   Notable games

*       Emanuel Lasker vs Johann Hermann Bauer, Amsterdam 1889.
        Although this was not the earliest known game with a
        successful two bishops sacrifice, this combination is now
        known as a "Lasker-Bauer combination" or "Lasker
*       Harry Nelson Pillsbury vs Emanuel Lasker, St. Petersburg
        1895. A brilliant sacrifice in the seventeenth move leads
        to a victorious attack.
*       Wilhelm Steinitz vs Emanuel Lasker, London 1899. The old
        champion and the new one really go for it.
*       Frank James Marshall vs Emanuel Lasker, World Championship
        Match 1907, game 1. Lasker's attack is insufficient for a
        quick win, so he trades it in for an endgame in which he
        quickly ties Marshall in knots.
*       Emanuel Lasker vs Carl Schlechter, match 1910, game 10. Not
        a great game, but the one that saved Emanuel Lasker from
        losing his world title in 1910.
*       Emanuel Lasker vs Jose Raul Capablanca, St. Petersburg
        1914. Lasker, who needed a win here, surprisingly used a
        quiet opening, allowing Capablanca to simplify the game
        early. There has been much debate about whether Lasker's
        approach represented subtle psychology or deep positional
*       Max Euwe vs Emanuel Lasker, Zurich 1934. 66-year old Lasker
        beats a future World Champion, sacrificing his Queen to
        turn defense into attack.

++2.G   Tournament results

1888/89 Berlin (Cafe Kaiserhof)
        1st 20/20 +20 -0 =0
1889 Breslau "B"
        Equal 1st 12/15 +11 -2 =2 Tied with von Feyerfeil and won
        the playoff. This was Hauptturnier A of the sixth DSB
        Congress, i.e. the "second-division" tournament.
1889 Amsterdam "A" tournament
        2nd 6/8 +5 -1 =2 Behind Amos Burn; ahead of James Mason,
        Isidor Gunsberg and others. This was the stronger of the
        two Amsterdam tournaments held at that time.
1890 Berlin
        1-2 6.5/8 +6 -1 =1 Tied with his brother Berthold Lasker.
1890 Graz
        3rd 4/6 +3 -1 =2 Behind Gyula Makovetz and Johann Hermann
1892 London
        1st 9/11 +8 -1 =2 Ahead of Mason and Rudolf Loman.
1892 London
        1st 6.5/8 +5 -0 =3 Ahead of Joseph Henry Blackburne, Mason,
        Gunsberg and Henry Edward Bird.
1893 New York City
        1st 13/13 +13 -0 =0 Ahead of Adolf Albin, Jackson Showalter
        and a newcomer called Harry Nelson Pillsbury.
1895 Hastings
        3rd 15.5/21 +14 -4 =3 Behind Pillsbury and Mikhail
        Chigorin; ahead of Siegbert Tarrasch, Wilhelm Steinitz and
        the rest of a strong field.
1895/96 St. Petersburg
        1st 11.5/18 +8 -3 =7 A Quadrangular tournament; ahead of
        Steinitz (by two points), Pillsbury and Chigorin.
1896 Nuremberg
        1st 13.5/18 +12 -3 =3 Ahead of Giza Marsczy, Pillsbury,
        Tarrasch, Dawid Janowski, Steinitz and the rest of a strong
1899 London
        1st 23=/28 +20 -1 =7 Ahead of Janowski, Pillsbury, Marsczy,
        Carl Schlechter, Blackburne, Chigorin and several other
        strong players.
1900 Paris
        1st 14.5/16 +14 -1 =1 Ahead of Pillsbury (by two points),
        Frank James Marshall, Marsczy, Burn, Chigorin and several
1904 Cambridge Springs
        2nd = 11/15 +9 -2 =4 Tied with Janowski; two points behind
        Marshall; ahead of Georg Marco, Showalter, Schlechter,
        Chigorin, Jacques Mieses, Pillsbury and others.
1906 Trenton Falls
        1st 5/6 +4 -0 =2 A Quadrangular tournament; ahead of Curt,
        Albert Fox and Raubitschek.
1909 St. Petersburg
        Equal 1st 14.5/18 +13 -2 =3 Tied with Akiba Rubinstein;
        ahead of Oldrich Duras and Rudolf Spielmann (by 3.5
        points), Ossip Bernstein, Richard Teichmann and several
        other strong players.
1914 St. Petersburg
        1st 13.5/18 +10 -1 =7 Ahead of Jose Raul Capablanca,
        Alexander Alekhine, Tarrasch and Marshall. This tournament
        had an unusual structure: there was a preliminary
        tournament in which eleven players played each other player
        once; the top five players then played a separate final
        tournament in which each player who made the "cut" played
        the other finalists twice; but their scores from the
        preliminary tournament were carried forward. Even the
        preliminary tournament would now be considered a "super-
        tournament". Capablanca "won" the preliminary tournament by
        1.5 points without losing a game, but Lasker achieved a
        plus score against all his opponents in the final
        tournament and finished with a combined score .5 point
        ahead of Capablanca's.
1918 Berlin
        1st 4.5/6 +3 -0 =3 Quadrangular tournament. Ahead of
        Rubinstein, Schlechter and Tarrasch.
1923 Moravska Ostrava
        1st 10.5/13 +8 -0 =5 Ahead of Richard Reti, Ernst
        Gruenfeld, Alexey Selezniev, Savielly Tartakower, Max Euwe
        and other strong players.
1924 New York City
        1st 16/20 +13 -1 =6 Ahead of Capablanca (by 1.5 points),
        Alekhine, Marshall, and the rest of a very strong field.
1925 Moscow
        2nd 14/20 +10 -2 =8 Behind Efim Bogoljubow; ahead of
        Capablanca, Marshall, Tartakower, Carlos Torre, other
        strong non-Soviet players and the leading Soviet players.
1934 Zurich
        5th 10/15 +9 -4 =2 Behind Alekhine, Euwe, Salo Flohr and
        Bogoljubow; ahead of Bernstein, Aron Nimzowitsch, Gideon
        Stahlberg and various others.
1935 Moscow
        3rd 12.5/19 +6 -0 =13 half a point behind Mikhail Botvinnik
        and Flohr; ahead of Capablanca, Spielmann, Ilya Kan,
        Grigory Levenfish, Andor Lilienthal, Viacheslav Ragozin and
        others. Emanuel Lasker was about 67 years old at the time.
1936 Moscow
        6th 8/18 +3 -5 =10 Capablanca won.
1936 Nottingham
        7-8th 8.5/14 +6 -3 =5 Capablanca and Botvinnik tied for
        first place.

++2.H   Match results

Here are Lasker's results in matches.

1889 E.R. von Feyerfeil
        Won Breslau 1-0 +1 -0 =0 Play-off match
1889/90 Curt von Bardeleben
        Won Berlin 2.5-1.5 +2 -1 =1
1889/90 Jacques Mieses
        Won Leipzig 6.5-1.5 +5 -0 =3
1890 Berthold Lasker
        Drew Berlin .5-.5 +0 -0 =1 Play-off match
1890 Henry Edward Bird
        Won Liverpool 8.5-3.5 +7 -2 =3
1890 N.T. Miniati
        Won Manchester 4-1 +3 -0 =2
1890 Berthold Englisch
        Won Vienna 3.5-1.5 +2 -0 =3
1891 Francis Joseph Lee
        Won London 1.5-.5 +1 -0 =1
1892 Joseph Henry Blackburne
        Won London 8-2 +6 -0 =4
1892 Bird
        Won Newcastle upon Tyne 5 -0 +5 -0 =0
1892/93 Jackson Showalter
        Won Logansport and Kokomo, Indiana 7-3 +6 -2 =2
1893 Celso Golmayo Zupide
        Won Havana 2.5-.5 +2 -0 =1
1893 Andres Clemente Vazquez
        Won Havana 3-0 +3 -0 =0
1893 A. Ponce
        Won Havana 2-0 +2 -0 =0
1893 Alfred Ettlinger
        Won New York City 5-0 +5 -0 =0
1894 Wilhelm Steinitz
        Won New York, Philadelphia, Montreal 12-7 +10 -5 =4 World
        Championship match
1896/97 Wilhelm Steinitz
        Won Moscow 12.5-4.5 +10 -2 =5 World Championship match
1901 Dawid Janowski
        Won Manchester 1.5-.5 +1 -0 =1
1903 Mikhail Chigorin
        Lost Brighton 2.5-3.5 +1 -2 =3 Rice Gambit match
1907 Frank James Marshall
        Won New York, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Baltimore,
        Chicago, Memphis 11.5-3.5 +8 -0 =7 World Championship match
1908 Siegbert Tarrasch
        Won Duesseldorf, Munich 10.5-5.5 +8 -3 =5 World
        Championship match
1908 Abraham Speijer
        Won Amsterdam 2.5-.5 +2 -0 =1
1909 Dawid Janowski
        Drew Paris 2-2 +2 -2 =0 Exhibition match
1909 Dawid Janowski
        Won Paris 8-2 +7 -1 =2
1910 Carl Schlechter
        Drew Vienna-Berlin 5-5 +1 -1 =8 World Championship match
1910 Dawid Janowski
        Won Berlin 9.5-1.5 +8 -0 =3 World Championship match
1914 Ossip Bernstein
        Drew Moscow 1-1 +1 -1 =0 Exhibition match
1916 Tarrasch
        Won Berlin 5.5-.5 +5 -0 =1
1921 Jose Raul Capablanca
        Lost Havana 5-9 +0 -4 =10 lost World Championship
1940 Frank James Marshall
        Lost New York .5-1.5 +0 -1 =1 exhibition match

++3.    Harry Nelson Pillsbury - Emanuel Lasker, St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg International Tournament 1895-1896, Round 2
White: Harry Nelson Pillsbury
Black: Emanuel Lasker
Result: 1-0
ECO: C67 - Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense, Open Berlin, Fianchetto
Notes by R.J. Macdonald

1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 Nc6
3. Bb5

(The Ruy Lopez.)

3. ... Nf6

(The Berlin Defense.)

4. 0-0 Nxe4

(The Open Berlin Variation.)

5. d4 Be7
6. Qe2 Nd6
7. Bxc6 bxc6
8. dxe5 Nb7
9. b3

(The Fianchetto Variation.)

9. ... 0-0
10. Bb2 d5
11. exd6 cxd6
12. Nbd2 Bf6
13. Bxf6 Qxf6
14. Rfe1 Nc5
15. Ne4 Nxe4
16. Qxe4 Bd7
17. c4 Rfe8

(17. ... Rae8 18. Qd3, giving white a slight advantage.)

18. Qd4

(18. Qd3 h6 gives white a slight advantage.)

18.... Rxe1+
19. Rxe1 Qxd4
20. Nxd4 Kf8

(After 20. ... a5 21. Re7 Rd8 22. h3 both sides have equal

21. Kf1

(21. Ne2 Re8 gives equality.)

21... a5
22. a4 Re8
23. Rxe8+ Kxe8

(A minor pieces endgame occurred.)

24. Ke2 Kd8
25. Kd2 Kc7
26. Kc3 Kb6
27. f4

(After 27. Nf3 Bf5 both sides have equal chances.)

27. ... h5
28. h3

(This covers the g4 square.)

28. ... Kc5
29. f5 g6

(29. ... d5 30. g4 hxg4 31. hxg4 dxc4 32. bxc4 leads to equality.)
30. f6 d5
31. cxd5 Kxd5

(31. ... cxd5 32. Nf3 with equal chances.)

32. Nf3

(This move gives white a slight advantage.)

32. ... Ke6

(Black threatens to win material: Ke6xf6.)

33. Nd2 Kxf6
34. Nc4 h4
35. Nxa5

(White has a new protected passed pawn on a4.)

Key Move Diagram:
Position after 35. Nxa5

35. ... Ke5??

(Better is 35. ... Kf5, but white still has a slight advantage.)

36. Nc4+

(This move gives white a decisive advantage.)

36. ... Kf4

(After 36. ... Kd5 37. Nb6+ Kd6 38. Nxd7 Kxd7 39. b4 white has a
decisive advantage.)

37. Nb6 Bf5
38. Kd4

(After 38. a5 White can already relax: 38. ... c5 39. Kc4 Be4 40.
Kxc5 g5, with a decisive advantage for white.)

38. ... Be4??

(weakening the position. Better is 38. ... g5, which would save the
game: 39. Kc5 Bxh3 40. gxh3 g4, giving black a slight advantage.)

39. a5

(White has a decisive advantage.)

39. ... c5+
40. Kxc5 Bxg2

(40. ... g5 cannot undo what has already been done: 41. a6 Ke5 42.
Nc4+ Ke6 43. b4 with a decisive advantage for white.)

41. a6 g5

(41. ... Ke5 42. Nc4+ Kf6 leads to a decisive advantage for white.)

42. Nd5+ Ke5
43. Ne3 Bf3

(43. ... Bxh3?? (the pawn contains a lethal dose of poison) 44. a7
Ke4 45. Nc2 gives white a decisive advantage.)

44. b4 Ke6
45. b5 Be2

(45. ... Ba8 offers black his last chance, but white's advantage is
still decisive.)

46. Nd5

(Black resigns in view of 46. Nd5 Bf3 47. b6 Bxd5 48. b7 f5 49.
b8=Q Be4 50. Qd8 Bh1 51. Qc8+ Ke5 52. Qb8+ Kf6 53. Qb6+ Kg7 54. a7
f4 55. Qb2+ Kh6 56. Qf6+ Kh7 57. Qf5+ Kh6 58. Qf8+ Kh7 59. Qf7+ Kh6
60. Qe6+ Kg7 61. Qe1 Bg2 62. Qe7+ Kg6 63. Qe6+ Kh7 64. Qc8 Bh1 65.
Qd7+ Kg6 66. Qd1 Ba8 67. Qd6+ Kf7 68. Qd7+ Kg6 69. Qe8+ Kf5 70.
Qxa8 g4 71. Qg8 Ke5 72. a8=Q gxh3 73. Qc6 h2 74. Qgd5#)

========== The blind-chess mailing list View list information and change your settings: http://www.freelists.org/list/blind-chess List archives: http://www.freelists.org/archives/blind-chess =========

Other related posts:

  • » [blind-chess] Annotated Game #16: Harry Nelson Pillsbury - Emanuel Lasker, St. Petersburg 1895 - Roderick Macdonald