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Lasker vs Janowski 1910
Berlin

In 1909, Emanuel Lasker played two exhibition matches in Paris against the strong Polish master, David Janowski, drawing the first one (+2 -2 =0) but handily winning the second (+7 -1 =2). These matches were not considered world championship matches. The matches were sponsored by a wealthy painter and chess patron, Léonardus Nardus, who paid Lasker 7,000 francs for the exhibition.

 Janowski vs Lasker, 1909 Exhibition
 Lasker-Janowski Exhibition Match, Paris 1909
Janowski's relative success in these matches, combined with his financial backing, was enough impetus for Lasker to put his title on the line for the third time in a little over a year. It would be another 11 years before another world championship match would take place.

The first player to secure 8 victories (draws not counting) would claim the title. On the present occasion Janowski fared even worse than in the exhibitions, as Lasker gained an overwhelming victory by 8 games to 0, with 3 games drawn. Janowsky was subject to unfortunate oversights in some of the games, and his erratic play was a great handicap to his chances. Play took place in Berlin. The first game was played on November 8th, the match finishing on December 8th.[1]

click on a game number to replay game 1234567891011
Janowski0½½00½00000
Lasker1½½11½11111

FINAL SCORE:  Lasker 8;  Janowski (3 draws)
Reference: game collection WCC Index [Lasker-Janowski 1910]

NOTABLE GAMES   [what is this?]
    · Game #5     Lasker vs Janowski, 1910     1-0
    · Game #9     Lasker vs Janowski, 1910     1-0
    · Game #3     Lasker vs Janowski, 1910     1/2-1/2

FOOTNOTES
1. The Yearbook of Chess, edited by Fred Wilson

 page 1 of 1; 11 games  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Lasker vs Janowski 1-022 1910 Lasker-Janowski World Championship MatchD41 Queen's Gambit Declined, Semi-Tarrasch
2. Janowski vs Lasker ½-½45 1910 Lasker-Janowski World Championship MatchD05 Queen's Pawn Game
3. Lasker vs Janowski ½-½101 1910 Lasker-Janowski World Championship MatchD60 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense
4. Janowski vs Lasker 0-131 1910 Lasker-Janowski World Championship MatchD04 Queen's Pawn Game
5. Lasker vs Janowski 1-029 1910 Lasker-Janowski World Championship MatchD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
6. Janowski vs Lasker ½-½67 1910 Lasker-Janowski World Championship MatchD02 Queen's Pawn Game
7. Lasker vs Janowski 1-046 1910 Lasker-Janowski World Championship MatchD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
8. Janowski vs Lasker 0-187 1910 Lasker-Janowski World Championship MatchD04 Queen's Pawn Game
9. Lasker vs Janowski 1-043 1910 Lasker-Janowski World Championship MatchC78 Ruy Lopez
10. Janowski vs Lasker 0-152 1910 Lasker-Janowski World Championship MatchA41 Queen's Pawn Game (with ...d6)
11. Lasker vs Janowski 1-030 1910 Lasker-Janowski World Championship MatchC30 King's Gambit Declined
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  
 

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-09-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Not sure whether Nimzowitsch could have beaten Janowsky in 1910, but I agree re the other players on <Rookfile>'s list. According to Chessmetrics Janowsky wasn't even in the top 10 at the beginning of 1910. Especially since Lasker had crushed him in a non-title match in 1909, Lasker-Janowsky 1910 has to be the biggest travesty in the history of world title matches.

http://db.chessmetrics.com/CM2/Sing...

Jan-09-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: Janowski was one of the great commets of chess. At his brightest he amased a stellar reccord against the players of the previous generation :

J-Steinitz 5:3 =0
J-Chigorin 13:5 =6
J-Gunsberg 3:1 =1
J-Winawer 5:0 =0
J-Burn 10:3 =2
J-Blackburne 6:2 =4
J-Marco 12:4 =6

And he also faded rather fast

J-Tarrasch 6:9 =3
J-Lasker 4:24 =7
J-Pillsbury 4:6 =2
J-Maroczy 5:10 =5
J-Schlechter 12:20 =9
J-Marshall 24:34 =16

J-Duras 1:3 =0
J-Bernstein 0:2 =2
J-Rubinstein 3:5 =0
J-Spielmann 2:4 =1
J-Nimzowich 0:3 =2

J-Capablanca 1:9 =1
J-Alekhine 2:4 =2
J-Reti 0:4 =1

Of course, it was the Janowski-Lasker matches that turned Janowski into a Rodney Dangerfield of chess. It's now easy not to notice that Janowski had several 2700+ and a few 2800+ performances in late 1800s and early 1900s and was possibly a World #2 here and there.

Sep-24-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  Karpova: From Carl A Walbrodt

<Karpova: <Peligroso Patzer: Janowski and Gunsberg, both of whom played in matches for the world championship (in 1909 and 1890-91, respectively)>

Janowski played for the Worldchampionship in 1910. The ten games match in 1909 was not a WC match.>

<laskereshevsky: Nothing personal with nobody, but for the sake of true i must say that the point if the 1909 match was or wasnt a WC match is still in dispute,...in several books and internet chess-site its possible to see both opinions showed....

At least is a not definited matter.....>

Btw, there had already been a discussion on the Lasker page:

Quite a lot on page 25
Emanuel Lasker

and two posts on page 21
Emanuel Lasker

To quote Edward Winter:

<Dawid Markelowicz Janowsky (born 1868) was the last of the unsuccessful challengers for Lasker’s world championship title (Berlin, November-December 1910, a severe defeat). It is, or should be, well known that the two players’ ten-game match in Paris the previous year had not been for the world title, contrary to the assertions of such historical analphabets as Jonathan Speelman (The Observer of 19 April 1998). In that same article Speelman gave a position from a familiar game in the match, and wrote, ‘I had never seen it before’. The position was incorrect.> http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/...

Sep-30-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  Karpova: As if Edward Winter was reading the site:

<Lasker v Janowsky, Paris, 1909

We summarize the proof that the match in Paris between Lasker and Janowsky in autumn 1909 (won by Lasker +7 –1 =2) was not for the world championship. First, an extract from a letter that we contributed on pages 305-306 of the July 1985 BCM:

‘A check of all major chess periodicals for 1909 at the Royal Library at the Hague reveals that:

a) In many magazines the idea of the match being for the world championship is simply not mentioned (e.g. BCM pages 483 and 543).

b) Others are specific that the title was not at stake (e.g. Deutsches Wochenschach und Berliner Schachzeitung page 382, Tijdschrift van den Nederlandschen Schaakbond page 253). The match was played in Paris, so it is no surprise that French-language magazines are especially precise in refuting any world championship connection (e.g. La Stratégie pages 352 and 407, and Revue d’échecs page 214).

c) Not a single contemporary magazine has been found that suggests the match was for the world crown.’

Further details were given in C.N. 2471 (see page 174 of A Chess Omnibus), as reproduced below.

On 15 September 1909 Lasker and Schlechter issued a joint announcement (from Berlin and Vienna) of their intention to play a world championship match during the coming winter. The text was published in the Wiener Schachzeitung, September 1909 (page 315) and the Deutsche Schachblätter, 3 October 1909 (page 85). Not surprisingly, therefore, contemporary magazines did not suggest that the ten-game Lasker-Janowsky encounter played from 19 October to 9 November 1909 was for the world title, and some (especially the French ones) specifically stipulated that it was not. Page 214 of the 1909 Revue d’échecs said that it was merely ‘un second duel courtois’. Page 352 of the October 1909 La Stratégie observed that because of the Lasker-Schlechter agreement Janowsky would have to wait for a title match until afterwards. In its November 1909 issue (page 407) La Stratégie reported that Janowsky was not discouraged by his heavy loss to Lasker in Paris and added: ‘we understand that fresh discussions are already under way between the same players for another, more important, match, one which will count for the world championship, subject, naturally, to the Champion’s victory in his forthcoming match against Schlechter.’

On pages 60-61 of the February 1910 La Stratégie [reproduced below] it was reiterated that Lasker and Janowsky had not played for the title in Paris, and the magazine published the full text of an agreement signed by the two masters in the French capital on 12 November 1909. This was for a match that would begin in October or November 1910, and clause 15 stated: ‘The match shall be for the championship of the world. If Dr E. Lasker loses his title in his forthcoming match with Schlechter, the entire present arrangement shall, naturally, be void.’

Lasker survived against Schlechter, and in Berlin on 8 November 1910 there duly began the one and only world championship match between Lasker and Janowsky.> http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/... (there's also a picture from a book in french)

Feb-29-08  Knight13: This is a bloody disaster for Janowski. Heel teleurstellen!
May-06-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Karpova: Edward Winter on the myth that the Lasker-Janowski training match in 1909 was a Worldchampionship match (which it wasn't, the 1919 match is Janowski's only WC match):

http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail... (third and last myth)

<On 15 September 1909 Lasker and Schlechter issued a joint announcement (from Berlin and Vienna) of their intention to play a world championship match during the coming winter. The text was published in the Wiener Schachzeitung, September 1909 (page 315) and the Deutsche Schachblätter, 3 October 1909 (page 85). Not surprisingly, therefore, contemporary magazines did not suggest that the ten-game Lasker-Janowsky encounter played from 19 October to 9 November 1909 was for the world title, and some (especially the French ones) specifically stipulated that it was not. Page 214 of the 1909 Revue d’échecs said that it was merely ‘un second duel courtois’. Page 352 of the October 1909 La Stratégie observed that because of the Lasker-Schlechter agreement Janowsky would have to wait for a title match until afterwards. In its November 1909 issue (page 407) La Stratégie reported that Janowsky was not discouraged by his heavy loss to Lasker in Paris and added: ‘we understand that fresh discussions are already under way between the same players for another, more important, match, one which will count for the world championship, subject, naturally, to the Champion’s victory in his forthcoming match against Schlechter.’

On pages 60-61 of the February 1910 La Stratégie [reproduced below] it was reiterated that Lasker and Janowsky had not played for the title in Paris, and the magazine published the full text of an agreement signed by the two masters in the French capital on 12 November 1909. This was for a match that would begin in October or November 1910, and clause 15 stated: ‘The match shall be for the championship of the world. If Dr E. Lasker loses his title in his forthcoming match with Schlechter, the entire present arrangement shall, naturally, be void.’>

http://www.chessbase.com/news/2008/... http://www.chessbase.com/news/2008/...

Sep-25-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  talisman: Lasker dons an eye-patch and agrees to play Janowski with only "one eye open.".
Sep-25-08  FHBradley: Why was Lasker wearing an eye-patch at that time? Did he have a lazy eye? Did he think he was Teichmann? Did he want to scare the *something* out of Janowski?
Sep-25-08  James Demery: Lasker could beat Janowski with one eye tied behind his back.
Sep-25-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Marmot PFL: It's hard to believe that anyone stupid enough to think that roulette could be beaten could ever rise to world championship level (maybe Lasker had the story wrong).Roulette has been beaten by people with fast concealed computers but I'm sue that's illegal.
Sep-25-08  RookFile: I'm sure that Robert Huebner wishes roulette could be beaten. He tied his match with Smyslov in the early 1980's - the winner to play Kasparov. Under the terms of the agreement, the match was decided by a spin of the roulette wheel.

The lucky ball bounced Smyslov's way.

Sep-25-08  zoren: Wow rook file is that true? LOL, that is very unfortunate.
Sep-25-08  cannibal: <zoren>

Almost true, except the winner didn't get to play Kasparov, but Ribli, and only then Kasparov (in the candidate final).

Btw, they even had to repeat the roulette spin, because on first try they got a zero.

Sep-25-08  RookFile: cannibal is right. Of course, what everybody remembers is that Kasparov beat everybody on the way to facing Karpov.
Jan-06-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: In all of his title defenses,Lasker lost only SIX games. In this match and the Marshall match,Lasker didn't lose a single game.
Mar-10-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: Lasker had two - TWO - total whitewashings in WCC matches. Kudos to him for his convincing wins.
Jun-01-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: Georg Marco: <The match was full of reversals, one day White won, next day Black.>
Jun-01-12  RookFile: Pretty humorous comment!
Apr-15-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: I know not everybody recognizes the utility, but here is a fun graph of relative strengths of players circa 1910:

http://www.edochess.ca/top.graphs/g...

(Ignore the absolute rating, and compare relative positions).

Janowski doesn't even qualify as a top player over that period.

http://www.edochess.ca/players/p487...

Although lossing his position to the fast rising Alekhine is nothing to be ashamed of!

Why the decline of play in 1905 for Janowski? Or equivalently, why the abrupt jump in 1895?

Apr-16-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: Thanks to <Karpova> for the link to Winter's article on the 1909 match. The picture in French has the terms and conditions of the 1910 match in it. I've translated it into English, viewable here:

http://zanchess.wordpress.com/2014/...

Apr-16-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Karpova: <zanzibar>

Interesting post, but regarding the 1909 status - something like this needs positive confirmation. In this case, the authors claiming that the 1909 match was for the WC match couldn't provide evidence. The lack of evidence itself is important here though, as the contemporaneous sources report the match, but do not call it a WC match. To prove that it was not a WC match is still much harder, but what you seem to have expected from Winter. If it is not for the WC, then the most usual way to go is to simply not claim it was, which in turn leads to evidence for a lack of a WC status being scarce (you would hardly expect Lasker and Janowski to take out ads declaring that the 1909 match was not for the title). It's the positive assertion that the title was at stake, which needs to be proven with evidence. So it appears naturally that Winter would first point out the lack of such evidence for the 1909 match, and only later he would find what is hard to find - evidence clearly stating that the title was not at stake.

Apr-16-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <Karpova> yes, proving a negative is difficult.

But normally, Winter would handle it as follows:

"Writer <X> claims that the 1909 Janowski-Lasker Match was for the WCC, but on what evidence?"

Certainly, it's a little curious to devote an entire page to discussing the matter and not reference in the Janowski biography.

As for Writer <X>, does anybody know where I can find The Observer Review section of 19 April 1998, page 13 online?

Apr-16-14  Petrosianic: <Karpova>: <Interesting post, but regarding the 1909 status - something like this needs positive confirmation.>

Older books tend to regard the second Lasker-Janowski match as a world championship. (I've never seen anyone consider that the first one, a 4 game match that ended in a +2-2=0 tie was for the title).

Newer books tend to regard the first two matches as exhibition matches (the second match got "Plutoed" out of being a title match). I'm not sure why.

In Fred Wilson's book, "Classical Chess Matches", which reprints contemporary reports, the third match is specially identified as being "For the Championship of the World", while the first two aren't. That doesn't prove it, though.

The matter certainly needs more explanation that it's gotten. I'm not sure why M. Nardus would finance a second match with it NOT being for the title, when the results of the first short match were so satisfactory.

Apr-16-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: I have a very limited library of chess books, one of which is <"Emanuel Lasker: The Life of a Chess Master"> by Dr. J. Hannak (Dover 1991 0486267067).

I assume it is familiar to the Lasker experts, as it seems to hold an unique position as biography of the master.

The origins of the Dover edition:

unabridged reproduction of 1959 English language edition first published by Andre Deutsch Ltd., London and Simon & Schuster, NY. (tr. Heinrich Fraenkel)

That in turn comes from the German language edition published by Siegfried Engelhardt Verlag, Berlin-Frohnau, in 1952 under the title of <"Emanuel Lasker, Biographie eines Schachweltmeisters".>

Included in my edition is a reproduction of Lasker's tournament record which was printed in the back of the dust jacket in the Simon & Schuster edition.

This lists the following Janowski matches:

1909 Janowski-Lasker (+2 -2 =0)
1909 Janowski-Lasker (+7 -1 =2)
1910 Janowski-Lasker (+8 -0 =3)

<Chapter 19 "Narrow Escape in the Schlechter Match"> begins with Lasker in Paris. It mentions a wealthy French 'patron' of chess, Pierre Nardus as a backer of Janowski who was willing to finance a four game mini-match which, if all went well, would be a preliminary to <"a proper match for the title">.

The Dover edition of the book explicitly refers to the match as a <"title"> match, and later uses this phrase:

"Now the <'big'> match was organized; [...] The result: 7:1, and two draws."

Then, in reference to the next encounter this phrase is used:

"A couple of years later Janowski was to get another chance against Lasker, and this time he was defeated even more convincingly by 8:0 and three draws."

What is notable is the absence of this other "chance" being for the title.

Reading the above excerpts (or the actual beginning paragraphs of the chapter) would led one to think that the 1909 Janowski-Lasker match was for the title. Agreed?

Now, it is a little difficult to find out much online about who Dr. J. Hannak is, but I believe the book is a well-respected biography of Lasker. It certain gets good reviews on Amazon.

And Winter himself refers to it, mostly in connection with the preface Einstein wrote:

http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/...

Winter makes this further comment about the book:

"Since many parts of Hannak’s book read like a novelette, it may reasonably be felt that something more substantial is required before Lasker is mocked."

http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/... (CN 3662)

When it suits Winter, however, he quotes from the book. Sometimes as in CN 5076:

http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/...

asking what is the source of Lasker's purported last words.

I would assume Hannak was quoting from Lasker's wife Martha, for who else could be the source? And as Hannak quotes extensively from her private diary (e.g. about her first impressions upon meeting Emanuel) - it's a safe assumption that Hannak has such access (note I admit to making an assumption here - but Winter should point out this too, even if not making such an assumption).

Other times, Winter quotes from Hannak as here, in CN 4451:

http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/...

where Winter is trusting the information as being true, and asking for elaboration.

(There is yet another CN referring to a Lasker quote about the game "go", which apparently is in the German edition but not the English).

* * * * *

The point though, is that after all these references, Winter never refers Jannak's treatment of the 1909 Janowski-Lasker Match. This, despite noting so many other sources claiming a similar significance to the 1909 (i.e. for championship) in Winter's treatment of the match:

P. Morán (Barcelona, 1974 and London, 1986), J.H. Gelo (Jefferson, 1988 and 1999)

C. Ştefaniu (Bucharest, 1989) and D. Odom (Johanneshov, 1993)

World Chess Championship Matches edited by I. Berdichevsky (Moscow, 2002).

etc.

http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/...

Which I find curious - given that Hannak book may be the very source of some of the confusion about the significance of the 1909 'big' match.

(Hannak's book clearly predates the July '85 BCM treatment Winter refers to as "proof of the negative".

Apr-16-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: After that long introduction, a couple of questions.

Who was Dr. J. Hannak, and what is the general opinion about his Lasker biography?

Does the German edition have the same ambiguity about the significance of the Janowski-Lasker matches?

Note that Hannak only includes games from 1909, and none from the "real" 1910 WCC Match. Which is curious.

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