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1907 World Chess Championship
Compiled by Penguincw
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★★★ INTRO ★★★

The 1907 World Chess Championship was between 38 year old Emanuel Lasker of Germany who was the defending champion and 29 year old Frank James Marshall of the United States who was the challenger.

★★★ BACKGROUND ★★★

After finishing 1st in Cambridge Springs 1904 (see Cambridge Springs (1904) for games and more info), including a full 2 points ahead of Lasker, Marshall agreed to play a WCC match against him.

★★★ CONDITIONS ★★★

The winner would be the first to reach 8 wins (draws not counting, but shown in brackets). Game 1 was played on January 26th, 1907. The games were played in New York, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Baltimore, Chicago and Memphis.

★★★ NOTABLE GAMES ★★★

Game 1: Marshall vs Lasker, 1907

1.e4 e5 2.♘f3 ♘c6 3.♗b5 ♘f6 4.d4 exd4 5.O-O ♗e7 6.e5 ♘e4 7.♘xd4 O-O 8.♘f5 d5 9.♗xc6 bxc6 10.♘xe7+ ♕xe7 11.♖e1 ♕h4 12.♗e3 f6 13.f3 fxe5 14.fxe4 d4 15.g3 ♕f6 16.♗xd4 exd4 17.♖f1 ♕xf1+ 18.♕xf1 ♖xf1+ 19.♔xf1 ♖b8 20.b3 ♖b5 21.c4 ♖h5 22.♔g1 c5 23.♘d2 ♔f7 24.♖f1+ ♔e7 25.a3 ♖h6 26.h4 ♖a6 27.♖a1 ♗g4 28.♔f2 ♔e6 29.a4 ♔e5 30.♔g2 ♖f6 31.♖e1 d3 32.♖f1 ♔d4 33.♖xf6 gxf6 34.♔f2 c6 35.a5 a6

35...a6


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Lasker activitated his king and now white is in zugwang. None of the pawns can move without being captured. If the knight moves e4 falls. If the king moves, black gains access to e3. Something has to be lost.

36.♘b1 ♔xe4 37.♔e1 ♗e2 38.♘d2+ ♔e3 39.♘b1f5 40.♘d2 h5 41.♘b1 ♔f3 42.♘c3 ♔xg3 43.♘a4 f4 44.♘xc5 f3 45.♘e4+ ♔f4 46.♘d6 c5 47.b4 cxb4 48.c5 b3 49.♘c4 ♔g3 50.♘e3 b2 0-1

50...b2 0-1


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White can not prevent promotion (something like 51.♘f1+, trying to get to d2 fails to 51...♗xf1 52.♔xf1 b1=♕# 0-1). One way I see black can win is 51.c6 b1=♕+ 52.♔d2 ♕b2+ 53.♔e1 ♕c1+ 54.♘d1 ♕xd1# 0-1).


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Game 2: Lasker vs Marshall, 1907

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.♘c3 ♘f6 4.♗d3 c5 5.exd5 cxd4 6.♗b5+ ♗d7 7.♗xd7+ ♕xd7 8.dxe6 ♕xe6+ 9.♘ce2 ♘c6 10.♘f3 ♗b4+ 11.♗d2 0-0-0 12.0-0 ♖he8 13.♘f4 ♕g4 14.h3 ♕f5 15.♘d3 ♗xd2 16.♕xd2 ♘e4 17.♕f4 ♕d5 18.♕g4+ f5 19.♕xg7 ♖g8 20.♕h6 ♘d2 21.♕xd2 ♕xf3 22.g3 h5 23.♕f4 ♕d5 24.♖fe1 ♖de8 25.♖xe8+ ♖xe8 26.♖e1 ♖e4 27.♕g5 ♘b4 28.♖xe4 fxe4 29.♕xd5 ♘xd5

29...♘xd5


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Marshall had a good attack going, but in the end, it is a king, knight and pawn ending where white is up a pawn (due to a g7 gambit from move 19 to try to up the g-file).

30.♘c5 e3 31.♘d3 h4 32.gxh4 ♔d7 33.♔f1 ♔e6 34.♔e2 exf2 35.♔xf2 ♔f5 36.♔f3 ♘f6 37.♘c5 b6 38.♘d3 ♘h5 39.♘c1 ♘f6 40.♘e2 ♔e5 41.♘g3 ♘d5 42.h5 ♘e3 43.h6 ♔f6 44.c3 ♘d1 45.cxd4 ♘xb2 46.♘f5 ♔g6 47.d5 ♘c4 48.♔e4 ♘a5 49.d6 ♘b7 50.♔d5 ♘d8 51.d7 a5 52.♘e7+ 1-0

52.♘e7+ 1-0


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Lasker is now up 2-0 in the series. I believe if 52...♔xh6, then 53.♘c6 ♘f7 54.d8=♕ ♘xd8 55.♘xd8 is winning, because white up a whole piece. Even if black gets h3, the kingside pawns will fall, and the a2 pawn will be the game winner.


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Game 3: Marshall vs Lasker, 1907

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.♘c3 ♘f6 4.♗g5 ♗e7 5.e3 ♘e4 6.♗xe7 ♕xe7 7.♗d3 ♘xc3 8.bxc3 ♘d7 9.♘f3 O-O 10.O-O ♖d8 11.♕c2 ♘f8 12.♘e5 c5 13.♖ab1 ♕c7 14.♕b3 b6 15.cxd5 exd5 16.♕a4 ♗b7 17.♕d1 ♖d6 18.♕g4 ♖e8 19.♕g3 ♖de6 20.♗f5 ♖6e7 21.f4 ♗c8 22.♗xc8 ♖xc8 23.♕f3 ♕d6 24.♖fc1 ♖ec7 25.h3 h6 26.♔h2 ♘h7 27.♕h5 ♘f6 28.♕f5 cxd4 29.exd4 ♘e4 30.♘xf7 ♖xf7 31.♕xc8+ ♖f8 32.♕b7 ♕xf4+ 33.♔g1 ♕g5 34.♔h2 ♕g3+ 35.♔g1 ♘d2 36.♕xd5+ ♔h8 37.♔h1 ♘f3

37...♘f3


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A great move by Lasker. Lasker is down the exchange and a pawn, but instead of simply grabbing the exchange (and still be down a pawn, with the attack over), Lasker decides to give up another knight. He will then be down a rook and pawn, but it's for the price of the king.

38.gxf3 ♕xh3+ 39.♔g1 ♕g3+ 40.♔h1 ♖f4 41.♕d8+ ♔h7 42.♖f1 ♖f5 43.♕e8 ♕h4+ 0-1

43...♕h4+ 0-1


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Marshall resigns as even I can see 44.♔g2 ♖g5# 0-1. Lasker is now up 3-0 in the series (first to 8 wins) and now is looking to go up 4-0 with the white pieces next game.


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★★★ FINAL ★★★

Game 15 was played on April 6th, 1907. Heading into this round, Lasker had the black pieces but needed just 1 more win to defend his title.

Game 15: Marshall vs Lasker, 1907

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.♘c3 ♘f6 4.♗g5 ♗e7 5.e3 ♘e4 6.♗xe7 ♕xe7 7.cxd5 ♘xc3 8.bxc3 exd5 9.♕b3 c6 10.c4 O-O 11.♘f3 ♕c7 12.♖c1 ♕a5+ 13.♖c3 ♘d7 14.♘d2 c5 15.cxd5 cxd4 16.exd4 ♖e8+ 17.♖e3 ♖xe3+ 18.fxe3 ♘f6 19.♗e2 ♘e4 20.♕d3

20.♕d3


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Marshall is doing pretty well in this position, being up a pawn and having a 3-0 majority in the centre. However, his king is still un-castled, and this blunder would cost him.

20...♗f5 21.O-O ♘g3 22.♖xf5 ♘xf5 23.e4 ♘e7 24.a3 ♖c8 25.d6 ♘g6 26.♘c4 ♕g5 27.♗f1 b5 28.♘a5 ♘f4 29.♕g3 ♕f6 30.♕e3 ♕xd6 31.♗xb5 ♕b6 32.♗c4 ♘e6 33.♗xe6 fxe6 34.♘b3 e5 35.♔f1 ♖b8 36.♘c5 exd4 37.♕xd4 ♖c8 0-1

37...♖c8 0-1


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Marshall resigns. He is down the exchange for a pawn, but the knight is pinned and will be won eventually. For instance, white could play 38.♕d5+ ♔h8 39.♘b3 ♕e3 40.g3 ♕f3+ 41.g3 ♕f3+ 42.♔g1 ♖f8 43.♕c4 h5 44.a4 ♖d8 and white will rather lose a piece or get mated.


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With this victory, Lasker won by a whitewash with the score of 8-0 (11 1/2-3 1/2 including draws).

★★★ MINI TABLE ★★★

Lasker 1 1 1 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2 1 1/2 1/2 1/2 1 1 1 1 (8 wins, 0 losses, 7 draws) <76.7% score>

Marshall 0 0 0 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2 0 1/2 1/2 1/2 0 0 0 0 (0 wins, 8 losses, 7 draws) <23.3% score>

★★★ OTHER LINKS ★★★

See also: Lasker - Marshall World Championship Match (1907)

Head to Head Record Prior to 1907: http://www.chessgames.com/perl/ches... (1 win, 0 losses and 1 draw in favour of Marshall)

Previous World Championship: Game Collection: 1896-1897 World Chess Championship

Next World Championship: Game Collection: 1908 World Chess Championship

Game 1, Lasker leads 1-0 (1-0)
Marshall vs Lasker, 1907 
(C65) Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense, 50 moves, 0-1

Game 2, Lasker leads 2-0 (2-0)
Lasker vs Marshall, 1907 
(C11) French, 52 moves, 1-0

Game 3, Lasker leads 3-0 (3-0)
Marshall vs Lasker, 1907  
(D53) Queen's Gambit Declined, 43 moves, 0-1

Game 4, Lasker leads 3-0 (3 1/2-1/2)
Lasker vs Marshall, 1907 
(C12) French, McCutcheon, 40 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 5, Lasker leads 3-0 (4-1)
Marshall vs Lasker, 1907 
(D53) Queen's Gambit Declined, 41 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 6, Lasker leads 3-0 (4 1/2-1 1/2)
Lasker vs Marshall, 1907 
(C12) French, McCutcheon, 21 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 7, Lasker leads 3-0 (5-2)
Marshall vs Lasker, 1907 
(D32) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch, 49 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 8, Lasker leads 4-0 (6-2)
Lasker vs Marshall, 1907 
(C12) French, McCutcheon, 69 moves, 1-0

Game 9, Lasker leads 4-0 (6 1/2-2 1/2)
Marshall vs Lasker, 1907 
(D32) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch, 46 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 10, Lasker leads 4-0 (7-3)
Lasker vs Marshall, 1907 
(C12) French, McCutcheon, 48 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 11, Lasker leads 4-0 (7 1/2-3 1/2)
Marshall vs Lasker, 1907 
(A83) Dutch, Staunton Gambit, 51 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 12, Lasker leads 5-0 (8 1/2-3 1/2)
Lasker vs Marshall, 1907 
(C11) French, 46 moves, 1-0

Game 13, Lasker leads 6-0 (9 1/2-3 1/2)
Marshall vs Lasker, 1907 
(D07) Queen's Gambit Declined, Chigorin Defense, 58 moves, 0-1

Game 14, Lasker leads 7-0 (10 1/2-3 1/2)
Lasker vs Marshall, 1907 
(C11) French, 21 moves, 1-0

Game 15, Lasker wins 8-0 (11 1/2-3 1/2)
Marshall vs Lasker, 1907 
(D53) Queen's Gambit Declined, 37 moves, 0-1

15 games

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