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Emanuel Lasker vs Geza Maroczy
Paris (1900), Paris FRA, rd 5, May-25
Queen's Gambit Declined: Vienna. Quiet Variation (D44)  ·  1-0
ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-04-03  drukenknight: Ugi posted a link to this. I do see the resemblance to the other game, what about 25...Bd5?
Jan-04-03  ughaibu: Exchange bishops then Rc8(?)
Jan-04-03  drukenknight: your move looks strong, Ugi. Perhaps Bd5 on the previous move? He must have messed up somewhere around these moves.
Jan-05-03  mdorothy: If you do Bd5 on move 24, white can just take the queen. Even if black gets both the bishop and the knight (which may not happen), the queen is definately ample compensation.
Dec-15-04
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: I think Ughaibu meant 25...Bd5 then 26.Bxd5 Qxd5 27.Rc8+ Bd8 28.Ne7+ (Rosenthal) finishes the combo.

Maroczy and Lasker started 4-0 and then met in this 5 round game. A crush by Lasker in an important game.

Mar-15-06  alexandrovm: <Calli: I think Ughaibu meant 25...Bd5 then 26.Bxd5 Qxd5 27.Rc8+ Bd8 28.Ne7+ (Rosenthal) finishes the combo.

Maroczy and Lasker started 4-0 and then met in this 5 round game. A crush by Lasker in an important game. > interesting information...

Mar-15-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: I did a search of Lasker and 1900 and many of his games in Paris have round numbers. A very helpful piece of information.

Maroczy was able to stay close because the next round (6) Lasker lost to Marshall. Marshall vs Lasker, 1900

Mar-15-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Maroczy also had a loss in the next round.
By luck of the draw he had to face Pillsbury with the Black pieces. A case of out of the fire into the frying pan. Pillsbury vs Maroczy, 1900
Mar-16-06  alexandrovm: <...A case of out of the fire into the frying pan. Pillsbury vs Maroczy, 1900> lol!
Jul-13-06  RookFile: The 'world master' makes it look so easy. Awesome tactical display.
Nov-26-11  AnalyzeThis: I can't believe that 11....Qa5 is the right move in this game. Keeping the queen available for king side defense is not optional in games like this.
Nov-26-11  King Death: < AnalyzeThis: I can't believe that 11....Qa5 is the right move in this game. Keeping the queen available for king side defense is not optional in games like this. >

It's too bad that your least favorite player, Maroczy, didn't have the benefit of your storehouse of knowledge when he played this game. Of course in 1900, these positions with the isolated queen pawn were just beginning to be understood by masters.

Aug-19-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: 21...exf5 was a mistake. It was necessary to keep a2-g8 diagonal closed by 21...Bc8.
Aug-15-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: A superb game by Lasker which was "one of those rare encounters where Lasker wins by a direct attack on his adversary's King" (Reinfeld/Fine).

7. a4

"Creating a hole at b4 but cramping Black's position." (Reinfeld/Fine).

"Burn and Lasker paved the way for Rubinstein and Botvinnik in playing a4 as soon as Black threatened b5." (Soltis).

8...cxd4

Maroczy decides to give White an isolated d-pawn, counting on his pressure against this isolated pawn to balance White's better developed and freer game.

11...Qa5

Condemned by Rosenthal in the Tournament Book, by Soltis in his book on Lasker, and by AnalyzeThis on this site. While removing the Queen from possible king-side defense has its risks, the move does free d8 for Black's Rook, and is--in fact--not all that bad. It is certainly better than 11...Bd6 as recommended by Rosenthal in the Tournament Book. Best here is probably 11...b6 as suggested by Soltis. One thing seems certain, the text (11...Qa5) had nothing to do with Maroczy's loss here.

12...Rd8.

Rosenthal in the Tournament Book claimed that 12...Bd6 was best. But this allows 13. d5 with a strategically won game for White. Maroczy apparently recognized the threat of d5. The text is clearly best.

13...Nb4

It is here that Maroczy began to lose his way. The Knight's placement on b4 proves to be a disaster for Black, and soon enough gives Lasker the opportunity to set up a nasty pin with Bd2 (an opportunity which--as will be seen--Lasker could have seized earlier than he did). Rosenthal's 13...Qh5 is better than the text. Best was probably 13...Nd5.

(More on this game to come in later posts).

Aug-16-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: Post II

14. Ne5

This posting of the Knight a la Pillsbury (who won countless games with this maneuver) is the strongest reply to 13...Nb4.

14...Nfd5

A move that definitely warrants the "?" assigned to it by Reinfeld/Fine. As Soltis so aptly put it: "There was no need to put a Knight on d5 and this was the wrong one anyway."

Reinfeld/Fine and Soltis both recommend 14...Bd7 (trying to put the bad c8 Bishop to some use, probably on e8), and this is definitely better than the text. But--objectively--Maroczy should have conceded that his 13...Nb4 was an error, swallowed his pride, and just played 14...Nc6.

15. Bb3

Soltis praises this move as "cover[ing] his queenside weaknesses." but in fact it is the first of three moves in which Lasker--surprisingly--misses the chance to play Bd2 exploiting Maroczy's queenside misadventures.

15...Rf8.

Reinfeld/Fine assign this a "?", and once again I agree. But their proposed 15...Bd7 would have been even worse. While 15...Bd7 would leave Black in no real danger had Lasker responded 16. Nc4 (the only response Reinfeld/Fine consider), Black would have been in trouble after 16. Bd2! Best for Black here would have been 15...Nf6 (admitting that his 14th move was bad).

16. Ne4

This move is praised to the hilt by Reinfeld/Fine and by Soltis, who assign it a "!" In fact, it is an error, as will be seen below. 16. Bd2 was best and probably gave White a winning game.

16...Qd8

Maroczy begins backtracking from his ill-judged queenside attack. But he should have begun by driving away the e5 Knight with 16...f6.

17. f4.

Soltis gives this move a "!", but his own analysis reveals the defects of the move: "A highly original idea that at first sight just looks silly. White makes his slightly bad bishop significantly worse to carry out f5, f5...which Black can stop with g6."

So what's to like about the move? Soltis notes that Botvinnik used this theme to win a brilliancy prize against Vidmar at Nottingham 1936. But that hardly makes the move correct here. As will be clear from Soltis' analysis of Maroczy's 19th move, he apparently recognizes that 17. f4 gave Lasker nothing.

Yet again, 17. Bd2 was best.

After the text, Black is OK. As will be seen, Maroczy's losing moves came later.

19...Rc8

This move, though not necessarily leading to defeat, is the beginning of the end for Maroczy. As Soltis correctly remarks: "This was the last point to insert 19...g6!. White could consider various aggressive plans after that, but none are convincing."

As is apparent from this excellent analysis by Soltis, neither 16. Ne4 nor 17. f4 gave Lasker anything approaching a winning advantage. With 19...g6, Lasker's attack would have been at an end and chances would have been about even.

After 19...Rc8, however, Lasker took charge, Maroczy blundered on his 21st move, and the game ended quickly thereafter. I will analyze the remaining moves in my next post on this game.

Aug-16-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: Post III

20. f5!

The attack begins. "Undermining the position of the blackade on d5." (Reinfeld/Fine).

20...RxR

Wrongly condemned by Reinfeld/Fine. The move does indeed "relinquish control of the c-file," and Black's position is indeed bad, but there is no perfect move for Black and this is as good as anything. The real problem arises on Black's next move.

21...exf5?

As HonzaCervenka pointed out four years ago on this site, this move is a mistake since it was necessary to keep the a2-g8 diagonal closed.

21...Bc8, as suggested by HonzaCervenka was far better, than the text. Perhaps even better would have been 21...Bd6, though Black's position would still have been hanging by a thread. After the text, the game is lost as Lasker quickly demonstrates.

Rosenthal in the Tournament Book suggests that 21...Bg5 "leads to equality." Reinfeld/Fine and Soltis analyze 21...Bg5 at length, but they--like Rosenthal miss the fact that the move would have been demolished by 22. Nxf7. (If Black plays 22...Rxf7 White wins with 23. fxe6 Rf8 24. Bxb4.

22...Bf6.

Rosenthal calls this the losing move and claims that the "only move" was 22...Bc8. But--as Reinfeld/Fine and Soltis show 22...Bc8 gets crushed by 23. Nxf7! RxN (or 23...KxN 24. RxB! Qd7 25. Qh5+ [even better than 25. QxB+ which also wins])24. QxB!! NxQ 25. NxN+ Kh8 26. RxB

24. Nxf7!

"A very pretty move which concludes the game brilliantly" (Rosenthal).

24...RxN

24...Bxd4+ is also hopeless (25. Kh1 RxN 26. BxR+ KxB 27. NxB).

25. Qe6

Decisive (Soltis).

25...Kh8

"There is no defense" (Reinfeld/Fine). If 25...Bd5 26. BxB QxB (if 26...NxB 27. Rc8) 27. Rc8+ Bd8 28. Ne7+. If 25...Qf8 26. Rc7. And if 25...Nd5 26. Nd6.

28. Rf1

This is more than sufficient to win. But 28. NxB is even more brutal (if 28...NxR 29. Nb5 leads to mate) (Soltis).

28...Bxg2+

This leads to an immediate end, but the "best" move (28...Qa8) provided no reason to play on (29. Nh4).

A lovely finish by Lasker.

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