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Harry Nelson Pillsbury vs Emanuel Lasker
"Pillsbury d'oh!" (game of the day Aug-01-05)
St. Petersburg 1895-96 (1896)  ·  Queen's Gambit Declined: Pseudo-Tarrasch. Primitive Pillsbury Variation (D50)  ·  0-1
To move:
Last move:

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Given 71 times; par: 40 [what's this?]

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sac: 18...Ra3 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Aug-20-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: Yeah its amazing how many times Kasparov can get it wrong and then be corrected by an amateur with a computer.
Feb-12-06  MorphyMatt: The Mammoth Book of the World's Greatest Chess Games says that Pillsbury resigned after 28... Qc3+
Jun-17-06  GeauxCool: Lasker's superior development begins creating threats by move 17...Rxc3!! -Fine
Jun-17-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheBB: This game is analyzed at the bottom of this Chessbase article:

http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail...

Jun-18-07  docofthree: pillsbury had win with 28 Qf5+ i have tremendous respect for lasker but i believe pillsbury was a better player and could have won the title in1895 or 1896 before his illness progressed
Jun-18-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  SwitchingQuylthulg: <docofthree: pillsbury had win with 28 Qf5+> Is this some sort of joke? If so, you have a weird sense of humour.
Jun-18-07  docofthree: no joke,you can win without a queen i believe queen sac gets at least a draw after 29 Qc3
Jun-18-07  docofthree: i meant 29 Qd3
Jun-18-07  ounos: <docofthree>, 29. Qd3 Rxd3. Maybe you played two moves for White by mistake.
Jun-26-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  notyetagm: 18 ... Rc3-a3!! followed eight moves later by 26 ... Rc3xa3!!, offering to sacrifice the second rook on the exact same square on which the first rook was sacrificed, is brilliant beyond words.

Position after 18 ... Rc3-a3!!


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Position after 26 ... Rc3xa3!!


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Aug-23-08  Knight to f6: Despite the large number of errors by both sides, this game continues to inspire admiration within me every time I have seen it for the last three years. This was Lasker's finishing blow in his brief rivalry with Pillsbury, from which there really was no return (although Pillsbury did defeat Lasker several times between then and his death. Such moves as Rxc3!, Ra3!!, and 8 moves later Rxa3!!! (again!!) are unforgettable.
Feb-06-09  Blink182: Wonderful Game!
Feb-07-09  WhiteRook48: uh-oh for Pillsbury
Sep-22-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: It is a commonly accepted myth that Pillsbury discovered Bxf6 and waited eight years to spring it on Lasker. The truth is that Pollock discovered the move and printed it in British Chess Magazine in 1896. His and Mason's notes later made up the book St. Petersburg 1895-96, printed in 1896. This is another one of those "chess myths" that seems to never die.
Jan-05-10  ZZer: And if White had played 28.Kb1? Would Lasker still win the game?
Jan-05-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sastre: <And if White had played 28.Kb1? Would Lasker still win the game?>

Yes, Black is still winning after 28.Kb1 Bxd4. White can't play 29.Rxd4 because of 29...Qxa2 30.Kc1 Rc3#.

One possible line is 29.Qf5+ Kg8 30.Re1 Qb4+ 31.Kc1 Qc3+ 32. Qc2 (not 32.Kd1 Qa1+ 33.Ke2 Re3+ 34.Kf2 Qxe1#) Qa1+ 33.Qb1 Rc3+ 34.Rc2 Be3+ 35.Rxe3 Qxb1+ 36.Kxb1 Rxe3 and Black has a two pawn advantage in the endgame.

Jul-31-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  SetNoEscapeOn: Genius has its rewards.
Jul-31-10  BobCrisp: This must surely take precedence as the greatest game in which the a3 square played a pivotal role. For anyone thinking of starting an a3 best games collection, I'll start you off with:

Bird vs Morphy, 1858

Anderssen vs Morphy, 1858

Botvinnik vs Capablanca, 1938

Nov-06-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: I have video annotated this game:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BgWe...

Dec-08-11  IoftheHungarianTiger: Ughaibu wrote <Lasker said this was his best "combinational" game.> I had read in Schonberg's "Grandmasters of Chess," that Lasker called this the best game he ever played, and it cites Marshall's Chess Masterpieces as it's source.

I don't have Marshall's book, and I've found Schonberg to be somewhat unreliable in his accounts at times. Can anyone confirm if Lasker truly considered this his finest game? Or was it simply what he considered his finest combinational game? Clarification would be appreciated!

Feb-24-12  IoftheHungarianTiger: Regarding my post on Dec-08-11, I found an article by Edward Winter quoting from Marshall's "Chess Masterpieces" which indicates that Lasker did indeed consider this the best game he had ever played (at least up until when that book was written). I found the article at Chessbase.

Here is the link: http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail... and here is the quote from the book, quoting Lasker himself:

<'I think the game I won against Pillsbury in the St Petersburg Tourney in 1896 to be the best I ever played. I was just able to ward off a furious attack and then succeed in carrying my own counter-attack through. It is true that I missed the logical continuation at one point, owing to fatigue and time pressure, and so had to win the game twice; but then the sacrificial termination has some merit.' (page 60)>

Feb-25-12  AlphaMale: <Of Lasker’s play beginning 17…Rxc3 against Pillsbury at St Petersburg, 1895-96]: ‘Pillsbury told me that the exquisite combination here initiated was the only startling and utterly diabolical surprise he suffered in all his career abroad.’>

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

Feb-25-12  Penguincw: 31.Ka5 Bd8+ 32.Qb6 axb6# (or 32...Bxb6# 0-1) 0-1, I believe.


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May-12-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: In the concluding sequence of this game Black sacs his rook, then a pawn, then forces mate with his queen and bishop. It reminds me a bit of S Bouaziz vs Miles, 1979, where Black sacs his rook, then a bishop, then mates with queen and pawns, and K Zambelly vs Maroczy, 1897, where Black sacs his rook, then mates with queen and pawns. In each game, Black ended up with a massive material disadvantage (White had a queen and two rooks, or more, at the end of each game), and had no other pieces left besides those that effected the mate other than his king and some pawns.
May-13-13  andrewjsacks: This too is an Evergreen Game.
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