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Carl Schlechter vs Emanuel Lasker
Lasker - Schlechter World Championship Match (1910)  ·  Sicilian Defense: Old Sicilian. Open (B57)  ·  1/2-1/2
To move:
Last move:

Annotations by Jose Raul Capablanca.      [26 more games annotated by Capablanca]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-01-06  Aspirador: <capablanca much underestimates white's 9th move. white scores well nowadays in this line, I think.> I think that most people would play 9.exd6 nowadays. This gives White a clear advantage.
Sep-14-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Capablanca's comment after Lasker's 34th move is a classic: <All this play is very fine. Unfortunately for Black, he has no pawns left by the time the attack is over.>
Aug-06-07  Peter Johnson Ng: well defense by Black's white sq Bishop and a hard earn draw
Mar-02-08  Knight13: <capablanca much underestimates white's 9th move. white scores well nowadays in this line, I think.> He didn't have computers, nor vast databse like chessgames.com to search all of those games; and I doubt he would go everywhere saying "I need this opening where White plays e6 on move 9! Any game such as this!? I swear I'll look over them just so that I can comment on Schletcher-Lasker!" just to post a comment on this... (aw1988 is right)

(Too many "A good move (!)"s!!)

Mar-02-08  The silent man: On move 46 It was possible to play Rh6+ and then take the pawn on a7. This appers to keep the c6 pawn for a while with Ra6. But then, Rb8+ and Rc1 would take the c3 pawn and eventually the c6 pawn.
Apr-07-09  JaneEyre: Wolfgang Heidenfeld, from his 1982 book, Draw!:

<It is probably the most profound game ever played in a world championship match. [...] And yet there are people who maintain that Karpov and Korchnoi are stronger than Lasker and Schlechter. They must be joking.>

Jul-23-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: For details of the analysis, see Bridgeburner chessforum

<Bridgeburner:> PART I

Schlechter vs Lasker, 1910 is an extraordinary game played by two superlative grandmasters at an extraordinarily high standard.

Quantitative mapping of game 7 of the 1910 title match between these players is below. Figures in brackets are the corrected engine evaluations generated on the return slide. The reverse slide smoothed out many, but not all fluctuation in the engine’s evaluations. The complexity of some variations was very likely too great to enable a fuller reconciliation from the forward slide. General methods used are described in the bio.

The values in the opening are of no great moment, but of interest is that they come at the end of a full forward slide to the end of the game and a full return slide from the last move to the first.

<1.e4> ( 0.28) <1…c5> ( 0.28)

<2.Nf3> ( 0.28) <2…Nc6> ( 0.28)

<3.d4> ( 0.28) <3…cxd4> ( 0.28)

<4.Nxd4> ( 0.28) <4…Nf6> ( 0.28)

<5.Nc3> ( 0.28) <5…g6> ( 0.51)

<6.Bc4> ( 0.35) <6…d6> ( 0.35)

<7.Nxc6> ( -0.35) <7…bxc6> ( 0.35)

<8.e5> ( 0.35) <8…Ng4> ( 0.35)

<9.e6> (=-0.15)

Capablanca thought this advance was “at the least very risky”.

<9…f5> (=-0.17)

<10.0-0> (=/ 0.32) <10…Bg7> (=/ 0.30)

<11.Bf4> ( 0.54) <11…Qb6> (=/ 0.36)

<12.Bb3> ( -0.73) <12…Ba6> ( -0.73)

<13.Na4> ( -0.73) <13…Qd4> ( -0.73)

<14.Qxd4> ( -0.74) <14…Bxd4> ( -0.74)

<15.c4> ( 0.74) <15…0-0> (=/ 0.57)

<16.Rad1> (=/ 0.57) <16…Bf6> (=/ 0.34)

<17.Rfe1> (=/ 0.34)

Capablanca describes this as a questionable move, without analysis. The engine evaluated both on the forward and return slide that it was the only move to avoid significant disadvantage.

Jul-23-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: <Bridgeburner:> PART 2

<17…g5> (=-0.25)

<18.Bxd6> ( -0.72) Capablanca gave this an ! , commenting that the advanced e-pawn now becomes very strong. The engine is less enthusiastic about this assessment, preferring the conservative <18.Bc1> or <18.Bd2> with a corrected evaluation of =-0.25 and =- 0.35 respectively, compared to -0.72 for the move actually played – or about a third to half a pawn...

However, either of these alternative continuations would have been much less interesting than that which transpired in the game. It’s unlikely Schlechter didn’t see these moves, so perhaps the “drawing master” (sic) was being adventurous against one of the greatest players of the era.

<18…exd6> ( -0.72)

<19.Rxd6> ( 0.72) <19…Be5> (=/ 0.46)

<20.c5> (=/ 0.46) <20…Rfe8> (=0.00)

<21.g3> ( 0.45) <21…Bf6> ( 0.45)

<22.Rxc6> (=/ 0.45) <22…Bb7> ( 0.49)

Jul-23-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: <Bridgeburner:> PART 3

Better was <22…Bb5> with the better game, as noted by Capablanca in the annotations. This is a confirmed evaluation shift of 0.94, equal to a bad move. Weighting = 1.

<23.Rc7> ( 0.49) <23…Be4> ( 0.49)

<24. Nc3> ( 0.49) <24…Bxd3> ( 0.49)

<25. bxc3> ( 0.49)) <25…Ne5> ( 0.49)

<26. Rd1> ( 0.49) <26…Nf3+> ( 0.49)

<27. Kf1> ( 0.49) <27…Nxh2+> ( 0.49)

<28. Ke1> ( 0.49) <28…Nf3+> ( 0.49)

<29. Ke2> ( 0.49) <29…Ne5> ( 0.69)

<30. Rdd7> ( 0.69) <30…f4> ( 0.69)

<31. Rg7+> ( 0.69) <31…Kh8> ( 0.69)

<32. Rxg5> ( 0.69) <32…Bd3+> ( 0.91)

<33. Kd1> ( 0.91) <33…fxg3> ( 0.91)

<34. fxg3> ( 0.91) <34…Ng6> ( 0.91)

<35. Rd5> (=0.24)

White’s move has cost 0.77, from a significant advantage to equality, very close to the bad move threshold. On both forward and reverse slides, the engine recommended <35.Rf7> to maintain the advantage at 0.91. The game flatlines into equality after this move, apart from the brief flicker at Black’s move 36.

Jul-23-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: <Bridgeburner:> <PART 4>

<35…Be4> (=0.24)

<36. Rd6> (=0.24) <36…Bf5> ( 0.55)

<37. Bd5> (=0.07) <37…Rab8> (=0.20)

<38. c6> (=0.20) <38…Nf8> (=0.20)

<39. Rb7> (=0.08) <39…Rbc8> (=0.08)

<40. e7> (=0.08) <40…Ng6> (=0.08)

<41. Bf7> (=0.08) <41…Rxe7> (=.0.08)

<42. Bg6> (=0.08) <42…Bg4+> (=0.08)

<43. Kc1 > (=0.00) <43…Re1+> (=0.00)

<44. Kb2> (=0.00) <44…hxg6 (=0.00)

<45. Rxg6> (=0.00) <45…Bf5> (=0.10)

<46. Rf6> (=0.10) <46…Be4> (=0.10)

<47. Rxa7> (=0.13) <48…Rb1+> (=0.19)

<48. Ka3 > (=0.19) <48…Bxc6> (=0.19)

Draw agreed.

Jul-23-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: <Bridgeburner:> PART 5

<ANALYSIS>

<Note> The fluctuations generated in the relatively low (16 minimum) ply forward slide were smoothed out in the equivalent return slide. The corrected evaluations extracted from the return slide are used in this analysis, as they are considered more reliable than the raw evaluations generated on the initial forward slide. All moves, including the starting position have been evaluated on forward and return slide for completeness.

<Evaluation range>:

- Between <-0.73/-0.74> applying to the move group <12.Bb3 Ba6 13.Na4 Qd4 14.Qxd4 Bxd4 15.c4>, representing a significant but not necessarily a winning advantage for Black and

<0.91> in respect of the move group<32…Bd3+ 33.Kd1 fxg3 34.fxg3 Ng6> representing a significant but not necessarily winning advantage for White.

<The largest evaluation shift>:

- for White was <0.77> between <34…Ng6> (< 0.91>) and <35.Rd5> (<=-0.24>), coming extremely close to the evaluation shift representing a bad move. <35.Rf7> was the engine’s preference for preserving White’s advantage.

- for Black was <0.93> between <22.Rxc6> and <22…Bb7>, inside the range of an evaluation shift representing a bad move. <22…Bb5> was the engine’s and Capablanca’s preference for preserving Black’s advantage.

<Computer statistics>:

• 97.9% of the ply in this game (94/96) coincided with engine preferences 1, 2 or 3

• The two ply that didn’t coincide with engine recommendations 1, 2 or 3 were <9.e6> and <11.Bf4>

• 81.25% of the ply in the game (78/96) coincided with engine preferences 1 or 2

• 75% of the ply in the game (72/96) coincided with the engine’s first preference

• 95.8% of Schlechter moves coincided with the engine preferences 1, 2 and 3

• 100% of Lasker’s moves coincided engine preferences 1, 2 and 3

• 83.3% of Schlechter’s moves (40/48) coincided with engine preferences 1 and 2

• 79.2% of Lasker’s moves (38/48) coincided with engine preferences 1 and 2

• 75% or 36/48 of Schlechter’s moves coincided with the engine’s first preference

• 75% or 36/48 of Lasker’s moves coincided with the engines first preference.

Perhaps some serious questions should be asked about how these players had played such a high percentage of computer recommended moves!

<The engine evaluation of the final position>:

was <=0.19>, in a position agreed drawn.

<CONCLUSION>

This was an exciting game played with extraordinary precision by both players. The slight “inaccuracies” defined the volatility of the game…perhaps they could be simply interpreted as strategic decisions.

Neither player blundered and only Lasker made a move that met the project definition of a <bad move>, namely <22…Bb7>.

Schlechter played one move <35.Rd5>, that was very close to being a defined bad move.

<GAME RATING>:

<Within the parameters of the project, the game is weighted at 1, representing 1 bad move and 0 blunders by Lasker, and 0 bad moves and 0 blunders by Schlechter.>

<Endnote>

I was tempted by Schlechter’s <35.Rd5> to introduce the notion of a <dubious move> into the project method, defining it as producing an evaluation shift of between 0.60 and 0.79, and weighting it as 0.5. However, I decided against as it raises too many issues of method to deal with simply.

Jul-23-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: visayanbraindoctor: <Bridgeburner> Awesome analysis to an awesome game!

I have been following up on the World Championship matches from the era of the Kasparov - Karpov epics. Yet the first time I looked closely at this game here in CG.com, I was flat-out stunned by it. Gawd, these must be two demi-gods playing chess!

Amidst all the double-edged complicated ups and downs, twists and turns, only one bad move and no blunders? Lesser mortals would no doubt have interchanged many mistakes given the game's complexity in order to arrive at a draw.

Your <Computer statistics>:

• 97.9% of the ply in this game (94/96) coincided with engine preferences 1, 2 or 3

• The two ply that didn’t coincide with engine recommendations 1, 2 or 3 were <9.e6> and <11.Bf4>

• 81.25% of the ply in the game (78/96) coincided with engine preferences 1 or 2

• 75% of the ply in the game (72/96) coincided with the engine’s first preference

• 95.8% of Schlechter moves coincided with the engine preferences 1, 2 and 3

• 100% of Lasker’s moves coincided engine preferences 1, 2 and 3

• 83.3% of Schlechter’s moves (40/48) coincided with engine preferences 1 and 2

• 79.2% of Lasker’s moves (38/48) coincided with engine preferences 1 and 2

• 75% or 36/48 of Schlechter’s moves coincided with the engine’s first preference

• 75% or 36/48 of Lasker’s moves coincided with the engines first preference.

is even more astonishing. Schlechter and Lasker swam through the flood of sharp knives of double-edged complications like two gold medal Olympic athletes without a scratch, making virtually the best moves almost all the time!

Given the difficult complexity and high drama of this game, as you say:

<Perhaps some serious questions should be asked about how these players had played such a high percentage of computer recommended moves!>

---

Perhaps after you have analyzed through the rest of the games of this match, you could add a merit system for especially complex games (but not for tame and <Grandmaster> draws).

Say if one player makes the computer's first three preferred moves at least 95% of the time (thus practically always managing to find the best moves), you could remove a 1 from the final weight on the grounds that nearly always finding the best moves neutralizes one mistake.

(We can discuss this after the present blunder check of the whole match is over as this introduces a lot more factors in the analysis.)

Jul-23-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: Bridgeburner: <visayanbraindoctor>

<these must be two demi-gods playing chess!>

As I was gazing at this game over the last three days, this was exactly my feeling. Beyond awesome. Beyond astonishing.

<Perhaps...you could add a merit system for especially complex games>

I'm open to all ideas but let's talk about that sort of enhancement later. The engine I'm using is a middle of the road kind of beast, and is not in the league of some of the silicon giants striding the landscape, so the efficacy of that sort of weighting refinement may be questionable.

Also, one bad move doesn't necessarily result in loss, it may just make a position difficult to defend. Alternatively, it may result in loss if it has been preceded by a series of "dubious moves" that have gradually eroded a position without any of them actually meeting the criterion of a bad or even dubious (nearly bad) moves, and it pushes the game over the edge.

Other considerations are that the 3rd or even 2nd preferred move may be a blunder. The placement of moves in the placement order doesn't say anything about the evaluation gap between them. To take a simple example, there may be only two options available in a check, one wins and one loses, say to a mate. There are much subtler versions of this phenomenon that occur all the time.

I think there are other more obvious issues to tackle and quantify, like the question of <dubious moves>, <dubious sequences> and even <dubious strategies>.

My thinking is that a game can't be lost or won without at least one mistake...but that mistake may not necessarily be contained in one move. More on that later once I've finished this match. I'll take notes as I proceed and share these thoughts here.

I'll tackle all the draws in this match before the games with results. Just a whim on my part.

Aug-15-09  WhiteRook48: who cares what a computer thinks?
May-13-10  Everett: Greatest draw ever? For sheer complexity, quality of play and importance, it must rank up there.
Sep-20-10  soothsayer8: Definitely one of the greatest draws I've ever seen, it's truly amazing this game ended in a draw.
Jan-29-11  Llawdogg: Wow! These guys were great. But I already knew that Lasker was great. He was one of the greatest champions of all time. But Schlechter proved to be his equal. So, I've learned a lot about Schlechter in this match. He really was the uncrowned world champion.
Nov-03-11  howlwolf: Been playing chess for forty years and I think this is the first time I have seen this game. Schlecter really was a bad (read good) boy.
Jul-14-13  shallowred: I recently went over this game (using a computer to help) while reading "How to Defend in Chess". Colin Crouch analyzed the tar out of it.

The game leaves you in awe.

You either fall in love with chess and decide to play the game for the rest of your life; or it scares the wits out of you and you quit right now.

Aug-13-13  victor antoni: en sus tiempo lasker era el mejor por algo es un gran matematico.. admiro mucho a lasker es el gran campeon mundial que ah mantenido ese titulo por aÑos.. y nadie puede igualarlo todavia!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sep-02-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: 28 years, in fact.
Sep-02-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: This is my favorite drawn game.

This game should also knock into the heads of chess pundits who have such low esteem of past players and games that the best of these past era champions and challengers could play chess as well as today's best.

Mar-02-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <visayan: This game should also knock into the heads of chess pundits who have such low esteem of past players and games that the best of these past era champions and challengers could play chess as well as today's best.>

If only it succeeds.

An extraordinary battle from this match, in which Schlechter gave the titleholder all he could handle.

Mar-02-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: What is Visay an anagram of?
Mar-03-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: Great game!
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