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Carl Schlechter vs Emanuel Lasker
Lasker - Schlechter World Championship Match (1910), Vienna AUH, rd 1, Jan-07
Spanish Game: Berlin Defense. Improved Steinitz Defense (C66)  ·  1/2-1/2


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

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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: 54...Re4. A great move; giving up a second pawn to activate the rook and reach a drawn position.
Apr-17-05  Boomie: How can black draw this after Rxf5? I've run a few lines but can't see any way to stop the pawns. 70. Rxf5 Kh6 71. g4 Ra1 72. Rf6+ Kg7 73. g5 Rg1 74. h6+ Kh7 75. Kh4 Rh1+ 76. Kg4 Rg1+ 77. Kf5 Rf1+ 78. Ke6 Rg1 79. Rf7+ Kg8 80. Rg7+ Kh8 81. Rg6 Kh7 82. Kf7 Rf1+ 83. Rf6 Rg1 84. Rf5 Ra1 85. Rf4 Rg1 86. Kf6 Rg2 87. Kf5 Rg1 88. Ra4 Rf1+ 89. Kg4 Rg1+ 90. Kh5 Rh1+ 91. Rh4 Rg1 92. Rh2 Rg3 93. Re2 Rh3+ 94. Kg4 Rh1 95. Re7+ Kg8 96. Kf5 Rf1+ 97. Kg6 Rf8 98. Rg7+ Kh8 99. Rb7 Rd8 100. Rb5 Kg8 101. Kh5 Rd1 102. Rb8+
Apr-17-05  nightsend: According to the Nalimov tablebases, Black can't -- White mates in 32: 70. Rxf5 Kh6 71. g4 Ra1 72. Rf6+ Kg7 73. Rd6 Rh1+ 74. Kg3 Ra1 75. Kh4 Rb1 76. Rd7+ Kf6 77. g5+ Ke6 78. Rd3 Rb4+ 79. Kh3 Rb1 80. g6 Kf6 81. Rd6+ Ke7 82. Rc6 Rg1 83. Kh4 Kd7 84. Rf6 Ke7 85. Rb6 Ra1 86. Kg5 Ra8 87. Rb7+ Kd6 88. Rb5 Ra1 89. g7 Kc6 90. Rf5 Kd6 91. Kh6 Ra8 92. Rf8 Ra6 93. Rf6+ Kc5 94. Rxa6 Kb5 95. g8=Q Kxa6 96. Qb8 Ka5 97. Kg6 Ka4 98. h6 Ka3 99. h7 Ka2 100. h8=Q Ka3 101. Qa1#

Maybe the last move was 69... Rc5 instead of Ra4?

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: Can anyone shed more light on Capa's mysterious comment on White's 54th suggesting 54. c3?

54. c4 seems more obvious, with lines like 54. c4 Ra2+ 55. Kf3 a4 56. Ra6 a3 57. Kf4 Rf2+ 58. Ke5 Rf3 59. h5 Rxg3 60. Ra7+ Kg8 61. Kxf5 looking good for White.

But maybe Black can try 54. c4 Ra3 cutting off White's king. I haven't got a line for White against that yet.

On Capa's suggested 54. c3, Black still has 54...Re4 55. Rc5 Kf6 56. Rxa5 Rc4, which at first glance doesn't look a lot better than the actual game.

Sep-10-05  euripides: According to Mueller and Lamprecht, 68 h6+ was played, which makes sense.

If, as in this score, 68 Rg6+ was played, then as <boomie> and <nightsend> say 69...Ra4 loses, and White would also have 69 Rg5 ! which may win. Black would probably be better to play 68 Rg6+ Kf7 when there is no clear way for White to make progress.

<beat> I agree Capablanca's comment is enigmatic.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: <beatgiant> Winter in his Capablanca book does give his suggestion as 54.c3, but another source quotes his line as 54.c4! Ra3! 55.Ra6! So who to believe? Normally, Winter is preferred, but the other line makes more sense.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: I haven't managed to find a win with either move. As I said, 54. c3 Re4 looks similar to the game, and furthermore if 54. c3 is good, why wouldn't it still be good on move 55?

So Capa probably did mean 54. c4, but I only found lines like 54. c4 Ra3 55. Ra6 Kg7 56. h5 a4 57. Kf2 Rc3 58. Rxa4 Kh6 59. Ra5 Kg5 60. Rc5 Rc2+ 61. Ke3 Rc3+ 62. Kd4 Rxg3, and it's not clear to me that White necessarily should win against Black's counterplay with the f-pawn. This line is long and so possibly full of improvements, so I didn't take it further.

<Calli>, did <another source> you cited give any more insight into this?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: <beatgiant> Excellent! Found a similar analysis [Van Reek] who also comes to a drawn endgame in your final position.

62.Kd4!? Rxg3 63.h6 Rg4+! 64.Kd3! Rg3+ 65.Ke2 Kxh6 66.Rxf5 Kg6=

White can't get out of check without getting into a drawn position. So ,amazingly, Schlechter did not miss a win in this game. Possibly, he even saw the line above and Lasker had to find 54...Re4!! in order to escape.

Here is the entire analysis on that move:

"[54.c4! Ra3! 55.Ra6! (Capablanca) Play continues with 55...a4 56.h5 (56.c5? Rc3) 56...Kg7 57.Kf2! Zugzwang! 57...Rc3! (57...Kh7 58.Ra5 loses the f-pawn.; 57...Kf7 58.Ra7+ makes a concession.) 58.Rxa4 Kh6 59.Ra5 Kg5 60.Rc5 The extra pawns are weak. 60...Rc2+ 61.Ke3 (61.Kf3 Rc3+ 62.Kg2 Kg4!) 61...Rc3+ 62.Kd4!? Rxg3 63.h6 Rg4+! The last ressource. 64.Kd3! Rg3+ 65.Ke2 Kxh6 66.Rxf5 Kg6=] " - JVR

Apr-16-06  ikalel: Lasker missed a draw by repetition on move 60. The position has repeated itself three times in a row starting with black's 56... Rc4.

56... Rc4, 58... Kf6, 60... Kf6, same position.

Compare to Pixton - Serper, 2003.
Pixton did point out to the arbiter that it was a draw by repetition but he did so AFTER he made his 42nd move and, thus, had to keep playing.

Apr-16-06  ath: This score doesn't look right. Both Wiener Schachzeitung (Marco, 1910 p. 5 and 62) and Pester Lloyd (Lasker, 1910-01-11, p. 6) say White's move 68 was h5-h6+, as <euripides> already noted.

What source got this wrong?

Apr-16-06  ikalel: CB Mega 2005 also gives 68.Rg6+.
Sep-27-06  psmith: <euripides>, <ath> Fred Wilson's book Classical Chess Matches: 1907-1913 agrees with you on 68. h6+. This is reprinted from the contemporary "Year-Book of Chess."

I am going to report this to Maybe they can fix it.

Mar-02-08  Knight13: <27. Rc3: A mistake? (?) > The rook can't do anything, and stays that way for a bit, but doesn't mean it's a "mistake."
Jun-09-09  WhiteRook48: 27 Rc3? is a <misplacement error>
Jul-15-09  solskytz: I really don't like the idea of mixing Capablanca's high-brow and instructive comments with shallow notes such as 'a weak move (?)' or 'a speculative move (!?) (what IS speculative about it? Nonsense!)

What's more, later there's a similar notes saying "a MODERATE advantage ( ). To the best of my knowledge, this symbol denotes a CLEAR advantage, not 'moderate'.

I would suggest to clean old games, which are annotated by the greats of the past, from these meaningless comments. If computer analysis is to be included, do it wisely and with respect - giving variations unseen by the annotator, explaining things in words, something that will match the high and instructive standards of the commentator from the past.

Just a suggestion... I know that this website is created and maintained by very few and very hard working people.

Much love


Jul-17-09  Bridgeburner: <solskytz>

I agree. I'm currently mapping this game with an engine, and although they're not great at endgames it's obvious these "moderate advantage" etc comments are both unnecessary and often wrong.

After move 28, the comments says "moderate advantage" to White, when it's seems to be slightly advantaged to Black.

Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: From Bridgeburner: <Quantitative mapping of the first game of the Lasker-Schlechter World Championship Match (1910): Schlechter vs Lasker, 1910 >

<Game moves: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc5 Nf6 4.0-0 d6 5.d4 Bd7 6.Re1 exd4 7.Nxd4 Be7 8.Nc3 0-0 9.Bxc6 bxc6 10.Bg5 Re8 11.Qf3 h6>

This position and some following moves are known to theory. Engine mapping commenced here. Evaluation after 16 ply of <11…h6> was <=0.15>.

<Game moves: 12.Bh4 Nh7 13.Bxe7 Qxe7 14.Rad1 Nf8 15.h3 Ng6 16.Qg3 Qg5 17.Qxg5 hxg5 18.f3 f6 19.Kf2 Kf7 20.Nde2 a5 21.b3 Reb8 22.Nc1 Be6 23.Nd3 c5 24.Nb2 Ne5 25.Nd5 Rb7 26.Re3 Nc6 27.Rc3>

Capablanca in his notes to this game thought this was a poor move. Until this move, the evaluation of the game position had been sitting close to 0 since the opening. The engine recorded a minor shift to <-0.18> on the forward slide and <-0.14> on the return slide (both 17 ply). Does this minute shift signal Capablanca’s sensitivity to the endgame?

<Game moves: 27…g6 28. a4 f5 29.Ne3 Re8 30.Nec4 Ra7 31.Re1 Bxc4 32.Nxc4 Kf6 33.Ne3 Ne5>

The engine evaluation of this move on the forward slide assessed an evaluation shift from <0.17> to <0.94>, a jump of <0.77>, just below the threshold of <0.80> for a bad move. However, the return slide reduced that shift to <0.61>, a jump of <0.44>, well inside the threshold of a bad move.

<Game moves: 34.exf5 gxf4 35.g3 Rh8 36.f4 gxf4 37.Nd5+ Kf7 38.Nxf4 Rb7 39.Kg2 c4 40.bxc4 Rb4 41.c5 Rxa4 42.cxd6 cxd6 43.Rc7+ Kf6 44.Nd5+ Kg5 45.h4+ Kh6 46.Ne7 Rf8 47.Rd1 Rf7 48.Rxd6+ Kh7 49.Re6>

Engine evaluation had steadily climbed to <1.47+>- at <45…Kh6> reaching a peak of <1.69 > at <48…Kh7>., before subsiding to <1.18=/-> at <49.Re6>. This was confirmed on the return slide when the peak evaluation reached was <1.32 > for <43…Kf6>.

<Game moves: Ng6 50.Rxg6 Rxe7 51.Rgc6 Rxc7 52.Rxc7+ Kg6 53.Rc6+ Kf7 54.Kf3 Re4 55.Rc5 Kf6 56.Rxa5 Rc4 57.Ra6+ Ke5 58.Ra5+ Kf6 59.Ra6+ Ke5 60.Ra5+ Kf6 61.Ra2 Ke5 62.Rb2 Rc3+ 63.Kg2 Kf6 64.Kh3 Rc6 65.Rb8 Rxc2 66.Rb6+ Kg7 67.h5 Rc4 68.h6+ Kh7 69.Rf6 Ra4 ½ - ½>

Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: (continued from Bridgeburner)


<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.

<Evaluation range>: Between < 0.33> of <29.Ne3> - representing a microscopic advantage for Black - and < 1.32> in respect of <43…Kf6>. Although the latter technically represents close to a winning advantage ( 1.41>, it probably also represents an inflated endgame evaluation, as the game was clearly drawn. No winning variation has been demonstrated in any notes or analyses, and none appeared in the engine evaluation.

Black’s saving move was <56…Rc4>, according to Capablanca, and initially attracted a <1.88 > evaluation from the engine. This quickly subsided to <1.16 > on White’s response, which the engine considered to be White’s best move. The return slide evaluated both ply at <1.14 > graphically demonstrating the smoothing function it performed throughout the game.

The largest evaluation shift for White was <0.15> between <11…h6> (<=0.15>) and <12.Bh4> (<=0.00>). This represents a virtually flawless game by White.

The largest evaluation shift for Black was <0.39> between <33.Ne3> and <33…Ne5>, well outside the range of an evaluation shift representing a bad move. As the game was drawn, this could also be said to represent a flawless game by Black.

The engine evaluation of the final position was <0.94 >, in a dead drawn position, representing a minor endgame evaluation inflation by the engine. If the whole amount is treated as inflation and subtracted from the most favorable evaluation that occurred for White during the course of the endgame, then the maximum evaluation for White is reduced from < 1.32> at <43…Kf6> to < 0.36>, consistent with a perfectly played draw by both players who drew on close to all the resources available in the positions they generated.

<End note>: There was no sign of the win Capablanca thought could be claimed with <54.c3>. However it was noted that <c3> was a frequent motif in some variations that provided temporary cover from Black’s rook for the White king on the third rank.

<GAME RATING>: This game is rated at 0, representing no bad moves or blunders by either player.

Within the methods adopted for this quantitative analysis, this was a flawless game.

<The first game of the match> - Schlechter vs Lasker, 1910 - is weighted at 0 (no blunders or bad moves by either Schlechter or Lasker).

Nov-06-11  knighterrant999: JRC's annotations remind me of comments made by class C players when they've learned just enough of the game to embarrass themselves. The annotations provided are condescending at best. Come on Capa, pretend we know better.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: Well, 54.c3, if this is what Capa have suggested here, makes some sense in an analogical line to the text: if 54.c3 Re4 55.Rc5 Kf6 56.Rxa5 Rc4 57.Ra6+ Ke5, then here 58.h5 Rxc3 59.h6 probably wins (at least I see no satisfactory defense here), while in the game 58.h5 leads nowhere after 58...Rc3+ 59.Kg2 f4!, for example 60.g4 (60.gxf4+ Kxf4 is tablebase draw) 60...Rg3+ 61.Kf2 Rxg4 62.h6 Rh4 63.c4 Ke4 64.Rg6 (what else?) 64...Kd4 65.Kf3 Kxc4 and once again we have a tablebase draw.

Of course, the line shown above after 54.c3 is a bit cooperative from black's side and I think that after 54...Rg4 with next a4 black simply forces a swap of Pawns on the QS with draw but at least it may explain what Capa could have in mind here.

Feb-07-16  rodrigochaves: Whats the defensive approach if white have played 62. h5?
Feb-07-16  rodrigochaves: and <Honza Cervenka> in your line, after: 58.h5 Rc3+ 59. Kg2 f4! What's the way after 60. Ra5+ ?

if 60... Kf6 61.gxf6 and White have two paws and if 60... Ke4 61. Ra4+ Kf5 62. Rxf4+ and white is better, isn't it?

Apr-15-18  m.okun: In total the party proceeded 9 hours!
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