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Emanuel Lasker vs Siegbert Tarrasch
"Schach und Matt!" (game of the day Jul-08-2014)
Lasker - Tarrasch World Championship Match (1908), Duesseldorf GER, rd 1, Aug-17
Spanish Game: Exchange Variation. General (C68)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Many thanks to <keypusher> for providing the annotations by Tarrasch. I will now add Lasker's annotations.

<The match with Tarrasch began on August 17, according to programme. The German public is taking an unexpectedly great interest in the result and the course of the games. The large dailies bring telegraphic news, many of them game and comment. Until the present moment, I found the match less of a strain than I expected; but the science and the systematic play of my opponent will undoubtedly oblige me, at a later stage of the match, to make great efforts Lasker in New York Evening Post, August 21.> <Written after first two games TheFocus.>

Lasker Tarrasch, S.
Ruy Lopez
match game 1, August 17&18

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Bxc6 dxc6 5.d4 exd4 6.Qxd4 Qxd4 7.Nxd4 c5 8.Ne2 Bd7 <Black follows Steinitz.> 9.b3 <An attempt at a novel method of development.> <9.Nc3, as in Lasker Steinitz, match game thirteen, 1894 TheFocus> 9Bc6 <9f5 would have been in place. Less Pawns, less obstructions.> 10.f3 Be7 11.Bb2 Bf6 12.Bxf6 Nxf6 13.Nd2 O-O-O 14.O-O-O Rd7 15.Nf4 <Threatens to go to d3 and e5.> 15Re8 16.Nc4 b6 17.a4 <Threatens, at once or later, a5.> 17a5 <Doing away with the threat once and for all.> 18.Rxd7 Nxd7 19.Rd1 Ne5 20.Nxe5 Rxe5 21.c4 <Blocks the c-pawns of Blacks.> 21Re8 22.Nh5 Rg8 23.Rd3 f6 24.Kd2 Be8 25.Ng3 Bd7 26.Ke3 Re8 27.Nh5 Re7 28.g4 c6 <Threatens, at an opportune moment, b5, so as to weaken the a- and c-pawns of White.> 29.h4 Kc7 30.g5 f5 31.Ng3 fxe4 32.Nxe4 Bf5 <Tarrasch sealed move TheFocus> 33.h5 Rd7 <Elegant but feeble. 33Bxe4, followed by Rd7 was stronger.> 34.Rc3 <Not 34.Rxd7+ Kxd7 because the Black King and Bishop come powerfully into play.> 34Rd1 <The attack on the White h-pawn is an error.> 35.Kf4 Bd7 <Possibly 35Bxe4 could still have saved the game. The King would have recaptured .> 36.Re3 Rh1 37.Ng3 Rh4+ 38.Ke5 Rh3 39.f4 Kd8 <Despair. 39Be8 or 39g4 lose on account of 40.f5, followed by Ke6, and the advance of either the f-pawn or the King.> 40.f5 Rh4 41f6 gxf6+ 42.Kxf6 Be8 43.Nf5 Rf4 <If 43Rg4 44.Rxe8+ wins, only a trifle harder than in the game.> 44.g6 hxg6 45.hxg6 Rg4 46.Rxe8+ <46. Rg3 would have won easily, but I had in my mind the main variation, which would have arisen if Tarrasch had at once played 43Rg4.> 46Kxe8 47.g7 Kd7 48.Nh4 Rxg7 49.Kxg7 Ke6 50.Nf3 Kf5 51.Kf7 Ke4 52.Ke6 Kd3 53.Kd6 Kc3 54.Kxc6 Kxb3 55.Kb5 1-O. (3:00 3:17)

Feb-20-10  reti: Remmember Dr.Tarrasch's words: " I have only three words for you: Check, Check, and mate!
May-16-10  sillybilly47: One of the most overlooked great games in championship history.
Jun-30-10  sillybilly47: Why noy double rooks on the d-file on Black's 15th move? It would seem more consistent with Tarrasch's previous moves.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <sillybilly47> If you go through the notes by Tarrasch and Lasker given above:

click for larger view

You'll find that White's threat in this position is winning material after 16.Nd3 b6 17.Ne5. 15...Rfd8 would do nothing about this threat.

Jul-04-10  sillybilly47: Thank you.
Jan-25-11  Llawdogg: Lasker was quite an excellent endgame player. This was a great start to the match for him.
Jul-21-12  King.Arthur.Brazil: After 21.c4 seemed that black said: draw and dind't have a plan for the rest of game. Many passive moves and LASKER made his kside Ps to move and to promote. While White has a plan, Black looked... the incoming win was expected!
Premium Chessgames Member
  naresb: White Knight - Nf3 can have a look at Black's a5, c5 Pawns with Nf3-Ne5-Nd7-Nb6. White King supports White Pawns a4, c4.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Infohunter: To appreciate today's pun it is necessary to be aware of what took place prior to the outset of this match, of which this was the first game, as well as the followup to it.

Dr. Lasker and Dr. Tarrasch had had some serious disagreements in the course of the negotiations leading up to the match. It was suggested that they reconcile before play commenced. Dr. Lasker was willing, but Dr. Tarrasch dashed whatever hopes anyone might have had for any such reconciliation when he entered the room and said, "Ihnen Herr Dr. Lasker rede ich nur drei Worten an: 'Schach und Matt'!" meaning, "To you Dr. Lasker I shall address only three words: 'Check and mate'!"

It must have been satisfying to Dr. Lasker, in a quiet, dignified sort of way, that he got to use those words (figuratively speaking) more than Dr. Tarrasch did, inasmuch as the former won the match 8-3, with 5 draws.

Thanks to whoever submitted this GOTD pun for bringing an interesting old story to mind.

Jul-08-14  MountainMatt: I've seen the following quote attributed to Karpov: "Style? I have no style." I feel like this would apply to Lasker as well; no matter the situation, no matter what "theory" or "principles" would suggest as the proper course of action, he just played whatever he thought would work..and it did.
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: <Infohunter> These old stories add to the richness of chess history, especially here when told in the original language. Lasker reportedly grew tired of repeating two words: "Another game?"
Premium Chessgames Member
  Castleinthesky: This game is a great example of capitalizing on an imbalance. White's only advantage is that he has an extra pawn on the kingside vs. black's doubled queen side pawns. White plays his endgame perfectly, which is something I rarely achieve. Certainly, a game worth studying. The pun is another matter.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Lasker wins endgames! Is that news to anyone?
Jul-08-14  BOSTER: Nice <POTD > White to play 46, or White to play 52.
Jul-08-14  posoo: Easy game. WHY allow white to play da ruy lopes if you are just going to be an EXCHANGE MONGER all game and allow it to come down to da pons?!

Turrush should've been ASHASMED of his performance in dis.

NOTE: I once played a simul against a Hungarian GM and he said dat my style reminded him of "Da Great Dr. Lasker," HOHO!

Jul-08-14  Nova: Thanks <Infohunter> for the great story!
Jul-08-14  Mr Bigz: Fantastic game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Infohunter: <Nova> Delighted, I'm sure.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: The reason Lasker didn't castle on move 5 when he played the exchange variation was that he liked to castle queenside.
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: Astounding endgame play! And an incredible testament to the abilities of Dr. Lasker in the endgame, as he completely commanded it from the start.

It seems that he foresaw the ending, aimed for it, then systematically exploited it as he knew that he could. Nothing but adulation for his achievement, especially since he did so against the great Dr. Tarrasch!

Premium Chessgames Member
  profK: In the Lopez exchange variation with black playing exd4 at some point, white gets a K side pawn majority...and this can often lead to positive endgame chances for white. This is a perfect example.
Dec-13-17  aliejin: 35.... bxe4 leads a easy draw , at least, for black.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: REQUEST ANALYSIS

click for larger view

Black to move

1) =0.00 (28 ply) <35...Bxe4 36.fxe4 Kd6 37.Rh3 Rf1+ 38.Rf3 Rh1 39.Kg4 Ke5 40.Rf7 Rg1+ 41.Kh4 Rh1+ 42.Kg4>

2) +0.60 (28 ply) 35...Bc8 36.Re3 Rd8 37.Nf2 Rd4+ 38.Re4 Kd8 39.Ke5 Rd2 40.Ng4 Bxg4 41.fxg4 Ke7 42.Kf5+ Kd7 43.g6 Rf2+ 44.Kg5 h6+ 45.Kh4 Rf1 46.Re3 Rh1+ 47.Rh3 Rf1 48.g5 hxg5+ 49.Kxg5 Rg1+ 50.Kf5 Rf1+ 51.Ke5 Re1+ 52.Kf4 Rf1+ 53.Ke4 Re1+ 54.Kd3 Rd1+ 55.Kc2 Rg1 56.Rf3 Ke6 57.Rf7 Rg2+ 58.Kd3 Rg3+ 59.Ke4 Rh3 60.Rxg7 Rxh5

3) +0.60 (27 ply) 35...Bh3 36.h6 gxh6 37.gxh6 Rh1 38.Ke5 Bd7 39.f4 Rxh6 40.f5 Rh1 41.Ng5 Re1+ 42.Kf6 h5 43.Rh3 Rd1 44.Rxh5 Rf1 45.Ne4 Rf3 46.Ke5 Rxb3 47.f6 Rf3 48.Nd6 Re3+ 49.Kf4

1.0 minute analysis by Stockfish 8 v270317

Jan-02-18  circleVIII: Great game. Cannot help but notice the endgame after move 8. Ne2 looks like an inferior Berlin endgame for white, but after only 13 more moves black has misplayed and it already seems quite favourable.

After 21... Re8 white has managed (or been given) the exchange of dark squared bishops and has a secure kingside structure preventing black's kingside majority from mobilizing. From here on in it is only white to make any progress, and Lasker does an impressive job of doing so.

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