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Carl Schlechter vs Emanuel Lasker
Lasker - Schlechter World Championship Match (1910), Berlin GER, rd 9, Feb-05
Sicilian Defense: Lasker-Pelikan. Schlechter Variation (B33)  ·  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: Lasker missed a win somewhere here; after about move 40. Does anyone know where it was?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: Yes, 56...Kb6! threatens Nxc4+ and Ne5-g3 should win.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: I agree with <Calli> that 56...Kb6 would have been a definite win. It avoids the drawing sequence of Ne6+ and Nxg7, and leads to the forced win of a pawn. Looking further back however, Lasker passed up a strong chance. Lasker could have obtained a favorable rook ending with 52...Na3 (threat ...Nb1+ and Nxc3) 53 Kc1 Nc4 54 Nd2 Kc5 55 Nxc4 Kxc4 56 Kd2 Rf7 57 Rd4+ Kc5 58 Ke3 b5 59 a4 bxa4 Ra7 and black has possibilities of passed pawns on both sides. But there are still drawing chances as both pawns would be likely be rook pawns. Did Lasker see the difficulties or miss 52...Na3 in the tense atmosphere? In any case, Schlechter deserves credit for persevering so well in a worse position, and seizing his chance when it came. The draw, the fourth in a row, left Schlechter up 5-4 in the match with only the tenth game left.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: <Tamar> Actually, I was just following Lasker's suggestion. I think Lasker was really annoyed with himself in this match, missing three clear wins.

In your line, 52...Na3 53 Kc1 Nc4 White should play 54.Rd4 and not exchange because the knight keeps the Black king out. If 54...a5 55.a4 etc

Earlier, Schlechter should have played 31.Rg3 The attack on black's kingside pawns should be enough for a draw.

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <In your line, 52...Na3 53 Kc1 Nc4 White should play 54.Rd4 and not exchange because the knight keeps the Black king out.> Not exchanging knights makes sense to keep the black King out, but if black can win the c pawn or the g pawn (especially) White's position could be too brittle to hold even with the King repelled. Shredder 8 is showing a rising assessment (now at 1.21 up from 1.12) for the above line ending in 54. Rd4 Ne3. I'll give it a wide leash and let you know tomorrow if there is anything definite to report. I wouldn't be surprised if Lasker considered the 52...Na3 line and saw something he didn't like. Spielman wrote in the introduction to Lasker's Greatest Chess Games:

"But Lasker! His eyes, his thoughts are everywhere. I speak from experience, for I have frequently tried to analyze with him The result was really discouraging for me; no sooner had I hit on a good idea or a pretty combination, than Lasker waved it aside; for he had long ago already discarded it in his thoughts!"

Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: Look at it this way: What's the better place for the rook? On c7 or aggresively placed for attack and defense at g4? Lasker's 52...Rc4! deserves a "!" as the fastest way to win. There may be other ways, but I think it is the clearest.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <Calli> True, but... Activating the rook via c4 is a strong plan, but if White simply defends, I don't see a clear victory. The defect I see in 52...Rc4 is that it activates the rook before the knight can really help. What if Schlechter had simply played 53. Re3 instead of the inappropriately aggressive 53. Rd7? Lasker is still better, no doubt, but I don't see the clear win.

Shredder 8 rates 52...Na3 higher based on a tactical sequence where the knight hops from a3-c4-e3-f1 attacking g3 and at the same time restricting White's King to the first rank for several moves. It is still at the moment straining at the leash, but here are the main lines at 1200 seconds per move on deep analysis.

52...Na3 53 Kc1 Nc4 54 Rd4 (Start Position) Ne3 55 Re4 Nf1 56 Rg4 g5 57. Nd2 Rf7

Here Shredder rates black advantage at -1.34 at 22 ply. (It is up to -1.52 in the second round starting after 57...Rf7) My assessment is that black has achieved more in this position than in the 52...Rc4 lines I looked at because the knight on f1 has a greater role.

Ordinarily I would defer to Lasker's judgment, but in this particular match, he had tremendous difficulties finishing off Schlechter from won positions, and one of the reasons may have been that he chose more natural but less sharp moves in the critical positions.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: If 53.Re3 Rg4 followed by h5,g5 etc. Schlechter knows this kind of position is dead lost against Lasker which is why he tries to mix things up with Rd7?!. It worked! He got the draw when Lasker erred. I'll go with the Man over the machine in this case. RC4!-Rg4 produces a winning position and one doesn't have to calculate 28 ply.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <calli> Okay. I turned off the machine. It was overheating anyway :) With my own eyes and brain this is what I think.
Schlechter playing normal defensive moves like 53 Re3 Rg4 54 Kd3 h5 does not look dead lost to me at all. 55 c4! puts black in exactly the predictament I described. His knight and King are not placed in positions to take advantage of events. After 55 c4 Na3 (55...Nd6? 56 c5+) 56 Nd2 just strands the knight. If there is a clear win, it involves repositioning the knight before advancing the K-side pawns, I would wager. I agree Schlechter probably panicked when he saw the rook manoeuver Rc7-c4,and varied from playing the "faceless chess" which Botvinnik thought brought him success in the match, but the move 53 Rd7 really turns it into a dead lost position from a precarious but possibly salvalgeable one.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: "53 Re3 Rg4 54 Kd3 h5 does not look dead lost to me at all. 55 c4!"

The basic idea would be to restrict white so 53 Re3 Rg4 54 Kd3 then 54... Nd6 to prevent c4. then if 55.Nd4 g6 to stop Nf5. then maybe move the king up and finally h5 etc. White would gradually be reduced to a passive position.

Premium Chessgames Member
  iron maiden: Schlecter, ahead by one point, overextends and nearly loses as White. Oddly enough, this is exactly what happened in the penultimate game of Leko-Kramnik a century later. And of course we all know what else those two matches have in common.
Premium Chessgames Member
  talisman: how can you play a match for the world championship and no one know the conditions.i'm just thinking somewhere in this country there's some evidence, somewhere, that could shed some light.
Mar-02-08  Knight13: 11. Qh5!? prevents castling.
Premium Chessgames Member
  talisman: Man that mouse is everywhere.

i'm going to answer myself.
<to play a match of only 10 games for the world championship at stake was obviously strange, but with a player of Schlecter's pacific propensities involved, it would have been flatly stupid had Lasker not taken the elementary precaution to stipulate that for the challenger to win the title, he would have to come out ahead by 2 points. Schlecter had little choice but to accept...> i knew i had read this somewhere....-Al Horowitz "THE WORLD CHESS CHAMPIONSHIP"...but he cites no sources.

Jul-21-08  ughaibu: He's speculating and got it wrong.
Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: Computer evaluation in Bridgeburner chessforum:



Schlechter vs Lasker, 1910 is the <9th game of the 1910 title match>.

Quantitative mapping of this game between these players is below. All the moves of the game were inserted into the engine before evaluation was commenced. Once the moves were inputted, each move was subject to a minimum of 16 ply (usually more) scrutiny by the engine all the way back to move 1. A forward slide was then conducted move by move to the final move of the game. As the evaluations were still erratic a second move-by-move reverse slide was conducted back to the move one.

Accordingly, the numerical evaluations for each move are added to the game score in this analysis after each ply and are the net result of three move-by-move game length slides which have been conducted without stopping the engine, thereby allowing accumulated hash tables to add information to - and therefore enhance the accuracy of - the engines analyses.

General methods used are described in the bio. It is important to note that the methodology (sic) used in these analyses is <not> represented by the figures used to weight the game errors (viz: 2 for a <blunder>, 1 for a <bad move> and 0.5 for a <dubious move>, <<but the use of <a minimum of 16 ply> engine analysis on each and every move on at least one forward and one reverse slide.>> In this game, each move is subject to a minimum of 16 ply engine evaluation <three times>. Most moves in the game are actually analyzed to significantly greater depths than 16 ply, as I believe that Grandamaster play is generally at least at that level if not greater.

Engine preferences are included throughout the game where they differ from players preferences.

Some analysis is included to provide some idea of the reason for the engine preferences where they didnt coincide with the moves played, except in situations where the evaluation differences were very minor.


This game is unusual from the point of view of engine analysis, as the ratio of moves made by the players that correspond to the engines first preferences are significantly lower than in the other games. However, many of the evaluation differences between the players and engines preferred moves are no more than a few centis, and not as significant as it might otherwise be.

Lasker surprised Schlechter with <5e5>, who responded with the dubious <6. Nb3>, a move to which theory has never warmed, not even slightly. Rattled, Schlechter complicates the game, saccing a pawn with <14. f4>, but then stumbled by following up with <16. Bf5>, a technical blunder which should have lost the game, rather than with <16. Bh4> which would have provided more chances of complicating the game without actually risking a forced loss. However, the ploy works as Lasker misses both winning moves: one starting with <16Qb6+> and the other with <16g6>, leaving Schlechter to neatly extricate himself from a lost position to achieve near equality.

A long endgame ensures with Schlechter more or less holding the line, but at a disadvantage because of his weak queen side pawn structure (neutralizing his queen side majority) he inherited as a result of his poor opening play, and Blacks King side pawn majority. He cracks under the strain, playing a series of substandard moves at moves 50, 51, 53, and 54 before making a technical blunder on move 55 when he crossed the 1.40 boundary. Uncharacteristically, Lasker misses the win for the second time in the game, allowing Schlechter to salvage the draw.

The night before the next, last and deciding game of the match, Lasker seemed resigned to the possibility of relinquishing his title to Schlechter

<<Further Notes by Visaya:

This game is unusually error-prone compared to the previous games. With only one game left to decide who takes the the highest stake in the Chess World, one can speculate that it could have been caused by the an increase in the voltage of the high tension high altitude electrical cable that both players were walking in this match's down the wire finish.>>

Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: Bridgeburner chessforum <PART 2>


<1. e4> ( 0.30) <1c5> ( 0.37)

<2. Nf3> ( 0.34) <2Nc6> ( 0.37)

<3. d4> ( 0.29) <3cxd4> ( 0.29)

<4. Nxd4> ( 0.29) <4Nf6> ( 0.30)

<5. Nc3> ( 0.30) <5e5> ( 0.30)

<Capablanca: Altogether unusual and I believe not very good as the d pawn remains weak. It is not easy, however, to discover how to get at it, and for a surprise the move proved first-class, as Black got the better game.>

Subsequently, theory has found this move to be quite sound for Black and is the second most common Black move after <5d6>. The only game in the database with this move and which predated this game was Tarrasch vs Mieses, 1888, which White won in 30 moves.


<6. Nb3> ( 0.24)

<Capablanca: 6. Nbd5, I believe was the right answer. Black would then have to play 6d6, not 6Qa5 because of 7. Bc4 and if the 7Nxe4 8. Bxf7+ Kxf7 9. Qd5+ with the better game.

Schlechter was apparently the first to play this move, which appears only another 53 times in the database, although its most recent usage was in Jobava vs A Bykhovsky, 2009 which White also won in 30 moves. The engine and the overwhelming number of players using this variations - endorses Capablanca preference of <6. Ndb5> , rating it ( 0.30): Opening Explorer

<Main engine preference>: <6.Ndb5> ( 0.30)


<6Bb4> (=-0.24) The only move with which Black gains advantage.

<7. Bd3> ( 0.37)

<Engine preference>: <7.Bd2> ( 0.27): <7Bxc3 8.Bxc3 0-0 (if <8Nxe4 9. Qg4> =0.00) 9.Bd3 a5>


<7d5> (=-0.17) with strong threats centered around the pin on c3. However, White can easily counter them by capturing at d5 or by castling.

<Main engine preference>: <7...Bxc3+> ( 0.37): <8.bxc3 0-0 9.0-0 d6 followed by <Be6>>.

Further Notes by Visaya:

This is a surprise opening by a desperate Lasker who was down by a point in this penultimate game, and with it he introduces the Lasker-Pelikan-Sveshnikov system to World Championship play. Capablanca in his annotations seems to dogmatically adhere to the idea that backward pawns are positionally weak; and then in his next phrase paradoxically confirms that the opening is actually sound (?!) saying that it is hard to get at the pawn. Typically, Capa knows intuitively that the opening is playable, but seems to be giving lip service to standard chess principles.

Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: Bridgeburner chessforum <PART 3>


<8. exd5> ( 0.45)

<Engine preference>: <8.0-0> (=-0.17): <8Bxc3 9.exd5 Qxd5 (if <9Nxd5 10. bxc3 Nxc3> then <11. Qe1> with advantage, eg: <11Nd5 (forced) 12. Ba3> and White is fully developed while Black will have difficulty castling) 10.bxc3 0-0 11.c4 Qd8 12.Bb2 a5 13.a4>


<8Nxd5> ( 0.45)

<9. Bd2> ( 0.45) <9Nxc3> ( 0.45)

<10. bxc3> ( 0.55)

<Engine preference>: <10.Bxc3> ( 0.45) <10Bxc3+ 11.bxc3 0-0 12.0-0 Qf6 13.Qh5 g6 14.Qh6 Ne7 15.f4 exf4 16.Rae1 Be6 17.c4 Rac8 18.Qxf4 Qxf4>


<10Bd6> ( 0.44):

<Capablanca: Black has now a beautiful game, which shows that Whites treatment of the opening was not the best.>

<Engine preference>: <10Be7> ( 0.55): <11.0-0 0-0 12.Be3 Qc7 13.f4 Bd6 14.Qf3 Re8 15.Rad1 Be6 16.Bb5 exf4 17.Bxc6 Qxc6 18.Qxc6 bxc6 19.Bxf4>


<11. Qh5> ( 0.44)

<11. Qf3> was played in J Czerwinska vs K Mleko, 2001 in the 2001 U18 Polish Girls Championship. This game was also drawn.


<11Qc7> ( 0.31)

<Main engine preferences>: <11...g6> ( 0.44): <12.Qh6 Bf8 13.Qe3 Bg7>


<12. 0-0> ( 0.31) <12Be6> ( 0.28)

<Engine preference>: <12...g6> ( 0.31): <13.Qh6 Bf8 14.Qe3 Bg7>>


<13. Bg5> ( 0.43)

<Main engine preference>: <13.Rfe1> ( 0.28): <130-0-0 14.c4 Be7 15.Bf5 Qd7 16.Bxe6 Qxe6 17.Bc3 f6 18.Qe2 Qf5 19.Rab1 Kb8 20.c5 Ka8>


<13h6> ( 0.43)

<14. f4> ( 0.54)

<Main engine preference>: <14.Nd2> ( 0.43): <14Ne7 15.Rfd1 0-0-0 16.Bxe7 Qxe7 17.Nc4 f6 18.Bf5 Kb8 19.Qg4 h5 20.Qe4 Bxf5 21.Qxf5 Qc7 22.Qe4 f5 23.Qd5 Bb4 24.Qxe5>

Schlechters brilliant <14. f4> is the key move that defines the game, more so than his 16th, which should have lost, as it provides more practical OTB opportunities than the engines preferred move <14. Nd2>.

Further Notes by Visaya:

Pawn sac! The supposedly pacifistic Draw Master of Vienna is chivalrously fighting with the sword, not the shield. Why? Your guess is as good as mine; but I suspect that Schlecter may have been attempting to refute what was then an unusual opening novelty. Capa's recommended 14. Rad1 is typical of his conservative style, and the normal Schlechters style too.

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  visayanbraindoctor: Bridgeburner chessforum PART 4:


<14exf4> ( 0.54)

<15. Rae1> ( 0.54) <15Kd7> ( 0.54)

<16. Bf5> ( 2.40):

click for larger view

Having been outplayed in the opening, Schlechter has complicated the game with the brilliant <14. f4> as he clearly didnt fancy defending a position that has very little worthwhile counter play. However, this move should have been a loser although it would have been very difficult to calculate over the board; <16. Bh4> allows a defense that maintains complications.

<Main engine preference>: <16.Bh4> ( 0.54): <16Rae8 17.Nc5+ Bxc5+ 18.Qxc5 Kc8 19. Bf2 Bd7 20. Rxe8+ Rxe8 21. Qa3>, and both sides have chances.

<2. <16.Rxe6> ( 1.90) is also technically better than the move actually played.

<<Schlechters 16th move constitutes a blunder as defined in the project and adds <2.0> to the games error weighting.>>


<16Raf8> ( 0.56)

<Capablanca: Here is what Lasker himself had to say about the situation, and I agree with him. Here Black could have played 16Qb6+ 17. Kh1 g6. White could not now sacrifice his queen, for after 18. Rxe6 gxh5 19. Re7+ Kd8 20. Rd7+ Ke8 21. Bf6 Be5 and White has no satisfactory continuation. On the other hand after 18. Bxe6+ fxe6 19. Qxg6 hxg5 20. Qxe6+ Kc7 21. Qf7+ Kb8 22. Nd4 Black would be confronted by great difficulties, as White would threaten 23. Rb1 followed by the sacrifice of the rook. But it has been proved by analysis that I could have escaped all danger. The move actually made appeared also very strong, but by a fine combination Schlechter nearly equalized the game.>

<Engine preferences:>

<1: <16...Qb6+> ( 2.32) <17.Kh1 g6 18.Bxe6+ fxe6 19.Qxg6 hxg5 20.Qxe6+ Kc7 21.Qf7+ Kb8 22.Nd4> (as per Laskers comments):

click for larger view

There are several winning continuations for Black here, the main ones being <22Nxd4> and <22a6>:

<<1. A. <22Nxd4 23. Re8+ Rxe8 24. Qxe8+ Kc7 25. Qxa8 Qb5 (or <25Nf5 26. Qg8 Ne3 27. Qf7+ Kd8 28. Re1 Be7>) 26. c4 Qxc4 27. Rb1 Qd5>>>.

<<1. B. <22a6 23.Qf6 (<23. Rb1 Qc7>) 23Qd8 (forced, but still wins) 24.Nxc6+ bxc6 25.Qd4 (<25. Rb1+ Ka7 26. Qd4+ c5>) 25Bc7 26.Rb1+ Kc8 and wins>>>.

<2. <16...g6> ( 2.40): <17.Bxe6+ fxe6 18.Qxg6 Qb6+ 19.Nd4 Nxd4 20.Qg7+ Kc6 21.cxd4 hxg5 (or <21Rag8 followed by 22hxg5>)> and Black has won a piece.

<< Laskers 16th move blunders the forced win, thereby earning an extra 2.0 points of error weighting for the game. Accumulated error weighting is <4.0>.>>

Further notes by Visaya:

Schlechter blunders, not really surprising in such a difficult position. The sword that he has taken up can go both ways, but that is the price for playing into slashing positions. Lasker has the Title in his grasp again!

Lasker may have seen his own counter-blunder almost immediately, as he himself gives the winning continuation after the game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: Bridgeburner chessforum PART 5:


<17. Bxf4> ( 0.56) <17Bxf4> ( 0.56)

<18. Nc5+> ( 0.56) <18. Kc8> ( 0.56)

<19. Bxe6+> ( 0.56) <19fxe6> ( 0.56)

<20. Nxe6> ( 0.56) <20Bxh2+> ( 0.26)

<Engine preference>: <20g6> ( 0.56): <21. Qh3 Bxh2+ 22. Qxh2 Rxf1+ 23. Rxf1 Qe5 24.Qxe5 Nxe5 25.Rf6>


<21. Qxh2> ( 0.26) <21Rxf1+> ( 0.26)

<22. Rxf1> ( 0.26) <22Qd7> (=0.23)

Lasker hangs on to the queen to try and preserve his much reduced chances, but to no avail. Schlechter eventually forces the exchange of queens.

<Engine preference:> <22...Qxh2+> (-0.26): <23.Kxh2 Re8 24.Nxg7 Re2 25.Rc1 Re3 26.Nf5 Rxc3 27.Nxh6 Kd7 28.Rd1+ Ke6 29.Rd2 Ra3 30.c4 Nb4 31.Re2+ Kd6 32.Nf5+>>


<23. Nc5> ( 0.23) <23Qe7> ( 0.23)

<24. Qh3+> ( 0.23) <24Kb8> ( 0.23)

<25. Ne6> (=-0.23) (threatening 26. Qg3+ followed by the capture of the g7 pawn)

<25Ka8> ( 0.23)

<26. Nd4> ( 0.34)

<Engine preference>: <26.Qf5> (=-0.23) forces the exchange of queens, and equality.


<26Qc7> (=0.20)

<Main engine preference>: <26...Qc5> pinning the Knight; ( 0.34): <27.Rf5 Qb6 28.Rb5 Qc7 29.Qe6 a6 30.Rc5 Qb6> with slight pressure.


<27. Qf5> ( 0.29)

<Engine preference>: <27.Qf3> (=-0.20) threatening <27. Qf4>, <27. Qf7> and <27. Nxc6> and an easy draw. <27Nd8 (intending <28Re8>) 28.Qe3= >>

Further notes by Visaya:

Both players are committing inaccuracies, although no definite blunders in this phase of the game. If the time control was 30 moves, they may have been attempting to reach it, while simultaneously trying to maintain their own chances. We commonly see these types of inaccuracies in similar situations in today's GM games in the internet, as the players near time control.

Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: Bridgeburner chessforum PART 6:


<27Rc8> ( 0.29)

<28. Qc5> ( 0.36)

<Main engine preference>: <28.Ne6> ( 0.29): <28Qb6+ 29.Qf2>


<28Nb8> ( 0.31)

<Engine preference>: <28...Qb8> (-0.36): <29.Qf5 (defending <c2> if Black exchanges the Knights) 29a6 30.Qg4 Nxd4 31.cxd4 Qc7 (<31Qxc2 32. Qxg7>) 32.Rf2 Rd8 33.Rd2 Qc3> and Black has the initiative, eg: <34. Qf4 g5 25. Qf2 g4>.


<29. Qxc7> ( 0.31) <29Rxc7> ( 0.31)

<Capablanca: The attack is over and Black has the better game.>

But only very marginally, and based on Whites relatively weak queen side pawns, and the difficult-to-convert King side pawn majority.


<30. Rf3> ( 0.31) <30a6> ( 0.31)

<31. Kf2> ( 0.45)

<Main engine preference>: <31. Rg3> ( 0.31): <31g5 32.Rh3 Ka7 33.Kf2 (if <33Rxh6 Rxc3 34. Rh3 Rc4> is slightly better for Black) 33Nc6 34.Nf5> probably draws, eg: <34Rf7 35.Rf3 Rf6 36.Nd4 Ne5 37.Rxf6 Ng4+ 38.Ke2 Nxf6 39.Kd3 Kb6 40.Nf5>


<31Nc6> ( 0.45)

<32. Ne6> ( 0.52)

<Main engine preferences>: <32.Ke3> 0.45) <33Ne5 33.Rf8+ Ka7> is not much better for White.


<32Re7> ( 0.52

<33. Re3> ( 0.54)

<Engine preference>: <33.Nd4> ( 0.52): <33Ne5 34.Rf8+>


<33Kb8> ( 0.45)

<Engine preference>: <33...Ka7> ( 0.54): <34.Ke2 Kb6 35.Kd3>


<34. Nd4> ( 0.49)

<Engine preference>: <34.Ke2> ( 0.45) <34Ka7 35.Kd3 Kb6 36.Re2 Kb5 37.Re4>

Further notes by Visaya:

Most human players would no doubt prefer Black, given White's weak pawns and Black's potentially movable Kingside majority. Capa for example above says outrightly that he prefers Black. In practical over the board conditions, Black has realistic winning chances.

Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: Bridgeburner chessforum PART 7:


<34Rf7+> ( 0.49)

<35. Rf3> ( 0.51)

<Engine preference>: <5.Ke2> ( 0.49)


<35Rc7> ( 0.51)

<36. Ne6> ( 0.51) <36Re7> ( 0.51)

<37. Re3> ( 0.54)

<Engine preference>: 37.Nd4 ( 0.51): <Ne5 38.Rf8+ Ka7 39.Nf5 Rc7 40.Ke3>


<37Kc8> ( 0.41)

<Engine preference>: <37...Ka7> ( 0.54): <38.Ke2 Kb6 39.Kd3>>

<Capablanca: Black has skillfully improved his position.>


<38. Ke2> ( 0.41) <38Nd8> ( 0.41)

<39. Nd4> ( 0.53)

<Main engine preference>: <39.Nc5> ( 0.41) <39Rf7 40.Ne6 Kd7 41.Nxd8 Kxd8 42.Rg3 g5 43.Rh3 Rf6 44.Kd3 Kc7 45.Kd4 >


<39Rf7> (=-0.05)

<Main engine preference>: <39...Kd7> ( 0.53):

Lasker dissipates his advantage at this point. After <39Kd7> maintains the endgame pressure.


<40. Rf3> ( 0.53)

Schlechter misses the move that draws easily, namely the engines main preference: <40. Rg3> (-0.05): eg: <40Kc7 41.Rg6 Nc6 42.Ne6+ Kd7 43.Nxg7 Ne5 44.Rg3 Kd6 45.Nh5 Kd5 46.Rg7 Rxg7 47.Nxg7 Ke4 48.Nh5 b6 49.Nf6+ Kf4 50.Nd5+>. The point seems to be that Blacks Knight cannot get back into action. If <40Nc6>, then White exchanges, and the c-file is closed. If the King moves forward to support the Knight, the lost tempo enable White to play <41. Rg6> and Black can make no headway.

GAME MOVES 40 and 41:

<40Kd7> ( 0.53) <41. Rd3> ( 0.67)

<Main engine preference>: <41.Re3> ( 0.53): <41Kd6>


<41Ke7> ( 0.33)

<Main engine preference>: <41...Nc6> ( 0.67): <42.Nf3+ Kc7 43.Nd4 Rf6 44. Rg3 g6 45. Re3 Kd6 46. Nxc6 Kc6 47. Re7 b6> preserves the initiative and some advantage.

Further notes by Visaya:

More inaccurate play by the tired and nervous players. Just remember, this is the penultimate game. Lasker is down by a point. Schlecter has a chance to KO the then invincible Lasker, World Champion for the past 16 years! To his colleagues then, Lasker loomed over the chess world as large as Kasparov, World Champion for 15 years, did in 2000. No one gave Schlecter a chance, just as all of us today did not think to give Kramnik a chance against the then invincible Kasparov. The peaceful Drawing Master of Vienna must have been astonished at his opportunity, and probably shaking in his boots!

Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: Bridgeburner chessforum PART 8:


<42. Re3+> ( 0.51)

<Main engine preference>: <42.Rg3> ( 0.33): <42Ne6 43.Kd3 Nf4+ 44.Ke4 Nh5 45.Rg6>


<42Kd6> ( 0.51)

<43. Rd3> ( 0.72)

<Main engine preferences>: <43.Kd3> ( 0.51): <43Rf6 44.g3 Nc6 45.Ke4 g6 46.Rd3>

GAME MOVE 43-44:

<43Ne6> ( 0.72)

<44. Nf3+> ( 0.79)

<Main engine preference>: <44.Nxe6+> ( 0.72): <44Kxe6 45.c4>


<44Kc5> ( 0.76)

<Engine preference>: <44...Kc7> ( 0.79) <45.Ke3 Rf5 46.c4 Ra5 47.a3 Nc5 48.Rc3 Kd6 49.Kf4>


<45. g3> ( 0.76) <45Nc7> ( 0.76)

<46. Nd2> ( 0.80)

<Engine preference>: <46.Nd4>: ( 0.76): <46Re7+>


<46Kc6> ( 0.63)

<Engine preference>: <46...Re7+> ( 0.80): <47.Kf3 Ne6 48.Nb3+ Kc6 49.Nd4+ Kc7 50.Nxe6+ Rxe6>


<47. Nf3> ( 0.73)

<Main engine preference>: <47.Ne4> ( 0.63) <47Nd5 48.Rd4 Nf6 49.Rc4+ Kd5 50.Rd4+ Ke5 51.Kd3 Nxe4 52.Rxe4+ Kf5 53.Rf4+ Ke6 54.Re4+ Kd5>


<47Kb5> ( 0.37);

<Main engine preference>: <47...Kc5> ( 0.73): <48.Nd2 Re7+ 49.Kf3 Ne6 50.Nb3+ Kc4 51.a4 Ng5+ 52.Kf2 b6 53.Nd2+ Kc5 54.Rd8 Ne4+ 55.Kf3 Nxd2+ 56.Rxd2>


<48. Rd4> ( 0.58)

<Engine preference>: (-0.37): <48.c4+>: ( 0.37): <48Kc5 (<48Kxc4 49. Ne5+> )49.Kd2 Ne8 50.Kc3 Nf6 51.Nd2 Re7 52.Nb3+ Kb6 53.a4 Ng4 54.Rd5 Re3+ 55.Rd3 Kc7 56.Kd4 Re1 57.c5 Ne5 58.Re3>


<48Kc5> ( 0.58)

<49. Nd2> ( 0.58) <49Nb5> ( 0.58)

Further notes by Visaya:

Playing a bit passively, Schlecter has missed tying up Black's position, and Lasker has slowly been maneuvering to gain any advantage that he could get. Probably tired by now, Schlecter makes more inaccuracies in the next phase of the game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: Bridgeburner chessforum PART 9:

The play has been somewhat uneven with inaccuracies on both sides. At this point, the game is defensible however over the next 5 moves, Schlechter makes a series of inaccurate moves that land him in a losing position.


<50. Nb3+> ( 0.84)

<Engine preference>: (-0.58): <50.Ne4+>: ( 0.58): <50Kc6 51.Rc4+ Kd5 52.Rb4 Ke5 53.a4 Nc7 54.Nf2 Nd5 55.Re4+ Kd6 56.Rd4 Ke6 57.Re4+ Kf5>


<50Kb6> ( 0.84)

<51. Rd3> ( 1.03)

<Main engine preference>: <51.Rc4> ( 0.84): <51Nd6 52.Rd4 Kc6 53.Na5+ Kc7 54.g4 (prevents <54h5>)>


<51Rc7> ( 1.03)

<52. Kd2> ( 1.03) <52Rc4> ( 1.03)

<53. Rd7> ( 1.11)

<Main engine preference>: <53.Re3> ( 1.03): <53Rg4 54.Ke2 Nd6 55.Kf3 Rc4 56.Nd4>

GAME MOVE 53-54:

<53Rg4> ( 1.11)

<54. c4> ( 1.18)

<Engine preference>: <54. Rd3>: ( 1.11)


<54Kc6> ( 1.18)

<55. Rd3> ( 1.47)

<Engine preference>: <55.Re7> ( 1.18): <55Nd6 56.c5 Nf5 57.Re6+ Kc7 58. c3>>

<<Too defensive: a blunder than should have cost the game. The move adds <2.0> to the error weighting of the game.>>


<55Nd6> ( 1.47)

<56. Nd4+> ( 1.47) <56Kc7> ( 0.32)

<Capablanca>: Lasker says, A regrettable oversight; 56Kb6 would have won the game. It is indeed unfortunate that he did not play 56Kb6. Lasker had very skillfully brought his advantage to a point where it would tell and at the moment he is going to reap the fruit of his fine play, makes a slip and fails to win the game that was almost a necessity for him.

<<The engine agrees with Capablancas assessment. The move blunders a win and thereby adds a weight of <2.0> to the error weighting of the game, for a total error weighting of 8.0 for this game.>>

Further notes by Visaya:

Although Schlecter's previous blunder seemed understandable, hunkering down with a passive move in a bad position, Lasker here misses a simple pin! The obvious Knight check drives his King to the d-file (or else perpetual ensues), self-pinning his Knight. Schlecter's desperado Knight can then kill itself for a tempo taking the g7 pawn, so he could play c5 thus re-taking Lasker's Knight. Lasker takes the c-pawn instead. In this phase however, Schlecter has managed to eliminate his most glaring weakness, the c4-pawn. The game is now dead drawn.

Lasker must have been too exhausted and/or nervous. It's rare for him to make such a mistake, a simple oversight!

Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: Bridgeburner chessforum PART 10:


<57. Ne6+> ( 0.32) <57Kc6> ( 0.32)

<58. Nd8+> ( 0.32) <58Kc7> ( 0.32)

<59. Ne6+> ( 0.32) <59Kd7> ( 0.32)

<60. Nxg7> ( 0.32) <60Ke7> ( 0.20)

<Engine preference>: <60. Kc6> ( 0.32


<61. Nh5> ( 0.20) <61Rxc4> (=-0.08)

<62. Re3+> (=-0.08) <62Kf7> (=-0.08)

<63. Rf3+> (=-0.08) <63Kg6> (=-0.08

<64. Rf6+> (=-0.08) <64Kxh5> (=-0.08)

<65. Rxd6> (=-0.08)

Draw agreed. Final position:

click for larger view


The game contained two blunders each by Schlechter (at moves 16 and 55) and Lasker (at moves 16 and 56). As each blunder adds <2.0> to the error weighting of the game, the error weighting for this game totals <<<<8.0>>>>.

Further notes by Visaya:

This was a very nervously played game by both Schlechter and Lasker! The last 5 games have been particularly nerve-wracking, and with one game to go after this, both players knew a single boo-boo would be catastrophic. Schlechter's over the board behavior seems peculiar. Apparently, presented with what was then an unusual opening, he might have tried to refute it over the board with aggressive play. When he mishandled it, he hunkered down defensively, allowing Lasker, desperate for a win, to build up a huge advantage. The nervous or exhausted Lasker in turn made two big atypical mistakes for a player of his caliber, almost like simple oversights.

Repeating my statement above:

Just remember, this is the penultimate game. Lasker is down by a point. Schlecter has a chance to KO the then invincible Lasker, World Champion for the past 16 years! To his colleagues then, Lasker loomed over the chess world as large as Kasparov, World Champion for 15 years, did in 2000. No one gave Schlecter a chance, just as all of us today did not think to give Kramnik a chance against the then invincible Kasparov. The peaceful Drawing Master of Vienna must have been astonished at his opportunity, and probably shaking in his boots!

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