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Emanuel Lasker
Number of games in database: 1,120
Years covered: 1889 to 1940
Overall record: +363 -91 =179 (71.5%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      487 exhibition games, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (178) 
    C68 C62 C66 C67 C64
 French Defense (80) 
    C11 C12 C13 C01 C14
 French (56) 
    C11 C12 C13 C10 C00
 King's Gambit Accepted (51) 
    C39 C33 C38 C37 C35
 Sicilian (48) 
    B45 B34 B40 B44 B32
 King's Gambit Declined (30) 
    C30 C31 C32
With the Black pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (109) 
    C65 C67 C66 C79 C77
 Orthodox Defense (51) 
    D53 D63 D52 D50 D60
 Giuoco Piano (32) 
    C50 C53 C54
 Queen's Pawn Game (31) 
    D05 D02 D00 D04 A46
 Sicilian (29) 
    B34 B73 B33 B45 B32
 Four Knights (21) 
    C49 C47 C48
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Lasker vs J Bauer, 1889 1-0
   Lasker vs Capablanca, 1914 1-0
   Pillsbury vs Lasker, 1896 0-1
   Lasker vs W Napier, 1904 1-0
   Marshall vs Lasker, 1907 0-1
   Euwe vs Lasker, 1934 0-1
   Lasker vs Steinitz, 1894 1-0
   Steinitz vs Lasker, 1896 0-1
   Lasker vs Schlechter, 1910 1-0
   Tarrasch vs Lasker, 1908 0-1

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: [what is this?]
   Lasker - Steinitz World Championship (1894)
   Lasker - Steinitz World Championship Rematch (1896)
   Lasker - Marshall World Championship Match (1907)
   Lasker - Tarrasch World Championship Match (1908)
   Lasker - Schlechter World Championship Match (1910)
   Lasker - Janowski World Championship Match (1910)
   Lasker - Capablanca World Championship Match (1921)

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Lasker - Bird (1890)
   St. Petersburg 1895/96 (1895)
   Nuremberg (1896)
   London (1899)
   Paris (1900)
   Lasker - Janowski (1909)
   St Petersburg (1914)
   New York (1924)
   Maehrisch-Ostrau (1923)
   St. Petersburg (1909)
   Moscow (1925)
   Hastings (1895)
   Cambridge Springs (1904)
   Moscow (1935)
   Zurich (1934)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Match Lasker! by amadeus
   The Lion King by chocobonbon
   Why Lasker Matters by Andrew Soltis by keypusher
   lasker best games by brager
   Selected Lasker by LaBourdonnaisdeux
   the informal Lasker by ughaibu
   World Champion Nr. 02: Lasker by Olanovich
   All Hail Emanuel by iron maiden
   Treasure's Ark by Gottschalk
   World Champions A-Z part 2 Lasker by kevin86
   Lasker vs the World Champions Decisive Games by visayanbraindoctor
   Lasker by vidra
   brainiac9129's favorite games by brainiac9129
   Match Steinitz! by amadeus

   Rubinstein vs Lasker, 1909
   Rubinstein vs Salwe, 1908
   Spielmann vs Rubinstein, 1909
   Tartakower vs Schlechter, 1909
   Lasker vs Teichmann, 1909

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(born Dec-24-1868, died Jan-11-1941, 72 years old) Germany

[what is this?]
Emanuel Lasker was the second official World Chess Champion, reigning for a record 27 years after he defeated the first World Champion, Wilhelm Steinitz, in 1894.

Statistician Jeff Sonas of Chessmetrics writes, "if you look across players' entire careers, there is a significant amount of statistical evidence to support the claim that Emanuel Lasker was, in fact, the most dominant player of all time." By Sonas' reckoning, Lasker was the No. 1 player in the world for a total of 24.3 years between 1890 and 1926.


He was born (on the same date as Richard Teichmann) in what was then Berlinchen (literally "little Berlin") in Prussia, and which is now Barlinek in Poland. In 1880, he went to school in Berlin, where he lived with his older brother Berthold Lasker, who was studying medicine, and who taught him how to play chess. By Chessmetrics' analysis, Berthold was one of the world's top ten players in the early 1890s.


Soon after Lasker obtained his abitur in Landsberg an der Warthe, now a Polish town named Gorzow Wielkopolski, the teenager's first tournament success came when he won the Café Kaiserhof's annual Winter tournament 1888/89, winning all 20 games. Soon afterwards, he tied with Emil von Feyerfeil with 12/15 (+11 -2 =2) at the second division tournament of the sixth DSB Congress in Breslau, defeating von Feyerfeil in the one game play-off.* Also in 1889, he came second with 6/8 (+5 -1 =2) behind Amos Burn at the Amsterdam "A" (stronger) tournament, ahead of James Mason and Isidor Gunsberg, two of the strongest players of that time. In 1890 he finished third in Graz behind Gyula Makovetz and Johann Hermann Bauer, then shared first prize with his brother Berthold in a tournament in Berlin. In spring 1892, he won two tournaments in London, the second and stronger of these without losing a game. At New York 1893, he won all thirteen games, one of a small number of significant tournaments in history in which a player achieved a perfect score. Wikipedia article: List of world records in chess#Perfect tournament and match scores

After Lasker won the title, he answered his critics who considered that the title match was by an unproven player against an aging champion by being on the leader board in every tournament before World War I, including wins at St Petersburg in 1895-96, Nurenberg 1896, London 1899, Paris 1900 ahead of Harry Nelson Pillsbury (by two points with a score of +14 −1 =1), Trenton Falls 1906, and St Petersburg in 1914. He also came 3rd at Hastings 1895 (this relatively poor result possibly occurring during convalescence after nearly dying from typhus), 2nd at Cambridge Springs in 1904, and =1st at the Chigorin Memorial tournament in St Petersburg in 1909. In 1918, a few months after the war, Lasker won a quadrangular tournament in Berlin against Akiba Rubinstein, Carl Schlechter and Siegbert Tarrasch.

After he lost the title in 1921, Lasker remained in the top rank of players, winning at Maehrisch - Ostrau (1923) ahead of Richard Reti, Ernst Gruenfeld, Alexey Sergeevich Selezniev, Savielly Tartakower, and Max Euwe. His last tournament win was at New York 1924, where he scored 80% and finished 1.5 points ahead of Jose Raul Capablanca, followed by Alexander Alekhine and Frank James Marshall. In 1925, he came 2nd at Moscow behind Efim Bogoljubov and ahead of Capablanca, Marshall, Tartakower, and Carlos Torre Repetto. There followed a long hiatus from chess caused by his intention to retire from the game, but he re-emerged in top-class chess in 1934, placing 5th in Zurich behind Alekhine, Euwe, Salomon Flohr and Bogoljubow and ahead of Ossip Bernstein, Aron Nimzowitsch, and Gideon Stahlberg. In Moscow in 1935, Lasker finished in an undefeated third place, a half point behind Mikhail Botvinnik and Flohr and ahead of Capablanca, Rudolf Spielmann, Ilia Abramovich Kan, Grigory Levenfish, Andre Lilienthal, and Viacheslav Ragozin. Reuben Fine hailed the 66-year-old Lasker's performance as "a biological miracle". In 1936, Lasker placed 6th in Moscow and finished his career later that year at Nottingham when he came =7th with 8.5/14 (+6 -3 =5), his last-round game being the following stylish win: Lasker vs C H Alexander, 1936.


Non-title matches 1889 saw his long career in match play commence, one which only ceased upon relinquishing his title in 1921. He won nearly of his matches, apart from a few drawn mini-matches, including a drawn one-game play-off match against his brother Berthold in Berlin in 1890, losing only exhibition matches with Mikhail Chigorin, Carl Schlechter and Marshall, and a knight-odds match against Nellie Showalter, Jackson Showalter's wife. In 1889, he defeated Curt von Bardeleben (+1 =2) and in 1889-90 he beat Jacques Mieses (+5 =3). In 1890, he defeated Henry Edward Bird (+7 -2 =3) and Nicholas Theodore Miniati (+3 =2 -0), and in 1891 he beat Francis Joseph Lee (+1 =1) and Berthold Englisch (+2 =3). 1892 and 1893 saw Lasker getting into his stride into the lead up to his title match with Steinitz, beating Bird a second time (5-0) Lasker - Bird (1892) , Joseph Henry Blackburne (+6 =4), Jackson Whipps Showalter (+6 -2 =2) and Celso Golmayo Zupide (+2 =1). In 1892, Lasker toured and played a series of mini-matches against leading players in the Manhattan, Brooklyn and Franklin Chess Clubs. At the Manhattan Chess Club, he played a series of three-game matches, defeating James Moore Hanham, Gustave Simonson, David Graham Baird, Charles B Isaacson, Albert Hodges, Eugene Delmar, John S Ryan and John Washington Baird; of the 24 games he played against these players he won 21, losing one to Hodges and drawing one each with Simonson and Delmar. At the Brooklyn Chess Club, Lasker played two mini-matches of two games each, winning each game against Abel Edward Blackmar and William M De Visser, and drew the first game of an unfinished match against Philip Richardson. Lasker finished 1892 at the Franklin Chess Club by playing 5 mini-matches of two games each against its leading players, winning every game against Dionisio M Martinez, Alfred K Robinson, Gustavus Charles Reichhelm and Hermann G Voigt and drawing a match (+1 -1) with Walter Penn Shipley. Shipley offered cash bonuses if he could stipulate the openings and taking up the challenge, Lasker played the Two Knight's Defense and won in 38 moves, while in the second game, Shipley won as Black in 24 moves against Lasker playing the White end of a Vienna Gambit, Steinitz variation (Opening Explorer). Shipley, who counted both Lasker and Steinitz as his friends, was instrumental in arranging the Philadelphia leg of the Lasker-Steinitz match, that being games 9, 10 and 11. 29 years later, Shipley was also the referee of Lasker’s title match with Capablanca. In 1892-3, Lasker also played and won some other matches against lesser players including Andres Clemente Vazquez (3-0), A Ponce (first name Albert) (2-0) and Alfred K Ettlinger (5-0). Also in 1893, Mrs. Nellie Showalter, wife of Jackson Showalter and one of the leading women players in the USA, defeated Lasker 5-2 in a match receiving Knight odds.

These matches pushed Lasker to the forefront of chess, and after being refused a match by Tarrasch, he defeated Steinitz for the world title in 1894 after spreadeagling the field at New York 1893. While he was World Champion, Lasker played some non-title matches, the earliest of which was a six-game exhibition match against Chigorin in 1903 which he lost 2.5-3.5 (+1 -2 =3); the match was intended as a rigorous test of the Rice Gambit, which was the stipulated opening in each game. In the midst of his four title defenses that were held between 1907 and 1910, Lasker played and won what appears to have been a short training match against Abraham Speijer (+2 =1) in 1908. Also in 1908, he played another Rice Gambit-testing match, this time against Schlechter, again losing, this time by 1-4 (+0 =2 -3), apparently prompting a rethink of the Rice Gambit as a viable weapon.** In 1909 he drew a short match (2 wins 2 losses) against David Janowski and several months later they played a longer match that Lasker easily won (7 wins, 2 draws, 1 loss). Lasker accepted a return match and they played a title match in 1910 (details below). In 1914, he drew a 2 game exhibition match against Bernstein (+1 -1) and in 1916, he defeated Tarrasch in another, clearly non-title, match by 5.5-0.5. After Lasker lost his title in 1921, he is not known to have played another match until he lost a two-game exhibition match (=1 -1) against Marshall in 1940, a few months before he died. A match between Dr. Lasker and Dr. Vidmar had been planned for 1925, but it did not eventuate.***

World Championship matches The Lasker - Steinitz World Championship (1894) was played in New York, Philadelphia, and Montreal. Lasker won with 10 wins, 5 losses and 4 draws. Lasker also won the Lasker - Steinitz World Championship Rematch (1896), played in Moscow, with 10 wins, 2 losses, and 5 draws. At one stage when Rudolf Rezso Charousek ‘s star was in the ascendant, Lasker was convinced he would eventually play a title match with the Hungarian master; unfortunately, Charousek died from tuberculosis in 1900, aged 26, before this could happen. As it turned out, he did not play another World Championship for 11 years until the Lasker - Marshall World Championship Match (1907), which was played in New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Baltimore, Chicago, Memphis. Lasker won this easily, remaining undefeated with 8 wins and 7 draws.

After a prolonged period of somewhat strained relations due to Tarrasch’s refusal of Lasker’s offer for a match, Lasker accepted Tarrasch’s challenge for the title, and the Lasker - Tarrasch World Championship Match (1908) was played in Düsseldorf and Munich, with Lasker winning with 8 wins 3 losses and five draws. In 1910, Lasker came close to losing his title when he was trailing by a full point at the tenth and last game of the Lasker - Schlechter World Championship Match (1910) (the match being played in Vienna and Berlin); Schlechter held the advantage and could have drawn the game with ease on several occasions, however, he pursued a win, ultimately blundering a Queen endgame to relinquish his match lead and allow Lasker to retain the title. Some months later, the Lasker - Janowski World Championship Match (1910) - played in Berlin - was Lasker’s final successful defense of his title, winning with 8 wins and 3 draws.

In 1912 Lasker and Rubinstein, agreed to play a World Championship match in the fall of 1914 but the match was cancelled when World War I broke out. The war delayed all further title match negotiations until Lasker finally relinquished his title upon resigning from the Lasker - Capablanca World Championship Match (1921) in Havana while trailing by four games.

Life, legacy and testimonials

Lasker’s extended absences from chess were due to his pursuit of other activities, including mathematics and philosophy. He spent the last years of the 19th century writing his doctorate. Between 1902 and 1907, he played only at Cambridge Springs, using his time in the US. It was during this period that he introduced the notion of a primary ideal, which corresponds to an irreducible variety and plays a role similar to prime powers in the prime decomposition of an integer. He proved the primary decomposition theorem for an ideal of a polynomial ring in terms of primary ideals in a paper Zur Theorie der Moduln und Ideale published in volume 60 of Mathematische Annalen in 1905. A commutative ring R is now called a 'Lasker ring' if every ideal of R can be represented as an intersection of a finite number of primary ideals. Lasker's results on the decomposition of ideals into primary ideals was the foundation on which Emmy Noether built an abstract theory which developed ring theory into a major mathematical topic and provided the foundations of modern algebraic geometry. Noether's Idealtheorie in Ringbereichen (1921) was of fundamental importance in the development of modern algebra, generalising Lasker's results by giving the decomposition of ideals into intersections of primary ideals in any commutative ring with ascending chain condition.****

After Lasker lost his title, he spent a considerable amount of time playing bridge and intended to retire. However, he returned to chess in the mid-thirties as he needed to raise money after the Nazis had confiscated his properties and life savings. After the tournament in Moscow in 1936, the Laskers were encouraged to stay on and Emanuel accepted an invitation to become a member of the Moscow Academy of Science to pursue his mathematical studies, with both he and his wife, Martha, taking up permanent residence in Moscow. At this time, he also renounced his German citizenship and took on Soviet citizenship. Although Stalin's purges prompted the Laskers to migrate to the USA in 1937, it is unclear whether they ever renounced their Soviet citizenship.

Lasker counted Albert Einstein amongst his friends. He published several chess books but as he was also a mathematician, games theorist, philosopher and even playwright, he published books in all these fields, except for the play which was performed on one occasion. As a youth, his parents had recognised his potential and sent him to study in Berlin where he also learned to play serious chess. After he graduated from high school, he studied mathematics and philosophy at the universities in Berlin, Göttingen and Heidelberg. Lasker died in the Mount Sinai Hospital, New York in 1941, aged 72, and was buried in the Beth Olom Cemetery in Queens. He was survived by his wife and his sister, Lotta. On May 6, 2008, Dr. Lasker was among the first 40 German sportsmen to be elected into the "Hall of Fame des Deutschen Sports".


"It is not possible to learn much from him. One can only stand and wonder." - <Max Euwe> Euwe lost all three of his games against Lasker, the most lopsided result between any two world champions.

"My chess hero" - <Viktor Korchnoi>

"The greatest of the champions was, of course, Emanuel Lasker" - <Mikhail Tal>

"Lies and hypocrisy do not survive for long on the chessboard. The creative combination lies bare the presumption of a lie, while the merciless fact, culminating in a checkmate, contradicts the hypocrite." – <Emanuel Lasker>


* E von Feyerfeil vs Lasker, 1889** *** User: Karpova: Emanuel Lasker (kibitz #1449) ****

Sources: Article about Lasker by J J O'Connor and E F Robertson; Obituary from the Times of London:

Notes Lasker played on the following consultation chess teams Em. Lasker / MacDonnell, Lasker / Taubenhaus, Em. Lasker / Maroczy, Em. Lasker / I Rice, Em. Lasker / Barasz / Breyer, Lasker / Pillsbury, Lasker / Chigorin / Marshall / Teichmann, Emanuel Lasker / William Ward-Higgs, Emanuel Lasker / Heinrich Wolf, Emanuel Lasker / Hermann Keidanski & L Lasker Em / Lasek.

Wikipedia article: Emanuel Lasker

 page 1 of 45; games 1-25 of 1,120  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. L Mabillis vs Lasker 0-124 1889 Breslau HauptturnierC60 Ruy Lopez
2. Lasker vs J Bauer 1-038 1889 AmsterdamA03 Bird's Opening
3. Mieses vs Lasker 0-128 1889 Berlin (Germany)C25 Vienna
4. Von Bardeleben vs Lasker 1-050 1889 BerlinC26 Vienna
5. E von Feyerfeil vs Lasker 0-147 1889 Hauptturnier play offD00 Queen's Pawn Game
6. Loman vs Lasker 0-122 1889 AmsterdamC79 Ruy Lopez, Steinitz Defense Deferred
7. Lasker vs Von Bardeleben 1-047 1889 Berlin m 8990B06 Robatsch
8. Lasker vs Burn ½-½15 1889 AmsterdamC01 French, Exchange
9. Lasker vs J Mason ½-½38 1889 AmsterdamC47 Four Knights
10. Mieses vs Lasker ½-½60 1889 Lasker - Mieses 1889/90C25 Vienna
11. V Tietz vs Lasker 0-140 1889 German Chess Congress, Hauptturnier AC79 Ruy Lopez, Steinitz Defense Deferred
12. Von Bardeleben vs Lasker  ½-½27 1889 Berlin m 8990D53 Queen's Gambit Declined
13. E von Feyerfeil vs Lasker 1-042 1889 Breslau HauptturnierC30 King's Gambit Declined
14. Gunsberg vs Lasker 0-135 1889 AmsterdamC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
15. Lasker vs Lipke 1-047 1889 Breslau (Poland)C26 Vienna
16. R Leather vs Lasker 0-156 1889 AmsterdamA07 King's Indian Attack
17. Lasker vs A van Foreest 1-050 1889 AmsterdamA04 Reti Opening
18. A Reif vs Lasker 0-113 1889 Breslau HauptturnierA02 Bird's Opening
19. Lasker vs Mieses 1-037 1889 Lasker - Mieses 1889/90A84 Dutch
20. L Van Vliet vs Lasker 1-024 1889 AmsterdamC41 Philidor Defense
21. Lasker vs Von Popiel 0-121 1889 Berlin gameC26 Vienna
22. Lasker vs Von Scheve 1-026 1890 BerlinC45 Scotch Game
23. Lasker vs Bird ½-½58 1890 Lasker - BirdB26 Sicilian, Closed, 6.Be3
24. Mieses vs Lasker ½-½33 1890 Lasker - Mieses 1889/90C25 Vienna
25. Scha / Schneppe / Schone vs Lasker 0-127 1890 Berlin consC67 Ruy Lopez
 page 1 of 45; games 1-25 of 1,120  PGN Download
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Kibitzer's Corner
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May-18-15  reti: ...and Lasker himself died very poor in New York forty-one yeras later, and funds had to be raised for the funeral expenses led by Capa and Marshall!
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <The combination is born in the brain of a Chessplayer. Many thoughts see the light there—true and false, strong and weak, sound and unsound. They are born, jostle one another, and another one of them, transformed into a move on the board, bears away the victory over its rivals> - Emanuel Lasker.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <Russia belongs to Asia, the mother of all games. You do not teach Asiatics any game you learn from them> - Emanuel Lasker (shortly after his arrival in the Soviet Union in 1933).
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <He who has a slight disadvantage plays more attentively, inventively and more boldly than his antagonist, who either takes it easy or aspires after too much. Thus a slight disadvantage is very frequently seen to convert into a good, solid advantage> – Emanuel Lasker.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: A forgotten fragment of Lasker's combinational prowess.


In the ending given below, which took place at the Cercle Lyonnaise des Echecs, the leading chess club in Paris, Lasker, the world’s champion, finished off very neatly what appears to equal game. There is difference in the number the forces on either side, but Black’s K is exposed an immediate attack, and Lasker took advantage of that to force the win. After White (Lasker) had sacrificed a R for a P, the play that follows is neat. Black — A. Mouterde."

click for larger view

1. Rxh7+ Qxh7 2. Qd4+ Re5 3. fxe5 Rxe5 4. Qxd6 and wins.

The player with Black is probably Anatole Mouterde

<Source: "Stirling Observer", Tuesday 21st December 1915, p.7>

May-27-15  thomastonk: <Chessical> If we are going to believe this source, then the "Stirling Observer" published this almost forgotten fragment only after 3 years.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: <ThomasStonk> The comment about being forgotten is mine, thus it preceded the opening speech mark. I meant 100 years later Lasker's combination deserved to be remembered.
May-27-15  thomastonk: <Chessical: The comment about being forgotten is mine> Yes, I knew that.

<I meant 100 years later Lasker's combination deserved to be remembered.> Of course, it does! I was inspired by your contribution, and I decided that it is worth some time to search for the whole game. But I found only the site given, which suggests - unfortunately without source - an earlier date (Dec-26-1912). Since this date can possibly helpful to find the game in a magazine or newspaper, I posted the information. If the surrounding text is offensive, then please accept my apologies. And if the word 'almost' is a problem: I added it only to be correct, because this blog also remembered the combination after 100 years.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: <ThomasStonk> No problems! I wonder from which source the newspaper picked up the game fragment? The writer appears to have mixed up the Lyons with a Parisian chess club.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <By some ardent enthusiasts, chess has been elevated into a science or an art. It is neither; but its principal characteristic seems to be what human nature most delights in - a fight> - Emanuel Lasker.
May-27-15  thomastonk: <Chessical: No problems.> Great.

<I wonder from which source the newspaper picked up the game fragment?> Yes, there has to be some missing link(s). Lyons has an interesting site, where I found a newspaper of Dec-27-1912, which at least mentions Lasker's visit:

Unfortunately, this is the last issue of that weekly being online.

PS: The difference between <thomastonk> and <thomasStonk> is quite significant in German; and by no means favourable.

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: In regard to the Lasker - Mouterde game, Ken Whyld's book on Lasker gives the game as being played in Lyons at the Cercle lyonnaise des echecs on December 26, 1912.

Only the fragment is given. His source is La Strategie 1913, pg. 26.

Lasker scored +23-4=3.

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <Chess would be laughable, were it not so serious> - Emanuel Lasker.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: Another found game of Lasker, and he loses: "played during Dr E.Lasker's visit to St.Paul. N.M.McLeod plays his own form of the French defence" [1].

It is interesting to see how he plays against a double fianchetto structure:

Unfortunately, the descriptive notation is difficult to follow especially in referring to Rooks by their original squares.

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d6 3. Bd3 b6 4. Nc3 Bb7 5. Nf3 g6 6. Bg5 Be7 7. Bxe7 Nxe7 8. Qd2 Qd7 9. h4 Nbc6 10. h5 O-O-O 11. O-O-O Nb4 12. Ng5 Rdf8 13. hxg6 Nxd3+ 14. Qxd3 fxg6 15. f3 h6

click for larger view

16. Nh3 g5 17. Nf2 Ng6 18. Ng4 h5 19. Ne3 Nf4 20. Qd2 Qg7 21. a4 g4 22. a5 Qg5 23. d5 exd5 24. Ncxd5 Bxd5 25. Nxd5 Ne2+ 26. Kb1 Qxd2 27. Rxd2 Ng3 28. Re1 gxf3 29. gxf3 Rxf3 30. e5 Re8 31. e6 c6 32. Nb4 Kc7 33. axb6+ axb6 34. b3 d5 35. Kb2 Rf6 36. e7 Ne4 37. Rh2 Rf5 38. Rhh1 Nf6 39. Rd1 Kd7 40. c4 d4 41. Rd2 c5 42. Nd3 Ng4 43. Re2 Rf6 44. Re4 Ne3 45. Nf4

click for larger view

Here 45...Rxe7 wins straight away, but the score as I van best construct it becomes irrational

45.. Rxf4 (Why?) 46. Rxf4 Ng2 47. Rxd4+ (Again why?)cxd4 48. Rd1 Rxe7 49. Rxd4+ Kc6 0-1

Can anyone suggest either where I have gone wrong or a reason for the otherwise chaotic end to this interesting game.

[1] New York Clipper, 31st October 1903

Jun-20-15  thomastonk: Hello <chessical>!

What do you think about 38. Reh1 Nf6 39. Re1 Kd7 40. c4 d4 41. Rd2 c5 42. Nd3 Ng4 43. Rde2 Rf6 44. Re4 Ne3 45. Nf4 Rxf4 46. Rxf4 Ng2 47. Rxd4+ cxd4 48. Rd1 Rxe7 49. Rxd4+ Kc6 0-1 ?

I've replaced White's 38th and 39th move by more logical ones, and then the rest works relatively fine, except that Lasker missed the strong 45.Ra1!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: <thomastonk> Thank you, you appear to have successfully unraveled the score.

White: Lasker
Black: N.M.McLeod
St.Pauls, MN, 1903.

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d6 3. Bd3 b6 4. Nc3 Bb7 5. Nf3 g6 6. Bg5 Be7 7. Bxe7 Nxe7 8. Qd2 Qd7 9. h4 Nbc6 10. h5 O-O-O 11. O-O-O Nb4 12. Ng5 Rdf8 13. hxg6 Nxd3+ 14. Qxd3 fxg6 15. f3 h6 16. Nh3 g5 17. Nf2 Ng6 18. Ng4 h5 19. Ne3 Nf4 20. Qd2 Qg7 21. a4 g4 22. a5 Qg5 23. d5 exd5 24. Ncxd5 Bxd5 25. Nxd5 Ne2+ 26. Kb1 Qxd2 27. Rxd2 Ng3 28. Re1 gxf3 29. gxf3 Rxf3 30. e5 Re8 31. e6 c6 32. Nb4 Kc7 33. axb6+ axb6 34. b3 d5 35. Kb2 Rf6 36. e7 Ne4 37. Rh2 Rf5 38. Reh1 Nf6 39. Re1 Kd7 40. c4 d4 41. Rd2 c5 42. Nd3 Ng4 43. Rde2 Rf6 44. Re4 Ne3 45. Nf4 Rxf4 46. Rxf4 Ng2 47. Rxd4+ cxd4 48. Rd1 Rxe7 49. Rxd4+ Kc6 0-1

I got to wondering who Lasker's opponent in the above game could be. He was obviously a strong amateur.

One possible candidate was Nicholas MacLeod. Described in the press as a prodigy and undoubtedly a strong player being Canadian champion in 1886 and 1888 ( The location (MN) also seemed right as he was Minnesota Champion in 1899.

Nicholas MacLeod had previously defeated Emanuel Lasker in an 18-board simultaneous exhibition at Quebec on November 26th, 1892. Not only was he the sole player to vanquish Lasker but he had checkmated him using two queens.

So do we have a pendant of wins over Lasker, both in some style?

Unfortunately, it is <Mc>Leod and not <Mac>Leod in the "New York Clipper" report. Further research in the "New York Clipper" reveals a report of the 20th December 1902 p.947, that he was the "managing head of the union credit company".

Based on this information I suspected that he would be well known in the city and so it would be unlikely that the newspaper would have misspelt his name. Therefore, we have two separate players. It also appeared that N M <Mc>Leod was a prominent local player "The Minneapolis Journal", March 4th, 1903, p.10 refers to him losing a match for the state championship. So, it seemed that there was even less a chance of a mix up.

Just when I had abandoned the hope that the two queens game game would have been a nice pendant piece I found the following in the "Akron Daily Democrat", August 19th, 1901, p.6;

<"McLeod Champion"> - St.Paul, Minn Aug 19 - N.M.McLeod, of St.Paul, won the Western Chess Championship at Excelsior by defeating Judge Smith, of Michigan. Mr McLeod is thirty-one years of age, he won the chess championship of Canada in 1885 and 1887, and tied for first honors in 1886. He became champion of Minnesota in 1889".

So a pendant of victories over Lasker after all?

Gossip published the two queens game in the British Chess Magazine, (game 1,148) August 1893, pages 359-360.

White: Lasker (18 board simultaneous display)
Black: Nicholas Menalaus MacLeod
Quebec, Canada, November 26th, 1892.

1. e4 e5 2. f4 d6 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. Bb5 Bd7 5. Nc3 Nf6 6. O-O Be7 7. d3 O-O 8. Kh1 Nh5 9. Bxc6 bxc6 10. Nxe5 Ng3+ 11. hxg3 dxe5 12. fxe5 Bg5 13. Qf3 Bxc1 14. Raxc1 Qg5 15. Qf4 Qh5+ 16. Kg1 Rae8 17. Kf2 f5 18. Kg1 fxe4 19. Qxe4 Rxe5 20. Rxf8+ Kxf8 21. Rf1+ Kg8 22. Qf4 h6 23. Ne4 Rf5 24. g4 Qxg4 25. Qxg4 Rxf1+ 26. Kxf1 Bxg4 27. Kf2 Kf7 28. Ke3 g5 29. Kd4 Ke6 30. Kc5 Bf5 31. Ng3 Ke5 32. Kxc6 Be6 33. a4 Bd5+ 34. Kxc7 Bxg2 35. b4 Kf4 36. Nh5+ Ke3 37. b5 Bf3 38. Ng7 h5 39. a5 h4 40. b6 axb6 41. axb6 h3 42. Nh5 h2 43. Ng3 Kf2 44. Ne4+ Bxe4 45. dxe4 h1=Q 46. b7 Qh7+ 47. Kc8 Qh8+ 48. Kc7 Qg7+ 49. Kc8 Qf8+ 50. Kc7 Qc5+ 51. Kd8 Qd6+ 52. Kc8 Qc6+ 53. Kb8 g4 54. c4 g3 55. c5 g2 56. Ka7 g1=Q 57. e5 Qa1+ 58. Kb8 Qe8+ 59. Kc7 Qa5+ 60. Kd6 Qad8#

click for larger view

Jun-20-15  thomastonk: <Chessical> Maybe the following helps: "N.M. McLeod, of St. Paul, is the managing head of the Union Credit Company."

Source: NY Clipper 1902-12-20, within an article on chess.

About <N M <Mc>Leod was a prominent local player "The Minneapolis Journal", March 4th, 1903, p.10 refers to him losing a match for the state championship.>: I've found something similar, but slightly different.

"Jos. I. Joilett, of St.Paul, won the championship of Minnesota in the recent tourney ; second prisn[sic], R. P. Eillott ; third prize, N. M. McLeod."

Source: NY Clipper, 1903-03-21.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: How important a mathematician was Lasker? He has a theorum and "Lasker Rings" named after him. Yet he seems to have struggled to become a tenured academic.

Jun-21-15  thomastonk: <Chessical: How important a mathematician was Lasker?> Lasker's mathematics and its impact have been described by Joachim Rosenthal, Professor for Applied Mathematics in Zurich, in an article "Der Mathematiker Emanuel Lasker", published in "Emanuel Lasker - Denker, Weltenbürger, Schachweltmeister", ed. by Forster, Hansen and Negele, 2009 (see For some reason, the one month engagement at Tulane University, New Orleans in spring 1893 is not covered properly there. So far as I remember, this subject is better treated in "Emanuel Lasker - Schach, Philosophie, Wissenschaft", ed. by Dreyer and Sieg, 2001.

Lasker's less successful attempts for getting tenured appear 'here and there', e.g. the Manchester episode was described by Tony Gillam in the first book mentioned.

In the chess column of NY Clipper, 1903-03-21, which I already quoted yesterday, there is also the following:

<"Max Judd, is said to be the deus ex machina for securing Dr. Lasker a professorship in St.Louis; but whether the doctor is really secured seems an open question just yet.">

I think successful research in this direction is still possible, but it is time-saving to consult the existing articles. Some people may regret that all this is written in German, but there is good news - at least in the long run.

From the homepage of the Ken Whyld Foundation & Association: <"The Lasker book project - a new 3-volume edition of the Emanuel Lasker monograph in English - will officially start on 1st of July 2015. The first volume is scheduled to be published in the Lasker year 2018 (150th birthday of Em. Lasker, but also of Richard Teichmann; moreover the 200th birthday of Tassilo von Heydebrand und der Lasa and of Adolf Anderssen!). Volume II and III should appear in 2019 and 2020 respectively.">

Furthermore, the German Chess Federation is trying to convince FIDE to declare 2018 the "year of Lasker" (Laskerjahr, some details can be found here

Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: <thomastonk> Thank you for leading me to <"Emanuel Lasker: Thinker, Citizen of the world, World Chess Champion">. In Chapter 9, there is a critique of Lasker's mathematical work by Dr. Joachim Rosenthal, professor of Applied Mathematics at the University of Zurich.

He advances the view that Lasker made notable contributions to mathematics: (Ring Theory and Game Theory). Here are some extracts, (the translation of which could undoubtedly be improved!)

<"Our exploration of the mathematical work of Emanuel Lasker has shown that he is an extremely versatile mathematician and author of essential work in various fields. His main work on the Primary Decomposition Theorem (1905) characterizes to this day the mathematical research...furthermore he made contributions to Game Theory at a point in time when there was not even the pretension of any forthcoming mathematical theory.">

He also accounts for Lasker's difficulties in securing academic tenure: the English climate disagreed with Lasker (ending his lectureship at Manchester); mathematics was not an overwhelming interest and periodically his enthusiasm with it flagged; Lasker did not want to be tied down and he also had to contend with a general background of anti-Semitic prejudice.

<"His academic achievements particularly his dissertation and his Theory of Modules and Ideals (1905) should have been a sufficient basis for him to be offered a professorship at a good university. In Germany, however, he lacked a "Habilitation" (a qualification to lecture -ed.) while in England and the United States many academic posts were primarily lectureships with a large teaching load and with little time for research and travel...

Conversely, his mathematical professional résumé was probably too little developed to successfully apply to one of the few places at the top American universities, which, at that time, would have certainly been a very attractive prospect.">

Aug-02-15  Whitemouse: the greatest of all Emmanuel Lasker.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Quote of the Day

"Lasker's style was like clear limpid water--with a dash of poison in it!"

-- Rudolf Spielmann

Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: from Anthony Santasiere's Essay on Chess..

<World Champion Lasker - an exhibition game - in a profound combination, sacrificed his Queen, but his opponent refused to take it. Lasker finally won, and then asked him: "Why didn't you take my Queen? It was yours for nothing." "What?!" exclaimed the other, "take your Queen? And give myself a doubled pawn?!">


Premium Chessgames Member
  NeverAgain: The NN in that simul must have been aaroNNimzovich, eh? :D
Aug-28-15  WTHarvey: I posted 26 checkmate puzzles from the games of Emanuel Lasker @ What's the winning move ?
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