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Emanuel Lasker
Number of games in database: 1,102
Years covered: 1889 to 1940
Overall record: +361 -91 =180 (71.4%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      470 exhibition games, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (175) 
    C68 C62 C66 C67 C64
 French Defense (79) 
    C11 C12 C13 C01 C14
 French (56) 
    C11 C12 C13 C00 C10
 King's Gambit Accepted (48) 
    C39 C33 C38 C37 C35
 Sicilian (48) 
    B45 B34 B40 B32 B58
 King's Gambit Declined (30) 
    C30 C31 C32
With the Black pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (107) 
    C65 C67 C66 C79 C77
 Orthodox Defense (51) 
    D53 D63 D52 D50 D60
 Queen's Pawn Game (31) 
    D05 D02 D00 D04 A46
 Giuoco Piano (31) 
    C50 C53 C54
 Sicilian (28) 
    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)
   Nuremberg (1896)
   St. Petersburg 1895/96 (1895)
   Paris (1900)
   London (1899)
   Lasker - Janowski (1909)
   St Petersburg (1914)
   New York (1924)
   Maehrisch - Ostrau (1923)
   St Petersburg (1909)
   Moscow (1925)
   Hastings (1895)
   Cambridge Springs (1904)
   Zurich (1934)
   Nottingham (1936)

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
   All Hail Emanuel by iron maiden
   Chess World Champion Nr. 2: Lasker by Olanovich
   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
   Match Steinitz! by amadeus
   4-Ruy Lopez by classicalwin2

   Rubinstein vs Lasker, 1909
   Rubinstein vs Salwe, 1908
   Spielmann vs Rubinstein, 1909
   Tartakower vs Schlechter, 1909
   Rubinstein vs Mieses, 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 exact same day 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 2 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 was still in the top rank of players, winning at Moravská Ostrava in 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 into front line 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, he was 3rd, undefeated, 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), 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 ****

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 1,103  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. E von Feyerfeil vs Lasker  1-042 1889 Breslau HauptturnierC30 King's Gambit Declined
2. Loman vs Lasker 0-122 1889 AmsterdamC79 Ruy Lopez, Steinitz Defense Deferred
3. Lasker vs Von Bardeleben 1-047 1889 Berlin m 8990B06 Robatsch
4. A Reif vs Lasker  0-113 1889 Breslau HauptturnierA02 Bird's Opening
5. Lasker vs Burn ½-½15 1889 AmsterdamC01 French, Exchange
6. Mieses vs Lasker ½-½60 1889 Lasker - Mieses 1889/90C25 Vienna
7. Von Bardeleben vs Lasker  ½-½27 1889 Berlin m 8990D53 Queen's Gambit Declined
8. Gunsberg vs Lasker 0-135 1889 AmsterdamC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
9. L Mabillis vs Lasker 0-124 1889 Breslau HauptturnierC60 Ruy Lopez
10. Lasker vs Lipke 1-047 1889 Breslau (Poland)C26 Vienna
11. Lasker vs J Mason ½-½38 1889 AmsterdamC47 Four Knights
12. V Tietz vs Lasker 0-140 1889 German Chess Congress, Hauptturnier AC79 Ruy Lopez, Steinitz Defense Deferred
13. Lasker vs Mieses 1-037 1889 Lasker - Mieses 1889/90A84 Dutch
14. E von Feyerfeil vs Lasker 0-147 1889 Hauptturnier play offD00 Queen's Pawn Game
15. Lasker vs A van Foreest 1-050 1889 AmsterdamA04 Reti Opening
16. R Leather vs Lasker 0-156 1889 AmsterdamA07 King's Indian Attack
17. Lasker vs J Bauer 1-038 1889 AmsterdamA03 Bird's Opening
18. Von Bardeleben vs Lasker 1-050 1889 BerlinC26 Vienna
19. Mieses vs Lasker 0-128 1889 Berlin (Germany)C25 Vienna
20. Lasker vs Von Popiel 0-121 1889 Berlin gameC26 Vienna
21. L Van Vliet vs Lasker 1-024 1889 AmsterdamC41 Philidor Defense
22. Bird vs Lasker 0-122 1890 Lasker - BirdA03 Bird's Opening
23. Lasker vs Bird 1-038 1890 Lasker - BirdA81 Dutch
24. Lasker vs Mieses 1-039 1890 Lasker - Mieses 1889/90D21 Queen's Gambit Accepted
25. Lasker vs N Miniati  ½-½47 1890 Lasker - MiniatiC11 French
 page 1 of 45; games 1-25 of 1,103  PGN Download
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Kibitzer's Corner
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Apr-02-14  capafischer1: Capablanca was without a doubt the most accurate and the hardest to beat and the least to blunder of all the world champions. Look up and google a 2011 study by chessbase which was conducted by shredder, crafty and deep rybka. Lasker was a great player indeed but not greater than capa. 6 wins to 2 in capa's favor in lifetime too. I am speaking of pure facts backed up by scientific data not blind devotion. Are you reading this FSR???
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <capafischer1> As you know, I have already answered your arguments at great length, furnishing my own arguments and links to support them. Until you can come up with something new, we're done.
Apr-03-14  ughaibu: Poulsen: this game Bogoljubov vs G A Thomas, 1925 follows the Kramnik vs. Anand game till move twelve. I don't think there's any difficulty, from the techincal point of view, with imagining Lasker playing such an opening.
Apr-03-14  capafischer1: FSR. you have to understand that Lasker is one of my all time favorite chess players and there is a great book by John Nunn on his games coming out. Check it out. I don't know if you know this fact but in 1906 when capa beat lasker in a blitz tournament and naturally won the tournament , lasker himself told Capablanca , it is amazing you never seem to make any mistakes. but seriously you asked me proof for my argument and I gave it to you. Please look it up. also you probably might have played over 200 of lasker games , but how many of capablanca games have you played over?? Remember that study by 3 different super engines concluded that capa was the hardest to beat and least likely blunder plus making the most accurate moves in difficult positions. by the way did you know that lasker is buried next to robert Oppenheimer in new york? Fun fact for you
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: That is a book I will buy in a nanosecond.
Apr-03-14  john barleycorn: <perfidious: That is a book I will buy in a nanosecond.>

Buy 2 and send one :-).

Apr-03-14  john barleycorn: <capafischer1: by the way did you know that lasker is buried next to robert Oppenheimer in new york?>

Oppenheimer is buried next to Lasker as Lasker moved to his permanent residence some 25 years earlier.

Apr-03-14  capafischer1: Check should be released by mid April. it is a complete course based on his games.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Nunn, in his best games collection authored in the mid 1990s, wrote that it was unfortunate that no good collection of Lasker's games existed.

Believe he mentioned that '....someday, perhaps, I will write it myself'.

Given Nunn's oft-demonstrated capabilities as a writer, I can hardly wait to see what he reveals to the chess world.

Apr-03-14  john barleycorn:
Premium Chessgames Member
  Karpova: Dr. Emanuel Lasker visited the Vienna Chess Club from December 19 to 21, 1908.

First, he played simultaneously against Dr. Meitner, Krejcik and Reti. He beat Reti and Krejcik, and drew Dr. Meitner.

On December 20, he played a 16-board Simul, scoring +13 -2 =1 after 4 hours. He lost to Krejcik and S. Tartakower, and drew Nikolaus von Döry. Among his opponents were L. Horowitz, S. R. Wolf and S. Pollak.

At the end, he held a lecture about some of his games from the Tarrasch match.

On December 22, Dr. Lasker lectured about "Chess and Life" (<Schach und Leben>) in the Cafe Zentral (Vienna, I. Herrengasse), followed by a 17-board Simul. He scored +14 -1 =2. Adam Zuk von Skarszewski managed a draw, a Russian named Friedmann won.

Source: 'Wiener Schachzeitung', January 1909, pp. 27-28

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Lasker is possibly the best player of all time. Here is one reason : until about 1928 the chances of playing the world champion were pretty small. So if one had the chance one had to try really hard! If you beat Lasker in a game that might increase your chances of a match taking place.

Nowadays, they play more often. A draw is not serious.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: John Nunn has just published his book <JOHN NUNN’S CHESS COURSE> giving a chess course based entirely on Lasker's games. I probably won't be getting it.

But I thought, I wonder if Nunn is thinking of doing a series? Perhaps each world champion would get his own book.

It is possible even with the exclusion of Steinitz, who might have been avoided owing to the lack of modern strategy in his games. Nunn is famous for not (in general) using old games in his books.

Jul-08-14  Everett: Yeah, Lasker would have a mountain to climb regarding current theory. I mean, he would have to learn the Berlin Ruy with all those endgame principles. He would likely just be at sea looking at the positions in the latest WC.


Aug-01-14  MissScarlett: <I studied whether Wilhelm Steinitz, the world’s first chess champion, was related to Emanuel Lasker who was the second world chess champion and took over Steinitz. Both of them were Jewish so I figured they might actually be closely related, something that was never realized until now. The answer is affirmative! The two of them are related although I don’t think they realized it themselves back then!

Here is the precise connection between Lasker and Steinitz:>

Aug-01-14  RookFile: <Everett: Yeah, Lasker would have a mountain to climb regarding current theory. I mean, he would have to learn the Berlin Ruy with all those endgame principles. He would likely just be at sea looking at the positions in the latest WC.

NOT. >

Well said.

Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: <offramp: John Nunn has just published his book <JOHN NUNN’S CHESS COURSE> giving a chess course based entirely on Lasker's games.>

A pleasant surprise to me. GM Nunn has in the past been known to make statements that denigrate pre WW2 masters. Larsen was another such player, making statements that he would have bested all of them easily. Perhaps Nunn has been changing his attitude then.

Larsen's attitude was totally unfounded given that in his youth, some of the pre-WW2 masters were still around; and he had the opportunity to actually play them competitively. Against the best of them, he came out a loser:

Mikhail Botvinnik beat Bent Larsen 3 to 2, with 3 draws.

Paul Keres beat Bent Larsen 2 to 0, with 4 draws.

In the game below Larsen's disrespect for pre WW2 Keres shows and Keres punishes him for it.

Larsen vs Keres, 1972

In his later years, Larsen got to play a young Nunn. Again it was the older master who turned in a better score.

Bent Larsen beat John Nunn 2 to 0, with 4 draws.

I believe the simple explanation for these scores is that Botvinnik and Keres were simply stronger chess players than Larsen, even in their later years. And Larsen was a stronger player than Nunn. It does not matter that Botvinnik and Keres became top players before WW2. Chess rules and principles don't change. The pre-WW2 masters knew them as well as any one today. If their careers took them all the way to the 1970s, with its newer opening, no problem- they learned the new openings just as the younger masters did. It's not as if the younger players had different brains than them.

Good chess players will produce good games, irrespective of the era they were born in because chess rules and principles have stayed the same for more than a hundred years. Here is Victor the Terrible, born before WW2, at 80 years of age producing a beautiful game against one of the rising stars of 21st century chess.

Caruana vs Korchnoi, 2011

Now imagine a Korchnoi in his full powers as a chess master in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. Such a player would undoubtedly be as much of a terror now as he was then.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <visayan> In Nunn's 1994 book of his best games, he noted with regret that no good collection of Dr Lasker's games existed, writing that perhaps one day he would do one himself.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Everett: Yeah, Lasker would have a mountain to climb regarding current theory. I mean, he would have to learn the Berlin Ruy with all those endgame principles. He would likely just be at sea looking at the positions in the latest WC.


Tersely stated, but correct.

Oct-03-14  Howard: No good collection of Lasker's games exists?! What about Why Lasker Matters, by Andrew Soltis----came out about ten years ago. It also got reasonably good reviews.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <Why Lasker Matters> is an excellent book.
Oct-09-14  john barleycorn: Interesting read by Kmoch

Oct-09-14  MissScarlett: <Mr. Lederer declared that during chess games Dr. Lasker smokes long black five cent cigars and blows the smoke across the table, “indulging in virtual gas attacks on his opponents.” Very fine Havanas are smoked by Dr. Lasker when not playing chess, Mr. Lederer declared.>

Read more:

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  perfidious: At Lasker's death in 1941, how did the magazine <Deutsche Schachblaetter> report it?

It was never mentioned by that publication in his native land, per Winter.

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  TheFocus: The following game was presented in the <London Chess Fortnightly> . Presented as "fact."

NN - Lasker

1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.d3 Nf6 4.b3 d5 5.Bg5 dxe4 6.Nxe4 Nxe4 7.Bxd8 Bb4+ 8.Ke2 Nc3+ 9.Ke1 Nd4 10.Qd2 Bg4 11.Bg5 Ne4 12.Qxb4 Nc2 mate.

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