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Emanuel Lasker vs Max Euwe
Nottingham (1936), Nottingham ENG, rd 13, Aug-25
Slav Defense: Quiet Variation. Schallopp Defense (D12)  ·  1-0



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Given 55 times; par: 59 [what's this?]

Annotations by Alexander Alekhine.      [77 more games annotated by Alekhine]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: As late as 1937, no less a figure than Capablanca said that Lasker was too old for a match, but that in a single game, he remained the most dangerous player in the world.
Jan-27-06  whatthefat: I'd be sick for days if I was swindled like that.
May-21-06  RaggieB: 23...Ba5 was aserious blunder on Euwe's part. Perhaps beeter would have been Kd5 to add pressure to teh somewhat weak d4 pawn.

The game went from aclear draw to an unthinkable loss.

Apr-01-07  Marmot PFL: Lasker should have asked for a title match after this game. Euwe could play him, and what could Alekhine do? After all he played Bogo twice and ducked Capablanca for years.

<perfidious> Capa was also over the hill by then, and not in great health. Botvinnik, Fine, Reshevsky or Keres would have beaten either of them in a match.

Mar-16-08  Knight13: 23...Ba5 is oversight. I might've played that move! It's not like we amateurs would spot 24. b4 that easily.
Nov-08-08  Fanacas: He could have ben short on time.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: This blunderful game was the last in Euwe's negative trifecta (0-3) against Lasker - the only such record between world champions.
Aug-07-09  birthtimes: In his analysis, Alekhine missed a simple combination that would have won Euwe the exchange on the 14th move. Alekhine writes, "White had no objective reason to avoid a draw, as the alternative 13. Rxe4 Qf6 would now offer him attacking chances."

But if 13. Rxe4 then 13...Nc5!! wins Black the exchange since 14. dxc5 would trigger 14...Bxh2+ and White would lose his Queen on the next move!

Strange how even great attacking masters miss a few, every now and then. And yet Lasker, who was 67 years old at the time of this game, probably saw this in a heartbeat!

Aug-18-09  WhiteRook48: did you get that from a computer?
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Marmot PFL> Who said anything about Capablanca playing a match? If you read my remarks carefully, Capa's statement was a compliment to Lasker's great understanding. Of course Capa would have likely have lost to all the youngsters whom you name in a set match, and Lasker certainly would have.

<birthtimes> Alekhine was known to do his analysis without benefit of a board at times-there was a comical oversight in the book he wrote on the New York 1924 event.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <Capa was also over the hill by then, and not in great health. Botvinnik, Fine, Reshevsky or Keres would have beaten either of them in a match.>

That may be the case, but such a match never came. As it went in this great tournament, we can admire the fact that Capa finished a joint first and Lasker, placing in a middle of the field, performed most honorably.

Jun-22-13  RookFile: Euwe really had a very strong Nottingham tournament. Had he just drawn this game, which was certainly possible, he would have tied for first.
Jun-22-13  SimonWebbsTiger: @<rookfile>

It had to be round 13, unlucky for some!

The 1962 Dover edition of the tournament book I possess has a nice round by round commentary by J.A. MacKenzie at the front. Capablanca drew level with Botvinnik on 9 the day after this game (he had a postponed game with Vidmar, which he won). So Euwe, even with a draw here, would have been a half point behind in the standings with a couple of rounds to go; he played Botvinnik and drew in round 14.

Alekhine might be a tadge unlucky because he had the bye in the last round.

Jun-22-13  RookFile: A draw in this game gives Euwe 10 points overall, though, figuring that all his other results were the same.
Jun-22-13  SimonWebbsTiger: @<rookfile>

you should check out the last round games; Botvinnik-Winter, Capablanca-Bogolyubov and Thomas-Euwe. Talk about last round fever!

Euwe ought to have lost, Capa' blundered but had a saving resource, Winter could have played for a win. As Alekhine remarked about the latter, it was a shame such an important game remained a torso.

I guess tiredness was setting in. The only breaks were: the bye (Euwe's was in round 3), a Garden Party on the 19th August and a free day on the 26th. (Nottingham ran from 10-28 August.)

Oct-01-13  thomastonk: Euwe on his mistake: "I had just quitted the bishop, when I saw it. Lasker looked at the move. Then he noted the move on his scoresheet and appended a question mark. Then he went on for ten minutes thinking and appended another question mark. Only then he played b4."

From "De zuiverste liefde is die tussen een man en zijn paard. Interviews met schakers." by Max Pam, Amsterdam 1975. (I'm sorry for my bad translation).

Oct-01-13  JimNorCal: <thomastonk>: Great story, thank you. One can vividly imagine the wordless "conversation" between the two.

Euwe must have been squirming!

Oct-01-13  JimNorCal: Speaking of which, there are various sports-related humiliations.

An "own goal" in hockey or futbol. Swing-and-miss strikeout in American baseball and so on.

But it is SO painful to make a bad move, realize the flaw a moment later and then sit in misery, twisting in the wind, knowing your opponent has spotted the mistake and is contemplating the various options available to punish you...

Oct-15-13  Infohunter: <kevin86: I thought I had seen this one before! It is in A Horowitz' book:Chess Traps,Pitfalls,and Swindles. It is the kind of trap to fall into,if you are trying to be "too cute">

No doubt you DID see this game before, but not in that book. I just checked my copy thoroughly, and it is not there.

Feb-22-14  devere: <tacticsjokerxxx: Lasker was lucky in this game, it's not much more notable than that.>

As a chess player he was lucky for almost 50 years.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: I Love Euwe. (An understandable sentiment for Lasker, who always beat Euwe.)
Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: Lasker and Euwe played three classical games against each other, according to this database - and all three games ended with a Lasker win.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Telemus: I just observed that some databases have a different game score: 27.♔e2 instead of 27.♔e3 here.

♔e2 is confirmed by some newspapers, say "Haagsche Courant", "Delftsche Courant" and "Nieuwsblad van het Norden", all 27 August 1936, and also "The Times", 29 August 1936.

So far I have found ♔e3 only in secondary material.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <How Max Euwe Got His Name>, from my forthcoming book <Great Chess Stories That I Just Made Up>.

The man who had wrested the world championship from Alekhine in 1935 was at that time known simply as "Max" - much like Prince, Madonna, and Cher in later years.

The position below was reached in Lasker-Max, Nottingham 1936. Lasker has just played 23.Kd3 and offered a draw. Max, having been cracked off by Lasker in both of their two prior games, is eager for revenge. Declining the draw offer, he plays 23...Ba5??

click for larger view

The spectators, horrified by this crass blunder, exclaim "Euwwwwe!" Lasker takes a nanosecond to play 24.b4! Bxb4 25.Nc2, winning a piece. Max loses, finishing half a point out of first. But at least he finally gets a last name. (Apart from the claims about the spectators and the name, and possibly the nanosecond, this story is true.)

May-08-21  Caissanist: It's not often that a sitting world champion loses a game where you think "this would be a good Wednesday or Thursday puzzle", but I'd say that's the case here. The kind of tactic you might fall for playing blitz.
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