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Emanuel Lasker vs Alexander Alekhine
St. Petersburg (1914), St. Petersburg RUE, rd 1, May-10
Queen's Gambit Declined: Albin Countergambit. Normal Line (D08)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
May-04-04  InspiredByMorphy: <Gypsy> Impressive work! It influenced me to spend some time coming up with the following. Blacks not as bad off as one might think :)With 34. ... Rf8 - 31. Bg5 Re8 32. Bf6 d3 33. exd3 Nxf2 34. Bd4 Rf8 35.Bg2 Nxh3 36. Bxh3 Rf3 37. Rb5 Rfxh3+ <if 34...Nxd3 35.Ra5> Believe me, this is worth checking out! 35. Ra5 c5 36. bxc5 Rh4 37. Ra4 Nf4 38. Kg3 Rxh3+ and now if 39.Kxf4 Rf8+ 40.Kg4 Rhxf3 leaves black with a drawable position. Therefore black can play something a little fancier, aquiring the safe effect quicker, knowing a draw is in the waiting. 39. Kg4 Rxf3! <34...Nxh3 35.Kg3> 34. ... Nxh3 35. Kg3 Rd8 36. Re5 Rhh8 37. Re4 Rhf8 threatening 38. ... Rxf3+ 39.Kxf3 Ng5+ winning the rook. Therefore 38. Be3 Rxd3 39. Be2 Rdd8 40. Kxh3 Rde8 41. Bd3 Rf3+ 42. Kg4 Rxe3 and a draw is soon, but it has been a very full of life draw! <34...Rxh3 35.Kg2> 35. ... Rxf3! 36. Kxf3 Nxd3 37. Rc3 Ne5+ leaves a draw in sight for black. 35. ... Rd6 36. Bf3 Rxd3 37. Rd5 Rxh3+ 38. Kxh3 Rxf3+ 39. Kg2 <33.Rf8 34.Bxd1 Rxf6 35.Kg3 Rhf7> I prefer a more bold line for black than what results from 35. ... Rhf7. Instead I would play 35. ... Rd6 36. Bf3 Rxd3 37. Rd5 Rxh3+ ! 38. Kxh3 Rxf3+ <33.exd3 Rf7!? I probably would prefer to play the White side of this instead of Black.> 33. exd3 Rf7 34. Bc6 Re2 35. Rd5 Rf8 36. Kg3 Rxf2 wins black a pawn. < 31. Bg5 Re8 32. Rd5 > 32. Rd5 Nxf2 33. Rxd4 (not h4, Ill show why next) Nxh3 34. Bh4 Ng5 and now if 35.Kg3 Nxf3 36.exf3 Kxb7 wins black the more important pawn, therefore - 35. Bc6 Rxe2+ wins black a pawn anyway, but its a less crucial one, and it lets whites light squared bishop escape the exchange, in turn keeping the b7 pawn guarded. With 33.h4, I like the position which arises from 33. ... Ne4 better. 33. h4 Ne4 34. Kh3 Nxg5+ 35. Rxg5 Re6 36. Rd5 c6 37. Rxd4 Rxb7 leaves white with a cramped position. <31. Bg5 Re8 32. Rd5 Nc3?! and either 33.Rxd4 Nxe2 34.Rd8+ Rxd8 35.Bxd8> 35. ... Rf7 36. Bg2 Rxf2 wins a pawn for black. Wow, what a lengthy kibitz! <And I am tired as dog; over to you guys.> Dido! :)
May-04-04  InspiredByMorphy: <ughaibu> <How about replying to black's 31....Re8 with 32.Bc6> - 32. Bc6 Rxe2 wins a pawn. 33. Rd5 <The idea is to prevent the king escaping via c7 and to allow the rook to use d5 without blocking the white long diagonal> Blacks next move counters whites threat of 34.Rd8+ , and true white then wins a pawn but so does black in the process. 33. ... Rh8 34. Rxd4 Nxf2 35. Bg2 Nxh3 36. Bf6 Nf4+ 37. Bxh8 Rxg2+ leaves black with the better game.
May-04-04  capanegra: My book say that Blacks mistake was 26Nc3? just like <Calli>s annotator. However, instead of 26R6d7, claims 26Nxf2! with the possible continuation 27.Bxd6 Rxd6 28.Qe8+ Rd8 29.Qe5 Qxe5 30.Rxe5 d3! 31.exd3 Nxd3 32.Re4 g5 33.Re6 Nf5 34.Rxh6 Nxg2 35.Kxg2 Rd3 with a difficult job for White to win in the ending.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: <InspiredByMorphy>,<Gypsy>,and <Ughaibu> in the proliferation of variations from the stem game after <25...Re6> (instead of 25.Nxd1 as played) it seems that Black can hold the draw. To recap:

<25...Re6>26.Qf3 Bh2+ 27.Kxh2 Qxf3 28.Bxf3 Nxd1 29.Bf4 Re7 30.Bxh6 Rh7 31.Bg5:

Now <InspiredByMorphy> suggests:

31...Re8 32.Bf6 d3 33.exd3 Nxf2 34.Bd4 Rf8 35.Bg2 Nxh3 36.Bxh3 Rf3 37.Rb5 Rfxh3+ <38.Kg2> Rh2+ 39.Kg1 Rh1+ 40.Kg2 R7h2+ 41.Kf3 Rh3+ 42.Ke2 R3h2+ 43.Kf3 which is a draw.

In the above line, if <34...Nxd3> 35.Ra5 c5 36. bxc5 Rh4 37.Ra4 Nf4 38. Kg3 Rxh3+ is also a draw

<Gypsy> Your idea 31...Rf8 <32.Rd5!> Nxf2 33.h4 Ne4 also looks equal

By move 25 it seems that Black is surviving.White should be able to do better.So, looking further back, I suggest the following as a possible way forward for White:

From the stem game instead of 21.gxf4 I sugest playing <21.Bc1> fxg3 22.fxg3 Nf5 23.Rf3 Ne3 24.Bxe3 dxe3 25.Rc6!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <variations from the stem game after <25...Re6> (instead of 25.Nxd1 as played) it seems that Black can hold the draw> I concur with that assessment.

<From the stem game instead of 21.gxf4 I sugest playing <21.Bc1> fxg3 22.fxg3 Nf5 23.Rf3 Ne3 24.Bxe3 dxe3 25.Rc6!> I will look at it too, but I may be a bit slow on the draw. (Current alergy season turned me into a sniveling watery-red-eyed zombie.)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <instead of 21.gxf4 I sugest playing <21.Bc1> fxg3 22.fxg3 Nf5 23.Rf3 Ne3 24.Bxe3 dxe3 25.Rc6!> A clever trap. In view of the Rc6! shocker, 23...Ne3? seems to be a mistake. The bait is tempting though and Ne3? is easy to fall for. How do you continue if Black plays <22...g5> or <22...Nd5>?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: <Gypsy> I think that White can still preserve an advantage in both variations:

<21.Bc1> fxg3 22.fxg3 <g5> 23.Rc5 Nd5 24.Qf5 c6 25.b5

<21.Bc1> fxg3 22.fxg3 <Nd5> 23.Rf3 g5 24.Rc5 Ne3 25.Bxe3 dxe3 26.Qh7 R6d7 27.Qe4

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <I think that White can still preserve an advantage in both variations:> Yes, it may not be a winning advantage, but I would like to play White in both variations.

I guess it is my turn to put up a couple of ideas.

First, I take the liberty to outline a finish to the "trap" line given above. The path to win there is still somewhat subtle. After the <21.Bc1 fxg3 22.fxg3 Nf5 23.Rf3 Ne3 24.Bxe3 dxe3 25.Rc6>, Black only reasonable defense is <25...Qd7>, but, on the surface of it, it seems adequate. Since White has to liquidate into an endgame: <26.Rxd6 Qxd6 27.Qxd6 cxd6> (only pawn should take), Black looks safe because of the bishops of different colors. The catch is that White b7 pawn is too strong and ties up the Black king and rook too much. White wins additional pawn(s) and marches down his own pawns on the K-side. A plausible continuation is <28.Kh2 h5 29.h4 Bd4 30.Rf4> and Black has to start droping pawns. After <30...Be5 31.Re4> or <30...Bb6 31.Rf6>, White will be up two pawns while his b7 pawn continues to tie up Black forces.

My second thought is that, after <21.Bc1>, the <21...gxf3> is impulsive and probably rash. I recomend for atention the move <21...g5> instead. It is dangerous for White to open up the g-file by <22.gxf4 gxf4>. In addition to the g-file, Black gains advanced squares f5 and h4 for his knight. If White tries to block the pawn chains by <22.g4>, Black can either open the h-file (Rh8, h5, Ng6-h4 in some order), or play more in the center by <22...Nd5> with transfers either to c3 or to f6 in the air.

May-06-04  Benjamin Lau: Wow, you guys did a lot of analysis since I last kibitzed here. I am totally lost! I will come back to this page after I have some more time.
Jun-17-05  Knight13: Looks like there's a good side of having a White pawn on b7 and a bad side of having a White pawn on b7 for Black.
Aug-28-06  Chess Lou Zer: Here's a great game in today's featured opening.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: I noted the moves 25...Re6 and 26...Nxf2 have already been analyzed as drawing posibilities for Black.

A review by Fritz 9 found an additional line that should lead to a draw for Black.

Fritz preferred the move 25...Bh2+, and then 26.Kxh2 Nxd1, and gave an evaluation of (.23) (19 ply), with a suggested continuation of 27.Bxh6 Nxf2 28.Qf4 Qxf4+ 29.Bxf4 Rd7 30.Bg5 Rh8 31.Kg3.

Fritz's evaluation was now (.07) (18 ply) with a suggested continuation of 31...Rf8 32.Bf3 Nd1 33.h4 Nc3 with an updated evaluation of (-.03) (17 ply).

I believe Black also draws after 31...Nd1 32.Bc6 Rh7 33.h4 Ne3 34.b5 Nf5+ 35.Kg4 Rh5 36.Re5 Nxh4.

To maintain his winning advantage, Lasker should have played 23.Qc4 Qxc4 24.Rxc4.

Aug-28-06  kinghunt72: HEY PEOPLE, did anyone notice that after 31... Qxd3, White can play 32. Qxc7 checkmate??!!!!
Aug-29-06  positionalgenius: <kinghunt>Thats funny.See 32...Kxc7 for refutation.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ketchuplover: You definitely live up to your name :)
Apr-21-09  paladin at large: A very complex game, as kibitzers have noted. One feature which stands out is Lasker's efficiency - the bishop makes one move, 11. Bg2 and stands tall for the entire game, protecting the king, aiming down the long diagonal and protecting the pawn on b7 and back rank threats against black's king.
Jun-05-10  True2theGame: A masterful chess duel by two of the worlds most brilliant chess minds! I'll have to find a way to work that 27. Bxd6 sacrifice for mate or material into some of "my" considerably less brilliant blitz games!!!
Jul-23-13  jerseybob: Great work from Lasker, who gives back the extra pawn at just the right time, magically sneaks a strangling pawn into b7, and then like Bruce Lee fending off a squad of bad guys brushes off Alekhine's tactics(23..Ne3!? 24.Rc5!!). No "Lasker Chess" for this occasion; strictly his A-game all the way.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sokrates: Strangely, Lasker and Alekhine only played 8 games during their long time on the stage. Lasker was in favour with +3 -1, and he was over 60 before A. succeeded in beating him. In 1924 in New York - between two world championship matches, Alekhine lost clearly to the old master. Later, in New York 1927, Lasker didn't participate, but A. was still clearly behind Capa. No wonder that Capablanca underestimated Alekhine at the beginning of their match. Why shouldn't he?

Today, in hindsight and all, it's easy to pinpoint the flaws in Capa's comprehension of Alekhine's powers, but in those days no-one (except A. himself) thought Alekhine had the slightest chance against the Cuban.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Sokrates> When one fills in the gaps, it is not so odd, really--they met thrice at this event, then the war intervened; moreover, Lasker participated only sporadically on the tournament scene, his record consisting of Berlin 1918, followed by Maehrisch-Ostrau 1923. Even with all Alekhine's vicissitudes during and after the war, he was far more active than Lasker.

Then came New York 1924, with Lasker not playing for over eight years after Moscow 1925.

Nov-19-14  ughaibu: Didn't Reti predict Alekhine would win?
Jan-08-15  john barleycorn: 24.Rc5! (Tarrasch famous comment: "Lasker loses a game once in a while, but he never loses his head")

25.Qe4! 26.Bxf4! and 27.Bxd6! are the keymoves in Lasker's elegant conception to repel the black attack and counterattack according to Tarrasch.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <jerseybob: Great work from Lasker, who gives back the extra pawn at just the right time, magically sneaks a strangling pawn into b7, and then like Bruce Lee fending off a squad of bad guys brushes off Alekhine's tactics(23..Ne3!? 24.Rc5!!). <No "Lasker Chess" for this occasion; strictly his A-game all the way.>>

I assume you mean Edward? Or Berthold?

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: After 7..Bxf3 Whate was already doing quite well; 7..Bh5 seems stronger. 9..f6 seems more in the spirit of the opening. 18 Bb2? placed the bishop on an awkward square ; better was 18 b5..Rd6 19 a4..Rhd8 20 a5..Nd5 21 Ba3..R6d7 22 Bc5..g5 23 b6..cxb 24 axb 25 Qa6..Kc7 26 Qxa7 and wins. Lasker admitted his error with 23 Bc1? but after 23..Ne3! Alekhine had a dangerous attack; better was 23 Qe4..Qb3 24 Bc1..Bxc1 25 Rdxc1..R6d7 26 Qf4..Qf7 27 d5 with White still in control. On either the 24th or the 25th move Black had the opportunity to play ..Nxg2 which would have given him a likely draw. Nunn gives 26..Nxf2! 27 Bxd6..Rxd6 28 Qe8+..Rd8 29 Qe5..Qxe5 30 Rxe5..d3 31 exd..Nxd3 32 Re3 as a better line for Black with only a slight edge for White.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: The first decisive game between Lasker and Alekhine. Wonderful attack by Lasker, at the top of his game. The anchored pawn on b7 is a death sentence for AAA.
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