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Emanuel Lasker vs Alexander Alekhine
St. Petersburg (1914), St. Petersburg RUE, rd 7, Apr-30
Scandinavian Defense: Modern. Gipslis Variation (B01)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-07-03  ughaibu: Another example of Lasker's resourcefulness. After an apparent lapse in the opening Lasker is the one who misses a win.
Jan-09-03  Kenneth Sterling: I see another Centre Counter is being discussed. These are my favourite two twentieth century players. They did not meet as often as one might expect given the long overlap of their careers. If I am not mistaken, Alekhine was able to get the better of Lasker only the one time very late in Lasker's career.
Jan-09-03  ughaibu: Correct, Zurich 1934.
Jan-09-03  Kenneth Sterling: For many years Alekhine genuinely admired Lasker. They shared a mutual distaste for Capablanca who was the greatest threat each would ever confront (and, at times, avoid).
Mar-11-04  ughaibu: Another one for the draw collection.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: <ughaibu> I don't see the win
Mar-11-04  ughaibu: I believe there's meant to be a win at move 17, perhaps Qa3?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: On 17.Qa3, Black has 17...Rd3. Better is 17.Qa6+ Kb8 18.Qe2 and if 18...Rd3 19.Rd1 is good for white. Black can play 18...Ng6 instead and the threats of Nh4+, Qh3 and Bxc5 should be good enough.
Mar-11-04  ughaibu: Maybe it was Qa3 on move 18? The analysis was in the Reinfeld-Fine book unfortunately I never really looked at it, only read it so to speak.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: Think I have it somewhere. Will have to look it up.
Mar-11-04  drukenknight: perhaps 19 Rxd8 but it still has a ways to go.
Mar-11-04  ughaibu: Calli: I think it was Reinfeld's Development of a Chess Genius not the Lasker book, it might be in Hannak as well but I dont really remember.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: Ugh - Yes it is in Reinfeld's Alekhine book. Unfortunately, he gives no analysis at all.

"The right move was 18.Qa3 leaving Black with a hopeless game." -Reinfeld

If you say so, Fred.

So, is 18.Qa3 Ke8 "hopeless"?

Mar-12-04  Lawrence: Sorry, Fred, your 18.Qa3 only merits a +0.45 whereas Lasker's 18.Rd1+ maintains the +1.23 he obtained when Alekhine played 15...Qe6. (Better would have been 15...Kb8, +0.65.) Lasker maintained this +1.23 advantage through moves 16, 17, and 18 but threw it away when he played 19.Qxd8. With 19.Rxd8 he would have kept it. (drukenknight, enhorabuena) 19.Qxd8 puts the eval at 0.00 and it stays there for the rest of the game. (Junior 8)
Jan-18-05  Grandpatzer: What interested me in this game was two chess greats going at it with a Scandinavian Defence. I had hoped it would be the Lasker Variation (1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qa5 4.d4 Nf6 5.Nf3 Bg4 6.h3), because I'd like to document how this variation came into being, and how it could be named after Lasker if he, in fact, didn't use it (at least not within the database here). Can anyone shed some light on this paradox?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Had cause to look at this game a few days ago.

See Fred Reinfeld has been computer corrected by Junior 8 back in May 2004.

Here (Lasker to play.)

click for larger view

I think it makes no difference if White plays 18.Qa3 or 18.Rd1+

I cannot see the plus Junior has after 18.Rd1+ Ke7 19 Rxd8.Qxf3+ and 20....Qxe4

Maybe some super-duper machine 17 years later can enlighten me or at least say Fred's 18.Qa3 though not as strong as he thought is just as good as 18.Rd1+

(see how Junior 8 feels about being computer corrected.)

You do not need a computer to see why Lasker played 18.Rd1+

click for larger view

Because he saw both 18.Rd1+ and 18.Qa3 kind of thin out to nothing and at least 18.Rd1+ has the trap 18....Bd6 when 19.Qa3 wins.

Basically given the choice Lasker went for a safe, no harm done trap as was his 'coffee house style - Fischer.' a mode he could switch in and out of with ease. He was the greatest all round chess player of them all.

He did not deliberately play bad moves as Reti suggests.. But he did sometimes deliberately not play the best move to unsettle or trick an opponent into going astray.

We get a further peek into the mind of Lasker rolling another loaded dice across the board when he played 19. Qxd8. the move Junior thought tossed away the win.

click for larger view

He's tempting Alekhine to play 19...Be7 a move Alekhine plays on move 20 when he would have got hit with a two piece sac sac and mate.

19....Be7 20. Ng5+ Bxg5 21.Rd6+ and mate next move. .

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