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Emanuel Lasker vs Mikhail Chigorin
Nuremberg (1896), Nuremberg GER, rd 8, Jul-28
Queen's Gambit Accepted: Normal Variation. Traditional System (D26)  ·  1-0

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Kibitzer's Corner
May-05-04
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: Because of 53...Kxe6 54.Qf6+ Kd6 55.Ne5+.
May-07-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: According to Tarrasch, the game was broken off after the Black's 31st move, and everyone believed Chigorin would win it.

Lasker found the very fine move 33 Qe7 which Chigorin underestimated with 33...Qc2.

Tarrasch gives the hidden path to victory as 33...Qc6 34 h4 Nb5 35 h5 Qc8 covering the back rank and preparing to advance the a pawn.

It obviously bothered Tarrasch that Lasker won this type of position. He included a luck chart at the end of the tournament book, showing Lasker had saved 5 lost positions and scored 5 of 5 through luck!

May-08-05  ughaibu: Tamar: So Lasker didn't just save these 5 lost positions, he won all of them? How did other players, Tarrasch for example, do luckwise?
May-08-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <ughaibu> Here is the unusual "Luck Table" ("Den Einfluss des Glucksfaktors"...) from the end of the Nuremburg tournament book written by Tarrasch and Schroeder

Player/ In the Game against/ Lost Positions Saved/Points Scored

Lasker/ Albin Schallop Schiffers Schowalter Tschigorin/ 5/5

Maroczy/ Blackburne Teichmann/2/1

Pillsbury/ Albin Charousek Janowski Dr Tarrasch/ 4/3

Dr Tarrasch/ Porges Schowalter/2/1

Janowski/Lasker Schlechter Teichmann/3/3

Steinitz/Schlechter Teichmann Walbrodt/3/2.5

Schlechter/Charousek Porges/2/1

Walbrodt/Maroczy Schiffers Dr Tarrasch/3/1.5

Schiffers/Marco Steinitz Tschigorin/3/1.5

Tschigorin/____ ______/0/0

For reference, Lasker won with 13.5
Maroczy 2nd with 12.5 then Pillsbury and Tarrasch 3rd with 12

May-08-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  paulalbert: The witty retort to all of this of course, which I have seen attributed to both Lasker and Capablanca, is "Yes, all strong players are lucky." Maybe some of the chess historians among us can pin down who first said this and under what circumstances. Paul Albert
May-08-05  ughaibu: Thanks. I see Lasker lost a won position due to Janowski's better luck.
Jun-08-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Thanks for the list, <tamar> -- it appears that Pillsbury and Janowski were also quite Glucky.
Jun-08-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: Tarrasch did include himself in the list as well.
Jun-08-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Yes, <Benzol> but note that Gluck only gave Tarrasch one point, while taking 1.5 points away (draw to Walbrodt, loss to Pillsbury). Meanwhile, Gluck handed Lasker a positively promiscuous five points, while confiscating just one, and then handing it to the unworthy (and Glucky) Janowski.

Thus, had Gluck, both good and bad, been taken away from both Lasker and Tarrasch, Tarrasch would have scored 12.5, and Lasker only 9.5. But Tarrasch still would not have won, because it's clear from the Einfluss that Gluck outscored everyone.

Jun-08-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: Very true <keypusher>! LOL.
Jun-30-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: By the way, <Benzol>, I was just skimming through your game collection for this tournament -- wonderful!
Jun-30-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <keypusher> Thanks. Incidentally what games are missing in the database that feature in Soltis' 'Why Lasker Matters'?
Jul-01-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Two games from Havana in 1906 -- a casual game with Corzo and a simul game with Delmonte. I uploaded them a while back, but with various formatting errors. I need to reload them, but just haven't gotten around to it.
Jul-02-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <keypusher> Those are rare games indeed as the Chess Stars 2nd volume on Lasker has his games from a small tournament at Trenton Falls as all his chess activity for 1906.
Jul-05-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Well, I reloaded them, and hopefully did it right this time (are you listening, cg.com?) :)
Dec-25-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: The thing about Lasker was that when he found himself in an inferior position, he tried with his utmost to complicate it, and make it as difficult as possible for his opponent to win it. Here Chigorin no doubt was feeling good about his chances of winning, and since he was up a whole pawn, (it being a passed pawn to boot) he probably could not imagine that his defeat was imminent. Man! Lasker had nerves of steel! He almost always found a way to pull his fat out of the fire when push came to shove.
May-09-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: "In particular, I had a won game against Lasker, which I spoiled, after moving my queen away out of play. But who, besides Lasker, could have planned a dangerous attack on my kingside with such small means as remained at his disposal? … No, all this is nonsense. Neither luck nor hypnotism explain Lasker’s strength. He has the temperament of a champion and enormous talent. Steinitz wants to make from chess a science, I – an art, Lasker – a fight or, if you like, a sport..."

Chigorin on this game, quoted by <WilhelmThe2nd> on the Chigorin page

May-09-08  euripides: Perhaps Lasker was impressed by Chigorin's opening play here. Twenty-five years later he adopted a very similar approach in a world championship match:

Capablanca vs Lasker, 1921

Jun-24-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: The position after <38.Kg3> is still in balance.


click for larger view

Black could draw with e.g. <38...a3 39.g5 hxg5 40.Qd8 Ne8! 41.Nxg5 Qg1+>


click for larger view

=

Jun-02-10  sneaky pete: From the publisher's foreword to the 1896 tournament book:

Die Partien sind von Dr. Tarrasch erläutert, während Chr. Schröder den beschreibenden Teil verfaßt hat.

So it's Schröder who wrote on page 292/3:

Auch das Glück spielt ja in Schachturnieren eine gewisse Rolle, und ich habe mich seit langer Zeit daran gewöhnt, jedes Schachturnier auf den Einfluß des Glückfaktors zahlenmäßig zu untersuchen. Unter Glück verstehe ich hierbei lediglich die Rettung aus einer verlorenen Stellung. Denn wenn ich eine verlorene Stellung habe, so kann ich noch so gut spielen, - sowie mein Gegner die richtigen Züge macht, bin ich verloren. Deshalb muß ein für mich glückliger Zufall eintreten, wenn ich eine verlorene Stellung retten soll. Das Umgekehrte, wenn ich eine gewonnene Stellung verliere, ist nicht Unglück, sondern schlechtes Spiel, welches den Verlust verdient.

Den Einfluß des Glückfaktors in diesem Turnier zeigt folgende Tabelle:

(followed by the table quoted by <tamar> five years ago.)

The problem when playing against Lasker was that for him <I am lost> was not the same as <I have lost>. The man just kept on making moves, and good ones too, when other players would have resigned, at least mentally. That's why in the games of ordinary mortals you so often see a crowning blunder in an otherwise already hopeless position: a subconscious form of euthanasia.

I believe the Australian correspondence GM Purdy first formulated a thesis about (I think he called it) <perpetual resistance>. Lasker was the first (and the greatest) to practice it. So he deserved that luck!

Jun-07-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: In his notes, Tarrasch said it was understandable that Chigorin missed that his queen was needed on move 33 to defend, as no threat was apparent.

<Es ist sehr begreiflich, dass Tschigorin in dem Elan seines erfolgreichen Beutezuges mit der der Dame lieber vorwärts als zurückgeht, zumal ihm ja scheinbar gar nichts droht.>

The Luck Table at the end of the book by Schroeder was based of course on Tarrasch's evaluations of each game, but in his actual notes I don't see him calling Lasker lucky. He does use the term Unglücklicher several times in this game, but it refers to pieces that are stuck.

Mar-03-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: First time I have viewed this page--all the references to Gluck are hugely amusing and remind me of one of the stronger players of my days in Boston, David Glueck.

David was a tough player and needed but little Gluck, with or without the umlaut.

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