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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
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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?
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

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.
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  keypusher: Thanks for the list, <tamar> -- it appears that Pillsbury and Janowski were also quite Glucky.
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  Benzol: Tarrasch did include himself in the list as well.
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  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.

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  Benzol: Very true <keypusher>! LOL.
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  keypusher: By the way, <Benzol>, I was just skimming through your game collection for this tournament -- wonderful!
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  Benzol: <keypusher> Thanks. Incidentally what games are missing in the database that feature in Soltis' 'Why Lasker Matters'?
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  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.
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.
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  keypusher: Well, I reloaded them, and hopefully did it right this time (are you listening, :)
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  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.
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  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!

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  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.

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  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.

Premium Chessgames Member
  nizmo11: <tamar> "<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.>" Instead of 35 h5 White can insert 35.Dd8+ Kh7 and now 36. h5 preventing Qc8 and Black does not have win.

So, it seems that there was no win for <black> and Lasker's "luck" was only for the extra half point.

Sep-28-20  sudoplatov: Stockfish reckons that 44....Qh1 was the losing move and that 44....Ne8 should draw.
Premium Chessgames Member
  nizmo11: As mentioned below 38...g5 was the losing error. But Lasker gave Chigorin one more chance to save the game. 40.Dd8+ was an error, winning continuation was 40. g5! h5 41.Qf6 a3 42.Qxg6+ Kf8 47.Qh7

In the game Black could still have drawn by bringing the knight to defense with 44...Ne8! (45.Qd7 Ng7)

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  kingscrusher: I have noticed a pattern that seems to be often generalised as "trying to complicate things". I think in particular, Lasker tries to basically create "killer common squares" - in this game, f7 was the square target - let black queen the pawn but black will be mated via piece cooperation on f7. I have noticed in other games, "killer common squares" coming up as Lasker's liberation and salvation of seemingly difficult positions.

Basically "piece teamwork" is increased on key squares flying in the face of blacks advancing passed 'a' pawn potential. The teamwork in this game is increased by the g4-g5 plan with Kg3 to stop Qf4 from black.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: Honestly I also don't get how he finds the move h5 here:

Emanuel Lasker - Mikhail Chigorin 1-0 8.0, Nuremberg Nuremberg GER 1896

click for larger view

Analysis by Stockfish 14:

1. = (-0.12): 36.h5 a4 37.Nh2 Qc6 38.Ng4 Ne8 39.Ne3 Qa8 40.Nc2 Qc8 41.Ne3 Nc7 42.Qc5 Qb7 43.Qa5 Qc6 44.Nd1 Kh7 45.Ne3 Kh8 46.Qb4 Kg8 47.Qd6 Qc3 48.Ng4 Qxd4 49.Qd8+ Kh7 50.Kh3 Qd3 51.Qxc7 Qf5 52.f3 Qxh5+ 53.Kg2 Qg6 54.Nf2 Qb1 55.Qxf7 a3

This kind of move takes me back to seeing Morozevich destroy GMs at the Lloyds bank masters. It takes away g6 from Black's queen in some variations and makes the whole g4-g5 plan more effective. Lasker is essentially very advanced in attacking chess it seems.

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