Members · Prefs · Laboratory · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing

Chessgames premium membership fee will increase to $39 per year effective June 15, 2023. Enroll Now!

Emanuel Lasker vs William Ewart Napier
"Pawnslaught" (game of the day Apr-19-2016)
Cambridge Springs (1904), Cambridge Springs, PA USA, rd 3, Apr-28
Sicilian Defense: Closed Variation. Traditional (B25)  ·  1-0



Click Here to play Guess-the-Move
Given 92 times; par: 45 [what's this?]

explore this opening
find similar games 1,453 more games of Lasker
PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

TIP: You can make these tips go away by registering a free account then visiting your preferences page. Simply check the option "Don't show random tips on game pages." and click the Update Profile button at the bottom.

PGN Viewer:  What is this?
For help with this chess viewer, please see the Olga Chess Viewer Quickstart Guide.


Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 5 OF 5 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-10-16  morfishine: One of my favorite games
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Well, I suppose I should just be glad this game finally made GOTD. There has been a tendency, especially in the Silicon Ascendancy, to denigrate it for unsoundness and inaccurary.

Big Fat Hairy Deal. When the loser proudly calls it his best game, you've got something special.

I suppose I'm a little bitter about the pun, having submitted a couple which seemed clever to me but obviously didn't impress others. But <Pawnslaught> just isn't right. If ever there was a game where the pieces dominated, this is it.

Apr-19-16  AlicesKnight: Indeed a fascinating game. In the light of the man/machine discussion, I like Capablanca's comment (quoted by Golombek from Nikolai Grekov); "Let us depart from science... Chess can never reach its height by following in the path of science... Let us therefore ... turn the struggle of technique into a battle of ideas".
Apr-19-16  Ratt Boy: Excellent game; butt it is not a Closed Sicilian. It is a Dragon.
Apr-19-16  morfishine: <Phony Benoni> is absolutely correct: The excellence of this game is counterbalanced by the blatant inaccuracy of the game title

<CG> should erase this one; there are dozens of great games that highlight the pawnslaught theme

This isn't one of them


Apr-19-16  Ironmanth: Wow. Over morning coffee, at first this game did not make great sense. Probably much deeper than I can understand. I have a lot of questions on piece maneuvering. Thus, much to learn here. As far as the puns are concerned, sadly I have given up even looking at them anymore. Still love this sight and the many wonderful, intuitive, and helpful reader commentaries and analysis. Keep it up, chess players!
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Bad title: the pawnslaught involves at least two or three passed pawns taking over the game.
Apr-19-16  Howard: Nothing against this game's being GOTD, but Soltis stated in his book from ten years ago of the 100 best games of the 20th century, that this game was one of the most OVERRATED games of that century.

He argued that the game "(didn't) stand up well to close scrutiny." In other words, over the years several mistakes were gradually discovered in this game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: If mistakes hadn't been found in this game, we would doubt its authenticity.
Apr-19-16  Twocolors: I have learned so much from my mistakes, I seriously consider making a few more...
Apr-19-16  erimiro1: Sometimes I judge games simply by counting how many "what????" moves were done. "what????" moves can be great or bad (I don't mean tragic mistakes) but in all cases, they are unexpected and products of brilliant ideas. This game includes many "What????" moves, that are not easy to refute OTB, and this is the right way to see it.
Apr-19-16  newzild: A mind-boggling game.

After reading back through the comments there was a lot of discussion 10 years ago about various moves, backed up by computer analysis.

Of course, computers are much stronger now, so I've updated some evaluations using the latest version of Stockfish, running on my specced-out Macbook Pro:

9...Nh5 (slight advantage Black) is 0.3 better than the passive 9...Ne8 (equal).

13...exf4! (-0.4) is a big improvement for Black over 13...Nd4 (+0.7). This move has not been mentioned by other commentators.

18. f5 is stronger than 18. h5, but only slightly (.02)

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: Yes, the game has nothing to do with a pawn storm, at least not a major one, so the name "Pawnslaught" seems inappropriate. Now, Napier thought that this was the best game he ever played even though he lost it. So perhaps a more suitable title might be along the lines of "Best Game I Ever Lost".
Apr-19-16  newzild: 19. f5! would have been good (+0.5), as it keeps the file closed over White's king. Lasker's 19. Bc5 is equal.

Black failed to exploit White's 19th. Napier should have opened the file and pinned the Ne7 with 19....ef (equal) instead of (+1).

20. Bc4 (-1.6) was a blunder. Lasker should have played 20. bc, which is equal.

However, Napier blundered in turn with 20...ef (+0.8) instead of the equal 20...Ne4.

Napier also erred with 21...Ne4 instead of 21...Be4, after which he was probably lost (+1.4)

There are a couple of inaccuracies towards the end of the game. Basically, Black shouldn't have moved his rook off the back rank, and White could have played his 35. Be3 mating idea a move earlier. However, Black never had the chance to be better than -2.0 (in other words, lost) so the inaccuracies weren't terribly important.

In all, a pretty good performance by both players considering how complicated this game was.

Apr-19-16  morfishine: Napier was first and foremost, a businessman. But he played a pretty mean game of chess
Feb-21-17  JohnBoy: <newzild> - I don't get it. How can 20.Bc4 evaluate at -1.6 and black's best is 20...Ne4 w equality?
Jul-20-17  The Kings Domain: The very definition of "all over the place".
Dec-02-17  Ulhumbrus: On 8 g4 suppose that Black plays 8...d5. Then on 9 g5 Nxe4 has become possible.
May-20-18  Saniyat24: Lasker started the attack by thrusting his pawns on the kingside... <morfishine> yes Napier played some pretty sleek chess...this game won a brilliancy prize... W Napier vs Chigorin, 1902
Dec-02-18  RookFile: That's Lasker for you. He's in serious trouble, some guy is playing the game of his life against him.... and he wins anyway.
Dec-08-18  EmanuelLasker: Well said, <RookFile>! Just so.
Dec-08-18  wtpy: I think 19 hg6 has to be considered an improvement as well.
Oct-17-21  Chesgambit: Old game
Dec-18-21  tbontb: Attempting to summarise: A heavily-analysed and exceedingly complex game, despite the lack of Qs ! Lasker throws his K-side pawns forward leaving his own K in the centre. Napier's 9....Ne8 is the first inaccuracy (better ....Nh5), then the thematic but mistaken strike with 12....d5 (better ....f5). In reply, 15.Nf5 with 17.Ne7+ is the most ambitious try for advantage. The players exchange errors with 19....gxh5 (better ....exf4), wrongly met by 20.Bc4 (better bxc3), only for Black to miss his chance to win with Nunn's 20....Ne4. At the end, 24....Bg4 is tricky but insufficient as Lasker returns all the material for a won ending, duly put away.
Dec-01-22  generror: One of my favourite games. I haven't yet analyzed it, but the way the battles rages back and forth, with both players keeping surprising me throughout the game, is just marvelous.

So what if moves are unsound and modern God-like technology "proves" it to be flawed. I'd never trust any Gods, and I'm totally with Capablanca here. A great expression two human peacefully battling it out on the 64 squares. And you always learn best from your mistakes.

Plus, Pillsbury earns tons of my respect for submitting this game, which he LOST, as a brilliancy for the tournament, and calling it his best game in Marshall's "Chess Masterpieces", over twenty years later. That guy didn't play to win, he played to play his best possible game.

Jump to page #    (enter # from 1 to 5)
search thread:   
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 5 OF 5 ·  Later Kibitzing>

NOTE: Create an account today to post replies and access other powerful features which are available only to registered users. Becoming a member is free, anonymous, and takes less than 1 minute! If you already have a username, then simply login login under your username now to join the discussion.

Please observe our posting guidelines:

  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, or profane language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, duplicate, or gibberish posts.
  3. No vitriolic or systematic personal attacks against other members.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. No cyberstalking or malicious posting of negative or private information (doxing/doxxing) of members.
  6. No trolling.
  7. The use of "sock puppet" accounts to circumvent disciplinary action taken by moderators, create a false impression of consensus or support, or stage conversations, is prohibited.
  8. Do not degrade Chessgames or any of it's staff/volunteers.

Please try to maintain a semblance of civility at all times.

Blow the Whistle

See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform a moderator.

NOTE: Please keep all discussion on-topic. This forum is for this specific game only. To discuss chess or this site in general, visit the Kibitzer's Café.

Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of, its employees, or sponsors.
All moderator actions taken are ultimately at the sole discretion of the administration.

This game is type: CLASSICAL. Please report incorrect or missing information by submitting a correction slip to help us improve the quality of our content.

Featured in the Following Game Collections[what is this?]
The great chessfighter
from A history of chess by lostemperor
World's Greatest Chess Games- Nunn Emms Burgess
by Rookpawn
want to blow up your mind? look here...
from pixing's favorite games by pixing
A complicated game ... Reinfeld called it the best ever!
from LIFE Master AJ's favorite games by LIFE Master AJ
Attack & counter-attack. Analysts disagree on this one!
from Cambridge Springs 1904 games by CambridgeSprings1904
Is it really this good? Analysers are split.
from (1900-2000) Which is the game of the century? by ruylopez900
Best Chess Games of All Time
by Timothy Glenn Forney
Complicated Games
by Checkmate4327
Best Games of the World Champions
by Checkmate4327
great kingside attack
from greatest games ever played by mrajib
from favorite games according to opening b00-b99 by mirage
Edeltalent's favorite games
by Edeltalent
Sicilian, Lasker (23)
from Study Material by erasmus
Dr. Lasker !
from Chess is a liberating game. by arielbekarov
interesting games
by Rimrock
maxruen's favorite games
by maxruen
All Hail Emanuel
by iron maiden
lasker napier game 26
from Richard Reti's Masters of the Chessboard games by Takchessbooks
Game #55
from John Nunn's Chess Course copy by ChessMessKnight
Lasker - son of a cantor and grandson of a rabbi
plus 241 more collections (not shown)

Home | About | Login | Logout | F.A.Q. | Profile | Preferences | Premium Membership | Kibitzer's Café | Biographer's Bistro | New Kibitzing | Chessforums | Tournament Index | Player Directory | Notable Games | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | Privacy Notice | Contact Us

Copyright 2001-2023, Chessgames Services LLC