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Emanuel Lasker vs Erich Gottlieb Eliskases
Moscow (1936), Moscow URS, rd 3, May-16
French Defense: Classical. Rubinstein Variation (C14)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
May-31-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: What's your announcement after <41...d3>?


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Aug-20-10  Ulhumbrus: The move 19...Re3 attacks a d3 pawn which is defended by a minor piece, White's N on f2, and it loses a tempo towards defending White's potential threat of Ra1-c1-c4. An alternative to 19...Re3 is 19...c5.
Aug-20-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: 42...d2? (oh so close) 43.Rg7+ Kh8 44.Rh7+ Kg8 45.Rbg7+ Kf8 46.Rh8#
Oct-17-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: 29...Rg8?! was too passive. 29...a5 should hold the draw. A very good game from Lasker.
Oct-18-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Mateo>
Can you post a line after 29...a5? It still looks very dangerous for Black after, say, 29...a5 30. Ra7 Rc8 31. Rdc7 Re8 32. h4.
Oct-03-16  DrGridlock: "Show me the line" is exactly the right request. The legend of the game (reported by Bronstein in "The Modern Chess Self-Tutor") is that after the game Lasker demonstrated the following line:

29 ... a5
30 Ra7 Rc8
31 Rdc7 Re8
32 h4 a4
33 Rxg7 a3
34 Rh7+ Kg8
35 Rhg7+ Kh8
36 h5 a2

and then Bronstein writes,
"The two rooks give perpetual check, since if 37 h6 erecting a mating construction ... then Black has time to include his newly-fledged queen in the play - 37 ... Rb1+ 38 Kh2 a1=Q."

So this is the basis of the belief that the draw was lost by Eliskases (as quoted by Mateo) in this game.

However, there's a problem. In Lasker's line, White need not play 35 Rhg7+. In fact after the continuation 35 Rhb7, White is again winning:

35 Rhb7 a2
36 Kh2 Rb4
37 Rxa2

and White wins!

There are a lot of subtleties in this endgame. The biggest trick is to count tempos in black's pawn moves down the a-file. White's key to winning is to insert a king move (36 Kh2 in the line above) so that black's rook does not move to the first rank with a tempo check, followed by queening the a-pawn. Without that tempo check for black, and with White's rook on the a-file, there's no way for black's rook on the b-file to "shepherd" the a-pawn to queen.

Nov-20-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: <chessgames.com> A picture of the players during the game : http://www.chess-and-strategy.com/2.... You could add it.
Nov-20-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: <DrGridlock> The problem is that the Lasker line is not forced at all, and from the beginning. For instance, Stockfish prefers 29...a5 30.Ra7 Rb8 with a small edge for White...
Nov-20-17  visayanbraindoctor: After 15...Nxe5, Black has castled, has a Knight and a pawn in the center, occupies the half open f-file and is ready to develop his Bishop out and occupy the open e-file.

White has not castled and his Knight is on the first rank.

16. O-O Nxd3 17. cxd3

In this position, a spectator might ask, 'How can a strong player like Eliskases lose with Black in this one?'

Eliskases then makes what looks like a totally logical move that fixes White's pawn on d3, making it a target or his now 'good' Bishop.

17...d4

Then he proceeds to occupy the e-file, an d target the White d-pawn.

17.cxd3 d4 18.f3 Re8 19.Nf2 Re3

But that may have been a mistake. Lasker typically counter punches by occupying the c-file and attacking Black's advanced pawn on d4.

20. Rac1 c6 21. Rc4 Be6 22. Rxd4

Thus a more conservative move like 19.. c6 at once may have been better.

But it's clear that Eliskases has overestimated his position. He must have gone into this line already aiming to attack White's Queenside pawns and create what may have looked to him a winning Queen side majority, after

22.. Bxa2

But this line gives up the 7th rank.

23.Rd7

Eliskases continues with his plan, advancing his Queen side pawns, and moving back his bishop to make way for more potential advances.

b5 24.Ne4 Bd5

After

25.Rd1

Eliskases still proceeds aggressively, trying to eat up White's remaining Queen side pawn

25.. Re2

Not sure of the soundness of his plan. Lasker again counter punches, by abandoning his b-pawn and concocting a plan that would enable him to seize the 7th rank. He takes advantage of a tactical shot- a fork of Black's B and R by Nc3.

26.Nc3 Rxb2 27.Nxd5 cxd5 28.Rc1 Kh8 29.Rcc7

So I think

25.. Re2

may have been a mistake.

Not sure what Black should do by now. Eliskases' whole plan was THE mistake. It allowed Lasker to dominate the 7th rank with his Rooks.

Note again how Lasker demonstrates his counter punching style. It is games like this that probably contributed to his legend of being able to magic his way from an inferior position to a draw or win. Lasker does NOT do passive defense. He is always on the look out for counter offensives, and in this case he spotted a way to bring his Rooks to the 7th rank, at the cost of sacrificing his Queenside pawns. But that's alright, he won the game. The best defense is a good offense.

Dec-24-17  niceperl: There is a nice photo of this game here: https://twitter.com/dgriffinchess/s...

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