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David Janowski vs Emanuel Lasker
Lasker - Janowski (1909), Paris FRA, rd 2, Oct-21
Four Knights Game: Spanish. Symmetrical Variation (C49)  ·  0-1



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Given 9 times; par: 40 [what's this?]

Annotations by Semion Alapin.      [3 more games annotated by Alapin]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Mar-19-10  Oceanlake: I believe Lasker mentioned that h3 was a major source of Whitle's troubles.
Jun-22-11  durciansky: move number 6 is first mystake.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <durciansky: move number 6 is first mystake.>

Come again?

Apr-26-13  unionruler: 12.Nf3 must be bad, loses tempo right out of a near-symmetrical opening. I play these setups as black; normally you don't have any compensation for the doubled f-pawns and open g-file unless the other knight is reinforcing the kingside after the exchange.
Apr-26-13  Bartimaeus: Started off thinking that 28. exf5 and i'm going to tear open black's position.This felt surprisingly easy for a Friday. My suspicions aroused, i re-looked again to discover that it was "black" to play. Optimism suitably punctured, i started afresh.

Initial thoughts tended towards trying to secure a draw noting the terrific attack white has. But then white's awkardly placed king makes this position double-edged. Two candidates seemed to emerge : Ng7 and g5. Ng7 exf5, Nxf5 looking to fork the Queen and king on f3 going via h4. But this is long-term and can easibly be prevented by Bxf5.

g5 looks much more interesting. Now exf5 is not feasible as there is a deadly Queen sac in the offing

28...g5 29. exf5 Qxh3+ 30. Kxh3 (forced) Rh6+ 31. Kg4 Rh4#

The King has to get space and Rh1 is the only candidate here.

This leads to a possible line :

28...g5 29. Rh1 g4 30. fxg4 fxg4 31. Rxg4 Ng5 32. Kg2 (forced to avoid double threat of fork and Qh3+) Nxe4

and now black has a strong attack though the material is equal. g5 seems to be the best option though i'm not fully sure regarding this line. Time to check.

Well, looking at the game, i don't know why white didn't go with 30. fxg4 instead of Be2. Maybe there's something better on the black side after this. Tough nut, i would never have found this OTB. Kudos to Lasker for such a terrific find in real time.

Apr-26-13  morfishine: I got <28...g5> but had Black defending differently
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Black has a knight for a bishop.

White threatens 29.exf5.

The white king cannot move to the g-file. This suggests 28... g5, threatening mate in two (29... Qxh3+ 30.Kxh3 Rh6#):

A) 29.exf5 Qxh3+ 30.Kxh3 Rh6+ 31.Kg4 Rh4#.

B) 29.Kh1 Qxh3+ 30.Rh2 Qxf3+ 31.Rgg2 (31.Rhg2 Rh6#) 31... fxe4

B.1) 32.Be2 e3 33.Qc2 (33.Bxf3 exd2 with a won ending) 33... Qa8 34.fxe3 fxe3 - +.

B.2) 32.Bc2 e3 looks also winning.

C) 29.Rb1 Qxh3+ 30.Kg1 (30.Kxh3 Rh6#) 30... Rh6 31.Kf1 Qh1+ 32.Rg1 (32.Ke2 Qxg2) 32... Qxf3 is also winning.

Apr-26-13  M.Hassan: "Difficult"
Black to play 28...?
Equal in materials and Black has a Knight for a Bishop.

I felt that g pawn should advance:

29.Rh1 g4
30.fxg4 Ng5
31.Be2 f3!
<if 32.Bxf3 Nxf3+ a Royal Fork>

32.Rg3 fxe2
33.Qxe2 Rxe4
Black now has a Knight for a pawn and should be winning. ===================
Right on!
Time to check

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: I already knew this game, so no credit to me. Soltis discusses the position after 22.R5g4 at great length in his book on defense in chess. Whilst Alapin pays no attention to 22...g6, Soltis treats it as the most important move of the game, making White's Rooks look like they've wasted their time getting to the g-file.
Apr-26-13  goodevans: 28...g5 like a shot!

White can't deal with both the threats, 29...Qxh3+ and 29...g4.

Pretty simple for a Friday.

Apr-26-13  whiteshark: Something else that I've learned.
(i actually ruined it in 2... 1...)
Apr-26-13  asiduodiego: A Classic game. Nice one for today, but I knew the game already. The quiet 28 g5! destroys white's position, by threatening both Qxh3!! and g4!
Apr-26-13  MiCrooks: Interesting side variation...after 30 Be2 playing Ng5 is understandable and good, but not really necessary. Having been looking at the Queen sac mates prior to this the move gxf3 must have surely come to Lasker's mind as well. Both win the Bishop with crushing positions. Engines give gxf3 the edge by more than a pawn.

For me I could explain it by the knowlege that if I found a move as good as Ng5 I would simply play it and not look further, but the same goes for gxf3 and given I had set up Qxh3 with the threat of Rh6++ before I would think I would have found that move first and gone with it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: I saw the queen sac,but not the rest of the puzzle.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: I looked at 28...g5 29 Rh1 g4 30 e5?! for quite a while.

Black wins with 30..Ng5, below.

click for larger view

The threat is 31...Nf3# so white canot take the f rook.

Assuming 31 Be2, black wins material after 31...gxf3.

click for larger view

Apr-26-13  vinidivici: This is a good puzzle but a little bit easy for Friday...i think
Apr-26-13  Patriot: 28...g5, threatening 29...Qxh3+ 30.Kxh3 Rh6#:

29.exf5 Qxh3+ 30.Kxh3 Rh6+ 31.Kg4 Rh4#

I don't see anything else critical here. White can resign.

Apr-26-13  Patriot: I didn't anticipate 29.Rh1, which is an interesting defense. It's not critical in terms of counterplay but does make it a bit more difficult/tricky to win.
Apr-26-13  Coigach: I didn't find this easy at all.

I spent a lot of time trying to make 28...Qh3+ work and not succeeding.

I then gave up as I had previously dismissed 28...g5 thinking it just fails to 29.Kh1. I should have looked further, as 29...Qxh3+ 30.Rh2 Qxf3+ 31.Rgg2 leaves B a couple of pawns up with an attack (e.g. 31...g4 to come).

Too complex for me today.

Apr-26-13  James D Flynn: Material is equal but White’s K is awkwardly placed with his own Rs blocking escape from the h file e.g. 28……g5 threatens 29…..Qxh3+ 30.Kxg3 Rh6#. 28…..Qxh3+ first to make the K’s escape more difficult after 29.Kxh3 must also be considered: 28…..Qxh3+ 29.Kxh3 g5(forces a move of the R on g2) 30.Rxg5 Rh3+ 31.Kg2 Nxg5 32.Qxf4 Rg7 33.Kf1 Nh3 34.Qxf5 Rxg1+ 35.Ke2 now White has Q, B, and 7 pawns versus Black’s 2Rs N and 5 pawns and White’s K is the more secure. 28…..g5 29.Rc 1 Qxh3+ 30.Kg1 Rh3 31.Kf1 g4 32.Be2(if fxg4 f3 wins the R , White now hes to lose only a B )fxe4 now both B and R are lost eg.33.fxe4 f3 34.Ke1 Qxg2 35.Bf1 Rh1.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: <vinidivici: This is a good puzzle but a little bit easy for Friday...i think> I know what you mean, but I sure couldn't figure it out. I know I'm not the only one would considered the wrong move order of "sac the queen now, ask questions later" :)

We just don't expect a "quiet" move.

Apr-26-13  vinidivici: Agree, the quiet moves is bit rare on puzzles.
Oct-13-13  mchinitz: Could someone please explain if 24. a4 (which Houdini suggests) is strong? Would black reply with a5 (to prevent 25.a5) and then maneuver the pieces to get in f5?
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: I believe I can explain it.
All white's pieces are in their best positions. There is nowhere better for any of them to go. So Houdini plays the move which most preserves the status quo.
Oct-13-13  kjr63: I guess black's idea/problem here is to improve his knight (to make it attack better, Ng5?). The key was the control of e6. So i believe after 24.a4 black would have played 24...Ng7 anyway.
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