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Emanuel Lasker vs Geza Maroczy
London (1899), London ENG, rd 11, Jun-13
Tarrasch Defense: Symmetrical Variation (D32)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: I read somewhere (probably on this site) that Lasker would try to solve a few chess problems/puzzles the morning of an important game. If he did poorly, he would conclude that his mind was not in good form and he would play for a draw. This must have been one of those mornings.

You will find a few games like this even in his greatest tournaments.

Nov-24-16  LRamos: Amazin simmetrical game !!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: keypusher has perhaps explained the cause of this disappointing game. We chess fans would have liked to see Lasker do battle with Maroczy here (but have to wait until their re-match in Round 18).

On the assumption that Lasker didn't want to fight it out in this contest and that Maroczy was happy to get an easy draw as Black against the World Champion, I am still puzzled by one segment of the game.

On his 18th turn, Lasker needlessly weakened his position with 18. h3 (there was no real risk of Bxh2, and plenty of other ways to avoid this problem if this were truly Lasker's concern). After Maroczy's 18...Ne5 and the subsequent exchange of Knights, Maroczy could have traded Bishops with 20...BxB and messed up Lasker's pawn structure, rather than his actual 20...Be7. This would have simplified the game (further minimizing the chance that Lasker would be able to find winning chances) and given Maroczy a clear advantage.

Why did Lasker allow this and why did Maroczy not take advantage? Was Lasker just taunting Maroczy? Was Maroczy so hell-bent to maintain symmetry (as LRamos has noted) that he avoided anything that created any and all imbalances--even those that would have yielded him a clear advantage?

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