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Emanuel Lasker vs Carl Schlechter
"For Better or for Schlechter" (game of the day Oct-16-2008)
Lasker - Schlechter World Championship Match (1910), Berlin GER, rd 10, Feb-08
Slav Defense: Quiet Variation (D11)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 7 OF 8 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Sep-03-15  mrbug: According to chessmaster's annotation: "This game has ignited intense controversies, both from its shrouded history and its play. For many years it was believed that Schlechter, ahead by a point in the final game, had only to draw to win the world championship. Why did he, the "drawing master," suddenly decide to play for a win? Later research has shown that the match terms forced the challenger to win by two points, and this fact entered into Fischer's controversy with FIDE over the defense of his title in 1973. At a critical stage, Schlechter misses the winning maneuver and becomes only a footnote in chess championship history."
Sep-03-15  Howard: Apparently, it's never really been settled as to whether Schlechter needed to win by a one-point or by a two-pawn margin. But the circumstantial evidence strongly suggests the "two-point" argument.
Sep-03-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: The circumstantial evidence strongly suggests the "one-point" argument. And where was the "easy draw"?
Sep-13-15  Howard: What "easy draw" are you referring to ?
Sep-13-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: What circumstantial evidence that strongly suggests the "two-point" argument are you referring to?
Sep-14-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <MissScarlett: What circumstantial evidence that strongly suggests the "two-point" argument are you referring to?>

Just to move the discussion along: Schlechter's aggressive and risky play in the 10th game.

Sep-14-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: A discussion worth the name requires two sides that are both informed and committed to debate. What indication is there that <Howard> is either?
Jan-22-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  WorstPlayerEver: I just want to point out it's obvious that '2... e6 is better than 2..c6' is a computer evaluation. Makes the whole reference to Capablanca useless and chess unworthy. In other words: this site doesn't give a damn about chess! Let me state this as clear as possible.
Jan-22-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <WorstPlayerEver: I just want to point out it's obvious that '2... e6 is better than 2..c6' is a computer evaluation.>

Does <2...e6 is the usual move and I believe better than the text move> sound like an engine to you?

<Makes the whole reference to Capablanca useless and chess unworthy. In other words: this site doesn't give a damn about chess! Let me state this as clear as possible.>

As Lincoln probably didn't say, it is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than speak and remove all doubt.

Jan-23-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  WorstPlayerEver: @keypusher

Please do give your sources: position after move 6: Pillsbury vs Lasker 1895. Ad homini are so passé.

Jan-23-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <WorstPlayerEver>

<Please do give your sources: position after move 6: Pillsbury vs Lasker 1895>

?

Jan-26-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  WorstPlayerEver: Lol, my bad. My apologizes.
I actually meant: Pillsbury-Gunsberg Hastings 1895.

Pillsbury vs Gunsberg, 1895

Sources? Ah, you want sources (although the sources of the annotations are as funny as the game naming: I bet they come from the same author).

Well, here you are!

An article by Capablanca entitled ‘Championship Chess: Incidents and Reminiscences’ from pages 86-89 of the Windsor Magazine, December 1922:

Capablanca (ed. about his interest in chess: key events) : 'The second event was Pillsbury’s visit to Havana when I was 11 years of age (ed. 1899/1900). I was then a very mediocre player, but the reader can well imagine the impression on a child full of imagination produced by a man who could play simultaneously 16 or more blindfold games of chess at the same time that he played a number of blindfold games of draughts and a hand of duplicate whist.'

http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/...

Hastings 1895: The Centennial Edition
By Horace F. Cheshire

A must have (standard) chess book in those days. Cheshire also was involved with the production of Professor Louis Hoffmann's book on Greco's games in 1900.

It's most unlikely that Capablanca was not quite familiar with the Hastings 1895 edition.

It's most unlikely, as the Pillsbury-Gunsberg game was the decisive game of Hastings 1895, that Capablanca would not know about that famous game of his idol. As has been pointed out already in this thread: 'decisive advantage' is also a computer evaluation. For Capablanca annotations say things like 'has an advantage' or 'wins'. First known Capablanca game is from 1901 by the way.

PS I'd like to point out that chessgames has not given ANY SOURCES regarded to the annotaions of this game, although in this thread the annotations are in question since 2004. Which actually proves my point: chessgame dot com CANNOT give such recourses because there are NONE. Zero. I challenge and stand corrected: checkmate!

Apr-12-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: If Black ever had a win in this game then Capablanca would have found it and told us. The closest he gets to saying Black could win is <34...Nd5 looks a mighty strong move.> But he doesn't say it was a winning move.

So I don't think there was a win for Black.

Jan-03-17  Albion 1959: What a game! This is akin to game 10 of the recent Carlsen -Karjakin match. Carlsen still had the safety net of two more games to save his title, whereas with Lasker, one slip and his title was gone. He had no more games left to save himself. Finally, without using a database, I don't just see how Lasker would have won this game. Yes sure I am missing something obvious, but don't see it!
Jun-18-18  Omnipotent00001: 67. a4 wins in 27 moves.
Dec-10-19  Straclonoor: Some sources in XX century (books about Lasker, Schlechter etc.) give 35....Rd8 36.Be3 as possible continuation with advantage for black. In 1997 Nikolay N Minev finded that 36.Ke1! is very powerfull.

Here is analysis of the line - <35....Rd8 36.Ke1>

Analysis by Stockfish 051119 64 BMI2:

1. ⩱ (-0.40): 36...Kg8 37.Rh3 Qg4 38.Nc5 Nxd4 39.Kf1 Rf6 40.Nb7 Rg6 41.Rg3 Qxg3 42.Qxg3 Rxg3 43.Nxd8 Rxa3 44.Nc6 Nxc6 45.Rxc6 Bd4 46.Ke2 Kf7 47.f5 Rb3 48.Bg5 Bb6 49.Rh6 Rg3 50.Bf4 Ra3 51.Bd2 Bc5 52.Rc6 Bd4 53.Bg5 Bf6 54.Bd2 Ke8 55.Be3 Kd8 56.Re6 Kd7 57.Bc5 Ra5 58.Be3 Ke8 59.Kd3 Ra4 60.Rc6 Kd7 61.Re6 Ra3+ 62.Ke4

2. = (-0.23): 36...Qh4+ 37.Kd1 Qh1+ 38.Rf1 Qh5+ 39.Qf3 Qf5 40.Rc5 Qd7 41.Nc3 Nxd4 42.Qg2 Kg8 43.Rh1 Rf6 44.Rhh5 Rd6 45.Ne4 Qa4+ 46.Ke1 Re6 47.Rhg5 Nf3+ 48.Qxf3 Qxe4+ 49.Qxe4 Rxe4+ 50.Kd1 Red4 51.Rg2 Kf7 52.Kc2 Bf6 53.Rc7 R8d7 54.Rxd7 Rxd7 55.Rg3 Ke6 56.Rd3 Rb7 57.Rb3 Rxb3 58.Kxb3 Kd5 59.Kb4 Bd4 60.Kb5 e6 61.a4 Bc5 62.a5 Bd4 63.Ka6 Ke4 64.Kb7 Bc5 65.a6 Kd3

So final positions of the lines looks like drawn.

Dec-11-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  Telemus: <Straclonoor: In 1997 Nikolay N Minev finded that 36.Ke1! is very powerfull.>

What is your source and what does it exactly say?

Dec-12-19  Straclonoor: <What is your source> http://newzealandchess.co.nz/nzches...

p.31

Dec-12-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  Telemus: Thanks, <Straclonoor>.

I find Minev's name there, but not the year. And I assume 1997 is wrong, since Minev found the move much earlier: 1976 or before, when nobody could copy & paste lines with 50+ plies.

Dec-12-19  Straclonoor: < 1976 or before, when nobody could copy & paste lines with 50+ plies.> Analysis above is my.
I meet Minev's name im some articles about the game in end of 90-s-begin 2000s, but dont remember exactly were the date (1997) mentioned.
Feb-10-20  asiduodiego: I think the idea of the secret "2-point clause" is false, and I think this game actually disproves it. Take for example the whole tactical shot started at 15 g4. Lasker is clearly going for the win in this manoeuvre. It was Lasker who actually started the wild tactical battle that defined this game, a strange choice for someone who supposedly "just needed a draw". In the ensuing battle Schlechter perhaps just got lost in what he thought it was a forced variation when he tried the attack with 35 ... Rxf4?, but you can hardly call the previous position as "drawn". Is a very wild and double edged position. Even then, he actually didn't slip into a completely lost position until 64 ... Kc7?, where the Queen trade forces the endgame with white's advantage. With the Queens on the board, Schlechter always had drawing chances, but he blew them.

In my opinion, the theme of this game was: White tried to open tactical shots in the Kingside, because he needed to win. Black defended, but he was lost in the complications, and tried an attack he thought was winning, but he failed. The whole "2-point secret clause" is just an invention.

Feb-10-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: ***

Hi asiduodiego,

Welcome to to this controversy that has been going since Schlecter resigned on move 71.

You can gather quite a bit of info by reading all the posts here but the best bet is to always consult Edward Winter first.

https://www.chesshistory.com/winter...

No stone is left unturned yet in this case some of the stones appear to be missing and some of the stones were better left 'unturned.'

This sentence from the Winter site catches it perfectly:

"The whole controversy is a curious one, for evidence tends to point one way, common sense the other."

Lasker himself writes just prior to the match on the 23 December 1908 in the New York Evening Post:

http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/...

That the match is to be 30 games and Schlecter has to win by a two point margin.

Later it states that the conditions have not yet been settled.

As we now know the match was shrunk to 10 games. (did they keep the two point margin in? - was it a world title match?)

In game 9 (Schlecter's last White) Schlechter vs Lasker, 1910 Schlecter uncharacteristically sacs a pawn for an iffy attack as though he really needs to win that game. Lasker misses a win on move 56, Capablanca writes.

"Lasker had very skillfully brought his advantage to a point where it would tell and at the moment he is going to reap the fruit of his fine play, makes a slip and fails to win the game that was almost a necessity for him."

"...that was almost a necessity for him."

Is that Capa hinting that a win would have meant the 10th game was no longer needed (Schlecter cannot win by 2 points) or that Lasker, one point down, was still losing his world title.

Just after game 9 Lasker printed in the New York Evening Post ( February 8, 1910) two days BEFORE the 10th game started:

"The match with Schlechter is nearing its' end and it appears that for the first time in my life I shall be the loser. If that should happen a good man will have won the world championship."

Lasker vs Schlechter, 1910 (kibitz #51)

That would seem to indicate that Lasker, no doubt jacked off because he botched the win in game 9 could not see himself winning the final game and a one point lead will do.

In the 10th game Lasker invites complications whereas if a two point win was needed a calm draw with White would have sufficed.

Hmmm.....

"The whole controversy is a curious one, for evidence tends to point one way, common sense the other."

Indeed.

***

Feb-15-20  asiduodiego: <Sally Simpson> Hi Sally. What bugs me about this game is that, if Lasker only needed a draw to keep the WC, then, why he turned the game into a wild tactical battle. This game has been wildly over-analyzed, and one can think that it's strange that Schlechter, with his reputation of "draw-master" went into an ill-advised attack. But then again, the position is very wild and open, so perhaps he thought he could make the thing work. And, as the other games in this match indeed prove, this match wasn't a draw-fest with each side going to 30 moves, and then shaking hands. Wild tactical battles were played.

My point is the following: I think Lasker went into a wild position because those are just then kind of positions you need in a "Must-win" scenario. The position before the exchange sacrifice was open and very double edgeded, the kind of position that can lead to each side to fight for a win, but in which a draw is more difficult to find. So, I don't think Lasker, who, according to legend, just needed a draw, would walk into that kind of wild game without needing it.

Feb-16-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: ***

Hi asiduodiego,

As mentioned earlier:

"The whole controversy is a curious one, for evidence tends to point one way, common sense the other."

I'll add if Edward Winter and his merry band of researchers cannot quite get to the bottom of this then the whole thing may remain unresolved.

However I think that this:

Just after game 9 Lasker printed in the New York Evening Post ( February 8, 1910) two days BEFORE the 10th game started:

"The match with Schlechter is nearing its' end and it appears that for the first time in my life I shall be the loser. If that should happen a good man will have won the world championship."

It's quite hard to refute, it is from Lasker's own hand. If only he added somewhere in there : '...if Schlecter wins the last game.' then all would be clear. Is that was what he was thinking.

The chess player in me (paranoia and conspiracy) is thinking Lasker knew Schlecter would see this and was playing a mind trick. (100% speculation).

***

***

Feb-16-20  asiduodiego: <Sally Simpson> I think the basic arguments about this game are:

1- There is evidence that Lasker sometimes proposed the "2-point" rule for some matches, famously he tried that against Capa, which botched negotiations for a WC match until after WW1.

2- In this game, Schlechter tries an ill-advised, but seemingly promising attack, to try to snatch a win, in circunstances that just a draw would suffice for him to win the match.

These two arguments are used to push the case for the secret "2-point clause". However, as you noted:

1- Lasker in his notes clearly seemed to think that he was in position to lose the WC.

2- Lasker, in this game, instead of going for a normal safe line, went into crazy mode, and played a double-edged game, in which both sides can push for a win. This doesn't seem the behavior of a player who needs a draw to keep the WC.

The thing is, we can never be sure for certain what was really going on behind the scenes. But, lacking concrete evidence regarding the rules of this match, and with this game, I tend to believe that Lasker needed a win in this game to retain the WC title.

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