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Rudolf Spielmann vs Emanuel Lasker
St. Petersburg (1909), St. Petersburg RUE, rd 5, Feb-21
Vienna Game: Vienna Gambit. Steinitz Variation (C29)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Comments from Lasker's tournament book in plain text, supplemented by Shredder and me in brackets.

1. e4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 (the tournament book actually gives 2...d5, but I assume that is a typo) 3. f4 d5 4. d3 exf4.

The simplest. 5.e5 can now be met by ...d4.

<Lasker had seen White's odd fourth move -- a sort of reversed Philidor -- a decade before: Steinitz vs Lasker, 1899. Here he gets White into trouble in a hurry.>

5.Bxd4 Bb4 6.exd5 Nxd5 7.Bd2 Bxc3 8. bxc3 0-0 9. Nf3 Re8+ 10.Be2 Qe7 <Shredder rates Black a full pawn ahead here.> 11.c4 Nf6 12.Bg5 Nc6 <Shredder prefers 12...Nbd7, with the idea that White can't reduce the pressure on the e-file with Bxf6. Shredder sees the game continuing 13.Qd2 h6 14. Bh4 b6 15. Kf1.> 13.Bxf6 Qxf6 14.0-0 Bg4

Here ...Qh6 would have been much stronger. If 15.Rf2 Bg4 16.Qf1 Re3 and White cannot free himself from the pressure. <But White <can> free himself with 16.Nd4! Bxe2 17.Nxe2. The move in the game seems better than Lasker's suggestion. But in either case, now that White has managed to castle, Black's pressure gradually diminishes.>

15.Qd2 Nd4 16.Rae1 Bxf3<?>

If 16...Rxe2 17.Rxe2 Bxf3 18.Ref2 Qb6 19.c3 Ne2+ 20.Kh1 and Black is in difficulties. If 16...Rxe2 17.Rxe2 Nxf3+ 18.gxf3 Bxf3, then 19.Rg2 Qb6+ 20.c5 Qxc5+ 21.d4 or Qf2 and White has the exchange for two pawns. <All true, but 15...Nxe2+ 16.Rxe2 Qb6+ 17.Kh1 Bxf3 18.gxf3 Qc6 keeps some advantage for Black.>

17.Bxf3 Rxe1 18.Qxe1 <18.Rxe1 Qxf3 19.c3 Qg4 wins a pawn> 18...Nxc2 19.Qf2 Nd4

Useless would be 19...Nb4 20.Bxb7 Qxf2+ 21. Rxf2 Re8 22.Be4.

20.Bxb7 Qxf2+ 21.Kxf2

Far better than 21.Rxf2 Rb8 22.Bd5? Rb8+ 23.Rf1 Ne2+ 24.Kf2 Rxf1+ 25.Kxf1 Nc3 and wins the a-pawn, as White cannot afford to let the bishop be taken.


Better ...Re8 at once.

22.Bd5 Re8 23.Bf3

White should take possession of the b-file with the rook by 23.Rb1. Then Black would achieve nothing by 23...Re2+ 24.Kf1, as both Rb7 and Rb8 would be threatened; but would have to be satisfied with a draw by 23...c6 24.Bf3 Kf8 25.Rb7 Re7 26.Rb8+, etc. <Shredder prefers 23.Kg3, with some advantage for White.>

23...Re6 24.Rb1 Rb6 25.Rxb6 axb6 26. c5

An ingenious idea, which secures the draw. If Black take the pawn, White plays a4 and Black's pawn plus would then signify nothing, as the Knight cannot capture the bishop. <Shredder thinks White would have the advantage after 26...bxc6.>

After 51...g4

Now Black threatens to decide the game by ...Kg5 and ...Ne4 in his favor.


By this diversion White saves himself.

52...Ke5 53.d6 f4+ 54.gxf4+ Kxd6 55.f5 Ke5 56.f6 Drawn.

Dec-01-16  Fanacas: A little late but nice analyse!
Dec-01-16  john barleycorn: In the tournament book it was mentioned that Lasker provided the analysis of the games in a *record* time of 6 month.
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