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Emanuel Lasker vs Wilhelm Steinitz
Steinitz - Lasker World Championship Match (1894), Montreal CAN, rd 3, Mar-21
Spanish Game: Steinitz Defense (C62)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-12-06  jamesmaskell: Emanuel Lasker (White) had a few things to say about this game.


<Now comes a very important manoeuvre, the key to White's defence>

31. b3

<If instead 31. Qe2, then Black replies 31...Qd5, when the entire queenside will be at his disposal>

31...Re8 32. Qe2 Qh3

<The first sign that Black's attack is gradually petering out. The queen would have stood better somewhere on the queenside, but 32...Qd5 cannot be played, however, for then 33. c4 forces the exchange of queens>

33. Kd1 Ra8 34. Rf2 Ra2

<Black's pieces are well placed but they are no longer threatening anything>


<on 37...c4 there would have followed 38. bxc4 or 37...Nd3+ 38. Kb1 with exchanges to follow>


<alas, this is insufficient>

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Thanks for the notes, <jamesmaskell>! A great example of Lasker's enormous will to win, expressed here in a patient, resourceful and stubborn defense. Also an early example of the e4-f5 pawn formation that Lasker used in a number of famous games.
Nov-12-06  Calli: <keypusher> Here is a collection of mainly Lasker games of backward e-pawn formation with e4 and f5. Game Collection: Lasker's Secret Weapon, the e4-f5 pawn formation
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Calli> What a great idea for a collection!
Feb-29-08  Knight13: That's like the strongest white knight ever.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Unfortunately, as computers confirm, Lasker could have saved himself and Steinitz a lot of trouble with 27. Nxd7. There is no perpetual check.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Looks like we may have a typo here. After <51.Bxc3>:

click for larger view

I've found a number of contemporary sources indicating that Black's next move was <51...Rg5>, not <51...Rc5>.

Steinitz-Lasker Match / H.E. Bird, p. 21

The games in the Steinitz-Lasker championship match (reprint from BCM). p. 20

Tijdschrift van de Koninklijke Nederland, May 1894, p. 87

Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 3/23/94, p. 8 [warning: loads slowly}

Of course, both rooks moves lose; Black's only chance was 51...Kd7.

Any sources for 51...Rc5?

Dec-16-10  Calli: Ken Whyld also gives 51...Rg5 Source:New York Recorder, 22 March 1894.

Also, the date is wrong in the CG header. Should be 1894.03.20

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: <Phony Benoni> The 1894 Lasker - Steinitz match can also be found at In game 3, Black's 51st move is given as 51...Rg5. The sources for this game are listed as: "The Sun"; the "New-York Daily Tribune"; "The Brooklyn Daily Eagle"; and the "New York Recorder".

In addition to the games, notes to the games were provided by Lasker and Steinitz.

Regarding the move 51...Rg5, Steinitz commented, <An awful blunder. There was still some chance of a draw by 51...Kd7. After the text move the game is lost, for if 52...Rg1+ 53. K-moves Rf1 54.Ne6 wins.>

As Steinitz states that 52...Rg1+ is a possibility in one variation, it is clear the move actually played was 51...Rg5.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <Calli> Thanks for confirming the correct score. However, it seems like the correct beginning date was 1894.03.21.

Both the BCM and <Tijdschrift> sources mentioned above give March 21st. The Eagle, on March 23, said it finished on the previous day after an adjournment, which also seems to imply the 21st.

The New York Times, in an article on March 22, confirms that the game began "yesterday", and the adjournment session would be played "today" at 3 PM.

Dec-16-10  Calli: <The New York Times, in an article on March 22, confirms that the game began "yesterday", and the adjournment session would be played "today" at 3 PM.>

How then, could the Recorder have the complete score on the 22nd. My guess is 20th and 21st.

Dec-16-10  Calli: Well, maybe you are right. I looked up the game in the NY Herald Tribune of Mar 23 (Friday):

"W. Steinitz and Emanuel Lanker resumed play in the third game of the championship chess match at the Union Square Hotel yesterday afternoon. After six additional moves the champion had to resign. Lasker chose the shortest route to Victory by glving up the exchange at his forty-sixth turn. From the beginning of the play on Thursday the German expert had the best of the game and there was scarcely any hope left for Steinltz when the game was adjourned on Thursday, at 11 p.m."

The Thursday at 11 p.m., however, does not make sense. They may have meant Wednesday or maybe even Tuesday (the 20th).

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <Pawn and Two> Sorry, but I missed your message earlier. I had no idea Chess Archaeology had progressed to this extent.

The New York Recorder columns from March 22nd and 23rd can be accessed through this link:

Dec-17-10  Calli: Yes, the date is definitely the 21st and a six moves after adjournment on the 22nd. K. Whyld has it mixed up.
Aug-03-11  Skakalec: <keypusher><Unfortunately, as computers confirm, Lasker could have saved himself and Steinitz a lot of trouble with 27. Nxd7. There is no perpetual check.>

I would like to see that line.

Aug-03-11  trnbg: 27.Nxd7 ...Qb1+ 28.Ke2 ...Qd3+ 29.Kf2 ...Qc2+ 30.Kf1 ...Qb1+ 31.Qe1, and no perpetual check.
Aug-03-11  nummerzwei: <trnbg: 27.Nxd7 ...Qb1+ 28.Ke2 ...Qd3+ 29.Kf2 ...Qc2+ 30.Kf1 ...Qb1+ 31.Qe1, and no perpetual check.>

This is incorrect, viz. 30...Qd3+.

The actual winning line, discovered by Mason, goes like this:

28.Kd2! Qxb2+ 29.Kd1 Qb3+ 30.Ke2 Qc4+ 31.Ke1 Qxc3+ 32.Bd2 Qa1+ 33.Ke2

Black can deviate in various ways, but to no avail.

Aug-17-17  Saniyat24: Steinitz fought very hard, and tried his best, but Lasker was too strong in this game...!
May-22-20  njuguna: 22. Qb5 is such a bad move, allowing the rook to take the pawn and start attacking, surely Steinitz should have seen this, 22. c5 would have been ok closing the diagonal
Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: Lasker's iconic e4 f5 pawn chain which he used in later years in an exchange Ruy Lopez to beat Capablanca with - Lasker vs Capablanca, 1914

Lasker essentially makes the point about downsides not being downsides if they are not exploitable.

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