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Emanuel Lasker vs Wilhelm Steinitz
St. Petersburg (1895/96), St. Petersburg RUE, rd 2, Dec-15
Spanish Game: Morphy Defense. Modern Steinitz Defense (C71)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: 28. ... .Qe8 29. Nxe8 Nxe8 30. Re7 and soon White will play Rxh7+ and Re1.
Aug-21-03  Shadout Mapes: I guessed 27.g3.
Aug-21-03  euripides: 21 ...fxe4 looks wrong, but these positions were fairly new (the equivalent KID lines only came in fifty years later). After 21..f4 Black's prospects don't look too bad.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: 27.Nf6 Qe7 (the only move) 28.Qxf4 Qxf6 29.Qh4 is possible too.
Aug-21-03  kevin86: A great execution by EL! Lasker was the best strategist of his time,but his tactics are good also. Here he ko's another great champion.
Aug-21-03  Hoozits: Shadout Mapes, I also guessed 27. g3. Can anyone tell us why this isn't the best move as it (appears) to make white a whole rook up and not just the exchange.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: 27.g3 looks like a good move to me, but Black might be able to find refuge in the complications: 27.g3 Rxe4 28.Nxe4 Bxh3, with ...Nf5 and ...Rf8 in the air.
Aug-21-03  Jonber: Also playable in the above position would have been the simpler, and rather less flashy, 27.Nf6.The mainline is probably stronger though, if only for the surprise and shock. 27.g3 is a weaker move, beacuse of:

27.g3?! Rxe4 28.Nxe4 Bxe4 29.Qxe4 Qxh3

and Black gains an extra pawn compared to the mainline, as well as draining much of the strenght out of White's attack.

Aug-21-03  crafty: 27. g3 ♖xe4 28. ♘xe4 ♗xe4 29. ♕xe4 ♕xh3 30. ♖d3 ♕f5   (eval 1.34; depth 16 ply; 750M nodes)
Aug-22-03  patzer2: Lasker nicely combines the clearance, deflection and double attack themes to win the exchange and a pawn, and then masterfully pushes the advantage with a decisive rook move.

27. Qxf4! serves two purposes. First, it clears the e-file, preventing black's queen from occupying it (due to the threat 28. RxQ) as well as capturing the rook that will give white a winning material advantage (exchange up) at the end of the combination.

28. Nf6! forces the loss of the black queen because of the deflection and double attack dilemma it creates for black. If the queen remains in place, she is captured leaving black the exchange down in a hopelessly lost position. If the queen moves (as a result of the deflection move) to a square where she cannot be captured (28...Qd8 or 28...Qc8), then 29. Nf6# follows.

30. Re7! is an instructive move worthy of study, demonstrating how white maintains the initiative in these kinds of exchange up positions, versus the more passive alternative 30. Nf6. In addition, it parries black's threat of 30...Bxh3 31. gxh3 Nf3+ (winning back the exchange if white is careless) after black's 29th move. It is also illustrative of the power of the rook gone wild on the seventh rank, aided by a strong knight,in these kinds of positions.

Mar-16-05  notyetagm: Great combination by Lasker, beginning with 27 ♕xf4!!. Very nice.
Mar-16-05  crucify: he cant move the queen because of Nf7 mate. anywhere he moves it, it will get taken then mated
Dec-05-06  adviser: Who do U think is better overall, Stienitz or Lasker?
Oct-06-07  RookFile: Lasker just outcalculated him here.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: The tournament book points out that Black tries to keep White's rook off the 7th rank with 28....Rd8, 29. Nxd7 Rxd7 30. c6 follows.
Jul-05-09  WhiteRook48: I think Lasker
Nov-21-10  sevenseaman: These Old Masters always produce some stuff; expect it clockwork like!
Dec-13-11  Llawdogg: Wow! 27 Qxf4! was a fantastic queen sacrifice by Lasker.
Dec-13-11  AnalyzeThis: There's one other point about games like this. They show a weakness of Steinitz's - he was insufficiently mindful of the importance of space. Against a lesser player, he could retreat all his pieces to the first rank, but you don't do that against Lasker.
Jan-05-18  kishore4u: brilliant move 27 by lasker
Jan-01-19  Xeroxx: Really nice.
Feb-17-21  SymphonicKnight: A sacrifice out of the blue, deserving of inclusion in text books. Lasker shows again why he was the world champion, dialing up a 99% accuracy rate.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Lasker obviously used silicon assistance. (rolls eyes)
Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: 19 average centipawn loss from Lasker - no inaccuracies, no mistakes

Amazingly modern play by White - no biases - like Bruce Lee "Be like Water!"

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimmy720: Lasker played incredible chess, but I am impressed with Steinitz's (misguided) plans. His position was passive, but Lasker had to find accurate moves to prevent Steinitz from getting active play.
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