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Wilhelm Steinitz vs Emanuel Lasker
St. Petersburg (1895/96), St. Petersburg RUE, rd 4, Dec-19
Queen's Gambit Declined: Harrwitz Attack (D35)  ·  0-1



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Given 25 times; par: 47 [what's this?]

Annotations by Fred Reinfeld.      [2 more games annotated by F Reinfeld]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Oct-28-05  ahmadov: It is amazing that nobody has kibitz in this very interesting encounter between Steinitz and Lasker. Moreover, the game is cleverly annotated.
Nov-28-07  Ulhumbrus: 31...Be3 attacks by obstructing the defence.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Moreover, the game is cleverly annotated.>

Cleverly but unsoundly. :-) Black seems to get the advantage fairly early, so why is 21....Nd4, sacrificing a pawn for an attack "good enough for a draw" considered praiseworthy?

Jan-14-09  kingmundi: "nor could White save himself by Qd8+." -quote
The sequence after would be something like the following (as the black dark square bishop covers the b6 square)

41. ... Kg6
42. Rb6+ Bxb6
43. Qxb6+ f6
44. Qf2 fxg5
45. Qb6+ Kh7
46. Qc5 Qxg3+
47. Kh1

Apr-28-09  YoungEd: I'm with <keypusher>; if White's play has been questionable so far, then a move by Black that assures no better than a draw can't be quite right, can it?
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Calli> supplies a very interesting newspaper article, , that says Lasker made a move on the board that he should have sealed, and that Steinitz, "after pointing at the clock with a sarcastic smile" at first refused to play further, presumably with the idea that he would be able to analyze the position until the evening resumption. After remonstrations from the organizers he made a move and then Lasker sealed. Lasker went on to win the game, but spectators who had bet on Steinitz refused to pay up "and the incident is still unsettled, to the great annoyance of the club."

I think this is the game in question. Assuming that the game was adjourned after four hours, I would guess that 31....Be3 was the move Lasker failed to seal. If so, then this little incident may have shortened the game, since Steinitz's 32nd move is a blunder (though he was lost anyway). 32....Rxg2 must have been a very unpleasant sight for Steinitz when the envelope was opened at the resumption.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: Steinitz was right, the directors should not have made him move again and let Lasker seal. Would not have made any difference in this game, as you point out.

A similar incident happened in Capablanca vs Alekhine, 1936

Apr-08-11  madlydeeply: These aren't Reinfeld's notes...they are Reuben Fine's! He also gives fourteen (!) variations showing why 19. Rfd1 can't be played. Which makes 17...Rad8 a extremely complicated positional trap... that Steinitz also saw completely through as well. Fine's last comment was "rarely does one game contain so many combinations". This is from a book coauthored by Fine and Reinfeld called "Lasker's Greatest Chess Games" and released under another title "Dr. Lasker's Chess Career". I just bought it used for three dollars and fifty cents. Whatta bargain!
Apr-08-11  madlydeeply: Also Fine shows a variation after 27...Qd6 "stopping Ne2 once and for all": 28. Ne2 Rd8 29. Nf4 Nf5 threatens Ng6 mate as well as QxR. Whee!
Apr-08-11  madlydeeply: Looks like 28 ...Rd8 in that variation threatens 29...Nxe2 followed by Ng6 mate if queen is taken.
Apr-08-11  fab4: 10.. d4 just equalized

And 12.0-0 was bizarre..

Impressed with Lasker's play in this game. He's justifiably one of the greatest in chess history..

Steinitz ofcourse is too.. but by this time he was way past his sell by date.

Jul-01-16  zanzibar: Notes by Fred (or should that be Rueben?)...

I wonder if his published version had 38.Rb5 rather than 38.Rb4 (in descriptive notation), and if <CG> corrected it without notice.

Sep-06-19  Ulhumbrus: As Black is able to answer 12 0-0 advantageously with 12...Bg4 either smashing White's king side or gaining the bishop pair this suggests first 12 Nxd4 and then 13 0-0.
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