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Emanuel Lasker vs Wilhelm Steinitz
"Net Yield" (game of the day Nov-21-2016)
Lasker - Steinitz World Championship Rematch (1896), Moscow RUE, rd 2, Nov-11
Spanish Game: Classical. Central Variation (C64)  ·  1-0



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Given 36 times; par: 67 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: You are right. I didn't realize that Steinitz played it out to the end.

Chigorin says Black can equalize at move 30. Here is his analysis:

30...Nf5! 31.Bxd6! Nxd6 32.Nec5+ Bxc5 33.Nxc5+ Kd8! 34.Ne6+ (34.Re6?! Nf8 35.Rxd6+ Kc7 36.Ne4 Rd8 Black will win pawn d4 and a slight advantage.) 34...Kd7 35.Nc5+=

Sep-22-04  fgh: I love this game.
Sep-25-06  aragorn69: It seems <ConLaMismaMano> and <Calli> have it both wrong. According to all the internet chess sources I have consulted the game ended at 36.-Kd6 with Steinitz's resignation.


Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: <aragorn69> I now have Ken Whyld's book of Lasker's games in which the scores are fully documented. This game actually ended as follows:

36.Nxc5+ Kd6 37.Bf4+ Kd5 38.Re5+ Kc4 39.Rc1+ Kxd4 40.Re4+ Kd5 41.Rd1+ 1-0 Source: Deutsches Wochenschach 1896, page 435 (Whyld, game 394)

Steinitz resigned in the face of the forced 41...Kxc5 42.Be3#

Oct-05-06  aragorn69: Thanks a lot, <Calli>, for this correction. Whyld's authority as a chess historian settles the case, I guess!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: <aragorn69> Its amazing that none of the previous versions were correct. The first publication of a game is almost always the best chance at the correct score, but not always available.
Jul-12-07  sanyas: This is a model game for controlling the center. Great for teaching beginners, and it has an exciting finish.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: <32...Nf5> does not work as a defence either as Black's King is too exposed after its unfortunate trek to the centre, for instance:

<33.g4> hxg4 34.h5 Nh8 (34...Nf8?! is worse 35.Nec5+ dxc5 36.Nxc5+ Kd6 37.Bf4+ Kd5 38.Bxc7 Rxc7 39.Re5+ Kd6 40.Rxf5) 35.h6 c5 (35...gxh6? is a blunder 36.Nf6+ Kd8 37.Re8#) 36.hxg7 Nxg7 37.dxc5 dxc5 38.Nexc5+ Kc6 39.Na6 Ra8 40.Nxc7 (taking advantage of the weaknesses on the <c> file and the <7th> rank)Rxc7 41.Rc1+ Kb6 42.Rxc7 Kxc7 43.Re7+ Kd6 44.Rxg7 winning.

Mar-01-08  Knight13: Steinitz messing around with his king only to get slapped in the face HARD.
Apr-29-08  DukeAlba: This game is one of my personal favorites...

<<Knight13>: Steinitz messing around with his king only to get slapped in the face HARD.> More so the way he messed around with his knight in the opening... 4...Nge7 was horrible especially after he again moved it to g6, better would have simply been Nf6... I don't understand why he played that.

May-26-08  prinsallan: This game is breifly shown at the end of the instuctional video for the berlin defense, here:
Jun-21-08  DukeAlba: Yeah, its one of Jrobichess's videos back over on Youtube... Jrobichess' videos are great.
Jan-21-11  Llawdogg: Nice game by Lasker. Poor Steinitz. He would never regain his championship again.
May-23-12  pericles of athens: whew! very nice ending by Lasker.
May-23-12  RookFile: No ending here, a queenless middle game.
Feb-24-14  Conrad93: It is almost depressing to watch this game.
Feb-25-14  thomastonk: Was Steinitz mated or not?

As <Calli> wrote on Sep-26-06, Whyld decided that the game ended after 41.♖d1+, and his decision was based on "Deutsches Wochenschach". I've had a brief look into newspaper archives, and found the following.

The game was played on November 11, 1896. On November 12, <The Pall Mall Gazette> (an evening newspaper published in London) wrote:

<THE CHAMPIONSHIP OF THE WORLD. Moscow, Thursday.- The second game in the chess match between Dr. Lasker and Mr. Steinitz was brought to a close at two o'clock this morning, and resulted in a victory for Dr.Lasker at the forty-first move. -Reuter.>

Okay, Lasker became a Dr only 4 years later, but this little mistake helps to identify Reuter's, when it was not mentioned. A similar message was published on November 13 in <The Belfast News-Letter>, <The Bristol Mercury and Daily Post>, <The Leeds Mercury>, <Liverpool Mercury> and one day later in <The Newcastle Weekly Courant>.

On the other side of the atlantic, the <New York Evening Post> wrote also on November 12: <Moscow, November 12. - Lasker won the second game in the forty-first move of his chess match with Steinitz.>

So far, so good.

On November 13, <The Times> publishes the moves, and the end is <"41. R-Q sq ch and White mates next move">. In the evening of that day, <The Pall Mall Gazette> publishes the game, too: it ends with 42.♗e3 mate!

On the other side of the atlantic the game is published several times, say in the <Westminster Budget> of November 20, the <New York Evening Post> of November 23, and the <Charlston Sunday News> of November 29, and every time the game ends with 42.♗e3 mate.

<Deutsche Schachzeitung> of December 1896 and <BCM> of January 1897 have also 42.♗e3 mate.

Does anybody have a source based on Lasker or Steinitz? Or one from another country, say Russia?

Bachmann, in his Steinitz biography, gives another mate: 40.♘b3+ ♔d3 41.Te3++. How could this happen? Which source did he use?

Feb-28-14  thomastonk: The message of Reuter's was published also by other newspapers, say the <Chicago Daily Tribune>, the <Los Angeles Times>, the <Manchester Guardian> and <The Washington Post>, all November 13.

The <NY Times>, again November 13, published a similar message, but mentioned 42 moves! Here is the text:

<MOSCOW, Nov. 12.--Lasker won the second game of the championship match, after forty-two moves, early this morning. It was a Ruy Lopez. Score: Lasker, 2; Steinitz, 0.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: I suspect that in 1896 newspaper and magazine editors, and perhaps even players, didn't much care about precisely how the the forced mate in this game was concluded, or even whether it was concluded over the board.
Dec-02-14  1 2 3 4: I did nazi that coming.
Feb-16-16  Retireborn: <thomas> Two years later, did you reach any conclusion about the finish of this game?

Convekta gives 40.Nb3+ Kd3 41.Re3#. I am not sure if I should regard them as more reliable for a match played in Moscow.

Premium Chessgames Member
  lame duck: <Calli> Actually Chigorin's analysis is wrong, because white has better option: after 32. Nxd6 (instead of 32. Nec5+) 32. ... Kxd6 33. Re6+ Kd5 (33... Kd7 or 33... Kc7 is worse because of 34.Rxg6 and 35.Rxg7) 34.Rxg6 Rc7 35.Ree6 the position doesn't look like equal.
Jun-26-16  morfishine: I always thought it fascinating that Steinitz was trying to drum-up some games with Morphy in 1862 and here he is playing Lasker in 1896


Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: The rooks eat rhe king apart .
Nov-21-16  SlevinKelevra: I thought 18...d5 or 18...Be6 would've been better than 18...Kh8. But then again, what do I know?
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