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Siegbert Tarrasch vs Emanuel Lasker
Lasker - Tarrasch World Championship Match (1908), Duesseldorf GER, rd 2, Aug-19
Spanish Game: Berlin Defense. Hedgehog Variation (C66)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 5 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Aug-19-06  ughaibu: I like Bernieno's idea, 'Lasker didn't employ psychological tactics but for psychological reasons he didn't dispute his reputation for doing so'.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: To me 19. Qxa7 looks very strong. The queen can't be locked out of play and, in fact, comes back to d4 (visually, a totally dominating square) immediately. Black's kingside is still broken up. If I were White, I would be thinking "OK, I've still got a huge positional advantage, and now I have a protected passed pawn too!" (See Winawer vs Lasker, 1896 -- Lasker had no problem sending his queen far afield to grab a pawn.)

<White's failure to take the black square bishop is a horrible mistake. The knight does nothing the rest of the game while the Bishop is a thorn in the King side defense.>

Not playing Nxe7 does turn out to be a mistake, but at the time it's possible I would not have made the trade, because White's knight looks much stronger than Black's bishop.

Conclusions: Lasker was an incredible chess player, and chess is a very difficult game.

Aug-20-06  whatthefat: <keypusher>
Interesting that our interpretations of the position are so different. Trying to justify my gut instinct, I'm worried about giving black just enough time to co-ordinate. The white king is feeling the breeze, and with moves like ...Qe6 and ...d5, black threatens to burst free. That's why I worry about spending 2 moves on the a-pawn. Also, by creating another semi-open file for black (the a-file), it may even make it difficult for white to take his queen's rook away from the defence of his queenside pawns.
Aug-23-06  Rama: For me the white moves 11-15 are the lemons. They include shifting the N to the K-side and the sac on g7. They do very little for white, while black completes his centralization and launches his attack with 14. ... Ng4.

I see nothing wrong with 11. h3 Qd7, 12. Be3 Rfe8, 13. Qe2 ..., and 14. Rad1 .... The square e5 is bound to become black's bastion. Here white can dispute it with Bd4 and f4, and the a-pawn is under pressure.

Aug-23-06  whatthefat: Black ought to be losing after 14...Ng4 though.
Aug-24-06  Rama: After 14. ... Ng4, white has troubles, self-inflicted troubles. But surely minds greater than ours have analyzed this venerable game?
Premium Chessgames Member
  lostemperor: Move 11 and 12 are objectively mistakes. Lasker should have played ... d5 at either one of these occasions. Now the retreat squares for the Knight are occupied. Well if the knight can't go back it should go forward to g4. After all, it is I, Lasker.

But see it this way; if Lasker had pushed the pawn to d5 at move 11 or 12. the position would perhaps have been too simple to lose and this brilliancy might have become an insignificant draw. It was this game what make Tarrasch accuse Lasker of witchcraft.

Dec-05-06  adviser: I don't thinkk that Tarrasch should even get the honour of playing world championship match with Lasker.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jonathan Sarfati: <Lentil>, see Fyodor Ivanovich Dus Chotimirsky
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: <"I am thoroughly ashamed of that game." was Tarrasch's own comment, and to the end of his days he could never understand why he had lost, why indeed, he had to lose a game that to his dogmatic mind was a "theoretical win"; to the end of his days he ascribed the result of that game to "Lasker's incredible luck.">

Emanuel Lasker The Life of a Chess Master.

Jan-10-08  Hesam7: <<16 Kxf2>

This move is often criticised but objectively it may be at least as good as the alternative. 16 Qd4 Ng4 17 Nf5 "gives Black more problems" wrote Burgess. 17...Qe6 18 Re3 would win according to V. Zak's book on Lasker, but Black can reach an endgame by 18...Bf6 19 Bxf6 Qxf6 20 Qxf6 Nxf6 21 Rae1 Re5!?.> -- Tim Harding, The Kibitzer, Jan 9th 2008.

According to the engines the following is the best play by both sides: 16 Qd4 Ng4 17 Nf5 Qe6

click for larger view

[A] Zak's 18 Re3 does not seem to best due to 18...c5 (this buys a tempo compared to Harding's endgame line). The top 2 lines (the only ones not losing):

18...c5 19.Qc3 Bf6 20.Bxf6 Qxf6 21.Qxf6 Nxf6 22.Rf1 Nxe4 23.Nh6+ Kg7 24.Nxf7 Rd7 25.Ng5 Rde7 26.Nxe4 Rxe4 27.Ref3 Kg6 28.Rf7 Re2 29.Rxc7 Rxc2 30.Rxa7 h5 [Fruit 2.3.1: +0.48. Depth: 19. Nodes: 1697 M]

18...Bf6 19.Bxf6 Qxf6 20.Qxf6 Nxf6 21.Rg3+ Kf8 22.Rf1 Rd7 23.Nh6 Re6 24.Rgf3 Kg7 25.Nf5+ Kf8 26.Nd4 Rxe4 27.Nxc6 Ng4 28.Rf4 d5 29.c4 Rxf4 30.Rxf4 Ne3 31.cxd5 Rxd5 32.Nxa7 [Fruit 2.3.1: +0.84. Depth: 19. Nodes: 1744.1 M]

[B] An alternative suggested by the engine is 18 Qc3, the game might continue 18...c5 19 Rad1 Qg6 20 Rd3 Bf6 (forced) 21 Bxf6 Qxf6 (forced) 22 Qa5. Avoiding the exchange of Queens, threatening Rg3 and attacking the c7 pawn!

click for larger view

And it is not easy to find a defense for Black.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Hesam7> In Tarrasch's own book on the match, he recommends 16. Qd4 Ng4 17. Rf1, and if 17...f6 18. Nh5 <nebst h2-h3 und Weiss gewinnt mindestens zunaechst den Bauern f6>. If 17...Qe6, he gives 18. Nf5 c5 19. Qd3 Ne5 (or 19....Qg6 20. Rf1-f3-g3) 20. Qg3 Ng6 (20....Qg6 21. Bxe5 dxe5 22. Nh6+ Kg7 23. Rxf7+ Kxh6 24. Qh3+ Kg5 25. Raf1 wins) 21. Bb2 Bf8 22. h4 <und gewinnt>.

What do the engines have to say about Tarrasch's continuation?

One further thought: In the game continuation, 17. Nf5+ looks strong, but the knight winds up being a target. Would Tarrasch have improved his pawn-grab with 17. Qd4+ f6 (17...Bf6 18. Nh5+ Kg6 19. Qxf6+ Kxh5 20. Re3) 18. Qxa7?

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Answering my own question, Fritz 5.32 finds that 16. Qd4 Ng4 17. Rf1 is pretty well answered by 17...Bg5!, threatening ...Be3+. Fritz finds that White maintains a slight advantage via <18. Nf5 <(18. Kh1 d5! 19. exd5 Be3 20. Qb2 cxd5 <20....Nf2+? 21. Rxf2 Bxf2 22. Nh5 > 21. Nh5 Qd6 22. Nf6+ Nxf6 23. Bxf6 )> 18....Re6>. But this line is not as good for White as 17. Nf5, as given in Hesam's comment.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Answering my other question:

<One further thought: In the game continuation, 17. Nf5+ looks strong, but the knight winds up being a target. Would Tarrasch have improved his pawn-grab with 17. Qd4+ f6 (17...Bf6 18. Nh5+ Kg6 19. Qxf6+ Kxh5 20. Re3) 18. Qxa7?>

Better than 17....f6 is Fritz's 17....Kg6! 18. Qxa7 Bf6 19. Qe3! Bxa1 20. Nf5 Rxe4 21. Qxe4 Qxf5+ 22. Qxf5+ Kxf5 23. Rxa1, though White maintains an advantage in the ending. So Tarrasch was correct to preface 18. Qd4+ with 17. Nf5+.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Here is Tarrasch's interesting comment after Black's 20....Re5.

<I had, when I chosen 16. Kxf2 over 16. Qd4, believed that I could take the a-pawn without loss of time and then carry on the attack against the broken Black king position, but this move dispelled my illusions. It was immediately clear to me that my attack was over, and that I would myself be subjected to a counterattack. Black threatens to assault the centre with …d6-d5 as well simply by tripling on the e-file, and it is now time to look for an appropriate defense. The move g2-g4 seemed too daring, but this was the easiest and most vigorous defense. Then, the knight can be held in its dominant position, the e-pawn can easily be defended by Re3 and Rae1 and the impending advance …d6-d5 loses power. Black has no way to take advantage of the weakening of the king’s flank that g2-g4 naturally brings. But, haunted by nameless fear, I rejected the strongest defense, instead thinking and thinking of alternate moves, but without reaching a satisfactory result, while wasting a great deal of time and energy. And so, I fell into time pressure, and in my subsequent erratic and planless play, I transformed a winning game into a losing one.>

(This is my and Google's loose translation, by the way, so any Deutschesprekker with Tarrasch's book (which is available on Google books for $0) should feel free to defend the helpless language against us.)

Tarrasch is right (according to Fritz) about g4, which allows him to retain almost a full point advantage. But I think he overreacted to 20...Re5 and the accompanying realization that Black had a lot of play, and seems to have concluded too quickly that his position had gone from easily winning to desperate. (It reads almost like Taimanov's description of his agonizing over whether to play Qh3 in the third game against Fischer in 1971.) I also suspect that g4, which I think he once characterized as "the suicide-move" was very difficult for Tarrasch to play.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: More of Tarrasch's commentary, interspersed with Fritz's and mine. (Part I of II)

After 23. Ng3: <Instead of this retreat, which lets the black Bishop come dangerously into play, it was still much better to take the c-pawn; after 23…Rc5 24. Qa6 Rxc2 + 25 Re2 White has a very satisfactory position.>

According to Fritz, White has a decent position either way.

After 23….Bh6. <The bishop threatens to go to f4 to eliminate the knight, the most important defender of the weak king’s pawn.>

After 25. exd5: <It has been repeatedly asserted that had I played 25. Nf5, I would have won the game. This is not so, as shown by the following interesting variation: 25. Nf5 Qg6 26. Nxh6 Qxh6 (better than 26….dxe4 27. Qf4 Rg5 28. g3 Qh6 29. h4, when White is better) 27. exd5 Qh4+ 28. g3 Qxh2+ 29. Kf1 Qh3+ and Black gets a draw by perpetual check. The text move was completely correct and still should have led to the win. >

In his "drawing" line, Tarrasch overlooks the simple 28. Qg3, and there is no perpetual check. Black is better off recapturing the pawn on move 27, but even after 27….cxd5 28. Rxe5 Rxe5 he should still lose.

After 27. Rd3:

After pointing out that the exchange sacrifice 27. Rxe3 fails, Tarrasch writes:

<On the other hand, I could maintain a clear advantage with 27. Nf5 d4 28. Nxe3 dxe3 29. Rd3 (or first 29. Re2), thus halting the e-pawn and attacking it three times, then draw off a black piece by the advance of the a-pawn, thus exchanging the two passed pawns. Instead, getting into severe time-pressure, I moved to and fro, which only led to the knight being driven out of play and the White position rendered untenable. >

Fritz agrees with the doctor that Nf5 is still strong: 27. Nf5 d4 (I would be tempted to retreat the bishop, but the computer thinks that is much worse) 28. Nxe3 dxe3 29. Re2 (29. Rd3 e2+ is messier), and after something like 29…Qe6 (threatening …Rf5) 30. Kg1 Rf5 31. Qg3 Re5 32. Rd3 Qf5 33. a4 Qh5 34. a5 Rxa5 35. Rdxe3 Re5 36. Rxe5 fxe5 White retains a sizeable edge. But victory is still a long way off.

After 31. Nf2

<The time is not exceeded, but the game is irretrievably lost, because the white pieces are all clumped together and terribly cramped.>

click for larger view

This is an interesting position. At a glance it looks like Black is overrunning the board, and Tarrasch evidently believed that’s exactly what was happening. But after a careful inspection a more nuanced view emerges. Black’s imposing heavy-piece array on the e-file is blocked by his own bishop, which itself looks dominant but is almost welded in place by its supporting pawns. Put in terms of color-complexes, Black rules the dark squares, but White retains strong light-square barriers. (One of Bobby Fischer’s more bizarre accusations—thought I—against Lasker was that he didn’t understand white or dark-square weaknesses as well as Tarrasch. Maybe Bobby was on to something….) In any case, Fritz isn’t particularly impressed with Lasker’s 30…d4 (was Black was in time trouble too?), preferring 30….Re4. But I think Lasker has the last laugh over Fritz and even Bobby, because it becomes clear in the game contination that after 31….Qa6! Black (finally!) has achieved equality and maybe a little more, e.g. 32. Nd3 Rg5 33. h3 Qxa2. But White, contrary to Tarrasch’s note, is far from lost.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: (Part II of II)

Tarrasch got into time trouble even though he had two hours for 30 moves, which modern grandmasters would kill for. The game was adjourned after Lasker’s sealed move, 32….Rg5.

After 33. Ra1[?]

<An attempt by the King to escape to the queenside. The terrible bishop commanded him to stop.>

Though Tarrasch probably never suspected it, only here does he begin to fall into serious danger of losing. With 33. h3 his position would still be far from hopeless. But after 33. Ra1 Qh6 it’s too late for h3. Lasker’s side-to-side queen sweep is reminiscent of the famous rook-sweep at the end of Lasker vs Capablanca, 1914. But as appealing as 33…Qh6 is, the computer finds a stronger plan after 33. Ra1: 33….Reg8 34. Ke1 Qg6, and White’s kingside caves in.

After 34. Ke1

<The h-pawn cannot be defended, for after 34....Rg3 35. Q-move Qxh3 36. gxh3 Rg1#.>

After 36. Ne1

<If the rook is interposed, then follows 36. ... Qxg2 37. Qxg2 Rxg2 and White may not take the f-pawn, as then by 38. ... Rd2 + 39. Kc1 Re2 + 40 Kb2 Bxf4 he loses the knight.>

After 36….Rge5

<Now a final catastrophe threatens via …Bf2+, with four pieces attacking the knight, which is defended only by three pieces.>

After 37. Qc6

<White seeks here and in subsequent moves via attack on a rook to avert disaster, since if the bishop moves the Queen may take the rook: e.g. 37…Bf2? 38. Qxe8 and Black may still lose. >

Incidentally, Fritz thought at first that here 37….R8e6 won out of hand, but 38. Qxc7 d3 39. cxd3 Bd4 40. Qd8+ Kg7 41. Rc1!! Rxe2 42. Rc7+ draws: 42….Kg6 43. Qg8+ Kf5 44. Rf7+ Bf6 45. Qxh7+ Kg5 46. Qg8+ Kf5 47. Qh7+, etc.

After 37….R5e6:

<After 37….R8e7 White would threaten both rooks with 38. Qf6+ and so hamstring the final attack. >

After 39. Qd8+

<It was better in any event to keep the rook on e6 under threat, for example by Qc4 or Qc8+, because (as is soon demonstrated) the other rook can be uncovered by the bishop. But, under the relentless pressure of the black pieces, I had long since thrown in the towel >(an idiomatic expression which I may have mistranslated: <die Flinte ins Korn geworfen>).

After 40. a4[??]

<Here the queen must go to d5, for the same reasons as stated above. Now two closing moves bring all resistance to an end.>

Incidentally, only here does White’s game go from sickly to dead. It may be that, having focused on the …d3 threat over the past several moves, Tarrasch overlooked the threat of 40….f3 entirely. Or, it may be that, wrongly convinced he had been lost for a long time, he simply stopped looking for saving moves.

After 41….Bg5

<The knight cannot be defended any more, because after 42. Rxe6 follows 42….Rxe6 43. Qd7+ Re7 and Black wins.>

As in Lasker vs Tarrasch, 1923, Tarrasch won a pawn early, but Lasker found a way to get counterplay. Tarrasch then despaired much sooner than he needed to.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Here is Tarrasch's comment at the end of the game in his book:

<I am thoroughly ashamed of this game. Right after I had by the 15th move (Bxg7) so seized a large advantage that Lasker, while I was thinking of my next move, in the outside room, said to the observers, “I always lose the second game(?)<Die zweite Partie verliere ich immer>.” But here my loss in the previous game had its effect. I was in the 16th move indecisive(?) <unschluessig>, for I could press my attack or play to win a pawn, and unluckily chose the latter, saying to myself, my attack may go awry and I be left with nothing, which I regret, for it was difficult for the extra pawn to bring victory. Had I not lost the first game, then I would have preferred to attack, for in the worst case, had I failed to win, I would have been in no danger of losing. But I wanted to win to overcome my earlier defeat and catch up to my opponent. And my plan [grabbing the pawn] was good enough for victory. But now uncertainty about the best defensive system brought me into severe time pressure, and I made a great many weak moves in a won position. I had to recover from the moral perception(?) <Eindruck> of the two defeats, and I took a two-day timeout.>

As shown by Hesam's computer analysis below, it is by no means clear that preserving the bishop and continuing the attack was better than the course Tarrasch actually chose. In either case, Tarrasch had a decisive advantage, but Lasker could still have put up a great deal of resistance (especially if Tarrasch had played 16. Qd4 Ng4 17. Rf1?!, as he apparently intended).

Also, although Tarrasch did make some second-rate moves in time pressure, as we have seen he was by no means lost after the control was reached. Perhaps because he was convinced his position was hopeless, he did not make use of the defensive chances he still had between moves 30-40.

The Lasker quote that <chancho> posted ascribes Tarrasch's defeat to dogmatism, but I think Tarrasch's strong sense of narrative (and, more prosaically, his bad nerves) is to blame. In his mind, White seized a winning advantage early, but, oppressed by the memory of his defeat in the first game, chose a weak line and then, harassed by the clock and his own doubts, threw the game away. That was the "story of the game." In fact, his position was not as good at move 15, or as bad at move 30, as he thought, and things stayed murky for a very long time. A chess game is the product of two minds and wills, not one, and so it rarely tells a clear story. (That's what problems are for.) Lasker always understood this much better than Tarrasch.

Mar-02-08  Knight13: <I am thoroughly ashamed of this game. Right after I had by the 15th move (Bxg7) so seized a large advantage that Lasker, while I was thinking of my next move, in the outside room, said to the observers, “I always lose the second game"> Lasker was probably just joking.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Here are Tarrasch's notes from the beginning of the game; obviously he is no fan of the Steinitz defense!>

Dusseldorf August 19

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. 0-0 d6

This formerly often played defense to the Spanish Game leads, like many of the other defenses, to an unsatisfactory game for Black.

5. d4 Bd7 6. Nc3 Be7 7. Re1!

Forces the well-known pawn-exchange in the center, in which Black gives the center and a freer game to his opponent. Castling would lead via to the well-known exchanging combination (7....0-0 8. Bxc6 Bxc6 9. dxe5 dxe5 10. Qxd8 Raxd8 11. Nxe5 Bxe4 12. Nxe4 Nxe4 13. Nd3 f5 14. f3 Bc5+ 15. Nxc5 Nxc5 16. Bg5 and Be7) to a decisive disadvantage for Black. The currently popular alternative to Re1, b2-b3 seems to me after the continuation 7....Nxd4 8. Nxd4 exd4 9. Qxd4 Bxb5 10. Nxb5 Nd7 11. Ba3 (Maroczy's move) 11....0-0 12. Rad1 a6 13. Nc3 Bf6 and ...g6 and ...Bg7 less good for White, since the White bishop is misplaced.

7....exd4 8. Nxd4 0-0 9. Nxc6

It is difficult to determine the best move here. The text move perhaps simplifies the game prematurely and frees Black's game by exchanges. To prevent this, the retreat of the knight from d4 to e2 comes into consideration, and also especially the retreat of the king's bishop to f1, which perhaps is the right move in this position. Apart from these moves 9. Bg5 is very strong, because after 9....Nxe4 then 10. Bxe7 Nxc3 11. Bxd8 Nxd1 12. Bxc6 bxc6 13. Be7 costs Black the exchange.


Generally Black retakes here with the b-pawn, but the text move is better, as the following exchange gives greater freedom to Black's game. Then after 10. Bd3 Black achieves immediate equality with 10....d5.

10. Bxc6 bxc6 11. Ne2

A good move, that leads to an attacking formation for White. The g7 square is the target! The e-pawn obviously cannot be taken in view of the continuation Nd4 and Nxc6.


Better is perhaps 11....d5, although then after 12. e5 Ne4 13. Nd4 could be played, when after 13....Bc5 14. Be3 the retreat of the black knight is jeopardized (14....Qd7? 15. f3), and after 13...Qd7 (instead of 13....Bc5) 14. c4 with the threat of Qa4 could follow.

12. Ng3 Rfe8

Black now has a very cramped game.

13. b3 Rad8

Perhaps 13....Bf8 and Re6 would give Black a better defense.

14. Bb2 Ng4(?)

An error, such as in beleaguered positions is to be expected <Ein versehen, wie sie sich in bedrangten Stellungen einzustellen pflegen.> Black will now follow with ...Bf6, but --

15. Bxg7 Nxf2

The best; after 15....Kxg7 16. Nf5+ and Qxg4, Black has lost a pawn without any compensation.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Shredder also found some additional resources for both sides at the end. It thought 39. Qc8+ was good enough to hold the draw: 39. Qc8+ Kg7 40. a4 Qh1 41. a5 Qh5 (with the idea 42. a6 Bd2 ) 42. Nf3 Qh1+ 43. Ne1 Qh5 44. Nf3 Qh1+, draw.

On the other hand, it did not believe White could hold with 40. Qc8 after 40....h5!! 41. a4 h4 (with the idea 42....f3 and 43.....h3) 42. Qc5 f3 43. Rxe3 fxe3 44. Qg5+ Kf8 45. Qf4+ Rf7 46. Qb4+ Kg7 47. Qd4+ Rff6 48. Qg4+ Kf7 49. Qh5+ Ke7 50. Qh7+ Kd8! 51. Qh8+ Kd7 52. Qg7+ Kd6

Of course, that would have been a hell of a line for both players to come up with.

If that line is correct, then 40. a4 may not have been the losing move, as I previously wrote. But I am not at all sure that it is correct. In any case, it's clear that Tarrasch had chances to survive right up to the end, and he decided his position was hopeless far too soon.

Jun-04-08  Ulhumbrus: An interview which Capablanca gave in 1939 included remarks which may have referred to this game: "...Lasker, apart from having a profound knowledge of chess, was a fighter. His first chess [sic] work was entitled [...] Kampf (“Fight”). He is a man of a thousand resources at the chessboard. I still have clearly in mind the impression made upon me by one of his games against his constantly outshone rival, Dr Tarrasch. Lasker never paid excessive attention to the theoretical studies of his compatriot Dr Tarrasch, firstly because he was a basically practical player and secondly because Lasker did not attribute to these studies more importance than they deserved. Nevertheless, on a particular occasion he slipped into an inferior position to which Tarrasch induced him and suddenly found himself at his rival’s mercy. It was then that Lasker showed his fighting spirit. Instead of making the ordinary move which would have occurred to any other master, whereby he would sooner or later have lost or, with difficulty, drawn, Lasker sacrificed a pawn. But what a sacrifice! I have seen no such sacrifice in any modern games! It was impossible to know whether it should be accepted or refused. As the saying goes, “it shook the board”. Here was the “eccentricity” of the old teacher of philosophy and mathematics of the University of Breslau who took his opponents by surprise. The result was that after a few moves it was Lasker, not Tarrasch, who had the better game. This game shows any chessplayer the extraordinary quality of play, which he possesses even today as a glorious septuagenarian, of Dr Emanuel Lasker, world champion for 25 [sic] years..."
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Ulhumbrus> I would bet on this one, and I guess <Karpova> would too.

Lasker vs Tarrasch, 1923

But who knows?

Jun-23-08  Ulhumbrus: <keypusher> I think that you and Karpova are right, because not all of Capablanca's remarks appear to apply to the present game. To take the several comments which Capablanca makes, in both games Lasker loses a pawn but then gains the better game after a few moves. In both games the pawn sacrifice might be said to "shake the board". In the present game if Capablanca's former remark applies at move 14, that "the ordinary move which would have occurred to any other master" "would sooner or later have lost or, with difficulty, drawn" this could mean the move 14...Qe6. However one of Capablanca's remarks seem not to apply to the present game. Capablanca says of the pawn sacrifice "It was impossible to know whether it should be accepted or refused." That may be true of the pawn sacrifice in the game Lasker vs Tarrasch, 1923 it is not true of the pawn sacrifice 14...Ng4 in this game. Lasker comments himself on the move 14...Ng4 saying " Against Tarrasch this is correct; against Marshall or Janowski it would be a grave error". This is because after 15 Bxg7 Nxf2 White can continue the attack by 16 Qd4! So we cannot say that it is "impossible to know" whether Tarrasch should accept the pawn or not. I conclude that you and Karpova are right.
Aug-07-09  birthtimes: "The [14th] move put his [Lasker's] opponent in the quandary of having to choose between either winning a pawn immediately or continuing a promising attack.

It seemed a delectable choice, and Tarrasch, as conscientiously and thoroughly as ever, spent a lot of time and nervous energy in deciding the course to take.

But Lasker was never in any doubt as to what that decision would be; he knew his opponent's mind better than Tarrasch did himself; he knew that, having lost the first [previous] game, Tarrasch would grasp the tangible advantage of the pawn rather than the speculative one of the attack; and Lasker also knew that this would not be the wiser choice for him to take.

Yet, he took it, and once again a deliberately poor move made by Lasker, the chess player, was justified by Lasker, the psychologist."

Emanuel Lasker: The Life of a Chess Master, pp. 126-127.

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Featured in the Following Game Collections[what is this?]
Game 2, Lasker leads 2-0 (2-0)
from 1908 World Chess Championship by Penguincw
Selected Lasker
by LaBourdonnaisdeux
Lasker tripled on the e-file and made White passive
from yttacks & Sacs f7/f2 -1st Edition by Fredthebear by fredthebear
Game 56
from Master Games - Chess (Tartakower/du Mont) by Sergio0106
Game 226
from Max Euwe - From Steinitz to Fischer, Part 1 by demirchess
September, p. 178 [Game 184 / 1465]
from American Chess Bulletin 1908 by Phony Benoni
tarrasch vs lasker game 28 Ruy
from Richard Reti's Masters of the Chessboard games by Takchessbooks
Game 26
from 20th Century Highlights (Burgess) by rajeshupadhyay
Kings of Chess by William Winter
by samsloan
14...Ng4?! looks bad, but Lasker's magic gets a win
from Lasker's Great Escapes by Calli
Game 26
from 20th Century Highlights (Burgess) by Qindarka
Game 27
from Masters of the Chessboard (Reti) by MSteen
tarrasch vs lasker game 28 Ruy
from Richard Reti's Masters of the Chessboard games by chestofgold
The Ruy Lopez in World Championship Matches
by frogmanjones
Spanish Game: Berlin Defense. Hedgehog Variation (C66) · 0-1
from JUDIT AND SUSAN POLGAR by vaskolon
Game 27
from Masters of the Chessboard (Reti) by MSteen
Individual Style: Psychological play (P-16)
from Modern Chess Strategy III by Ludek Pachman by Bidibulle
Match Lasker!
by amadeus
kcb's favorite games
by kcb
decebalus' favorite games
by decebalus
plus 78 more collections (not shown)

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