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Simon Winawer vs Emanuel Lasker
Nuremberg (1896), Nuremberg GER, rd 14, Aug-04
Spanish Game: Berlin Defense. Winawer Attack (C67)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Should be in every beginner's manual -- sometimes taking your queen on a "wild-goose chase" after a distant pawn is the right way to play!
Apr-10-06  aragorn69: Right <keypusher> ! And here is Nigel Short's brief commentary, which confirms yours :
Jun-25-06  knightfly: Lasker brings his king to the defence of his k-side in very round about way also picking up a pawn en-route. A very entertaining game.
Jun-26-06  aragorn69: Short really likes this game! See how he presents it as typical of Lasker's play in another column :
Jun-26-06  Calli: But does Short really analyze it? 19.Re3 seems like it wastes time. Maybe 19.Be3 Ne6 20.f4 followed f5 and White looks like he is making progress. At least its worth a look, no?
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: I had always thought of this game as one of Lasker's greatest and least appreciated, but Calli's suggestion deserves serious consideration.

My question is this: does Black have to play 19...Ne6 after 19.Be3? 19...Nd7 is another route to f8, and it puts some pressure on the e-pawn (20.Bd4 seems to be met by 20...c5). Meanwhile, the Bishop occupies the Re1's best square. So perhaps 19.Be3,Nd7; 20.Bh6!?,gxh6?; 21.Qg4+ is the way to go, with 20...Nf8 being one obvious improvement for Black.

Jun-27-06  Maynard5: The suggestions by Cali and the Englishman are worth analyzing. After 19. Be3, Black's most aggressive reply is 19... Ne4, which creates serious problems for White, although the knight is vulnerable to being trapped in some variations. White's best appears to be 20. Rd3.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Calli> <Englishman> <Maynard>: Soltis doesn't analyze 19. Be3 in his book either, writing only <White can't hold on to all his weaklings forever (19. Ra1 Qa4 20. Qf5 Re6 21. Be3 Ne4).>

I showed Calli's suggestion to Fritz briefly. Fritz thinks <An Englishman>'s 19...Nd7 is a good rejoinder, e.g. 20. f4 Qxa2. After Maynard's 19...Ne4, then 20. Rd3 Qxa2 looks bad for White, with ...Qxc2 threatened, but 20. Bd4 is stronger: 20...c5 21. f3. In any case, 19. Be3 is definitely better than Winawer's move.

Jun-30-06  Calli: After 19.Be3 Nd7 20.f4 Qxa2, I think 21.Qe2! with the threat of c4, exploiting the position of unguarded knight at d7, is good. If 21...a5 22.c4 Nf8 23.cxd5 cxd5 24.Ra1 Qc4 25.Qxc4 dxc4 26.Ra4 and White threatens to win the a-pawn with Rea1 and Bd2. Or 21.Qe2 Nf8 22.Ra1 Qc4 23.Qxc4 dxc4 24.Ra6! is nice for White.
Jun-30-06  Maynard5: Keypusher is quite correct here regarding the lines following 19. Be3 Ne4 20. Rd3? Qxa2. I had been looking at the game for a few minutes during a break at the office, and didn't have much time for analysis. However, the following variation still looks superior for Black: 19. Be3 Ne4 20. Bd4 c5 21. f3 cxd4 22. fxe4 dxe4 23. cxd4 Qxa2, threatening Qxc2.
Jul-01-06  Calli: On Ne4, I like the idea of making the Knight capture on c3 - that way both the Queen and Knight are away from the action. Something like 19.Be3 Ne4 20.Ra1! Nxc3 21.Qg4 Re6 (otherwise 22.Bh6 g6 23.Qf3 wins the knight) 22.f3 with an interesting position.
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: <Calli>, does Black have to play 19.Be3,Ne4 20.Ra1!,Nxc3 in this variation? Since White has now diverted a Rook from the potential King side attack to defend the a-pawn, doesn't this weaken the attack? I'm looking at 20...Qc4, which still attacks the a-pawn, while doubling up on the c3 pawn. ...Qxc3 and ...Qxc2 will also allow Black to defend the h7 pawn and *possibly* play ...Qg6.

Also, after 19.Be3,Nd7; 20.f4,Qxa2!?; 21.Qe2!,Nf8; 22.Ra1, I haven't found White's best play after 22...Qb2. 23.c4 looks plausible, but I have doubts about 23.Bd4,Ne6.

Jul-05-06  PolishPentium: Can't quite see what Black plays on move 44 and thereafter to put the game into the victory column. Presumably 44 Kh4 would be followed by 44...Rh2, threatening mate on h3, but then White has 45 Qb3+, forcing the exchange of Queenies, and thus the Black threat is defanged. Is there something else for Black which your friendly neighbourhood PP is missing...?
Jul-05-06  PivotalAnorak: <PP> 44.Kh4 Qxh3+! 45. Kxh3 R8f3+ 46. Kh4 Rh2#
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <An Englishman> <Calli> After 19. Be3 Nd7 20. f4 Qxa2 21. Qe2 Nf8 22. Ra1 Qb2 23. Bd4 c5, doesn't White just play 24. Reb1? But then 24...Qxb1+ 25. Rxb1 cd looks like the kind of queen sacrifice Lasker might like...
Jul-05-06  RookFile: The Ruy Lopez Berlin defense.... Lasker was ahead of his time!
Jul-05-06  LuckyBlunder: This game dates 30 years before :

Winawer vs G Neumann, 1867


Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: <keypusher>, I don't think Lasker would have liked this particular Queen sac, so we can discard my idea. Black must retreat the Queen after 23.Bd4, but where? Currently, I'm mucking around with 23...Qb5!?; 24.Qxb5!?,cxb5; 25.Rxa7!?,Rxa7; 26.Bxa7,c5!?; 27.f5!?,Ra8; 28.fxe6,Rxa7; 29.exf7+,Kxf7. All 6 of the pawns west of the f-file are weak or potentially weak, but I'm a bit leery of White's position. Lasker being Lasker, he would probably win with either side.

Needless to say, this line is by no means forced.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <polish pentium et al.> See the Short colums linked at the top of the page. The funny thing is, one column gives the forced mate after 44. Kh4 Qxh3+, while the other says only that 44. Kh4 Rh2 is "horrible." But the oversight might be the fault of Short's co-author, Stephen Moss.
Oct-09-12  Abdel Irada: Winawer on move 43: "Oh. I have a king too?"
Mar-19-18  tigreton: It's nice to see how Black queen defends his kingside from afar, first on the h7-b1 diagonal, later on the g8-a2 one. At the same time the queen keeps an eye on the weakened White king's position, on g4, on a2 protecting his strong passed pawn, on c3... A powerful lady, who follows the principle of not to hurry to come back home after grabbing a pawn in the enemy's camp, but instead to stick there around causing problems.
Mar-20-18  KlingonBorgTatar: This game made a deep impression on me during my teens in the 70s. This is not a Sicilian but it helped me understand and play the black side of the Poisoned Pawn.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: You do all realise Lasker has done a Vladimir kramnik job with the Berlin defence in this tournament - winning with this solid opening getting the bishop pair with no king safety issues that are that exploitable.

This was a key opening instrumental to Lasker winning this epic tournament and probably a deep inspiration to Vladimir Kramnik who is apparently a huge fan of Lasker.

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