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Emanuel Lasker vs Boudewijn van Trotsenburg
Simul (1908) (exhibition), Netherlands
Caro-Kann Defense: Two Knights Attack (B10)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-13-06  Caligula: That's some great stuff. There's nothing like chasing a bishop around, threatening mate, and then end things up with a fork.
Feb-14-06  sneaky pete: How appropriate, <raadsheer> (advisor) is the antiquated Dutch term for <bishop>.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: As always, Lasker was ahead of his time. I had thought this trap originated around the time of Alekhine vs R M Bruce, 1938 -- but Lasker anticipated that game by 30 years!

I think the Caro-Kann was still fairly exotic stuff around the time of this game. Freeborough and Ranken's "Chess Openings Ancient and Modern" (3rd edition 1896) only gave one column to 1...c6, under "Unusual and Irregular Openings," giving 3.exd5 cxd5 4.Bd3 as the main line for White, leading to equality. In the 75 games played at St. Petersburg 1914, the Caro-Kann was played only once. Nimzowitsch, playing Black against Lasker(!), played 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nf6 5.Nxf6+ gxf6, drawing in 41 moves. (Nimzo probably didn’t realize that he was playing the "Bronstein-Larsen Variation," since neither of those players had been born yet.)

Looking at the 151 games in Fred Wilson's book “Classical Chess Matches 1907-1913” I see that Mieses played the Caro-Kann thrice in his 1910 match against Teichmann (after 2.d4 d5, Teichmann tried 3.Nc3, 3.f3, and 3.e5, scoring a total of 2 1/2 out of 3). Tartakower also played the Caro-Kann in his 1913 match against Spielmann, winning as Black against the Advance Variation (3.e5). In none of these games did White try Lasker's 2.Nc3 d5 3.Nf3, the Two Knights Variation.

The Caro-Kann was also played thrice at London 1922, 14 years after this game. The Two Knights Variation was played once, in Bogoljubov vs C Watson, 1922 Watson responded to it with 3...dxe4 4.Nxe4 g6. Amusingly, Maroczy, annotating the game, wrote of 4...g6, “The more natural continuation was B-B4.” Evidently he was unaware of the present game.

Jan-21-10  Sreimund: I've checked it a few times now but as far as i can see the king can just grab that knight(is the notation wrong?). I'm not entirely sure if there's a mate in there but as far as I can see there's no instant reason to give up?
Jan-21-10  vonKrolock: if ♔xf7, then mate in two with ♕xe6+ etc
Jan-21-10  ounos: Woa, I've lost almost the same way. Careless 3. ...dxe4 is the culprit (and Bf5), after that I learned to play the correct 3. ...Bg4. My game, as far as I remember, was:

1. e4 c6 2. Nc3 d5 3. Nf3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Bf5 5. Ng3 Bg6 6. h4 h6 7. Ne5 Bh7 ("hmm, something's definitely wrong with this opening") 8. Qh5 g6 9. Qf3 Nf6 10. Qb3 ("hey, all this was forced?!?!")

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10. ...Qc7!? (active desperation) 11. Qxf7+ Kd8 12. Nxg6 Nbd7 (seems crazy) 13. Nxh8

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13. ...Bg8! 14. Qg6 Bh7

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A crazy way to trap and win the queen, true, but I didn't manage to salvage the game, his position was just too solid, while mine was full of targets to attack. Gee, that was ten years back, for the Greek U18 championship.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Anyone know of a source for this game? It smells a bit fishy.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Notwithstanding my earlier comment, I agree with <Miss Scarlett>. The next example of this trap (8.Qh5!) isn't until 26 years later. See I expect that Spielmann was ready to play it in 1928, but his opponent avoided the worst with 7...Qd6! Spielmann vs A Van Nuess, 1928
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: This is one of a large batch of Lasker games - otherwise apparently all genuine - uploaded together back in the mists of <> time, so it's not suspicious in that regard. Conceivably, the score is genuine, but the date is wrong. This other game Lasker vs B J van Trotsenburg, 1908 was uploaded much later. Neither is in <Whyld (1998)>, although, admittedly, that isn't a fatal flaw.

It's a pity <Stonehenge> went AWOL (the random death of an American appears to have upset him), because he was pretty good with Dutch sources.

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