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Thomas Lawrence vs Emanuel Lasker
City of London CC - Divan Association m (1896), London ENG, rd 1, May-15
Spanish Game: Berlin Defense (C65)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-20-11  Calli: Lawrence agrees to a draw, but from the final position: 44.Rxd1 Qxd1+ 45.Qg1 Qxb3 46.Qxc5 looks like a theoretical win. No?
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: <44.Rxd1 Qxd1+ 45.Qg1 Qxb3 46.Qxc5>

46...Qd1+ 47. Qg1 Qa4 48. Qa7+ Kh6 49. h3 Qe4

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I don't know. White has a lot of work to do. I am amazed at the draw agreement though.

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  OhioChessFan: I've played with it some and I don't see how Black can hold.
Feb-20-11  Calli: Thanks! - don't have an endgame manual handy but I think it's a win as long White avoids perpetuals which doesn't seem to be a problem here. I think this was a team event, so that may have entered into Lawrence's decision.
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: I suspect it might be a textbook ending too. And the perpetuals were fairly easy to avoid. White just continues to use the Queen to push the a Pawn. If the King goes over to help, the Queens are exchanged and the White King devours the King side Pawns. I wondered about the match issues and that strikes me as likely.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: It would be a win if Lasker were White, but a draw with Lasker as Black in all probability :-)
Feb-20-11  Calli: <Tamar> "Drawn by Intimidation"? Maybe a sub-category for Game Collection: Lasker's Great Escapes
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: The British Chess Magazine, June 1896, p. 224-225, mentions a match between the newly formed Divan Chess Association and the City of London Chess Club. Lasker and Lawrence drew on board 1, and the match was drawn 4-4.

The BCM does not publish the score, but it can be found in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle for June 28, 1896, p.12, with confirmation that it was played in the Divan v. London match.


Feb-20-11  Calli: <pb> Thanks for confirming

When they met again, another ending arose where White was a pawn to the good. This time Lasker had the advantage. Did he return the favor? No, that dirty rat played it out and won: Lasker vs T F Lawrence, 1904

Premium Chessgames Member
  NM JRousselle: White has an easy win in the final position. Here is a likely line of play: 45 Qg1 Qb3 46 Qc5 Qb1 47 Qg1
At this point, there are 2 main lines. If Black plays 47... Qa2 (best try), then White checks to reposition his queen on b6 and then makes air with h3. If Black takes the pawn on e4, then the White pawn reaches a7 with an easy win for White, again after making air with h3. In queen endings the most important thing is the quality (ie, how far advanced) of the passed pawns.
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  tamar: <Nine-tenths of tactics are certain, and taught in books: but the irrational tenth is like the kingfisher flashing across the pool, and that is the test of generals.> T.E. Lawrence

Rybka confirms the win with White, but the win can only be described as simple in retrospect.

44 Rxd1 Qxd1 45 Qg1 Qxb3 46 Qxc5 Qd1+ 47 Qg1 Qa4 48 Qa7+ Kh6 49 h3 Qxe4 50 Qg1 Qa4 51 Qe3+ Kg7 52 Qxe5+ Kf7 53 Qe1 Qa3 54 Qf1+ Kg7 55 a6 h5 56 h4 Qa4 57 g3 Qa3 58 Kh2 Qa2+ 59 Kg1 Qa3 (apparently a false path for White to hide the King behind the pawns-to win he must allow some checks by going to f2) 60 Kf2 g5 61 Qb5 gxh4 62 Qg5+ Kf8 63 Qh6+ Kg8 64 Qg6+ Kf8 65 Qf6+ Kg8 66 gxh4 Qa4 67 Qg5+ Kf7 68 Qxh5+

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Finally reaching the oasis of a tablebase win in 43, if White sees that his King can staircase to a7 and then wander on the eighth rank to e8 when Black's checks run out.

Feb-22-11  Calli: Tamar - only another 60 moves or so? Piece of cake! Lawrence was a total slacker.

Seriously, I could not figure out if White could advance the pawn and avoid exposing his king. Apparently, he must move the king up the board to win and that makes it complicated. If Lawrence understood this, his decision is understandable and shows he had good insight into the position.

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <Calli> Maybe Lasker reserved his foulest smelling cigars for dire situations like this.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: According to the BCM, a supper complete with toasts was held after the match. Possibly Lawrence's teammates were saying, "Oh, come on, Tom. Give the old man a draw and let's eat!"
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: "Actually old chums, it's mate in 68 moves--we'll be done here in as little as six hours. Do try to keep the dinner warm..."

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