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Abraham Speijer vs Emanuel Lasker
St. Petersburg (1909), St. Petersburg RUE, rd 9, Feb-26
Spanish Game: Berlin Defense (C65)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-29-09  ughaibu: Keypusher: Does Soltis have anything interesting?
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Here are some notes from Soltis and a few comments from Lasker's tournament book. ( Soltis had a lot more to say about this game than Lasker did.

After 12. Qd3

Soltis: <Ossip Bernstein, Georg Salwe and Speijer himself played this position and each continued 12....g6 and 13....Bg7. This system was resurrected in two game of the 1987 interzonal playoff between John Nunn and Lajos Portisch. In the first, Black overcame problems after 12....g6 13. Rad1 Bg7 14. h3 Qb8 15. Nf3! Be6 16. e5 Nd5 17. Ne4 to win. In the second he drew after 12....c5 and 13....Bc6 although he remained slightly worse until the endgame.>

Nunn vs Portisch, 1987

Nunn vs Portisch, 1987

Interestingly, Lasker wrote that 12....g6 was better than ...Qb8.

After 17. Qf1(?)

Soltis: <How do you find yourself choosing such a strange move? Usually by talking yourself out of the natural -- and usually better -- alternatives. White must have been disappointed to see that 17. Qd2 is met by 17....c5, threatening ...Bxa4. He would have considered the tactical shot 18. Nxc5, based on 18....dxe5 19. Bxe5 and Qxd7.

But he would have been further dismayed when he saw that Black could continue 18....Bg4 19. f3 Bxf3!. Then on 20. Bxe5 Bxd1 White can get a perpetual check (21. Bxg7 Kxg7 22. Nf5+ gxf5) but no more.

That suggests 17. Qe2, rather than 18. Qd2, since 17....c5 18. Nxc5 Bg4 19. f3 Bxf3 doesn't work. But 19....Qb6 20. fxg4 Qxc5+ 21. Bd4 Nf3+ gives Black compensation for the pawn. Moreover, he can regain his pawn with 18....Bb5 19. c4 Bxc4 20. bxc4 bxc5 ad be slightly worse after 21. Bc3.>

After 18. Bxe5

Lasker: <As has happened several times before, White has got into difficulties through the maneuver Kt-K2-Kt3. Black's Bishops now command the board.>

Soltis: <Relatively best was 18. Nc3 Nc6 19. Ba1.>

After 23. Rb1, Soltis writes, <Having established a textbook advantage Black could have played routinely with 23....Rab8, e.g. 24. h3 Bxc4 25. Qxc4 Qxc4 26. bxc4 Rb4 27. Rxb4 cxb4. That corrects his pawns, ruins White's and creates a good bishop vs. knight ending.....[But] 23....Rad8! [w]ith a more ambitious, knockout plan of ...c6 and ...d5.>

After 33....d4!

<White is barely hanging on after 34. Nd1 Qxc5 35. Nb2 Qf5! and then 36. Nd3 Rc8 37. Ng3 Qa5 38. Nb2 Qc3.>

After 34. Qe4

Soltis: <Desperate and quite hopeless.>

Lasker: <A wrong combination, but, in any case, Black had the superior position.>

After 36. Qxf7+

Lasker: <If Qxa6 Black wins, of course, by 36....Qxf2+ followed by ...e3-e2.>

Jan-30-09  ughaibu: Great, thanks.
Apr-18-11  Rama: But after 36. Qxa3 Qxf2+, 37. Kg1 e2, 38. Qe6+ Kg8, 39. Ng3 ..., white recovers, yes?
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Rama: But after 36. Qxa3 Qxf2+, 37. Kg1 e2, 38. Qe6+ Kg8, 39. Ng3 ..., white recovers, yes?>

No. 39....Rd1+ forces mate.

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