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Emanuel Lasker vs Efim Bogoljubov
Nottingham (1936), Nottingham ENG, rd 2, Aug-11
Queen's Gambit Declined: Cambridge Springs Variation (D52)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Oct-21-07  RookFile: This seems like a nice game by Lasker, I'm surprised noboday has commented on it. He shows a lot of ambition with his play with f5 early on.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: 68 years old and was still a formidable player against the world's best.
May-05-08  CharlesSullivan: The ending was very tricky. In the tournament book, Alekhine failed to note the following: (1) Lasker's 37th move was a huge mistake. His most efficient winning line was 37.h4! Bxh4 38.Nxh4 Qxg4+ 39.Ng2 Qf5 40.Qe7 Rc8 41.f7 Rh8 42.Rf1 and Black must give up material to stop the f-pawn. (2) Bogoljubov could have sacrificed a piece to achieve a draw by perpetual check: 37...Bd2! 38.Qxg8 Bxe1 39.Nxe1 Qe3+ 40.Kf1 Qf4+! and, for example, 41.Ke2 Qxe5+ 42.Kf2 Qd4+ 43.Kg3 Qe5+ etc.
Mar-16-09  Ulhumbrus: It seems worth taking note that at move 19 Lasker plays f5 and not e5
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: In the tournament book, Alekhine indicated that Bogoljubov missed a winning chance: 32...gxf5 33.Nxf5+ Kg6 34.Ne3(or 34.Qd3 gxf5 35.Qxf5+ Kh6) Qe4, or 32...gxf5 33.gxf5 Kh8, followed by Rg8.

However, after 32...gxf5 33.Nxf5+ Kg6, Fritz indicated the game was equal: (.00) (21 ply) 34.Qd6! Qa7+ 35.Kg2 Rb6 36.Qd3 Qb7+ 37.Kg3 exf5 38.Qxf5+ Kh6 39.Rd1 Qe7 40.Rd7 Qa3+ 41.Rd3 Qc5.

Fritz found a better move, 32...Kg8!, which would have given Black good winning chances: 32...Kg8! (-.96) (22 ply) 33.Qd6 exf5 34.gxf5 Rd8 35.Qe6+ Qf7 36.Qxf7 Kxf7 37.e6+ Ke7 38.fxg6 hxg6, (-1.04) (21 ply) 39.Nc2, (-1.35) (26 ply) 39...Rd2 40.Nb4 Kd6 41.h3 Rb2 42.Re4 Be7 43.Kf1 a3 44.Ke1 Kc5 45.Nd3+ Kd5, (-1.47) (26 ply) 46.Re2 Rxe2+ 47.Kxe2 Kxe6, or (-1.62) (26 ply) 46.Re5+ Kd4 47.Nxb2 Kxe5 48.Nd3+ Kxe6.

Another variation, with good winning chances for Black is: 32...Kg8! (-1.19) (22 ply) 33.Qf2 b4 34.h4 Bxe3 35.Qxe3 b3 36.axb3 Qb4 37.Qe2 Qxb3, (-1.98) (19 ply) 38.Qf2 Qh3 39.fxg6 hxg6 40.Rf1 Qxg4+.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: Alekhine correctly noted that 33.f6+ Kh6 34.Qd4 Rd8 would have led to a draw. In this variation, 34...Rc8 is also good.

Instead, Lasker played 33.Qd4?, and now Bogoljubov could win by: (-1.93) (21 ply) 33...gxf5! 34.gxf5 Rg8 35.Ng2 Qxf5 36.h4 Bd8 37.Qf2, (-2.66) (20 ply) 37...Rf8.

Instead of playing 33...gxf5!, Bogoljubov played 33...Kh6?, and again the game was approximately equal.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: After 34.f6, Bogoljubov had an easy draw by: 34...Rd8 35.Qc3 (35.Qxd8 Bxe3+ also leads to a draw) Bxe3+ 36.Qxe3+ Qxe3+ 37.Rxe3 g5, or 34...Rc8 35.Qd3 Bxe3+, with an equal position.

Instead, Bogoljubov played 34...Rf8?, which Alekhine described as, <An awful loss of time, which definitely throws the game away>.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: On his 35th move, Bogoljubov could have put a considerably stronger resistance by: (1.96) (22 ply) 35...Bxf6! 36.exf6 Qxf6 37.Qxf6 Rxf6, (2.16) (22 ply) 38.Re5 Rf7, (or 38...Rf3 39.Ne3 Rf4 40.Rxb5), 39.Rxb5 Rf3 40.Ra5 Ra3 41.Nf4, (2.61) (24 ply) 41...Kg7 42.Nxe6+ Kf6 43.Nc5 Rxa2 44.Nxa4!, (much better than 44.Rxa4? Rxa4 45.Nxa4 Kg5! and Black will win back a pawn), (2.88) (24 ply) 44...h5 45.g5+ Ke7 46.Re5+ Kd6 47.Re4 Rc2, (-3.14) (25 ply) 48.h4 Kd5 49.Re3 Kd6 50.Nb6 Rc6 51.Rb3 Rc1+ 52.Kf2 Kc6, (-3.90) (24 ply) 53.Kg3 Rc5 54.Kf4 Kd6 55.Ke4 Rc1 56.Rd3+ Ke6 57.Nd5 Re1+ 58.Re3 Rh1 59.Nf4+ Kf7 60.Rc3 Rxh4 61.Rc7+ Ke8 62.Rg7 Rh1 63.Rxg6, and after a difficult ending, White finally has a clearly won position.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: In the tournament book, Alekhine noted at move 27, <It is a pity that the next part of the fight is spoiled by many tactical mistakes, due to lack of time>.

On his 28th move Bogoljubov could have played: (.19) (22 ply) 28...exf5 29.gxf5 Bxf5 30.Nxf5+ gxf5 31.Bd5 Kh8 32.e6 Rf8 33.Qa1+ Bf6 34.Qb1 (.18) (20 ply) 34...Be7, with about an equal game.

Bogoljubov's 28...Rxd2 was playable, but not as good as 28...exf5. Alekhine did not comment on either of these moves. After 28...Rxd2, Alekhine indicated Lasker should not have permitted the pin of his Knight by 29.Qxd2 Bg5.

Alekhine preferred 29.f6+ Kf7 30.Qxd2 Bf8 31.Rc1. He indicated a possible continuation was: 31...b4 32.Rxc8 Rxc8 33.Qd7+ Kg8 34.Qxc8 Qxe3 35.Qxe6+ Kh8 36.Bd5 Qe1+, with a perpetual check.

In this line, 36.Qd5 is an improvement for White, but after 36...Qf2 37.h4 h6 38.h5 g5 39.Qa8 Kg8 40.Bd5+ Kh7 41.Be4+ Kg8 42.Qd5+ Kh8 43.Bf3 Qf1+, Black still has a draw.

Alekhine's analysis does have a serious flaw. After 29.f6+ Kf7 30.Qxd2 Bf8 31.Rc1 b4??, White can win by 32.Nc4!! Qa7 33.Nd6+ Kg8 34.Nxc8.

However, Black also has an improvement. Instead of 29.f6+ Kf7 30.Qxd2 Bf8 31.Rc1 b4??, Black can play: (.03) (20 ply) 31...Kg8! 32.g5 Bb7 33.Kg2 Rd8 34.Qe2 h6 35.gxh6 Bxh6 36.Rd1, and Black can play 36...Bxf3+, 36...Rxd1, or 36...Bxe3, with an equal game.

Alekhine's criticism of 29.Qxd2 therefore appears to be incorrect. Fritz preferred Lasker's move 29.Qxd2, and the response 29...Bg5, indicating that White has a small advantage.

Mar-28-09  AnalyzeThis: Even in his old age, Lasker was still up to the task of clown slapping.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: On his 30th move Lasker erred by playing 30.Re1?. Alekhine made no comment regarding 30.Re1, nor to Bogoljubov's reply of 30...Bb7.

Instead of 30.Re1?, Lasker should have played either: (.33) (21 ply) 30.f6+ Kh8 31.Qb4 Bb7 (.14) (22 ply) 32.Bxb7 Bxe3 33.Bf3 Qc5 34.Qxc5 Bxc5 35.Bc6 Bd4, or (.00) (21 ply) 30.Qb4 exf5 31.gxf5 Bxf5 32.Nxf5+ gxf5 33.Rg1 Qe3 34.Qe7+ Kh8 35.Rxg5 Qxf3+, with an approximately equal game in either variation.

After 30.Re1?, Bogoljubov had three moves that would have given him some advantage: (-.54) (22 ply) 30...b4 31.h4 Bf4 32.fxg6 b3 33.axb3 axb3 34.Nf5+ exf5 35.Qxf4 hxg6 36.e6 b2 (-.66) (20 ply) 37.Qe5+ Kh7.

Fritz's 2nd choice to 30.Re1?: (-.48) (22 ply) 30...Kg8 31.fxg6 hxg6 32,Qd3 Kg7.

Fritz's 3rd choice to 30.Re1?: (-.37) (22 ply) 30...Bb7 31.Qd7+ Kh6 32.Bxb7 Rxb7 33.Qd2 Kg7.

As indicated, after 30.Re1? Bb7, White should have played 31.Qd7+. Instead, Lasker erred with 31.Bxb7?, and after 31...Bxb7 32.Kg1, he was in serious difficulties (see my first post on 03/17/09).

Bogoljubov now had winning chances with the move 32...Kg8!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: The time touble errors Alekhine reffered to at move 27, are becoming first apparent with Lasker's errors, 30.Re1? and 31.Bxb7?.

Next it was Bogoljubov's turn, as he missed his winning chance by not playing 32...Kg8!.

After 32...Qf3?, the game was approximately equal. In the tournament book, Alekhine pointed out a drawing line beginning with 33.f6+ (see my 2nd post of 03/17/09).

Instead of playing 33.f6+, Lasker played 33.Qd4?, and now Bogojubov could have won by playing 33...gxf5! Alekhine also noted this possibility. (see my 2nd post of 03/17/09).

Unfortunately for Bogoljubov, he then missed his 2nd winning opportunity, and after 33...Kh6?, the game was again approximately equal.

As noted in my 3rd post of 03/17/09, Bogoljubov still had an easy draw with 34...Rd8. Alekhine also noted this possibility. However, instead of drawing with 34...Rd8, Bogoljubov played 34...Rf8?, and now he had a lost game!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: The Nottingham tournament of 1936 had a time limit of 2 hours for the first 36 moves.

Alekhine stated, that due to lack of time, near the end of the first time control, this game was spoiled by tactical mistakes. Analysis from move 27 to end of the first time control, 36...Rg8, supports Alekhine's statement.

What happened next is harder to explain. Having reached the time control after move 36, one would not have expected a continuation of the errors. But perhaps due to time pressure, the players had not been keeping an adequate score, and were not sure if they had made the required 36 moves.

This exact problem occured in the Flohr - Capablanca game Flohr vs Capablanca, 1936, and was commented on by Alekhine and by A.J. Mackenzie, the Controller of the Tournament, in his Round by Round Commentary.

As noted above by <CharlesSullivan>, but missed by Alekhine, both Lasker's and Bogoljubov's first move after the time control were serious mistakes.

White had two very strong and winning moves available at move 37: (8.61) (23 ply) 37.Qxe6! Rd8 38.Qe7 Bd2 39.g5+ Kh5 40.Qxh7+ Kxg5 41.Qh4+ Kf5 42.Rf1, or (8.16) (23 ply) 37.h4! Bxh4 38.Nxh4 Qxg4+ 39.Ng2, and now either 39...b4 40.Qe7 Rc8 41.f7 b3 42.f8Q+ Rxf8 43.Qxf8+, or 39...Qf5 40.Qf7 Rd8 41.Qg7+ Kg5 42.f7 Rd7 43.Rf1, are clearly winning for White.

After 37.Qf7?, Bogoljubov could have obtained a draw by 37...Bd2! 38.Qxg8 Bxe1 39.Nxe1, and now Black has a perpetual after either 39...Qxg4+ or 39...Qe3+.

It seems unlikely, that if given a little time to review the position, that either Lasker or Bogoljubov would have made the errors they did at move 37.

This was a very interesting game, with both players going all out for a win. The final result was unpredictable until nearly the very end.

Mar-30-09  Calli: If I recall correctly, the weird time control of 36 in 2 hrs was due to a typo. In those days, I believe 30 in 2 or 40 in 2.5 were common, but 36 was printed up in the advance documents, so the organizers decided to go with it.
Mar-30-09  AnalyzeThis: Bogo actually managed to win a game against Lasker, once, and this even happenned before Lasker was dead in few years.
Sep-01-14  JimmyVermeer: After the final move, the mating sequence is as follows: 40 ... Qe8 41 Qa7 Qa8 42 Qe3+ g5 43 hxg5+ Kg6 44 Rd7 Qxg2+ 45 Kxg2 h5 46 gxh6ep b4 47 h7 a3 48 hxg8Q#

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