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Henry Bird vs Emanuel Lasker
Lasker - Bird (1892), Newcastle-upon-Tyne ENG, rd 2, Aug-30
Bird Opening: From Gambit. Lasker Variation (A02)  ·  0-1



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sac: 35...Rxd1 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-10-03  ughaibu: About seeing 10 moves ahead; when Lasker began his combination on move 24 he may have seen the rest of the game, certainly by move 31 he must have seen it otherwise the move doesn't make sense.
Nov-27-03  Spitecheck: Surely 24...c6 is to stop ...Nd5 after the bishop evacuates the a2-g8 diagonal.


Nov-27-03  ughaibu: My idea was that it was to prevent the mate on d8 by providing c7 for the king and d5 for the bishop. That may've been fortuitous but I dont think so.
Nov-27-03  Spitecheck: I'm not really sure if he would see that far ahead, unless it was a 14 move checkmate or simplified endgame (which this is not, well atleast not to me LOL). Karpov in one of the books I have, talked about only being able (needing to) see 5-7 moves ahead (x x x x x x x x x x). I may be underestimating Lasker perhaps the static factors of the position are greater than I gauge.


Nov-27-03  ughaibu: Lasker's plan is clearly defined so it's possible to see ahead as one would with a forcing sequence, I think he may even have seen the move c6 well before move 31. It looks to me as if the move only works if it's played before the capture on e4. If he did have it all worked out it's impressive but, after all, it is Lasker.
Nov-27-03  Spitecheck: Obviously I made in error in writing 24...c6, it's actually 31...c6.

Okay it looks more plausible now, I think he certainly had to see the bishop redeployment in advance. Maybe though he was afraid of something like Nd5-f6/e3, exchanging the g4 knight and leaving the h2 pawn on. If white could get the knight to f6 it could be a problem for him.


Nov-28-03  kevin86: Bird cooks Lasker! Turkey day in reverse
Aug-11-04  nyarlathotepcraft: I like this gambit. Amazingly, Lasker recaptures the pawn but on move 23. And he achieved ensuring his opponent couldn't castle. The final combo starts on the rook sacrifice of move 35 and culminates in a piece advatage by move 42, (a seven move combo); rather nice!
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Beautiful work by Lasker. As in the Lasker-Bird game posted a few days ago, he shows tremendous patience in mobilizing against the Pe5, and later when he launches his King side pawn storm, and still later (!) when he manouvers after paralyzing the White Rook.

As for seeing ahead, Lasker only needed to see as far as 30.Rh1. At this point, he's playing with, in effect, an extra Rook, his King is much closer to the center, and his Knight is the most valuable minor piece left. In such positions, combinations are "as natural as a baby's smile."

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Apparently this was the debut of 4...g5 in a serious game. Lasker was considered a fearsome openings expert in the 1890s, quite rightly I think. Here is what the Hastings tournament book has to say:

<At simultaneous chess [Lasker] is very rapid and successful, beating down his opponents with relentless accuracy, often winning (as in his match games) in the opening, to which he gives a great deal of attention.>

Apr-11-06  Zebra: Are there any good alternatives to 6 ... Bxe5? Obviously it works well for Lasker here, but I am not sure I would like to exchange off like this after offering a gambit.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: I don't know anything about From's Gambit. 6...Nc6 doesn't seem very promising: Tartakower vs Spielmann, 1913

6...Qf6 worked in this game: Helge Hau vs D Lardot, 2000

But I think 6...Bxe5 is seen as more of a problem for White than for Black, since White gets a pretty dreary ending where he has a not very useful doubled, isolated extra pawn.

Apr-11-06  who: <ughaibu> actually you don't need to see concrete variations for the sac. White can't get his bishop around to attack the h2 pawn (clearly) so the loss of white's knight (even for a rook) means that the pawn is unassailabe and will tie up the white rook (in exchange for tying up the black knight) for the rest of the game. And the knight on g4 is quite well placed. Actually, when I saw the position after 28...h2 I thought I would sac the exchange. And that was without calculating any forcing variations.
Apr-11-06  Zebra: Thanks <keypusher>. The Lardot win was nice. You're right of course that objectively Bxe5 should be OK for black.
Dec-07-07  twin phoenix: moves 33-35 are outstanding! 33 sacks a rook for a knight. white can't take so he moves his knight. 34+35 black sacks the rook for the knight anyway! this is a beautiful game!
Dec-07-07  newzild: A fine game by Lasker. Really pretty. He plays like Fischer here - really simple to understand moves, but forceful nonetheless.
Apr-02-08  Knight13: Kingside pawn storm. The perfect plan, and that dark squared bishop of White's really got tortured badly in this one.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Nightsurfer: White - in this game here <H E Bird vs E Lasker, England 1882> - plays the classic 5.d4 ... that does not work out against the genius <Emanuel Lasker>.

Maybe <H E Bird> should have tried 5. c3 ... , an interesting idea that has led him to victory in Bird / Allies vs L Van Vliet, 1893 please have a look at the diagram as follows.

click for larger view

But 5.c3 ... does not always work - the latest example for a White failure with 5.c3 ... is S Meininger vs R Gralla, 2009 - maybe because of the new move 5. ... Nc6 that Black has uncorked as being the riposte to 5.c3 ... (instead of a hasty 5. ... g4), please have a look at the diagram as follows.

click for larger view

Dec-22-14  TheFocus: Match Game 2 played in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England on August 30, 1892.

Lasker won with a score of +5=0-0.

Bird resigned on the 63rd move.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: CHESS. Bird v. Lasker. The second game in this match was played yesterday, at Newcastle Chess Club. Bird had the move, and opened with his favourite pawn to king's bishop's fourth, a debut which never fails to adopt in some of the games of his serious matches, and with the resources of which he is quite familiar. Leaker, evidently taking into consideration his opponent's great experience in the closer and more usual ways of meeting the opening, decided to try a gambit, which generally considered somewhat risky. It soon became evident, however, that the German master had prepared by previous analysis, and the game was continued on rather unusual lines, the result which was the early exchange of queens, leaving Bird with extra pawn, but with his king displaced, and prevented from castling.

After about twenty moves it was clear that Bird could not maintain his material advantage. Overrating the strength his own position at this point, the Englishman neglected to make some necessary developing moves, and allowed his opponent at the twenty-fourth move to initiate a combination involving double pawn sacrifice which worked to give him a passed pawn on the king's rook's seventh.

Bird's attention was directed to this pawn, but ten moves later Lasker, by the sacrifice of exchange, was enabled to queen his pawn and win the adverse rook in exchange for it. Although Bird made the best of his position, he was compelled to resign on the sixty-fourth move.

Herr Lasker's play from the twenty-fourth to the thirty-sixth was a beautifully connected chain, each link depending upon its predecessor, and demanding the most accurate foresight. Throughout the entire game the moves were placed very rapidly on both sides.

<Source: "Leeds Mercury" , Wednesday 31st August 1892, p.5.>

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