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Albert Whiting Fox vs Emanuel Lasker
Cambridge Springs (1904), Cambridge Springs, PA USA, rd 4, Apr-29
Spanish Game: Exchange. Lutikov Variation (C68)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Aug-17-08  chocobonbon: Some player's style was once described as the apparent result of someone emptying a bag of Pieces onto the board. Whatever "positional" Chess is Lasker's position here after 16. ...hxg6 doesn't resemble a paradigm to me but in a few moves his position looks fine. The man loved to play Chess. I wonder if Tarrasch's remark about Chess having the power to make men happy was made after viewing some of Lasker's games. Of course it has the power to make one temporarily miserable, too as I'm sure Tarrasch might have attested.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Here's the position after <16...hxg6>:

click for larger view

Yes, Black's pawns look somewhat worse than terrible, albeit that he has an extra one. But it's not that bad. The queenside pawns are still capable of producing a passer, and the kingside pawns impede White more than you might think.

White decides he has to get that pawn back immediately, and the game goes <17.Qd3 Rf5 18.g4 Rf7 19.Qxg6>. White has indeed regained the pawn, but there's a cost attached. 18.g4 has weakened his dark squares on the kingside to the point where it will be very hard to create a passed pawn over there; meanwhile, Black's queenside majority is still mobile. In effect, White is still a pawn down!

With that in mind, Lasker steers for the ending. Soon, he has two connected passed pawns on the queenside, while White's kingside pawns are still immobile.

Fox makes it easier by trapping his bishop (what was 33.g5 all about?), and Lasker takes advantage with 35...Rd2. Then a little simplifying combination leaves an easily won ♔+♙ ending, and that's it.

One more thing. Remember how White's troubles really started with his anxious attempt to regain the pawn with 18.g4? Watch what happens after 24...Rxb2:

click for larger view

Black's rook stays on the second rank for the rest of its existence, and the White a-pawn never moves. Black has numerous chances to take the pawn, but doesn't bother doing so until move 41! Sometimes, there are more important things to do besides grabbing a pawn.

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