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Emanuel Lasker vs David Janowski
Lasker - Janowski World Championship Match (1910), Berlin GER, rd 5, Nov-19
Tarrasch Defense: Two Knights Variation (D32)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Does anyone know what Lasker might have intended after 11...Bc5 (instead of the lemon 11...Nh6)?

Since Lasker played 11.a3 I thought he might be intending 11...Bc5 12.b4. Then 12...Bxd4 seems to leave black on top.

Dec-01-04  Minor Piece Activity: 11...Bc5 is interesting. Are you sure 12. b4 Bxd4 leaves black on top? What follows? Maybe 13. bxa5 Bxc3+ 14. Bd2? Now if 14...Bxa1 15. Qxa1 f6 (Nf6 Bg5) 16. Bb5 looks not bad for white. If 14...Rxd2 though, I guess 15. Qxd2 Bxd2+ 16. Kxd2 Nxa5 17. Ke3 (avoid the fork) does look like good enough for black advantage but I think it needs more analysis.
Feb-22-06  Javid Danowski: 11 ... Nh6 is not a lemon. After 12 b4 Nxb4 13 axb4 Qxb4, Black has a virtually won game - eg 14 Qd2 Nf5. The position after 12 b4 has been used by a nunmber of authors - Znosko-Borovsky, Becker amongst others to illustrate saving a lost position.
Feb-22-06  RookFile: The lemon here was black's decision to play for a plan involving queenside castling.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: I really enjoyed going over this game in Soltis' book. It's the sort of game that tends to get fought over by annotators at the time, but forgotten later -- since White was busted at move 11, it won't make any anthology of Lasker's best games, and since Black lost, it won't make Janowski's anthologies either. (Although I see it's been used as an example of saving a lost position, an art at which Lasker had no equals.)

Anyway, <offramp> is right, 11...Bc5 wins. 12. b4 Bxd4 13. bxa5 Bxc3+ 14. Bd2 Rxd2 is crushing. Or 13. Bxd4 Qg5! 14. Ne2 nxd4 15. Nxd4 Qe5+.

After the game's 11...Nh6, 12. b4 Bxb4 13. axb4 Qxb4, strongest for white is 14. Qc1!, when he can answer 14...Nxd4 with 15. Ra4.

Soltis thinks 11...Nge7 was also winning for black, since White's later Ncb5 wouldn't have threatened anything.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Calli, have you considered this for your <Lasker's Great Escapes> collection? It's sort of a swindle on speed -- White has a lost game by move 11 and a won game by move 22.
Aug-08-06  Calli: No, I haven't. It fits in some way, but Janowsky just plays too poorly. Even 18...Qxc3+ 19.Nxc3 Bf6 might draw. Thanks for the thought.
Jan-11-07  Themofro: A great escape by Lasker.
Mar-02-08  Knight13: I like how Lasker waits for the best moment to take on a7.
Aug-05-08  Sem: This game has been annotated extensively by Max Euwe in his little book 'The Middle Game nr 8 - The Defense'.
Aug-23-08  algol: Thanks for the pointer to Euwe's book!
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Calli: ...(e)ven 18...Qxc3+ 19.Nxc3 Bf6 might draw.>

Lasker originally wrote that it was long believed 18....Qxc3+ 19.Nxc3 Bf6 was winning, giving the line 20.0-0 Bxd4+, followed by ....Bxc3. He noted, however, that Tarrasch offered a stronger line in 20.Ncb5 Bxd4 21.Nxd4 Nxd4 22.Kf2, considering this about level.

After Black misses this second chance, Lasker makes no further mistake.

Dec-06-11  psmith: <Javid Danowsky>: After 12 b4 Nxb4 13 axb4 Qxb4 14. Qc1 Black is losing (e.g. 14...Rxd4 15. Ra4 ).
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <Sem: This game has been annotated extensively by Max Euwe in his little book 'The Middle Game nr 8 - The Defense'.> It would be great if someone with that book could give us the annotations. I would do it myself but I am rioting.
Jul-26-12  King.Arthur.Brazil: For me 19...Bg5! was the move, because 19...Bg6 allowed Rxf6, the beggining of white counter-attack. The treat is Be3+ with the same attack to Nd4, but without loosing the B.20.Qd3 Qxd3 21.Rxd3 (forced because 21.Bxd3 lose a piece by Nxd5 22.Nxd5 Rxd5) 21...Bc4 22.Rc3 Bxe2 23.Nxe2 a6. Black has 1P up, better position and black squared B.
Jul-26-12  King.Arthur.Brazil: For 19.Bf3 Qe3+ 20.Rxe3 Bxe3+ 21.Kg2 Nxd5 22.Nxa7+ Kb8 23.Qa4 Nxf3... Undoubtly white has a strong counter-attack anyway. The pieces of Janowsky game's seemed disconnected, didn't work together, didn't show a 2nd meaning, very previsible and plenty of blunders.
Oct-08-15  rainingpieces: I have a hard time believing in White's position after move 13. Is there a reason not to play 13...a6? The knight has to move I think and Black wins a piece by capturing on d4. There does not seem to be any good tricks for White either..

Also is there something wrong with the move 13...Nxb4? The idea being if 14.axb4 then 14...Bxb4+ 15.Ke2 Bg4+ 16.f3 (16.Nf3 Bxf3+) Nf5 and I see nothing better than 17.Qd3. Looks really dangerous for White. Or after 13...Nxb4 14.Rc1+ Kb8 and a similar line if axb4.

Oct-08-15  thomastonk: <rainingpieces> After 13..a6 I tried first 14. ♕f3. But that's wrong: 14.. axb5 15. ♖c1 ♖xd4! or 15. ♘xc6 ♕c3+.

Then I read <Deutsches Wochenschach>: they say 13.. a6 fails because of 14. ♕c1 axb5 15. ♘xc6 etc. But what could 'etc' be: 15.. bxc6 16 ♕xc6+ ♕c7 seems to be "the" line. 17 ♕a8+ ♔d7 18 ♗xb5+ ♔e7 19 ♗c5+ ♔f6 20 ♕f3+ ♔g6 is a nice king's hunt, but I see no mate. Damn! So, 17 ♕a6+ ♔d7 18 ♕xb5+ ♔e7 19 ♖c1 and compensation!? Or 17.. ♕b7 18 ♖c1+ ♗c4 19 ♕a5!. Pretty interesting stuff.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Is it possible that Janowsky didn't realise that 19.0-0 was legal?
Oct-17-15  thomastonk: <offramp: Is it possible that Janowsky didn't realise that 19.0-0 was legal?> No, because Janowski castled himself in a similar situation: Mieses vs Janowski, 1902.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Bishoprick: Offramp points to an error in Reinfeld's "Why You Loose at Chess". He suggests Bc5 (a white square), and after b4, Black simply takes a Knight. Problem is that there is no knight in the Bishop's range. Knights are both on black squares. :-)
Oct-05-21  SymphonicKnight: An amazing tactical explosion by Lasker, who was lost in this very complex game. Nobody has mentioned the fatal mistake by Janowski, 17...Bh4+, but the fantastic 17...Rxd4 18.Qxd4 Qxd4 19. Nxd4 Bf6 20.Rxc6+ is much better. 18...Qe4 was another inaccuracy. And yes, 11...Bc5 was winning for Janowski.

This game has numerous instructive inaccuracies unbecoming of a world championship match game, but is very fun and still demonstrates the superb tactical ability and resourcefulness of Dr. Lasker.

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