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Emanuel Lasker vs Frank Marshall
Lasker - Marshall World Championship Match (1907), New York, NY USA, rd 2, Jan-29
French Defense: Classical. Swiss Variation (C11)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Feb-11-04  drukenknight: to follow up on what Calli is saying, sometimes you can see Lasker makes moves that dont quite look right. Knowing what we do today about certain structural weaknessesses they seem obvious. As good examples, look at the games that Steinitz wins. Usually it is because of some odd positional problem, not a combination. In contrast look at the games of Euwe who almost always puts pieces on good spots, he might overlook a combo though.
Feb-11-04  ughaibu: Drukenknight: Capablanca and Fischer played a different kind of chess than that played by Lasker and Tal. If both players play "correct" moves then the game will likely be a draw and in any case boring, it's no coincidence that both Capablanca and Fischer thought chess was played out and promoted variants. Lasker and Tal were very successful, the idea that only theoretically correct play is viable or even best is contradicted by their success. This is the point also about Kaspaov-Radjabov.
Feb-11-04  Benjamin Lau: Anand vs Karpov, 1996 is another good example. Correctness is often determined by time.
Mar-01-08  Knight13: Marshall DID seem to have an upper hand at first, though. But that g7-pawn proved too much.
May-01-09  ScorpionInstinct: If 19.Qxg7 is psychological why not grab 20.Qxh7 as well? Cos that would lose, while grabbing g7 wins.
Aug-15-09  ughaibu: What if black plays 19....Nd2?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <ughaibu>:

click for larger view

If 19...Nd2 20.Nxd2 Rg8 21.Nf4 and Black must trade queens or release the mate threat on g2.

Aug-15-09  ughaibu: How about Qd6?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: 21...Qd6 22.Qf7 seems OK. White's up a piece, so he doesn't mind giving back the ♘f4 to slow down the attack. And if then 22...Qxf4 23.Rad1 Qg5 24.g3 follwed by 25.Nf3, and it looks like White is consolidating.
Aug-15-09  ughaibu: Okay, but what about Rg6, instead of Qg5? Black is then threatening both Rdg8 and Ne5.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Okay, my powers of blindfold analysis have been exhausted. Let's have another diagram:

click for larger view

This is after 19...Nd2 20.Nxd2 Rg8 21.Nf4 Qd6 22.Qf7 Qxf4 23.Rad1 Rg6, when Black has ideas like 24...Ne5 or 24...Rdg8. Perhaps White can defend with 24.Kh1, eliminating some of Black's tricks, or maybe play 24.Rfe1, hoping to trade a pair of rooks. Frankly, I'm more of a Marshall-style player anyway, and would rather find <his> moves! Let someone else find Lasker's defenses.

I think it's probably true that this line is no worse than the one chosen by Marshall in the game. Whether he has compensation for the pawn is beyond my powers.

Aug-15-09  ughaibu: If you set your viewer to Sjkbase, then you can move the pieces. It's a great convenience and I'm surprised that so few members take advantage. Anyway, thanks for the analysis, I'm off to bed.
Aug-17-09  Resignation Trap: I've looked at <ughaibu>'s suggestions of 19...Nd2 and 23...Rg6, and they look excellent. My analysis runs (from <Phony Benoni>'s last diagram) 24.Rfe1 Ne5! 25.Qe7 Rdg8 26.Qc5+ Nc6 27.Qd5 Nb4! 28.Qc4+ Kb8

click for larger view

and it looks like White is busted.

I'll look at 24.Kh1 later.

Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: <Resignation Trap>I'll look at 24.Kh1 later.

<Resignation Trap>,
24.♔h1 ♕g5 25.g3 ♘e5 24.♕b3 f4 seems pretty strong for Black - what should White play now?

Was 31...h4 a blunder? It seems that centralising the King with 31..♔d7 seems a more sensible idea.

Feb-19-13  vinidivici: <Benjamin Lau: Anand vs Karpov, 1996 is another good e

xample. Correctness is often determined by time.> Yes, I gave some lines of that game from various resources.

<Calli:Here is a real psych game. Lasker plays 18.Qg4+ Marshall could play Qe6, but, of course, he will gambit the g7 pawn. He says oksy Marshall I'll give you an open file. Go ahead attack me.>

lolol....Your words are very exact to explain the Lasker move 18.Qg4+.

18.Qg4 is a brave move and lured Marshall to be aggressive but in some way not a very accurate moves.

Noted that Marshall is a player who is very aggressive and all about attacking, so from a practical standpoint, it is wiser to play him more quietly, but Lasker who, we know was a brave player, didnt take it half-heartedly. Instead he gave Marshall a full challenge in what he loved to do but met his demise in it also.

That differentiate the world champions and the rest.

Feb-06-15  poorthylacine: VINIDIVICI:

I agree, but not for all world champions; only for Lasker, Alekhine and for Karpov , not including however his terrible 1984 match.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Volcach: Marshall's knights are helpless in both the championship games I've looked at.
Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: Lasker's victory in Game 2 of his 1907 World Championship match against Marshall on the heels of his excellent win in Game 1, suggested that the match would be a rout. And indeed Lasker was to overwhelm Marshall winning eight games against zero losses and seven draws.

But the reaction to Lasker's Game 2 win was light-years apart from the praise he received for his victory in the first game. The commentators, led to Tarrasch, derided Lasker's opening play, and claimed that Lasker had only won because Marshall had missed a win on move 19.

Lasker issued a scathing rebuttal, insisting that Marshall in fact had never had a winning position, and scorned Tarrasch's commentary as "inaccurate to the point of carelessness."

As I will attempt to show in my notes on this game, Lasker was correct that the suggested 19...Nd2 (instead of Marshall's actual 19...Rg8?) would at best have led to equality for Marshall. On this point, Lasker's analysis seems entirely correct (and is sustained by deep searches I have undertaken by both Fritz and Stockfish).

The above notwithstanding, the bashing of Tarrasch by Lasker about this game should not be overstated. Lasker acknowledges that Tarrasch's book on the match was excellent. To quote Lasker himself: "Otherwise [i.e., apart from Tarrasch's comment on move 19 in this game] the book has many good points. Much of the analysis is excellent; the opinions expressed are suggestive, and the Doctor's style has wit." [I have lifted this quotation from Fred Wilson's book on 'Classical Chess Matches, 1907-1913]. I would further state that Tarrasch's writings on the 1907 Lasker-Marshall match, like most of his other writings on chess, is absolutely first-rate. And even with regard to Marshall's move 19 here, Tarrasch was absolutely correct that Marshall should have played 19...Nd2 and that the actual 19...Rg8 was a major--if not the primary reason--reason Marshall was defeated (apart from the simple fact that Lasker was a far superior player). Tarrasch was also correct that Lasker's opening play against Marshall's French Defense left much to be desired. Lasker obtained no advantage as White, and he could certainly have prepared something better against the French. That being said, Lasker's 4. Bd3 was nothing like a losing move. It leads to an approximately even game.

1. e4 e6

Marshall played the French Defense in each of the seven games he had Black in this match. The result was dreadful (for Marshall): Lasker won four of the seven games and drew the other three. With the benefit of hindsight, Marshall should have tried something else.

2. d4 d5
3. Nc3 Nf6

The Classical Defense. The ascendancy of the Winawer (3...Bb4) lay in the future, as did the later waning of the Winawer's popularity.

4. Bd3

Tarrasch and Janowski heaped scorn on this move. Lasker no doubt laughed all the way to the bank. He employed this move here as well as in games 12 and 14 of this match, winning all three encounters.

4. Bg5 is certainly better (as is 4. exd5 for that matter). The text is, at best, sufficient for equality. Indeed, it was played by a range of fine players, including Andersen, Steinitz, Gunsberg, Blackburne, Schlechter (in his 1911 match against Tarrasch), Capablanca, Boguljubow, Lasker as late as 1934, and even by Tarrasch himself (in 1887).

4... c5

"Best" (Schlechter).

Janowski claimed that 4...c5 gives Black the better game. This was, like much of the bombast from the mercurial Janowski, an overstatement.

"If 4...Bb4 5. e5 (if 5...Ne4 [5...Nfd7 is much better--KEG] 6. Qg4." (Schlechter)

5. exd5

"This move is marked in La Strategie with a note of interrogation. M. Janowsky remarks that 'the only continuation was 5. dxc5. After the text move Black gains a marked advantage.' " (Hoffer)

I see little to choose between the text and Janowski's proposed 5. dxc5. Both lead to approximate equality. The text has also been played by Andersen, Steinitz, Blackburne, Schlechter, and--more recently--by Ljubojevic (at least twice).

Notably, in Games 12 and 14 of the match, Lasker varied with 5. Nf3 (which is also OK but hardly an improvement).

5... cxd4

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6. Bb5+

6. Nb5 was better.

6... Bd7

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Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: Post II

7. BxB+

"Apart from losing a piece of a Pawn one can in no way assist one's opponent so much as through an inferior exchanges which develops his pieces. 7. Qxd4 should be played because Black now gets the quicker development and the far superior game." (Tarrasch).

Janowski responded that after 7. Qxd5 Black gets "much the better game" with 7... BxB 8. NxB exd5. But this is nonsense. As Tarrasch no doubt noticed, 8...Nxd5 is far better than Janowski's awful 8...exd5? which loses to 9. Qe5+.

The last laugh here, however, seems to go to Lasker, since--Tarrasch and Janowski notwithstanding--Lasker's line is best. So long as Black does not commit Janowski's blunder of 8...exd5, Black does indeed get much the better game" after 7. Qxd4.

7... QxB
8. dxe6

8. Qxd4 seems more accurate. But Schlechter disagrees:

"If. 8. Qxd4 Black gains a move by 8...Nc6."

Given that Lasker's move also gets no edge for White, 8. Qxd4 seems at least as good as the text, but Schlechter's point is well taken.

8. Nce2 would be bad here after 8...Qxd5 (even better than Janowski's 8...e5 which could be answered by 9. c4).

click for larger view

8... Qxe6+

8...fxe6 as suggested by Janowski seems much better.

In deciding between the text and 8...fxe6, the comments by Dr. Tarrasch must be considered:

"Nothing is more difficult in chess than to choose between two apparently strong moves. Here the decision is even more difficult as both continuations ensure Black the superior game. The capture with the Queen provides him with attack along the King file, while capturing with the Pawn would lead to pressing forward of [sic] the Pawn center."

Tarrasch, as always, has well summed up the choices facing Black in this position. My one disagreement is that--as the following moves in the game seem to demonstrate--Black's attack is not dangerous and Black ultimately obtains no significant advantage with 8...Qxe6+.

9. Nce2 Nc6

9...Bb4+ immediately could equally well be played.

10. Nf3 Bb4+
11. Bd2

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This proved to be a key moment in the game.

11... 0-0-0

11...Bc5 or 11...Bd6 seem good enough for equality. As will be seen, Lasker could have obtained the better game after Marshall's hyper-aggressive 11...0-0-0. With his isolated d-pawn and his King now precariously placed, Black now has problems to confront.

Perhaps predictably, Janowski vehemently disagrees:

"A glance at the board is sufficient to show that Black has already an appreciable advantage."

Janowski's further (and often sarcastic) comments on the subsequent course of the game reflect his disdain for Lasker's play over the course of the first 19 moves of this game. As must be obvious from my notes, I have reached a contrary conclusion; i.e., that Lasker's opening play here was sound even if not particularly enterprising. It has been speculated by some on this site that Lasker's approach was psychological, and that he goaded Marshall into over-playing his hand. That may well be so. But, whether he was employing psychology or not, Lasker was playing sound chess.

The position after 11...0-0-0 was:

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As I "glance" at the board here, I see that Marshall's pieces are more immediately aggressively placed, but that Lasker's position has latent power and no long-term weaknesses.

Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: Post III

12. 0-0

12. BxB (followed by 13. 0-0) was better because the text allowed Marshall to avoid the exchange of Bishops with 12...Bd6 which would eliminate most or all of White's advantage.

Schlechter notes that after 12. BxB NxB [Black could equally well first play 12...d3 and then capture the Bishop after 13. cxd3 messing up White's pawn structure] 13. Nfxd4? would get crushed by 13...RxN!! But 13. 0-0 avoids all this and leaves White with the better game.

12... Rhe8

Missing the chance to avoid the trade of Bishops with 12...Bd6.

13. Nf4

Tarrasch and Schlechter both point out that 13. BxB QxN would favor Black. Tarrasch goes on to praise Lasker's move, saying that: "The Knight strives toward d3 in order to block the center pawn."

The above notwithstanding, the natural 13. Re1 looks best for Lasker here. After the text, chances were about equal.

13... Qg4

Janowski, Teichmann, and Hoffer all claimed that 13...Qf5 would have been better. Teichmann further on in his analysis returned to Marshall's 13...Qg4 purporting to point out the problems Marshall later encountered. (see below on move 17).

Tarrasch explains Marshall's choice of 13...Qg4 as follows: "Black tempts White to make a weakening pawn move."

I will return to the debate between Tarrasch and Teichmann concerning the utility or weakness of convincing White to push his h-pawn here.

After 13...Qg4 the position was:

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14. h3

Clever strategy or blunder? Tarrasch condemned this move, stating that it weakens White and sets up the possibility for Black to attack with g5 and g4. On the other hand, Teichmann believed that having the h-pawn on h3 instead of h2 allowed Lasker to organize an effective defense a few moves later.

In defense of Lasker's move, Tarrasch stated that he did not think Lasker would have played 14. h3 "if he had any good moves at all."

As the sequel shows, 14. h3 did not work out badly for Lasker. The main alternative to 14. h3 was 14. Nd3 (my choice). Tarrashc' claim that Lasker had no good moves here was thus an overstatement in my opinion.

14... Qf5
15. Nd3

"White's position is so bad that it is difficult to find another move." (Janowski)

Another case Janowski bombast. Janowski could be as volcanic in his commentary as in his playing: craziness mixe2 with genius. In this case, he is wrong on all counts. The game is now about even, and Lasker DID have another decent move: 15. Nh4 (though I prefer the text).

Janowski correctly points out that 15. Re1 was inferior to the text, but then he--same old story--overstated his case, saying that after 15. Re1 Black would have a "decisive attack" with 15...g5. Once again,Janowski was doubly wrong. For one thing, if 15. Re1 g5, White gets much the better game with 16. RxR NxR [or 16...RxR 17. BxB QxN (17...NxB 18. Ne2) 18. Bd2] 17. g4. Additionally, 15...g5 is not best for Black here. He should play 15...RxR+ or 15...BxB, leaving Black a small advantage.

After 15. Nd3 the position was:

click for larger view

15... BxB


Tarrasch, hardly thinking 15...BxB deserved an "!", went on to bracket it with another move he detested, Lasker's 7. BxB+:

"Marshall returns the favor which Lasker did him on the 7th move; he develops White's Queen, which had no good moves. He should play 15...Bd6 and then h6 and g5."

While 15...Bd6 may indeed be best for Marshalln here, the text was not all that bad and Lasker had no real advantage after the trade of the remaining pair of Bishops. Moreover, Tarrasch's idea of a pawn storm with h6 and g5 seems doubtful at best.

16. QxB

16. NxB was another reasonable option for Lasker here.

16... Ne4

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The battle lines were now drawn. Did Marshall have a serious attack brewing? Could Lasker's position hold?

As I will argue, the game was in the balance and both sides had chances. In this position, I would expect the better player to win from either side.

Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: Post IV

17. Qf4

Janowski, who believed (mistakenly in my view) that Lasker's position was lost) derisively said of this move: "There is nothing better." He went on to note (correctly in my view) that if White here plays 17. Qd1 (arguably best) that Black should respond 17...g5. Whether that would be all that bad for White, however, is another matter. (I think White is still fine in that variation).

More interesting are the following comments:

"The White Queen now interrupts Black's attack. This is the result of the incorrect [in Tarrasch's view] trade of Bishops on the 15th move." (Tarrasch)

"White, of course, is trying to exchange Queens in order to prevent Black from developing his attack, and Black naturally [see discussion below on this point--KEG] avoids the exchange." (Schlechter).

Another key moment in the game has been reached, so I again give a diagram:

click for larger view

17... Qd5

A Queen trade (i.e., 17...QxQ) would result in an approximately even game, Black's pressure balancing out his isolated d-pawn. Marshall, however, seemingly had no interest in playing for a draw, and here boldly sacrificed a pawn to continue his efforts at attack. The commentary on Marshall's decision here is fascinating:

"Black sacrifices a Pawn for the sake of avoiding any exchanges of pieces. This is perfectly sound, but it will now be seen that, had Black refrained from playing 17...Qg4 instead of 13...Qf5 at once (the h-pawn being then still at his h2_ White could not possibly have taken the g-pawn on account of the answering Rg8 followed by Rxg2+, winning." (Teichmann)

"The whole tendency of Black's proceedings was aggressive, else he would not have Castled on the weakened side [i.e., the Queen side here]. On the other hand,having Castled on the weak side, he cannot well remain on the defensive. Instinctively most players would sacrifice a Pawn for the open file in such a position, and Marshall did it intuitively, for he did not see the right continuation later on."

In my view, either 17...QxQ or Marshall's move can be defended here. As will be seen, Marshall's pawn sacrifice was sound, and with best play should have led to equal chances. The Queen trade was also sufficient to hold the balance. The choice between the two options was to a large extent a matter of style. Given Marshall's tactical wizardry, the text certainly looks correct, even though as the game went he erred on move 19 and wound up losing.

After Marshall's courageous 17...Qd5, the position was:

click for larger view

18. Qg4+

Lasker decides to take the pawn and try to weather the attack. As Calli has so aptly characterized this move on this site:

"Lasker says, 'OK Marshall, I'll give you an open file. Go ahead, attack me.' "

18... f5

As Hoffer has shown, Marshall could still have maintained material balance with 18...Qe6. Best for Lasker would then have been 19. QxQ RxQ with an approximately even game. Hoffer's suggested 19...fxQ in order to "strengthen the d-pawn" is misguided, since Black would then be in trouble after 20. Rfe1 (or 20. Rae1 for that matter).

Had Marshall in fact played 18...Qe6, Lasker--as Hoffer has stated--could not have afforded 19. Qxg7? which would now lose to 19...Rg8 20. Qxh7 Rh8 21. Nf4 (not Hoffer's dreadfully bad 21. Qg7? Rdg8 and White can resign) RxQ 22. NxQ fxN leaving Lasker down a piece for two pawns and a couple of passed pawns on the King-side (probably a theoretical win for Black, but who knows with Lasker playing White).

An excellent summary of the strategies of the two players in making their respective 18th moves is that of ughaibu on this site:

"...neither of them are consciously choosing an inferior line, they're making strategic decisions based on style."

I agree. The play by both Lasker and Marshall over the course of the last few moves was excellent, and reflected their differing styles rather than any truly second-best moves. It is a shame that Marshall lost his way on his 19th turn. The game had been shaping up to be a classic.

19. Qxg7

Lasker could still have denied Marshall an open file by playing 19. Qh5, but Lasker--like Fischer and Korchnoi years later--was generally happy to take material and try to punish an opponent for having the temerity to sacrifice.

Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: Post V

After Lasker's 19. Qxg7, the position was:

click for larger view

This was the key moment in the game. As Tarrasch so eloquently put it:

"And now Marshall must answer the question: Why has he sacrificed a Pawn?"

Tarrasch (among others) believe that Marshall had a win here. Lasker vehemently disagreed. The one thing they all agreed on was that Marshall's move was a big mistake:

19... Rg8?

Marshall planned to follow this with 20...Nd2. But the text allowed Lasker's Queen to move to h6 before Nd2 was played, and this spelled fini to Marshall's plan.

The question over which much ink was spilled was whether Marshall could have won in the diagrammed position with 19...Nd2! Tarrasch (and others) said Yes. Lasker said No.

Let's see who was right:

After 19...Nd2 play would likley go 20. NxN Rg8. The position would then be:

click for larger view

Tarrach assumed in his analysis that White here must play 21. Nf4 and purported to demonstrate a win from there. Lasker, while not certain whether Black could win after 21. Nf4, claimed that this was a mistake and that White would be fine after 21. Qg3. In fact, as I will attempt to show, both moves lead to approximate equality. [Indeed, both Fritz and Stockfish evaluate the position as 0.00 after 19...Nd2]. Thus, Lasker was correct that there is no win after 21. Qg3, and Tarrasch's 21. Nf4 was actually just as good and also leads to equality.

Let's look at both moves in turn:

A) 21. Qg3 (Lasker's move):

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21... RxQ
22. fxR

"White's Rook,Knight and Pawn for Queen are more than sufficient equivalent...and an impenetrable King position." (Lasker)

Lasker's evaluation appears to be correct. If (after 22. fxR) 22...Rg8, Lasker seems to be fine with 23. Rf3 Ne5 24. Rxf4 Rxg3 25. Rf8+ Kd7 26. NxN+ QxN leaving:

click for larger view

There is still plenty of play in this position, but White is certainly not losing.

What about Tarrasch's move:

21. Nf4

The position would then be:

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White is fine here too, the contemporary commentators notwithstanding: 21...Qd6 22. Qf7 best as per the fine analysis on this site by Phony Benoni (a much better move than 22. Qg3 RxQ 23. fxQ Nb4) QxN 23. Rad1 (Phony Benoni's move, which is a vast improvement on Teichmann's 23. Qe6+ Kb8 24. Rad1 Rg6 25. Qe2 d3! 26. Qf3 Qh6 and Black is better [and certainly not Teichamnn's horrible 26. cxd3? Rdg8 and Black wins]) and now Black should play 23...Rg6 (ughaibu's move which is an improvement on Phony Benoni's 23...Qg5 24. g3) 24. g3 (not 24. Rfe1 Ne5 and now White must play 25. RxN to avoid getting crushed after 25. Qe7 as shown on this site by Resignation Trap). Now, after 24. g3, the game ends spectacularly with perpetual check: 24...Rxg3+ 25. fxR Qxg3+


Conclusion, there was no win for Black with 19...Nd7.

But was Marshall lost after his actual move: 19...Rg8. I will address this question in my next post on this game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: Post VI

Having analyzed the likely outcome had Marshall played 19...Nd2 [which I stupidly gave as "19...Nd7" at the end of my last post], let's return to the actual game after Marshall's 19...Rg8.

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20. Qh6 Nd2?

One move too late, since Lasker's Queen now covers d2.

Janowski correctly noted that 20...Rg6 was better, but claimed it also loses. Was he correct? Let's examine Janowski's line after 20...Rg6:

21. Qf4 Rdg8 22.Nde1 (White has winning chances here, but only with 22. Nh4, a move Janowski called a blunder. He reaches this conclusion because 22...Ng5 23. Qxf5+? QxQ 24. NxQ allows mate in three after 24...Nf3+! But Janowski overlooked that White is actually better with 23. Kh1 instead of 23. Qxf5+) 22...Nc5. There is no win for anyone here that I can see, and Fritz evaluates the position as 0.00.

Thus, 20...Nd2 was a mistake, and Janowski's 20...Rg6 would have given Marshall very real chances to stay in the game.

After Marshall's 20...Nd2?, Lasker never gave Marshall a chance to get back in the game:

21. QxN QxN

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"The attack is completely repulsed." (Janowski).

While Janowski was correct, White still must take care. As Schlechter pointed out, White gets mated after 22. Nf4?? Rxg2+ 23. NxR Rg8. But Lasker had more than ample technique to close out the game:

22. g3! h5

A desperate shot at complications, but I can find nothing better.

23. Qf4

"Now, as usual, after an attack that fails, comes the counter-attack." (Tarrasch).

click for larger view

23... Qd5?

Marshall best chance was to trade Queens and try to make things difficult for Lasker with 23...QxQ 24. NxQ h4?! After the text, the rest was pretty much smooth sailing for Lasker.

24. Rfe1 Rde8

24...h4?! looks like the best practical chance. Schlechter analyzed this to a win for White, but it's better than the text. Thus, following Schlechter: 24...h4?! 25. Qxh4 Rh8 26. Qf6 (White can lose here with the careless 26. Nf4 after Schlechter's brilliant 26...Qf7) Rxh3 27. Qe6+ QxQ (27...Qd7 may be slightly better than Schlechter's move, but the outcome would likely be the same) 28. RxQ Rdh8 29. Rae1 (or, perhaps even better, 29. Kg2). A nice piece of analysis by Schlechter.

25. RxR+

25. Qh6 also wins.

25... RxR

26. Re1

26. Qg5 was perhaps even better.

After 26. Re1, the position was:

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26... Re4

As Schlechter has shown, Black can not save the gamewith 26...RxR+, e.g., 27. NxR Nb4 (other moves such as 27...b6 or 27...Qe4 or 27...a6 likewise are insufficient) 28. a3 (28. Qh6 may be even better) and now 28...d3 loses (28...Nc6 may be "better," but it doesn't save Black) to 29. cxd3 (and certainly not 29. axN??? d2! and Black wins) Nxd3 30. Qd2 and White wins.

27. Qg5

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The game was barely more than half-way over,but the outcome was not seriously in doubt. I will discuss Lasker's winning procedure in my subsequent posts on this game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: Post VII

27... Nb4

"Instead of this clever but bad move, Black should try 27...Qf7 to avoid the trade of Queens." (Tarrasch)

Even 27...RxR+ would be better than the text.

28. RxR

28. Rc1 would be stronger, but Lasker's method is clear and decisive.

28... fxR

Not 28...QxR? 29. Qg8+ (even better than Tarrashc's 29. NxN, which also wins easily).

29. QxQ NxQ

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After all the thrilling tactics, Lasker has reached a won Knight and Pawn ending.

The position is not quite resignable for Marshall, but with Lasker at the helm chances of an accident were slim. Simple as the position appears, it is a pleasure to watch Lasker close out the game.

30. Nc5 e3

30...Nf5 loses to 31. Nb3 d3 32. cxd3 exd3 33. f3. (Moran). In fact, after 30...Nf6, 31. Kf1 is even more decisive, since it ends any hope of threats by the Black d and/or e pawns.

31. Nd3

31. Kf1 was perhaps simpler.

click for larger view

31... h4

Graham Clayton's comment on this site that 31...Kd7 was "more sensible," but even then Marshall would have had little hope.

32. gah4

Lasker could just have ignored Marshall's "threat" and played 32. Kg2.

32... Kd7
33. Kf1 Ke6
34. Ke2

34. Nc5+ would probably have shortened proceedings,but Lasker's move does the job.

34... exf2
35. Kxf2

click for larger view

Marshall could now have safely resigned. But by playing on Marshall allowed some cute tricks to appear, even though they did not change the result.

35... Kf5
36. Kf3 Nf6
37. Nc5 b6
38. Nd3 Nh5
39. Nc1

Lasker was seemingly in no hurry, and made super-sure that Marshall got no chances.

39... Nf6
40. Ne2

Heading for the King-side.

40... Ke5
41. Ng3 Nd5
42. h5

Time to utilize the h-pawns.

42... Ne3

Seeking complications at all costs.

43. h6 Kf6

click for larger view

With the Black King out of play, Lasker could now go to work on the Queen-side.

Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: Post VIII

44. c3


44... Nd1

If 44...dxc3 45. KxN cxb2 46. Ne4+ followed by 47. Nd2.

45. cxd4 Nxb2

click for larger view

46. Nf5!

Another cute move by Lasker. The simple 46. Ke4 would also have done the trick.

46... Kg6

46...KxN would allow the h-pawn to Queen.

47. d5 Nc4
48. Ke4 Na5
49. d6 Nb7

click for larger view

49. Kd5!

Another cute move by Lasker. The Knight, of course, can not be captured.

49... Nd8
50. d7 a5
52. Ne7+

click for larger view


After 52...Kxh6 53. Kd6 Marshall would have nothing to play for.

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