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Emanuel Lasker vs Carl Schlechter
Lasker - Schlechter World Championship Match (1910), Berlin GER, rd 8, Feb-02
Spanish Game: Open Variations. Schlechter Defense (C80)  ·  1/2-1/2



Annotations by Jose Raul Capablanca.      [26 more games annotated by Capablanca]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-02-08  Knight13: <21...Ne6: A mistake (?)> Why?
Dec-01-09  Bridgeburner: <<Knight13> <21...Ne6: A mistake (?)> Why?>

Deep engine analysis reveals the move was perfectly sound:

Dec-03-09  visayanbraindoctor: Bridgeburner: PART 1


Lasker vs Schlechter, 1910 is the <8th game of the 1910 title match>.

Quantitative mapping of this game between these players is below. Figures in brackets immediately after each move are the corrected engine evaluations generated on the forward slide following the initial reverse slide after all the moves were inputted into the engine. This process smoothed out many, but not all fluctuation in the engine’s evaluations. General methods used are described in the bio at User: bridgeburner

The evaluation values in the opening come at the beginning of the forward slide following the reverse slide to the starting position from the last move of the game. Engine preferences are included throughout the game where they differ from players preferences.

Some analysis is included to provide some idea of the reason for the engine preferences where they didn’t coincide with the moves played, except in situations where the evaluation differences was very minor.


Lasker again played <8.a4>, a move Capablanca detested. Schlechter responds properly and gains a small advantage. However, Lasker defends impeccably, neither player makes a mistake, and the game is drawn after an almost perfectly played and well contested 42 moves.


<1. e4> ( 0.27) <1…e5> ( 0.27)

<2. Nf3> ( 0.30) <2…Nc6> ( 0.30)

<3. Bb5> (=0.19) <3…a6> (=0.19)

<4. Ba4> (=0.05) <4…Nf6> (=0.14)

<5. 0-0> (=0.04) <5…Nxe4> (=0.17)

<6. d4> (=0.17) <6…b5> (=0.17)

<7. Bb3> (=0.17) <7…d5> (=0.17)

<8. a4> ( 0.29):

click for larger view

With an evaluation jump of only 0.46, this does not qualify as a <dubious move> for the purposes of this project, but is nevertheless considered to be a poor quality opening move that theory has essentially abandoned since this match.

Pillsbury and Chigorin appear to have been the only top players to have scored significant success with this move. But probably as a result of its use in this match, this move has permanently fallen from favor. Of the 73 games in the database with this position, only 11 have been played since WWI, and only once by a “name” player, namely Leonid Stein in Stein vs Suetin, 1962, which ended in a 19 move draw. Capablanca’s notes of the match indicated that he loathed this move, and for good reason as it concedes the initiative for no good reason. It was played by Lasker 4 times in this match, in games 2, 4, 6 and 8, with each game being drawn. His use of the opening was quite puzzling. The only game in the match in which Lasker didn’t play this variation was the fateful 10th and last game which he won, opening with the queen pawn, Schlechter defending with a Slav Defence, Quiet Variation (D11).

Lasker appears never to have played this move in any other serious game either before or after this match, and one can only speculate why he employed it against Schlechter in his title defence.

Dec-03-09  visayanbraindoctor: Bridgeburner: <PART 2>

<GAME MOVE 8>: <8…Nxd4> ( 0.29)

<Capablanca: “The right answer. The same as played in the second game.”>

Both Capablanca and the engine consider this to be Black’s strongest response, yet of the 73 games in which White played <8. a4>, Black’s most successful response was the tame <8…Rb8> (+17 =8 -7), while <8…Nxd4> scored +6 =11 -8).


<9. Nxd4> ( 0.29) <9…exd4> ( 0.29)

<10. axb5> ( 0.67)

<Capablanca: “Much better than 10. Qxd4 as played in the second game.”>

The engine prefers the odd looking <10. Nc3> (Black’s forward d-pawn is pinned against the rear d-pawn) ( 0.29) and this is indeed the most successful response by White in the database with a +3 =4 -2 record (2 of which were won by Schlechter later that year(!) in Vienna against Wolf and Perlis), as against +3 =6 -6 for the move played.


<10…Bc5> ( 0.67):

click for larger view

Black’s loss in Chigorin vs Wemmers, 1881 after he played <10…Be6> was not due to this move. However, Unzicker’s loss in G Blendinger vs Unzicker, 1946 was largely due to his choice at this stage of <10…Nc5>, a blunder that concedes a pawn and acquires a bad position.


<11. c3> ( 0.56)

<Engine preference(s)>: <11. Nc3/Nd2> ( 0.67) - <11…0-0 12. Nxe4 dxe4 13. Qh5 Bb6 14. Bd2>


<11…0-0> (=-0.23)

<Capablanca: “Black’s game is as good as White’s.”>

<Engine preference>: <11…Ra7> ( 0.67): <12. cxd4 axb5 13. Rxa7 Bxa7>


<12. cxd4> (=-0.23) <12…Bb6> (=0.00)

<Engine preference>: <12…Bd6> (=-0.23): <13. Qd3 Re8 14. h3 Bf5 15. Qf3 Be6 16. Rxa6 Rxa6 16. bxa6 Qa8 17. Nc3 Qxa6 18. Nd5 Qb5 19. Qxe4 20. Qxb3>

Dec-03-09  visayanbraindoctor: Bridgeburner: <PART 3>:

<GAME MOVES 13-17>:

<13. Nc3> (=0.00) <13…Bb7> (=0.00)

<14. bxa6> (=0.00) <14…Rxa6> (=0.00)

<15. Rxa6> (=0.00) <15…Bxa6> (=0.04)

<16. Re1> (=0.04) <16…Bb7> ( 0.03)

<17. Na4> ( 0.30):

click for larger view

<Engine preferences> <17. Be3> (=0.03); <17. Bf4> (=0.01); and <17. f3> (=0.00). The position is now very drawish and remains that way for the rest of the game, notwithstanding a couple of very minor inaccuracies (if they could even be called that) by both players.


<17…Qf6> ( 0.28)

<Engine preference> <17…Qh4> ( 0.30) <17. Be3 Ba5 18. Re2 Rb8>


<18. Be3> ( 0.27) <18…Ba7> (=0.16)

<Engine preference>: <18…Ba5> ( 0.27): <19. Re2 Rb8 20. Rc2 Qd6 21. Rc1 c6 22. Nc5 Bc7 23. g3 Nxc5 24. Bf4 Qd7 25. Bxc7 Qxc7 26. Rxc5 Qd6>


<19. f3> (=-0.08)

<Engine preferences> <19. Nc5> (=0.16); <19. Nc3> (=0.16).

<GAME MOVE 19 -20>:

<19…Ng5> (=-0.08)

<20. Nc5> (=-0.08) <20…Bxc5> (=-0.08)

<Capablanca: “By this move, Black gains a passed pawn, but White on the other hand has two bishops.”>

<GAME MOVES 21-24>

<21. dxc5> (=-0.08) <21…Ne6> (=-0.08)

<Capablanca: “A poor move.”>

<22. Qd3> (=-0.08) <22…Rd8> (=-0.08)

<23. Bc2> (=-0.08) <23…g6> (=-0.08)

<24. b4> (=-0.12)

<Engine preference>: <24. Qb5> (=-0.08): <25…Nd4 26. Qd3 Nxc2 27. Qxc2 d4 28. Bd2 d3 29. Qc3 Qxc3 30. Bxd3 f5>

Dec-03-09  visayanbraindoctor: Bridgeburner: <PART 4>

<GAME MOVES 24-25>:

<24…d4> (=-0.12)

<25. Bc1> (=-0.12) <25…h5> (=0.00)

<Engine preference>: <25. Nf4 26. Bxf4 Qxf4 27. Bb3 Qh4>

<GAME MOVES 26 – 27>:

<26. Bb3> (=0.00) <26…Bd5> (=0.00

<27. Bxd5> (=-0.15)

<Engine preference>: <27. Bc2>; (=0.00); <27…Nf4 28. Qd2>

<GAME MOVES 27-28>:

<27…Rxd5> (=-0.15)

<28. h3> (=-0.21)

<Engine preference>: <28. Bd2> (=-0.15)

<GAME MOVES 28-29>:

<28…Re5> (=-0.21)

<29. Rxe5> ( 0.37)

The exchange allows Black’s Queen to wander into White’s position, but White is in no danger if he defends accurately, which he does effortlessly. The engine preferences below are basically piece shuffling exercises designed to keep the Black Queen on its side of the board. Subsequent engine preferences are omitted as essentially meaningless because of the narrow value differences and the drawn nature of the position.

<Engine preferences>: <29. Rf1> (=-0.21); <29. Rd1> (=-0.21).

<GAME MOVES 29-36>:

<29…Qxe5> ( 0.37)

<30. Kf2> ( 0.37) <30…Qd5> ( 0.37)

<31. h4> ( 0.37) <31…Qa2+> ( 0.35)

<32. Qe2> ( 0.40) <32…Qb1> ( 0.40)

<33. Qb2> ( 0.40) <33…Qd3> ( 0.40)

<34. Qe2> ( 0.40) <34…Qb3> ( 0.40)

<35. Bd2> ( 0.40) <35…Kh7> ( 0.40)

<36. Ke1> ( 0.35)

<Capablanca: “The game was adjourned here and giveup [sic] later as a draw without resuming play. There is a slight advantage for Black but not enough to win. The whole game is we[ll] played by both sides and the natural outcome was a draw.”>

NB: Given Capablanca’s comments, it is not clear why these subsequent moves are included in the game score.

Dec-03-09  visayanbraindoctor: Bridgeburner: <PART 5>

<GAME MOVES 36-43>:

<36…Qb1+> ( 0.35)

<37. Qd1> ( 0.35) <37…Qf5> ( 0.35)

<38. Qe2> ( 0.35) <38…Qc2> ( 0.35)

<39. Qd1> ( 0.35) <39…Qf5> ( 0.35)

<40. Qe2> ( 0.35) <40…Qb1+> ( 0.35)

<41. Qd1> ( 0.35) <41…Qf5> ( 0.35)

<Threefold repetition>

<42. Qe2> ( 0.35 )

<Threefold repetition>

<42…Qb1+> ( 0.35)

<Threefold repetition>

<43. Qd1> ( 0.35) <43… Qf5> ( 0.35) <Fourfold repetition>

Game agreed drawn. Position at the final move:

click for larger view


<Neither Lasker nor Schlechter made any <dubious moves>, <bad moves> or <blunders> as defined in this project and accordingly the error weighting for this game is <<0.00>>>

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