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Jackson Whipps Showalter vs Emanuel Lasker
Lasker - Showalter (1892), Logansport, IN USA, rd 2, Dec-15
Spanish Game: Berlin Defense. Closed Showalter Variation (C66)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: Lasker makes a rare blunder <31...Rdd8> giving Showalter the game. Showalter had played the opening solidly, but after:

<31...Qd8> 32.Re1 Nxf6 33.exf6 Rxe1; he would still, have a lot of work to do.

<32.Rg7!> Ng5 (32...Rg8? 33.Rxh7+ Kxh7 34.Qh5#) 33.Qg3 wins outright.

Oct-19-09  dannygjk: The problem with some games is sometimes I wonder if the ID is correct. For example, hypothetically speaking, imagine if this game was played by the other Lasker. The person entering the game online might think, 'Hmmm, I forgot Lasker's first name but I know that's not it.' So then of course a quick lookup and 'discovery' that Emanuel should be entered.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <dannygik>

Yes, that happens a lot, but not here. Emanuel Lasker and Showalter played a match in 1892 and this is one of the games from it. Emanuel's brother Berthold was a strong player, but this isn't him. Emanuel's (possibly) distant relative Edward was born in 1885 in Germany, so we can be pretty confident this isn't him either.

Edward Lasker

Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: The wager for this match was $100, with a time limit of 18 moves per hour.
Jan-12-12  AVRO38: It looks like these two played 2 separate matches, one in 1892 in Logansport IN and one in 1893 in Kokomo IN but I always see this listed as one match.

Does anyone have any information that can clarify the conflicting info?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <AVRO38> Here are three excerpts from the 1893 British Chess Magazine (available at ) which almost make the situation clear.

February, 1893, p. 89

<"On December 12th [1892] commenced the meeting of the Indiana Chess Association, at Logansport, and he [Lasker] was present at it. The great attraction of the gathering was his two games with Mr. Showalter, of which each won one, but the deciding game of the little match was not played, owing to Mr. Lasker's indisposition, and the prize of $100 was divided between the two masters.... From Logansport Mr. Lasker proceeded on to Philadelphia, to enter upon his engagement with the Franklin Club of that city.">

May, 1893, p. 215:

<"After finishing his course of mathematical lectures at Tulane University, Mr. Lasker gave a final peripatetic performance at the New Orleans Chess Club. He then proceeded to Kokomo, Indiana, to play his long talked of match with Mr. Showalter, for $1000 a side, and with a time-limit of eighteen moves an hour. The match, which was to consist of ten games up, began on April 15th, and the score at the time of our going to press was: Lasker 3, Showalter 1, drawn 1.">

June, 1893, p. 259:

<"Lasker won his match with Showalter at Kokomo, Ind., by scoring 6 to 2, and two draws. This reckoning includes the three games previously played between them at the Indiana Chess Association meeting, which it was agreed should count as part of the match. The original conditions were for ten games up and $2,000 a-side, but these were afterwards cut down to six games and $500 a-side. Neither master seems to have played his best, and the American champion was said to have been suffering from an influenza attack. It is stated that Herr Lasker will take up his residence at New Orleans as a regular professor of mathematics at Tulane University.">

The question remains whether two or three games were played at Logansport, and I'd favor the more contemporary report that two games were played.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: A bit more information from the <New York Sun>, December 17, 1892. Available at

<"Showalter and Lasker agreed not to play the third game, but to divide the purse. A banquet was tendered by the Logansport players to their guests and members of the Indiana State Chess Association. The project of a set match, five games up, between Lasker and Showalter was discussed. It will probably take place some time next month at some Western city. It will be for $750 a side.">

<Chess Archaeology> is recommended if you'd like to look into this era further.

Jan-12-12  TheFocus: The first two (and the third unplayed draw) were rolled over into their 1893 match.

<KOKOMO, April 9 – The long-expected chess match between Jackson W. Showalter and Emanuel Lasker, which has been three times postponed, will commence here tomorrow. The rules and conditions of the match have been agreed upon. The victor will be the winner of the first ten games, draws not counting. He will receive the purse of $2,000 and be considered champion of America. The match, however, is virtually only nine games up, as the games played between the contestants at Logansport last January will be included in the score. Each scored and lost one game. Charles O. Jackson of this city, President of the Indiana State Chess Association, will act as referee. H. Brown of Anderson, Ind. is the stakeholder. Games will be played every day, Saturday and Sunday excepted. The time limit is fixed at fifteen moves an hour. If after four and a half hours of play the game should not be finished a recess will be taken, and two more hours in the evening devoted to play. The rules of the fifth American Chess Congress will govern. Each player has the right to excuse himself three times from playing on notifying the referee and his opponent – The New York Sun, April 10, 1893.>

<KOKOMO, April 27 – As reported in yesterday’s Sun, Lasker scored his sixth victory over Showalter and thus won the match. The American player, although outclassed by his opponent, made a good fight and achieved a better score against Lasker than the English matadors, Blackburne and Bird. In the last game the German master again clung to his favorite Queen’s Pawn, and pursued the same course as in his previous game at the same opening. Showalter, however, ventured a new departure on the seventh and eighth moves, which not only blocked his c-pawn, but gave Lasker an opportunity, by a splendid combination, to finally isolate the adverse d-pawn. The German then kept up the pressure against the weak spot in Showalter’s game, and the latter, anxious to prevent White from breaking through on the Kingside, posted his Pawns so unfortunately that he was soon confronted wuth the loss of either a Pawn or the Exchange. He chose the latter evil, but derived little help by doing so. Lasker cleared the road for his passed d-pawn, and while Showalter’s Rook had to guard against White Queening the Pawn, Lasker drove the King into a mating net. On the forty-fourth move Showalter gave a last desperate check and then resigned the game and the match after four hours of play – The New York Sun, April 28, 1893. >

Jan-12-12  AVRO38: Thanks <Phony Benoni><TheFocus> that was really helpful.

So from what I gather there were 2 matches but the score of the first match carried over. But since the score of the first match was tie it's really irrelevant whether it carried over or not, it's kind of weird that they would even make a point of carrying over an even score. It's like a baseball game being rained out with the score 1-1 and they start a new game the following day with a 1-1 score, what's the point?

Anyway, it's interesting that the winner was considered the "Champion of America." It reminds me of the Capablanca-Marshall match were Marshall said that Capa could not be U.S. champion because he was not a U.S. citizen so Capa said he was the champion of "America."

Feb-05-13  Llawdogg: Jackson Whips Lasker.
May-17-16  SeanAzarin: The Lion Roars.

(Showalter was known as the "Kentucky Lion".)

Sep-03-19  mifralu: According to the < Logansport Pharos-Tribune (Logansport, Indiana), 16 December 1892, > this game was played on 15 December 1892.

The report gives additional moves < 32. ...Nxf6 33. exf6 Re6 34. Qh5 Lasker resigns. >


THE GREAT CHESS CONTEST. Special to the Indianapolis Journal. Logansport, Ind., Dec. 15. The first of the Lasker-Showalter chess games was finished at 4 o'clock this morning after sixty-eight moves and ten and a half hours' play. Lasker won by an error of Showalter, who had a sure draw and a slight advantage. The second game began at 4 o'clock this afternoon, with Showalter attacking. He opened with a Ruy Lopez. Lasker answered with the Berlin defense. Showalter made a bold attack, winning on the <thirty-fourth move.> Time - Lasker, two hours; Showalter, one hour aud forty minutes. At Lasker's request the third game will be postponed until Saturday.

<The Indianapolis Journal, 16 December 1892, p. 3>

In The Sun e=New_York_Sun&date=1892.12.17

(notes by Lasker) the game ends at move 32.

< Whyld, game 186 > gives BCM 1893, p. 149, last move 32. Rg7.

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