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Wilhelm Steinitz vs Emanuel Lasker
Steinitz - Lasker World Championship Match (1894), Montreal CAN, rd 8, Apr-05
French Defense: Rubinstein Variation. Blackburne Defense (C10)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
May-29-04  SPUDLEE: Lasker loses a tempo 8.Bc5??? then returns bishop to 1st rank what gain??
May-29-04  Checkmate123: I don't think he loses a tempo. I think he doesn't want white's knight to be at the centre of the board.
Apr-01-06  Madman99X: Good technique by Lasker at the end of this game. I think I may have offered a draw. That of course is why he was champion for 27 years, and I have never been champion.
Jan-25-07  Pragmatist: If this game score is correct, then Steinitz could have claimed a draw by threefold repetition on move 61. The positions after white's 57th, 59th and 61st moves are identical. What am I missing here?
Jan-25-07  jtd200: Was the three-fold repitition rule in effect in the 19th century? I'm not sure...
Jan-25-07  jtd200: On a chess history site, I found a claim that the threefold rule started around 1883... There's no telling if that rule was in effect for this particular tournament...
Jan-06-08  Ulhumbrus: Instead of 19 Nd4, 19 Nd2 defends the c pawn and frees the KB to go to the long diagonal eg by Ng3-e4 followed by g3 and Bg2

Instead of 20 b4, 20 Nf3 prepares Ne5

24 b5 makes the c pawn backward. 24 c5 advances the candidate.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: The previous game of this match, in which Lasker won despite some unsound sacrifices, is often identified as the turning point of the match. It certainly has a strong claim, as it was the first of five straight wins for Lasker. But this game must have been terribly depressing for Steinitz too; he does nothing terrible, but slowly gets outplayed, finally giving up a piece at move 45. Desperate resistance thereafter fails to hold the ending against his implacable opponent.
Sep-21-08  Whitehat1963: If you look carefully, there is no three-fold repetition in this game.
Sep-22-08  GeauxCool: <Whitehat1963> You got me! I'll come back with any relevant information from my library on this Championship as penance.
Sep-22-08  whiteshark: But this position

click for larger view

is on board three time, after 57.Kf2,59.Kf2 and 61.Kf2.

But white's King came from g2 when moving 57.Kf2 and from g3 when doing so in move 59 and 61.

Is this fact important for not claiming it as draw?

Sep-22-08  GeauxCool: Notes. 1883 the first chess clock, logical because 1883 three-fold repetition. Were clocks used in the championship? I have rules for the Steinitz-Gunsberg World Championship of 1890, there was a time limit: <"During the first sitting of 3 1/2 hours each player shall comlete twenty-six moves in the time at his disposal, namely one hour and forty-five minutes. Afterwards, however, the game shall proceed at the rated of fifteen moves per hour all through."> Shoot. I don't have rules for this championship, but I wonder if any one of them noticed that there was a repetition. Great, Steinitz has annotated this game, converting to algebraic, just a minute. Posting...

Sep-22-08  GeauxCool: <The game is drawn, upon a correct claim by the player having the move, when the same position, for at least the third time (not necessarily by a repetition of moves)

1. is about to appear, if he first writes his move on his scoresheet and declares to the arbiter his intention to make this move, or

2. has just appeared, and the player claiming the draw has the move.

Positions as in (a) and (b) are considered the same, if the same player has the move, pieces of the same kind and colour occupy the same squares, and the possible moves of all the pieces of both players are the same. Positions are not the same if a pawn that could have been captured en passant can no longer in this manner be captured or if the right to castle has been changed temporarily or permanently.>

Sep-22-08  GeauxCool: I just read that they had a "Morning Session" to 5PM with a 2 hour break, then an "Evening Session" from 7PM to 10:30PM.

Still converting, but Steinitz didn't notice the repetition.

Sep-22-08  ughaibu: Here is a draw by repetition from the match, the position appears to be repeated FOUR times: Steinitz vs Lasker, 1894
Sep-22-08  GeauxCool: - Notes by Steinitz -

[Event "Ch World <match>"] [Site "New York/Philadelfia <USA>"] [Date "1894.01.09"]
[EventDate "Saturday"]
[Round "8"]
[Result "0-1"]
[White "Wilhelm Steinitz"]
[Black "Emanuel Lasker"]
[ECO "C10"]
[WhiteElo "?"]
[BlackElo "?"]
[PlyCount "152"]

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 < First brought into public notice by the late J.H.Bauer in a local tournament in Vienna.> 4. Nxe4 Nd7 5. Nf3 Ngf6 6. Ng3 c5 7. Be2 cxd4 8. Nxd4 Bc5 9. Nb3 Be7 10. O-O O-O 11. Bd2 Qc7 12. c4 Ne5 13. Qc2 < 13. Rc1 was superior. > 13...Ng6 <Hardly as good as 13...Nc6> 14. Rfe1 < More consistent with the Queenside attack which he had in view was 14. Rfc1 > 14..Bd7 15. Rac1 Rfc8 < Black also loses time > 16. Bf1 Ba4 17. Bc3 Ng4 < This move is wasted, as will be seen. > 18. Qe2 Nf6 19. Nd4 Bd7 20. b4 Rd8 21. Qb2 Rac8 22. Nb3 Qf4 23. Bd2 Qb8 < Black sees in time that nothing could be gained by 23...Qh4 24. Nd4 Bc6 25. Ndf5 winning a very strong pawn. > 24. b5 < This advance was probably premature. The two pawns abreast are much stronger than in the present situation. > 24...b6 25. Bc3 Ne8 26. Nh5 < 26. Ne4 was obviously much stronger and in fact there seems to be no satisfactory answer. If then f6 < or 26...f5 27. Ned2 followed by 28. a4 and Bb4 > 27. c5 bxc5 28 Ba5 Nc7 29. Nbxc5 with a winning advantage. > f6 27. a4 < Again wrong. He should either not advance it at all or only one square. > e5 28. a5 Bg4 29. Ng3 Be6 30. Nd2 Nf4 31. Qb1 Bf7 32. Nf5 Bf8 33. Bb4 Nd6 34. Nxd6 Bxd6 35. Ne4 < Time pressure becomes evident from this point up to the forty-fifth move. White could have obtained an excellent attack by 35. Bxd6 Rxd6 36. Ne4 Bg6 37. axb6 axb6 38. Nxd6 Bxb1 39. Nxc8 Bg6 40. Nxb6 Qxb6 41. c5 and it will be found by close examination that White wins. > 35...Bxb4 36. Qxb4 Rd4 37. axb6 axb6 38. g3 Nd3 39. Bxd3 Rxd3 40. c5 Rd4 41. Qb1 bxc5 42. Nxc5 Rc4 43. Nd7 < Hazardous in the extreme. Instead 43. Na6 Rxc1 44. Rxc1 Rxc1+ 45. Qxc1 Qxb5 46. Qc8+ and though Black is a pawn ahead White ought to draw. > Qb7 44. Rcd1 Be6 45. Nxe5 fxe5 < This desperate resource was the only one. > 46. Rxe5 Bh3 47. Red5 Rc1 48. Qd3 h6 49. g4 < White is completely tied up, and this is the only way to give him temporary relief. If 49. f3 Qb6+ 50. Kh1 < or 50. Rd4 Rxd1+ 51. Qxd1 followed by Rc4 > 50...Rxd1+ 51. Qxd1 Qf2 52. Rd8+ Rxd8 53. Qxd8+ Rh7 54. Qd3+ g6 and wins. > 49...Bxg4 50. f3 Rxd1+ 51. Qxd1 Be6 52. Rd6 Qe7 53. b6 Rc1 54. Qxc1 Qxd6 55. Qe3 Bd5 56. Kg2 Qg6+ 57. Kf2 Qc2+ 58. Kg3 Qg6+ 59. Kf2 Qc2+ 60. Kg3 Qg6+ 61. Kf2 Bb7 62. Qb3+ Qf7 63. Qd3 Qd5 64. Qe3 Qd6 65. Kg2 Kf7 66. h4 Qe6 < The ending is beautifully played by Lasker. > 67. Qf4+ Kg6 68. Qg3+ Kh7 69. Qf2 Qg4+ 70. Kh2 Qxf3 71. Qc2+ Qe4 72. Qf2 Qf3 73. Qc2+ Be4 74. Qd2 Qf6 75. Qe3 Qxh4+ 76. Kg1 Qg5+ 0-1

Sep-22-08  GeauxCool: So it doesn't appear that Steinitz noticed there was a three-fold repetition. <Was such a rule in effect?> I think there was, because it prevents abuse against time controls; we know from the notes that time controls ("double-stop clocks") were used in the game. However, <ughaibu>'s game clearly shows a four-fold repetition, and to me this signifies that neither Steinitz nor Lasker wanted to be the one to offer the draw: perhaps to do so showed weakness or was considered dishonorable - like declining the gambit pawn - because the three-fold rule is only effected by its declaration.

It would be interesting to read Lasker's notes. I'll check around if I have them. But maybe someone else will offer them in the meantime!

Sep-23-08  Calli: WS wrote <Is this fact important for not claiming it as draw?>

Yes. The old rule was not repeating the position, but repeating moves. If Lasker had played 61...Qc2+??, then Willy would have claimed the draw because of move repetition.

Sep-23-08  GeauxCool: Hi <Calli> I know that you're an avid historian and so I wanted to ask you a question. This situation appears to mix three-fold repetition and the perpetual check rule. Did the 1894-laws of chess make any distinction between the two of them for achieving a draw? Thanks!
Sep-23-08  GeauxCool: <Calli - re: Position vs. Move> The old three-fold rule was replaced by 1883: <The tournament book of London 1883 suggests that the perfected wording be used in future events.

<“If the same position occurs thrice during a game, it being on each occasion the turn for the same player to move, the game is drawn.”>

-EW Chess Notes>

So it looks as if Steinitz just missed an opportunity.

<Calli> I'll keep searching for the perpetual vs. three-fold draw rules for this game, having used the terms laws/rules interchangeably above.

Sep-23-08  Calli: <The old three-fold rule was replaced by 1883>

Actually, I think London was the first to a 3-fold rule of any kind. The series rule was actually "new" at that point. After the tournament, they suggested that future tournaments use a repeated position rather than a series of moves. I see no evidence that the suggestion was universally adopted. Keep in mind that there was no governing body in chess. Each match or tournament could have its own code.

C.N. 5695 says the New York 1889 tournament book stated that its code is the same as the 5th American Chess Congress in 1880. I looked it up and the 1880 tournament had no 3-peat rule at all, only a 50 move rule.

I can't find a code for the Lasker match, but this game looks like it was played under the "series" rule. The only corroboration that I can offer is an annotation in the match book to the 12th game with the moves repeated 4 times. Ughaibu gives the link to the game previously. The annotator says "Drawn by repetition of moves." It could even be that they agreed to four repetitions instead of three for this match.

Sep-23-08  Calli: Eventually the American side tried to unite with the British in a common code. In 1897, the published "American Chess Code", revised edition. The 3 fold repetition rule is stated:

"c) A game is treated as drawn if, before touching a man, the player whose turn it is to play claims that the game be treated as drawn, and proves that the position at the time being existed, in the game, at the commencement of more than one of his previous turns to play."

How about that! Convoluted or clear?

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <keypusher: The previous game of this match, in which Lasker won despite some unsound sacrifices, is often identified as the turning point of the match. It certainly has a strong claim, as it was the first of five straight wins for Lasker. But this game must have been terribly depressing for Steinitz too; he does nothing terrible, but slowly gets outplayed, finally giving up a piece at move 45. Desperate resistance thereafter fails to hold the ending against his implacable opponent.>

A dumb and needlessly florid kibitz from <keypusher>. In fact Steinitz made lots of mistakes, culminating in the unnecessary loss of his knight, and Lasker didn’t distinguish himself either. Huebner called this probably the weakest game of the match, and said that both men played without energy. Perhaps they were mentally exhausted from the previous game. (Lasker vs Steinitz, 1894)

After the opening moves, Lasker did basically nothing, just shifting his pieces back and forth and waiting for Steinitz to undertake something. That was unusual for him. I wonder if Lasker was expecting Steinitz to screw up (as eventually happened) or whether he just couldn’t come up with a plan.

Mar-29-20  joddon: Wilhelm played well until he blunders the knight near the end.....Lasker wasn't finding any early weaknesses in the position....he should have layed back knowing that Lasker wasn't playing so the covid19 attack...u lay back and it starts hitting u harder...that was Laskers
Aug-27-22  Saniyat24: Slow-Lasking his options...!

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