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Emanuel Lasker vs Jose Raul Capablanca
"Rage Against the Machine" (game of the day May-18-2014)
St. Petersburg (1914), St. Petersburg RUE, rd 7, May-18
Spanish Game: Exchange. Alekhine Variation (C68)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 11 OF 11 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Mar-12-18  N.O.F. NAJDORF: Thanks, Ughaibu.

That's a beautiful combination.

Dec-31-18  HarryP: I've played this game over many times. It's one of Lasker's most admirable wins. It inspired me years ago to take up the Exchange Ruy, and I played it for some time and had some successes with it.
Jun-21-19  N.O.F. NAJDORF: Here's another nice e4-e5 pawn sacrifice:

G Kuzmin vs M Mukhin, 1972

Feb-22-20  N.O.F. NAJDORF: I think 21 ... Ba8 was a bad move and

black should have sacrificed the exchange on e6.

Instead, he got a very passive position, with very little space to move, and was reduced to waiting for white to finish him off, which Lasker did expertly.

Feb-23-20  sudoplatov: But the match scores do count. Sans matches, Marshall has a plus score against Tarrasch and Rubinstein.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: And Blackburne over Steinitz.
Jun-11-20  Chesgambit: 21...Rxe6 best
Also bb7 bad first c5
Nov-15-20  Justin796: Who will dethrone the reincarnated Lasker, (Magnus Carlsen)? Magnus could well be champion for twenty years himself.
Nov-16-20  fisayo123: Amazing pun!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: I have time to see RATM in 2022. Bullet in the head!
Apr-12-21  RookFile: I don't think Carlsen has Lasker's tactical eye, although he is a super GM, of course. He seems to be more like Karpov to me.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: Carlsen doesn't make as many odd moves as Karpov, who I find mystifying, much like Petrosian. Carlsen seems to mix things up for the fun of it, often getting himself in to hot water. But then his superior ability to see the future on the chess board pulls him out of many difficult spots for the win or draw. I'd say that's more like Lasker than Karpov.
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: It's hard to believe Black's 13...Bb7 is 3/4 a Pawn worse than 13...Bxf4. Bb7 is meant to undouble the Pawns, leaving White's Rook on the first rank, and it's still almost a blunder.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <CIO>, a view with which I have long agreed, as noted in this post from summer 2012:

<....Carlsen reminds me, more than any other past great, of Lasker.

For a first-class master, Carlsen's openings are nothing special, but he handles middlegames with a fine understanding and the ending with a special virtuosity. Combine this with the tenacity of a bulldog in all phases and a superb practical player, and the result is someone well nigh impossible to defeat.>

May-23-21  saturn2: 13...Bxf4 14. Rxf4 c5 yields a better pawn structure than the game. The Bb7 will be strong. Better have double pawns c5, c7 connected by b6 than the remote d6 pawn.
May-24-21  saturn2: White accepts a similar pawn structure with double pawns in the Lf4 queen gambit by playing e3. He lets black take Bf6xBf4 exf4 with white double pawns f2 f4 connected by g3. However black often does not take Bf6xBf4 since these double pawns are strong.
Premium Chessgames Member
  michaelmbast: Add to favorites!
Feb-01-22  N.O.F. NAJDORF: <ughaibu: But Spassky was in the process of winning the world championship and a world champion can be expected to find a pawn sacrifice that opens a square for a knight, without needing a previous example to draw on.>


Every idea in chess is based on a previous example.

Feb-01-22  SChesshevsky: <...Every idea in chess is based on a previous example.>

Probably most of the good ideas. Especially if the previous example is one you made work before.

Here the idea might've been exploiting e6 after the weakening ...f6. Which worked for Lasker before in 1894 WC game 3 v. Steinitz.

Also believe Fischer may have referenced that game and idea as something he was thinking in his game one, 1971 match with Larsen.

Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: <Every idea in chess is based on a previous example.>

Except when it is the first time.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessmaletaja: The position after <13 ♗f4>:

click for larger view

Capablanca played 13...♗b7?.

Even 13...c5!? was better:

14 ♗xd6 cxd6

Now, White's knight on b3 cannot reach e6 via d4.

15 ♖ad1 d5! =

Jul-14-23  generror: An awesome win by my favourite world champion. Sure, the opening is weird and not quite up to today's standards, especially Lasker could have gotten himself into some trouble. However, beginning with <11...f6?! 12.f5!> (yet another time Lasker unwraps his patented pawn formation e4 & f5), he completely suppresses any kind of play by Capablanca, and after <20.b4!>, he has a clear advantage with all of his pieces beautifully placed while Capa's pieces are barely able to move. Stockfish actually evaluates this at +1 only, which shows how hard this is to convert to a win, but Lasker goes on slowly squeeze Capablanca to death like Karpov at his best (with a little help from his friend, see below).

Lasker's only mistake would be <29.Rg3?>, here Stockfish (given enough time) plays <29.g5!>. But after <29...hxg5+ 30.hxg5> (D), even Stockfish has a hard time to decide between <30...Rh8>, <30...Ree8> and <30...Rex6> with some crazy tactics going on -- but all these moves seem to be more or less losing. (<30...Rh8> seems to be the least losing one.)

click for larger view

But <30...Nb6??> loses quickly anyway, because Lasker can now open up the h-file and attack Black's fortress from both sides. This is the only big mistake by Capablanca, however, he doesn't seem to be able to handle this kind of position, his moves are constantly off and every second one is inaccurate (i.e. losing 0.3 pawns or more). But again, even Stockfish seems to be confused, shuffling his rooks and bishop back and forth and often resorting to sac the exchange with <...Rxe6> in order to simply get his pieces into play.

The guys analyzed this game on and give his accuracy as below 45%, and my analysis confirms this. (The funny thing is that during this tournament, Lasker actually played with a significantly lower overall accuracy than Capablanca, but he won the tournament anyway; same goes for New York 1924. Converted to ELO using the CAPS system, in both tournaments he is about a whopping 250 points below Capablanca!)

All this fascinating number-crunching aside, this is simply a deserved classic that still holds up well today, both strategically and tactically.

Aug-05-23  generror: The game is extensively annotated in Réti's <Masters of the Chess Board>. I especially liked his thoughts on Lasker's use of the Exchange Spanish:

<"As a rule Lasker has selected this exchange variation when he could assume that his opponent wanted to play only for a draw. [...] But in the exchange variation Black must play for attack and victory, it is not possible to play here for a draw.">

And indeed, Capablanca seems to have been very content with a draw. And against Lasker, this is the worst possible mindset.

On playing it through again, the way Lasker suffocated Capablanca here totally reminded me of Karpov. It may be my favourite game of his.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: < generror: The game is extensively annotated in Réti's <Masters of the Chess Board>. I especially liked his thoughts on Lasker's use of the Exchange Spanish: <"As a rule Lasker has selected this exchange variation when he could assume that his opponent wanted to play only for a draw. [...] But in the exchange variation Black must play for attack and victory, it is not possible to play here for a draw.">>

Reti's comment is utterly brainless. Lasker played this variation in any number of games where his opponent wasn't interested in a draw, and no one thinks that the person with Black needs to play aggressively for the win in the Spanish Exchange unless they're talking about this game.

More here.

Carlsen vs Grischuk, 2013 (kibitz #249)

Lasker vs Capablanca, 1914 (kibitz #133)

Aug-07-23  generror: Thanks, <keypusher>, for debunking yet another Lasker myth :) Unlike you, I obviously had not checked Réti's statement.
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