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Emanuel Lasker vs Georg Salwe
St. Petersburg (1909), St. Petersburg RUE, rd 6, Feb-22
Spanish Game: Berlin Defense. Closed Bernstein Variation (C66)  ·  1-0



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Given 11 times; par: 105 [what's this?]

Annotations by Emanuel Lasker.      [80 more games annotated by Lasker]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: One of the few non-Nimzowitsch games featured in My System.

Oct-17-08  vikinx: Suprised to see little kibitzing.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Lasker's annotations are maddeningly sparse as usual, but if 44....fxe4 then I guess 45. Nxe4 Rg6 (45.....Rfe6 46. Nfg5(?) Qe5+ 47. g3 and Black cannot play ...Nxg5 because of Qf8# -- seems like Black should have a defense here somewhere, though) 46. Rxh7+ and Qh4+ followed by Qxe7.

It really is a great game, one of many terrific efforts by Lasker in this tournament. Great fight by Salwe, too.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: I checked with Shredder and, surprisingly, Black is indeed defenseless after 44....fxe4 45. Nxe4 Rfe6 46. Nfg5 Qe5+ 47. g3. The 44....fxe4 45. Nxe4 Rg6 46. Rxh7+ line is in Soltis' book.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: One more remarkable thing about this game: Lasker probes and pushes and tacks and maneuvers and finally forces the weakening 38....g5. In many games, once the attacking side forces a weakening pawn move, the game is all but over. Not the case here. 38....g5 39. fxg6 Rxg6 has good as well as bad points: the good point is that Black's rooks finally get into the game. After 40. Qf2 Salwe plays 40....f5, seemingly trading off his most serious remaining weakness. But Lasker responds with a very subtle knight manuever, gaining a critical tempo by attacking the queen on the other side of the board: 41. Nf4 Rf6 42. Ne2! Qb2 43. Rd2 Qa1 44. Ng3. Now, as noted above, 44....fxe4 turns out not to be playable, and 45. exf5 Bxf5 46. Nxf5 Rxf5 47. Rxh7+is "on". So, 44....Kg8 45. exf5 Bxf5 46. Nd4! cxd4 47. Nxf5. The white knight is pinned by the rook, but that is outweighed by the Ne7+ threat. So again the king has to move: 47....Kf8 48. Qxd4 Qxd4 49. Nxd4. Finally, after all that, White has picked up a pawn. An enormous amount of work against a stubborn defense for just a little gain, but enough.

Also, the ending looks like it will be very hard to win, especially after Black doubles rooks on the second rank. But Lasker, conjuring up one tactical resource after another, makes it look easy.

Mar-19-09  Ulhumbrus: Here are Nimzowitsch's annotations on moves 27-55 beginning with the position reached after 27 Rh4 which he shows on a diagram numbered 178. I have translated the English notation into algebraic notation:

4. Manoeuvring under difficult conditions, our own centre lacking protection ( Diag. 178).

In conclusion we will give a game inspired with the true spirit of this form of manoeuvring. Black's cramped King's position is here a glaring weakness and as such must Black's d6 pawn be regarded. But his own weakness at e4 forces a certain reserve on White. The terrain bearing upon the weak d6 pawn has little elasticity, the d6 pawn can only be attacked by the R on d1 and from the diagonal. Somewhat more varied seem the possibilities of an advance on the K's wing, for Q and R can at any time change places on the g and h files. To make theae not precisely impressive possibilities the basis of an effective operation demands the highest skill of a master. Lasker displayed it in his game against Salwe. ( Continued in my next post)

Mar-19-09  Ulhumbrus: In the diagram position the game continued 28 Qf2! ( if 28 Nf4, the parry 28...Nh6 would be possible) 28...Rf8 29 Qd2 ( watches the d6 pawn and hence makes the parry just alluded to impossible) 29...Qb8 30 Kh1 Rf8-e8 31 Rg4! Rg8 (If 31...Nh6 then 21 Nxf6 with advantage to White) 32 Rd1! ( Because the pressure was taken off the pawn on e4) 32...Qb4 (with this the Q eventually gets into wrong paths . 32...Qe8 was decidedly preferable; but it was at this moment difficult to see that the circle of influence of the Q entering thus the enemy game would be so convincingly localized) 33 Qf2 Qc3 34 Qh4 ( now this old position taken up anew is stronger than ever), 34...Nh6 35 Rf4 Nf7 36 Kh2 Rg8-e8 37 Qg3 Rg8 38 Rh4 ( in the book of the congress Lasker gives the following note here 'Of 38 Rh4 Nh6 39 Rh4, the continuation could be 39...d5 40 cxd5 cxd5 41 Rxd5 Bc6. But now the manoeuvre 38...d5 would fail after 39 cxd5 cxd5 40 Nf4' So the attack on the pawn on e4 is still in the air, Note the preventative effect of White's manoeuvre) ( Continued in my next post)
Mar-19-09  Ulhumbrus: 38...g5( the threat was 39 Nf4 Nh6 40 Rxd6) 39 fxg6 Rxg6 40 Qf2 f5 ( to be rid of the weaknes at f6) 41 Nf4 Rf6 42 Ne2 Qb2 43 Rd2 Qa1 44 Ng3 Kg8 (White threatened 45 exf5 Bxf5 46 Nxf5 Rxf5 47 Rxh7+) 45 exf5 Bxf5 46 Nd4! cxd4 47 Nxf5 Kf8 48 Qxd4 Qxd4 49 Nxd4 Ne5 50 Rh5 Re7-f7 51 c5 dxc5 52 Rxe5 cxd4 53 Rxd4 Rf2 54 Rd8+ Kg7 55 Ra5 and won. The way in which Lasker conducts the game is impressive. How he manages, in spite of the small variety of threats at his disposal, to dominate the whole board, and almost wholly to eliminate his own weakness, is worthy of all admiration. The student may learn from this game that the presence of a variety of objects for attack, i.e. enemy weaknesses, can to a certain point compensate for a lack of variety in threat bearing lines of play. With this magnificent example of master play we take leave of our readers.
Jan-07-12  Ulhumbrus: In the position after 27..Qe8 two points brought out by Nimzovich's notes are as follows.

1. Black's Rook on e8 is potentially overworked. If it has go to to g8 in reply to Rg4 it cannot then tie White's Queen's Rook to the defence of the e4 pawn so that this Rook becomes free to go to d1 to attack Black's d6 pawn.

2. Black's N on f7 is potentially overworked. If it has to go to h6 in order to obstruct the h file in reply to Nf4 it cannot then defend the d6 pawn.

Sep-25-12  birthtimes: Compare the board after move 26 and after move 37--and notice how Black has misplaced his Queen!
Sep-25-12  birthtimes: And then notice Lasker's comment above after White's 28th move!
Dec-22-14  TheFocus: Oops. February 22.
Oct-25-20  SymphonicKnight: 28.Qf2 "Even though Black suffers from a cramped position there is no immediate winning combination available for White. Hence, the Black pieces must be disorganised by tactical manoeuvres before the attack can be resumed" --Emanuel Lasker

What a fundamentally true statement. That represents a foundational view of Lasker, and partially helps to explain his greatness.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: Great play vs weaknesses example

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