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John McCutcheon vs Emanuel Lasker
Correspondence game (1903) (correspondence), corr, rd 2
French Defense: McCutcheon. Bernstein Variation (C12)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Morning: So McCutcheon played three games in which his variation was the opening against two world champions who combined held the title for over half a century. Though not official match or tournament games, he couldn't have complained too much about the results. McCutcheon won two of them. However, I wonder how he felt when he won as *White* vs. Lasker--and vs. his own variation.
Jun-10-06  ughaibu: I expect the opening was by arrangement, Lasker isn't known for correspondence play.
Mar-07-13  Garech: Lasker should have known better than to play the McCutcheon against McCutcheon!


Mar-07-13  thomastonk: <Garech> McCutcheon paid Lasker for two corr games with his variation.

Lasker didn't played this game well. After the game he wrote to McCutcheon: "I butchered Black's chances! Black should get a good game out of the opening." This quote is taken from "French: MacCutcheon and Advanced Lines", Batsford 1979 by Tim Harding, who gives 13.. ♕e7? and 15.. ♘xg3?!, and noted that Lasker claimed that 15.. g4 might have led to a draw. Modern silicon friends offer a different view, but that's another story.

Having been a corr player for decades, I would like to note that quite often over-the-board GMs play weak corr games.

Mar-07-13  thomastonk: Keeping in mind that this has been a corr game, it is poorly played from both sides. After the exchange of queens, White is clearly winning, but with 24.Nd4? he loses a lot of his advantage. Much better seems 24.Nf4.

And then the final position:

click for larger view

Black's king is more active than White's, and the same is true for Black's rook. Is White's extra pawn still winning or is the position already a draw? I suggest 36.. a5, and I guess that Black can hold.

Mar-09-13  thomastonk: Meanwhile I have found more of Lasker's comments. With move 19, Lasker announced to be satisfied with a draw. And then the final comment: "I resign. I see no prospect for my King except slow retreat, which can only end beyond the edge of the board."
Nov-27-14  TheFocus: One of two correspondence games to test the McCutcheon Defense.

Played in 1904.

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