Lasker triumphant

Chess

Share
Related Topics
One hundred years ago, much as today, there was a little squabble over the title of "world champion". Wilhelm Steinitz had held the title from its inauguration in 1886 until he was defeated by the young Emanuel Lasker in 1894. In the eyes of many, however, Lasker still had a good deal to prove. He was, after all, generally believed to be only the second best player in Germany, behind Dr Tarrasch.

Lasker settled the matter with two outstanding tournament victories in 1896, winning at St Petersburg, ahead of Steinitz, and at Nuremberg, well ahead of Tarrasch. After those wins, it was another 25 years before anybody dared challenge Lasker's right to call himself champion of the world.

The following game from Nuremberg gives a glimpse of Lasker's genius. Black plays passively but solidly, and seems to have emerged well after exchanges of all the rooks on the c-file. White's advanced pawns look vulnerable, and Black still has no obvious weakness.

The depth of Lasker's strategy becomes clear with 32.Qh4! and 33.Qe7! The plan is to launch a mating attack with h4, h5, g4, g5 and g6 and Black, despite his extra pawn, can find no defence. In the final position, Black loses his queen after either 53...Kxe6 54.Qf6+ Kd7 55.Ne5+ or 53...Ke8 54.Qd7+ Kf8 55.e7+.

White: Emanuel Lasker

Black: Mikhail Chigorin

1 d4 d5 28 Qg4 Nd5

2 c4 dxc4 29 Nxd5 cxd5

3 Nf3 e6 30 Rxc7 Rxc7

4 e3 Nf6 31 Rxc7 Nxc7

5 Bxc4 Be7 32 Qh4 Qxa4

6 Nc3 0-0 33 Qe7 Qc2

7 0-0 Nbd7 34 h4 a5

8 Qe2 c6 35 bxa5 bxa5

9 Rd1 Qc7 36 h5 a4

10 e4 Rd8 37 g4 Qc1

11 Bg5 Nf8 38 Kg3 g5

12 e5 Ne8 39 hxg6 fxg6

13 Bxe7 Qxe7 40 Qd8+ Kf7

14 Rac1 b6 41 g5 h5

15 Ne4 Bb7 42 Qd7+ Kf8

16 Ba6 Rac8 43 Qxa4 h4+

17 Rd2 Ng6 44 Kg4 Qh1

18 g3 Bxa6 45 Qd7 Qg2+

19 Qxa6 Qd7 46 Kf4 Ne8

20 Kg2 Ne7 47 Qxe6 Qxf2

21 b4 Nd5 48 Qxg6 Qg3+

22 a3 Rc7 49 Ke3 Qg4

23 Rdc2 Ne7 50 e6 Nd6

24 Qd3 h6 51 Qf6+ Ke8

25 Nc3 Qc8 52 Qh8+ Ke7

26 Qe4 Qa6 53 Qg7+ 1-0

27 a4 Rdc8

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Ed Miliband and David Cameron  

Cameron and Miliband should have faith in their bolder policies

Ian Birrell
Andreas Lubitz runs the Airport Race half marathon in Hamburg on 13 September 2009  

Being sensitive to mental health need not lead us to downplay the horror of what Lubitz did

Will Gore
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing