Classical Games Everybody Should Know, Part 8
Oct 23, 2011, 12:00 AM
There are not many games in the chess history as popular as the next one played by the great Emanuel Lasker. You'll be hard pressed to find a book on tactics that doesn't mention this game. The combination was even named after the second World Champion ("Lasker's combination").
(Just like in most of my articles I give you a chance to test your chess skills, so the games are given as a Quiz. Please remember that you can always replay the whole game from the first move if you click "Solution" and then "Move list".)
As we discussed last week, the point of studying classical games is to identify the useful ideas played by great chess players, memorize such ideas and hopefully implement them in your own games when such an opportunity exists.
Just look at the next classical game:
I have no doubt that Tarrasch knew the Lasker game. By the way, this game wasn't awarded a brilliancy prize only because, as the tournament committee explained, the combination wasn't original. It is difficult to agree with such a decision. First of all, in my opinion a beauty is a beauty and therefore the game definitely deserved a brilliancy prize. But also Tarrasch introduced a very useful idea of a pawn sacrifice (18...d4!), which opens the diagonals for his Bishops. Compare Tarrasch's gem to the next modern game:
(If you are interested in detailed annotations of this game, you can find them in my article from last year: indian-defense
As you can see Kasparov used both ideas (the center d5 break and the double Bishop sacrifice).
Despite being one of the best-known combinations, the "Lasker sacrifice" from time to time is missed even by Grandmasters:
As the next game shows, even the greatest players sometimes forget about textbook combinations :
I hope that after you saw these classical games today, you are not going to fall for this combination anymore and also you won't miss an opportunity to punish your opponent if he allows you to unleash the power of Lasker's Bishops.