How To Stomp Emanuel Lasker

How To Stomp Emanuel Lasker

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Simultaneous exhibitions are a great thing. A player who would normally never come face-to-face with a famous chess international master or grandmaster is able to live a dream and do his best to beat a legend and hang the signed scoresheet on his wall. Win or lose, if you put up a good fight it will be a lifelong memory.

In general, there are two schools of simul thought among the titled players: one is that you should give your opponents' chances by making various inferior moves. The other thought is to smash them all. No mercy, no happy memory, just leave the chess fan feeling like he was stomped to death by a herd of elephants.

So, how do you "slaughter" Emanuel Lasker (or a living grandmaster)? Play him in a simultaneous exhibition and, if you’re lucky, your famous opponent will be the kind that gives you a chance or two! Of course, keep in mind that a large simul is big odds, so if you play well you just might outplay the pro and go home with a head to put on the wall.


Lasker via Wikipedia. 

By the way, Lasker was well known to give his simul opponents all sorts of chances. He viewed a simultaneous exhibition as entertainment and, if he brutalized his opponents, they wouldn’t have fun. Thus he tended to lose more simul games than most, but he also knew that the people he played had a good time.

For those that think these Lasker losses show he’s not as good as you thought he was, Mikhail Tal felt that Lasker was the greatest player of all time.


Has White miscalculated? It seems that White’s knight on a7 is trapped.


Thirteen moves have been played and Lasker is already getting ripped to shreds. How could this have happened in such a short time? Answer: Because Lasker decided to play like a complete beginner to give his opponent a chance. Here are the first five moves:

White played 14.Qd8+ and won easily, but he missed a forced mate in five moves. Can you find it?


In this game Black (clearly not an opponent to be trifled with) played extremely well from beginning to end.

Can you finish Lasker off?


Another experienced opponent for Lasker, James Mortimer (1833-1911) was not only a good chess player, but also a playwright. He was given the Cross of the Legion of Honor by Emperor Napoleon and was a friend of Paul Morphy.

From a small edge for Black to pain in one move. Now it’s up to you to show Lasker that he made a serious mistake!



Once again Lasker faces a very strong player. In fact, Hodges won the U.S championship in 1894. I should add that Lasker played four simultaneous games against Hodges, with Lasker winning three and Hodges one.



Once again Lasker played a strong player in a simultaneous exhibition. Indeed, John Finan Barry played for the U.S. championship by challenging five-time U.S. champion Jackson Whipps Showalter to a 13-game match! Barry fought hard, but in the end he was completely outclassed by the “Kentucky Lion,” winning two, losing seven, and drawing four. Lasker played Barry a couple more times (one simultaneous and one exhibition game), with Lasker giving his opponent no mercy in both.

You might never hear this again, but I challenge you to “play like Barry!”

Lasker gives tremendous odds (and a simultaneous exhibition is indeed tremendous odds) to a good player. This time it was James McConnell (when he was 20 years old) who was close friends with Morphy and played him quite often (Morphy thrashed him again and again). He also played quite a few games with Steinitz (McConnell won a couple of those!) and even played Pillsbury.

In this game McConnell was 64 years old and completely wiped Lasker out. See if you can play like McConnell!

We’ll end with Lasker facing another strong player: Heinrich Ranneforth, who had an estimated rating of around 2400. The fact that he beats Lasker to a pulp makes his 2400 rating seem quite realistic.

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