Lasker Hangs His Queen and Euwe

Lasker Hangs His Queen and Euwe‎

NM GreenLaser
13 | Chess Players

Emanuel Lasker was born in 1868 and won the World Championship in 1894. He held the title until 1921. He still holds the record as the longest reigning world champion. He stopped playing in tournaments in 1925. After nine years he returned at Zurich 1934 to compete with 15 other players. At the end of the event, Alexander Alekhine, the current world champion, was clear first with 13/15. Alekhine had 12 wins, 2 draws, and 1 loss. Max Euwe, who would soon win the title from Alekhine, came in tied for second with 10 wins, 4 draws, and 1 loss (12/15). Alekhine’s only loss was to Euwe and Euwe’s only loss was to Lasker. Salo Flohr also scored 12/15 with 9 wins and 6 draws. Flohr was the only undefeated player. Efim Bogoljubow scored 11.5/15 and was clear fourth with 9 wins, 5 draws, and one loss (to Euwe). Lasker was clear fifth with 9 wins, 2 draws, and 4 losses (10/15). All these players were either world champions or contenders. Another contender, Aaron Nimzowitsch was tied for 6-7 with nine points.
Lasker started strongly, but the eight hour playing sessions without free days for rest and adjournments caught up with him. After leading with 5.5/7, he scored only 4.5/8. Lasker lost to Alekhine, Bogoljubow, Nimzowitsch, and Stahlberg. The first three had never been able to defeat Lasker before. Stahlberg played Lasker for the first time. A year later, Lasker and Stahlberg drew at Moscow. Considering Lasker’s age and long layoff, he did very well.
The game considered here is the first one played by Lasker after his nine years away from chess tournaments. It is his round one match against the next world champion, Max Euwe. Euwe offers the Queen’s Gambit. Lasker replies in a careful manner using the Orthodox Defense. The books tell us that Lasker’s 5...c6 is passive, but remember many can write books who cannot play Lasker. Later, when Lasker hangs his queen and Euwe grabs it, it was not either the layoff or fatigue, but Lasker’s judgment and fighting spirit at work.

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