Emanuel Lasker Misses Stunning Brilliancy?! - Lasker vs. Mieses, 1889
Future World Champion Emanuel Lasker bypasses a possible brilliancy.

Emanuel Lasker Misses Stunning Brilliancy?! - Lasker vs. Mieses, 1889

NM SamCopeland

In the same year as his immortal double-bishop sacrifice against Bauer, future world chess champion, Emanuel Lasker, played a wonderful game against Jacques Mieses.

The game shows Mieses violating several opening principles (flank pawn advances, early queen development) only to be punished vigorously by Lasker for his infractions. The game is one of my new favorite instructive games to show beginning players!

Probably most players today haven't seen this game, but on move 21, Lasker had a special opportunity to finish the game with a glorious forced checkmate. Perhaps if he had, this would have been one of Lasker's most famous masterpieces?

Lessons (so many!):

  • Don't develop your queen early! The game is a perfect illustration of this classic principle.
  • Don't open with wing-pawn pushes. ...f5 AND ...c5?!
  • When you get a lead in development, don't let your opponent castle.
  • Include all the pieces (especially rooks) in your attack.

My brief annotations are below. John Nunn analyzes this game in his excellent book, "John Nunn's Chess Course," dedicated exclusively to learning from Lasker's games.

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