Lasker vs Thomas: The Perfect King Hunt - Every Move Explained For Chess Beginners
Edward Lasker visited the London Chess Club when he first set foot in England and produced one of the great king hunts of all time.

Lasker vs Thomas: The Perfect King Hunt - Every Move Explained For Chess Beginners

NM SamCopeland

Edward Lasker was a great chess writer (and a go chess writer) and chess player who won five U.S. Open Championships and was awarded the IM title by FIDE. He was also a distant cousin (and good friend) of the World Champion Emanuel Lasker. Together with Emanuel's brother Berthold, one could argue the Lasker's were the strongest chess-playing family of all time.

Lasker's achievements are many, but he is easily most famous for his spectacular win against Sir George Thomas. I'll let Lasker's own words (provided by user Calli on, I believe from the book "Chess Secrets") set the stage:

It "was not a tournament game but a so called "five-minute" game, i.e. a game played with clocks as fast or as slowly as the players like, but with the condition that neither player exceed the total time of the other by more than five minutes at any stage. This manner of timing was very popular in the City of London Chess Club where this game was played in 1911 [Both the year and move order have been in dispute for some time. I used the most recognized year of 1912 in my notes. - SC]. I have some sort of sentimental attachment to it, not only because it is the most beautiful game I ever succeeded in winning, but because it was the first game I played in England, on the day I arrived there, sea sick from an awful channel crossing, and without knowing a word of English.

As always when I find myself in a foreign country, my first visit was to the leading Chess Club, where a Chess player is sure to find friendly advice. I was introduced to many members whose names I did not understand, and one of them invited me to play a game with him. At that time I was quite unaware that he was Sir George Thomas, the champion of the Club and later British Champion. I was explained the rules of these five minute games by a German speaking member, and we began..."

The result was a masterpiece cherished ever since. Continuing our series begun with Morphy's Opera Game, I've broken down the game one move at a time, focusing on explaining each move for beginning and intermediate players.

I've annotated the game in detail below. There were several alternate checkmates available to Lasker, some nearly as beautiful as the mate in the game

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