"He who hated draws", part 4

Dec 31, 2011, 1:03 AM |

"In this game, excellently played by both partners, Janowski, as always, tried to square the circle, or, speaking in more chess terms - to win an absolutely equal position." (G. Marco)


Here, Janowski played a "semi-correct" combination, one of those favoured by Mikhail Tal. Vidmar could achieve a draw, but eventually cracked under time pressure.
The next game is introduced by a quote from Lasker's Chess Magazine.
"The game began quite commonly, both players were guided by the common sense. Janowski (black) sacrificed a piece to immediately win it back. Spielmann used his temporary extra piece to attack. White got a strong position, but with 18. Re7, they overlooked the best continuation, instead aiming for a breakthrough. Spielmann had to withdraw or give away a pawn. His artistism didn't leave him a choice. Spielmann began a combination that wasn't totally correct. Janowski defended well, with imagination and artistism. But then he had to make a competely ordinary move. Janowski was revolted by this necessity and, insisting on making a subtle, deep move when he had to make a simple one, eventually lost.
Of course, Janowski saw that move. But still, he didn't make it, and, strangely, the commentators didn't notice that. They were also lured by the combination. The move in question is not subtle by any means: it's simple and clear, significantly weakens White's attack; and while it hinders the Bishop and leaves the d6 square for White Knights, those weaknesses are negligible. To put it shortly, any player who's less concerned in beauty would have made that move without thinking".
In 1909-10, Janowski played several matches with Emmanuel Lasker, one of them was a World Championship match. Janowski did win some games (and they will be included in the next special feature, "Against the Champions"), but here, we'll see other examples of "one mistake ruining a fine game".
Some people said, "The best way to defeat Janowski is to offer him a draw." In the next game, Lasker did exactly that.
Janowski heavily lost the 1910 match, but the games weren't as one-sided as the result suggests.
Janowski desperately wanted to win at least one game. Lasker even gave him a chance with some mistakes, but quickly recovered, and Janowski again lost trying to win a drawn position.
The last game of the 1910 match. Janowski again had a great game and ruined it with one mistake.