An Anderssen Anecdote by Lasker

batgirl
batgirl
Oct 1, 2008, 2:11 PM |
6

The following anecdote is from the chess column of The Pacific Monthly, vol. 7-8, 1902.

The photograph is from p.48 of Wilson's Photographic Magazine, Jan. 1911

 

     Here is a story about the great Anderssen that our cynical little friend, Emanuel Lasker, tells in an inimitable way. Anderssen, traveling "incog.," landed at a sequestered German village and fell into conversation with a worthy who declared himself a lover of Caissa. As the local devotee and Anderssen seated themselves with a board between them the former said, "I invariably give Queen-odds when I play." The master took these odds and won, to the other player's surprise.
    
More games followed, the odds growing smaller. Then the tables were reversed and Anderssen gave a Queen and won. The local celebrity said, "What a game you play! You must be the great Anderssen."
     "What? Me Anderssen? Perish the thought! Players to whom Anderssen gives a Queen and wins with ease give me a Queen and win with equal ease."
     This story is a good one in itself, but loses some of its flavor in cold type.  You should hear Lasker after he is warmed up with a few preliminary pretzels, etc., tell this tale with the deprecatory shrug and other outward signs of deep self-abasement.