Lasker's Puzzle

Jun 26, 2012, 6:44 PM |

     Member terminuso  noticed the position on the board on the cover of Lasker's "Manual of Chess."   This cover is from the 1947 edition.  The book was originally published in 1900 with a plain cover.  I couldn't determine if the photo was one of Lasker's choosing (Lasker had died in 1941) or if it was one of the publisher's choosing. But either way it's a photograph of Lasker pondering what appears to be either a composed problem or a difficult, but winning, position from a game. I tried searching both problem databases and game databases for the position but with no luck.
     Lasker, with the White pieces is down considerable material, but has a forced mate.  I'll set up the position with the winning moves with White at the bottom  (reversed from the picture) for simplicty.

 FEN= q1nrkr2/4p1RR/b1npP1PP/8/5P2/7p/7K/8 w - - 0 1


The moves

This all assumes that it's White's move.  If Black moves first, which seems ludicrous given his preponderance of material, there is demonstrable mate, though not an elegant one, starting with 1. . . Nd4.

I would be curious to learn if anyone knows the source of this position.