Lasker in Moscow 1936. Two Games and Some Pictures.

Lasker in Moscow 1936. Two Games and Some Pictures.


Afternoon everyone.

Yes, I have been conspicuous by my absence during the Beth Harmon fever pandemic!!

Without giving too much away, I have been off looking at Lasker games.

Whilst doing that research I came across some pictures that I haven't seen on the internet, and spent a couple of hours with one particular game. So a quick post was thrown together. What you see is what you get!

Lasker and his wife spent a couple of years in Moscow, escaping from the fate of Lasker's family at the hands of the nazis, between 1935 and 1937. I don't have the language skills to research the subject, but it seems that a few western players were invited to stay after the Moscow 1935 tournament. Lilienthal and Flohr later became Soviet citizens. ( Feel free to add anything you might know in the comments!)

One man who would have played a part in that would have been Krylenko. Another is the rather obscure figure Valerian Eremeev, who was secretary of 'The All-Russian Chess and Checkers Organisation'. First picture is of Lasker, his wife, and Eremeev at Belorussky Railway station in Moscow, that I found on page 104 of Vainstein's book 'Thinker'. The station - as far as I can gather - was given that name in May 1936, so the picture probably dates from that point to Lasker leaving for the Nottingham tournament which started in August of that year, I think. ( That's my speculative guess, as the source of the photo is not given by Vainstein.)

Another picture of him is well known - the fourth USSR Championships, where he is standing, third from left.

Lasker's one real tournament failure was the Moscow 1936 tournament. As Levenfish explains, the 67 year old started well, but the tough tournament schedule - 8 hour sessions, with a one hour break - eventually exhausted him and he collapsed in the second half of the event. ( I have also seen it reported that the weather in Moscow was unusually warm, and the venue was packed, which would not have helped, I'm sure.)

He did, however, play a couple of true Lasker games. Let's look at his win over Riumin

Capablanca - Riumin, from round 3. via Douglas Griffin on twitter. ( No surprise there! If you like your old chess photos he is the man to check out! He also did the translations which I studied in connection with the Levenfish game included here. Thanks humbly offered.)

A picture from Isaak and Vladimir Linder in their book ' Emanuel Lasker 2nd World Chess Champion', page 139.

Ragozin ( right of picture) - Lasker from the tournament.

Well, even at the age of 67, exhausted and out of the prize money, Lasker was Lasker!! The supreme fighter who, even in the most desperate positions, was fighting to win. I have spent a lot of time with this next game - everything about it is typical of him. That is why I had gone back and looked at it recently.

So, switch off the engines, put yourself in the players shoes ( the only way to learn anything 'non technical' from studying games imho ) and try to work out what on earth is going on! 

O.K. A couple of pictures to finish with.

Linder Page 226.

Left to right. prof Y. Tyulin, the composer A Dolukhanian, Lasker, Yakov Rokhlin, the composer A. Pashkovsky and the violinist D. Oistrakh.

Rokhlin is an interesting figure! he is in the above USSR Championships picture. Here he is in 1982, via, err, Douglas Griffin ( One day I will do the 400 mile drive up to inch just to buy him a large 12 year old malt of his choice!!)

According to an article he wrote about Capablanca, it was Rokhlin who suggested to Capablanca that he should play the Sicilian in hi9s game with Black against Lasker in the Moscow 1936 tournament. Good suggestion mate!!

And a lovely drawing of Lasker by V. Tarasova, Moscow, 1935. Linder page 138.

That's all for this year guys! A HUGE thank you to all those who have helped, supported and generally been kind to me in this 'year from hell' that has been 2020.

May I wish everyone who takes the time to read this the best possible 2021. May you love and be loved, and be here for me to offer the same thoughts to in a years time.

Cheers Guys! Simaginfan.