My Favorite Game Of. Number 7. Emanuel Lasker.

My Favorite Game Of. Number 7. Emanuel Lasker.

Jun 9, 2018, 9:38 AM |

Back again!

As those of you who have read my favorite books post will know, Lasker's chess games have been a constant companion for many, many years. If there is anyone alive who has spent more hours than I have studying his games, they are very old and have had a lot of time to fill!!

He was almost certainly the greatest intellect ever to play top level chess, a fascinating character, and an extraordinary player.

Here's a challenge for those of you who have studied Lasker. Guess what my favorite game of his might be. I'll give you 50 guesses if you like, and be confident that you won't get it!!

You won't find the game in any of the anthologies or best games books. It is not one of his best - it is actually one of his worst!! I always say that if you want to understand a chessplayer, you have to look at ALL of his/her games, and understand when the games were played.

All that the highlights packages will show you is what a player could do, at their best, not what they actually DID do!! Guess what - all great players were capable  of playing great chess


Lasker at the other end of his career - the one my friend Ritson knew, and described so vividly to me in a smoke filled flat, over a bottle of red wine, all those many years ago.

This game was played in the last round of a small tournament, in the very early days of Lasker's career. He was having a bad tournament. Last round games were played to a finish - usually with a short adjournment - on the last day. Lasker desperately needed to win against a solid opponent -  this was his living at the time. 

It was probably the last game to finish in the tournament, with two young, out of form, players, fighting it out for prize money, with the eyes of everyone on them. The resulting game is full of errors, tension, fighting chess, and a whole load of chess that is typical of Lasker's play throughout his long career. It will teach you more about his chess than any 'best games' collection.

I have, unsurprisingly, never seen it annotated, and it is from one of the few events Lasker played in that I have very little background on. I love it because it is a very human game, played in the circumstances described, and just oozes Lasker from start to finish. No other player could possibly have played it.

{Apologies for the mess that appears in some of the notes - loading from the site pgn editor is having some problems!!}

Buckle up for a roller-coaster ride!!