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If this can happen to Lasker

  • #1

    There's hope for all of us...

  • #2

    Skittles games don't count. The boys were probably boozing.

  • #3

    It's authenic.

  • #4

    This game was in 1892. Lasker was world class, but not yet world champion. Henry Bird was no mean player, well known for his clever ideas, and had vast experience against many of the great players up till then with wins against Staunton, Steinitz, Mason, Mckenzie, Rosenthal, Blackburne, Judd and many others.  I doubt it was composed.

  • #5

    By his own account, Steinitz was world champion since 1866. By official standards, he became champ in 1886.  This is another game is a semi or quasi or at least soon-to-be WC losing in 12 moves.  I'm not sure of the exact circumstance, but HG Voight was one of the top players of the Franklin Club of Philadelphia where this game was played.

  • #6

    Everyone, even such giants, are human and capable of blunders. It's somehow comforting to see it demonstrated.

  • #7

    Those look like blitz games to me - note the by this time already outdated romantic swashbuckling playstyle. No way they'd overlook such mates in one in games with no or normal time control.

  • #8

    how nice to view someone else getting "skewed".

  • #9

    The Lasker game was, indeed, skittles, but not necessarily blitz. I really don't know much about the Steinitz game, "Chess in Philadephia" doesn't mention it.

  • #10

    seems Steintz made a simul tour during this 1885 year in the US. It looks like a simul mistake. with maybe a bit of touch move.

  • #11

    can someone explain to me what a skittles game is

  • #12

    Didn't Karpov drop a piece on move 11 one time or something?  In an *actual* rated game, as opposed to an informal "skittles" game

  • #13

    oh i see i wonder why they call it skittles though lol

  • #14

    According to chessgames.com it was a blitz game... In classical chess Lasker was +16 -3 = 3 against Bird. His last loss (or draw) to Bird was in 1892, when he was 24.  I think it's pretty obvious in this game that the future world champ was not playing at all seriously. (At move 7 none of Lasker's pieces are off the back rank except his queen!) Bird was not in the same class as Lasker, but at least he showed he couldn't be trifled with quite this cavalierly. 

    In the 1000+ games in the chessgames database Lasker never played this opening in a formal tournament or match.  He played it three times -- once against Bird and two other times in simuls. His record with it: +1-2=0.

    IMHO this game show less the human fallibility of the legendary Lasker than it shows that you can be as good a player as Bird and still be unable to inspire actual interest from a great player. In short, I draw no hope from it at all. 

    Now, Loman vs Lasker on the other hand, gives me hope. 

  • #15

    "Chess in Philadephia" shows Steinitz visiting in 1882, 1883 and 1887.

    Skittles can be played fast or not so fast.  I think it mostly refers to the type of informal or casual game you might play with a friend, one that doesn't use a clock but isn't meant to take all day either.

  • #16
    tarraschtalker wrote:

    Didn't Karpov drop a piece on move 11 one time or something?  In an *actual* rated game, as opposed to an informal "skittles" game

  • #17

    Did "blitz" as we know it exist in 1892?

  • #18
    Thanks for finding/posting that game.  If I recall Karpov has quite a sense of humility/humor about it, using it in lectures, explaining how he had this grand plan beginning with ...Nh5 and such.  And so it supports your general thesis, no matter if people believe the games you posted were "blitz" or "simuls" or "skittles" -- if the above can indisputably have happened to Karpov in a real game, then there is hope for us all.
  • #19

    Did "blitz" as we know it exist in 1892?

    I don't know; actually you Batgirl are one of the first people I'd go to looking for the answer. I know by the  early 1900s there was some kind of rapid chess because Capablanca was famous for being terrifyingly good at it. But what blitz chess was in 1892 (and whether they had the clocks for it) is not known to me. I mean, when did they start using clocks for classical chess? I'm under the impression it was rather late.  

  • #20

    Fattorini & Sons "tumbling" clock c. 1890

    London 1883 was the first tournament to use the double-faced mechanical tumbling clock invented by Thomas Bright Wilson - A Fattorini model is shown above.  It was a pair of clocks that sat on a see-saw type platform. When one clock was pushed down the other's pendulum was activated.  It looks pretty expensive and delicate. I'm not sure it could stand up to blitz play.  I'm not even sure of how precise they might have been - blitz measures in seconds, not minutes and, according to the 1899 BCM, they were still having trouble making the passing of a hour sufficiently noticable to the players at that time.  In the London tournament time wasn't enforced by winning on time but by fines for exceeding the time limit. Even much, much later, players were hesitant to demand a win due to time alone.

    Jacques Congress Chess Clock  c.1905

    This clock is the earliest one I could find that resembles ones that were used throughout the 20th century.  The use of clocks was a reluctant innovation, though universally agreed to be a necessity.  I haven't been able to uncover much yet on the development of blitz, though it surely was dependant on timers.  Rapid transit, even in the 1940s employed stop watches and was timed by so many seconds per move (unlike so many moves in a given time).  Skittles was probably the closest thing to blitz until sometime in the 20th century and skittles wasn't regulated by timers, or at least I've never seen mention of time relative to skittles.


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