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Chess Secrets I LEARNED FROM THE MASTERS

BY

Edward Lasker

WITH THIRTY-TWO DRAWINGS BY

Kenneth Stubbs

DOVER PUBLICATIONS, INC. NEW YORK

Copyright© 1951 by David McKay Company, Inc. All rights reserved under Pan American and Inter­ national Copyright Conventions.

Published in Canada by General Publishing Com­

pany, Ltd., 30 Lesmill Road, Don Mills, Toronto, Ontario. Published in the United Kingdom by Constable

and Company, Ltd., 10 Orange Street, London WC 2.

This Dover edition, first published in 1969, is an

unabridged republication of Lhe work first published in 1951. It is reprinted by special arrangement with David McKay Company, Inc., publisher of the orig·

inal edition.

Standard Book Number: 486-22266·7 Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 70-96717 Manufactured in the United States of America Dover Publications, Inc.

180 Varick Street

New York, N.Y. 10014

THIS BOOK IS DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF

Emanuel Lasker

AND

Jose Raul

Capablanca

WHO WERE MY FRIENDS AND TEACHERS

Acknowledgment For their invaluable and ceaseless criticism, their literary and moral support,

I cannot adequately

thank Miss Leonore Gallet and Judge William B. Northrop

of New York City.

Preface MOST textbooks on chess, including some of my own, have attacked the problem of teaching the game in a traditional, formalized manner. When

I

studied chess myself,

I

had

the advantage of a background continually vitalized by the leading masters of the game. Although the lessons

I

learned

from them had no systematic connection and were corre­ lated merely by the happy chance of occasional meetings,

I got more out of them than from studying any number of books.

I

feel that by transmitting to my readers in an informal

manner the essence of the chess secrets the masters taught

me, I may be offering a new and effective approach to the elusive goal of chess mastery. The colorful, sometimes eccentric personalities of these coryphees greatly enhanced my enjoyment of their lessons.

I have tried to have the reader share my pleasure by weav­ ing some of the more intimate details of the lives of the great masters into the autobiographical account of the training

I had from them. Kenneth Stubbs' cartoons will do much to create a vivid impression of this group of unique men. He has caught their characteristic expressions with remarkable felicity.

I trust that the human interest added in this way will prove a stronger stimulus for remembering the masters' lessons than time-worn pedagogic order.

Edward Lasker

Contents PAGE

PREFACE

vn

INTRODUCTION BOrHOOD CHESS ARNOLD SCHOTTLAENDER HARRY NELSON PILLSBURY

I

8 10

12

MEETING THE MASTERS

I6

Chess Life in Berlin KURT VON BARDELEBEN

16 17 20

OLDRICH DURAS

22

JAC QUES

26 27

RICHARD TEICHMANN

MIESES

DR. EMANUEL LASKER

First Tournament Experience HORATIO CARO ACADEMIC CHAMPIONSHIP

First "Hauptturnier" DR. SIEGBERT TARRASCH ALEXANDER ALEKHINE

Berlin Championship MATHEMATICAL INTERLUDE MATCH WITH ERICH COHN

Grandmaster Encounters DR. OSSIP BERNSTEIN KARL SCHLECHTER

31 31 37 44 46

48 56 57

59 75 75

88

CON T ENT S

X

PAGE

Hamburg Hauptturnier ARON NIMZOVICH GEORG ROTLEVI

More Grandmaster Play

97 98 106

AKIBA RUBINSTEIN

I3 I I3 116 I28

VISIT TO FRANCE AND ENGLAND

132

DAVID JANOWSKI JOSE RAUL CAPABLANCA

I

THE GREAT KARLSBAD TOURNAMENT OF 1911 I 36 THE ENGLISH CHESS SCENE

Prelude in France MATCH WITH FREDERIC LAZARD SIMULTANEOUS PLAY IN PARIS

Meeting the Leaders of British Chess SIR GEORGE THOMAS GRIFFITH, WHITE, WATTS, DUMONT MATCH WITH GUNSBERG

First International Masters' Tournament HECTIC JOURNEY TO SCHEVENINGEN A LESSON FROM DUTCH MASTER OLLAND MIESES UNDERRATES ME SECOND MEETING WITH ALEKHINE PREPARED ANALYSIS BEATS YATES THE MASTER SHOWS IN THE END-GAME I APPLY A LESSON WITH SUCCESS OMINOUS CONCLUSION

London Championship SACRIFICE OR BLUNDER? THE DECISIVE GAME WITH THOMAS NEVER TAKE THE QUEEN'S KNIGHT'S PAWN!

I43 I 44 I44 I46 I47 I48 I 5I 155 160 I6I I 62 I 64 I68 I7 3 I 78 I 87 I9 I I93 I 94 I 97 20I

XI

CON T E N TS

PAGE

204

ADVENTURES IN THE NEW WORLD

Gaining My American Spurs NEW YORK CHAMPIONSHIP FIRST SERIOUS GAME WITH CAPABLANCA MOVE TO CHICAGO WESTERN STATES CHAMPIONSHIP

Sammy, The Chess Wonder Child

' RESHEVSKY S ASTONISHING PRECOCITY

204 206 2 I2 2 I3 2I 7 225 226

PLAYING SIMULTANEOUS CHESS AT THE AGE OF EIGHT ' SAMMY S FIRST GAME TIMED BY A CLOCK

New York Masters Tournament 1922 SECOND GAME WITH RESHEVSKY SAMMY DEFEATS JANOWSKI

U.S. Championship Match AUSPICIOUS START:

2�

TO



A KIDNEY ATTACK I COULD NOT DEFEND TRAGEDY NO. TRAGEDY NO.

1 2

New York Grandmaster Tournament 1924

230 232 236 23 7 243 248 25 I 276 280 287 290

PROMISING START: MAROCZY, BOGOLYUBOV, CAPABLANCA DISMAL FAILURE: YATES, JANOWSKI LASKER

VS.

LASKER,

A

GREAT

FIGHTING

309

·GAME HYPERMODERN CHESS: RETI, TARTAKOWER AN EXCITING DRAW: ALEKHINE LESSONS FROM YATES, LASKER, JANOWSKI

Miscellaneous Chess Jaunts CUBAN INTERLUDE LAKE HOPATCONG

292 304

1926

315

322 330 33 9 33 9

343

Xll

CON TE NTS PAGE

1926 TOURNAMENT 1931

CHICAGO MASTERS TOURNAMENT NEW YORK MASTERS

The Last Ten Years FIRST ENCOUNTER WITH REUBEN FINE LAST GAME WITH MARSHALL N. Y. STATE CHAMPIONSHIP

1944

344 348 367 368 375 380

CAPABLANCA INAUGURAL TOURNAMENT, HAVANA

1947

U. S. OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP

1947

CHESS UFE IN SOU TH AM ERICA FLYING TO BUENOS AIRES

387 396 416 417

INTERNATIONAL TOURNAMENT OF MAR DEL PLATA

1949

POS TSCRIP T PRESENT-DAY MECHANIZATION OF CHESS ' CAPABLANCA S SUGGESTION FOR A SECOND REFORM

419 427 427 427

List

of Games PAGE

Schottlaender--Ed. Lasker

Breslau

1900

Duras-V. Bardeleben

Vienna

1908

23

Caro-Ed. Lasker

Berlin

1908

31

Duehrssen-Ed. Lasker

Berlin

19o8

37

Ed. Lasker--Alekhine

Duesseldorf

1908

49

Cohn-Ed. Lasker

Berlin

1909

6o

Ed. Lasker--Cohn

Berlin

1909

70

Cohn-Ed. Lasker

Berlin

1909

72

Bernstein-Em. Lasker

St. Petersburg

1909

76

10

Bemstein-Schlechter

Barmen

1905

82

Bemstein-Alekhine

Zuerich

1940

84

Em. Lasker--Schlechter

Berlin

1910

Nimz6vich-:Ed. Lasker

Berlin

1910

Ed. Lasker--Rotlevi

Hamburg

19 1 0

go 99

107

Capablanca-Janowski

San Sebastian

1 9 11

117

128

Rubinstein-Capablanca

San Sebastian

1911

Ed. Lasker--Capablanca

Berlin

1911

1 31

Teichmann-Schlechter

Karlsbad

1911

137

Rotlevi-Teichmann

Karlsbad

1911

140

Lazard-Ed. Lasker

Paris

1912

145

Ed. Lasker-- Thomas

London

1912

148

Thomas-Ed. Lasker

London

1913

152

Ed. Lasker--Gunsberg

London

1913

157

Olland-Ed. Lasker

Scheveningen

1913

162

Ed. Lasker--Mieses

Scheveningen

1913

1 65

Ed. Lasker--Alekhine

Scheveningen

1913

169

Ed. Lasker--Yates

Scheveningen

1913

174

Ed. Lasker--Janowski

Scheveningen

1913

178

Ed. Lasker--Englund

Scheveningen

1913

187

Scott-Ed. Lasker

London

1914

19 4

XIV

LIST OF G A ME S PAGE

Thomas-Ed. Lasker

London

1914

197

Ed. Lasker-Michell

London

1914

202

Ed. Lasker-Chajes

New rork

1915

207

Capablanca-Ed. Lasker

New rork

1915

212

Showalter-Ed. Lasker

Lexington, Ky.

1917

219

Reshevsky-Ed. Lasker

Chicago

1920

232

Reshevsky-Ed. Lasker

New rork

1922

237

Janowski-Reshevsky

New rork

1922

244

Ed. Lasker-Marshall

New rork

1923

251

Marshall-Ed. Lasker

New rork

1923

256

Ed. Lasker-Marshall

New rork

1923

263

Marshall-Ed. Lasker

Chicago

1923

270

Ed. Lasker-Marshall

Chicago

1923

273 275

Marshall-Ed. Lasker

Clticago

1923

Ed. Lasker-Marshall

Chicago

1923

276

Marshall-Ed. Lasker

Cleveland

1923

28o 281

Ed. Lasker-Marshall

Cleveland

1923

Ed. Lasker-Marshall

Washington

1923

286

Marshall-Ed. Lasker

Great Neck, L. I.

1923

287

Ed. Lasker-Maroczy

New ror!r.

1924

293

Ed. Lasker-Bogolyubov

New rork

1924

300

Yates-Ed. Lasker

New rork

1924

304

Ed. Lasker-Janowski

New rork

1924

305

Em. Lasker-Ed. Lasker

New rork

1924

309

Reti-Ed. Lasker

New rork

1924

316

Tartakower-Ed. Lasker

New rork

1924

320

Ed. Lasker-Alekhine

New rork

1924

323

Ed. Lasker-Yates

New rork

1924

33°

Ed. Lasker-Em. Lasker

New rork

1924

331

Janowski-Ed. Lasker

New rork

1924

332

Ed. Lasker-Marshall

Chicago

1926

345

Ed. Lasker-Winkelman

Philadelphia

1926

347

Santasiere--Ed. Lasker

New rork

1931

351

Ed. Lasker-Horowitz

New rork

1931

355 "

XV

LIST OF GAMES

PAGE

S teiner-Ed

Ed. Lasker-Marshall

New New New New

York

1942

375

Ed. La sker-Kramer

Saratoga Springs

1945

380 3 82

.

L a sker

Kevitz-Ed. Lasker Ed. Lasker-Fine

York

-8

1931

.g.J

362

York

1931

York

1940

369

Ed. Lasker-Soudakoff

Cazenovia

194·6

Ed. Lasker-Florido

Havana

Gonz alez

1947

3 89

Havana

1947

394

Rd . Lasker

-

Cuellar-Ed. Lasker

Corpus

Yanofsky-Ed. Lasker

Corpus

Christi Christi

1947

399

1947

405

Whitaker-Rd. L asker

Corpus Christi

41

Corpus

Christi

1947

Adams-Ed. Lasker

1947

413

Ed. Lasker-Rossetto

Mar del Plata

1949

421

LIST

OF

OPENINGS

PAGE

Benoni Counter Gambit

152

Caro-Kann

207

Center Game

I

PAGE

Queen's

Gambit

72, 82,

117,128, 140, 174, 202,237,

37

244, 251, 270,273,275, 276,

Center Counter

165

280, 286, 331, 347, 355, 358

Dutch Defense

149

English Opening

394

Queen's Pawn

375, 380, 382

Four Knights

178, 187

French Defense

389, 421

Reti Opening

Irregular

305, 351

Ruy Lopez

King's Gambit Declined

23, 31, 194, 197, 332,

316, 362 60, 76,

99, 137, 145, 162, 212, 256, 287, 413

King ' s I ndian

90, 293, 330, 369

Max Lange Old-Indian Philidor's Defense

107 157 49,300

219, 232,263, 281,304, 309, 323, 345, 399, 405 Scotch Game Three Knights Two Knights Vienna Game

320 69, 169 411 10

List

of Drawings PAGE

PAGE

Edward Lasker

342

Emanuel and Berthold Lasker

Jackson Showalter

218

Sammy Reshevsky

3

and Edward Lasker

226

Harry Nelson Pillsbury

13

Frank J. Marshall

248

Kurt von Bardeleben

20

Geza Maroczy

292 300

Oldrich Duras

22

Efim Bogolyubov

Siegbert Tarrasch

46

Emanuel

Ossip S. Bernstein

75

and Edward Lasker

3o8

Karl Schlechter

88

Richard Reti

Aron Nimz6vich

97

Savielly Tartakower

321

David Janowski

Il4

Alexander Alekhine

322

Jose Raul Capablanca

u6

Isaac Kashdan

349

Akiba Rubinstein

128

Anthony Santasiere

Richard Teichmann

136

I. A. Horowitz

351

355

Sir George Thomas

148

Herman Steiner

358 368

lsidor Gunsberg

156

Arnold Denker

Jacques Mieses

164

Reuben

F. D. Yates

173

316

Fine

and Sammy Reshevsky

374

Chess Secrets

Introduction

CHESS has shaped the course of my whole life, although since leaving college and working in one engineering ca­ pacity or another, I have never been able to give the game as much of my leisure time as I would have liked. In retrospect, I must admit that chess has been directly or indirectly the source of much happiness to me, and I should probably be grateful for this to my great namesake, Emanuel Lasker. Had he not won the World Championship when I was a little boy of five, my father would hardly have· thought of teaching me the game. My mother, fearful lest I devote more time to chess than to my studies, warned me time and again to stay away from the chessboard. Otherwise I would probably not have clung to it so tenaciously throughout my school years. Later, when the time came to choose a profession, the passion for the game had permeated my blood too much to let me contemplate a milieu of which chess was not a part. The only solution was to leave my home town, Breslau, and my mother's watchful eye. In spite of a penchant for Medicine, I decided on my second choice, Engineering, because the University of Breslau did not offer an Engineering course. Consequently, my mother had to let me go to the Institute of Technology in Berlin. There, without detection, I could play chess to my heart's content, and meet the great chess masters in person. It was not until 1907, when I was twenty-one, that I made the acquaintance of Emanuel Lasker. He had just re­ I

CHESS SECR E TS

turned from fourteen years in America, to marry the sweet­ heart of his youth. We "clicked" immediately due to sev­ eral mutual interests, and I saw a great deal of him during the following five years. Although Emanuel Lasker very rarely discussed chess topics with me, the few observations which he made, though highly generalized, taught me more about the essence of chess than all my practical experience up to then, and all the chess books I had read . There is little doubt that these sporadic informal lessons had much to do with my victory in a match for the cham­ pionship of Berlin which I played against the title holder, Erich Cohn, in 1909. The publicity attendant on this match resulted in a number of invitations from amateur chess players who wanted to take lessons, among them men who were well known for their work in their particular field. In later years I have had many similar experiences. Chess seemed to furnish a pass key to circles of interesting people. And all my life this aspect of the game has been to me a ril!her source of happiness than victories in tournaments. Mter all, winning some chess title is an ephemeral pleasure; but a friendship formed through chess is apt to endure. When finally, after fifteen semesters at the University, I got my Degree, it was again Emanuel Lasker who, quite unknowingly, caused my course to turn into entirely un­ foreseen channels. Shortly after meeting him, I showed him the Chinese game of WEI-CHI, called GO in Japan where it had been brought to its highest development. A friend and I had found its rules in a magazine. To our amusement, the game was called a "competitor" of chess. But on closer examina­ tion we found that the statement was well founded, and we played Go avidly on the slightest provocation. Emanuel Lasker was as incredulous at first as we had

I N T R ODUC TIO N

3

been, when told that the game was indeed a competitor of chess. However, after watching but one contest between Max Lange and myself, he grasped the remarkable possi­ bilities for deep strategical manoeuvres and tactical in­ terludes which Go holds despite its simple structure. He became utt�rly fascinated with this game which opened un­ explored realms of positional and combinative play, and he

EMANUEL

and

BERTHO L D L AS KER

arranged weekly "Go meetings" at his house. One night we were invited to meet a Go master at the Japanese Club. Although Emanuel Lasker, his brother Berthold, and I were to play in consultation, a handicap of nine moves was pro­ posed-something like Queen odds in chess. Lasker laughed and said he did not think anybody in the world could give him that handicap if he could take his time in studying his moves. We had played over some games of Japanese masters and felt fairly sure we understood the reasons be­ hind their play. But our opponent smiled and suggested that we let him try it anyway. Our confidence was indeed considerably ruffled from the start. The Japanese master

4

CHESS SECRETS

answered our deep-laid plots without ever taking more than a fraction of a second for his reply. To make the story short -the fellow completely demolished us, and Emanuel Lasker was the most downcast of men. On the way home he proposed that we should try to ar­ range to go to Japan for a few months and play a great deal with their masters. He said: "The Japanese haven't as yet produced a mathematician who compares with the best we can muster. I am convinced that we can, ultimately, beat them at Go, the ideal game for a mathematical mind." The plan enthused me. But how could I manage to go to the Orient when I had just started my first job, as Project Engineer of the German General Electric Company (A.E.G.)? Thinking of the effect on my mother and my boss, I realized that I would have to concoct acombination much more elaborate than any which might occur on a chess or Go board in order to justify a change. But a dia­ bolical scheme which looked innocent enough, helped me to secure the approvals I needed. I told my chief that since there were so many engineers in the Berlin office of the company, there seemed little chance for advancement, because it was improbable that I was any better than my colleagues. Therefore I would pre­ fer to be transferred to a smaller office, preferably abroad. For example Tokyo. The way my plan seemed to work was marvelous. My boss, who of course knew nothing of Go, was sympathetic and promised to speak for me to the head of the Foreign Department. But the reply came that in their foreign offices the firm employed only Englishmen, or Germans who could speak English fluently, because that was the commercial language throughout the world. I did not understand a word of English, but nothing daunted, I proposed to go first to the London office of the

I N T R O D U C TI O N

5

firm and learn English whilst drawing a nominal salary. That proposition was accepted, and in 19 12 I left Berlin to live and work in London. But my Oriental plans came to naught when, in 19 14, the World War broke out. It looked for a while as if an internment camp rather than Tokyo was going to be my abode, when chess proved to be a friend in need. I had won the London Chess Championship in 191 4, just a few months before war was declared, and by a fortunate coincidence a powerful official of the Home Office hap­ pened to be a chess fan. I was not aware of this fact and quite accidentally strolled into his office, in search of a permit to go to New York, the birthplace of my mother. He recognized me, told me he had been present when I de­ feated Sir George Thomas in the decisive game of the tournament, and pleaded my case with the only man who could grant my request. I received permission to leave Eng­ land, and once more the course of my life was changed through chess. Upon my arrival in this country I found again that to play chess was a very useful asset. The war had caused such a panic that thousands of engineers were made jobless, and none of the firms I approached would employ a foreigner when there was not enough work for Americans. In chess circles, however, I was received with the greatest friendli­ ness, and the editor of the American Chess Bulletin arranged an exhibition tour which gave me enough money to last a few months. On this tour I met Julius Rosenwald and Al­ bert Loeb, the heads of the great mail order house, Sears Roebuck. They were both friends of chess, and offered to find an opening for me in their firm. I moved to Chicago and remained with Sears until, in 1920, a chess fan promi­ nent in business engaged me in an engineering capacity. Meanwhile I had won the championship of Chicago as

6

C HE S S S E C R E T S

well as the championship of the Western States, and in 1 923 I challenged Frank Marshall for the championship of the United States. I lost the match by a score of 831 to 931, which was considered so close that in 1 924 I was invited to play in one of the greatest Master tournaments ever held. This tournament took place in New York City. Emanuel Lasker, Capablanca, Alekhine, Marshall and Reti finished in the first five places. I won a special prize for the best score against this galaxy of champions, but against the lesser lights I did not do so well. I managed to finish ahead of only Janowski, while Bogolyubov, Tartakower, Maroczy and Yates outpointed me. From this tournament I learned that unless one has such outstanding gt>:nius as Emanuel Lasker had, it is not possible for a man to have a profession and interests other than chess, and still reach the first rank of chess masters. There have been several very strong chess masters who had professions, such as Vidmar, an engineer, and Ossip Bernstein, an at­ torney. But they devoted their leisure hours exclusively to chess as long as they stayed in the tournament arena. Only if chess is introduced in schools on a nation-wide basis, as has been done in Russia, will any country be able to develop a large enough number of good players from among those who have to work for a living in fields other than chess, to produce candidates for the World Champion­ ship, or to compete successfully with Russian teams. Today we have in America a number of highly gifted young players who, I am sure, will reach the Master class before very long. But they will all find themselves under the same handicap: Unless they fill their every leisure hour with chess, it will be very difficult for them to stay in the running when it comes to International competition. Whether hope­ less onesidedness is a price worth paying for mastery of any game of skill-or even a musical instrument, for that mat-

IN TRODUCTION

7

ter-is not for me to discuss here, though I have very definite opinions on the subject.

I

am happy to say that in

the fields of creative art and science, the outstanding men whom I have had the privilege of meeting, showed a healthy curiosity for what was going on in every other field of in­ tellectual endeavor. Emanuel Lasker belonged to this class, and so did Nimzovich and Reti. Let us hope that the young masters of the future will follow

in their

footsteps.

Boyhood Chess

�ENEVER

SEE

1 a boy of twelve or fourteen at a chess club, playing into the late hours of the evening, ap­ parently with his parents' sanction, I think of my boyhood and I am amazed at the liberty permitted American chil­ dren. Even when I was almost sixteen, I was hardly ever al­ lowed to go out in the evening, unless the occasion was a gathering at a friend's house where music was to be played. Generally, a boy stayed home after dinner and read. He was supposed to have done his homework in the afternoon. A game of chess was not objected to at home ; but the mere thought of a boy of that age asking permission to go to a club to play chess was fantastic. For a boy in his formative years, chess is a dangerous drug if he plays well enough to beat the opponents he finds at school or in the family. The ambition to become a chess master is fanned and gradually takes hold of the boy's mind so strongly that it crowds out all other thoughts. School work is neglected, and so is all extra-curricular reading, or the study of science, or music, or anything else that will create a cultured outlook in life. Under ordinary circumstances, a boy of this type would not mind being compelled to spend every evening at home as long as he could play chess, as I was able to do with my brother who shared my love of the game. But what if one day the papers report that the great American Chess Champion, Harry Nelson Pillsbury, is coming to Europe to give a series of exhibitions of blindfold chess, and that he 8

B O Y H O O D CHESS

9

will also visit your home town? Then the stage is set for tragedy ! From the moment I knew on what date Pillsbury would be in Breslau to play 16 blindfold games simultaneously, I pleaded with my mother to let me take one of the boards, as the opportunity was one which was not likely to recur in a lifetime. She would not hear of it. Boys just simply did not go out after supper unless the occasion was one which offered cultural stimulation, and "Chess certainly did not belong in that class.'? She pointed out that chess masters were known to be unable to earn a decent living, just like the great majority of painters, musicians or actors, and I had better get the idea out of my hea:d once and for all that she would encourage my mad desire to become a chess master. The fact was that my mother not only tried to discourage me personally from playing too much, but she even visited the cafe where I used to spend my entire weekly allowance on coffee and cake and play chess at least twice a week. She begged the habz"tues there not to play with me because I was neglecting my school work, and I was embarrassed and furious. I was all the more determined to locate strong opponents to practice with, in places other than the cafe in which, after my mother's visit, no one would play with me, as she would not lift her veto. Before long I discovered another cafe frequented by much stronger chess players than my previous haunt. It was the official meeting place of the Chess Club Anderssen, named after the greatest nine­ teenth century German player, who had been considered the world's strongest master until, in 1858, he lost the match to which the youthful American, Paul Morphy, had chal­ lenged him. The Chess Club Anderssen had a member who was an acknowledged chess master. His name was Arnold Schott-

10

CH E S S S E C R E T S

laender. He was a wealthy man who, though crippled by infantile paralysis, appeared at the cafe every afternoon and occupied a vantage point in the center of the U-shaped table on which there were almost always six or eight games in progress. He himself never played but merely criticized, with good-naturedly sarcastic remarks, the bad moves of the players on the boards around him. He had quite a reputation as a wit. One of his bon-mots which survived him was a remark he was supposed to have made to his wife : "Louise, if one of us dies, I think I'll move to Berlin." I was eager to play a game with Schottlaender, but the orily chance he ever gave me was at an exhibition of simul­ taneous chess, at which he took on some thirty players. I shall never forget that game. I resigned on the eighth move and learned an important lesson. This lesson was that if a stronger player leaves a man unprotected, it is probably a considered sacrifice and not a blunder ; and one should think twice before accepting the proffered gift. In fact, this applies also when playing a weaker adversary. It is best to assume that he, too, has a reason for every move. Many a disappointment is apt to be avoided in this manner. I have had occasion a number of times to spring the same trap in which Schottlaender caught me. It is useful to know this opening; so here is the game: WHITE:

BLACK:

Edward Arnold Schottlaender Lasker 1.

P- K4

2. QN -

83

P - K4

WHITE:

BLACK:

Arnold Schottlaender

Edward Lasker

3. 8 - 84

NxP

KN - 83

I had seen this move several times, usually after White had brought out the King's Knight and Black the Queen's Knight, and I knew it was considered favorable for Black

B OYH O O D CHESS EDWARD

II

LASKER

1.

ARNOLD SCHOTTLAENDER

because White, after 4. N x N, P - Q4; 5. Q - K2 or B- Q3, though regaining his Pawn, remains without a center­ Pawn. I also knew that 4. B x P ch was not supposed to be good for White. 4. 8

p ch

Kx 8

7. N - NS

5. N x N

P- Q4

8. Q

6. Q- 83 ch

K- N l

X

x

P ch

Q x N"

Resigns

Instead of hastily grabbing the Knight, I should of course have played Q - Q2, guarding against the checkmate on B2 and keeping my Queen's Pawn protected. While this would have temporarily blocked my Queen's Bishop, the advan­ tage of the two Bishops and the control of the center would soon have told in my favor. Incidentally, if Schottlaender had played 4. Q - RS in the position of the preceding diagram, instead of 4. B x P ch, I would probably not have been able to find my way out of the ensuing complications. Mter N - Q3 ; 5. B - N3! Black's best course is to simplify matters with B- K2; 6. N- B3, N- B3 ; 7. N X P, 0-0. Holding the Pawn (after 4. Q - RS, N- Q3; 5. B- N3) with N - B3, invites 6. N - NS (see Diagram 2, page 12) and leads to hair-raising situations.

CHESS SECRETS

12

2.

To give only one possibility: P - KN3; 7. Q- B3, P - B4; 8. Q - QS, Q- K2; 9. N x P ch, K - Ql; 10. N x R, P - N3; 1 1. P- Q3, B - QN2; 12. P - KR4, P - KR3; 13. N x P, P x N; 14. Q- B3, P - BS ! and anything might happen. In addition to Arnold Schottlaender, there were two very strong players in the Anderssen Club whose names are not infrequently mentioned in old chess magazines. They were Professor Rosanes and Dr. Seger. I played with them once in a while and learned a great deal from them. I was quite awed when I first met Rosanes, for in his youth he had actually played with Anderssen, who had been his teacher in mathematics. I knew these facts, of course, from the chess books which I was studying avidly. When the date of Pillsbury's visit approached, I felt I could give a fairly good account of myself. If only my mother would let me play, although the exhibition was to take place in the evening ! But she refused, and I could not budge her from her decision. I took the matter to heart so much that I became sullen and brooding. Finally I decided that this unique opportunity of meeting the game's leg­ endary hero, Pillsbury, was worth risking my mother's wrath. I had saved enough money to pay the charge made for the privilege of conducting one of the sixteen boards against the master, and twenty minutes before the games

BOYHOOD CHESS

were scheduled to begin, I informed my mother that I was going to the exhibition whether she consented or not. I left her in tears and reached the exhibition hall in a state of great excitement, which certainly was not conducive to good chess. But it soon became evident that I would have lost my game even if I had been in the calmest of moods. Pillsbury gave a marvelous performance, winning thirteen of the sixteen blindfold games, drawing two, and losing

HARRY NE LSON PILLSBURY

only one. He played strong chess and made no mistakes. The picture of Pillsbury sitting calmly in an armchair, with his back to the players, smoking one cigar after another, and replying to his opponents' moves after brief consideration in a clear, unhesitating manner, carne back to my mind thirty years later, when I refereed Alekhine's world record performance at the Chicago World's Fair, where he played thirty-two blindfold games simultaneously. It was an as­ tounding demonstration, but Alekhine made quite a num­ ber of mistakes, and his performance did not impress me half so much as Pillsbury's in Breslau. The American master would, no doubt, have been much surprised to learn that he was the cause of a serious rift in

CH ESS SE C R E T S

the family of one of his opponents. When on the night of the performance I returned home very late-it must have been between 1 and 2 A.M. , my mother informed me that since obviously her authority was no longer strong enough to guide me properly, she had decided that instead of living at home I should stay at the boarding school of a certain Professor Niemeyer. In this school boys were coached for the examinations required for graduation from Gymnasium. A Gymnasium in Germany has nothing to do with gym­ nastics. It is a sort of high school in which emphasis is placed on humanistic education. Whether you liked it or not, you had to have nine years of Latin, eight years of French, and six years of Greek. I liked it, and I needed no coaching for the examinations for which I had to be ready about a year later. Without passing them, I could not have entered any German University. What my mother had in mind when turning me over to Professor Niemeyer was, of course, mainly a strong restraint from chess. Naturally, there was no going out after dinner for boys in his establishment. Under these conditions, how could I manage to par­ ticipate in the Breslau Championship Tournament which was going to take place that winter at the Chess Club Morphy, a rival organization of the Anderssen Club? The games were all to be played on Thursday nights and it was ob­ viously futile for me to try to get Dr. Niemeyer's consent to let me go out even one evening each week during the tour­ nament. The problem was not easy, but it simply had to be solved. There were altogether six or eight boys in this boarding school, and I decided to take one of them, who seemed to be a good sport, into my confidence. The plan was for me to feign fatigue and go to bed early on the opening night of the tournament. Then I was to sneak out of the house and -

B O Y HOOD CHESS

my friend was to let me in the door when I returned late at night. Since I could not tell just what the hour was going to be, I had to provide a signal which would wake him but which no one else could hear. That was all care­ fully prepared. While Professor Niemeyer was teaching, I strung a pair of insulated wires from the boy's bedroom out into the hall as far as a little hole in the frame of the door. The hole, which had probably been used years ago to ac­ commodate the pull-rod of a mechanical bell, was just large enough to permit me to insert my forefinger in it. I stripped the insulation from my two wires for a length of about a half an inch and placed these bare ends into the hole. Then I connected a flashlight battery and a ·little buzzer to the wires in my friend's room and placed the buzzer under his pillow, so that it would ring and wake him when I came home and pressed the two bare ends of the wires together. Everything worked according to schedule. At 7:30 sharp I started to yawn until the Professor asked me what the matter was with me and said I had better go to bed early. Mter first protesting meekly I consented and then bade him good night. When I reached my room, I took off my shoes and sneaked away. At the club, whose members were all in their twenties or thirties and had compassion with my difficulties, I obtained full cooperation. They consented to let me play under an assumed name, so that Professor Niemeyer would not find out anything. It was about a quarter to twelve when I got back to the school. I took my shoes off again and climbed noiselessly to our floor several dark flights up. Then I touched the wires in the door together and waited . Sure enough, after about a minute I heard a pair of stocking feet approach carefully; the door was silently unlatched and then opened. I slipped in and whispered thanks into my friend's ear1 when, to my amazement he reached for the electric switch

16

CHESS SE CR ETS

near the door. He turned it on-and the floor seemed to drop away from my feet. I beheld not my friend, but Pro­ fessor Niemeyer in his night shirt. My face must have shown an expression of such utter consternation, that he could not restrain himself. He broke into truly Homeric laughter, and his body shook with it for several minutes before his speech became intelligible. At any rate, this took the seriousness out of the whole affair. He said to me: "My dear boy, this will teach you a very important lesson. Always give the other fellow credit for being just as smart as yourself, until you find out otherwise. Do you think your hammering away in the hall this after­ noon could go by unnoticed? After you had said good night I asked Robert whether he::_ had made that disturbance, and his evasive replies made me suspicious. I went into the hall and noticed those wires. Tracing them was easy. Then I went into your room, but the little birdie had flown away! I must confess, I had a wonderful time imagining your face when I would open the door. But the way you looked ex­ ceeded all my expectations!" I wish I had followed Professor Niemeyer's advice in all the chess tournaments I have played since then. How many losses I would have avoided which I incurred solely because I did not take my opponents seriously enough !

Meeting the Masters CHESS LIFE IN BERLIN

AFTER

PASSING my examination, I was at last, free from surveillance. As I mentioned before, I went to Berlin to study Engineering, and also to enjoy fully the oppor­ tunity of meeting-and perhaps even playing against-the

MEETING THE MASTERS

famous chess masters who frequented the capital's cafes. At the German Universities the idea of academic freedom was taken very seriously. A student's life was completely his own. There was no checking up on his attendance of courses, nor was there any attempt to influence his morals or his opinions on social or ethical questions. If he had what it took, it was assumed that he would resist temptations to spend his time in an unworthy manner and that he would acquire the knowledge which he needed to pass examina­ tions. These examinations took place only at the end of the fourth and the eighth semesters. If a student showed that he knew his subject, he passed, whether he had attended classes or not. Probably no one rejoiced over this lofty principle of academic freedom more than I; naturally, in my case, the real source of thejoy was the liberty to play chess whenever I wanted. Immediately after finding a place to live, I rushed to Cafe Kaiserhof, a famous old rendezvous of chess players. I was overawed by what seemed to be a most commonplace occurrence at this place every afternoon-a forgathering of many of the renowned masters, whose games filled the books I had studied. Most conspicuous among them were Richard Teichmann and Kurt von Bardeleben, partly due to the imposing shape of their heads, but mainly on account of their modesty and wellbred restraint which would have distinguished them in any company. Teichmann was blind in one eye which he kept cov­ ered over with a black shield. He had a striking face, the im­ pressive large size of which was emphasized by a long brown full beard and a high forehead. He looked truly like Wotan, holding forth in the company of minor gods. He was a man of considerable education who had lived

18

C H ESS SE C R ETS

in England for years. His taste for literature had been a healthy stimulus for a thorough study of the English lan­ guage which he eventually mastered. He was wont to ac­ company his deliberations during a chess game with Eng­ lish folk songs, hummed almost inaudibly, but rising in a sudden triumphant crescendo when he announced a check­ mate. Chess had proved his undoing as far as a chance to earn a regular income was concerned, and he shared the pitiful lot of many other chess masters of his time-dependence upon a few dollars, earned daily at the rate of a quarter per game played with regular or transient guests of the Cafe. Teichmann had an intense love of the game, and he would often forego a lucrative opportunity to play with a well-to-do cafe habitue, for the sake of a thorough analysis of some new opening variation suggested by another master, or even by a mere student, like myself. He was the first to give me a conscious insight into the basic difference between master chess and the chess played by even the strongest amateur. The master asks himself at every step whether he is doing something to increase the fighting power, that is the mobility, of his pieces. The av­ erage player overlooks the importance of this lasting effect of a move and loses himself in combinations made up of moves which often have but transitory value. Very soon I realized that what I had been playing in my home town wasn't really chess--certainly not the chess with which masters are concerned. In respectful silence I listened to the remarks Teichmann made when analyzing games from current tournaments which were recorded in the daily press. To my amazement he never accepted a move as justified merely because it was recommended in the bible of all chess students, Dufresne's Theory of the Chess Openings. The only argument that seemed to count with Teich-

M E ETING THE MASTERS

mann was whether a move placed a man in a favorable or an unfavorable position, and whether or not it tended to complete the development of the pieces as fast as possible. This viewpoint was completely new to me. The only reason I had played an opening one way or another, was that I had seen the moves in Dufresne's compilation of openings. What Teichmann said was certainly an eye-opener I And what a relief! How often had I started to memorize method­ ically all openings listed by Dufresne, and then despaired of the task I I had taken it for granted that every master had to know these openings. At length I began to realize that they were after all only records of master games in which the moves had been tried on the strength of such consid­ erations as Teichmann was discussing ! The whole subject began to take on a different aspect. I looked at recorded openings critically, and tried to judge for myself whether they were good or bad, rather than taking the word of "the book" as gospel. However, I did not find the going easy. It was all very well to ask: "Does this move place my piece in a favorable position?" But how could I tell what was a favorable posi­ tion and what was not, and what choice was preferable when two or three moves looked equally good? I realized that I needed much experience, particularly practice with superior players, in order to be able to clarify the vague idea which I had conceived, that it might be pos­ sible to formulate general principles by which to gauge the value of a move; that this value might be measurable as a certain amount of potential energy with which one endows a piece ; that the greatest potential energy is imparted to a piece by placing it on a square from which as many other squares as possible are accessible to it; and that the strength of a position is reflected by the total amount of potential energy stored in all the pieces.

20

CHESS SE C R E TS

There were so many chess clubs and chess cafes in Berlin that I had no difficulty whatever in finding the practical experience I needed. I entered the championship tourna­ ment of the Berlin Chess Society as well as that of the Uni­ versity Chess Club, besides going every day to Cafe Kaiserhof. The result of all this chess activity was that only the morning hours were left for me to attend classes. Quite often even those morning hours were curtailed by the extra hours of sleep I needed to recover from a chess debauch that had kept me at a chess cafe until the "crack of dawn."

KURT VON

BARDELEBEN

One master on whose presence at the Cafe Bauer I could unfailingly count any evening, was Kurt von Bardeleben. He was an easy-going person, in his fifties. When he had any money at all, you could tell it by the bottle of Bordeaux on his table; he sipped one glass after another in the leisurely manner of the connoisseur. He always wore a black cut-away suit of dubious vintage. Apparently he could never spare enough money to buy a new suit, although I learned one day that at fairly regular intervals he received comparatively large sums-from one to several thousand marks-through the simple expedient of marrying, and shortly after divorcing, some lady who craved the distinction of his noble name and was willing

M E E T I NG T H E MAST E RS

21

to pay for it. Unfortunately, when he received his reward, it was usually far exceeded by the amount of the debts he had accumulated since his last divorce . Evil tongues had it that the number of the ladies involved in these brief marital interludes had grown so alarmingly that they could easily have made up a Sultan's harem. Von Bardeleben had such an extraordinary face that he was bound to draw every eye on himself wherever he ap­ peared. The left half of his forehead bulged outward and upward as if the left frontal lobe of his brain had irresistibly expanded. The only other man I ever met who had a simi­ larly shaped forehead was Arthur Brisbane. A van Dyke beard and a slightly. ironic smile which al­ ways played on his face gave von Bardeleben a certain Mephistophelian appearance ; but one had only to exchange a few words with him to realize that this appearance was altogether deceiving. He was well-bred and mild-mannered to a fault : He could never be guilty of an aggressive atti­ tude. He could not even muster the strength to fight his own decadence. While these attributes, coupled with a wit of literary flavor and a wide knowledge of the humanities, made him a delightful conversationalist, they did not fit him for suc­ cess as a professional chess master. He had chosen this career as the only alternative, after his aristocratic family had cast him off when his casual treatment of creditors became too embarrassing for them. In an individual game, von Bardeleben could be dan­ gerous to the greatest master; but he had not enough per­ severance to gain a high place in a long tournament. The years 1 907 to 1 9 1 1 were crowded with great international tournaments. Von Bardeleben was invited to play in most of them, but he was never among the prize winners. When he returned to Berlin, he would show me all the games he

22

CHESS SE C R E TS

should have won but didn't, and he would criticize his moves more and more severely as the contents of his bottle of Bordeaux gradually diminished. I learned a great deal from these sessions, and I have al­ ways kept a fond memory of this strange man whose ironic outlook on life would never let the tragedy of his existence get the better of him. No matter how shabby he looked in his latter years, he retained that easy grace in his conver-

OL DR I C H D U R A S

sation which had always distinguished him and which as­ sured you that he was either unaware of his financial plight or above wasting a thought on it when there was an op­ portunity to delight in abstract matters. This complete indifference to dress is an attitude familiar to all those who have the privilege of intimate acquaintance with great artists and scientists. The disregard of superficial values seems to be one of the several characteristics they have in common with true aristocrats, if in defining this term we remember its original meaning in Greek. Among the "won games" which von Bardeleben lost and later showed me in detail, I recall one which had an amus­ ing aftermath. It was the game which he had played in the last round of the tournament in Vienna, 1 908, against the

M EE T I NG THE MAS T E R S

Czech, Duras, one of the strongest players of the last gen­ eration, who, strange to say, is almost unknown to the younger American players of today. Duras, Maroczy and Schlechter shared the first three prizes in this tournament. Rubinstein was fourth, and Teichmann fifth. Then came Spielmann, Perlis and Tar­ takower. Marshall shared ninth, tenth, and eleventh with Leonhardt and Mieses. Reti, later one of the world's lead­ ing masters, was admitted at the eleventh hour, in place of Janowski who could not come. It was Reti's first interna­ tional tournament and he did not win a single game. He made only 1 72 out of 1 9 possible points. This will give one an idea of the strength of the tournament. K U RT V O N BARDE L E BEN

3.

O L DR I CH D U R A $

Diagram 3 shows the position i n which the game Duras­ von Bardeleben had been adjourned after thirty moves. Duras' sealed move was 31. Q - Q3, and von Bardeleben replied N x B. Now Duras made a combination which he had probably analyzed during the intermission, instead of rest ing , with the result that he overlooked a pretty re­ joinder at Black's disposal . 32. R x R

RxR

33. Q x RP

NxP

CHESS S E CR E TS

brilliant conception. If White takes the Rook, Black plays Q - BS ! !, leading into the same line which he offers on the next move. A

34. K x N

Q - 85 !

White cannot capture the Rook, would be 35. Q x R, Q - NS ch ; 37. K - Nt , B - B3 ; 38. K - B t , B - N4 ch; 40. K - Q2, B - R3 ch, a piece to the good. 35. P - R3

because the consequence 36. K - R t , Q x N ch; Q - RB ch; 39. K - K2 , and Black emerges with

36. R - K3

8 - 83

K U R T V O N B AR D E L E B E N

4.

O L D R I C H D U R AS

From here on von Bardeleben, perhaps due to fatigue, seems to lose the thread of the game completely. He makes a series of weak moves to which an outright blunder puts the finishing touch. He should now have played R - K t , threatening R x R and then Q x N ch. White would have had to defend with 37. Q - K2, and then B - KS would have been a powerful move, preparing the advance of a steam­ roller of Pawns. After 38. B x B, P x B; 39. N - Kt , P - B4 ; 40. N - B2, Q - Q3 White could hardly have lasted long. 36. .







R - QN l ?

37. Q 84 •

8 - QRl '

M E E T I N G THE M ASTE RS

Von Bardeleben's last opportunity of recovering the ini­ tiative was playing R - QBl . White could not have saved himself through 38. Q - K2, as Q - N4 ch; 39. K - B l , B x N; 40. Q x B, R - B8 ch ; 41. R - K1 , R x R ch ; 42. K x R, Q - B 8 c h would have followed, winning a piece. 38. Q - KB7

Preventing R - Kl and involving vague threats in case Black does not play carefully. Black could force a draw by Q - N4 ch ; 39. K R2, Q - BS ch etc. In his tired condition that may have been the best thing for him to do. -

38

.

• ·







R - Ql

39. B - R2

A terrible blunder, causing immediate collapse. 40.

Q - N8 ch

K - R3

41. Q x Q B

Resigns

When von Bardeleben showed me this finish I saw him for the first time in a state suggesting animosity. He banged his glass of Bordeaux on the table without his usual re­ straint, and with his eyes slightly veiled by the effect of the wine, he said, "I swear I shall beat that fellow in Prague next month." Naturally, I did not take this very seriously. Mter all, Duras was considered by many the coming World Cham­ pion; he was expected to win the Prague tournament al­ though the entries promised an even stronger field than in Vienna. There were twenty players, and after a gruelling month of heated contest Duras emerged first, with the same score as Schlechter. Duras would have finished ahead of Schlechter-had not von Bardeleben made good his oath and beaten him ! It was the only game von Bardeleben won ! Third in this great tournament was Vidmar. Then came

CH ESS SE C R E T S

Rubinstein, another World Championship candidate, then Teichmann, and Maroczy. Leonhardt, Marshall and Salwe divided the seventh, eighth and ninth prizes, and Janowski and Dus-Chotimirsky brought up the rear of the prize win­ ners. Among the first ten, not one was more than half a point ahead of the nearest competitor. A disappointment for Berlin's chess fans was the bad score which Jacques Mieses made. His equally disappoint­ ing score in the preceding tournament in Vienna had been ascribed to an indisposition, considering his brilliant victory in the Vienna tournament of 1 907 in which he had out­ distanced Duras by a full point, with Maroczy, Tartakower and Vidmar sharing third, fourth and fifth prizes, Schlechter sixth, and Spielmann among those who also ran. The fact is that Mieses never equalled his success of 1 907. His attention was always divided between his tournament games and the reports he had to telegraph to the various newspapers for which he edited chess columns. His literary work was more remunerative than his over-the-board labors, and he was wise enough not to rely on the precarious source of income that was tournament prize money. Among all the professional chess masters of that day in Berlin, he was the only one whose earnings were more or less on a secure basis. He was always well-dressed and sprightly, like a well-to-do business man, in conspicuous contrast to the chronically worried appearance of most of his colleagues who were sartorially in the proverbial "poor artist" class. On the other hand, they were quite naturally more colorful personalities. Other masters who, like Teichmann, von Bardeleben and Mieses, could usually be found in one of the Berlin chess cafes, were Horatio Caro, co-sponsor of the Caro-Kann opening, Dr. Berthold Lasker, the brother of the World

MEETING THE MASTERS

Champion, and Paul Saladin Leonhardt. With the latter two I labored for months on a most thorough analysis of a variation of the Four Knights Opening in which Black continues to imitate White's moves as long as possible and after temporary deviations, forced by a check or another threat which must be attended to immediately, always manages to reestablish complete symmetry. We knew that sooner or later Black was bound to get into trouble, because symmetry meant that White had maintained the initiative inherent in the first move ; and in many variations we were able to prove the validity of this theoretical consideration; nevertheless, we also found that White had plenty of opportunities to go wrong by unduly hastening the attack, and we employed this opening suc­ cessfully in many off-hand games. At the time when we were engrossed in this analysis Emanuel Lasker returned to Germany from America, and meeting him was one of the high points in my life. The striking difference between him and the other masters was that he hardly ever spent any time at the chessboard, un­ less he had to do it for professional reasons, that is while writing a chess article, or in the midst of a match. He seemed always preoccupied with problems of mathematics or philosophy. When he learned that the brother of the famous philosopher, Ernst Cassirer, was married to a cousin of mine, he did not rest until I had arranged a meeting with Cassirer. Lasker explained to him certain ideas he held on the problems of cognition and on which he pro­ posed to write a book. Out of the first meeting developed a series of long walks which Cassirer, Lasker and I took to­ gether, and during which Lasker expanded his strange mathematical approach to the concept of free will and automatism. Encouraged by Cassirer, who was impressed

C H ESS S E C R E TS

with Lasker's original ideas, the latter pursued his task with tremendous energy for five years, interrupting his work only for short periods in order to play his world champion­ ship matches with Tarrasch and Schlechter, and in 1 9 1 3 his book appeared, under the ambitious tide : Das Begreijen Der Welt ( The Co mprehensio n of the Universe) . I actually saw Lasker's hair turn grey while he was laboring over his book. It never occurred to him that clarifying the problem of causality and free will, which had defied the philosophers of two millennia, might be a task beyond the capacity of the human mind, and he persisted until he thought he had established the mathematical proof that the will is free. An attempt to give even the merest outline of Lasker's 500 page book, would be beyond the scope of the brief sketch I would like to draw· of Lasker's impressive person­ ality. Let me mention only one of the original thoughts he introduces in his remarkable book. This thought will be of especial interest to the chess player, and, no doubt also to the scientist. It is the concept of what Lasker terms the "Macheide, " an ideal being which has so far advanced on the ladder of biological development that it has almost reached the status of an automaton. The term "Macheide" is derived from the Greek !41%:JC'Il, the batde. The Macheide is the "son of batde," a being whose senses or mental abilities have been so sharpened by millions of years of struggle in the batde of life, that it chooses always the best, the most efficient method of per­ petuating itself. On the chessboard, the Macheide would always make the best move, with the regrettable result that the game would cease to exist after two Macheides played their first match. The best moves for White and Black would become common knowledge once and for all, and no problem; no challenge to the mind would remain.

M E E T I NG T H E MASTE RS

This concept of a Macheide is by no means artificial. In chess, even the average player finds his choice of moves in any given position very much limited by considerations of usefulness. Among masters, this restriction of choice is greatly increased, and it continues to increase as our knowl­ edge of the game widens. Without being illogical, we can think of this process of gradual perfection as continuing indefinitely. The being thus developing will ultimately have no more choice. It is compelled to act the way it does, because it is governed by the postulate of maximal usefulness for. the purpose in hand. The Macheide represents the limit of this infinite series of development, the threshold between life and automatism. Ernst Cassirer, in discussing Lasker's book with me, made a comment on Lasker's approach to philosophical problems which will be interesting to chess players familiar with Lasker's games. He said that Lasker had brought some re­ markably original thoughts to the subject, but that he had a certain naive manner of expounding well-known old ideas together with his new ideas without making any dis­ tinction between them, obviously due to the fact that he was not familiar with the enormous philosophical literature of the past. Lasker did his original thinking from the foun­ dation up, and he did not know how much of what he found had been discovered by others before him. Lasker was not very familiar with chess literature either. He did not think it was worth spending time on reading chess books, because he felt that a thorough understanding of the general principles was the best guide in the struggle over the board. The chess world owes to this attitude many original contributions which Lasker made to opening strategy. But Lasker himself sometimes suffered from his attitude, particularly in his later years, because the scien-

go

CHE SS SE C R E T S

tific analysis of the openings had made enormous strides and familiarity with this analysis sometimes gave an opponent an advantage difficult to overcome. Lasker's recreation from his arduous philosophical labors was an almost equally arduous application to the game of Go which I had shown him shortly after our first meeting. Again, he did not want to know what others had found out about the game. He wanted to find it out for himself, con­ fident that his general concepts of strategy and tactics would help him to advance more quickly than any advice he might find in books. He asked me to play a few games with him, no matter how ridiculous his first attempts would seem to me. He wanted to get "the feel" of Go situations, fall into ele­ mentary traps and commit every conceivable mistake, be­ fore forming his own opinion as to the best method of im­ proving one's playing strength. He did make remarkably fast progress, and within a few months he had more or less caught up with what I knew about the game. Once in a while I would go to the weekly Go meetings at Lasker's house a little before the appointed hour and show him a Chess game I had lost, for his criticism. As in every problem he attacked, he brought a mathematical viewpoint to chess also. I remember he said to me at the outset : "Never forget that the chess board has sixty-four squares and that, therefore, you will probably have to gain control of more than thirty-two squares in order to get the better game." He told me that this principle of controlling as many squares as possible was his guide at every stage of the game. A practical example he gave me was the placement of Knight and Bishop in middle and end-game positions. He said : " In the majority of cases it is probably best to have Knight and Bishop on squares of the same color, because then they control squares of opposite colors." AI-

M E E TING THE MASTE R S

though this and many other statements he made were very general in character, and therefore subject to frequent ex­ ceptions to conform to the exigencies of particular posi­ tions, I have profited greatly from the conscious attempt to apply Lasker's advice in every game I played. Also, I found it very helpful, after losing a game, to check my play against the principles Lasker had advised me to follow. Naturally, due to my very limited experience in serious chess against stronger players, I was still very uncertain in the opening, not only in the proper evaluation of one de­ veloping move against another, but also in the proper se­ lection of squares for my pieces; depending upon the form of the Pawn skeleton. The following game from the Cham­ pionship tournament of the Berlin ·chess Society is a typical example. FIRST TO URNAMENT EXPERIENCE WHITE :

BLACK :

WHITE :

BLACK :

Horatio Caro

Edward Lasker

Horatio Car o

Edward Lasker

4. P - K3

P - K3

5. p - 83

N - 83

1.

N - K83

P

-

Q4

2. p - Q4

N - K83

3.

p - 84

8 - 84

I was developing my men too mechanically. Q - N3 was the logical move, because White's third move has left his Queen's Knight's Pawn without protection. If White guards the Pawn with 6. Q - B2, which is the most plausible move, Black's natural development of the Queen's Rook to QBl will force White's Queen sooner or later to seek an­ other spot, thus gaining a tempo as compared with the de­ velopment which follows. 6. QN

-

Q2

8 - Q2

C H ESS SE C R E TS

EDWARD

LA S K ER

5.

H OR A T I O CA R O

I t i s clear that I did not know a t all how to cope with this opening, named for the Belgian player Colle who pia yed it constantly and successfully. No doubt, the reason why I played B - Q2 was that I wanted to get my Rook to Bl . But since the Bishop's file was blocked for the time being by White's Bishop's Pawn, there was no hurry in deciding upon the line-up of the Queen's side pieces. If White's Pawn had been on QB4 instead of QB3, there would have been some sense to the move of the text. But as it was, the logical continuation was to develop the King's Bishop and castle, and to retain the option of developing the Queen's Bishop possibly to N2. The King's Bishop might have gone to either K2 or Q3. Or I might have first exchanged Pawns on QS and then developed the Bishop. 7.

8 - Q3

8 - K2

8. 0 - 0

R - QBl

Again a mechanical developing move which shows that the subtleties of opening play were still foreign to me. Indi­ cated was first P x P, because after 9. KP x P Black's center Pawn is no longer exposed to the advance which White undertakes in the game. As long as Black maintains

MEE TING THE MASTERS

33

EDWA R D L A S K E R

6.

H O R AT I O CA R O

a Pawn o n Q4, the white Queen's Knight i s kept from entering into the battle via K4. Al so , White's Queen's Bishop's Pawn is apt to become a target for attacking operations, when its advance to B4 is not facilitated by the disappearance of Black's center-Pawn. After 8 . . , P x P; 9. KP x P Black might, for example, play N QR4 and then R - QB1 . .

.

-

9. P x P

BxP

10. P E D WA R D



K4

L A SK E R

7.

H O R A T I O CA R O

With this advance White threatens a variety of disagree­ able continuations. If I capture the Pawn, I not only lose

CHE S S S E CRETS

34

my Pawn center and with it the possibility of exerting pressure on White's Queen's Bishop's Pawn, but I must also submit to the exchange of my King's Knight, where­ upon my King's wing becomes readily exposed to a dan­ gerous attack. If I do not capture the Pawn but castle in­ stead, White can either advance the King's Pawn, driving the Knight which defends my King's Rook's Pawn, or he can exchange on QS . This exchange would give him a great positional advantage. For if I recapture with my Pawn, I remain with an isolated Pawn which, after its advance has been stopped with N - N3, is readily attacked by White's Rooks in the open Queen's file, while I have not a trace of counterplay. On the other hand, if 10 , 0 - 0; 1 1. P x P, N x P ; 12. B - N3, White has again ac­ complished his plan to remove my Pawn from the center, and the square K4 becomes accessible to his Queen's Knight. Perhaps the threat 11. P - KS followed by 12. B x P ch was not as dangerous as it looked. It appears that I could have weathered the onslaught as follows : 11 , N ­ KR4 ; 12. B x P ch, K x B ; 13. N - NS ch, K - N3 ; 14. Q - N4, P - B4 ; 15. P x P e.p., N x P; 16. Q - N3, N - KR4 ; 17. Q - Q3 ch, R - B4 or even K - B3, and White does not get anywhere. .

.

10.



1 1. N





X



p

p N

X X

12. B

p

X

N

Q

-













N3

N

Apparently I was afraid to castle, with so many white pieces staring me in the face on the King's wing, and I wanted to bring my Knight over for defense first. My Queen's move protects my Knight's Pawn, so that my Knight can move away. But delaying castling proved more dangerous than I had thought. 13. Q

-

K2

N

-

K2

ME ETING THE MASTERS

35

Here I missed my last chance to castle. By the most natural continuation of his development White now exerts a pressure in the Queen's file which I can no longer stem. 14. KR - Q l ! EDWA RD LASKER

8.

HORATIO CARO

The immediate threat is 15. P - QN4, winning a piece. The simplest defense seems to be N - N3, which makes room for my Bishop and attacks White's Bishop. But 16. B X N, RP X B ; 17. N - KS, B - B3 ; 18. p - QN4, B - K2 ; 19. N x NP ! wins at least a Pawn (P, x N ? 20. Q x P, R - B2 ; 21. P - NS ! or 20. . . , R - Ql ; 21. B - N5) and since it also prevents Black from castling and thus from getting his Rooks to cooperate, White should win without much difficulty. For this reason I played first .

14

.









15. Q - Q2

B - N4

16. P - QR4 1

NxB

N - N3

Relatively best was B - B3, though White could reply 77. B x B ch !, Q x B ; 18. N - K5 !, N x N; 19. B x N, O - O ; 20. B x P ! !, and it is most unlikely that my King could have survived the open Knight's file very long. For example :

C HESS SE C R E TS

K x B; 21. Q - N5 ch, K - Rl ; 22. Q - B6 ch, K - Nl ; 23. R - Q3, B - Q3 ; 24. R - Q4 ! , KR - Kl ; 25. QR - Ql , QR - Ql ; 26. R - N4 ch, K - Bl ; 27. R - N7, B x P ch; 28. K x B, Q - B2 ch; 29. P - N3, R x R; 30. R x RP and mate through R - R8. However, the open Queen's Rook file which White ob­ tains after the move I made proves immediately fatal to me. 17.

p

X

8

Q - 82

N - Q4 does not help. White would reply 18. B x N, P x B; 19. R - Kl ch etc. 18. P - QN4

8

-

K2

Or : B - N3 ; 19. P - B4 and 20. P - BS.

19.

R

X

R - Q1

p

The threat was P - N6 . 20. 8 - 86 ch

!

K - 81

Now I a m practically a Rook down, and I might as well have resigned. Continuing to play in positions of this kind­ as a good many players persist in doing as a matter of principle, has been jocularly called "playing for heart failure." My opponent in this case was not obliging, and I am glad I did not prolong the agony much longer 21. 22.

Q - 82

P - KNJ

RxP

Q - 81

After Q x R;

24.

23. R x R ch

Resigns

Q - Q2 there was no argument left.

The lessons which I learned from the games I lost in this tournament were very useful. In the game against Caro, as well as in the others, I could clearly see that the reason for my failure was my incorrect handling of the opening. Not

ME E TIN G T H E MA STER S

37 that "book knowledge" would have been of much help to me. Somehow, my opponents succeeded in emerging from the opening with the better development, i.e. with more mobility for their pieces, although I too knew very well that the thing of uppermost importance in any opening was to get the pieces out as quickly as possible. I had the same experience quite frequently for many years, until I learned how tQ choose correctly between two or more available developing moves so as to coordinate the position of my pieces with that of the Pawns. How this subject, which is somewhat more complex than the simple principle of rapid development, became gradually clearer to me, the discus­ sion of the illustrative examples will show. Sometimes, naturally, it was I on whom Goddess Caissa smiled, and I won quick victories because my opponents did not select the best squares in developing their pieces. The following game is an example which I have often recalled with pleasure. It earned for me the "Academic Champion­ ship" of Berlin, and, to my knowledge, is the only tourna­ ment game on record in our century which ends in the famous "smothered mate" supposedly first discovered by the French master Andre Philidor. My opponent, a medi­ cal student by the name of Duehrssen, was of course familiar with this mating position which is one of the first great delights of every student of chess. But the approach to the combination was somewhat veiled in this case, and he tripped! WHITE:

R. Duehrssen

BLACK:

Edward

WHITE:

R. Duehrssen

Lasker

1. P - K4

P - K4

BLACK:

Edward Lasker

2. p- Q4

This opening, called the "Center Game," seems to em­ phasize more clearly than any other the advantage which

CH E SS SE C R E TS

White enjoys because he moves first ; for Black is almost compelled to capture the Queen's Pawn, thus giving up "the center." White emerges with the control of two squares (QS and KBS) in Black's territory, and Black does not control the corresponding squares in White's camp. This would indeed be a very tangible advantage for White if he were able to maintain it. He could do so if Black contented himself, after 2. . , P x P, with the ad­ vance of hi s Queen's Pawn to Q3. Another advantage which White would derive from the Pawn position char­ acterized by his Pawn on K4 and Black's Pawn on Q3, would be his ability to utilize the third rank for bringing his Queen's Rook over to the King's wing if he so desired, while Black cannot secure equal mobility for his Queen's Rook. .

.

EDW A RD L A S K E R

9.

R. DU EHRSS E N

For these reasons Black must do everything in his power to arrive at P- Q4 as soon as possible. Mter White's King's Pawn is exchanged against Black's Queen's Pawn, White's positional advantage is neutralized. In the position of Diagram 9 Black can protect the center Pawn only with QN - B3, if he wants to advance his development at the same time. 2 , P Q3 ; 3. P x P, .

.

.

.

-

39 P x P; 4. Q x Q ch, K x Q may not necessarily lead to a loss for Black, but he would certainly have an up-hill battle against the many threats White is sure to obtain through the speed with which he can get his Rooks into play after castling. 2. , QN - B3 is sometimes chosen by seasoned players today, because White is apt to try too early to convert his cohtrol of the center into a King's side attack. Naturally, White would not play 3. P - QS, as this would leave Black his center-Pawn and block a diagonal on which White's King's Bishop might otherwise become active. Instead, he would play 3. P x P, N x P; 4. P - KB4 and follow this up with 5. B K3, so as to prevent Black from occupying QB4 with his Bishop. At the time I played this game against Duehrssen, no one would have dreamed of inviting White to push his Pawns in the manner just indicated. The exchange of the Pawn with 2. . , P x P was considered unavoidable. ME E TI N G TH E M A STE R S

o



o

-

.

2

.

.



.

0

Px P

3. Q x P

Preferable, no doubt, is 3. N - KB3, which does not bring the Queen out to squares where she is exposed to attack by Black's minor pieces. Against a weaker player the Knight's move has the additional advantage that it might induce him to defend his Pawn with 3. . . . , P - QB4, and to accept White's " Scotch Gambit" 4. P - B3 with P x P. Mter 5. N x P Black's game is very poor indeed. (Dia­ gram 1 0) His King's Bishop is blocked by his Queen's Bishop's Pawn. His Queen's Pawn cannot advance to Q4, because he cannot defend that square as often as White can attack it. On Q3, on the other hand, Black's Queen's Pawn will be exposed to the attack of White's Rooks and Queen's Bishop, and it is very likely that White will suc­ ceed in capturing the Queen's Pawn and in invading the

CH E SS SE CRE TS

10.

seventh rank with his Rook on Q7, thus paralyzing Black's communication between King's and Queen's wings. The. move of the text was a favorite of Master Jacques Mieses, who won many brilliant games with it, but only because his opponents did -not realize the importance of advancing the Queen's Pawn to Q4 and not to Q3. 3. ....

N - QB3

4. Q - K3

This prevents P - Q4, but only temporarily. 4.....

N - 83

5. N - QB3

The advance P - KS would be ill-advised. White would be giving up control of the two squares QS and KBS, and his Pawn on KS would be exposed to attack. Mter 5. P - KS, KN - NS ; 6. Q - K4 Black would sacrifice a Pawn with P - Q4 ! ; 7. P x P e.p. ch, B - K3 and in view of his great advantage in development he would be certain of obtaining a killing attack. Neither would 6. Q- K2 retrieve White's position. Black would continue with P - Q3 !; 7. P- KR3, KN x KP ; 8. P - KB4, N - QS; 9. Q - K4, P - QB4; 10. P x N, P - Q4 ; 1 1. Q - Q3, B - B4 etc. 5

.









B - K2 !

41

MEETING THE MASTERS

The idea is to play P Q4 as soon as feasible. -

6. B - Q2

p

7. PxP

NxP

-

Q4 !

8. N

X

Q

N

X

N

It is evident that Black has emerged with the better posi­ tion. He has developed one more piece than White, and besides, his Queen is ideally posted in the center from where she attacks White's Queen's Rook's Pawn, forcing White to lose another move before he can castle on the Queen's side or otherwise develop his Queen's Rook. 9. N - 83

10. p - 84

B- N5

The gain secured by this move is temporary; Black's Queen must leave the lovely spot which she occupies, but she has other squares at her disposal which also dominate long lines. On the other hand, the advance of the Bishop's Pawn entails a permanent disadvantage : The Pawn may be­ come a target in its more exposed position, and it curtails the activity of the King's Bishop. 10

.









1 1. B - K2

Q - KR4 E D W A RD

0-0-01

LA S K E R

11.

R.

D U E H R S S E N

White can hardly risk castling on the King's side. Black would reply B QB4, followed by KR Kl . Thus, White -

-

42

CHESS SECRETS

seeks safety in castling on the Queen's side ; but due to the advance of the Queen's Bishop's Pawn White's King is ex­ posed to attack even there. 12. 0 - 0 - 0

KR - Kl

13. P - KR3

Bx N

14. B X B 15. KR- Kl

Q - N3

Judging superficially, one would think that White has evened up matters to the point where Black has merely completed his development one move earlier. Black cannot take advantage of the exposed position of White's Queen, for if he moves his King's Bishop White takes two Rooks for the Queen and obtains excellent counter chances. But the qne _move which Black is ahead of White yields him a strong initiative. 15

.



.





-

N - Q5

Threatens mate. N - NS would have been a terrible blunder, because of B x N and Q x R etc. 16. B- K4

Practically forced, as 16. Q - B3 fails because of B - NS !; 17. B - N4 ch !, P - B4; 18. Q x B, P x B; 19. Q - B3 or R4, N - K7 ch, winning the exchange, and 16. Q - K4 is met by 16 , Q - QR3 (77. K- Nl , P - KB4). .

.

.

.

E DWA R D L A S K E R

12.

R. D U E H R S S E N

ME E TI N G THE M A STE R S

43 The move of the text loses only a Pawn which White does not mind very much because the Queen's Bishop's file is opened for his Rook. 16 17. K - N1 18. R - Q81 .









19. 8 - Q83

Q - QR3 Q x 8P

8 - 84

20. Q - N3

Q - N4

20. B x N, B x B would have given White perhaps the best drawing chance, on account of the Bishops of opposite color. But White apparently thought he had winning pos­ sibilities. His last move threatens 21. B x N, R x B ; 22. B - BS ch, winning at least the exchange. 20

..









21, Q

8 - Q3

X

p ?f

Completely overlooking my threat. He had nothing better than Q - Q3 . Now comes a sacrifice which permits Philidor's famouS' combination to be repeated: E DWARD

LA S K ER

13.

R. D U E HR S S E N

21

.



.



.

R x 8 !!

22. R x R

If B x N, Q - Q6 ch wins a piece. White still does not realize what is happening to him. He expects Q - Q6 ch and Q x R, apparently. 22

..

.







Q - Q6 ch

23. K - Rl

N



87 ch

CHESS SECRETS 44 White resigns, as mate in three moves is forced : 24. K - Nl, N- R6 dbl. ch ; 25. K- Rl, Q- NS ch ; 26. R x Q, N - B7 mate.

FIRST "HA UP T TURNIER" In 1 908 the German Chess Federation held an Interna­ tional Chess Congress at Duesseldorf. At Dr. Tarrasch's suggestion, the first four games of his match with Emanuel Lasker for the World Championship were played at that Congress also. Lasker was persona non grata with the Feder­ ation. He had frequently criticized their officers for failing to exert their best efforts to raise the level of strength at German master tournaments. Instead of limiting these tournaments to the strongest players that could be mus­ tered, they had lowered the entrance qualifications, and admitted players of merely local distinction. The Chess Federation in Germany was run by a few men who did excellent work in organizing amateur events throughout the country, but who did not comprehend the fundamental difference between master chess and the chess of the average strong player who, though excelling in his own locality, did not belong in a class with the masters. These officers, by collecting proxies, managed to have themselves reelected every year. The masters did not be­ grudge them their little pleasure, because they actually did the organizational work which the masters had neither the leisure nor the inclination to do. However, as the Federation grew in membership, these officers began to feel themselves more and more important, and as usual in associations formed to further creative work, they finally tried to assume a dictatorial attitude toward the masters. At first the mas­ ters found this more or less amusing, but when the Feder­ ation officials presumed to judge the strength of the players and invited non-masters whom they considered qualified,

ME E TI N G THE M A S TE R S

45 rather than asking the masters to tell them who was good enough to compete, the masters simply struck and arranged their own contests with the aid of wealthy chess friends. In the end, the Federation was compelled to accede to the demands of the masters in order not to lose the support of the chess public at large. F:r:om then on the Master section of German Chess Congresses was open only to those players who had won their spurs in International competition, and only one new German master was created every year. This was the winner of the so-called " Hauptturnier" (Major tournament) , in which the winners of regional tournaments were invited to compete. The player who won the Major tournament automatically gained the right to enter the next Master tournament, even if an established master had to be dropped from the entry list to make room for the new aspirant. The latter was officially recognized as Master if he won at least one third of the possible points in his first Master tournament, and he then had the right to enter any subsequent Master tournament as long as there was a vacancy. At the insistence of the German masters, the Federation also had to admit foreign masters to its tournaments. This proved to be an excellent stimulant to chess interest among the general public. On the strength of my victory in the Academic Cham­ pionship Tournament, I was admitted to the Duesseldorf Major tournament, and I looked forward with considerable excitement to this first opportunity of measuring my strength against an international group of aspirants to the master title. When I arrived in Duesseldorf, with the other players from Berlin, the member of the reception committee who awaited us at the station told us that Frank Marshall, who

CHESS SECRETS

was the favorite, was already in town and was practicing with a young Russian school boy who had entered the Major Tournament. This fifteen-year-old seemed to be strong enough to give Marshall Pawn and move, at least in fast games. The only trouble with the boy, he said, was that he could not conceal his plans very well. He had blond curls which he continually twisted between his fingers, and you could tell whether he intended attacking on the King's

SIEGBERT TARRASCH

wing or the Queen's wing, because in the former case he would always twist the curls on the right side of his head, and in the latter on the left side. Though realizing that our friend was not entirely serious, we were duly impressed, and we soon found out what kind of chess the boy really played when we tackled him in a few lightning games. He won them all. At the time his name did not mean much to us. But we came across it in chess head lines throughout the next thirty years. For it was none other than Alexander Alexandrovitch Alekhine! The day before my arrival, Emanuel Lasker had won the first game of his match with Tarrasch, and three more were played in the same hall in which our tournament took

47 place, so that we had occasion, between moves, to follow that great historic struggle for the World Championship. I had happened to be the only witness of the kind of prep­ arations Lasker had made for this match. Three weeks before it was scheduled to begin he withdrew to a small apartment in Grunewald, a wood near Berlin, to relax and get into good physical condition. He did not take a chess board with him, nor did he have any chess books or maga­ zines to distract him from the contemplation of nature or works on mathematical and philosophical subjects. He had asked me to visit him every afternoon to play a game of Go with him. The subject of chess was never mentioned until the last day before his departure for Duesseldorf. He said to me : "Well, tomorrow, if I should be lucky and draw White in the first game, I think I will play the exchange variation of the Ruy Lopez.* Can you tell me how anyone can lose that opening?" Lasker actually drew White, and played this variation, winning the game through better strategic conduct of the ending. The match had had a very amusing prelude in Munich, where Tarrasch lived. The latter was a rather dis­ agreeable fellow who was never able to hide his colossal conceit too well, and who was not on speaking terms with Lasker because of a disagreement which had developed during the negotiations preceding the match. On the day before Tarrasch left Munich for Duesseldorf he went over some opening variations at the Chess Club where some of his friends had gathered to wish him well. He said to them: "I certainly will not speak to that man. The only words which I will address to him are Check and Mate!" Well, predictions are dangerous even for a Grandmaster. Tarrasch stuck to his attitude, and even refused to shake hands with Lasker as the match started. Thus, as far as MEE T I N G T H E M A S T E RS

*1.P-K4, P-K4;

2.

N-KB3,N-QB3; 3.B-N5, P-QR3;

4.BxN.

CHESS SE C RE T S

conversation with Tarrasch was concerned, Lasker was also reduced to those two words, but he was able to use them more frequently. He won the match with a score of 8 to 3, with five draws. When I arrived in Duesseldorf, Lasker smiled: " Every­ thing went according to schedule. But I shan't play that variation again." During the first few rounds of our tourna­ ment he left his table once in a while and watched my game, a fact which lent me a certain moral support. I needed this very much as the progress of the tournament soon showed. In the beginning I did rather well, drawing my first round game against the favorite, Koehnlein, the champion of Bavaria, who actually won the tournament, and defeat­ ing a 17 -year-old "dark horse" by the name of Wiarda, who came second. But I made only a half a point in the five games I played with the rest of the prize winners, the Hun­ garian Gajdos, the Czech Trcala, the Dutchman de Baudet, the Austrian Bauer, and the Russian Alekhine. The latter shared fourth and fifth prize and I came seventh. The game I lost against Alekhine proved an instructive lesson through a remark which Emanuel Lasker made and which I have kept in mind throughout my chess career. When I resigned and got up from my chair I noticed Emanuel Lasker, who had been watching, standing in back of me. He said : "Do you know why you lost this game? You copied your opponent's moves in a symmetrical position in which he was a move ahead." I protested that I had not imitated Alekhine's moves. But Lasker said : "Just play the game over again, and you will find I am right." He was, indeed. I am almost ashamed to publish the game here, but since it was the first International tournament for Alekhine as well as for myself, this game has a certain historic right to inclusion in this autobiographical chess primer.

49

M E E TI N G THE MA S TER S

WIUTE:

BLACK:

WHITE:

BLACK:

Edward

Alexander

Edward

Alexander

Lasker

Alekhine

Lasker

Alekhine

1. P- K4 2. N - KB3

3. p- Q4

P- K4 p -Q3

N - Q2

This opening, called the Hanham Variation of Philidor' s to distinguish it from the Nirm;ovitch Variation, 3. . . . , N KB3, leads to a difficult game for Black if White knows how to keep Black's pieces in the cramped state which results from the position of Black's Queen's Knight. Defense,

-

4. B - QB4

P-QB 3

5.

p-

83

A L E X A NDER ALE K H I N E

14.

E D W A RD L A S K E R

A strange move, born of inexperience. In an opening in which the opponent delays getting his King out of the center to one of the wings, the best strategy is naturally to castle as . early as possible and to try to operate with the Rooks i n one of the center-files. Thus, a reasonable contin­ uation would have been 5. 0 0, KN B3 ; 6. Q- K2, B- K2 ; 7. R- Qt. Another p o ssibil ity would have been 5. P - QR4, so that KN - B3 can be answered with 6. N- B3 without danger of -

-

CH E SS S E C R E TS so disturbance of the white d evelopment plan through P - QN4 and P - NS.

5

.









KN- 83?

Here Alekhine should firs t have played Q - B2, so as to be able to recapture with the Knight in case I exchanged on KS. In re pl y to the move of the text I c ould have dis­

rupted Black's game immediately wi th 6. P x P, P x P; 7. Q- N3 , Q- K2 ; 8. N - NS, N- B4; 9. B x P ch , K - Q1; 10. Q - Ql ch and 11. B - QB4. My omitting the exchange on KS at this particular point makes all the difference. 6. Q- N3

Q- K2

7. p

X

pf

The exchange is now meaningles s, because Black does not have to recapture with the Pawn and White does not have time for the attack N - NS. To play 7. N - NS would have been very d angerous, as Black could have replied p- Q4; 8. KP X P, BP X P; 9. B X P, N X B ; 10. Q X N, P x P ch; 11. K - Ql, N - B3; 72. Q x QP, B- NS ch; 13. K - B2, B- B4 ch; 14. K - N3, P - KR3 ; 15. N - B3, N - KS, with an overwhelming attack. An example of how the transposition of two moves can change a winning position into a losing one.

7 8.NxN .

.

.

.



QN x P PxN

9. N - Q2 10.0 - 0

Q - 82 8 - QB4

The last few moves were obvious from the poin t of view of advancing the development of the pieces. In order to get my Queen ' s Bishop out I must move my Knight, but I cannot do that without first protecting my King' s Pawn. The method I chose to this end, Q - B2, was apparently what Emanuel Lasker had had in mind when he said I had copied Alekhine's moves. What I should have done was to play 11. B- Q3, to follow this up with 72. N - B4 and 13.

MEE T I N G T H E M A S TERS A LE X A ND E R A L E K H I N E

15.

E DW A R D L A S K E R

B - K3. In that way I would have unpinned my King' s Bishop's Pawn and enabled it to advanc-e, thus gaining ter­ ritory for a King's side attack. The way I played it was Alekhine and not myself who secured this advantage. 11. Q - 82

12. N - N3

0-0

This is not likely to be a good move because the Knight has less prospects of getting into the game from N3 than it had from Q2. N - B3 would have produced a completely symmetrical position, with the initiative in Black's hands. That is why I did not want to make that move. 12

.







8 - N3



13. 8- KN5

A routine developing move which has little meaning in this position The best plan was still the preparation of B - K3, possibly with 13. B - Q2 and 14. QR - Kl , because Black's black Bishop is very actively placed and White's is not. 13 N- Kl .

.



.





Preparing to drive my white Bishop away so that the King's Bishop's Pawn can advance. 14. QR - Q l

N - Q3

15. 8- K2

C H E SS S E C R E TS

Since Black has the attack, I should have thought of ex­ changing pieces. With this end in view I should have played 15. B - Q3, in order to answer P - KB4 with 16. P x P. B X P ; 17. B X B. P - KB4 16. N Q2 " 15. •







-

AL E XA N D E R

A L E K HI N E

16.

E D WA RD L A S K E R

A downright blunder, which-as happens not infre­ quently-crowns a series of inferior moves. I overlooked that Black can win a piece by advancing the Bishop's Pawn to the fifth rank and then playing P - KR3 and P- KN4. There was no alternative but 16. P x P, B x P; 17. Q - Bl and 18. B - K3. P 85 16. . . . P 84 !9 18. N - N3 17. P 84 8 Q5 Alekhine feels so sure of winning the game by dint of the superior position of his pieces and the territorial advantage which he enjoys on the King's wing, that he disdains win­ ning my Bishop. He can hardly have feared that after 18. . . . , P - KR3; 19. N x B, P x N; 20. P - BS, N - Kl ; 21. B - B4 ch, K - Rl; 22. Q- K2, Q - K4 ; or: 21. Q - B4 ch, K - R l ; 22. B x RP, P x B ; 23. Q x P ch I might get enough for the piece 19. N X B KP X N Q - 82 20. p 83 -

.

-

-

-

.

-

53 Black now almost leisurely transfers his pieces to posts on which they are likely to contribute most to the coming onsla u ght on my King . The Queen aims for the Knight's file, and the Knight for the square K4. After the advance of the King's Rook's and Knight's Pawns the black Rooks will find useful employment either in the Knight's or the Rook's file. My own pieces, on the other hand, are more or less con­ demned to inactivity. My white Pawn skeleton blocks my Queen and my King's Bishop; my Rooks have no open files ; and my Queen's Bishop will soon have to retreat before the storming black Pawns of the King's wing. I d id not as yet know enough about positional chess to realize how despera te my position really was. Today my only thought would be to gain mobility for my men even at the cost of sacrificing a Pawn, rather than stand by and hope that I might mobilize enough defensive forces within the cramped space in which I find myself confined . MEETING THE MASTERS

A L E X A ND E R

A L E KHINE

17.

ED W A R D L A S K E R

A promising possibility which suggests itself quite natu­ rally, is 21. P - KS, N - Kl ; 22. Q - K4. The Pawn on K5 is perhaps weak, but Black cannot get at it very easily . Be­ s ides , White has a few threats of his own which Black can

54

C H E S S SE C RE T S

forestall only by most judicious development. He can hardly proceed with 22. . . . , B - B4, because White could sacri­ fice a piece for three Pawns with 23. Q x BP, P - KR3 ; 24. B - R4, P - KN4; 25. B x P, P x B; 26. Q x P ch, with excellent chances in the ensuing ending. Neither does 22. . . , B - K3 seem advisable, because of 23. B - Q3. Then, if B - B4, White can contin:ue with 24. Q - QS, B x B; 25. R x B, R - Bl ; 26. B - K7 !, when he gets two connected passed Pawns which should win. 25. . . , N - B2 ! White might answer with 26. Q x NP, Q - B4 ; 27. B - K7 !, KR - Nl; 28. Q x N, Q x R; 29. Q x BP, with a wide open end-game in which his chances are as good as Black's. Black's best plan would have been 22. . . . , P - KR3. Then23. B - Q3, B - B4;24. Q x B, Q x Q; 25. B x Q, R xB would have won a Pawn: 23. B - R4, P - KN4 ; 24. B - B2, B- B4 ; 25. Q - QS, R - Bl would have posed the most difficult problem for White, but this continuation was cer­ tainly not easy to find over the board. I may have feared the move 21 , B - B4, in reply to P - KS. But then I could have withdrawn the Queen to Bl . I could not have interposed my Bishop: 22. B - Q3, B x B ; 23. Qx B, N x P; 24. Q- K2, QR - Kl ;25. B x P ? , P - Q6 ! and wins. What I actually played was positional suicide : •

.

.







21. 8 - Q3 " This converts the Bishop into a mere Pawn. The threat P - KS is now easily met. 21 . . . . . 22. 8 - R4

P - KR3 8 - K3

23. R - 8 1 t

Again using a piece to protect a Pawn. P - QN3 was the only move to consider. 23

.









P- KN4

24. 8 - Kl

Q - N2 !

MEE T I N G THE M A S TER S

55

Making room for the Knight. AL E X A N D E R AL E K H I N E

18.

E DW A R D L A S K ER

25. P - KN4 n This merely helps Black to open a file wi th P - KR4. The only chance was 25. B - Q2, or first 25. P - KR3, P - KR4; and then 26. B - Q2, so that Black has to make several preparatory moves before he can advance the King's Knight's Pawn. Meanwhile I may have an opportunity to escape with the King to the Queen's wing : 26 , R - B3; 27. R - B2, QR - KB1; 28. K - Bt, N - B2 ; 29. K - K2, N - K4; 30. R - KN1 , P - NS ; 31. RP x P, P x P; 32. Q - Bt. Naturally, with best play Black should win in any case, since he has much more mobility. .

25

.



.

.

.

26. K - 82

N - 82 N - K4

27. R - KN l 28. K - K2

.





R - 83 P - KR4 !

The end is near. 29. P x P would be answered with N x KBP ! ; 30. K x N, Q - R3 !, whereupon the check Q x P is fatal. (See Diagram 19.) 29. 30.

P-

KR3

RP

X

p

PxP R - R3

31. R - N2 32. R - 82

R - R6 N x KBP

CHESS SECRETS

ALEXANDER A L E K HI N E

19.

EDWARD LA:KER

Resigns, as 33. R x N, B x NP loses the exchange and two Pawns. The White pieces on the Queen's wing have been pathetically inactiv� which explains to some extent, why Black could win readily even without developing his Queen's Rook. Yes, I had plenty to learn. BERLIN CHAMPIONSHIP

Mter returning to Berlin I faced a difficult problem. I had three intimate friends at the University who had all entered at the same time I did, and who were preparing for their final examinations. I had played too much chess to be anywhere near the point where I felt I might risk taking these examinations. My mother knew these friends of mine very well. She also knew that within six months they were going to graduate. To her that meant, as a matter of course, that I, too, would graduate. Had I failed to pass the examinations, I would never have been able to convince my mother that there were reasons other than excessive chess which accounted for my failure to graduate in good time, and she would have discontinued her financial support. I would have had to leave the University and start in some business-a thought too terrible to contemplate.

57 Business men, bankers, brokers, in short all those engaged in the daily haggling of the world, were considered socially far beneath the professional man, unless they had gone through a University and obtained a Degree. The intel­ lectual snobbism and the craving for academic titles which reigned supreme in those days, made it almost impossible for a mere business man to be accepted in "society"­ then synonymous with intellectual society. This accounts for the many Corporation and Bank Presi­ dents and other business heads. in Germany who had the Doctor title--either Doctor of Law or Doctor of Philosophy -until the fantastic inflation of 1 923 ruined the majority of honest well-to-do people, so that they could no longer afford to send their sons to a University before taking their place in business. Even long before entering the Duesseldorf Tournament, I had foreseen the tense situation into which I was steering. Thus, when the University, early in 1 908, offered a special prize for the solution of a mathematical problem, I grasped the opportunity of doing some work which would offer a reasonable excuse for postponing my examinations. The greater part of the time allotted for the completion of the thesis had elapsed, and I had only ahout four months left in which to work out th� solution. This time I knew things were serious, and I did not go near a chessboard. I worked literally from morning to night every day, and I came so close to a nervous breakdown that the even�s of the final day of my labors have always re­ mained vivid in my mind. I had found the solution of the problem. The angles in space which remained unchanged when projected from a given point to a given plane, were all formed by tangents on a certain surface of the sixth order, the shape of which I felt I had clearly defined in my manuscript. However, I decided to add a model of part of MEETING THE M A S T E RS

CHESS SE CRETS

the surface, to make it easier for the reader to form in his mind the proper image of the shape. I had just one day left within which to complete the model. To make the shape of the surface visible, I constructed twelve plane sections on translucent material, through an axis of symmetry which the surface happened to have. I drew these curves of intersection in India ink, and when looking through any one section one could see the curves on five or six subsequent sections quite clearly and thus get an idea of the shape. Three friends helped me glue the twelve sections into wooden frames, which in turn were glued on a wooden base, about 24 inches in diameter. It was shortly after midnight when everything was glued in its proper place, and my only worry was whether this strange creation would dry over night without distorting its shape. One of my friends said he knew how to take care of this, and he brought a stack of books which he proposed to place on top of the structure, to make it set. My nerves were so on edge that I felt sure the weight of the books would cause the whole thing to collapse, and a year's work would have been done in vain. I screamed at my friend for heaven's sake to keep away from the model and I jumped at him, pushing the books out of his hands onto the floor. The three boys looked at each other, and as if animated by a thoug·ht which had sprung up in them simultaneously, without communication by word, they turned on me, lifted me on their shoulders and carried me out of the room. I struggled in vain. They put me on a sofa, gave me a sleeping pill, and told me they were locking the room, so that any attempts on my part to check on the model would be futile until they let me go near it the next morning. Well, they had to wake me the next day, and manuscript and model were safely delivered by all of us five minutes before closing time, 11 A.M.

59 The following eighteen months I worked hard for my degree, interrupting the ceaseless toil only twice, during vacation time. On one of these occasions, in 1 909, I chal­ lenged Erich Cohn, the champion of Berlin, to a short match. On the other occasion, in 19 1 0, I made a second attempt to win the Master title in a "Haupttumier." Erich Cohn was a highly gifted young man, of a family too poor to send him to the University. However, he had found a patron who offered to pay his way through college to enable him to get his degree of Doctor of Philosophy, so that he could obtain a teaching position in his favorite field, the History of Art. Cohn was as handsome as a "Greek God," withal very modest and serious; interested in every phase of intellectual endeavor. But chess proved his un­ doing. After winning the Master title he could not with­ stand the temptation to travel to the many master tourna­ ments which were organized in Germany and the adjoining countries. He was not as lucky as I, who possessed three friends to help fight the demon, the habit-forming mental opiate which chess can be to young, impressive, ambitious boys. Cohn gradually neglected his studies, he did not graduate in proper time, and his patron withdrew his support. Thus he was reduced to playing chess profes­ sionally. But without the driving energy of a Mieses and the towering strength of a Teichmann, Cohn drifted from bad to straitened circumstances, and when he was killed in the early days of the first world war, many of his friends thought of the proverb : "Whom the Gods love, they call from this earth in his youth." Cohn had agreed to a short match of four games, so that it could be finished in a week. He drew the white pieces in the first game and played a Ruy Lopez, against which I set up a variation of the Tchigorin Defense that fell from favor MEE TING THE M A S TERS

6o

CHESS SE CRETS

after a famous game in which Teichmann demolished Schlechter in the great Karlsbad tournament, 1 9 1 1 . Diagram 20 shows the position which had been reached after thirteen moves. The development of the Bishop on N2 has little to recommend it, because White intends closing the long diagonal with P - Q5 in any case. The Bishop is usually better placed on Q2, so as to keep the square KB4 covered on which White will want to lodge a Knight sooner or later. E D WA R D L A S K E R

20.

ERICH

COHN

The game developed in a rather amusing manner. My opponent piled up all his forces on the King's wing. Due to awkward disposition of my pieces, I could not gather them for an effective defense , but I managed a surprise es­ cape with my King to the Queen' s wing, and organized a stand by the time Cohn had regrouped his men. WHITE: Erich

Cohn

BLACK: Edward Lasker

14. P- QS

N - Nl

From here the Knight could b e readied for either QB4 or KN3, after appropriate pre parations . Another system of defense begins with N - Q1 , to follow this up with N - Kt,

MEETING THE MASTERS

P - B3, P - N3, N- B2 and N- N2. However, it is on the Queen's wing that Black has the best chances of territorial expansion, and the plan to advance the Pawn to QBS and to place Knight on B4 is therefore more likely to lead to some sort of initiative. 15. N- 81

N - Kl

Black would like White to exchange Bishops, not only to relieve the cramped position of the Black pieces, but also because the Black center Pawns are on black squares, so that the King's Bishop has not much scope. 16. 8 - K3

8 - K83

The Bishop aims for N2. But that square looks like the best square for the Knight. 17. P- KN4 18. N - N 3 19. K - R 2

P - N3 8 - N2 p- 8 3

20. R - KNl 21. N - R4

N-Q2

E DWA RD L A SK E R

21.

E RICH C O H N

White probably intends Q - Q2, R- N2, QR - KNl, and finally KN- BS. However, even then it is not clear that he will accomplish a break-through if Black does not accept the sacrifice, so that the Knight's file remains closed. In

CHE S S SE CRETS

other words, I might have started a counter demonstration on the Queen's wing at this point, possibly beginning with P- BS and N B4, or with P - QR4 and N N3. But I simply got frightened by the accumulation of White's cavalry and artillery, and I decided to run away, not, as I remember, without enjoying the humor of the situation in an almost detached frame of mind. -

21.

.

.

.

.

22. N- N2

-

K- 82 K- K2

23. Q - K2 24. KR- K81

N- N3 8- 81 �

I don't know what on earth prompted me to make this move. I couldn't advance my King's Bishop's Pawn in any case, as White covers the spot four times. Thus, I might as well have continued to run with the King.

25. P - K84 26. p X p!

27. Q - 82

K- Q 1

N - Q2

QP x P

White's strategy is clear and logical. He loosens up my Pawn chain as much as possible and opens a line for his Rooks on the Queen's wing. This should yield him an ad­ vantage, as my Rooks cannot get together. It will be some time before I can throw my King's Rook over to the Queen's side. E D W A RD L A S K E R

22.

ERICH

COHN

MEE T I N G THE MASTERS

28. P - QR4 29. p X p

30. R x R ch

8 - N2 PxP 8xR

31. R - QRl 32. P - N4 1

8-N2

This looks murderous. It forces the diagonal in which White's Queen and Bishop are doubled. If I advance my Pawn to BS, I lose that square as a possible outpost for my Knight, and furthermore, I could not open a file for my Rook, to offset the open file which White's Rook enjoys. Probably White did not think I would have the courage to exchange Pawns and thus open the file in which my Queen is placed, and which White's Rook could occupy before 1 could get my own Rook ready to oppose. But I realized that the Pawn exchange was my only hope to survive, because it left at least one target for me to shoot at, ­ the Pawn on White's QN4. Also, with two open files on the board I had at least a chance to operate in the one which White's Rook did not choose to occupy. 32.

.

.

.

.

Px PI

33. P x P

R - 82

E DW A R D L A S K E R

23.

E R I CH C O H N

34. N - K l

This gives me precious time. I believe R - QBl followed by B - Q3 and B - BS would have given White an over­ whelming attack.

CHE S S SECRETS

White's Knight aims at the strong outpost QBS, which is certainly a good plan; but in its execution White over­ looks a tricky defense which I had prepared. 34

.

.

.



.

35. N - Q3

8 - K81

Q- 86 !

Sticking to the attack of the only weak spot in White's camp, and provoking the very natural and strong looking maneuver R- R7 and N - BS, which is, however, faulty. 36.R-R7

37 . N

-

85 '

38. p X N

K - 81 N XN

8 x QP !

Although I benefited from this sudden turn in the battle's fortune, I am glad to say that even though I was quite young when I played this game, I had a certain feeling of E DWARD

LASKER

24.

ER I C H

COHN

disappointment in the occasional injustice of chess events, which permitted the hard labors of many hours of intense concentration to come to naught, without any apparent fault of the player who de served to enjoy the reward for those labors. I realized fully how undeserved it was that I should have emerged from this combination with the gain of a Pawn, for my opponent had made moves which, judged from acknowledged principles of good play, should have

MEE T I N G THE MAS TERS

been excellent. I still feel, today, that this element of tricky accidents which we meet in the game here and there, to some extent mars the aesthetic effect of chess. I think any scientifically inclined person would rebel against an excep­ tion to the supreme validity of general laws. In practical tournament and match play this aesthetic blemish, is of course irrelevant. In the long run it is very likely that a player wins losing games just as often as he loses winning positions. 39. P x B !

Realizing that after the exchange of Rooks the passed Pawn on the Queen's Knight's file ·would quickly decide the game in my favor, my opponent decided to give up his Rook for my Bishop, as in that way he obtained two con: nected passed Pawns. 39

.









40. p - Q6

RxR

R - R6

Not R - R7, because B - BS ch would have regained the exchange. Due to the advanced King's side Pawns White's pieces are all endangered by the combined pressure of my Rook and Queen, because they cannot place themselves on squares protected by the Pawns. 41. Q - N2 !9 The best chance, in view of the fact that, without much time to spare, I still had to make five moves before the third hour on my clock would elapse. 41. N - B l would have led to a laborious and no doubt unsuccessful defense: K- Ql {threatening R - R7) ; 42. B - K4, P - NS, and the Pawn walks to the eighth rank almost unmolested. The move of the text threatens to draw through perpetual check. 41











N - 82 99

66

C H E S S S E C R E TS

Here Master Ossip Bernstein would say: "The equalizing injustice of chess." After this move, the game-which, in justice, I should not have won at any rate-is a draw. K Q1, which avoids the Queen check also, would have won without difficulty. -

42. 8 - K4

N

Q4



The point of the previous move. The object is to exchange as many pieces as possible in order to force an end-game in which I expected the distant passed Pawn to win N K3 would have lost the game, because of 43. B N7 ch and 44. Q- B6. .

-

-

EDWARD LASKER

25.

E R I CH C O H N

White now regains the exchange. The attempt to con­ tinue the attack with 43. B x N, Q x B ; 44. B - K6 ch, K Nt ; 45. N K4 would fail. The Knight would be forced back to N3 through Q - BS ch, and then R - Q 6 would enable the invasion of the seventh rank with fatal effect. -

43. 8 - Q2 44. 8 X Q

-

R - R7 R x Qch

45. 8

X

R

Nx 8

The forty-fifth move had been made in time, and I had leisure to map the proper end-game strategy. Before going into the whole combination I had realized that I could win

MEETING THE MASTERS

both of White's connected passed Pawns, giving up only one Pawn of my own, and I had expected to arrive at a theoretically won position, with two passed Pawns separated by more than one file, in an end-game in which the only pieces left were the Bishops of opposite color. Naturally, White would play 46. N - K4. The reply P - NS would then lead to 47. P - B6, N x N; 48. P - Q7 ch, K - B2; 49. B x N, B - K2; 50. P - R4, K - Q3; 51. P - RS. p X P; 52. p X P, p- R3; 53. K - N3, B - Qt; 54. K - N4, K - K3; 55. B - B2, K - Q4 ; 56. K - BS, and I could not see how Black could win the game. (See Diagram 26.)

26.

If 56 . . . , K x P; 57. K - N6, K x P; 58. K x P, there was no way to stop White's Pawn except by playing P - KS; 59. B x P, K- K3 ; 60. K - N6, P - B4; 61. B x P ch, K - K4 and B - B3. And if 56. . . . , K - QS, the white Bishop could go back and forth from K4 to N l , ad infinitum. Should Black's King advance to QB6, White would even win the game with K - K6 - B7 - K8 etc. For this reason I felt that I had to keep the White passed Pawns on black squares and capture them without delay, and I played .

46.N-K4

NxN

47. BxN

K-Q2

48. 8 - Q5

68

C H E SS S E C R E TS

White wants to exchange his two Pawns on the King's side and hold the two remaining Black King's side Pawns on black squares. 48 49. 8 NB 50. K - N2 .

.



.





51. 8

8 - RJ 8 - 85 ch P R4

52.



R7

pX p

PxP 8 - K6 !



Not P - N4, because White could draw immediately with 53. B - Q3, P - NS ; 54. B - NS ch, K - K3 ; 55. B - B4 ch etc. EDWA R D

L AS K E R

27.

ERI C H C O H N

53. 8 x P 54. 8 . QJ

8xP P - N5

55. K 83 •

8 x P 999

If the ending could be won at all, it was by advancing the passed Knight's Pawn and the King as fast as possible. The proper way to continue was, therefore, P - N6 ! The game might then have taken this course : 56. K - K4, K x P; 57. B - B4, P - N7; 58. B- R2, B - B7 ; 59. B - Nl , K - B4 ; m. B - R2, B - RS ; 61. K - Q3, B - N4; 62. K - K4, K - NS ; 63. K - Q3, K - R6 ; 64. B - Nl , K - N6 ; 65. K - K2, P - KS ! ; (j(j. K - Ql , P - K6 ; 67. K - K2. The two passed Pawns are now stopped, and my King cannot slip through to attack the Bishop. But by exchanging my King's Pawn for the re-

6g

M E E T I N G T H E M A S T E RS

maining White Pawn I could have placed an additional file between my passed Pawns, and then White could not have prevented iny King from invading the seventh rank : 67. . . . , K - B6 ; 68. B - B5, K - Q5 ; 69. K - B3, K - K4; 70. B - Nl , K - Q3 ; 71. B- B5, K- K2 ; 72. B - Nl , K - B2 ; 73. B - B5, K - N2 ; 74. B - N l , K - R3 ; 75. B - B5, B - B5 ! ; 76. B - N l , K - N4 ; 77. B - B5 , K - R5 ; 78. B - Nl , P - K7 ; 79. K x P, K x P; 80. K - B2, B - N6 ch ; 81. K - N2, P - B4 ; 82. B - B2, P - B5 ; 83. B - K4, B- RS, and White i s lost, because on the next move Black can advance the Bishop's Pawn and then march with the King to QBB, winning the Bishop. 56. K - K4

K - 83

57. 8 - 84

K - 84

58. 8 - N3

Here Erich Cohn offered a draw, and I accepted, as all attempts to get my King beyond the fourth rank obviously would have been futile, unless White made a bad mistake. With White's Ki ng controlling the center and able to oc­ cupy KB5, I could not attack White's remaining Pawn and exchange it for my King's Pawn as in the line indicated in the note to the 55th move. Ever since this game, I have treated endings with Bishops ERICH

COHN

28.

E D W A R D L AS K E R

C H E SS SE C RE TS

of opposite colors with utmost care, no matter how many Pawns I was ahead. In the second game of the match I was completely out­ played in the opening, and had Cohn not been tempted to rush matters, I should probably have lost the game. Dia­ gram 28 shows the posi tion which was reached after the 24th move. One of my Rooks is completely out of play, and the open center file is in my opponent's hands. He threatens to double Rooks and to invade the seventh rank. My only defense is to block the King's file with the Knight. 25. N 83 ·

R



K6 !9

A brilliant idea; but unfortunately, as happens so fre­ quently, the combination has a "hole." The correct way to continue was with R - KS ; . 26. N - KS, Q - N6, followed by N - BS . I don't see how I could have su rvived that as­ sault. 26. R - 85

27. N - K5

QR - K l

QR x N

Beautiful, but I can just manage to escape. 28. p X R

N



29. R

85



KN l

Q - N6

Cohn had original ly intended answering my Rook's move ' with N x RP ! ; 30. Q x R, N - B7 ! ch, which would win the Queen through 31. K - R2, N - NS ch. At the last moment he saw that I could meet N x RP with 30. R - Kt !, and he did not have time to calculate the consequences of 30 , R - N6 because his two hours were just about As a matter of fac t , 31. R - K3 or K - R2 would have up. been sufficient to meet R - N6. .



.

.

30. R

X

p!

R



K7

He made his thirtieth move in time, but overlooked that in reply to my next move he cannot capture my King's

MEE T I N G THE MASTERS

Knight' s Pawn. His best move would have been R x KP, which would have gained a move. Tempting but insufficient was 30, . . . , N x RP ! ; (31. R - KBl ?, Q x KP ! with many threats) . My plan was to answer 30 , N x RP with 31. R x P ch ! !, Q x R; 32. Q x R, N x R; 33. P - K6, K - Bl ; 34. K x N, P - N3 ; 35. Q - Q4. .

.



.

ERICH COHN

29.

E D W A R D L A SKE R

31. Q -Q7

R x KP

If R x NP, 32. Q - B8 ch, K - R2 ; 33. Q x P ch, Q - N3 ; 34. R x R ! ! leaves White with a whole Rook ahead, as Q x Q would lead to mate in three moves. 32. R X p

Here N x RP was the only move. Mter 33. Q x P ch, Q x Q; 34. R x Q ch, K x R; 35. P x N ch, K - B3 or 33. Q - B8 ch, K - R2 ; 34. R x P ch, Q x R ; 35. P x N, Q - KB2 ; 36. R - Ql , Black would have had excellent drawing chances. He completely overlooked the threat which I had at my disposal. 33. R - Q 1

NxP

34. Q -Q8 ch

Resigns

Mter K - R2 I would have won immediately with 35. R x P ch !, followed by R - Q7.

CHESS SE C R E TS

Losing this game, which Erich Cohn had had every ex­ pectation of winning, apparently had a somewhat demor­ alizing effect on him, and in the third game of the match he seemed no longer to have the courage of his convictions. Again he worked up a most dangerous attack, but at the decisive moment-time control was close at hand-he faltered, and victory slipped through his fingers. The opening was a Queen's Gambit in which I chose the "Tarrasch Defense" ( 1. P - Q4, P - Q4; 2. P - QB4, P - K3 ; 3. N - QB3, P - QB4), in those days considered Black's best chance for strong counterplay. Erich Cohn selected the "Rubinstein Variation" (4. BP x P, KP x P; 5. N - B3, N - QB3; 6. P - KN3, N - B3 ; 7. B - N2) , a line of play which was practically in its infancy, and the fine positional points of which had not yet been brought out through re­ peated tests in tournaments. I missed the proper continuation (B - K2; 8. 0 - 0, 0 - 0) , playing 7 , B - K3 instead, and after 8. 0 - 0, P P B - K2 ; 9. x , Q - R4 ; 10. N - KNS, Q x BP; 77. B - K3, Q- R4 (Diagram 30) my troubles began. .

.

.

.

EDWARD LASKER

30.

ERICH

COHN

12. Q - N3

73 Apart from Q x NP, the threat is N x B, followed by B - Ri I can't very well oppose my Queen with Q - NS, because 13. N - NS would win at least a Pawn (R - QB1 ; 14. N x B, P x N; 15. B - R3, K - B2 ; 16. Q x Q, N x Q; 17. N - Q4 !). In order not to lose a Pawn without any compensation, I searched for a continuation which would at least bring my Rooks rapidly into play. I considered 0 - 0 ; 13. Q x NP, KR - Bl, but I rejected this line be­ cause 14. B - B4 would prevent me from occupying the open Knight's file. Finally, with the lightheartedness-or fool­ hardiness ?-of youth, I castled on the Queen's side, right into White's gun fire, vaguely hoping that the placement of my Rook in the center would give me some counter play. M E E TI N G THE MAS T E R S

12

.



13. N

.

.



B 14. B - R3 X

15. Q x KP ch 16. B - B4 c h

0- 0 - 0 PxN P - Q5

K - Nl K - Rl

17. B - N2 ! EDWARD L AS K ER

31 .

E R I CH C O H N

With the threat 18. Q x N, P x Q; 19. B x P mate. 17. .



.



B - Q3 !

Erich Cohn had not considered this reply, and he was visibly disconcerted. If 18. B x B, I regain the piece through

74

C H E S S S E C R E TS

Kl . Nevertheless, 19. Q - B4, R x B; 20. N NS, QR - K3; 21. P - QN4, Q - Qt ; 22. KR - Qt was bound to win another Pawn and thus most likely the game. But my opponent seemed to feel that he had to conclude the game with a brilliant coup. K.R

-

-

18. p - QN4 ! R

Q

X

19. QR - N l

NP

KR



Kl

Not Qx N ?, because of 20. KR - Bt , KR - Kt ? ; 21. x Q, R x Q; 22. R x N !, winning. 20. Q - 85

Q - 84

As much as he dislikes to exchange Queens, he cannot help it. 21. Q

X

Q

B

X

Q

22. N - NS

B - N3

In the end, all that White accomplishes is to regain the Pawn he has sacrificed for the chimera of an attack, and to steer into an ending with a Pawn ahead. 23. 8 - 87 24. 8 x 8

25. R - N2

R - Q2

R - K4

PxB

More to the point seems K - Nt . 26. R - Q l 27. 8 x N

28. N

K - Nl Px8

X

p

K - N2

Black has his compensations for the Pawn. White's Knight is temporarily pinned, and the black passed Pawn, supported by the King, is apt to develop into a strong threat. 29. R(N2)

-

Q2 !

After this error Black can force a draw by repetition of moves. White should have played the other Rook to Q2. Then R(K4) - Q4 or N - KS could have been met with

75 and Black would at least have had to fight for MEETING THE MASTERS

30. N - B3 !

a draw. 29









N - K5 N - 84



30. R - Q3

31. R - Q2

N - KS

Draw

The fourth and last game of the match was an uneventful draw, and-1 could hardly believe it-I had won the match.

GRANDMAS TER ENCO UNTERS

I went back to my studies and abstained from all chess ac tivities, except for the championship tournament of the

OSSIP

S.

B E R N ST E I N

Berlin Chess Society which called only for one game a week. I had just resigned a game in this tournament after making a blunder which ruined a winning position. I was getting up from my chair, when I noticed in back of me the tall, i mposing figure of Ossip Bernstein who had been watching my death throes. With a friendly smile he expressed his condolence and his hope that I had arrived at that stage of a chess master's development in which he takes defeats of this type stoically, admitting to himself that "the equal­ izing injustice of chess" had frequently permitted him to score a win in lost positions. I had been a great admirer of Bernstein's profound and

CHESS SECRETS

the name of this young Russian master had made chess headlines. His crowning achieve­ ment had been his victory, with Rubinstein, in the gre at tournament at Ostend, in 1 907, when he was only 25 years old. He scored 1 9� points, the same number as Rubi nstein, crystal-clear style ever since

with Mieses and Nimzovich following a half-point behind. In the tournament of St. Petersburg,

1 909, he had spoilt his Emanuel Lasker to escape with a draw in a lost position. Bernstein showed us the game, and his explanations were a wo nde rful lesson to us. Diagram 32 gives the position which was reached after 1 7 moves, in a well known variation of the Ruy Lopez. chances by permitting

EMANUEL

LASKER

32.

OSSIP

18.

BERNSTEIN

N - K4 !

The aim of this

masterly move is to eliminate the Black which protects the King' s wing and blocks the White Bishop's Pawn. White now enjoys many advantages : the open file, more terri tory on the King' s side, and secure Pawns, while Black's Queen's Rook's Pawn will be weak in the end-game . Knight

18. . . . .

NxN

19. R X N

K-

81

M E E T I N G THE M A S T E R S

77 White's command of the King's file makes itself felt very strongly. Neither 19 , R x R; 20. Q x R, P - Q4; 21. Q - K7, Q x Q; 22. R x Q, R - QB l ; 23. R - Q7, nor 20. . . , R - Ql ; 21. Q - N7 was likely to leave Black with a tenable position . .



.

.

.

20. p - 86 !

Decisive. Black's Pawn position is now tom up on the King's side also. 20. . . . . 21. Q - K3 !

p P

X

p

- 84

22. Q - R6 ch

K - Nl

23. R(4) - K3

R

- K3

There is no other way to prevent mate. Now White emerges with an extra Pawn on the King's side. This should win the ending. 24. R x R

PxR

25. R E M A N UEL

X

p

R - KB l

LASKER

33.

O SS J P

B E R NS T E I N

26. Q - N5

ch '

Before exchanging the pieces White should have deprived Black's doubled Pawn of its mobility by P - QN3. Then, if 26. . , R - B2, White could have continued with 27. •



C HE S S SE C RE TS

P - KB4, in order to follow this up with P - KN4 and the advance of the King. 26. .







Q - N2

27. Q x Q ch

KxQ

28. R - K7 ch

R - 82

29. R x R ch 30. K - 8 1

KxR

White can n o longer prevent Black from advancing the Queen's Bishop's Pawn and obtaining a good enough counter-threat with this Pawn to draw the game. If 30. P - QN3, then K - K3; 31. K - B l , K - Q4 ; 32. K - K2, P - QB5, just in time. 30. . 31. K - K2 32. K - K3 .





P - QB5 p - 84 p - Q4

33. P - K83 34. K - 84 35. P - KN4

K - 83 P - QR4

Note that both players operate on the wing on which they have superiority of material. 35. 36. 8P .





.

x

P

37. P - R4

PxP R5 P - Q5

P-

38. K - K4 39. K - 84

K N3 -

K

-

83

Dr(lw

A most instructive end-game. While Bernstein stayed in Berlin, where he did some preparatory work for the International Law career which he had cut out for hh;nself, I came to know him rather well. We had a mutual interest in music, and we spent a good many evenings together at the symphonic concerts directed by the famous conductor Arthur Nikisch. At these concerts -perhaps the finest I have heard anywhere--students were charged an admission fee of only about ten cents. The whole space below the tier of boxes, in back of the Orchestra seats, was reserved for them. Originally, this space had probably been intended for standing room; but the custom had gradually developed for the students to lie on the floor,

79 and it was an extraordinary sight, which I will never forget, to see these hundreds of boys and girls cover every available square foot of the floor, lying motionless in the dark, but in their vaguely discernible poses giving the distinct impression of intense awareness, as if they were all holding their breath in order not to miss a single note. Bernstein had received his Degree of Doctor of Law in Moscow in 1 906, and he had the good sense to stay away from too much chess, so that he could devote some of his leisure time to cultural pursuits. Unfortunately, most tournament chess players are deplorably unaware of the fact that chess is not the only thing which distinguishes man from animal. My friendship with Bernstein has lasted throughout the years, although the opportunities we had of meeting each other were few and far between. He left Russia for good at the time of the Revolution and settled down in Paris where he still lives, practicing his profession. With a certain self-ironic pride he treasures a document, signed by Emanuel Lasker during a chess tournament held in Zurich in 1 934. Bernstein showed Lasker the game he had lost through a blunder in an easily winning position against Gygli, the Swiss champion, and he added : "Am I not a chess idiot?" Lasker replied: "That seems to be a reasonable explanation for that move of yours." Bernstein: "Will you give me that in writing?" Lasker: "Gladly." And they drew up a document, in proper legal language, in which "the undersigned, Emanuel Lasker" confirmed that Bernstein had irrefutably proved his status as chess idiot. The bafH.ing fact that even the greatest masters some­ times commit gross errors which turn winning positions into lost games has been jocularly diagnosed as due to amaurosis scacchistica (chess blindness) by Dr. Tarrasch, who himself suffered from this ailment every once in a while. MEE TI N G THE M A S TERS

8o

C H E SS SE C R E TS

From my own considerable experience with it I would say that one becomes subject to this temporary blindness usually after prolonged intense concentration upon the position on the board. The resulting fatigue causes sudden lapses of the coordinating power of the brain, and the mas­ ter makes a blunder which the merest tyro would avoid with ease. Such accidental lapses have, of course, nothing to do with the playing strength or the positional understanding of the master concerned. But amusingly enough, they are sometimes interpreted that way by jealous chess mediocri­ ties. In their desire to class themselves as masters they will poirit to a master's blunder which they would "never have made." I came across a long forgotten example of this type of reasoning recently, while searching for the games of my match with Erich Cohn in the old tomes of the Deutsche Wochenschach (German Chess Weekly) . I found an article which I had written in that chess magazine in 1 9 1 2 "On the imaginary difference between Theoreticians and Prac­ titioners," and I could not help chuckling when I read the Editor's note to the article. I had inveighed against the absurdity of such fellows as Oscar Cordel, C. Svenonius and H. Krause, who called themselves "theoreticians," en­ gaging in polemics on the value of this or that opening sys­ tem with Ala pin and other renowned masters. I had pointed out that evaluation of an opening required positional judg­ ment, the very faculty which distinguished the master from the non-master and which was, of course, also sadly lacking in these self-styled " theoreticians. " The Editor said in a footnote that he was printing my article by way of con­ clusion of the bitter polemics that had been raging in his pages between the theoreticians and the masters, and that he would not publish any further rebuttal by the thea-

MEETING THE MASTERS

81

reticians. However, he added that this did not mean he agreed

with

everything I had said . While he admitted that

the theoreticians had published variations which did not stand up under analysis, he pointed out that everyone knew what bad errors masters committed now and then, and that therefore he could not see any reason why theo­ retical discussions on openings should be confined to the masters ! In other words, that esteemed editor did not realize that when masters suffered from an attack of chess blindness, the cases were acute and of short duration, while with the non-master-theoreticians

it was

an

incurably

chronic

matter. The reason for this viewpoint was not difficult to see. The Editor made his living from the large number of sub­ scribers, who were average players, not from the handful of masters who occasionally contributed an article to his pages. This deluded him into the completely erroneous conclusion that in a controversy between masters and non­ masters, his readers would like to see him on the side of the non-masters. Unfortunately, this fellow has been copied by some chess editors outside of Germany as well. Chess players at large are just as honest as the average of any large body of men. They do not share the hypocritical attitude of those few who, to satisfy their vanity, or for financial reasons, would lower to their own level the high standard which should distinguish mastership. I am convinced that this feeling is shared also by the large Jp.ajority of chess players who read chess magazines, and who themselves are apt to aspire to tournament play. Thus, the policy of an editor of a chess magazine who, like the German editor referred to above, espouses the cause of quantity rather than quality, seems ill-advised, certainly from the point of view of the reader.

CHESS SECRETS

Among the great masters, Bernstein has perhaps fur­ nished some of the most glaring examples of how temporary chess blindness can ruin a game in which victory seems certain. A famous case was his game with Schlechter in the Bar­ men tournament, 1 905, in which the position of Diagram 34 was reached after 25 moves. Bernstein made an ingenious K A R L

SCHLECHTER

34.

OSSIP

BERNSTEIN

combination the point of which even the great Schlechter did not see. He accepted Bernstein's challenge, trusting in a counter-combination of his own which he erroneously as­ sumed Bernstein had not considered. 26. N - N5 !

N - 85

27.

NxPI

Q - 83 '

Schlechter would certainly have played . . . R x N, giving up a Pawn for good attacking prospects, had he suspected the kind of surprise which Bernstein had pre­ pared. 28. p - 83

NxP

29. R - K7 !!

A beautiful coup ! If Black takes the Rook, White replies 30. Q x R c h, K x N; 31. Q x R ch, and 32. P - Q5, and he

remains a whole Rook ahead.

MEE T I N G T H E M A S T E R S

29 30. P - QS "' .

.





.

R(N2) - 82 Q - 84 ch

31. Resigns.

Bernstein had moved P - QS without a moment's de­ liberation, completely overlooking the Queen check whi�h wins a Rook. He could have concluded the attack success­ fully with Jq. R x R, R x R; 31. N - NS, N - K6 ; 32. P - QS, Q - B3 ; 33. R - K l , etc. When Bernstein played this game he was a young man of twenty-three years. Chess blindness has very little to do with age, although an older man's brain naturally gets tired sooner than that of a youthful player. It is usually the excitement of time trouble which causes those sudden com­ plete lapses of coordination. I believe that Bernstein had true world championship caliber. Nevertheless, I am sure he made a wise decision when he abstained from chess in favor of his law career. Even world chess champions make a precarious living in our type of society. Incidentally, Bernstein is an excellent example to cite, in refutation of the widely held misconception that a chess master must keep in practice in order to maintain his mastery of the game. Bernstein played no serious chess for eighteen years, from 1 9 1 4 ti11 1 932. All the same, Alekhine had great difficulties in drawing a match which they played in 1 933. What makes a chess master is not practice. It is the thorough understanding of the principles of chess strategy. Once a player has this understanding, he is sure to reach the master class, and since understanding isn't something one loses after once attaining it, a chess master always remains in his class. What does change is the strength of such a master relative to the younger players. The outstanding ones among the latter are apt to catch up with him and to surpass him, because the general level

C H E S S SE C R E T S

of play is constantly rising as more and more opening knowledge is gathered from the tests made in master tournaments. From 1 934 until 1 946 Bernstein again played hardly any chess, with the exception of a game with Alekhine in 1 940 which he won after a most exciting struggle. He showed me the game on occasion of a recent visit to New York, and I am giving it here as an example of his highly original style. WHITE :

BLACK :

WHITE :

BLACK :

Ossip Bernstein

Alexander Alekhine

Ossip Bernstein

Alexander Alekhine

4. B - N2 5. 0 - 0

p . B4

1. p - Q4

N - KB3

2. N - KB3

P - QN3

3. P - KN3

B - N2 ALEX A N D E R

P - N3

A L E K HI N E

35.

O SS I P

B E R NST E I N

6. N - 83 !

Threatening to block the long diagonal with P QS . If Black replies P Q4, the efficacy of his Queen's Bishop is somewhat reduced. More important almost, Black would be at a disadvantage psychologically, seeing himself forced into a type of opening he did not intend playing. -

-

M E E T I N G THE MA S TE RS

6

.

.



.

7. Q X



pI

PxP B - N2

8. P - K4 9. P - K5 1

P - Q3

A LEX A N D E R A L E K H I N E

36.

O SS I P

B E R NSTEI N

At first sight this looks like a blunder, as Black can pin the Pawn with KN - Q2, at the same time attacking it three times. But White can unpin the Pawn with 10. Q - QB4 and then recapture on KS whether Black takes the Pawn with his Pawn or his Knight, because mate is threatened on KB7. This would force Black to take the Knight, and White would capture the Bishop on QN7, catching the Rook. KN - Q2 10. Q - QB4 ! 0 - 0 9 .





.



Alekhine consumed forty minutes before concluding that he could not help the isolation of his Queen's Pawn. B x N; 11. B x B, N x P would be met by Q - NS ch and B x R. Equally unavailing would be 10. . . , B x P, because of 1 1. N - KNS ! .

1 1. p

X

p

PxP

12. R - Q l

Q - Bl l

Indirectly protecting his Pawn, for after the exchange of Queens, Black's Rook would attack the white Queen's Knight for the second time. 13. Q - KR4

N - K4

14. N

-

Q5 I

86

C HE SS S E C R E TS

Threatening N - K7 ch as well as N - B6 ch ( 14. , QN - B3 ; 75. N - B6 ch, B x N ; 16. Q x B, N x N ch ; 17. B x N, N - K4; 18. B x B, Q x B; 19. B - R6 !, N - B6 ch; 20. K - B l , N x P ch; 21. K - Kl , Q - KS ch, 22. K - Q2, winning} . .

14

.

.

.

.



15.

8xN

R

X

8

.



QN - Q2

There is no way of saving the Pawn. As Alekhine plays he gets at least good mobility for all his pieces in return. 16. R x P

Q



17.

84

N



N5

P



KR4

ALEX A N D ER ALEK H I N E

37.

OSSIP

BER N S TEI N

A simple continuation which would leave White with the clear advantage of a Pawn would be 18. R x N, N x R; 19. B x R, R x B; 20. Q - K4, R - QB l ; 21. P - QB3, though Black would, of course, have had certain tactical counter­ chances on the wide open board. Bernstein prefers to give back the Pawn in order to keep up the attack, in the face of fantastic complications. 18. 19.

N



K4

p - 84

QxP N - Q6 !

20. 8 - K3 21 . N - 82 !

Q - K7

This is the move which Bernstein had counted on to break Alekhine's counter-attack. Both Black Knights, as

MEE TING THE MASTERS A L EX A N D E R

A L E K HINE

38.

OSSIP

BERNSTEIN

well as the Queen's Rook, are attacked, and if Black takes the Bishop White wins with 22. R x N(Q3), which leaves Black's Queen, Rook and Knight attacked. But Alekhine has prepared an equally ingenious reply: •

21

.





.

.

N - K8 !!

Now, if White plays B x R, Black simply recaptures, threatening N - B6 ch as well as Q x B. Bernstein thought he had a continuation which defended both threats satisfactorily and he accepted Alekhine's chal­ lenge, inviting further hair-raising combinations. 22. 8 x R 23. Q - K7

Rx8 8 - 81 I

24. Q - K4

R - Ql f

But here Alekhine falters. He should have played B x R ! ! ; 25. Q x R ch, K - R2 ; 26. Q - K4 ?, N - B3 ! !, and White must lose his Bishop. Or: 26. Q - KB, B - B4 ! ! ; 27. Q x P ch, K - Rl ! ; 28. B x B, N x B; 29. R - Ql , N(B4) - Q6 ; 30. R x N, N x R; 3 1 . N x N, Q x N with ex­ cellent drawing possibilities. 25. R(Q6) - Q l I 26. R - Q2

N - 87 Q

X

8

27. R x

N(2)

B - 84

88

C HE S S SE C RE TS

Slightly better seems Q x Q, followed by P - B4 and B - B4 ch, because White then does not have the square K4 for his Knight. But in the long run White's superiority in material would have decided the game in any case. 28. Q x Q

8xQ

29. R - Q l

K - 81 8 - 84

31. N - K4 32. R - K2

A fatal pin. 29

.

.



.

.

30. K - N2

K - K2 Resigns

A struggle of two giants.

KAR L SC H L EC H TER

The years 1 909, 1 9 1 0 and 1 9 1 1 were rich in chess events, and it required heroic fortitude for me to view merely from the distance those which took place away from Berlin. Shortly after the St. Petersburg tournament Janowski, who had a wealthy sponsor by the name of M. Nardus, played a series of four games with Emanuel Lasker in Paris which ended in a draw. This result confirmed Nardus in his belief that Janowski was the strongest player in the world, and he organized a match for the world champion­ ship which took place in Paris in the fall of 1 909. Lasker emerged victorious with a score of 7 wins, 1 loss and 2

M E E T I N G THE MAS T E RS

Bg

draws. But Janowski convinced Nardus that he should have really won the match, and the optimistic painter guaran­ teed the funds required to arrange a return match in Berlin in 1 91 0. Meanwhile, however, Schlechter had succeeded in rais­ ing the amount which had been stipulated in a preliminary agreement with Emanuel Lasker as the minimum purse for a world championship match, and so the long looked­ for contest between these two masters took preference. The match was played in January and February 1 91 0, the first five games in Vienna, Schlechter's home town, and the re­ maining five games in Berlin. In spite of Schlechter's remarkable record-he had been either first or second in seven great international tourna­ ments between 1 900 and 1 9 1 --very few people expected him to mak.e as good a showing as Tarrasch had two years previously, winning three games against Lasker's eight. Schlechter was a quiet, very unassuming player, whose style on the chessboard was as little spectacular as his per­ sonality. Thus, the actual progress of the match-Schlechter was leading until the very last game-proved to be the most sensational chess event of a generation. True to Schlechter's reputation to be the hardest man to beat as long as he was satisfied with a draw, he doggedly kept on drawing one game after the other until the fifth game was reached. Here Lasker finally succeeded in avoid­ ing a balanced position, and a sharp struggle ensued from which he emerged with a winning end-game. At that moment, apparently fatigued from the hard fight, Lasker made a slip which might easily have cost him his title of world champion. He lost the game, and after that Schlechter again piled up one draw on top of the other. To those who rooted for Lasker-among them myself, of course-things looked very dark when during the eighth

go

C HE S S SE C R E TS

game Lasker was seized with violent pains, due to a stomach condition which had kept him under a doctor's care for quite some time. He was barely able to play until his clock showed two hours and enabled him to adjourn the game. His doctor and some friends carried him to a room close to the playroom, where he rested during the two-hour intermission without taking any food. He insisted upon continuing the game, stubbornly refusing his doctor's ad­ vice, and another draw resulted. The ninth game was again a draw, although this time Schlechter, in good sportsman­ ship, had played in a wildly aggressive manner rather than sitting back and merely trying to maintain equality. -Thus, when the tenth and last game was played, Lasker had to win it in order not to lose his title. The atmosphere was one of intense excitem�t from the start. Lasker opened with the Queen's Pawn, but he refrained from castling, and initiated a risky attack on the King's wing at the first opportunity, in order to avoid a draw at all cost. He came indeed very near losing. The Diagram shows the position reached after the 1 4th move. K A R L

SCHLECHTER

39.

EMA N U E L

L A S K E R

15. P - N4 !?

91

MEETING THE MASTERS

Preparing this move with P - B4 looks more natural. But the text forces the opening of the Knight's file, as N - B3; 16. P - B3 ! would not leave much scope for Black's pieces. 15 16. p •



. •

X





N

17. p X p

8xN 8 - N2

RP

X

p

18. Q - 8.4 !

Threatening R x B as well as B x P. 18. . . . .

8 - 81

Now it would be very dangerous for White to play 19. B x P, because B - K3 ; 20. Q x N, P x B. 21. R - N7 ?,

Q - Bl would follow, with the two Bishops commanding the board. 19. R - N 1 20. 8 - Q2

Q - R4 ch Q - Q4

21. R



Q81 I

The end-game, after the exchange of Queens, would be in White's favor, as the isolated Black Queen's Bishop's Pawn would be very weak. 21

.



.





8



N2

22. Q - 82

It was probably wiser to exchange Queens and to con­ tinue with 23. P - R4: Black could not oppose Rooks in the KARL

SCHLECHTER

40.

EMANUEL LASKER

CHESS SECRETS

Queen's Bishop's file. For example : KR - Bl ; 24. R - N l !, R - B2 (QR - Nl ? ; 25. R x B !) ; 25. B - R5, R - Q2 ; 26. K - Q2 !, threatening R x B. Lasker plans 23. B x P, but the idea is not a good one because a file is opened in which Black's Rooks become very dangerous. 22

.

.





.

23. 8 x P ? 24. R - 8 1

Q - KR4 Qxp Px8

25. Q N3 ch -

26. Q x B

R - 82 QR - K8 1 I!

Now, if Q x N, Black replies R x P, with mate in a few moves. Zl. Q - N3 28. P - 84

29. Q - Q3

K - Rl P - N4 !

p

X

p!

Again the Queen cannot c;; apture the Knight, for P x P would win immediately, due to the double threat Q x B mate and R x R ch. At this point Lasker's friends gave up hope. The crisis of the game was at hand. The white King was in the middle of the board, with the protective Pawn center shot full of holes. It did not seem possible that he could escape. K A R L

SCHL ECHTER

41 .

EMA N U E L

JO. p X p 31. K - K2

Q - R5 ch Q - R7 ch

L A S K E R

32 R - 8 2 .

MEETING THE MASTERS

93

Avoiding draw by repetition of moves. The King cannot go to B3, as R x P ch ! would kill him. 32. . . . .

Q - R4 ch

33. R - B3

N

·

82

Here the excitement among the thousand or eleven hun­ dred spectators who were following the game on a demon­ stration board in the large hall adjoining the play room reached fever pitch. Schlechter threatened N - K3 as well as N - Q4 or N - N4, and even if Lasker played 34. N - BS, as everyone expected, he could not defend himself in the long run, as Black would first prevent N - K6 with R - Ql Q3 and then play N - Q4 or N .. N4 anyway. K

A

R L

5 CH

L EC H

T E .R

42.

EMA N U E L

L A S K E R

Lasker deliberated on his move a long time and finally played 34. R x P !

Psychologically, this was his best chance, for it offered his opponent such a wealth of choice among equally com­ plicated continuations, that he was liable to go astray. True to the recipe which Lasker had once recommended to me, he chose a move which not merely defended him against his adversary's threat, but which contained a drop

94

C H E S S SE C RE TS

of poison. This is the counter-threat Q - N6 which would force the exchange of Queens and thus relieve the terrible pin of the Rook. One of the hair-raising possibilities was N - Q4; 35. Q - N6 (35. R - BS ?, R X p !), Q X Q; 36. R x Q, R x P; 37. R - R3 ch, K - N l ; 38. N - BS ! !, threat­ ening R x B ch. Or: 36. , N x P ch ?; 37. B x N, R x B; 38. R - R3 ch, K - Nl ; 39. N - BS, and Black is actually in trouble. Or: 36. . . , B x P ?; 37. R - Q3 ! (N x P ch ?? ; 38. B x N, R x B; 39. R - R3 ch and mate) . Schlechter must have seen all these hidden resources of White for he played .





.

34

.









N - N4 !

If White covers the Queen's Pawn with 35. B - K3, Black wins with N x P ch !, followed by R x P. 35. R - 84

Here we have one of those hallucinations to which a chess master is subject after hours of exhausting concentra­ tion. That this should have happened when Schlechter had the world championship title firmly within his grasp, was a tragedy that had never befallen a master before him. He overlooked the check at Lasker's disposal on the 37th move. The proper play was . . . R - Ql ; (36. B - K3, N - Q3 ; 37. R - BS, N - B4) . Another instance of Bernstein's "equal­ izing injustice of chess." Schlechter should have lost the 5th game and won this last one. The result of the match would then have been the same ! 36. 8 X R 37. R - 88 ch 38. K - 82 !

Rx8 8 - 81 Q - R7 ch

39. K - K l 40. R - 81 41. K - Q2 !!

Q - R8 ch Q - R5 ch

Excitement till the very end ! Winning the Queen with R x P would cost Black his own Queen and his Bishop, for

M E E T I N G THE M A S T E R S

95

K A R L SCHLECHTER

43.

E M A N UEL

L A S K E R

White would continue with 42. R(B8) x B ch, K - N1 ; K - R3 ; 44. R - R7 ch, K - N4 ;

43. R(Bl ) - B7 ch, 45. R x Q etc.

Both Schlechter's Bishop and Knight are attacked, and the few checks which he can give merely delay the inevitable end. When Schlechter resigned, pandemonium broke loose among the fans whom the "Silence" signs on the walls had held in check too long. Lasker had his hands full restrain­ ing a group of young enthusiasts from carrying him on their shoulders out into the street. He had retained his title, the result of the match being 1 to 1 with 8 draws, and the chess crowd no doubt preferred him as world champion to Schlechter, because the latter had nothing spectacular about him. Lasker commanded their admiration for his fearless experimentation with untried opening variations and his undaunted spirit when his experiments got him into the gravest difficulties. Naturally, the editor of Deutsches Wochenscluzch, who, after Lasker's match with Tarrasch, had gone to great lengths to show that Tarrasch should really have won, again pointed out that Lasker had retained his crown only

g6

C HE SS S E C RE TS

through luck. He also fulminated against the financial con­ ditions on which Lasker based his acceptance of challenges for the world title. Sure of the applause of the unthinking among his readers, he argued that the large purse which Lasker demanded tended to reduce chess to the level of a sport or of a business, rather than keep it on the lofty height of an Art. Lasker's reply was very much to the point. It could serve as an excellent lesson to certain editors of c4ess magazines today who are always anxious to champion mediocrity rather than helping the masters to maintain a high level of quality. Lasker wrote : "Mr. Ranneforth is always trying to make himself im­ portant by criticizing the masters. His whole journalistic career proves this. It .demonstrates his inability to be creative, his hatred of the masters, his devotion to medi­ ocrity. As far as chess is concerned he is a duffer, he does not understand its beauty, nor do any of his articles show that he really loves the game. He is nothing but an unfeel­ ing chess politician, who writes, talks, sits on committees, and makes himself felt only through his energy and his underground activities. . . . Since he is not creative, the straight path to public attention is closed to him. That is why he tries to get that attention by attacking the masterly in chess. One need only read his articles on chess tourna­ ments and matches in the Frankfurter -?,eitung as far back as twenty years ago. They are all of the same tenor, in no way remarkable except by his derogatory treatment of the masters, his gloating over the fact that the committee had to pay this or that master's hotel bill, etc. Never a sugges­ tion how to organize chess so as to put an end to the poverty of the masters, never anything but flattery of the egotism of the masses. "The manner in which the social status of the masters

97 may be safeguarded is indicated in the conditions which I have stipulated for the world championship match with Rubinstein, and which the latter has accepted. Why not give the master the fruit of his labors? Just as the writer is protected against the unauthorized reprinting of his books, give the chess masters a copyright on their games which they have conceived in hard labors. Let newspapers and books which reprint those games pay a small fee for the right of publication ! Let the public pay a fee to witness master contests ! Then the masters will no longer suffer in their old age, nor die in loneliness in paupers' hospitals ! All chess friends will gain by this, masters as well as ama­ teurs !" M E E T I N G THE M A S TE R S

HAMBURG HA UP TTURNIER

In the summer of 1 9 1 0 the Chess Club of Hamburg in­ vited chess players from all over the world to play in a Master . Tournament and in as many Major and Minor Tournaments as the number of entries would necessitate. The magnificent halls of a rich lodge were placed at the players' disposal; and the number of applications was so large that in addition to a master tournament with 1 7 contestants and a Major A Tournament with 1 5, it was necessary to group 60 players in a Major B Tournament and 49 players in a Minor section.

ARON

N I MZOVICH

g8

C H E S S S E C RE TS

Shortly before the tournament started I was thrilled by meeting personally the great Russian master Nimz6vich who visited Berlin for a few days prior to competing in Hamburg. This compatriot of Bernstein's, by a few years his junior, was studying philosophy at the University of Munich. In spite of his youth, his name had been in the front rank of chess masters since he had shared third and fourth place with Mieses in the International Masters tournament of Ostend, 1 907, only a half-a-point behind the victors, Bernstein and Rubinstein. Like Bernstein, Nimzovich had had an excellent scho­ lastic education, and his keen intellectual faculties seemed destined to produce some outstanding work regardless of the field in which he applied himself. It has been the gain of chess throughout the world that Nimzovich decided to con­ centrate his powers of analytical inquiry on the scientific foundations of the game of chess. There was a bizarre streak in Nimzovich's make-up, which manifested itself not only in his exotic behavior but in his writings as well. In the last analysis, this probably explains why he was unable to keep up with Alekhine and Capablanca, both of whom coupled a strong practical sense with their fine positional understanding. This practical sense Nimzovich lacked. He also lacked physical endurance. I was delighted at the opportunity of discussing with him my Principles of Chess Strategy, which by that time I had put into shape in the manuscript of my first book. It had just been accepted for publication by Veidt & Co. , the firm which brought out most German chess books. Though he complimented me on all I had done towards systematizing the knowledge every chess student needed before he could hope to become a strong player, Nimz6vich explained with good-natured irony that a master had to understand much more. And after he had shown me some

99 of his new ideas which he proposed to publish in book form under the title My System, I thoroughly appreciated the gap which still separated me from his class. Among the bizarre things he said, I remember particu­ larly one very amusing statement. I had asked him why he played the Caro-Kann opening so frequently, although White always emerges with the strategic advantage of a center Pawn on the fourth rank, and Black does not. He replied : "The ambitious aim of the move 1 , P - QB3 is to prove that 1. P - K4 is premature. " We played one practice game before proceeding to the Hamburg tournament. It was an amusing example of Nimz6vich's eccentric style. I was elated at winning the game, although I confessed to myself afterward that ihis would never have happened, had Nimz6vich not played with that somewhat condescendi ng attitude of a master who feels that all he has to do is to wait until his weaker oppo­ nent commits positional sui Cide. Here is how the game went : MEETING THE MASTERS

.

WHITE :

BLACK :

WHITE : .

Edward

A. Nim;:;6vich 1. P - K4 2. N - KB3 3. B NS •

Lasker P - K4

N - QB3 P - QR3

.

.

.

BLACK :

Edward

A. Nim;:;6vich 4. B x N 5. p - Q3

Lasker QP x B

The first bizarre move. The fundamental idea of the ex­ change variation is to trade the Queen's Pawn for Black's King's Pawn, so as to remain on the King's wing with an extra Pawn which can develop into a passed Pawn in the end-game, while the four Black Queen's sid e Pawns are held by the opposing three Pawns of White. Thus, 5. P - Q4 is called for. The classic illustration of this idea had been

CH E S S S E CR E T S

1 00

Emanuel Lasker's first match game with Tarrasch. But Nimzovich distrusted inherited chess convictions, because he was keenly aware of the shortcomings of the classical school in so many phases of the game, particularly in its evaluation of strength and weakness of center Pawns. 5

.

.



.

.

B



QB4

The King's Pawn needed no defense, as N x P would be refuted by Q - QS, attacking the Knight and threatening mate at the same time. 6. P KR3 7. QN Q2 •



8.

B K3 N K2 •



·

Bl

p . 83



It still wasn't necessary to protect the Pawn, but sooner or later it had to be done in any case, and besides the move had its positional justification in that it lengthened the line of the Queen's Bishop and decreased the mobility of White's King's Knight and Queen's Bishop. ·

9. N



N3

Q



Q2

10. 0



0

0-0-0

Planning a King's side attack. This plan promises suc­ cess, as the advanced King's Rook's Pawn provides a target. 1 1. K



R2

P



KR4

12. N E D W A R D



Rl

L A S K E R

44.

AR O N

NIMZ6VICH

101

MEETING THE MASTERS

Second bizarre idea. Nimz6vich wants to pull back the other Knight also, and then align his Pawns in front of the King on the third rank, so as to be able to avoid Pawn ex­ changes and block the position, thus making a break­ through with my Rooks impossible. 12 13. N - N l 14. P - KN3 15. P - KN4 .



.

.



16. N - 83 17. 8 X N 18. N - Q2

P - KN4 N - N3 P - RS QR - N l

N - 85 NP x 8

EDWA R D L A S K ER

45.

NIMZ6YICH

A R O N

The Knight's file is half open, and the position invites sacrifice to open it completely. 18

.









a

P - 84 !?

But this is not the best way, because it leaves White the option of accepting or refusing the sacrifice. More exact was B x NP ! ! ; 19. P x B, R x P; 20. R - KNl, R - N6 ! ! ; 21. Q - KB1 , Q - N5 and 22. . . . , R - Nl ; or: 21. N x R, RP x N dbl.ch. ; 22. K - N2, Q - R6 ch, 23. K - B3, P x P ch and mate in three, or : 21. P x R; RP x P dbl.ch. ; 22. K - N2, Q - R6 ch; 23. K - B3, P - N7 ch, etc. 19. KP

X

p

Q8 x 8P

20. p

X

8'

1 02

CHESS SECRETS

This permits a similar finish. A wiser move would have been 20. N - K4, but Nimz6vich naturally disliked the idea of an end-game with his Knight tucked away in the corner. Mter B x N; 21. P x B, R - Ql ! ; 22. Q x Q ch, R x Q; 23. KR - Ql , KR - Ql I would have forced control of the Queen's file and invaded the seventh rank. 22. Q - K2, Q - K3 would in the end have led to a similar situation.

20 21. Q - 83 .



.

.

Q x BP R - N6 !!

22. N X R 23. K - N l

RP x N ch RxP

There is no help. 24. Q - K4

Q - NS

25. Resigns

In Hamburg Nimz6vich faced as powerful a gathering of masters as had been assembled in any previous tournament. Bernstein and Rubinstein were not there, but Tarrasch and Schlechter played, besides Duras, Marshall, Teichmann, Alekhines Spielmann, Tartakower, Dus-Chotimirsky, For­ gacs, etc. Nimz6vich had the first prize within his grasp. But he lost his game against Duras, one of his chief competitors, after building up a very promising position. He had spent too much time on a difficult middle game, and with eight more moves to make within the time limit, he missed the proper continuation. I remember how a large crowd of us stood around the board when the crisis was close at hand. Nimz6vich was a highly nervous type, sensitive to the smallest noise, and he asked the tournament director to keep us onlookers quiet. However, the complications of the position were sufficient to overwhelm him, in the few minutes he had left, even without outside disturbances. The Diagram shows the situation after twenty moves, when Duras, master of practical psychology, produced those complications in view of Nimz6vich's time trouble :

MEETING THE MASTERS ARON

NIMZ6VICH

46.

OLDRICH

21. 8 x P ch I 22. P - N3

KxB

DURAS

23. _QR - Q 1

KR - KN l

He cannot play K - R2, Q - K2 ; 24. P x N ?, because Black would win with Q - RS ch. 23

.

.



.

.

K - Kl 9

The first error. QR - Q1 ! ! was the correct continuation. After 24. R x R, R x P ch ! !, 25. Q x R, N - K7 ch; 26. K - N2, N x Q; 27. P x N Nimz6vich had winning chances. 24. K - R2 1

N - N3 9

Q - K2 was still the move, as indicated in the note to White's 23rd play. Now Duras forces an elegant win. N ch

25. R - Q6 ! 26. Q - 86 !

N - Bl

28. Q

Q - R4

29. R - Q7

27. R - K6 ch !

NxR

x

K

-

B1

Resigns.

As a result of this loss, Schlechter won first prize (he had made 1 1 % out of 1 6 possible points) , Duras came second, half a point below Schlechter, and Nimz6vich third, half a point below Duras. Then followed Spielmann with 10 points, Marshall and Teichmann with 9% points, Alekhine

1 04

CHESS SECRETS

and Dus-Chotimirsky with 8 72 points, and Forgacs and Tarrasch with 8 points. This was Alekhine's first master tournament. He had been admitted at the eleventh hour, in place of Erich Cohn who could not come. Alekhine was so anxious to participate that he played in disobedience of the doctor's orders. He had had an accident to his right foot. He was supposed to stay in bed, but he got himself a wheel chair, and each day he was wheeled into the tournament hall. Unbeknownst to many of the spectators, some of the players in the Master class were unwittingly actors in at least two comedies which grew out of their prejudices and vanities. Tarrasch, who had not given up the idea of winning the world championship, had written an article in one of his chess columns, discussing the chances of the various pro­ spective competitors in the tournament. He had expressed his disagreement with the Committee which had invited Yates, the British champion, although he had never demon­ strated his class in competition with continental masters. True enough, Yates came last, losing all games except three which he drew and one which he won; but the game he won was against Tarrasch, and those who knew Tar­ rasch personally took great delight in this incident, for the "chess teacher of Germany" was much disliked because of his arrogant attitude. The other comedy involved Nimz6vich and John. When Nimz6vich was scheduled to play the latter, he came forty­ five minutes late to the tournament hall. He had heard that John had made a derogatory remark about him, and he was going to have a little revenge. John, who had made his first move, was pacing the hall nervously, possibly hoping that Nimz6vich might be a whole hour late. In this case he ·

MEETING THE M ASTERS

1 05

could have claimed the game. When Nimz6vich finally appeared, he seemed in no hurry to start the contest. In­ stead of sitting down at the board, he feigned intense in­ terest in the oil paintings which lined the walls , walking from one to another and examining them carefully, al­ though he had been looking at them every day for almost two weeks. By that time John knew, of course, that something was up, and he turned red with anger at the contemptuous nonchalance with which Nimz6vich was treating the game. Finally Nimz6vich came to the board, made his move with­ out sitting down, and immediately went off again to con­ tinue his study of the paintings. This he repeated until he had made his sixteenth move, consuming probably no more than five minutes in pondering his play. On the seventeentli move he offered a fine Pawn sacrifice which won the ex­ change nine moves later. John might as well have resigned at that point, but he was naturally furious at Nimz6vich and he kept him playing on for eighty-two moves before he resigned. The next morning John sent· two seconds to Nimz6vich with a challenge to a duel. Nimz6vich laughed at them and said he would gladly fight John, but only with bare fists. At the same time, he showed them his muscles and sug­ gested they had better warn John. Of course, the duel was off. I was sorry Nimz6vich did not live in Berlin. Mter the Hamburg tournament I had no opportunity of meeting him again in Europe. I saw him once more, seventeen years later, in this country, when he was invited to take part in the New York Masters Tournament of 1 927. The ironic aggressiveness of his youth was gone. And I was saddened to learn that during the hardships of the first world war and

1 06

CHESS SECRETS

the years following, his lungs had become affected. Men­ tally he was as keen as ever. But his nervousness had in­ creased to a degree which was almost pathological. People who knew Nimz6vich only superficially were apt to be repulsed by his abnormally nervous behavior. But those who took the trouble to engage him in a conversation on chess or any other abstract subject, could not help being impressed with his intellectual honesty and his mental equipment. He was free from personal malice. When he clothed his arguments in sarcasm, and sometimes in rather unfunny jokes, it was merely the result of a childlike quality which had persisted in him, as it does in so many chess masters of top rank. I am certain of one thing: Nimzovich was the real father of Modern Chess. Alekhine 11nd Reti later contributed a great deal to this subject. But the credit for the original concept, always the hardest step, must go to Nimz6vich. The Hamburg major tournament was won by the young Pole, G. Rotlevi, known to most of today's players only as the victim of Rubinstein's most famous combination. He proved himself a very ingenious player, not only in this Hamburg tournament, but much more so in the following year in the great Master tournament of Karlsbad. I finished fifth, rather a come-down after defeating Erich Cohn; but consoling myself with the thought that the Goddess of Chess was very fickle-hadn' t she made Tarrasch, World champion candidate, come tenth in the Master section?-! concluded that I, who wasn't even a minor light as yet, certainly had no cause to be discouraged. My own game with Rotlevi was connected with an amusing little incident. I was scheduled to play him on the afternoon of the day on which Marshall was paired with Tarrasch in the morning. I was sitting in a restaurant eating

MEETING THE MASTERS

luncheon, when Marshall came in, visibly elated, sat down next to me and said in his inimitable "Pidgin German" : "Habe Sie gesehn my partie with Tarrasch? Nein? Ich habe ihn just defeated ! Oh ! Badly ! Ich muss Sie zeigen die partie-! My own new invention ! Wen spiele Sie this after­ noon? Rotlevi? Versuche Sie my variation gegen ihm ! Max Lange ! Lost for Black ! Ich habe analyzed diese variation in New York six months !" With these words he took out his pocket set and showed me his famous innovation in the Max Lange Attack. I was delighted. I had no doubts that I could lure Rotlevi into this variation, because in those days the Max Lange was considered good for Black, and it was most unlikely that Rotlevi had seen Marshall's game. Probably he had taken a long walk, like myself, to freshen himself for the afternoon struggle. For a while, everything went according to schedule. Rotlevi showed no sign of familiari tY with the Marshall­ Tarrasch game, for he chose exactly the same defense which Tarrasch had played : 1. P - K4, P - K4; 2. N - KB3, N ­ QB3 ; 3. P - Q4, P x P; 4. B - B4, N - B3 ; 5. 0 - 0, B - B4; 6. P - KS, P - Q4 ; 7. P x N, P x B; 8. R - Kl ch, B - K3 ; G.

R O TL E Y I

47.

E D W A R D

L A S K E R

I 08

C H E SS SE C R E TS

N - N5, Q - Q4 ; 10. N - QB3, Q - B4 ; 1 7. QN - K4, 0 - 0 - 0. In this position White has a chance to win a Rook and lose the game : 12. P - KN4 ?, Q - K4 ; 13. N - KB3, Q - Q4; 14. P x P, B x P ! ! ; 15. P x R(Q) , R x Q; 16. N - B6, Q x N; 17. Q x Q, B x Q, threatening N - N5 as well as B - K2 . But here I adopted Marshall's continuation which went as follows : 9.

12. KN

B

X

13. P - KN4

14. p X p 15. 8 - R6

PxN Q - K4

KR -

Nl

. This was the new move, which Tarrasch had answered with P - Q6 ; 16. P - B3, B - Q3 . When Marshall showed me his game he told me that -he thought Tarrasch would have done better to play 15 . . . , B - K2, and consequently I was much concerned when Rotlevi actually made this move. While I was pondering my reply, reproaching myself for not having asked Marshall what, according to his analysis, was the best continuation for White, I was in­ terrupted by a messenger boy with a telegram. It was from Berlin, sent by Ernst Cassirer's beautiful and witty wife, and its amusing contents helped to dispel my nervousness. Anyone who happens to be familiar with the old German proverb "Heute rot, morgen tot" (Today red, tomorrow dead) will appreciate that I could not help laughing out aloud when I read the message : " Immer mutig ! Denken Sie nur an das alte Wort : Heute Rotlevi, morgen Totlevi !" (Courage ! Think of the old saying : Today Redlevi, to­ morrow Deadlevi !) . .

15

.

.

.

.



16. N - N5 17. R - K4

8 - K2 Q - 85 Q - 83

18. R 19. N

x X

KP p

Q - 85 Q - 82

1 09

MEETING THE MASTERS

G. ROTLEVI

48.

EDWA R D

L A S K E R

With two Pawns ahead, I felt . I could face the future with confidence, if I could get my Knight back into play and if possible, exchange Queens also.

20.

Q

21. p



X

Kl p

p . Q6

22. Q



PxP

23. Q



K4

R - Q2

BS

This move apparently accomplished my purpose ; but rather than exchange Queens, Black gave up the Rook for the Bishop. 23

.









24. B x R

RxP

QxB

And now he threatened N QS as well as Q x NP. Had I steadfastly pursued the task of getting my Knight back into the game, I would now have played 25. N - B6, in order to meet N - QS with 26. R x B, N x Q; 27. R x Q, R x R ; 28. R - Ql . The game then would have very soon been over. My actual continuation was much less exact, and led to a more difficult ending. -

25. R

Ql

N - QS

28. N x Q

R



82

26. R x B !

Q xR

N6

R



N2

27. Q - B8 ch

QxQ

29. N 30. N

KS

R









N4

I 10

C H E SS SE C RE TS G .

ROTLEVI

49.

EDWA R D

L A S K E R

Pntil a person has actually lived and suffered through an end-game of this type in tournament play, he is not likely to handle it correctly. I should have aimed at retaining connected passed Pawns, because they are a much stronger menace in most endings in which only Rooks and Pawns or only Knights and Pawns are left. The opportunity of keeping my Pawns connected lay in 31. P - B4 !. After N - K7 ch ; 32. K - B2, N x P; 33. K - B3, R x N; 34. K x N, R - K7 ; 35. P - KR4 the game would have been won for me without difficulty because it would have taken Black much too long to produce advanced connected Pawns him­ self. Incidentally, 31. R x P would not do in the dia­ grammed position as N K7 ch and R x N would leave Black with a Knight ahead. -

31. N X p ' 32. K - 8 1 33. P KR3

R x P ch N - 86 N - R7 ch R - K5 ch



34. K - K2

37. 39. R

35. K - Q2

36. K - 83 37. R - KR l

N - B6 ch R - KR5 K - Q2

. . N N4 would lose because of 38. P - B4, R x RP; R, N x R ; 40. K - Q4, N - N8 ; 41. K - K3. The sacrifice 40 , P - B4 ch would also lose : 41. K x P, .

-

x

.

.

.

.

MEETING THE MASTERS

I I I

N - N8 ; 42. K - QS , N - B6 ; 43. N - KS, N - R S ; 44. K - K6 etc. 38. N - 8 1

N - N4

Now Black regains his second Pawn, but only at the cost of exchanging Rooks. In the ensuing e nding my passed Pawn is bound to hold either the Black King or Knight on · the King's wing on guard, so that the Queen's side Pawns will remain without sufficient protection. The method which should be employed i n endings of this type is exemplified in the following play. 39. K - Q3 40. R x R 41. K - K3 42. K - 84 43. K - N3

R x P ch NxR N - N4 N - R6 ch N - N4

44. K - N4 45. p .: 83 46. K - 85 47. P - 84

N - K5 N - 83 ch K - K2 N - Q2

In the first phase of the ending the passed Pawn advanced just far enough to be a menace, and the King took up a position from which he may either aid the further advance of the Pawn or swing over to the other wing, to attack the Black Pawns. The second phase is concerned with loosening the position of these Pawns by forcing them forward, thus making them more vulnerable to attack. 48. N - Q3

49. N - 85 50. N - Q3

N - 81 P - N3 P - R4

51. K - K5 ! 52. K - B5

p - 83 N - K3

53. N - K5

p - 84

Not K - Q3, because of N - B4 ch and N x NP. Unable to avoid the loss of a Pawn, Rotlevi now tries to exchange the Queen's side Pawns so that he can sacrifice his Knight for my remaining Pawn, if necessary. 54. N - 84 55. N X p

P - N4

56. K - K5

p - 85

57. N - 86 ch

N - 84 K - Bl

CHESS SECRETS

1 12

To give me as few checking opportunities as possible. G.

ROTLEVI

so.

EDWA R D

L A S K E R

58. N - R7 " Oh rashness of youth ! Out of place in chess ! I had not learned as yet, from my own experience, that even com­ paratively simple endings, such as this one, are apt to offer hidden resources to the player who seems hopelessly lost, and I made the obvious move, without checking care­ fully every possibility which might offer Black a tricky es­ cape. There are two logical ways to consider which might meet Black's threat to win a Pawn with N Q6 ch. One is to let him take the Knight's Pawn and utilize the absence of the Knight from the King's wing to queen the Bishop's Pawn. The other is to give up the Bishop's Pawn and attack the Black Pawns with both King and Knight. The first method will not do because the Black Knight gets back in time to check White's King away from the square he needs to support his Pawn : 58. P - BS , N - Q6 ch; 59. K - K6, N x P ; 60. N - KS , N - Q6 ; 61. N - Q7 ch, K - Nl ; 62. P - B6, N - BS ch ; 63. K - K7, N - N3 ch ; 64. K - K8, P - B6, drawing. The second method however, will win, if White is careful -

I l3

MEETIN G THE M A STERS

to avoid a trap or two which Black still has at his disposal: 58. K - Q4 !, N - Q6 ; 59. K - B3 !, N x BP; 60. N - R7, N - K7 ch ; 61. K - Q2 ! (K - N4 ?, N - BS ; 62. P - R3, N ­ R7 ch; 63. K x P, P - B6 ! etc.) , N - QS ; 62. P - R3 ! , and both of Black's Pawns will fall after 63. K - B3. The move of the text permits Rotlevi to escape with the aid of a neat combination: 58 59. K - Q4 60. p X p .









P - NS ! p - 86 ! N - K3 ch

61. K 84 62. K x P •

PxP NxP

Draw

Sic transit gloria. . . MORE GRANDMAS TER PLA T

There was another chess event in 1 9 1 0 to which I had been looking forward, namely the return match between Emanuel Lasker and Janowski. Although Janowski had had many successes in tournaments, where his wild attacking style was apt to fell the greatest of masters, his temperament was not suited to match play. Nobody thought he had a serious chance against the world champion except his angel, Nardus, whose confidence in Janowski seemed unshakable. Janowski arrived in Berlin a couple of days ahead of the date on which the match was to start, and I met him at one of the chess cafes. I was much disappointed in finding him to be a man of much lesser caliber than I had expected from the games of his which I had seen in the chess maga­ zines. These games showed a remrukably fine judgment of position, from which I had concluded that he had no doubt a fine, logical mind, capable of scientific thinking. What I found instead, was a man whose horizon was extremely limited, a mind occupied with thoughts about nothing but chess and gambling, mostly the latter. He was a nice enough fellow, and he had many amusing stories to tell

I

14

C H E S S S E C R E TS

about his tournament experiences, but it seemed rather absurd that he should nourish the slightest hope of winning a match against that gigantic intellect which was Lasker's. The story went that Janowski, after winning first prize in the Monte Carlo tournament, 1 901 , ahead of Schlechter and Tschigorin, lost the prize money the day after the tournament at the roulette table and according to the

DAV I D

JANOWSKI

Bank's custom, was given a free ticket back to Paris, his home. Nothing daunted, he staked all of his winnings again at roulette the following year, after coming third, below Maroczy and Pillsbury, but ahead of Teichmann, Schlech­ ter and Tarrasch. Again the Bank had to give him his ticket home. Mter that, it appears, Nardus no longer sent him to the Monte Carlo tournaments. However, he covered him­ self with glory sharing second and third place with Emanuel Lasker in Cambridge Springs, 1 904, when Marshall won first prize. In 1 905 Janowski shared 1 st and 2nd with Maroczy in Barmen, ahead of Marshall, Bernstein and Schlechter ; and in the Grandmasters Tournament of Ostend, in 1 907, he was tied for third place with Marshall, below Tarrasch and Schlechter.

MEETING THE MASTERS

This was certainly an enviable tournament record ; but match play requires certain psychological faculties, apart from chess ability, and those faculties Janowski certainly did not possess. Mter losing the first three games of the match, he said to me : "Your namesake plays such stupid chess that I simply cannot look at the board while he is thinking. I am afraid I shan't do well in this match at all." This attitude seemed almost too absurd to grant his statement credence. I learned later, indeed, that Janowski had discovered a gambling club the day before the match started, and that instead of resting eight hours every night he spent most nights at that club. He lost the match 8 to 0, with 3 drawn games, even worse than Marshall, whom Lasker had beaten by the same score in 1 907, but who had drawn seven games. I remember that in the last game of the match Lasker gave Janowski every conceivable chance. He had heard that Janowski had made derogatory remarks and it almost looked as if he wanted to show him that he could play with him like a cat with a mouse. In reply to 1. P Q4 he moved P - Q3, and on the next turn he played P - K4, permitting Janowski to exchange the Queens and thus depriving him­ self of the opportunity of castling. It did not take him very many moves to outplay Janowski and win the game. Janowski said to me the day after the match that he was glad it was over because he could now devote himself un­ disturbed to the much more interesting game he had found at a club to which he had been introduced. Naturally, that was roulette. And he went into a serious explanation of a system he had decided on, and which offered great chances of success to a player who kept his alertness so as to make the correct decisions quickly, between the throws of the ball. I really could not bdieve that I was speaking to one of the greatest chess masters of the time. -

1 16

C HE SS SE C R E TS

Nevertheless, that is what he was, at least as far as tournament chess was concerned. I don't think there are many masters who can look back upon as grandiose a game as the one which Janowski conducted against Capablanca in San Sebastian, 1 9 1 1 . Mter he lost that game in an easily winning position, he lost at the same time the courage which had distinguished him throughout his career. He never came back to the front rank.

:l O S E

RAUL

CAPA BLA NCA

When Capablanca, as a young man of 22, came to Europe to compete in San Sebastian in what was perhaps the greatest master tournament ever organized, no one ex­ pected him to be among the prize winners, although he had beaten Marshall decisively in a match in 1 909. The galaxy of masters which participated-among them Rubinstein, Schlechter, Bernstein, Vidmar, Teichmann, Maroczy, Duras, Nimz6vich and Spielmann-was considered beyond the reach of a newcomer. Even after the Cuban perplexed the European chess fans by his first round victory over the redoubtable Bernstein, they did not accord him much of a chance in the long run. Bernstein had taken his Queen out of the game to capture a Pawn at an early stage, obviously the result of underestimating his youthful opponent. How-

1 17

M E E T I N G THE M A S TE R S

ever, when Capablanca remained in the lead round after round, the temper of public opinion changed radically, and he was hailed as one of the greatest geniuses of the game, although it was conceded that in his game against Janowski he had been very lucky and that Rubinstein, the only one to win from Capablanca, should really have been first. The handsome Cuban's magnetic personality had much to do with the swing of the chess fans' sympathy from Rubinstein, who, until then, had been acknowledged as the only logical contender for the world title in a match with Lasker. The game against Janowski, in which Capablanca almost came to grief, was such an exciting struggle that I will exhume it here. I am certain it will-give much pleasure even to those who may have seen it in the chess literature of the past. BLACK :

WHITE :

Josl R. Capablanca 1. p - Q4

D.

Janowski P - Q4

WHITE :

Jose R. Capablanca

BLACK :

D.

Janowski

2. P - K3

It is interesting to see with what extreme caution Capa­ blanca treated the opening. Being very young, he was very self-conscious in this first international tournament of his. He told me many years later that he felt not a little fright­ ened in the company of all these Chess Grandmasters of Europe, of whom he had heard so much in America. He always expected them to make moves which he had not foreseen, although he had made three points in the first four rounds. In this fifth-round game against Janowski his fears were actually confirmed. Janowski completely out­ played him, making one move after another which Capa­ blanca had rejected in his calculations in favor of other replies which he thought were stronger.

I I8

C HE S S S E C R E T S

N - KB3 4. P - B4 2. . . . . P - K3 p - 84 5. N - B3 B - K2 3. N - KB3 The lackadaisical manner in which some of the greatest masters of the last generation played the opening is as­ tonishing to anyone who observes the scientific accuracy with which even today's youngsters handle that part of the game. The only explanation I can think of why Janowski should have moved this Bishop at this early stage, rather than waiting for White to capture the Bishop's Pawn, is that he wanted to induce White to give up his center Pawn while keeping his own on Q4. 6. p

X

BP

7.

0-0

p - QR3

Capablanca was not playing the opening in a very exact fashion either. Black could now equalize the position with P x P. It would have been more logical to exchange on QS first. 7

.

.

.





8. P - QN4

BxP

B - K2

Again a strange move. On Q3 the Bishop has obviously more mobility. Possibly Janowski had visions of opposing White's Queen's Bishop in the long diagonal on B3. 9. B - N2 D.

P - QR4 !

J A N OWSKI

51 .

J,

R.

CAPABLA NCA

1 19

MEETING THE MASTERS

White is forced to give up control of BS. 10. P - BS would have been answered with P - QN3, and the chain of White Pawns would soon have been broken up. White would hardly be able to hold the Pawn which would, in the end, be left on N4. 10. P - NS

P - QN3

11. p

X

p

PxP

Now Black has an isolated Pawn, but as Janowski pointed out to me when he showed me the game a couple of years later, this advantage is compensated by the greater mobility of his Bishops and by the possession of a center Pawn which controls two squares in the opponent's territory. 12. N - Q4

B - Q3

Janowski certainly could have saved himself this mov€ by playing the Bishop to Q3 on the eighth move. 13. B - K2

Planning to play the Bishop to B3, against Black's weak Pawn. He might have accomplished this purpose in the same number of moves with 13. P - N3 and 14. B - N2, but he was probably right in fearing the resulting weakness of the white squares. Mter 13. P - N3, B - KNS would have been unpleasant. 14. P - B3 would have left the King's Pawn too weak, and 14. B - K2 would have vitiated White's own plans. 14. Q - N3 or Q - Q3 would have invited QN - Q2 - B4 etc., and 14. Q - B2 was not very desirable because Black could have occupied the open Bishop's file with his Rook and forced the Queen to move again very soon. In short, White's position would have been far from easy to handle. 13

.









B - K3

14. B - 83

On general principles, it would have been better to castle first, because this is a move which White must make

1 20

CHESS SECRETS

in any case, while the Bishop may prove to b e more useful on a square other than B3, depending upon Black's con· tinuation. This position nicely exemplifies one of the valuable les· sons I had learned from casual remarks of Emanuel Lasker. He had counseled me always to try to maintain as many options as possible in placing my pieces in the early middle game ; not to commit myself to a developing move with a piece which had a choice, as long as there were other de· veloping moves available which had to be made in any case. D.

J A N OWSK I

52.

J. R . CAPABLA NCA

14

.

.

.



.

R · R2 !

An excellent way of bringing the Rook into play. There are several squares in the second rank on which the Rook may be useful, among them KB2, in case White should ex· change his Knight on Q4 for the Bishop on K6.

15. 0 - 0

R - 82

16. Q - N3

Capablanca wants to concentrate his fire o n the isolated center Pawn. But it would have been wiser to keep the Queen closer to the King's wing where Black, by dint of his access to center squares with his minor pieces, is likely to

MEETING THE MASTERS

121

be able to develop a threatening attack. 16. Q - Q2 and 17. KR Ql seems indicated. The tempting sacrifice 16. N x P !, N x N; 17. B x N, might have had a chance of success only if Black had accepted it with 17 , BxB ( 18. N - BS ! ) . But 17 , B x P ch ! ; 18. K x B ; Q - R 5 ch ; 19. K - Nl , B x B; 20. N - B 3 , B x N; 2 1 . Q x B, R - B4 would have given Black a far superior game. -

.

.

16.









.



17. KR - Q l

Q N - Q2

.





.

N K4 ! •

Here is where the absence of a white center Pawn shows up as a distinct disadvantage. The accessibility of K4 and QB4 to Black's pieces, with the corresponding squares de­ nied to White, assures Black a strong initiative. White can­ not permit the Knight to settle on his QB4. 18. B x P would lose quickly, because of N x B; 19. N x N, N - NS ; 20. ­ p - N3, B x N; 21. Q x B, N x BP ! (22. K x N ?, B x P ch etc.) . White must therefore withdraw the Bishop again to K2, losing two moves. This is sufficient to make Black's at­ tack well-nigh irresistible. 18. B



K2

Q-

19. QR B 1

K2



D.

KR - B 1 I

JAN OWS K I

53.

J,

R . C A P A B L A N CA

Before launching his final assault, Janowski makes sure that his opponent cannot obtain a counter-threat in the

1 22

C H ESS SE CRETS

Queen's Bishop's file which can be opened with N R4. The exchange of both Rooks can only be good for Black, because it leaves White's King's wing almost denuded of defensive pieces. Still, Capablanca realized that he had to brave the onslaught or lose the game. For only on the Queen's wing, where he has more elbow room, can White hope to obtain counterplay. -

20. N - R4 21. R X R

RxR R x R ch

22. B x R

N - K5 !

All of Black's pieces are now "centralized," poised for attack. White dare not capture the Knight's Pawn, as N ·- NS ! would follow, threatening N x BP as well as Q - RS, etc. 23. B - N2

24. B x N

N - 85

B x P ch !!

The crisis is at hand ! Wi th this Bishop sacrifice Janowski tears down his opponent's defenses. Incidentally, he gains enough Pawns to compensate him for the piece, should Capablanca succeed in getting his King away to safety. D.

JA NOWSKI

54.

J.

25. K x B 26. K - N l

R. CA P A B L A N CA

Q - R5 ch Q x P ch

27. K - R2

Q - N6 ch !

1 23

MEETING THE MASTERS

Inviting 28. K - Rt , ·B - R6 ; 30. K Nt , N - NS etc.

29.

B - KBl , N - B7 ch;

-

28. 29. 30. 31.

K - Nl Q - 82 K - R2 K - Nl

Px8 Q x KP ch Q - N6 ch Q - K8 ch

32. K - R2 33. K - N l 34. K - R2

Naturally, Black is not satisfied with 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40.

NxB K · Nl K R2 K · Nl Q - Q2 K - 81 41. K - K2 •

Q - R5 ch Q - K 8 ch Q - R5 ch N - NS !! Q - R7 ch Q - R 8 ch Q x P ch

42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47.

K K K K K K

· -

Ql 82 81 82 81 Nl

Q - N6 ch Q - K8 ch N - 83 ! a

draw . N - 87 ch Q - N3 ch Q - N8 ch Q - N3 ch N - Q6 ch PxN

The smoke of battle has cleared. White's King has found a temporary haven, but at what cost ! Black has four Pawns for the piece, and his Rook's Pawn threatens to run almost unimpeded to the queening square In his book My Chess Career, Capablanca makes the state­ ment that at this point he could have at least drawn the game with 48. K R2, j ustifying his judgment that Black's .

-

D.

JAN OWSKI

55.

J,

R. CAPABLANCA

1 24

CHESS SECRETS

attack could be warded off. The statement is not explained by an analysis of the continuations at Black's disposal, and it seems to me that after Q - B4 ! White would have been as badly off as he was in the line which he actually chose. 48. Q



P

QB2



R4 !

White cannot take the Bishop's Pawn because P - RS would follow. 50. Q x RP would then not be playable, as the discovered check N - NS would force a mate. 49. N x P would lose the Knight through the check on N8. 49. B 50. B



x

Q4 QNP

P P





R5 R6

51. B



52. P



87 N6

P



K4 !

Q x P ch would not save White either. Mter K - Bl ; 53. B - Q6 ch, Q x B ; 54. Q - B8 ch, K - K2 ; 55. Q x P, Q x P; 56. Q - R4 ch, K - Q2 ; 57. N - N6 ch, K - B2 ; 58.

N - QS ch, K - N2 ; or : 57. Q - R3 ch, K - Q3 ; or: 57. Q - N4 ch, K - Ql ; 58. Q - NS ch, Q - K2 the two extra Pawns would finally win. 52

.

.

.

.



Q



K5 !

Preventing White's passed Pawn from advancing and keeping White's Knight from getting back into the game D. JANOWSKI

56.

J. R.

CAPABLANCA

MEE T I N G T HE MASTERS

1 25

via B3 or N2. 53. N - N2 would fail because of P - R7 ; 54. Q x P, Q - K8 ch ; 55. K- R2, N - B8 ch ; 56. K - Nl, N - N 6 ch ; 57. K - B2, Q - B8 mate. Or: 55. N - Ql , Q x N ch; 56. K - R2, Q - N6 ch; 57. K - Rt, N - K8, fol­ lowed by N -B7 ch . Similarly, 53. N - B3 would lead to P - R7 ; 54. Q x P, Q - K8 ch ; 55. K - R2 (K- B2 ?, Q - B8 mate !), Q x N; 56. Q - KN2, Q - N6 ch ; 57. K- Rl, P - KS etc. Thus, Capablanca's next move is forced. 53. B

X

p

mistake which affected the destinies of three great chess masters. It was a tragedy in Janowski ' s life that he did not bring this brilliant game to a fitting conclusion with Q - R8 ch, followed by N x B and Q - N7. Capablanca won the to urnament as a result of this game. Thus he be­ came the favorite contender for the world championship overnight, and he brought Cuba into the news throughout Europe in such a flattering manner that the Cuban Gov­ ernment gave him employment in its diplomatic service, thereby relieving him of making a living for the rest of his life. Rubinstein, on the other hand, who had been con­ sidered the logical heir to Lasker's throne, was pushed into the background because of Janowski's defeat, despite the fact that he had won his individual game against Capa­ blanca in classic style. Janowski did not realize during the game that he had thrown away the victory with his last move. He was, after all, thirty years older than his opponent, and he was tired out by the labor which had gone into his masterpiece. Had he been in condition to ponder soberly his advantages and disadvantages in the resulting ending , he would have prop­ erly evaluated White's passed Pawn as more dangerous than his own, because White's Pawn gets to the seventh rank A

C HESS SECRETS

first. It was not difficult to see that the Black Knight would be relegated to the task of guarding the queening square of the White Pawn, while White's Knight could cooperate with the Queen in an attack on the Black King. For this reason Janowski should have forced the draw by perpetual check on the next move-heart-breaking as such a decision must have seemed to him-rather than risk the loss of the game. 54. K - R2

NxB!

N - B8 ch etc. was necessary. 55. P - N7 56. N - B5 !

57. Q x P ch 58. N - K4 !

N - Q2 N - Nl

K - R1

The point of White's-56th move. Black has no check, nor can he advance his King's Rook's Pawn, because of the D. JANOWSKI

57.

J. R.

CAPABLANCA

threat 59. Q - B8 ch, K - R2 ; 60. Q - R3 ch, K - Nl (K ­ N3 ; 61. Q - K6 ch, winning the Queen through a Knight check on the next move) ; 61. Q - K6 ch, K - Bl (K - R l ; 62. Q K8 ch, again winning the Queen) ; 62. Q - Q6 ch, K - B 2 ; 63. N - NS ch, winning the Knight with check. At this point Janowski, faced with the loss of the finest -

MEE T I NG THE M A STERS

game he had ever played, became completely demoralized. Q - K6 or Q - RS, pro tecti ng hi s mos t precious Pawn, probably would still have drawn the game. For if 59. Q - B8 ch, K - R2 ; 60. Q x P ch , Q x Q; 61. N - NS ch, K - N3 ; 62. N x Q, K - B4 ; 63. K - N3, P - N4; 64. K - B4 (N x P i s not en ough to win) , P - NS ; 65. N - Nl , K - KS !, Black threatens to win the Knight through K - K6, and after 66. N - K2, K - B6 ; 67. N - Q4 ch, K - KS ! White never gets a chance to give up his Kn ight for the Pawn in a p o si tion in which the Black King is too far away from the Quee n 's wing to catch White's Rook's Pawn. For example : 68. K - BS, P - N6 ; 69. N - K2, K - B6 ; 70. N x P, K x N; 71. K - N6, K - BS ; 72. K x P, K - K4 ; 73. K - N6, K - Q3 ; 74. P - R4, N - Q2 ch ; 75. K - R7, K - B3 ; 76. P - RS, K - B2 ; 77. P - R6, N - Nl etc. If White , on his 72nd move, plays K - R7 in stead of capturing Black's Pawn, Black re pl i es N - B3 ch, and White must not advance the King and queen the Pawn, because then Black would not merely draw but even wi n the game, for his King would capture the Rook's Pawn and at the same time hold his own Pawn. This whole e n d-ga me is extremely int eres ting and ins tru ct ive . It comprises many maneuvers which fre quently recur in Pawn and Knight endings, and it will amply repay careful study. 58

.

.

.





K - R2 ?

Mter this final mistake Capablanca wins the game in fine style . 59. Q - Q3 !

P - N3

Now Q - RS is no longer possible. White would reply 60. N - NS ch, K - R3 ; 61. N - B7 ch, K - R4 ; 62. Q - BS ch, P - N4 ; 63. N - KS ! and again Bl a ck has no check. He

1 28

CHE SS S E CRE TS

would have to give up the Queen to stave ened mate for a few moves. 60. Q x Pch

K

off the threat­

N2



The rest is silence. 61. Q KB3 62. Q - B6 ch 63. Q 87 ch •



Q - QBS K R2 K R3 •



64. Q - B8 ch 65. Q - R8 ch 66. Q 88 ch •

K · R4

K - N5 Resigns.

A K I BA R U B I N ST E I N

Capablanca won the tournament with 9% points, out of a possible total of 1 4. He was closely followed by Rubinstein and Vidmar who had 9 points each. Then came Marshall with 8%, Nimz6vich, Schlechter and Tarrasch with 7%, Bernstein and Spielmann with 7, Teichmann with 6%, Janowski and Maroczy with 6. As mentioned before, Rubinstein was the only one to beat Capablanca. The imperturbable Russian colossus played his famous fianchetto variation in the Queen's gambit, and after thirteen moves the position of Diagram 58 was reached. Here Rubinstein brought off one of his mag­ nificent combinations (See Diagram 58) : 14. 8 x N

Qx8

15. N

X

p !!

1 29

MEET I N G T H E M A S T E R S I.

R. CAPABLANCA

58.

AKIBA

R U BINSTEIN

No doubt Capablanca had seen this sacrifice, and he had thought that it could be refuted by the reply he had pre­ pared. Otherwise he would have recaptured the Bishop with the Pawn instead of the Queen. But Rubinstein had pondered the situation much more deeply. He had foreseen Capablanca's maneuver and prepared a beautiful retort. 15

.

.







Q - R3

Attacking the Bishop and threatening QR - Ql , which pins White's Knight. 16. K - N2

QR - Q l

17. Q - 8 1 !!

The point ! Black cannot capture the Knight with the Rook, because after the exchange of Queens White wins the Rook through B x P ch. And if the Pawn captures the Knight, either immediately or after exchanging Queens, Black loses his Bishop in turn. 17











PxN

18. Q

X

B

Although Rubinstein emerged from this tussle with a Pawn ahead, he had an extremely difficult problem on his hands. Capablanca sacrificed another two Pawns for the

CHESS SECRETS

sake of obtaining a threatening extra-Pawn on the Queen's wing, and after twenty more moves, in the position of Diagram 59, Rubinstein actually made a mistake which might have permitted Capablanca to escape with a draw J. R . CAPA BLANCA

59.

A K I BA

R U BINSTEIN

even win the game unless Rubinstein found the best move on every turn. Rubinstein played 38. B - QS ?, and the remarkable thing is that neither Rubinstein nor Capa­ blanca saw the reply R x RP ! !. The Bishop could not have taken the Rook because of P - N6 etc. Instead, Capablanca played P - N6 ? ; 39. P x P, P - R6 ; 40. B x N, R x NP. But Rubinstein refuted this combination with 41. B - QS, P - R7 ; 42. R - R6 ch. Capablanca resigned, as K - N4 is met by 43. B B4 ch and 44. R - R6. After the tournament Capablanca made a triumphal tour throughout Europe. He gave exhibitions of simultane­ ous chess wherever clubs were able to raise his rather high fees. They were high in comparison with the fees clubs had been used to paying chess masters ; they were moderate enough when one considers that outside of tournament prizes or fees for chess articles or books such exhibitions represent the only source of income for a professional chess master. Capablanca deserves credit for adding his efforts to or

-

M E E T I N G T H E M A S TE R S

those of Emanuel Lasker, in fighting the ignorance or hypocrisy of officials in charge of chess events, who lament the tendency of masters to bring the noble game of chess down to the level of boxing matches by asking more money for their work than other masters had asked before them. Capablanca was determined to combat this breed of chess politicians whose slick oratory often enlists the applause of thoughtless chess fans, and he was quite successful in this worthy task. When the Cuban visited Berlin on his tour, he thrilled me by his very gracious consent to play an individual game with me. What thrilled me still more was that I was able to draw the game in the hopeless position pictured in Diagram 60, by taking advantage of a rash move he made thinking I had to resign immediately. Play proceeded as follows: J.

R .

C A P A B L A N CA

60.

EDWA R D

1. p - 88 (Q)

R

X

Q

L A S K ER

p - 1