31 October 2006

Endgame: Tarrasch - Lasker, Hastings 1895

Continuing with Lasker's Moves that Matter, this is again Tarrasch - Lasker, Hastings 1895. I presented some background to the game in The Lasker - Tarrasch rivalry; the Berlin Defense. Soltis analyzed the entire game, while Kasparov only mentioned the opening and started his analysis from an endgame position.

After a tense middle game, the players reached the position shown in the diagram. The game is unclear. Tarrasch played 35.Rd2, which Soltis gives a '!'. I'm not sure this is merited, because after Lasker's next move, 35...Kb5, Soltis assigns a '?'. He then says, 'Instead of advancing the King immediately he should start pushing Pawns 35...Kc6 36.h4 b5 37.h5 b4 38.g5 c3', followed by some analysis that ends in a win for Black. Black's last move in that variation, 38...c3, shows the downside to 35.Rd2; it leaves the Rook in the path of the advancing Pawn.

Instead of 35.Rd2, why not 35.Rc2? If 35...Kb5, then 36.h4. Or if 35...Kc6, then 36.Rxc4+ Kd5 37.Nd2. This needs a more thorough look.

Hastings 1895
Lasker, Emanuel

Tarrasch, Siegbert
(After 34...Bb2-d4)
[FEN "3r4/pp6/1k6/8/2pbN1P1/8/P4RKP/8 w - - 0 35"]

After 35...Kb5, White continued 36.Nc3+. Here Soltis gives another '?' and says, 'White would draw after 36.h4', without any analysis.

The game continued 36...Kb4 37.Ne2 Bf6 38.Rxd8 Bxd8 39.Kf3 c3 40.Ke4 Kc4, when it reached the position where Kasparov starts annotating. I'll look at that position next time.

To play through the complete game see...

Siegbert Tarrasch vs Emanuel Lasker, Hastings 1895

...on Chessgames.com.

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