Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Game of the Day 2

I had intended to post games and ideas from many of my chess books showing classic games and using them as talking points. But after posting yesterday's game, Lasker-Lipke Breslau 1899, I couldn't help but notice that the second game in the book is Lasker's amazing double bishop sacrifice against Bauer from Amsterdam 1899, so I will look at this game and go on to another book next (though I'd better not look at the next game in the Lasker book!)

While not quite the originator of this type of sacrifice, Lasker undoubtedly made it famous by this game. If you've never seen this game before, then be warned, it is fantastic. Lasker used Bird's Opening (like Magnus Carlsen did) and set up aggressively as if he wanted to attack from the start. When given the chance, Lasker took it with style!

Black expected White to play 15.Qxh5 when it is simple to shut down the attack with 15..f5. Lasker sped things up with 15.Bxh7+! sacrificing a piece, as he is already a knight down in this position. After 15..Kxh7 16.Qxh5+ Kg8 White has brought his queen into the attacking sphere but lacks support or targets. Another sacrifice helps with that!

Lasker opens up his opponent's position with a second bishop sacrifice, 17.Bxg7!!. With Black's king lacking cover, a White rook lift will be deadly, Rf3-g3/h3. Playing through the game with the comments from Fine and Reinfeld one sees the way that Lasker quickly developed a position from which to attack, and then forcefully followed that attack through. Another important thing to remember from this game is that a sacrificial attack needn't always lead to mate. Here, Lasker used the opening of Bauer's king to win more material than he gave up, eventually ending up with a queen and 2 pawns for a rook and bishop. Of course his position was also dominating.

Enjoy this game :)

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