Lasker on Spielmann

Lasker on Spielmann

From Emanuel Lasker’s chess column in Pester Lloyd, Februar 5, 1911:

Spielmann is one of the young masters who have a lot of knowledge, but that has not limited his originality. He knows the beaten track, but also enters the unfamiliar ones. His pursuit of originality is not, as can be seen frequently in others, empty manner, but the expression of a need for development, based on sound positional sense. His innovations are, therefore, although sometimes shown to be inaccurate after later analysis, always inspiring and worthy of attention.

In Vienna, he has played a number interesting matches with great success. In the Master Tournament of the Vienna Chess Club he shared the victory with Schlechter. Both scored ten points out of thirteen, or 77 percent. Not just an excellent result; the quality of his games were at a high level. Against Dr Perlis Spielmann gave an outstanding effort. His treatment of the opening was exemplary and the execution of the attack flawless.

[The game is not from a tournament but from a 5-game match played in december 1910. According to a news report in Neue Freie Presse (December 6) this was the first match game. Spielmann won the match 3-2. Ed.]

Here is the game:

Rudolf Spielmann – Julius Perlis
Vienna 1910
1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. d3 Bc5 4. Nc3 d6 5. f4 Nc6 6. Nf3 Bg4 7. Na4
Here Chigorin played 7.h3 with the intention after 7… Bxf3 8. Qxf3 Nd4 9. Qg3 Nxc2+ 10. Kd1 Nxa1 11. Qxg7 Rf8 or Kd7 12. fxe5 followed by Bg5, Rf1 etc. to initiate a very dangerous attack. However, black can decline the sacrifice and obtain a satisfactory position with 9… Qe7.
Spielmann’s move is unusual. He removes a piece from the centre and allows black time to threaten the king. But the analysis shows that the white position has adequate defenses. If 7… Nd4 then 8. c3 Nxf3+ 9. gxf3 Bh3 10. Nxc5 dxc5 11. fxe5 Nd7 12. Bf4 Qe7 13. d4 with a large advantage for white. Black will also be overwhelmed by the attack after 7… Bxf3 8. Qxf3 Nd4 9. Qg3. For the defense, therefore, a quiet move seems necessary. 7… Bb6 recommends itself even though white obtains the two bishops; the position is closed and therefore the terrain is advantageous for the knights.
7… exf4
The idea of this move is to open lines in the centre, and especially to prepare Ne5.
8. Nxc5 dxc5 9. Bxf4 Qe7
Deutsche Schachzeitung gives 9… Nh5 10. Be3 Ne5, but then a disaster would follow: 11. Nxe5 Bxd1 12. Bxf7+ Ke7 13. Bxc5+ Kf6 14. O-O+ with mate following shortly.
10. Bb5 O-O 11. Bxc6 bxc6 12. O-O c4 13. Qd2 Rfd8
Here 13… cxd3 was forced, followed by Rad8. Now a pretty combination is possible:

14. e5 Nd5 15. Bg5 f6 16. exf6 Nxf6 17. Rae1 Qc5+ 18. d4
Black can no longer get rid of the tripled pawns and so his destiny is decided.
18… Qd6 19. Ne5 Bh5
If 19… Qxd4+ 20. Qxd4 Rxd4 21. c3 Re4 22. Bxf6 and wins.
20. Rf4 Rf8 21. Nxc4 Qd5 22. Bxf6 Qxc4 23. b3 Qa6 24. Be5 Rxf4 25. Qxf4 Bg6

26. Bxg7 Qxa2
If 26… Kxg7 27. Re7+ Kg8 28. Qf6 followed by mate.
27. Bh6 Qa5 28. Rf1 black resigns.

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