Last time we looked at this position.
Saemisch – Capablanca
Capablanca played 9 …Ba6 here, to start pressuring White’s potentially weak pawns. Saemisch replied with the very strong 10 Qa4!, forking Black’s bishop and knight. The bishop now retreated to defend the knight with 10 …Bb7, but Saemisch now exploited the pin on the knight with 11 d5, winning a piece.
It was very rare to see Capablanca make such a big blunder. He was extremely difficult to beat and even after losing a piece he fought well and Saemisch only forced home his advantage on move 62.
Our next position comes from a game featuring two World Champions.
Lasker – Euwe
Emanuel Lasker was the World Chess Champion for an extraordinary 27 years, all the way from 1894-1921. This is a record unlikely to be broken (Garry Kasparov managed ‘just’ 15 years). Max Euwe enjoyed a much shorter reign (1935-7) but was still a worthy champion.
In this game, the position looks to be heading for a draw. Euwe’s knight is under attack but instead of moving it he decided to counterattack with the move 23 …Ba5.
Unfortunately for Euwe, this was a blunder and it allowed the veteran Lasker to win a piece.
Can you see how?
Answer next time…