Saturday, September 14

Alekhine defeats Ed. Lasker in 3rd game to take exhibition series 3-0; Russian gives mate with four Queens on board

Alekander Alekhine and Edward Lasker, after playing two games in Paris, met in London on the 12th inst. for the third and final contest of their exhibition series.  The change of venue produced an unaltered result, as Alekhine recorded yet another victory to sweep the event by a 3-0 margin.  On the following day the young Russian gave an exhibition of simultaneous play at the famed Divan, taking on 14 opponents at once and producing the fine result of 10 wins and 4 draws.  We present below the third game of the Alekhine-Lasker series as well as one of the Master's victories from the simultaneous display.

Lasker opened the final game with the Queen's pawn, and adopted the Staunton Gambit 2.e4 in reply to Alekhine's Dutch Defense.  The contest between these two young lions featured a number of vicissitudes.  After the Russian's 18...Nd3+ Lasker thought it best to cede the exchange; soon thereafter, however, Alekhine's 23...Rxc3? allowed White to re-establish material equality.  At his 27th turn the German Master offered an exchange of Rooks, voluntarily entering a Queen endgame a pawn to the bad in the belief that such a course represented the best way means of holding the draw with relative ease.  But an exciting pawn promotion race ensued instead, and after Alekhine's 41st turn each side stood in possession of two Queens, with Alekhine still retaining his extra pawn.  Then, suddenly, what promised to be a difficult and fascinating concluding struggle came to an abrupt end when Lasker at the 45th move chose the capture 45.Qxa7?, an error allowing Alekhine to deliver mate in two.


Alekhine's victory over Mr. A. Compton Ellis, taken from the former's simultaneous display at the Divan, will be of particular interest to endgame aficionados.  The question whether the pawn endgame arising after 29.gxf5 is won for White will require much analysis to answer.  We also wonder if perhaps the players did not exchange errors at the 34th move, as Alekhine's 34.b3 seems to allow the counter 34...c4!, resulting in a Queen endgame in which Black can administer perpetual check.  But the final verdict on such matters must be left to talents far greater than ours.

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