Monday, March 31

World Champion in Russia: Dr. Bernstein defeats Dr. Lasker in exhibition game

Dr. Ossip Bernstein scored a convincing triumph over Dr. Emanuel Lasker in an exhibition game played at Moscow on the 29th inst., defeating the World Champion from the Black side of a Queen's Pawn Game. The Champion, via simple means, seemed at first glance to gain a promising position in the game's opening phase. With 12.Bh6 and 13.Nd6+ he began to harass the Black King, which had yet to find safety on either wing. Dr. Bernstein, however, handled the complications well, emerging therefrom at the 20th move with an extra pawn and a solid position, thus leaving one to speculate whether Dr. Lasker might not have improved his play at some point. Black advanced briskly in the subsequent endgame, and indeed might have decided matters even sooner with the pretty 28...g5!, a move spotted by our Argus-eyed friend Herr Fritz. Still, Dr. Bernstein was not to be denied his victory. With resolute play he reduced White to a hopeless state, and received the Champion's resignation at the 43rd move.

While acknowledging that one game proves very little, we nevertheless feel compelled to note that this most recent encounter has somewhat tempered our earlier sanguine opinion concerning Dr. Lasker's current form. Rarely have we seen him defeated so convincingly. The Champion will certainly need to raise his play to a higher level if he wishes to compete for top honors at St. Petersburg. Time will tell, and that time is coming soon.

We present the game.


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