Monday, 5 January 2009


Carl Schlechter (March 2, 1874 - December 27, 1918) was one of the leading Austrian chess masters at the turn of the 20th century. He is best known for drawing a World Chess Championship match with Emanuel Lasker.
From 1893 onwards he played in over 50 international chess tournaments, including four wins: Munich in 1900 (shared), Ostend in 1906, Vienna in 1908 (shared) and Hamburg in 1910.

Schlechter was a typical example of a gentleman chess player of old, offering courteous draws to opponents who felt unwell. If his opponent arrived late for a game, Schlechter would inconspicuously subtract an equal amount of time from his own clock.

From a nearly 800 games he only lost just over a 100 games but he drew almost 400 of them, perhaps he was the Tigran Petrosian of his day.
Schlechter was a difficult player to beat but he again like Petrosian only rarely let his killer instinct out.

In match play he played Georg Marco at the age of nineteen drawing all ten games.
He defeated France's David Janowski in 1902 with the score of six wins, three draws and one loss. He also played matches with Siegbert Tarrasch in 1911 (drawn) and Akiba Rubinstein in 1918 (lost).

Lasker played 4 world championship matches between 1907 and december 1910. The first in 1907 against Frank Marshall and Lasker won 8-0 without losing a game. Then in 1908 a match against Tarrasch the current thinking at the time was that Tarrasch if he did not win will run Lasker very close. Lasker won 8-5 losing 3 games.
The 4th match was another walk over by Lasker against Janowski 8-0 to Lasker. But the 3rd match against Carl Schlechter in early 1910 was perhaps the best of the 4.

After Lasker beat these 2 players not much public interest was given to a match against Carl Schlechter. Everything was against him 1/Lasker had a plus score against Schlechter , 2/ Schlechter has only won a few tournaments.3/ Plus the match was only 10 games long.The feeling of the day was "Lasker would have this done and dusted by game 6 or 7".
But the chess public should have supported this match, it was a cliff hanger. If you believe the rules, Lasker will lose the championship if Schlechter wins(by 1 point).

BUT Lasker had secret rules where by Schlechter had to win the match by 2 points to become champion.
Schlechter went ahead by winning game 5 then in the last game, game 10 still leading by 1 point he had to win by 2 points a draw was no good, even though the game was easier to draw he played on for the win and lost. Making the match score 5-5(+1 -1 =8) a tie leaving Lasker still champion.

The outbreak of the First World War effectively ended his chess career. He did contest one match and three further tournaments in 1918, the last one (in Budapest) took place just a few weeks before he died of malnutrition.

I give 4 of his games.
This one is just a fun game.

In this game Schlechter beats the ex World champion in 24 moves.

If 24.....Qxd6 25Qxd6+ Kb5 26Nxg8 Rxg8 leaving a winning endgame queen v rook.

But when he did go for a win it was beautiful this game shows the old favourite the greek bishop.

This is the 10th and last game of the Lasker v Schlechter World championship, the game Schlechter should of only needed to draw, but in fact had to win.
It may be a bit strange to give a Schlechter loss but it is perhaps his famous game!!!
Play the game and see if you could have drawn the game.


Rolling Pawns said...

Deep sacrifices, impressive games. This guy had a real talent!

Korch said...

Personally I like this one:

[Event "Cambridge Springs"]
[Site "11"]
[Date "1904.??.??"]
[EventDate "?"]
[Round "?"]
[Result "1-0"]
[White "Carl Schlechter"]
[Black "Emanuel Lasker"]
[ECO "D55"]
[WhiteElo "?"]
[BlackElo "?"]
[PlyCount "73"]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 Be7 5.e3 O-O 6.Nf3 b6 7.Bd3
Bb7 8.cxd5 exd5 9.Ne5 c5 10.Rc1 Nc6 11.O-O Nxe5 12.dxe5 Ne8
13.Bf4 f5 14.Qc2 g5 15.Bg3 f4 16.Bxh7+ Kh8 17.Qg6 Nf6 18.exf6
Rxf6 19.Qh5 Kg7 20.Qxg5+ Kxh7 21.Bxf4 Rg6 22.Qh5+ Kg7 23.Rfd1
d4 24.Bg3 Rg5 25.Be5+ Kg8 26.Qh8+ Kf7 27.Qh7+ Ke6 28.Bg3 dxc3
29.Rxd8 cxb2 30.Rdd1 bxc1=Q 31.Rxc1 Rd8 32.f4 Rgd5 33.e4 Rd1+
34.Rxd1 Rxd1+ 35.Kf2 Rd4 36.f5+ Kd7 37.e5 1-0

Btw. Could you tell how do you make in your blog option to replay these games?