David Janowski vs Edward Lasker, New York 1924

2/25/2009 – Many of the games from this legendary tournament, which included three world champions and three challengers, are well-known – they are included in anthologies and textbooks. But here's one that you probably do not know. In his Playchess lecture Dennis Monokroussos shows us the fantasy adventure that occurred in Janowski-Ed. Lasker. See you at 9 p.m. ET.

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Dennis Monokroussos writes:

New York 1924 was one of the greatest chess tournaments of the first half of the 20th century. Three world champions (Lasker, Capablanca and Alekhine) participated, three world championship match losers (Marshall, Janowski and Bogoljubow) joined in as well, and the rest of the supporting cast was impressive, too. Many games from that event are famous (flip through the games from that event in your database or in the outstanding, recently republished book of the tournament by Alexander Alekhine, and you're liable to find some you've seen before) and deservedly so. This week, however, we'll look at a game from that event which you probably have not seen.

The participants in this particular battle are Dawid Janowski (1868-1927) and Edward Lasker (1885-1981). The former, as noted above, played in a world championship match, losing badly to Emanuel Lasker. As for Edward Lasker (a distant relative of his namesake), he's reasonably well-known in American chess circles, as he lived the vast majority of his life in the USA., but he's not as well known elsewhere. In 1924, neither player was a threat to win the championship, but both were elite players – neither man was there out of charity.

As for the game: I first saw it when I was in my early teens and maybe sooner, and I haven't forgotten it to this day. More than the games that won brilliancy prizes or the Capablanca-Tartakower rook ending (the one that's in almost every book on rook endings ever written), this game has stuck in my mind. That's because the players (especially Janowski) were operating in the realm of fantasy. Forget about correct, "professional" chess; these guys decided to go on an adventure. See it for yourself tonight – Wednesday night at 9 p.m. ET (that's Thursday at 3 a.m. CET) – and join in the adventure. You'll be glad you did. (To watch, show up at the scheduled time, go to the Broadcast Room and look up Janowski-Lasker under the Games tab. Double-click on it and you're ready to watch.)

Dennis Monokroussos' Radio ChessBase lectures begin on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. EST, which translates to 02:00h GMT, 03:00 Paris/Berlin, 13:00h Sydney (on Thursday). Other time zones can be found at the bottom of this page. You can use Fritz or any Fritz-compatible program (Shredder, Junior, Tiger, Hiarcs) to follow the lectures, or download a free trial client.

You can find the exact times for different locations in the world at World Time and Date. Exact times for most larger cities are here. And you can watch older lectures by Dennis Monokroussos offline in the Chess Media System room of Playchess:

Enter the above archive room and click on "Games" to see the lectures. The lectures, which can go for an hour or more, will cost you between one and two ducats. That is the equivalent of 10-20 Euro cents (14-28 US cents).



Monokroussos in Mexico: World Championship 2007
 

Dennis Monokroussos is 41, lives in South Bend, IN, where he teaches chess and occasionally works as an adjunct professor of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame and Indiana University-South Bend.

At one time he was one of the strongest juniors in the U.S. and has reached a peak rating of 2434 USCF, but several long breaks from tournament play have made him rusty. He is now resuming tournament chess in earnest, hoping to reach new heights.

Dennis has been working as a chess teacher for ten years now, giving lessons to adults and kids both in person and on the internet, worked for a number of years for New York’s Chess In The Schools program, where he was one of the coaches of the 1997-8 US K-8 championship team from the Bronx, and was very active in working with many of CITS’s most talented juniors.

When Dennis Monokroussos presents a game, there are usually two main areas of focus: the opening-to-middlegame transition and the key moments of the middlegame (or endgame, when applicable). With respect to the latter, he attempts to present some serious analysis culled from his best sources (both text and database), which he has checked with his own efforts and then double-checked with his chess software.


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