New York: Dr. Lasker leads at halftime

by André Schulz
5/15/2020 – After 11 of 22 rounds Emanuel Lasker leads the New York Tournament 1924 with 7½ points out of ten games. But the eleventh round was not a Lasker-round. Emanuel had some trouble against Frederick Yates and could be happy about a draw while Edward missed a trick against Frank Marshall and lost. Otherwise, everybody else here is talking politics. | Photo: Edward Lasker (with White) and Frank Marshall

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New York 1924, Round 11: Politics

Here in New York today, the resignation of Attorney General Harry M. Daugherty is making the headlines. It is linked to a story of corruption that does not reflect well on the government. It is a story has been dragging on for some years now and will probably drag on for a few more. In the past the US government had acquired oil fields in the US to have immediate access to oil in case of war. But the Minister of the Interior, Albert B. Fall, formerly a judge, then leased the oil fields to Mammuth Oil/Sinclair Oil without calling for bids. This led to suspicions that the Minister of the Interior, who has recently started to lead a rather expensive lifestyle, might have been bribed.

At one of these oil fields a rock formation looks like a tea kettle and that's why the whole affair is called the "Teapot Dome Scandal". Daugherty has nothing to do with the matter directly, but he is accused of lax investigation and now decided to resign from his post.

Edward Lasker

Edward Lasker told this story with the newspaper under his arm. The engineer, who was born in 1885 in Germany, immigrated in 1914 to the US and got rich by the invention of a breast pump for mothers which saves the lives of many premature infants.

Edward Lasker is the only amateur in the field and chess is only a hobby for him. But he is a strong player and studies and plays chess passionately. He also writes entertainingly about the game as his books Chess Strategy from 1915 and Chess and Checkers: The Way to Mastership show. As the latter title indicates Edward Lasker is also interested in checkers – and he is an ardent player of the Asian board game Go.

As Edward Lasker told me, he learnt to play the game in Berlin. He first read about it in a magazine but found the claim that the depth of Go might rival chess only amusing. However, later he was fascinated and tried to find out the secrets of Go together with Emanuel Lasker who had returned from the US to Berlin, and Berthold Lasker, the brother of Emanuel, a doctor by profession and a very strong chess player. Berthold also is a long-time fried of Dr. Tarrasch and from 1894 to 1903 he was married to the German poet Else Lasker-Schüler, a leading representative of German expressionist poetry.

The three Laskers studied go intensively. Their tutor was a Japanese student named Yasugoro Kitabatake, and after two years they were able to beat him with no handicap. Kitabatake also invited the three Laskers to play a game against a visiting Japanese mathematician, who was a strong Go player. The Laskers were given a huge handicap and they played in consultation but were beaten effortlessly – an experience many ambitious amateurs might have when playing chess in a simul against Emanuel or Edward or even Berthold.

Edward Lasker is still passionate about Go. In New York he meets regularly with friends to play at Lee Chumley's restaurant in Greenwich Village (86 Bedford St) and they are actually considering whether they should not found a US Go association.

But back to chess and the current tournament: in the 11th round, the last of the first half of the tournament, Edward Lasker had to play Frank Marshall, against whom he had just narrowly (8½-9½) lost a match for the US Championship. In New York Lasker lost again, albeit with a bit of bad luck.


The other Lasker, former World Champion Emanuel, also had a bad day against Frederick Yates. Before this game Yates had only two points from nine games and was last in the field but in the end it was Lasker who was lucky to draw.


"In case one side is better off, it is certainly not White," Alekhine later remarked with a slight sardonic touch. The game lasted a few more moves before it ended in a draw.

But Alekine was also critical about his own game against Efim Bogoljubow and said that he was lost.


Black played 38...Rb4. Alekhine: "In this manner Black wins a pawn, but at the same time surrenders a well-earned victory. After 38... a3 White would not have had an adequate defense, for instance: (I) 39.Bc5 a2 40.Ba3 Rc4 41.Ra1 Rc3 (II) 39.Rc7+ Kg8 40.Ra7 a2 41.Bc5 Rc4. After the text move the game with correct defense, is no longer to be won."

But Geza Marozcy could win against David Janowsky, though in somewhat surprising fashion.

Geza Maroczy


The game should end in a draw, but: 44...Bxf3 "Suicidal," commented Alekhine. After 44...Qh3 45.Qg2 Qf5, there would have been in sight no continuation holding out victory for White. Now, of course, the game is lost." 45.Nxf3 Rxf3 46.Qxd6 Kf5 47.Bxe5 h4 48.Qxe6+ Kxe6 49.Bc7 g4 50.Bxb6 g3 51.Bxc5 Rc3 52.Bb4 Rc2 53.Rd2 Rc1+ 54.Kg2 Kf5 55.Be7 1-0

Results of round 11

R. Reti 1-0 S. Tartakower
Em. Lasker ½-½ F. Yates
Ed. Lasker 0-1 F. Marshall
A. Aljechin ½-½ E. Bogoljubow
G. Maroczy 1-0 D. Janowsky

Bye: José Raúl Capablanca




Rk. Name 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Pts.
1 Emanuel Lasker   1 ½ 1 1 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 7.5
2 Alexander Alekhine 0   ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 6.5
3 Jose Raul Capablanca ½ ½   0 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 6.0
4 Richard Reti 0 0 1   0 ½ 1 ½ 1 1 1 6.0
5 Efim Bogoljubow 0 ½ 0 1   1 0 1 0 ½ 1 5.0
6 Geza Maroczy 0 0 ½ ½ 0   ½ 1 1 ½ 1 5.0
7 Saviely Tartakower ½ ½ 0 0 1 ½   ½ ½ ½ 1 5.0
8 Frank James Marshall ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 0 ½   1 1 ½ 5.0
9 Dawid Markelowicz Janowski 0 0 ½ 0 1 0 ½ 0   1 ½ 3.5
10 Edward Lasker ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 0   0 3.0
11 Frederick Dewhurst Yates ½ 0 0 0 0 0 0 ½ ½ 1   2.5


Translation from German: Johannes Fischer


André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.


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