Lasker's Problem

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Batgirl
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Lasker's Problem

Postby Batgirl » 9 July 2012, 11:43 am

Image
    This cover is from the 1947 edition. The book was originally published in 1900 with a plain cover. I couldn't determine if the photo was one of Lasker's choosing (Lasker had died in 1941) - I was informed that the photo appears in the New York 1924 tournament book - or if it was one of the publisher's choosing. But either way it's a photograph of Lasker pondering what appears to be a composed problem. I tried searching both problem databases and game databases for the position but with no luck.
Lasker, with the White pieces is down considerable material, but has a forced mate-in-5.
Image
Here is the position with White on the bottom.
Does anyone happen to know the source, if there his one?

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Siegfried Hornecker
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Re: Lasker's Problem

Postby Siegfried Hornecker » 11 July 2012, 6:10 pm

The database of Harold van der Heijden gives only "source unknown", so it seems not to be known (or at least not to him, and he goes through a lot of magazines, newspapers, etc.). [hhdbiv#103]

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Re: Lasker's Problem

Postby Batgirl » 13 July 2012, 9:08 am

Thanks. Is it possible, do you suppose, since the problem is interesting but not really difficult, that Lasker composed it on the spot just for the photograph?

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Siegfried Hornecker
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Re: Lasker's Problem

Postby Siegfried Hornecker » 18 July 2012, 8:29 pm

That might be possible, who knows. If a photograph was the original source, the remark "source unknown" would indeed apply.

garykevinware
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Re: Lasker's Problem

Postby garykevinware » 7 December 2012, 2:23 am

From Chess Explorations: A Pot-Pourri from the Journal Chess Notes by Edward Winter:
"Michael McDowell writes that in the book of the 1924 New York tournament, Emanuel Lasker is pictured pondering the position below."



Winter does not give the mate in 5, but instead gives it as a White to play and win. 1 Rg8 Rxg8 2 Rh8 Rxh8 3 g7 Rg8 (or 3...Rf8) 4 h7 and wins.

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Re: Lasker's Problem

Postby garykevinware » 31 December 2014, 12:32 am

In another book by Edward Winter, A Chess Omnibus, he has the following update: "We believed that the solution was 1 Rg8 Rxg8 2 Rh8 Rxh8 3 g7 Rg8 4 h7 and wins, and we asked, without result, who the composer was. And there the matter lay for 20 years, but now we have put the position in the Fritz program, which almost immediately came up with a humdrum mate in five (i.e. one move faster): 1 Rf7 Rg8 2 Rhg7 Rh8 3 h7 any 4 Rg8+ Rxg8 5 hxg8=Q#. The identity of the composer and the position's first place of publication are still unknown to us."

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Re: Lasker's Problem

Postby garykevinware » 12 January 2015, 3:45 pm

I got a Dover Publications edition of The Book of the New York International Chess Tournament 1924: Containing the Authorized Account of the 110 Games Played March-April, 1924 With Original Annotations by Alexander Alekhine, Edited by Hermann Helms, and as previously noted, there is the same picture of Emanuel Lasker, however, he is leaning in the opposite direction, and there is a black square in the lower right hand corner of the board!


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