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Emanuel Lasker

Emanuel Lasker (December 24, 1868 - January 11, 1941) was a German chess player, born at Berlinchen in Brandenburg (now Barlinek in Poland). In 1894 he became the second World Chess Champion by beating Steinitz with 10 wins, 4 draws and 5 losses. He maintained his title for 27 years, the longest of all World Champions.

His great tournament wins include London (1899), St Petersburg (1896 and 1914), New York (1924).

He was also a mathematician and philosopher, and a good friend of Albert Einstein.

In 1921, he lost his title to Capablanca. He had resigned to him already a year before, but Capablanca wanted to beat Lasker in a match.

In 1933, the Jewish Lasker and his wife Martha Kohn had to leave Germany because of the Nazis. They went to England, and, after a subsequent short stay in the USSR, they settled in New York.

Lasker is noted for his "psychological" method of play, sometimes choosing a theoretically inferior move if he knew it would make his opponent uncomfortable. In one famous game against Capablanca (St. Petersburg 1914) he needed to win at all costs, so chose a drawish opening which induced his opponent to drop his guard. Lasker won the game.

One of Lasker's most famous games is Lasker - Bauer, Amsterdam 1899, in which he sacrificed both bishops for a forced mate in a maneuver later repeated in a number of games. His name is used in some opening variations, such as the Lasker Variation (1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 Be7 5.e3 O-O 6.Nf3 h6 7.Bh4 Ne4) of the Queen's Gambit.

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