Emanuel Lasker - The Fearless Fighter
Emanuel Lasker, the second World Champion, has accomplished numerous feats that will probably never be surpassed.
First of all, he held the title of the World Champion longer than anyone else in the history. When he lost his crown to Jose Raul Capablanca in 1921, it was the 27th year of his tenure as a World Champion.
And even after his loss, he continued playing successfully, winning numerous tournaments and remaining a member of the world elite for almost a decade afterward.
Secondly, apart from being a great chess player, Lasker was a prominent mathematician. Apart from being a doctor of philosophy, he was also a top notch scientist; some of his theorems are topical even today, such as Lasker - Noether theorem.
It is hard to pinpoint a single factor that contributed to his universality and chess longevity. However, if one would have to pick one trait that distinguished him from other players of his generation, that would definitely be psychology.
Lasker was one of the first players that realized that a chess game is much more than a battle on the chess board. The number of games he managed to win from the inferior positions is unprecedented. By maintaining his composure and his will to fight, he would often induce errors from his opponents and then exploit them mercilessly.
However, Lasker wasn't only relying on tricks and psychology throughout his career. He was the first prototype of the modern grandmaster. He could play it all, quiet strategical positions, sharp tactical middlegames, equal endgames. Whatever the position was, the main motto was to fight, to continue the struggle, to set problems for the opponents.
In this overview of the highlights of Lasker's career, I have tried including it all. Hope you will enjoy it 🙂