NAME: Emanuel Lasker
BIRTHDATE: December 24, 1868
BIRTHPLACE: Berlinchen, Germany (now Barlinek, Poland)
CREDENTIALS: World Chess Champion from 1894-1921. This 27 year reign is the longest ever for a world chess champion.
MODUS OPERANDI:
Known to use psychological ploys and to play the man as well as the board. For example, in 1914 Lasker was playing against Capablanca in a game that he could not afford to lose or draw. Yet he began the game with an opening that was widely known to be passive and likely to lead to a drawn ending. As Lasker hoped, Capablanca began to relax -- just as Lasker unleashed a prepared attack! Catching his opponent off guard, Lasker went on to win. As this anecdote suggests, strong tactical play was an essential part of Lasker's arsenal.
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH:
Like several other world chess champions, Dr. Lasker was a brilliant mathematician, the field in which he held a doctorate. Because he was Jewish, he and his wife had to flee Nazi-controlled Germany and eventually resided in New York. He became a friend of Albert Einstein and was a strong player in the games Bridge and Go. He died in 1941.