Emanuel Lasker

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Emanuel Lasker

Emanuel Lasker (December 24, 1868January 11, 1941) was a German-born chess grandmaster, mathematician and philosopher who was World Chess Champion for 27 years.


Lasker's Manual of Chess (1925)[edit]

New York: Dover, 1960

  • On the chessboard lies and hypocrisy do not survive long. The creative combination lays bare the presumption of lies; the merciless fact, culmination in checkmate, contradicts the hypocrites.
    • p. IX and 235 in the 1960 Dover edition; p. 183 in the 2008 edition
  • Our efforts in chess attain only a hundredth of one percent of their rightful result...Our education, in all domains of endeavour, is frightfully wasteful of time and values.
    • p. 337
  • Education in Chess has to be an education in independent thinking and judging. Chess must not be memorized...
    • p. 337
  • You should keep in mind no names, nor numbers, nor isolated incidents, not even results, but only methods..The method produces numerous results; a few of these will remain in our memory, and as long as they remain few, they are useful to illustrate and to keep alive the rules which order a thousand results.
    • p. 338
  • He who wants to educate himself in Chess must evade what is dead in Chess...the habit of playing with inferior opponents; the custom of avoiding difficult tasks; the weakness of uncritically taking over variations or rules discovered by others; the vanity which is self-sufficient; the incapacity for admitting mistakes; in brief, everything that leads to standstill or to anarchy.
    • p. 338


In mathematics, if I find a new approach to a problem, another mathematician might claim that he has a better, more elegant solution. In chess, if anybody claims he is better than I, I can checkmate him.

The hardest game to win is a won game.

"Only one," he replied. "But it's always the best move." (When asked how many moves he considered when analyzing a chess position)

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