The picture shows our kind hostesses, next to Lissa Waite (with the book
presents) – we owe the provision of all the Lasker treasures to
her, also Pamela J. Eyerdam, head of the department "Fine Arts &
We make a short leap in time to the mid-twenties, a top tournament was
held in Moscow where the chess greats of those days came together and
where the German Russian Bogoljubow produced the finest achievement of
his chess career.
- Lasker, Moscow 1925.
The onlooker is no less than Nikolai W. Krylenko,
Stalin's "guard dog".
[Photo from Savielly Tartakower, Schachmatnaja
Prawda (Leningrad 1926)]
The anecdotal episode having grown up around the surely most famous lost
game of Emanuel Lasker is well-known:
Moscow 1925, 12th round, Lasker lost his game against Carlos Torre by
an elegant see-saw combination of the latter. Lasker’s previous
thoughtless moves are supposed to have been caused by a cable which he
received during the game and informed him about the acceptance of his
play Vom Menschen die Geschichte ["The History of Men",
written together with his brother Bertold] by a German theatre.
from the tournament programme (by G.L. Raskin, Moscow 1925)
Among the Lasker memorabilia in Cleveland there were three cables which
seem most interesting in this connection – three cables Lasker wrote
or received in Moscow:
first asking for the drama (and 200 fine cigars) is probably dated
November 6th, 1925 (the tournament started 10-11-1925).
The date November 6th is covered by a letter from Moscow written by
Lasker to his wife the same day.
the second is of great interest, in fact it arrived in Moscow on the
afternoon of November 25th, 1925 at 4.45 pm, just that day when Lasker’s
game against Torre took place. The games were played from 3.30 pm
to 7.30 pm so that the cable of his brother Bert(h)old could actually
have reached him during the game.
In the somewhat mutilated text:
Selenkas = Helmuth Zelenka who later on (1927) gave a lecture on the
Lasker drama. (It is known that it has never been performed.)
the third dated the 26th of November, so directly afterwards –
in spite of his loss Lasker was "in good spirits".