Emanuel Lasker

former World Chess champion (1868–1941)

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

Emanuel Lasker in 1929



Lasker's Manual of Chess (1925)


New York: Dover, 1960

  • On the chessboard, lies and hypocrisy do not survive long. The creative combination lays bare the presumption of a lie; the merciless fact, culminating in the checkmate, contradicts the hypocrite.
    • 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 judgement. Chess must not be memorized, simply because it is not important enough... Memory is too valuable to be stocked with trifles.
    • 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


  • "Put two players against each other who both have perfect technique, who both avoid weaknesses, and what is left?—a sorry caricature of chess."[1]


  • Although the adage "If you find a good move, look for a better one" is often attributed to Lasker, it actually dates earlier.[2] [3]

Quotes about Emanuel Lasker

  • The greatest of the champions was, of course, Emanuel Lasker.


  1. Soltis, Andy (1975). "New York 1927 • The End of Chess?". The Great Chess Tournaments and Their Stories. Chilton Book Company. p. 133. ISBN 0-8019-6138-6. 
  2. The Chess Player's Chronicle (January 1878), vol. 2, no. 13, page 31: Annotation by William Wayte (1829-1898): "Still flying at high game, in accordance with the rule, "When you see a good move look out for a better." "
  3. "[I]t is necessary always to bear in mind these prudential rules, viz.: having a good move, to seek for a better." Dominico Ercole del Rio, The Incomparable Game of Chess, trans. J.S. Bingham (London 1820), 35-36. Note Bingham incorrectly credits Ercole del Rio with work that was authored by Domenico Lorenzo Ponziani
  4. Rowland, Mrs. F.F. (1899). Pollock Memories: A Collection of Chess Games, Problems, &c., &c.. Chess Player's Chronicle. p. 78. ISBN 978-1-4371-9392-3. Retrieved on 2009-01-14. 
  5. Korchnoi, V. (1975). "My Chess Hero". in Keene, R.. Learn from the Grandmasters. David McKay. p. 11. ISBN 0-679-13047-0. Retrieved on 2009-01-14. 
  6. Soltis, A. (2005). Why Lasker Matters. Batsford. p. 3. ISBN 0-7134-8983-9. 
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