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A historical question about Lasker

I've wondered for quite some time now - why Emanuel Lasker was never approached to play in a USSR Chess Championship? I'm quite sure about "never approached" part, because if he was approached and refused (or at least said something to the effect "I will not be playing in USSR Championship for any reason"), Soviet and Russian chess historians would have surely mentioned that in their books and articles.

It's not like the Soviet powers that be feared that a 'foreigner' would win the championship and thus devalue the achievements of Soviet chess school: they allowed the much younger Andor Lilienthal, who wasn't even a Soviet citizen back then (though he was born in Moscow), to play in the 1937 USSR Championship (the same one where Lasker could have theoretically competed) without much worry (and his performance was quite poor, he didn't even make the top ten).

Why then?

Hozzászólások


  • 9 hónap ezelőtt

    Bagramian

    i think from the  biographical 1921ff. chapter in wikipedia we can infer his motives quiet well

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emanuel_Lasker#1921_to_end_of_life

    1) he stopped playing seriously in 1921
    2). he had many other interests beside chess and wanted to write (granted: also about chess)
    3) in russia he had to make a living with something else than writing in german. chess being a suggestive choice.
    4. being versed in many fields outside of chess he could hardly have overlooked the dynamics of the political paranoia in the ussr. it spread through organisations and acquaintances. NOT commiting yourself was safest. by the same token the soviets would be more likely to let him out again if he wasn't too much of a prove for the achievements of the ussr as such.

  • 9 hónap ezelőtt

    orangeishblue

    I guess you will have to tell me what the problem is.

  • 9 hónap ezelőtt

    Spektrowski

    What's wrong with a Jew renouncing the Nazi German citizenship and emigrating?

  • 9 hónap ezelőtt

    orangeishblue

    ok I am closer to the soviet citizenship idea but not quite convinced

  • 9 hónap ezelőtt

    Spektrowski

    @alghul

    The same biography by Weinstein mentions Lasker saying that it was very hard for him to play in the Moscow 1936 tournament. Perhaps he really decided to call it a day before the Soviet chess authorities had the chance to approach him to play in the championship.

  • 9 hónap ezelőtt

    alghul

    The wikipedia article on Lasker has references about his Soviet citizenship.

    @Spektrowski: Was Lasker not retired from competitive chess when he went to live in Moscow? He played in some prestiguous tournaments as a source of income. Battling it out with the youngsters in the USSR championship at his age was probably not very profitable.

  • 9 hónap ezelőtt

    orangeishblue

    I just read your link and it says nothing of the kind. Federation affiliation is not citizenship.

  • 9 hónap ezelőtt

    Spektrowski

    Wikipedia shows Lasker as a Soviet citizen here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nottingham_1936_chess_tournament

  • 9 hónap ezelőtt

    orangeishblue

    Lasker left Germany to escape the NAZIs, citizenship wasn't the reason. Still need that source someone.

  • 9 hónap ezelőtt

    orangeishblue

    Do you have a source for the renunciation of German citizenship and his acceptance of Soviet citizenship. I have never read anything like this in books about Lasker.

    I know he left Germany not long after Hitler took over and the Soviets offered him a place to live but ctizenship I don't think so.

  • 9 hónap ezelőtt

    Spektrowski

    @orangeishblue

    Lasker did have Soviet citizenship for a while after renouncing his German one. Besides, Lilienthal did play in 1937, despite not being Soviet citizen yet (he received his citizenship only in 1939, after marrying a Russian woman).

    The only chess-related thing I found about Lasker's time in USSR (except the three tournaments, of course) - Boris Weinstein mentioned in his biographical book that Lasker coached USSR national team for a while.

  • 9 hónap ezelőtt

    orangeishblue

    Was Lasker a citizen of the USSR and did he try to qualify to play in it?

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