Author: Siegbert Tarrasch (1862-1934)
Publisher: Verlag von Veit & Company
118 pages with diagrams. Octavo (8" x 5 1/2") bound in original publisher's boards with black lettering to spine and cover. (Bibliotheca Van der Linde-Niemeijeriana: 5046) First edition.
Dr. Siegbert Tarrasch, after several major tournament successes in the 1890s, was widely considered the most likely successor to Steinitz. At one point, Lasker had challenged him to a match and been curtly brushed off. Because of Tarrasch's earlier snub, the two were not on speaking terms for years, which delayed any chance Tarrasch might have of playing for the title.
In 1908, Tarrasch challenged Emanuel Lasker for the World Chess Championship. Lasker accepted, but was convinced that Tarrasch had hypnotic powers and therefore suggested to play the match from a different room. The match took place in Germany between August 17 and September 20, 1908. It was considered by many to be the most exciting chess match in history up to that date. An attempted reconciliation before the match came to nothing, when Tarrasch refused to shake hands, made a stiff little bow, and said: "To you, Herr Lasker, I have only three words to say: Check and mate!" Lasker won the first game. It appeared to be an uneventful game at first, but slowly Tarrasch fell into an indefensible position and he was defeated. The second game was a brilliant one for Lasker. At the outset, Tarrasch earned what he thought was a superior position when Lasker made his fourteenth move. Tarrasch, in his own notes on the game, said of that move that it was "evidently an oversight, such as is apt to occur in inferior positions." In the complications that ensued, Tarrasch lost his way: a fine example of Lasker's ability to play psychological chess, with the aim of unsettling his opponents. Hypnotism notwithstanding, Lasker defended his title with a score of +8 -3 =5.
Corners bumped light edge wear, some darkening to spine else a very good copy.