The “Complete” Simuls of Emanuel Lasker

Today the list of simultaneous exhibitions by Lasker, for the first time with thorough sourcing, has been “completed,” i.e. the overview has reached the last year of his life. It is in the nature of such an endeavor that we will never know when the list is truly “complete.”

Some statistics of the current snapshot:

  • The list currently contains 758 performances, of which as many as 184 have not been listed in Ken Whyld’s 1998 book on Lasker nor his 1999 supplement.
  • On the other hand, about forty tentative entries in Whyld’s list have been omitted as we believe they were probably referring to spurious occasions.
  • For 29 performances, the result is still partially or fully missing. For a handful of others, the exact result is somewhat doubtful as different sources gave different scores.
  • For the other 729 séances, the available figures and best guesses currently sum up to the following result: ca. 17,072 games, 14,285 wins, 1924 draws, 832 losses, and 31 games unfinished. In percentages: about 84% won, 11% drawn, and 5% lost.
  • The list includes 12 clock simuls, 16 blindfold exhibitions and 18 leapfrog exhibitions (with Lasker and another master alternating moves, without consultation).
  • The largest exhibitions were London 1900 (50 leapfrog games with Maróczy), Derby 1900 (62 leapfrog games with the same partner), New York Stuyvesant C.C. 1924 (50 games, circumstances very unclear), and, notably, New Haven 1938 (47 games), when Lasker already stood in his 70th year.

By all accounts, Lasker was not the most spectacular, most ambitious or fastest of simultaneous performers. Still, his overall lifetime record over half a century is an outstanding achievement and, as countless reports attest, his displays again and again left a deep impression on spectators and players alike.

To the complete record of Lasker’s simultaneous exhibitions.