Einstein appreciated champ’s intellect
Saturday October 20, 2012 8:18 AM
Emanuel Lasker might have been the most impressive chess player ever. Not only did he reign as world champion for 27 years, but he also possessed a powerful and spirited intellect capable of original contributions wherever it chose to focus.
Though congenial and kind, he was a fighter par excellence. His monograph Struggle describes mankind’s historical dilemma irrespective of any individual culture or society.
Lasker’s friendship with Albert Einstein, a symbol of genius for his time, is intriguing.
It was not about chess; there were no exciting explorations of “poisoned pawns,” “naked kings”or “bad bishops.”
I am kidding, of course. In fact, Einstein thought his friend’s passionate commitment to chess was a colossal waste of time and creative energies. He found no justification for Lasker’s involvement in the game except as a convenient way to earn a livelihood.
But there were many other things to discuss besides chess. The two men shared many long walks and mutually enriching talks. They held each other in the highest regard.
“As for myself,” Einstein said, “I shall remain grateful to this unstinting, independent, modest man for the constructive conversations he gave me.”
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– GM Susan Polgar