About Us


Emanuel Lasker Society

Emanuel Lasker
Emanuel Lasker

Lasker: Life and Work

Emanuel Lasker (1868-1941) is best known as a world wide renowned chess player and was one of the best known Germans abroad in the early part of the 20th century. No chess player since then has been able to match Lasker's 27 year run as chess world champion (from 1894 to 1921).

Lasker had an extremely versatile personality. He received a doctorate in Mathematics in 1900, published philosophical and political works, was editor of Lasker's Chess Magazine, and contributed to many other journals on chess. He wrote not only about chess but also other games, which he played masterfully as well; he was interested in Bridge and especially fascinated by Go, a Japanese board game. Furthermore, he contributed to literature the narrative Wie Wanja Meister wurde (How Wanja Became Champion) and, together with his brother Berthold Lasker, the drama Vom Menschen die Geschichte (Human's History).

After the Nazis' rise to power, Lasker, a German Jew, recognized early on that his homeland would no longer be a safe place to live. He abandoned most of his material possessions and emigrated from Germany in 1933. His stations of exile were the Netherlands, England, Switzerland, the Soviet Union, and the United States, where he died in 1941.


The Emanuel Lasker Society was founded in Berlin on January 11th 2001, sixty years to the day after Lasker's death, during the prelude to the highly respected Potsdam international conference Homo ludens – Homo politicus. The conference instigator, cultural scientist Paul Werner Wagner, was elected as the Society's chairman.

Among the approximately 130 members are former world champions Garry Kasparov (Russia), Anatoly Karpov (Russia); chess grand masters Viktor Kortschnoi (Switzerland), Wolfgang Unzicker, Lothar Schmid, Juri Awerbach (Russia), Wolfgang Uhlmann and Rainer Knaak; former correspondence chess champion Dr. Fritz Baumbach; politician Otto Schily; chess historian Dr. Isaak Linder (Russia); and the German Chess Association with its honorary presidents Egon Ditt and Alfred Kinzel. The eldest living chess grand master André Lilienthal (Hungary, born 1911) and Germany's multiple women's master Edith Keller-Herrmann were appointed honorary members.

Whether they are prominent or not, chess masters or hobby players, the Society's members are united by a common interest in the life and work of the cosmopolitan Emanuel Lasker. This has resulted in manifold contacts and friendships which transcend the borders of countries, cultures, and philosophies.

Goals and Activities

The Emanuel Lasker Society's task is to preserve, explore, and popularise the spiritual and cultural legacy of Emanuel Lasker. To achieve this aim, it is required that Lasker's remaining original documents, manuscripts, photographies, books, etc. be brought together and analysed.

The Society's objective, beyond the preservation of Lasker's legacy, is to organise scientific symposia on the history and culture of chess and to present them in the form of publications.

An important concern of the Society is to increase the social recognition of chess, as both a contributor to cultural history and an ideal leisure activity.

Lasker-Treffs (“Lasker meetings”), which take place monthly in Berlin, attended by a wide array of guests and speakers, and the Schachcafé (“chess café”), which are held on the last Tuesday of every month, have become fixed dates for friends of chess culture and that of other games.


Emanuel Lasker Society


        Leuschnerdamm 31
        10999 Berlin


        Phone +49-30-616 84 150
        Fax +49-30-616 84 166



Bank Data

        Dresdner Bank
        Bank account 40 50 63 57 00
        Bank code 120 800 00

Executive Board

        Paul Werner Wagner (Chairman)
        Stefan Hansen (Executive Chairman)
        Thomas Weischede (Vice Chairman)
        Dr. Thomas Thomsen
        Christian Wohlfarth

Version: September 2008

Translated by Dr. Sönke Kannapinn,
Wincor Nixdorf International GmbH Berlin

Reviewed by Robert Leonard, Montreal, Canada
and Emanuel Wagner


updated: May 31 2009