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Bio: Akiba Rubinstein
Compiled by Penguincw
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★★★ 1880s ★★★

Akiba Rubinstein was born on December 12th, 1882 in Stawiski, Poland.

★★★ 1890s ★★★

Rubinstein learned how to play chess at the age of 16. He played with Georg Salwe , who also helped him to train.

★★★ 1900s ★★★

In 1903, Rubinstein finished fifth place at a tournament in Kiev, Ukraine. He won the Karlsbad tournament in 1907 (see Karlsbad (1907) for games and more info) and shared 1st place at the St. Petersburg tournament the same year. He also shared 1st place at St. Petersburg again in 1909 (see St. Petersburg (1909) for games and more info).

★★★ 1910s ★★★

In 1912 alone, Rubinstein won 5 major tournaments, which were San Sebastian (see San Sebastian (1912) for games and more info), Piešťany (see Bad Pistyan (1912) for games and more info), Breslau (see 18th DSB Kongress (1912) for games and more info), Warsaw and Vilnius (see Vilnius All-Russian Masters (1912) for games and more info). However, neither Emanuel Lasker or Jose Raul Capablanca competed in any of the tournaments above.

In October of 1914, Rubinstein was supposed to play Emanuel Lasker for the WCC title, however the match was delayed because of World War I. He never managed to play for the world championship ever again. After World War I, he was still a strong player. However, he wasn't as strong as he was before the war.

★★★ 1920s ★★★

In 1922, Rubinstein won a tournament in Vienna, ahead of Alexander Alekhine ,Savielly Tartakower and many other strong players. He scored with 11 1/2 points out of a possible 14 (+9,=5,-0)(see Vienna (1922) for games and more info). He also won a brilliancy prize for his win over Efim Bogoljubov (see Rubinstein vs Bogoljubov, 1922 for the game).

★★★ 1930s ★★★

In 1930, Rubinstein was on Board 1 for Poland and helped them win the gold medal with a total of 48 1/2 points (see: Game Collection: 1930 Men Chess Olympiad for some games and information). He decided to quit professional chess tournaments in 1932.

★★★ 1960s ★★★

Rubinstein passed away on March 15th, 1961 in Anterp, Belgium.

Openings named after Rubinstein:

Queen's Gambit Declined: Tarrasch Defense. Rubinstein System 1.d4 d5 2.♘f3 c5 3.c4 e6 4.cxd5 exd5 5.♘c3 ♘c6 6.g3 ♘f6 7.♗g2 Opening Explorer


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Queen's Gambit Declined: Orthodox Defense. Rubinstein Attack 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.♘c3 ♘f6 4.♗g5 ♗e7 5.e3 0-0 6.♘f3 ♘bd7 7.♕c2 Opening Explorer


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French Defense: Rubinstein Variation
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.♘c3 dxe4 4.♘xe4
Opening Explorer


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Nimzo-Indian Defense: Rubinstein Variation
1.d4 ♘f6 2.c4 e6 3.♘c3 ♗b4 4.e3
Opening Explorer


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Four Knights Defense: Rubinstein Variation
1.e4 e5 2.♘f3 ♘c6 3.♘c3 ♘f6 4.♗b5 ♘d4
Opening Explorer


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English Opening: Symmetrical. Rubinstein Variation 1.c4 c5 2.♘c3 ♘f6 3.g3 d5 4.cxd5 ♘xd5 5.♗g2 ♘c7


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Famous tournament results for Rubinstein:

St. Petersburg 1909
Rubinstein 1 1 1 1 1/2 1/2 1 1 0 1 1/2 1 1 1/2 1 1 1 1/2 (12 wins, 5 draws, 1 loss) <80.6% score> <=1st>

Vienna 1922
Rubinstein 1 1/2 1 1/2 1 1 1/2 1/2 1 1 1 1 1/2 (+9,=5,-0) <82.1% score> <1st>

Below are the final position of Rubinstein's ten best games according to the chessgames.com database.

Rotlewi vs Rubinstein, 1907 0-1


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Rubinstein vs Lasker, 1909 1-0


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Rubinstein vs Hromadka, 1923 1-0


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Rubinstein vs Capablanca, 1911 1-0


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Rubinstein vs Salwe, 1908 1-0


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Rubinstein vs Schlechter, 1912 1-0


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Alekhine vs Rubinstein, 1912 0-1


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Rubinstein vs Janowski, 1925 1-0


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Rubinstein vs Duras, 1908 1-0


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Rubinstein vs Alekhine, 1911 1-0


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Rubinstein's Immortal
Rotlewi vs Rubinstein, 1907  
(D32) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch, 25 moves, 0-1

Rubinstein proves that an isolated pawn is a liability
Rubinstein vs Salwe, 1908  
(D33) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch, 38 moves, 1-0

Rubinstein shows some good endgame technique
Rubinstein vs Duras, 1908  
(D02) Queen's Pawn Game, 39 moves, 1-0

Lasker plays an endgame down a pawn against Rubinstein
Rubinstein vs Lasker, 1909  
(D30) Queen's Gambit Declined, 40 moves, 1-0

Rubinstein defeats the future world champion
Rubinstein vs Capablanca, 1911  
(D33) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch, 42 moves, 1-0

Rubinstein uses his king as an active piece
Rubinstein vs Alekhine, 1911 
(D15) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 76 moves, 1-0

Rubinstein's active king and rook is too much for Schlechter
Rubinstein vs Schlechter, 1912 
(D41) Queen's Gambit Declined, Semi-Tarrasch, 39 moves, 1-0

An exchange sacrifice ends up trashing Alekhine's kingside
Alekhine vs Rubinstein, 1912  
(C83) Ruy Lopez, Open, 27 moves, 0-1

Rubinstein's two bishops aim directly toward Hromadka's king
Rubinstein vs Hromadka, 1923 
(C30) King's Gambit Declined, 29 moves, 1-0

A two minor piece sac leaves Rubinstein with a won game
Rubinstein vs Janowski, 1925 
(A50) Queen's Pawn Game, 25 moves, 1-0

10 games

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