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Akiba Rubinstein vs Siegbert Tarrasch
Teplitz-Schönau (1922), Teplice-Sanov CSR, rd 3, Oct-04
Tarrasch Defense: Classical Variation (D34)  ·  1-0



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Given 7 times; par: 73 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jan-16-04  Resignation Trap: Rubinstein was awarded the Seventh Brilliancy Prize for this game.
Jan-16-04  PizzatheHut: The Seventh Brilliancy Prize? Man how many do they have? It's like when I played YMCA basketball, and every kid got a trophy. Can't we just say "that was a good game" without having to create unlimited brilliancy prizes? The next time I play in a tournament I'm going to vote for my 17 move loss with the white pieces as the 49th brilliancy prize. I think "seventh brilliancy prize" really devalues the meaning of "brilliancy".
Jan-16-04  ughaibu: They were paid by degree of brilliance, would you prefer short draws or can you appreciate the incentive?
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Can you imagine Kasparov's reaction if he was passed over or awarded! a Seventh Brilliancy Prize?
Jan-16-04  ughaibu: If we adjudge it as Chessgames in the manner of significant games, he gets the 6th prize.
Aug-08-06  prinsallan: For the beginners:
57 Bf5 wins the knight.
The continuation is: 58... Rd8 or Rd6.
59 Rc7+ -forking the K and N.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: This is Akiba the Great at his best. In 1920s his sporting results were not as glamorous as in Akiba's year 1912 but his better games of that period are simply marvellous. I absolutely agree with <Nova1990> that Akiba's chess was very modern and this game is a fine specimen of it.
Aug-08-06  psmith: <Nova 1990>

Fritz 5.32 thinks that Black is OK after 13... Nxc3 14. Bxc3 Na5; also that Black can hold with 15...Nc4, for example 16. Nxe6 fxe6 17. Bc3 e3.

If this is right, then perhaps 12...Ne4 is not a blunder after all?

Sep-03-06  notyetagm: What a lovely petite combination Rubinstein begins with 18 ♘xf5!, gaining a pawn and a winning endgame.
Sep-20-06  notyetagm: 18 ♘xf5! ♗f6 19 ♕xf6! is a beautiful example of the tactical theme <REMOVE THE GUARD> by <ILLUSORY PROTECTION>.

Position after 18 ♘xf5! ♗f6:

click for larger view

In this position, the White f5-knight threatens the devastating royal fork ♘e7+ and ♘x♕. The only thing preventing this knight fork is the Black f6-bishop, by <DEFENDING> the e7-forking square.

But this f6-bishop defender can be captured by 19 ♕xf6! (<REMOVE THE GUARD!>) and it does not have -real protection-. That is, neither the Black g7-pawn nor the Black f8-rook which defends the Black f6-bishop can perform the defensive task of this piece, namely <DEFENDING> the e7-square from f6.

So no matter how Black recaptures, with either 19 ... ♖xf6 or 19 ... gxf6, the e7-forking square will be left undefended (<ILLUSORY PROTECTION>), allowing White to regain his queen with the knight fork.

A beautiful <petite combination> by Rubinstein that wins a pawn. And with technique as exquisite as Rubinstein's an extra pawn is tantamount to a win.

I have seen Rubinstein win several games along this line. He plays an explosive combination that gains a pawn and then he just methodically wins the endgame

Sep-20-06  notyetagm: <notyetagm: I have seen Rubinstein win several games along this line. He plays an explosive combination that gains a pawn and then he just methodically wins the endgame.>

See Rubinstein's great pawn winning combination that begins with 11 ♘ce5! in Rubinstein vs Duras, 1908 for another example.

Oct-13-06  notyetagm: Seirawan points out that Rubinstein missed an even stronger continuation, with 19 ♘e7+!.

That is, 19 ♘e7+! exploiting the <PIN> on the Black f6-bishop to the a1-h8 diagonal (19 ... ♗xe7?? 20 ♕xg7#) is a stronger continuation than the <REMOVAL OF THE GUARD> 19 ♕xf6+! that Rubinstein actually played.

The <PINNING>-themed 19 ♘e7+! wins a whole extra pawn over the 19 ♕xf6+! <REMOVAL OF THE GUARD> idea.

Jul-17-07  Karpova: <notyetagm: Seirawan points out that Rubinstein missed an even stronger continuation, with 19 Ne7+!.>

Kmoch found this move earlier though I'm not sure that he was the first one (I doubt it).

Jun-06-09  notyetagm: 52 ... ♘a5-b7??

click for larger view

53 ♗e4-f5! 1-0 <remove the guard: c7>

click for larger view

Dr. Tarrasch (Black) blunders with 52 ... ♘a5-b7?? <LINING UP> the Black b7-knight with the Black f7-king, turning the c7-square into a <FORKING SQUARE> for the White c8-rook.

Rubinstein (White) then simply plays 53 ♗e4-f5!, <DRIVING OFF> the Black d7-rook from the defense of the c7-forking square.

If the Black d7-rook moves to safety, the White wins a pieces with the <ROOK FORK> 55 ♖c8-c7+, <FORKING> the Black f7-king and the Black b7-knight <that Black was so kind to line up with his king with 52 ... ♘a5-b7??>.

53 ... ♖d7-d1 54 ♖c8-c7+ <fork: b7,f7>

click for larger view



Nov-13-09  psmith: working my way through the games of 1922 I came across my old comment on this. I wonder if anyone has a response?
Nov-13-09  parisattack: <psmith: working my way through the games of 1922 I came across my old comment on this. I wonder if anyone has a response?>

Inquiring minds would like to know! Perhaps the good doctor is vindicated here?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: <psmith> Fritz 12 indicates White has some advantage after 12...Ne4, (.35) (23 ply) 13.b5 Na5 14.Nxe4 dxe4 15.Nd4, (.60) (23 ply) 15...Nc4 16.Nxe6 fxe6 17.Bd4 Nxa3 18.Bxe4 Nxb5 19.Be5 Nf6 20.Bxf6.

Tarrasch's 15...Qd5?, was a serious error: (1.09) (23 ply) 15...Qd5? 16.Qc2 Rac8 17.Qxe4 Qxe4 18.Bxe4.

White also has some advantage after 12...Ne4 13.b5, (.36) (22 ply) 13...Nxc3 14.Bxc3 Na5, (.55) (21 ply) 15.Qd3 Rc8 16.Nd4.

Perhaps better at move 12 is: (.34) (20 ply) 12...Rc8 13.Rc1 Qd7, (.54) (21 ply) 14.e3 Ne4 15.Ne2 Bf6 16.Bxf6 Nxf6 17.Nf4 h6, or (.34) (20 ply) 12...Qd7 13.Rc1 Rfd8, (.46) (21 ply) 14.Qe1 Bd6 15.Rd1 Rac8 16.e4 dxe4 17.Nxe4 Nxe4 18.Qxe4. However, White has some advantage in these lines also.

Fritz indicates both sides erred at move 9.

White should have continued: (.41) (20 ply) 9.dxc5 Bxc5 10.Bg5, or (.42) (20 ply) 9.Bg5 c4 10.Ne5, with a small advantage in either line.

Black should have continued: (.09) (20 ply) 9.a3 c4 10.b3 Ne4, or 10...Qa5, with a near equal position.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: <psmith> Here is an updated evaluation by Fritz for the game continuation: 12...Ne4 13.b5 Na5 14.Nxe4 dxe4 15.Nd4.

After 15.Nd4, Fritz's earlier evaluation was: (.60) (23 ply) 15...Nc4 16.Nxe6 fxe6 17.Bd4.

An updated evaluation shows a stronger advantage for White: (1.04) (22 ply) 17...Nxa3 18.Qa4! a6 19.Be3, (1.16) (23 ply) 19...Qd5 20.Rxa3 Bxa3 21.Qxa3 axb5 22.Qc5 Rfd8 23.Bh3.

Fritz indicated an even greater advantage for White after: (1.25) (23 ply) 19...axb5 20.Qxe4 Qc8 21.Rfc1 Qd7 22.Bf4 Bd6 23.Bh3 Kh8 24.Rd1.

Nov-16-09  parisattack: <Pawn and Two:> Thanks much!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: <psmith> Fritz's original evaluation starting with Tarrasch's 15...Qd5: (1.09) (23 ply) 15...Qd5 16.Qc2 Rac8 17.Qxe4 Qxe4 18.Bxe4.

Here is an update for this line after 18.Bxe4: (1.17) (22 ply) 18...Bh3 19.Rfc1 Bf6 20.Rab1 Rxc1+ 21.Rxc1 Nb3 22.Rd1 Rd8 23.e3 b6 24.f3, or (1.22) (22 ply) 18...Nc4 19.Bc3 Nd6 20.Bb4 Nxe4 21.Bxe7 Rfe8 22.Bb4.

It appears that White has approximately the same evaluation advantage against Tarrasch's 15...Qd5, as he has against the move 15...Nc4.

Therefore, after 12...Ne4 13.b5, it appears Black's best move is 13...Nxc3, not 13...Na5.

I reviewed 13...Nxc3 in my earlier post. Additional analysis of this move is needed to determine if it will allow Black to successfully defend the position.

<parisattack> Thanks!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: <psmith> In my first post I gave the following analysis: 12...Ne4 13.b5 (.36) (22 ply) 13...Nxc3 14.Bxc3 Na5.

Here is an updated analysis of this line by Fritz: (.60) (22 ply) 15.Qd3 Rc8 16.Nd4, (.60) (22 ply) 16...Re8 17.Rfd1 Qb6 18.Nxe6 fxe6 19.e4 Nb3 20.Bxg7, (.90) (23 ply) 20...Nc5 21.Qd4 Nxe4 22.Bxe4 dxe4 23.Qxb6 axb6 24.Bd4 Bc5 25.Bxc5 Rxc5 26.Rab1.

No doubt some improvements can be found for both sides in these long variations.

However, I think Fritz's analysis provides good evidence that after 12...Ne4 13.b5, 13...Nxc3 is a stronger move than 13...Na5, but after either move Black has a very difficult defense.

Either 12...Rc8 or 12...Qd7 appear to be better choices than 12...Ne4, although White gets some advantage after these moves too.

After White missed 9.dxc5 or 9.Bg5, and played 9.a3, Black missed his best opportunity for equality in this game, by failing to play 9...c4!

Apr-19-10  Ulhumbrus: 18 Nxf5! both uncovers a threat of mate on g7 and heads towards e7, a square on which the N will fork Black's King and Queen. On 18...Bf6 19 Qxf6! removes the black bishop which defends the potential fork on e7.
Sep-03-11  DrMAL: <Nova1990: I think that Rubinstein won a brilliancy prize for this because it advanced opening theory (the opening was named after Tarrasch).> Well, 9.a6 did not exactly become a big winner in opening theory Opening Explorer but the game got increasingly interesting as the line was played out.

One fun fact is that 12...Ne4 was played six times total in the CG database with this position, twice before (draws) and three times in modern day (one win two draws) Opening Explorer but in the two games where the position after 15.Nd4 was reached the other game had 15...Nc4 (draw) Barsov vs J Bosch, 1999.

16...f5? was the loser here, and Rubinstein started to show why with 17.Qc3! followed by 18.Nxf5! but then he played the much more obvious move 19.Qxf6 instead of 19.Ne7! (e.g., 19...Kh8 20.Nxd5 Bxc3) for a winning position (either 21.Bxc3 or 21.Nxc3). Cannot blame him, I could see this part but I could not see all the way into how it wins until Houdini pointed it out.

White's chosen move order (17-22) still gained a pawn, probably not enough to win even then. After 37.Rb4 the game was probably still drawn, but 37...Nd5?! (instead of 37...Rc8 or 37...Rd8!) allowed Rubinstein to capitalize on his second pawn, which he did beautifully. 43...Nf6 was clearly better, blocking the pawn but white would (or at least should) have won either way.

Rubenstein was a great player but I would not consider him even in this (one of his best games if not his best) to be anywhere near ELO 2800 as Chessmetrics ridiculously inflates his "rating" to be (maybe 2400-2500 today?). His game here seems worthy of the brilliancy prize for that day, but chess then was not exactly what it is today (unless you believe Jeff Sonas of Chessmetrics).

Mar-18-12  Karpova: <PizzatheHut: The Seventh Brilliancy Prize? Man how many do they have?>

Seven brilliancy prizes overall (and Akiva won 4 of them). If you think that's too much, consider that there were 14 players in this tournament.

<DrMAL: Rubenstein was a great player but I would not consider him even in this (one of his best games if not his best)>

Rubinstein got the 7th out of seven brilliancy prizes for this game. For sure, this game is not a candidate for his <Best Game Ever>, though it's a very good game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  bharat123: 19.Qxf6 and 19.Ne7. win a pawn. But setting it up by 16.Qc2, 17.Qc3 is brilliant.The end game is very instructive.
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