chessgames.com
Members · Prefs · Laboratory · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing
Akiba Rubinstein vs Alexander Alekhine
St. Petersburg (1914), St. Petersburg RUE, rd 5, Apr-28
Nimzo-Indian Defense: St. Petersburg Variation (E43)  ·  0-1

ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

Click Here to play Guess-the-Move
Given 41 times; par: 44 [what's this?]

Get this game explained with Decode Chess
explore this opening
find similar games 13 more Rubinstein/Alekhine games
PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

TIP: Games that have been used in game collections will have a section at the bottom which shows collections which include it. For more information, see "What are Game Collections?" on our Help Page.

PGN Viewer:  What is this?
For help with this chess viewer, please see the Olga Chess Viewer Quickstart Guide.
PREMIUM MEMBERS CAN REQUEST COMPUTER ANALYSIS [more info]

A COMPUTER ANNOTATED SCORE OF THIS GAME IS AVAILABLE.  [CLICK HERE]

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Dec-03-14  Antonio Ernesto:

See Cochrane-Mohishunder

Calcutta 1851

Dec-03-14  visayanbraindoctor: This is probably the seminal game that introduced the Nimzo-Indian into 'modern' chess (top level chess events played in the era of the chess clock).

I am curious: Why is the Nimzo-Indian named after Nimzovich, and not after Alekhine? Both employed it frequently throughout their careers, but Nimzo seemed to have adopted it from AAA. If anything, it should be called Ale-Indian Defense. Has a nice ring to it, although it would surely spring jokes about AAA's drinking problems.

Dec-03-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: I'm guessing it's named after Nimzovitch because he researched and modified it.

It could have been named the 'Blackburne Indian' as he appears to first on record to play it.

But there again No!

After 3...Bb4


click for larger view

Blackburne wrote:

"Not much good comes of this. The best play for the Bishop is e7."

Englisch vs Blackburne, 1883

Feb-12-17  edubueno: El error de Rubinstein es muy burdo. Con 23 Ce7+ hubiera mantenido una buena partida y chances de ganar.
May-13-18  jabinjikanza: Good dispensation by Alexander alekhine
Oct-03-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jonathan Sarfati: Tarrasch's notes in the tournament book seem almost modern. He says that White shouldn't have allowed the doubled ♙s, saying that the ♙c4 could have been attacked with ...♗a6 and ... ♘a5. He criticizes Black's ... d5 allowing the undoubling of White's ♙s. Then after B12, he recognized that White's central play would be strong, just as in the famous game quarter of a century later Botvinnik vs Capablanca, 1938 But Tarrasch said that 13.e4 was premature, as the computer confirms. Instead he recommends completing development with 13. ♗d2, which would also guard the entry squares on the c-file and connect the first rank major pieces.
Jun-28-20  aliejin: Is this a great game for Alekhine?
i Review Black's Movements
with stockfish ... and approved all
Mar-06-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Played first, and convincingly well, by Alekhine; therefore, we call 4...b6 the Fischer Variation. Makes sense to me.
Mar-16-21  Stolzenberg: <Aug-28-04 Chessical: 23. Ne7+ Kg7 24. Qxd7 Qxa3 25. Bc4 Rad8 26. Qb7 Rxd4 which seems good for him.> However there is a lot of tension in this position. White could try 27. Rxf7+ followed by 28. Nf5+, although I suppose that Alekhine would have found a way through the complications.

On the other hand 24. ... Qxa3 is not the only possibility. Black could consider to play 24. ... Rad8 at once, postponing Qxa3, attacking d4, controlling the square d6, avoiding <Sep-15-04 Calli> 25. Bc8 and the pawn a7 does not really need protection.

<Feb-12-17 edubueno> I don't think that 23. Ne7+ Kg7 24. Qxd7 would have won.

Mar-16-21  thelegendisback: Rubinstein was a great positional player but tactically he was quite poor. I don't know what was he doing in this game like what is 23.Nh6?? clearly he had to go 23.Ne7 and 24.Qxd7.
Mar-17-21  Stolzenberg: <thelegendisback> Perhaps he simply missed 24. ... Qb3 in his calculations.
Mar-17-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  0ZeR0: Well I guess it's settled. We now know why Rubinstein occasionally lost chess games... the great <thelegendisback> has proclaimed him tactically poor.
Mar-17-21  thelegendisback: <0ZeR0: Well I guess it's settled. We now know why Rubinstein occasionally lost chess games... the great <thelegendisback> has proclaimed him tactically poor.>

I see you are trying to be ironic. Ok then, here what the World Champion Boris Spassky said about Rubinstein: "Perhaps Rubinstein was also a genius of positional chess, and his playing style was also very pure; but he was a bad tactician."

Mar-18-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  0ZeR0: <thelegendisback>

No offense, but Spassky is certainly in a better position to criticize the play of one of the greatest players to have never become world champion. It just seemed a tad bit hypocritical to make such a general statement about one of the all-time greats because he missed some moves in a single game.

Mar-18-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: That, to my mind, is an unusually bald statement from Spassky and sounds more like something Larsen would have said of even players greater than himself. Spassky also said humorously of Korchnoi that he had no talent.
Mar-18-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  0ZeR0: <perfidious>

Hah! If Korchnoi had no talent then I am the least talented chess player in history... Perhaps Spassky was also being cheeky with his remarks on Rubinstein? I certainly don't think it's fair to outright claim he was bad at tactics.

Mar-18-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Coming from Larsen, I would have been inclined to take it seriously: Spassky, who knows?

For some of Larsen's views of past greats, I reproduce this excerpt of a 1972 interview with Hugh Alexander:

<Lasker? He would lose terribly; he would always find himself in types of position he had never seen before--because of course none of us would play a simple Queen's Gambit or a Steinitz Defence to the Lopez against him. It is true that he had no difficulty against the hypermoderns in 1924 though he expected it [...] But the best theorists were not the best players--Réti, for example, was weak tactically. No, I think he would lose terribly to the ten best players of today. If he could get into positions with which he was familiar--then of course he would be a great player; but I think he would not be able to. Even Alekhine would have had to study for a year first; I am not sure, but I believe the man had never seen an exchange sacrifice on c3 in the Sicilian. Imagine that!>

<....Larsen was wrong: Alekhine had played such a sacrifice in 1914.>

Mar-19-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: This was a bad tournament for Rubinstein, his only one before the war. (Even so, he scored 50%.) So it doesn't feel like we should be drawing strong conclusions from this game. Even apart from that -- you can never look at a single move, or even a single game, by a master and conclude that he's bad at anything. Great players have bad days. Alekhine had games that would "prove" he was bad at tactics.

It seems very strange to hear that the man who played Rotlewi vs Rubinstein, 1907 and Rubinstein vs Hromadka, 1923, among many others, described as being bad at tactics. Even if Boris Spassky is the speaker.

There does seem to be something -- someone said he could fill a book, or maybe it was just an article, of Rubinstein's mistakes with knights. And he does seem to fall victim to tactical oversights to an unusual degree for so great a player. He learned chess late. Reti compared him to someone who speaks a foreign language and makes elementary errors sometimes, though he is eloquent overall. While for Capablanca, Reti says, chess was his mother tongue. Seems as good an explanation as any.

Mar-19-21  Olavi: Straying from the topic... <perfidious: For some of Larsen's views of past greats, I reproduce this excerpt of a 1972 interview with Hugh Alexander:

<. Even Alekhine would have had to study for a year first; I am not sure, but I believe the man had never seen an exchange sacrifice on c3 in the Sicilian. Imagine that!>

<....Larsen was wrong: Alekhine had played such a sacrifice in 1914.>>

If Alexander is referring to E Schultz vs Alekhine, 1914, and I apologize to him if I am mistaken, then he is literally right but misses the point. In that game Alekhine immediately gets two pawns for the exchange and a clear initiative. It's not the sort of positional sacrifice Larsen had in mind.

Mar-19-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: That was actually my reference to Schultz-Alekhine, and I agree that the transaction in the game is hardly beyond the ken of an average player today, not being one of those less clear sacrifices practised by modern masters.
Mar-19-21  Z truth 000000001: It always good to know the sources for particular quotes - not just to verify accuracy, but also to know the time and place and context. Often, the context is important for framing and interpreting, and there's frequently other interesting tidbits to gather nearby.

In this case, the Spassky quote about Rubinstein is from a 1970 CL&R interview with Barden. Spassky was in some kind of disparaging mood that day:

<
Petrosian - "a little bit cowardly"

Tal - "makes a lot of unsound sacrifices"

Rubinstein - "bad tactician"
>

But he's also hard on himself...

<Spassky (on Spassky) - "too lazy" & "bad attitude">

https://www.chesshistory.com/winter...

Of course, one should read the interview in full, if only one could:

https://new.uschess.org/chess-life-...

But it seems a few critical issues are missing, so Winter is the best we can do at the moment.

(Does anybody have a few of ancient CL&R's from early 1970 that they might like to scan and / or contribute to USCF's archive?)

Mar-19-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  0ZeR0: <perfidious>

<Lasker? He would lose terribly; he would always find himself in types of position he had never seen before--because of course none of us would play a simple Queen's Gambit or a Steinitz Defence to the Lopez against him. It is true that he had no difficulty against the hypermoderns in 1924 though he expected it [...] But the best theorists were not the best players--Réti, for example, was weak tactically. No, I think he would lose terribly to the ten best players of today. If he could get into positions with which he was familiar--then of course he would be a great player; but I think he would not be able to. Even Alekhine would have had to study for a year first; I am not sure, but I believe the man had never seen an exchange sacrifice on c3 in the Sicilian. Imagine that!>

It's sad to see someone like Larsen put down a player who was even greater than himself in such a way (and Larsen is one of my favorite players). I cannot fathom why someone would say such things about the venerable Lasker. I believe there were certain things in chess he could do as well as or better than anybody. One of those being his willingness to play dynamically and trade certain advantages for others if he felt it was worth it. I think this characteristic would suit him quite well in a more modern era.

<Z truth>
Thanks for taking the time to share the context of this particular interview with Spassky. It does seem he was particularly negative that day. I do find it rather interesting psychologically that he also chooses to call himself lazy and say that he has a bad attitude.

Mar-19-21  Olavi: Well in any case the quote is very Larsenesque. He would never hide his opinions.
Mar-19-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  0ZeR0: <Olavi>

<Well in any case the quote is very Larsenesque...>

That it truly is!

<He would never hide his opinions.>

Yes, and I think perhaps it's this very fearlessness in his personality that also made him such a formidable fighter on the chess board.

Mar-19-21  Z truth 000000001: <<Olavi - on Spassky> He would never hide his opinions.>

Here's, in my view, one of the most striking examples of that:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6S...

• "You know, I'm not disappointed (about losing '72 WCC match) [...pause...] to lose this match. ... I don't know exactly why, but I think that the life for me will be better, after this match"

• "I had a very hard time when I won the title of chess champion when I won the title in 1969."

• "I had to do many things for chess but not for myself..."

• "He [i.e. Fischer] beat me, generally, very well, as a chess player, I mean. ... Yes, he's a better player [...pause...] concerning of this match."

.

search thread:   
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>

NOTE: Create an account today to post replies and access other powerful features which are available only to registered users. Becoming a member is free, anonymous, and takes less than 1 minute! If you already have a username, then simply login login under your username now to join the discussion.

Please observe our posting guidelines:

  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, or profane language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, duplicate, or gibberish posts.
  3. No vitriolic or systematic personal attacks against other members.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. No cyberstalking or malicious posting of negative or private information (doxing/doxxing) of members.
  6. No trolling.
  7. The use of "sock puppet" accounts to circumvent disciplinary action taken by moderators, create a false impression of consensus or support, or stage conversations, is prohibited.

Please try to maintain a semblance of civility at all times.

Blow the Whistle

See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform a moderator.


NOTE: Please keep all discussion on-topic. This forum is for this specific game only. To discuss chess or this site in general, visit the Kibitzer's Café.

Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of Chessgames.com, its employees, or sponsors.
All moderator actions taken are ultimately at the sole discretion of the administration.

This game is type: CLASSICAL. Please report incorrect or missing information by submitting a correction slip to help us improve the quality of our content.

Featured in the Following Game Collections[what is this?]
June, p. 132 [Game 61 / 2781]
from American Chess Bulletin 1914 by Phony Benoni
Nimzo-Indian Def. St. Petersburg Var (E43) 0-1Pins, f2 vs f7
from KP ef3g45 Holder overs by fredthebear
June, p. 132 [Game 61 / 2781] American Chess Bulletin 1914
from Published Games by Year & Unconfirmed Source 14 by fredthebear
St Petersburg 1914
by JoseTigranTalFischer
98_E43-E45_Nimzo-Indian, (...b6 setup)
by doug27
Akiba the Great
by BAJones
Their fifth meeting. Rubinstein implodes.
from Rubinstein plays Alekhine by Bridgeburner
E43
from First of each ECO (Part 2) by Penguincw
Game 1
from The Nimzo-Indian Defence (Gligoric) by doug27
Nimzo-Indian
by ALL
98_E43-E45_Nimzo-Indian, (...b6 setup)
by whiteshark
Rubinstein vs World Champions Decisive Games Alekhine
from Rubinstein vs World Champions Decisive Games by Okavango
St. Petersburg Variation
from Nimzo-Indian Defense by JohnM
Nimzo-Indian
by Chezter75
Power Chess - Alekhine
by Anatoly21
Bloqueo defensivo
from Buen escudo no teme espada (I) by 3jaques by Ediciones3jaques

Home | About | Login | Logout | F.A.Q. | Profile | Preferences | Premium Membership | Kibitzer's Café | Biographer's Bistro | New Kibitzing | Chessforums | Tournament Index | Player Directory | Notable Games | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | Privacy Notice | Contact Us

Copyright 2001-2021, Chessgames Services LLC