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Akiba Rubinstein vs Jose Raul Capablanca
"If You c1 You've Seen Them All" (game of the day Jun-22-2015)
San Sebastian (1911), San Sebastian ESP, rd 13, Mar-13
Tarrasch Defense: Rubinstein System (D33)  ·  1-0



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Given 62 times; par: 71 [what's this?]

Annotations by Jacques Mieses.      [4 more games annotated by J Mieses]

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Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: I thought this pun sounded familiar, and it turns out it was recently used on Nov/23/2014. :)

Svidler vs D Andreikin, 2014

Premium Chessgames Member
  andrewjsacks: CG, thank you for using my pun. I was unaware of any previous use of it, but of course it applies perfectly here, not to say to no other game. Thank you.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <andrewjsacks> Just for the record, there is a list of puns that have been used:

Game Collection: Game of the Day Pun Index (I-L)

But when it fits as perfectly as the one today, it doesn't matter if it's a repeat.

Premium Chessgames Member
  andrewjsacks: <PB> Thank you.
Jun-22-15  samikd: I must be one of one of the dumbest people here. first of all, I didnt get the pun. Second, I dont see why White is winning by 42.Rh6. Can somebody explain please ?
Jun-22-15  Amarande: <samikd> As noted by Edward Lasker in Chess Strategy (game no. 40), Black cannot prevent the White Rook from holding the Black passed pawn.


a) 42 ... Ka5 43 Bc4!

b) 42 ... Ka7 43 Rh8!

In either case, queening is punished by an immediate skewer on the a-file, while if Black moves the King off the file then White moves the Rook there anyway, after which the pawn cannot be held as both B and R bear on a2.

If 42 ... Kb5, then simply 43 Bc4+ followed by 44 Ra6 and again the pawn is lost, while moving the King to c5 or c7 simply allows 43 Ra6 at once.

In each case White ends up a piece and at least three pawns up (or four in variations with Bc4), and it's all over but the shouting.

Jun-22-15  morfishine: It takes a Rubinstein to pull something off like this against Capablanca. At least for me, I have great admiration for Capablanca's fighting spirit when caught in an adverse situation
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: White can force the rook to a6 and stop the pawn.White's 17 ♕c1!! is one of the most subtle and brilliant moves of all time.
Jun-22-15  visayanbraindoctor: One of the rare games where Capablanca got out-calculated. In this game Rubinstein saw more than him.

Capablanca typically does not go down without trying something concrete, and goes for an active defense. He attacks Rubinstein's Queenside and tries to force passed pawns of his own. The ending becomes asymmetrical, potentially a dangerous race of pawns. We lesser mortals can learn something from this. When down in material with no compensation, better go for an active defense, and aim for sharp asymmetrical positions.

A lesser player than Rubinstein might actually have let the slippery Cuban out of the hook. But this is the Akiba that we're talking about, and he reels the victory in.

Jun-22-15  john barleycorn: If I remember correctly Capablanca in his own annotations said that he overlooked 16.Kg2.
Jun-22-15  Howard: It was because of this game, by the way, that Rubinstein was actually one of the few players back in the day to have a plus score against Capablanca.

This was the first encounter between them, and by winning, Rubinstein thus had an instant plus score. Their next several encounters were all drawn.

Then, in 1928, Capa finally evened the score.

Jun-22-15  samikd: <amarande> Oh the skewer ! Thank you very much
Jun-22-15  RandomVisitor: 14.Nxd5! exd5 15.Bxc8 Rxc8 16.Bxf6 gxf6 17.Qxd5+ and black has problems.
Jun-23-15  RandomVisitor: After the curious improvement attempt 15...Bxf2+

"Capablanca typically does not go down without trying something concrete, and goes for an active defense."

click for larger view

Rybka 4.1 x64:

<[+0.24] d=28 16.Kh1> Qh6 17.Kg2 Rcd8 18.Qc1 Qg6 19.Nf4 Qe4+ 20.Kxf2 e5 21.Bg2 Qb4 22.Kg1 exf4 23.Rxf4 Rxf4 24.Qxf4 Qxb2 25.Qc4+ Kh8 26.Rf1 h6 27.Be4 Re8 28.Kh1 Qd4 29.Qxd4 Nxd4 30.Bxb7 Nxe2 31.Rf7

[+0.01] d=27 16.Kg2 Qe5 17.Rxf2 Rxf2+ 18.Kxf2 Rd8 19.Ne7+ Kh8 20.Qb3 Nxe7 21.Qxe6 Qd4+ 22.Kg2 Nd5 23.Kh1 Ne3 24.Rg1 h6 25.b3 Rf8 26.Bg2 Nxg2 27.Kxg2 Rf2+ 28.Kh3 Qc5 29.Qe8+ Kh7 30.Qe4+ Kg8 31.g4

Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: A nice little spoonerism: "Mieses: Black cannot avoid the exchange of the queens: 20...Qxb2 loses a piece after 21.Rbf1" should read "...21.Rfb1"
May-11-17  User not found: From move 30 with Btp he must have thought he could see 15 moves ahead (GM's can calculate 15 moves, right?) but made a mistake. He was never going to sac his king side pawns and promote his a or b pawn before white could do the same with his f2,g2 or h2 pawns... White had a powerful bishop on the a2-g8 diagonal defending both c3 and a2, the blunder is missing 30..Re2 because if white checks with the rook on f7 you can play Re7 and offer the exchange.. Even If the offer wasn't taken black should have scraped a draw.

click for larger view

Dec-08-18  brimarern: Beautiful, BEAUTIFUL game! This is high level chess.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: 38.Rf5 was winning easily. If 38...Rxa2, then 39.Bxa2 b3 40.Rf4 Kb5 41.Bxb3 axb3 42.Re4 etc.
Premium Chessgames Member
  zenwabi: Capablanca annotates this game at p. 83 of his CHESS FUNDAMENTALS, Everyman Chess edition.
Sep-14-20  SChesshevsky: Seems the Tarrasch defense was a Capablanca choice through this tournament. But then not again by the cg database.

But an early...Be6 appears not best. Here Rubinstein goes after it not very subtly with Ng5 and Bh3. Then Capablanca misses or underestimates the Nxd5 trick.

Appears the early...Be6 goes out of favor in the 1920s. Probably rightfully. Not sure if this game had a part in Capa dropping the Tarrasch but probably didn't add support. A 2007 post by Judah relates some of his notes on this opening.

Apr-29-21  nezhmet: Looks like 38...Rxa2! would save the game for Capa. There is a hole in the quoted Vukovic analysis.
Apr-29-21  nezhmet: Specifically 41...Kxc6 is ! not ? and then 42.Rb8 Re1! and it is white who must be careful to draw.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <brimarern: Beautiful, BEAUTIFUL game! This is high level chess>

Does Capablanca think that this is a high level chess game?

Apr-29-21  nezhmet: The Kg2 & Qc1 combination was a very nice tactical trick. Then everything went smoothly and at a high level but then Rubinstein gaffed with 38. Bd5? which was a very serious miscue. The correct move, 38. Rf5! was very deep (Rf5-f4 to eye the a-file). Once he gaffed, Capablanca had a miracle save along the lines of what I pointed out which is a surprising miss by all the analysts for all these years. However since Capablanca did include this game in a book we can conclude he was impressed by the tactical tricks that netted white the extra pawn. It is probably the case that neither player saw the 38...Rxa2! save in its entirety.
Apr-29-21  nezhmet: Update! Paul Littlewood has found 38...Bxa2! 39. Rh8 b3 40. h5 Ra1 41. Rc8!! (what a move!) and now 41...b2 42.Rxc6+ Ka5 43.Bc4! Rg1+ 44.Kxg1 b1=Q+ 45.Kh2 Qe1 46.Kg2 and white should convert. Of course 38...Rxa2 should have been tried. So Vukovic was correct in the overall result but not correct in the specific lines, because his 41. Bxc6?? tosses away the win.
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