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Akiba Rubinstein vs Carl Schlechter
"Akivaderci" (game of the day May-19-2015)
San Sebastian (1912), San Sebastian ESP, rd 13, Mar-07
Queen's Gambit Declined: Semi-Tarrasch Defense. Exchange Variation (D41)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Mar-26-09  newzild: What I find most amusing about this game are the "twin" moves 30.Be2 and 35.Bxb5. In each case, if black captures the bishop then white has the fork Nf7+.
Aug-01-11  nolanryan: my idea for pun is akiba rubins carl by beating him
Premium Chessgames Member
  ToTheDeath: What a complete wipeout. Black never had a chance. Great game.
Dec-10-12  Chris1971: What a game by Rubinstein and yet against a player of Schlechter’s strength is testimony to Rubinstein’s ability. This is a personal favorite of mine. It is defiantly in my top 10 games ever played.
Sep-05-13  visayanbraindoctor: This perfect Rubinstein game reminds me of the way Kramnik sometimes treats similar pawn structures. (White Kingside 5 vs 4 pawn majority; Black with pawns on the a and b files vs a lone white pawn on the a file.)

Or perhaps its the other way around, Kramnik's positional games with a Kingside majority remind me of this game.

BTW, if this game were to be shown to a modern chess player who has never seen it before, I would bet he would never be able to figure out for sure it was played way back in 1912. It could have well been played yesterday in a super GM tournament. Just goes to show that the notion that the greatest of the pre-WW1 players can't play as well as present-day ones is false.

Sep-05-13  offramp: One thing that comes through strongly from Kasparov's <Gary Kasparov On His Great Predecessors Volume 1> is his admiration for Rubinstein.
Feb-05-14  Cemoblanca: Schlechter wasn't schlechter at all, but Akiba was better. ;] Wonderful game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Fabulous game - an old favourite
May-19-15  offramp: The pun would be slightly better if the alternative name of Akiva had been used.
May-19-15  newzild: Excellent game! It's good to see that we're back on track with GsOTD being chosen for the quality of the play rather than the title.
May-19-15  morfishine: <newzild: Excellent game! It's good to see that we're back on track with the GOTD being chosen for the quality of the play rather than the title> I'll second that! This one's a beaut
May-19-15  sorokahdeen: Rubinstein's development/deployment advantage counted despite the reduced material. That's just fascinating.
May-19-15  Beancounter: This game was from Rubinstein's golden year of 1912 when he won five successive major tournaments. I believe Larsen was the only other player to achieve such a feat. Should Rubinstein have been able to raise the necessary finances to meet Lasker in 1912 or thereabouts I think it is very likely he would have become world champion.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: With the queens off the board, white's king can approach with no fear.
Premium Chessgames Member <offramp: The pun would be slightly better if the alternative name of Akiva had been used.> That's a great point. We're not above changing the pun after the fact.

(And yes, this one was chosen for the game itself and then struggled to come up with a pun.)

May-19-15  offramp: <Beancounter: This game was from Rubinstein's golden year of 1912 when he won five successive major tournaments. I believe Larsen was the only other player to achieve such a feat. Should Rubinstein have been able to raise the necessary finances to meet Lasker in 1912 or thereabouts I think it is very likely he would have become world champion.>

Well, if he'd won 5 major tournaments, why didn't he have the money? Buying sports cars?

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<offramp> Well, if he'd won 5 major tournaments, why didn't he have the money? Buying sports cars?>

Just because you are a great chess player doesn't mean that you can raise the necessary money (in those days) for a WC match. Chess playing and raising money are two very different skills and, from what I've read of Rubinstein's personality, he was probably not very good at the latter. Just like our political system, it's not necessarily the best candidate that wins an election but the candidate that manages to raise the most money.

Yet Rubinstein apparently did manage to raise the money in spite of his relatively poor showing in the St. Petersburg 1914 tournament (where he finished 7th out of 11) since a match with Lasker was arranged to start in October 1914. Unfortunately World War I intervened and Rubinstein was not the same player after the war, lacking the consistency he had shown before the war.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: As <Archives> noted eight years ago, 39...e3 would be met by 40.Rg7+ Kh8 41.Nf7+ Rxf7 42.Rxf7 e2 43.Rxf6 Kg8 (43...e1(Q) 44.Rf8#) 44.Rxe6.
May-20-15  Howard: This excellent effort by Rubinstein is in Chernev's well-known book Most Instructive Games of Chess Every Played, by the way. It's near the end of the book, as I recall.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Analyze this game with an engine sometime. Rubinstein plays extremely close to perfect chess.
May-11-17  User not found: <FSR: Analyze this game with an engine sometime.> Rubinstein plays extremely close to perfect chess>>>

I just did Cuddlebumps. It's very very accurate and precise for a 100 year old game.. I believe here, regardless of what the engine thinks, black should have developed his queen side pieces bring the knight to c6 or e7. By kicking the bishop with 13..a6 followed by b5 then Rd8 he's defending the rest of the game..

click for larger view

13...h6. Bd4. ..b5. Rhc1 ..Rd8? .Rd7... Struggling from here onwards..

click for larger view

Dec-03-17  Ulhumbrus: <paladin at large: ... To elaborate on my earlier post, here is Capablanca's quote from Capablanca-Magazine of 25 April 1912 :

"There are no doubt many people whose attention is not attracted by this game; for my part, I confess that there are few games that have so impressed me. To my mind it is a complete masterpiece, a monument of magnificent precision. For 38 moves the great Russian expert always played the exact move, the strongest! This game is a classic example, always to be conserved, of how chess should be played.">

What was Capablanca referring to by his words <how chess should be played>? One possible answer is that by <how chess should be played> Capablanca was referring to the strength of Rubinstein's play and not its style and meant that a player should play the strongest move at each and every point.

Premium Chessgames Member
  naresb: Forget about the opening part, after 16. Rc7 White had his target set- 'Kingside attack' & was as if on auto-pilot mode, while doing so White managed to hook away everything that came around.
Mar-05-20  ronaldpatzer: I suppose black went wrong in the opening by letting white have two pawns in the center and helping develop the white king with QxQ. Also, black conceded such a good post for white's knight on e5 ... and I think 15...b5 was to blame. Why not a more normal move like Nc6? Maybe Schlechter was really concerned with the b6 weakness, I don't know.

21. g5 also caught my attention. Getting a passed pawn, probably already thinking in the endgame. And indeed Akiba ended with an outside passed pawn. That alone would be a good advantage in the endgame, I believe. Also, 19.g4 is interesting. Rubinstein was probably already thinking ahead and trying to avoid the knight of being kicked out of e5.

Anyway, I felt Schlechter was too passive here. What I find so fascinating in these master games (don't know about the more recent games, mostly saw only old games) is that they become so passive in bad positions. That is very curious to me.

Mar-05-20  ronaldpatzer: And it is also interesting how rubinstein chosed the develop the bishop first before trying to get the rook in the 7th. Also, even the engine recommends 13 ... a6 and I don't quite understand why, I know the bishop on b5 is strong and takes a lot of space, but I don't like the idea of creating a weakness on b6 ... Ohh, now I see. Thinking more about it and looking at some lines through the engine I realized black is too undeveloped, the pawn on b7 makes impossible to develop black's c8 bishop and therefore also the a8 rook. While Nc6 would result in BxN and create very weak pawns for black who is already undeveloped.
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