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Ossip Bernstein vs Akiba Rubinstein
Vilnius All-Russian Masters (1912), Vilna (Vilnius) RUE, rd 9, Aug-31
Four Knights Game: Spanish. Rubinstein Variation (C48)  ·  1/2-1/2



Annotations by Akiba Rubinstein.      [3 more games annotated by Rubinstein]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-18-07  Archives: Annotations to this game from the great Akiba himself!....



This little-known defense makes the game complicated and avoids the overworked variations of the Four Knights' opening. Whether the move be correct, the future will decide. Opposed to it is the principle that no piece should be moved twice in the opening without real need.


The retreat to a4 would keep the queen pawn pinned only temporarily; therefore the bishop takes up a more aggressive position at c4, threatening the points d5 and f7


If White captures the b7 pawn, he will have to face a still livelier attack.


In this dangerous position Bernstein finds the best plan of defense; the White king flees to the queen's wing and Black's onslaught comes to an end. Every other move would lose; for instance: 11.h3 Bxf3 12.gxf3 Qh4 13.Rf1 Ne5 and wins. Or 11.Be3 Ne5 12.Bxd4 Bxd4, and White has no defense against the threat of 13...Qf6


Also 12...Ne5 came under consideration


Not 20.Qf2 because of 20...Rxd3

<22.Qe2 Nd4 draw>

After 23.Qf2 (or 23.Qe1) would follow 23...Nxb3 24.axb3 Rxd3, etc.


Notes by Rubinstein from "Novoe Vremya" 1912, which were translated and published in the August 1912 issue of American Chess Bulletin.

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