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Geza Maroczy vs Akiba Rubinstein
Karlsbad (1907), Karlsbad (Karlovy Vary) AUH, rd 17, Sep-12
French Defense: Rubinstein Variation. Blackburne Defense (C10)  ·  1/2-1/2


Annotations by Emanuel Lasker.      [80 more games annotated by Lasker]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: We often read of the Exchange sacrifice for an attack, but how often do we read of an Exchange sacrifice for the defense? This game is exceptional, and deserves to be rescued from oblivion. Although Rubinstein sets up a formidable blockade on the light squares, Maroczy almost finds a breakthrough with an Exchange counter-sacrifice. Rubinstein's zweischenzug <sp?> ...Qe3+! (preventing Qe6+ forking King & Rook) saves the day.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: If Rubinstein had played: <24...Qxa2> 25.Rd8 Rxd8 26.Rxd8 f6 27.Bxf6 Qb1+ 28.Rd1 Qc2, it appears that he would not have gained any greater advantage than in the game continuation.

If Maroczy had not returned the exchange, the position would have continued on a knife-edge, <27.Rd3> Bc5+ 28.Kh1 Rc7

The quality of play (especially Rubinstein's positional insight) in this game is impressive. Later Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian would make positional sacrifices for the "quality of the position" a key note of his chess, see: Reshevsky vs Petrosian, 1953

Oct-24-04  Kean: Bc8-d7-e8, quite interesting the way Rubinstein places his bishop there after the KR reaches d8. And later the QB goes to f8. Seems he understood perfectly when and how to defend.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: The tournament situation may have been a factor here. With five games to play, Maroczy led with 11 points, while Rubinstein was second with 11 and a clear point ahead of Vidmar in third.

Maroczy would have liked to win and just about clinch first, but had no need to take huge risks; a draw still kept him in the lead. Rubinstein also had no reason to risk everything; in 1907 he would have been a big underdog against Maroczy and a draw with Black would be creditable.

As it happened, the tournament schedule worked out in Rubinstein's favor. In the next three rounds he beat tail-enders Chigorin, Olland and Cohn, while Maroczy played three draws against tougher opposition in Vidmar, Nimzowitsch, and Dus-Chotimirsky. That left Rubinstein a full point up in the last round, and he was able to clinch first by drawing against Wolf when he wanted to.

Dec-28-07  Karpova: Emanuel Lasker: <The most important game in the tournament, and in many respects the most exciting, was the encounter between the two leaders toward the close. Maroczy, the hero of many hard fights, was half a point better off than the young Rubinstein, but the latter had to meet weaker opponents subsequently.

With the instinct and judgement of a veteran, with confidence in his ability to succeed in his remaining games, Rubinstein set out with a determination to draw with Maroczy. The state of the score would have impelled most players to take exceptional risks in order to depose his antagonist and take his place. Rubinstein is evidently au fait in all the arts of winning tournaments besides games. An eyewitness thus describes the attitude of the players at the conclusion of the game: "That Rubinstein was perfectly satisfied with his partial success was apparent from his beaming countenance; Maroczy looked depressed in proportion.">

Lasker's Chess Magazine 1907
"Akiba Rubinstein: Uncrowned King" by Donaldson/Minev

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