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Heinrich Wolf vs Akiba Rubinstein
"Drawsome!" (game of the day Jun-05-2015)
Karlsbad (1907), Karlsbad CZE, rd 21, Sep-17
French Defense: Rubinstein Variation. Blackburne Defense (C10)  ·  1/2-1/2


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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Oct-11-06  Plato: A curious coincidence -- and what some might call "poetic justice" -- occured some 16 years later at Karlsbad, 1923 ( Rubinstein vs H Wolf, 1923 ).

Rubinstein was to face Wolf again, this time with White, and on move 44 could have acquiesced to the draw with 44.Nb7, which would have repeated the position for a third time. Instead, he again refused Wolf's draw offer, opting for 44.Qb7 ... and resigned just four moves later due to a horrific blunder!

I'm sure Wolf was smiling to himself at that moment...

Dec-28-06  AdrianP: I was browsing through the new edition of Rubinstein: Uncrowned King when I came across this anecdote.

Rubinstein (as indicated by capanegra only needed a draw to win the tournament), but refused Wolf's draw offer (as per comments). He had a long think about his 24th move, but then played 24 ...Ba6 rather than 24 ...Rh5! .

After the game a crowd of spectators asked him why he had not seen 24. ...Rh5 winning, and Rubinstein apparently replied that, of course, he had seen it. They asked why hadn't he played it and he replied that he only needed a draw to win the tournament. They then asked why he hadn't accepted Wolf's earlier draw offer, prompting the famous reply 'With Wolf I make draw when I want to, not when he wants to!'

Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <AdrianP> Ade are there any new games by comparison with the previous edition?
Dec-28-06  AdrianP: <Benzol> I don't know - I haven't got the old edition and I didn't buy the new one...
Dec-28-06  Archives: <It was in fact Lajos Steiner who said that he had never seen Rubinstein offer a draw himself and knew of no other master that had seen him offer one.>

Reminds me of a saying I have heard, "A Rubinstein never offers a draw!"

Dec-28-06  Archives: <AdrianP> Were you just browsing through it at a bookstore?

Can't wait till I can get my copy of the new book!

Nov-23-07  Karpova: <Plato: A curious coincidence -- and what some might call "poetic justice">

Well, it's actually Wolf whose behaviour was inappropriate getting excited and promising to beat that <polish upstart> (Wolf and Maroczy were both representatives of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and close friends).

<offramp: It was in fact Lajos Steiner who said that he had never seen Rubinstein offer a draw himself and knew of no other master that had seen him offer one.>

Rubinstein offered draws e.g. against Chigorin in round 19.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: It's possible that Steiner's observation is accurate. He would have known Rubinstein only after the First World War when Rubinstein's psychological problems became more apparent--one of which, as I recall, was a morbid fear of disturbing his opponent.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Horowitz pointed out in one of his books from the 1960s that after 24....Rh5 25.h3 Ng4 was possible, with the ensuing line 26.fxg4 Rxh3+ and 'White's position falls apart'.
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  Richard Taylor: I think Rubinstein missed Rh4. He was a great player but all players make errors.

Perhaps Wolf should have played 22. f4 or 22. Ng4 ......?

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: This is how I heard it:

"Man Named Wolf he visit town of the Running Water of Heap Big Chief. He makum offer of calumet to Dances With Rooks! Dances With Rooks heap unhappy. Dances With Rooks sulk in corner. He say "Dances With Rooks makum calumet when Dances With Rooks want calumet, not when Man Named Wolf want calumet!" He get heap big laugh. Makum good comedian."

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: <capanegra> In his book, "Three Hundred Chess Games", Tarrasch stated that it was Riemann, not Schottlaender, who made a costly decline of a draw offer at Leipzig 1888.

Tarrasch stated, <At one point, Mieses offered Riemann a draw which would have given Riemann first place."> Riemann declined the draw, lost the game, and as a result, he had to share first place with von Bardeleben, with Mieses finishing 3rd.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Maybe not one of the best draws ever, but certainly one of the best stories.

Briefly, Rubinstein needed a draw to win the tournament. Wolf offered one, but Rubinstein refused and built up a massive, winning attack. Then he frittered it away, offered a draw himself, and walked away with first prize.

When asked later to explain his behavior, Rubinstein replied, "With Wolf, I draw when I want to, not when he wants to!"

There is much more to the story, with many subplots both personal and political. You can read some of this in previous kibitzes.

And, as with most really good chess anecdotes, there's a possibility it didn't happen at all. Yes, I know Hans Kmoch wrote it up in an article in "Chess Review" some forty years later. It would still be good to find a contemporary report.

Premium Chessgames Member
  PhilFeeley: Is it a crime against chess not to win a game when you should?
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <PhilFeeley: Is it a crime against chess not to win a game when you should?>

Yes it is. But is it wrong not to always be glad? No, it's not wrong - but I must add, how can someone so young sing words so sad?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: If it is then I should be incarcerated.
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: Yawnsome
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Hmm. It's draw week here, as 4 straight GOTDs have been drawn.

Any predictions for tomorrow's game (I'm just going to guess 1-0)?

Jun-05-15  Brit: Another draw possibly?
Jun-05-15  LoveThatJoker: A truly atrocious pun.


Premium Chessgames Member
  jith1207: <Penguincw> Expect a draw then in POTD. That would make our heads fall off.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: I guess this must be OK Corral week- everybody is drawing!
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: <offramp: <PhilFeeley: Is it a crime against chess not to win a game when you should?>

Yes it is.>

Good thing that the law is not enforced, otherwise I would be incarcerated for life as a habitual offender.

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: <LoveThatJoker: A truly atrocious pun.


Joker, it could have been worse. The pun could have been "Drawsome sauce!"

Jun-05-15  sfm: Wolf's hilarious swindle against mighty Schlechter is a classic:

Schlechter vs H Wolf, 1906

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