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Aron Nimzowitsch vs Akiba Rubinstein
San Remo (1930), San Remo ITA, rd 10, Jan-28
English Opening: Symmetrical. Anti-Benoni Variation Spielmann Defense (A32)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  meloncio: I can't see what Nimzo had in mind after his odd move 12.Na5. Insisting on the same idea (17.Ba5), he managed to lose a clearly draw position, when his bishop got trapped.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: It almost seemed that a whole group of players lost strength around 1930. Rubinstein, Spielmann, Tartakower, Marshall, Bogo, Vidmar, Nimzo etc. I guess they played some good games in 1930's but they could no longer win tournaments.
Dec-12-04  ughaibu: Calli: that's an interesting observation. I think Rubinstein took 1st board medal in the Hamburg olympiad, 1931, then retired, otherwise only Alekhine, Capablanca and Lasker hung on into the new generation. I wonder if the apparent suddenness of this transition was due to an excessive loss of talent in the 14-18 war.
Premium Chessgames Member
  meloncio: <calli, ughaibu> maybe they all were in fifties-sixties? I'm getting near :-(( And, as ughaibu points, they had a World War (and in some cases a revolution) breaking their lives at their "finest hour".
Dec-12-04  ughaibu: Meloncio: it's a revelation also to see how young so many died from diseases that these days dont figure at all. From when was penicillin freely available?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gregor Samsa Mendel: I think penicillin was first mass-produced during WWII and became widely avaliable after the war. Sulfa drugs, the first effective antibiotics, were first used to treat bacterial infections in 1935, the year Nimzovitch died.
Dec-12-04  ughaibu: Gregor Samsa Mendel: Thanks. One also has to wonder about the general condition of water supplies after the 14-18 war and how long the ramifications persisted.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: The top ten in 1930 does look a 40 something club.
Alekhine 38
Capablanca 42
Nimzovitch 44
Vidmar 45
Bogoljubov 41
Euwe 29
Kashdan 25
Rubinstein 48
Spielmann 47
Tartakower 43
Dec-12-04  ughaibu: Good post Tamar, Chessmetrics?
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Right, Chessmetrics. Very handy for birth dates. Lasker would have brought the average up, but he was inactive.

Of the two players under 30, both Euwe and Kashdan had an ambivalent approach to making chess their profession. Was there something in society that made chess seem too risky? Reshevsky also would never fully commit, and Fine tried for a while and then switched professions. Or is it the case that these attitudes were caused by WW1 as well?

Dec-12-04  ughaibu: Tamar: It's interesting and good timing by the USSR, I guess. The next major transition following the "second" war is comprehensible but this earlier one remains somewhat conspicuous.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: A big vacuum into which the Soviets moved in. It does cast Alekhine's achievements in winning Bled and San Remo in 1930 and 31 in a less glorious light. At least thinking about it in terms of who he had to beat, and where they were in their career arcs.
Dec-12-04  Sonofabishop84: Wasn't Rubinstein the king of Rook+pawn endgames?
Dec-12-04  ughaibu: Was there another in the early 70s? (Fischer fans relax, I'm merely wagging your tails).
Premium Chessgames Member
  acirce: Tartakower: "Rubinstein is a rook ending of a chess game that was started by God a thousand years ago".
Dec-12-04  ughaibu: Acirce: I never got that Tartakower quote, it describes Rubinstein himself not his play or conduct of endgames.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: <tamar> Re: Alekhine and Bled/San Remo. Yes, I think there is something to that theory. The guys he beat were all past their prime, while the young players were not quite there yet.

The other factor was economic conditions and the great depression. Less money in chess, so if you had a job and a profession, it was a good idea to hold on to it. Alekhine insisted that Capablanca raise the same amount for a rematch as the 1927 match. $10,000, I think. This was a small fortune after the stock market crashed. Of course, he gave Bogo a deep discount.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <ughaibu> <Was there another in the early 70s> Vasily Panov in an article in Izvestia in the 1960's was critcal of a government initiative to meet a crisis in Soviet Chess. There seemed to be a noticeable drop in the quality of player in the late 50's and early 60's. The reason for this was WWII. Players born after Boris Spassky (1937) and before Anatoly Karpov (1951) grew up affected by the War and what the vlasti were worried about was a "missing generation" that would have reached its peak in the 60s.
Dec-13-04  ughaibu: Benzol: interesting, thanks.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <calli> Hmm I forgot the Great Depression. Bled and San Remo gave me the idea of a golden age, but perhaps chess was just barely surviving.

The theory of a missing generation explains only part of Alekhine's success though. Rubinstein, Vidmar, Capa, Speilmann, Nimzovitch also had the opportunity to study each others play for decades, but only Alekhine seemed to realize that keeping book on others' weaknesses (as well as his own) conferred an enormous advantage.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: <Tamar> I don't know about barely surviving but it does seem like there were far fewer big tournaments 1930-1935.
Aug-10-08  depraved: <Benzol> It seems to me that Keres was once asked about this relative dearth of top-class prospects and he replied, 'There is more to do nowadays', presumably meaning that even within the strictures of post-WWII Soviet life, young people had some choices.

While Korchnoi,(b.1931) Stein and Polugaevsky, (both b.1934), and Tal,(b.late 1936, all came before Spassky, I agree that they all belong in that period between Spassky and Karpov in chess chronology.

Jan-29-12  RookFile: Nimzo could have safely resigned at move 23 in this game.
Apr-21-12  Karpova: <meloncio: I can't see what Nimzo had in mind after his odd move 12.Na5.>

Alekhine on 12.Na5: <Exerting pressure because of the threat of ...b6, followed by ...Bb7. If now 12...b6, then 13.Nc4 with an attack on the square d6, which should bring concrete positional results.>

And that's why Akiva answers 12...b5 (Alekhine awards this move an exclamation mark).

Source: Page 278 of J. Donaldson and N. Minev 'The Life and Games of Akiva Rubinstein - Volume 2: The Later Years', 2nd edition, Milford, USA, 2011.

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