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Akiba Rubinstein vs Karel Hromadka
Maehrisch - Ostrau (1923)  ·  King's Gambit: Declined. Classical Variation (C30)  ·  1-0
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Given 59 times; par: 38 [what's this?]

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Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Rubinstein banged his queen down on b6. He looked at his opponent and said, "Baby needs a new pair o' shoes!"
Premium Chessgames Member
  diagonalley: got nowhere near this one :-(
Premium Chessgames Member
  Cheapo by the Dozen: Forcing moves seem called for, as both the h3 knight and the c6 pawn threat to reduce White's pressure along the g1-h7 diagonal.

I imagine the correct move is 25 a6, threatening immediate mate. I haven't yet worked out a response to 25 ... b6, but I think I've refuted any other tries for Black, as follows:

25 ... ba and 25 ... b5 both allow mate in 2, starting 26 Rxa7.

25 ... Bc7 allows mate in 1.

25 ... Qc7/Qd7 lose the queen, because 26 RxQ renews the mate threat, giving White time to save his own queen.

I see a few reasonable tries starting 25 ... Rd7, but they all leave White ahead in material:

25 ... Rd7
26 Rxd7 Nxc2
27 Rxd6 Bxd6
28 Bxg8

25 ... Rd7
26 Rxd7 Qxd7
27 ab+ Qxb7
28 Qg2

25 ... Rd7
26 Rxd7 Qxd7
27 ab+ Kxb7
28 Rxa7+ Bxa7
29 Qxa7+ Kc1
30 Qxd7+ Kxd7
31 Bxg8 (the point, although it seems that 30 Qa8+ is similarly good)

25 ... Rd7
26 Rxd7 Qxd7
27 ab+ Kxb7
28 Rxa7+ Kc1
29 Rxd7 Nxc2
30 Bxg8 Kxd7
31 Bxc2

Premium Chessgames Member
  lost in space: Before I found 25. Qb6 I thought long about the following sequence:

click for larger view

25. Ba6 Rd7 (else mate) 26. Qf5 Rgd8 27. Bc5 Rxf7 28. Rxf7 Qc7 and here I found no way to win this immediately.

click for larger view

Surely white is better, but now the best seems to be to move the bishop back to c4 and the game is going on...

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Wow! What a master piece of Chess beauty and calculation by Rubenstein!

Missed 25. Qb6!! because I didn't even consider the Queen sacrifice without a capture, even though quiet piece sacrifices have been a theme for our Chess puzzles this past week.

However, after missing 25. Qb6!! and looking at the game, I did have an insightful moment when I calculated 25... axb6 26. axb6+ Ba7 27.Rxa7+ Kb8 28. Rfxb7+ Kc8 29. Ba6! (diagram below):

click for larger view

I took this position and plugged it into the computer, and Fritz 12 indicates it's a mate for White in 10 moves!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Cheapo by the Dozen: Unfortunately, I'm running into brick walls now.

I don't see how to proceed after

25 a6 b6,

since the sacrifices at a7 and b6 don't seem to work. As for alternate 25th moves,

25 Ba6 seems to be defended by 25 ... Rd2, as per my 25 a6 line that depended on an eventual Bxg8.

25 Qb6 axb6
26 axb6+ Ba2

doesn't seem to work either.

Feb-22-14  PJs Studio: I haven't looked at the answer or figured it out yet. With Black's king stuffed so tightly in the corner i keep looking at Ba6, a6, Qxa7+, Qb6, and to a lesser degree Qc5 & Rxb7. All of these candidate moves attempt to violently pull away blacks last defense to expose the King to the Rooks @ f7 and a1... But my mind is spasming from all the defensive possibilities. Qb6, a6 & Ba6!? sure is tempting, but Rd7?!, b6?! Qx... gack!! If I don't have a blow out, I'll post my discoveries.
Feb-22-14  PJs Studio: Ok...*cough*

25. a6 b6 26.Qxb6 fails
25. Ba6, Rd7 gets nowhere
25. Qb6 Rd7 26.Rxd7 leaves the rook on g8 hanging... Time to check.

I did not see the gorgeous 26.Bc5! After that it was a bit of a mop up, except for 29.Bc5!

Black can put up more resistance with 27...Bxd6 28. Bxf7 axb6 29. axb6+ Kb8 30. Bxg8 Ng5 31.b4 - but who cares? Blacks busted. What a sweet game by Rubinstein! Brilliant!!

A buddy of mine was a nut for Rubinstein. Thought his anti-nimzo d4 systems were spectacular. A truly great player that sadly went tragically sick later in life.

Great comments Offramp, Cheapo, patzer2 (ill check your brilliance in the morning...) Archives. Chess to chew on for Saturday me time...after taxes.

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: Just when I start thinking I am pretty good, I have a spectacular failure like today.
Feb-22-14  LAK: Beautiful combination!

It's immediately obvious that White will have to do something with his Queen, otherwise the Black Knight will take it next move. Also, although White has a better position than Black, it would be a pity if he lost his Bishop pair. That gets us to think of doing something drastic on the g1-a7 diagonal. Unfortunately, 25 Qxa7+ doesn't work. What about 25 Qb6, with the subsequent threat of Qxb7 mate? Then Black's candidate moves would be a7xQ, and Rd8-d7.

It took me some time to find the right order of moves for the first branch, but it eventually became clear that 25. Qb6 axb6 26. axb6+ Ba7 27. Rxa7+ Kb8 28. Rfxb7+ Kc8 29. Ba6 leads to mate, or huge loss of material, or both.

Then it was easy to see that after 25. Qb6 Rd7 26. Rxd7 Qxd7 27. Bxg8 axb6 28. axb6+ Ba7 29. Rxa7+ Kb8 30. Bc5 White is about a pawn better with a good position, so I got lazy and gave up the rest of the analysis. That was a pity, because while going through the other branches of the analysis tree Bc5 attacking the Queen had come up in several sub-variations. Oh, well!

By the way, here's what Stockfish has to say about my sub-optimal variation:

25. Qb6 Rd7 26. Rxd7 Qxd7 27. Bxg8 axb6 28. axb6+ Ba7 29. Rxa7+ Kb8 30. Bc5 Ng5 31. Ra1 Qg4 32. Bc4 Qf3 33. Kb3 Qf6 34. Kb4 Nh7 35. d4 exd4 36. cxd4 Qg6 37. e5 Ng5 38. Bd6+ Kc8 39. Ra8+ Kd7 40. Rb8 + (1.56--) Depth: 41/68 0:03:05 1285 MN

And here's Stockfish on best play for the combination (definitely non-human thinking on display after 30. BxRg8):

25. Qb6 Rd7 26. Bc5 Rxf7 27. Bxd6 Bxd6 28. Bxf7 axb6 29. axb6+ Kb8 30. Bxg8 Be7 31. b4 Bd8 32. Ra5 Bf6 33. Rc5 Ng5 34. b5 cxb5 35. Rxb5 Nf3 36. Be6 Ne1+ 37. Kd1 Nxd3 38. Ke2 Nc1+ 39. Kd2 Bg5+ 40. Kc2 Be3 41. Rxe5 g6 42. Rd5 Bxb6 43. Kxc1 Bc7 44. Bf7 + (5.28++) Depth: 45/58 0:04:19 1795 MN

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: This puzzle is actually not that hard. I got 26.Qb6, and if 26...axb6, then 27.axb6+ Ba7 28.Rxa7+ Kb8, 29.Rfxb8. Unfortunately, it's not a winning line.
Premium Chessgames Member
  sfm: <Penguincw: This puzzle is actually not that hard. I got 26.Qb6, and if 26...axb6, then 27.axb6+ Ba7 28.Rxa7+ Kb8, 29.Rfxb8. Unfortunately, it's not a winning line.> Try to sneak half a bottle of whiskey into your opponent, and play the last move with a triumphant "GOTCHA!" It works surprisingly often.
Premium Chessgames Member
  gofer: My son is trying to improve his chess and is keen to learn from me - which surprising given that at school he has the opportunity to learn from a GM - but I have a sneaking suspicion that the GM isn't there very often - if at all and perhaps the 60 per term is more like a lunchtime babysitting fee where someone may be there coaching the better players but does have the time to coach all of them...

So today I got him to set up this POTD and together we tried to work through the position. He quickly spotted the black's Q+B fork and he also found the weakness on a7. With a bit more help we worked through the variations of Pa5 and Bc4 attacking Pb7. All the while I was racking my brains why none of them seemed to work. Not hoping to dampen his learning experience I was giving some such generalisations as

<"even though the obvious weakness is Pa7 the real weakness is Pb7, all we need to do is bring one more piece to bare on Pb7 and we can dominate the position">

<"all we have to do is work out which pieces can attack the king which is stuck in the corner and then work through each of those options until we find the best">.

I didn't find <Qb6> in the 10 minutes that we worked through the variations and he decided to look at the answer. Only after that did I realise that I had mainly missed the answer as I couldn't follow my own advice...

...I should have added Qf2 to the list of pieces that could attack Pb7. But didn't...

Feb-22-14  PJs Studio: Don't feel bad gofer both 26.Ba6 & 26.a6 threaten immediate mate; protecting the white queen for another half move; and they aren't all bad:

After 26.Ba6 Rd7 27. Qf5 Rgd8 28. Bc5 Rxf7 29. Qxf7 Qc7 30. Bc4 Qxf7 31. Bxf7 Bd6 32. Be3 white still holds advantage. Same after 26.a6 b6 27. Qe2 b5 28. Bb3

Obviously Qb6! Is the answer but...Rubinstien was much stronger than all of us mere mortals ;)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: After 25 Qb6, white threatens 26 Qxb7#. 25...Rd7 stops it. So then what? 26 Bc5!

click for larger view

Now black must lose material.

Beside the text solution black has two queen moves to consider. 26...Qg6 (for queen safety) loses to 27 Rxd7 with a forced mate.

click for larger view

26...Qc7 (to exchange pieces) costs black a rook after 27 Qxc7 Rxc7 28 Rxc7 Bxc7.

click for larger view

I wonder if white knew that the unprotected rook on g8 would figure so prominently in this combination.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Another of Robinson's immortal games.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <kevin86: Another of Robinson's immortal games.>

As in, Danger, Will Rubinstein?

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Another very famous game. Probably the most difficult point is to find a good answer to 25... Rd7.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Made for one b6 off in er f2 uniform approach in a,

bug as b6 the key business at hand and rook foot in f7 coiled queen fudge d6 plod bishops aim c4 and g1,

ah jostle g8 etc and a7 targets a drive in f3 since,

off and running positions hive d6 as bad in good queen bagsie that one each agile re ignoble mission select in f3 line dip a knee in duty ramble f7 give stuff up queen d6 i vantage light rook as f7 band have finesse a queen shunt d6 riven apart as hide of h3 air in goofed queen ball d6 berth bind a ok one every to foot clubs f7 at fag in duffed him up pet for honour in cad a flight spot in the sun knight of h3 threatens aid am f2 umbrage the tell d6 right in left him include rally finally ogle at f2 un cork b6.

If ive got this correct recind be cuff re cutoff d7.

Every chance to win you swine d6 was the problem piece as tend 24...Qd6 fagged f7 rook floored to restore chop gone in f7 attacks queen d6 so dilemma in ar good 24...Qd6 cutoff rook up eg dang offer d6 should instead for a fog see to fade 24...Nxf2 in.

The fan dangle up ride a lion in flog band hup in extricate rook forced f7 affable demise of blacks camp I cold truth in basic dip ding up ply in lights low again d6 too faces and fades the wall of sound b6 in rook d7 rushes in healthy lead by plus 4 breach the gap in change f7 gets left rook wheel in f3 chafe good rubs up e7 plain one in h3 had to snaffle capture ignoble cast ein famile f7 effectively puts the question to queen d6 whas are you doing at enact see him neigh free take down a foiled mission was h3 it dog in dig fulcrum pivot able give a b6 l0 win castigates threatens matter in one at b7 hatch a plan egged on key biffed eg good in being 25.Qb6 bi-focusing bang to rights a black knight hi-lighted in got to fingers focal I f2 under the gun range organize in trot knight delve b6 a line bottle winch a seventh d8 rank I think good to see king stuck in a8 feels right chip off the old block,

see foil a d6 black at sixes and seens a gg you b6
why rates har to fed dandy d6 at got queen eg liege

ntd just about d6 in palm to see king since biffed a8 baby feet you hand in the pocket biffed about d6.

Elevens are up aka dance b6 capoff la bind f7 also grateful queen e7 in d6 scans the horizon little f7 in takes a drive as tender call at f3 up in fodder f7 you nudge dipoff a gamble pays dividends see jack men light split now in mack as ie sight hoofed grateful in rook f7 does the business meld as afar f7 air play a b6 all advance to dangle at h3 knight him surely see thin picking around queen e7 in dash a couple up twist go nearly in co-freed a bitter f2 inch b6 service resumed rook define good ground has to intercept.

Alive no mood in more to knight chuffed an h3 puffed queen d6 rook fencing him in slow to dawn a path find in see able wire gone checked about bag c4 eyes left in g8 right for caged bind a d6 eg ment rooks word in d7 a sword see gg ah chin safe got rook as flap dents b6 I against suffix a cut I curry favour a7 head lights advatage off re you have basic free g1 case wind around in beck and call it is g1 etc in swirl a7 hosted again better chances for light in fog swell in good boots a goosing one bishop back to g1 ascents in bad at engages right elephant omit to a 21.Bxa7 kind of in tempt again babel tower stairway to heaven thy f4 should f6 instead chubb and at encounted he be duff of bullseye got his just desert f7 at good fed see to bind faith have in face up ride for common f7 it ok in fad ived off catch fend b6 in carved feastd6.

Move namely in h3 at heading accede free cascade queen up downed curious aha in beck and call if,

band hedged in a8 bullrush king to cap flows change in a sacrificed backing a8 proves unstable at frets away delve in botch again job was to get has a d5,

line of uncover batch in favour tactics a gone d5
knight also misses eg you manage to over see f4

after bishop g1 of course it is differ e7 in d6 suffers the sling bindings at gg get hup f7 rook in fastens too of a fashion in a cycle d6 crept in back door a b6 bind buff at b7 in sight a8.

Saviour inclusive intelligence verdict um bless in by decree d6 bad to the finish am rock da clefts right in shape 25.Qb6 Rd7 26.Bc5 Rxf7 27.Bxd6 Rf2+ 28.Qxf2 Nxf2 29.Bc5 equal material (5.24) knight in f2 ar good hip a f2 ask in limelight eyes am d3 focus if time it book in fand a flag being hope in d3 takes off if affable give offer band affront we edges h3 off in effort wins a bet feel a piece or lead by 2 points.

Feb-22-14  PJs Studio: Perfidious 1-0! Best pun of the day winner. LOL man...
Feb-22-14  Patriot: White has the bishop pair. Black threatens 25.Nxf2.

25.Qb6 is a nice threat to consider.

25...axb6 26.axb6+ Ba7 27.Rxa7+ Kb8 28.Rfxb7+ Kc8 29.Ba6 seems too much to handle.

25...Rd7 26.Rxd7 Qxd7 27.Bxg8 axb6 28.axb6+ Ba7 29.Rxa7+ Kb8 30.Bc5 is not very convincing to me although I'm not sure it loses.

25.Qb6 would have to be a pretty gutsy move. What's wrong with the simpler 25.Qc5? 25...Nxg1 26.Qxd6 Rxd6 27.Rxg1 looks more solid.

Versus a stronger player, I might try 25.Qb6.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Cheapo by the Dozen: Ahh. Ba6 threatening double check and hence forcing immediate mate. That's the big thing I missed. So I never followed the Qb6 line far enough to even try to deal with ... Rb7.
Premium Chessgames Member
  M.Hassan: "Very Difficult"
White to move 25.? and equal
A) 25.a6 Nxf2

B) 25.a6 b5
26.Rxa7+ Bxa7

C) 25.a6 after Rd7 or b6, the attack stalls and White Queen is in danger. This gives the message that 25.a6 is wrong and perhaps Qb6 should be considered instead: D) 25.Qb6
<if....axb6 26.axb6+ Ba7 27.Qxb6 Qb8 28.Rxa7+ Qxa7 29.Qxa7#>

26.Bc5 Qc7
27.Qxc7 Rxc7
28.Rxc7 Bxc7
It appears that White falls a Rook ahead

Mar-17-14  LIFE Master AJ:

This is game # 93 ... in the Soltis book. ("The 100 Best.")

Dec-18-14  KeyanChess: KeyanChess: KeyanChess: 25.Qb6!!! was a beautiful move, and very surprising as well. It actually reminded me of Marshall's 23...Qg3!!! in his game against Levitsky.

Analysis after 25.Qb6!!!:
25...axb6; Not the best. 25...Rd7 is better.
26.axb6+! Ba7; This is forced.
27.Rxa7+ Kb8; This is forced.
28.Rxb7+ Ka8; This is forced.
29.Ra7+ Kb8; SmallFish says White has a forced checkmate in 7 with best play.

The best continuation after 25.Qb6!!!:
26.Bc5! Rxf7
27.Bxd6 Bxd6
28.Bxf7 axb6
29.axb6+ Kb8
30.Bxg8, Now that the dust has settled, White is up a pawn and the exchange. The advantage of 3 points is an easy win in grandmaster play.

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