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Frank James Marshall vs Akiba Rubinstein
"You Rook Mahvelous" (game of the day Feb-13-2008)
Rubinstein - Marshall (1908), Warsaw RUE, rd 4, Oct-30
Queen's Gambit Declined: Queen's Knight Variation (D31)  ·  0-1
ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Given 15 times; par: 74 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Feb-13-08  zluria: I did not understand the pun today.
Feb-13-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: <zluria> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZl3...
Feb-13-08  RandomVisitor: 42.Rf5+ =.
Feb-13-08  popski: Hmm, "You Rook Mahvelous" is this "h" instead of "r" intentional? It's perfectly OK for my Broken English, but...
Feb-13-08  FHBradley: If <Milo> is right and <RandomVisitor> is right, where is Rubinstein's mistake?
Feb-13-08  Manic: <FHBradley> Rubinstein probably did not make a mistake. "Solid advantage" does not imply winning, it implies better chances of winning. I'm pretty sure <RV> would have included an improvement on Rubinstein's play in the endgame if he spotted one.
Feb-13-08  FHBradley: Wouldn't 42. Rf5+ Kh4 43. Rxf4 a3 be good enough for black?
Feb-13-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  DarthStapler: I think it's trying to pronounce the way some old actress would always say the word (I forget her name)
Feb-13-08  Nimzoholz: The pun is from a Saturday Night Live skit with Billy Crystal playing Fernando Lamas and the line was "It is better to look good than feel good and Dahling, You look mahvelous". The 'h' instead of 'r' in darling and marvelous is for pronunciation. Marshall couldn't find a swindle in this game.
Feb-13-08  JG27Pyth: Marshall's 18. Nd5 is sure an interesting move... but Rubinstein trumps him with that superbly played ending... Capablanca-like. Nice game CG!
Feb-13-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Nice finish! Black gives up the queen to be,exchanges rooks,captures the white pawns,and wins with his solo pawn.

Simplification,the Godfather style.

Feb-13-08  zb2cr: <DarthStapler> wrote: "I think it's trying to pronounce the way some old actress would always say the word (I forget her name)."

I believe you're right, and if memory serves correctly, the actress was Tallulah Bankhead.

Feb-13-08  zb2cr: <kevin86> wrote:

"Nice finish! Black gives up the queen to be,exchanges rooks,captures the white pawns,and wins with his solo pawn.

Simplification,the Godfather style."

Indeed. Mate in about 18 or so. Slow, but as certain as atomic decay and with absolutely nothing White can do about it.

Feb-13-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: <zb2cr> wrote: "If memory serves correctly, the actress [who said "mahvelous"] was Tallulah Bankhead."

Indeed, she was. She goes back a little further than Billy Crystal, even when he had hair.

Feb-13-08  zb2cr: <johnlspouge>,

LOL at your preceding comment!

Feb-13-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  jepflast: Very nice pun, chessgames.com!
Feb-13-08  psmith: <FHBradley> I think I begin to see <RandomVisitor>'s point. If 42. Rf5+ Kh4 43. Rxf4 a3 play might continue 44. Ra4 Kxh3 45. Ra6 Kg3 46. Kd1 Kxf3 47. Rxh6 Kxg4 48. Kc1 =. There are other tries but I don't see a win for Black.
Feb-13-08  alexirc: i think black played a great game especially towards the end.
Feb-13-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <psmith> <FHBradley> <I think I begin to see <RandomVisitor>'s point. If 42. Rf5+ Kh4 43. Rxf4 a3 play might continue 44. Ra4 Kxh3 45. Ra6 Kg3 46. Kd1 Kxf3 47. Rxh6 Kxg4 48. Kc1 =. There are other tries but I don't see a win for Black.>

If you agree with <RandomVisitor>, why so? No one has answered <FHBradley>’s original question, "where is Rubinstein's mistake?"

Here's a hint. It comes on move 42. 42 Kd1 loses and 42 Rxf5+ draws.

White plays Rxf5+ on the next move anyway, so the question is why is it too late then?

Feb-13-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: Correction to my earlier post. It should read Rf5 not Rxf5.

Here's a hint. It comes on move 42. 42 Kd1 loses and 42 <Rf5+> draws.

White plays <Rf5+> on the next move anyway, so the question is why is it too late then?

Feb-13-08  ruyfanatic: A good game between two good players.
Feb-13-08  psmith: <Jimfromprovidence> you seem to have identified Marshall's mistake, not Rubinstein's. I think the original question was how did Rubinstein allow a position where Marshall could have held the draw?
Feb-13-08  psmith: As to Marshall's mistake, 42. Kd1 is bad because it allows Black the Rf2 move, which wouldn't be possible with the King still on e1.
Feb-14-08  FHBradley: 42 Rf5+ Kh4 43 Rxf4 a3 44 Ra4 Kxh3 45 Ra6 Kg3 46 Kd1 Ra1+ (instead of 46... Kxf3) 47 Kc2 a2 48 Kb2 Rh1 49 Kxa2 Kxf3 is still a draw.
Feb-14-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <psmith> <you seem to have identified Marshall's mistake, not Rubinstein's. I think the original question was how did Rubinstein allow a position where Marshall could have held the draw?>

Maybe that was the original question but that thought never entered my mind. I never considered either player ahead. The position was drawish at least since the bishops were exchanged after move 30.

<psmith>.<As to Marshall's mistake, 42. Kd1 is bad because it allows Black the Rf2 move, which wouldn't be possible with the King still on e1.>

44 …Rf2 wins because it accomplishes several tasks. It puts the white king in-between the black rook and the passed a pawn, so if the pawn promotes and gets taken by the white rook, black can check the king, thereby skewering and capturing the rook.

It also gets the rook out of the way of the pawn’s advance, while protecting the pawn from capture by the rook at a2. Also, the king is prevented from assisting the rook in attacking the a pawn, because it cannot get to b1 or b2.

After 47…Kg3 below, white is in no-mans land. Again, his king cannot get to the b file to assist the rook in attacking the a pawn. The pawn promotion cannot be stopped. White must give up his rook. Now black can easily pick off white’s last two pawns.


click for larger view

After 48 g5 a1Q The game would continue 49 Rxa1 Rf1+ 50 Kb2 Rxa1, below.


click for larger view

It does not matter if white plays 51 gxh6 or Kxa1. The first move leads to a rook vs. king ending while the latter allows the promotion of black’s h pawn.

With 42 Rf5+, this plan cannot occur. After 42.. Kh4, then 43 Rxf4. If 43.. a3 then 44 g5+. If 43… Kg3 then 44 Rf6. In both cases the white pieces are now mobile. If black's rook stays on the a file, the rook and king are now able to work in tandem to attack and prevent the a pawn from advancing. If the black rook moves off of the a file, then the passed pawn can be captured.

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