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Georg Rotlewi vs Akiba Rubinstein
"Rubinstein's Immortal" (game of the day Jan-06-09)
Lodz (1907)  ·  Tarrasch Defense: Symmetrical Variation (D32)  ·  0-1
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Last move:

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Given 96 times; par: 46 [what's this?]

Annotations by Carl Schlechter.      [12 more games annotated by Schlechter]

explore this opening
find similar games 6 more Rotlewi/Rubinstein games
sac: 22...Rxc3 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  MindCtrol9: When are we going to see combinations like in this game again?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <MindCtrol9> Probably never. The combination is so well known that nobody will ever fall for it again.

Just joking. I'm sure you're talking about the quality of the combination. And the answer to that question is somewhere between "never again" and "every day", and it will never be decided because there will never be a absolute standard for judging beauty.

There have been combinations that were longer, more complicated, contained more sacrifices, were more surprising. I think this game stands out for its sheer logic, the crystal clarity that becomes apparent when you study it in depth. It's inevitable, with everything falling just perfectly into place.

One game I think might rival it, and even shares some of its ideas, is R Byrne vs Fischer, 1963. Like this, that game gives me goosebumps with its combination of depth and clarity.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Shams: <MindCtrl9> When the Rotlewis of our day start getting paired against the Rubinsteins.
Nov-28-14  devere: According to Stockfish 5-64 White's first significant error was 11.Bd3; if instead 11.cxd5 exd5 then 12.Be2 is equal, and grabbing the pawn with 12.Nxd5 is also worth considering.

Stockfish rates 17.f4?! as weaker than Rfd1, 18.e4? as seriously weakening, and 19.e5?? as fatal.

What followed was of course was an amazingly beautiful combination by the great Akiba Rubinstein. After 23...Rd2!! checkmate is forced.

It's also worth mentioning that George Rotlewi was a very strong chess master, who during his brief career defeated many famous players, such as Schlecter, Nimzowitsch, Spielmann, Marshall, Bogoljubov, and Akiba Rubinstein. Rotlewi's chess career was brief only due to ill health.

Dec-12-14  tanu123: one of the best attacking games from who is not known for attacking style,but famous for endgame skill
Dec-17-14  KeyanChess: This game shows the importance of tempo in chess. Rotlewi lost tempo with 11. Bd3? and 10. Qd2?! and that allowed Rubinstein to begin an attack, including a beautiful combination. His play was nearly flawless. 22...Rxc3!!! and 23...Rd2!!! were simply amazing and brilliant! Any chess player would be proud to play a brilliant game like this.
Apr-13-15  A.T PhoneHome: Rubinstein's attack here is enormous... Of course Rotlewi could have played better chess, but that applies to every losing player.

The fact is that the winner-to-be has to see the "mistake" made OTB and he/she has to steer the game accordingly. It doesn't always go like that.

Games like this show how we all should manage games after our opponent makes a mistake or two and how in doing that, one thing leads to another and so on.

That's when your chess is in harmony. Thanks to Akiba Rubinstein for playing this fantastic game of chess.

Apr-13-15  Howard: What are you doing on this page, AT ? You're supposed to be going over Spassky's games, not Rubenstein's.
Apr-13-15  A.T PhoneHome: Haha, I had this sudden burst of inspiration. :P besides, I'm a man!
Oct-08-15  The Kings Domain: This is one of those games that dazzled me during my Chess infancy and it still appeals to this day. *Sigh* If only Carlsen and Nakamura can come up with games as aesthetic as this then there might be another Chess renaissance.
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <The Kings Domain> This is my all-time favorite game for the way that Black manages to win a tempo and out of that seemingly insignificant advantage, forces White to weaken its k-side and then unleashes an irresistible attack with a queen sac thrown in for good measure. To me this is the game that deserved to be showered with gold coins and not S Levitsky vs Marshall, 1912. OK, maybe both games deserved the gold coins.
Oct-09-15  The Kings Domain: AylerKupp: Heh, true. It's games like this that make Chess truly one of the great artforms.
Premium Chessgames Member
  dgm1214: Indeed!
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: I don't understand the constant need to attach the word "Immortal" to a good chess game. What does it signify?

A W Fox vs C Curt, 1906 could just as easily be called "Immortal". It is still with us and is one year <older> than Rotlewi vs Rubinstein, 1907.

So A W Fox vs C Curt, 1906 could be called <The Immortaller Game">.

Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: <offramp> On your comment: <I don't understand the constant need to attach the word "Immortal" to a good chess game. What does it signify?> I don't either and I find it irritating and pointless. It all started with "The Immortal Game" Anderssen vs Kieseritzky, 1851 which pretty much monopolized "immortal" chess games by attaching the narrowing word "The" to the front. This left all others the only option being to attach their own name: Kasparov's immortal, Topalov's immortal, Karpov's immortal, etc. But all this defies logic since all games since the mid 1850's have been carefully preserved, and digitally archived, so all games are "immortal" in a sense. But really, the word "immortal" doesn't even connotate quality, but merely longevity to the point of never going away. There has to be a better adjective


Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <morfishine>, across the ether I shake your hand.

Your final sentence is perfect:

<There has to be a better adjective>.

That, mon ami, is superb.

And I'll suggest one:

"Rubinstein's Masterpiece".

Which is rubbish - but it IS a suggestion.

Oct-31-15  zanzibar: Immortaller - there's a concept...

Somebody should do a chess send-up of this song:

(Tuck & Patti - Better than Anything)

Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: <offramp> Regarding poker-faced, deadpan wit: you are the master while I am a grasshopper...but I keep trying

The problem traces to the human being's flawed yet persistent proclivity to simplify things to "one". I guess this allows them to sleep better. Its spread to other sports. In American football we are offended by such inaccurate titles as "The Drive" or "The Catch" when there are plenty of other great drives and catches arguably even better. But in chess, is there a single game by, lets say, Nezhmetdinov, that can be described with the prefix "The"? We must answer this with an earsplitting "No". There are simply too many great and varied games by "Super Nez" that its impossible to narrow the list down to one; but lazy humans lacking in sleep will no doubt attempt to

Sorry <offramp> I had to dupe this post since I forgot to include your username in the initial post


Nov-01-15  zanzibar: (Yeah, but when it comes to "poker-faced, deadpan wit" we all knew exactly to whom you were referring)
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <morfishine: <offramp> Regarding poker-faced, deadpan wit: you are the master while I am a grasshopper...but I keep trying.>

Thank you! Sometimes, I don't get my own jokes!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: There's a slight problem with the term 'masterpiece' -- it originally signified any piece of work produced by a journeyman or trainee craftsman as one of the requirements for Master Craftsman status. Or Master Craftsperson, for that matter. While it should be of pretty good quality, no transcendent brilliance is implied.

In time, things got hyperbolical, as they do. By the time we reach the 1960s, and Bob Dylan's "One day everything is going to be different, when I paint my masterpiece", hype is in the ascendant. Of course the Dylan song is itself a stab at masterpiece quality, if not immortality.

There's always 'brilliancy'.

Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: HiŽ<Dom> !

"I came so far for beauty
I left so much behind
My patience and my family
My masterpiece unsigned
I thought IŽd be rewarded
For such a lonely choice".

Leonard Cohen.I am shure you know it.
My favourite lyrics of his.One can see the contours of a man who one day may take refugee in a monastery.

Gufeld called his best game "My Mona Lisa".

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <moronovich> Of course, thanks for reminding me -- I really like that Cohen song as well, plus I enjoyed Gufeld's book 'The Quest for Mona Lisa'.

How could I have overlooked Lenny and Fast Eddie?

Premium Chessgames Member
  SuperPatzer77: <LevonKarapetyan> 22...Rxc3!!! (O divine), 23. Bxb7 Rxg3! - then White King is under the heavy attack - unable to escape from the threatening mates.

Take a look at Karpova's commentary so, White is NOT winning after 23. Bxb7.


Nov-21-15  anandrulez: I came to this game because Anand compares his win over Aronian from 2013 to this game in this Youtube link from Tata Steel press conference Nice ideas from Rubenstein in this game.
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