Archives: A commentary on this game with a bit of help from Rybka, and other Kibitzers from
<Akiva Rubinstein vs. Carl Schlechter (San Sebastian 1912)>
<1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.c4 e6 4.Nc3 c5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.e4 Nxc3 7.bxc3 cxd4 8.cxd4 Bb4+ 9.Bd2 Qa5>
A mistake, which leads to an ending that is favorable to White. Schlechter had previously played this move against Bernstein in Stockholm, 1906. After 10.Rb1 Bxd2+ Bernstein played 11.Nxd2 instead of the correct continuation 11.Qxd2 Qxd2 12.Kxd2 that Rubinstein plays here. This devastating plan of Rubinstein’s, whether found during the actual game or while analyzing the aforementioned game, was the death blow to 9...Qa5.
A better continuation is 9…Bxd2+ 10.Qxd2 0-0 11.Bc4 Nc6 12.0-0 b6 13.Rad1 Bb7=
10...Nc6 11.Rxb4 Nxb4 12.Qb1 Qxa2 13.Qxa2 Nxa2 14.Bc4
<11.Qxd2 Qxd2+ 12.Kxd2>
It is correct to capture with the King, as with the endgame approaching, the King belongs near the centre where he can take part in the action. Rubinstein was very familiar with Steinitz's concept of the “strong King.” One can imagine that Steinitz would have been particularly pleased with the strong initiative of the King at an early stage and marching up the board at the end to decide the issue.
With so much material off the board, the King is better posted in the centre with 12...Ke7, but White still has the much better game.
An astonishingly deep decision, whose purpose is twofold, to impede Black’s development and to provoke a weakness in his position.
13…b6 14.Rhc1 Bb7 15.Ke3±
13…Nd7 14.Rhc1 Nf6 15.Ke3±
13…Bd7 14.Bxd7 Nxd7 15.Rxb7
13…Nc6 14.Bxc6 bxc6 15.Rhc1
<14.Bd3 Rd8 15.Rhc1 b5 16.Rc7 Nd7 17.Ke3 Nf6 18.Ne5 Bd7 19.g4 h6>
The book of the tournament marks this move with a question mark and claims that the proper continuation was 19…g5 however White will have a fine advantage no matter what Black plays.
19...g5 20.f4 gxf4+ 21.Kxf4 Be8 22.g5 Nh5+ 23.Ke3±
19...Be8 20.g5 Nh5 21.Be2 f6 22.gxf6 Nxf6 23.Rg1 g6 24.Bg4 Rd6 25.Rg3±
<20.f4 Be8 21.g5 hxg5 22.fxg5 Nh7>
<23.h4 Rdc8 24.Rbc1 Rxc7 25.Rxc7 Rd8>
As Capablanca noted, 25…f6 would put up a better resistance now instead of a move later.
<26.Ra7 f6 27.gxf6 gxf6 28.Ng4 Bh5 29.Nh6+ Kh8 30.Be2 Be8>
<31.Rxa6 Kg7 32.Ng4 f5 33.Ra7+ Kh8>
33...Kg6 34.Ne5+ Kh6 35.Bxb5
<34.Ne5 fxe4 35.Bxb5>
This echoes the earlier 30.Be2, again Black cannot take the Bishop or 36.Nf7+ follows.
<35…Nf6 36.Bxe8 Rxe8 37.Kf4 Kg8 38.Kg5 Rf8>
38…Nd5 39.Ng6 e3 40.Kh6
39...e3 40.Rg7+ Kh8 41.Nf7+ Rxf7 42.Rxf7 e2 43.Rxf6 e1=Q 44.Rf8#