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Emanuel Lasker vs Akiba Rubinstein
St. Petersburg (1914), St. Petersburg RUE, rd 4, Apr-26
Spanish Game: Open. St. Petersburg Variation (C82)  ·  1-0


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Given 32 times; par: 109 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-28-07  Bridgeburner: <> Thanks for correcting the game score to to the actual move that was played: <31.Ra1>.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <Bridgeburner: This game is pivotal in Rubinstein's career and it is surprising it has not received more attention. This was the tournament in which he crashed and burned, missed out on being awarded one of the inaugural Grandmaster titles by Czar Nicholas, and was considered the turning point of his career...>

Not that old one ... The term Grandmaster was around long before Tsar Nicholas.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: If I recall the past correctly the head of the 'Teutonic Order' was also called <Grand Master>

... and the heads of Hospitallers and Templars, too.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <Bridgeburner>: Your 2 diagrams were faulty!

After Lasker played <33.Qd3> we get the following position:

click for larger view

<The white♖ is on a1!> and not on e1. Therefore Rubinstein coundn't win ♙d4 without losing his ♗ thereafter.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <whiteshark: If I recall the past correctly the head of the 'Teutonic Order' was also called <Grand Master> ... and the heads of Hospitallers and Templars, too.>

And so was the leader of the Furious 5.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <offramp> And don't forget Grandmaster Clock and the NTP Timeserver.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: I think that 52... Kd6 is the final mistake.

It is the wrong idea to force a ♖endgame. For the defender it is better if the ♗ remain on board. Furthermore the black queenside pawns should not advanced as they lose connection.

So <52... Bc7!> is the right move.

Oct-19-07  Bridgeburner: <whiteshark> <<Bridgeburner>: Your 2 diagrams were faulty!>

Strange as it may seem, those diagrams are correct, but not for the score as it currently stands.

You will notice that a couple of posts later I thank <> <for correcting the game score to to the actual move that was played: <31.Ra1>.

The game score on this page was originally <31.Re1>, and at my request, the administrators corrected the score. My post to them last April tells the story: chessforum.

There were some other posts that were deleted by the administrators at the time so the continuity of the posts on this page are slightly disjointed.

Oct-19-07  Bridgeburner: <offramp: <Bridgeburner: This was the tournament in which he__ missed out on being awarded one of the inaugural Grandmaster titles by Czar Nicholas>

Not that old one ... The term Grandmaster was around long before Tsar Nicholas.>

The term was around before then, but was it an official chess title before then? What is the Tsar Nicholas story about if this is not the case?

Nov-09-08  gambitfan: <fred lennox: 7...d5 looks over ambitious. Now Lasker exploits the backward c-pawn relentlessly to the end.>

You are right ! BACWARD PAWN seems to be a keyword of the middle game...

and looks also quite ZUGZWANGY...

This backward c-pawn forces Black to exchange the Bishops...

After the exchange of the Bishops, the situation is much clearer for white...

Nov-09-08  gambitfan: <offramp: Kasparov reckons that 59...b4 is the fatal error.>

Why ??

After 59... b4

click for larger view

White to play

To what extent is 59... b4 a mistake ??

Nov-09-08  gambitfan: <tud: I don't understand how Rubisntein managed to loose this game. Look at move 39. Rubinstein has the good bishop but the bishop stays stuck waiting Lasker. 39... Ra7 is how he should handle it.>

I do not agree with you...

To what extent is the black B any "better" than the white B ?

white Pd4 is a white isolani aiming at taking advantage of black c-bacwrd pawn which is a draw back for Black in this case...

white have a good "candidate" pawn Pf3...

white Pg2 is also "backward" but this can be corrected easily since there is no black P there to exploit this weakness...

white seem to dominate the e-file more easily than black because white K is closer and more powerful... white K will be able to "cross" the e-file and to reach d3 !

The situation seems better for white at the 39th move...

Nov-09-08  Nietzowitsch: <offramp: Kasparov reckons that 59...b4 is the fatal error.> No, he doesnt! But proper quoting isnt offramps core competence.
Nov-09-08  sneaky pete: Say it isn't so.
Nov-16-08  Nietzowitsch: No, I dont.
Mar-29-09  Akiba Rubinstein: for me this game is still (endgame) still unclear
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Hence it is notorious that you are not <Akiba Rubinstein>. :D
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: What has been the issue here?
Jan-19-11  GilesFarnaby: Rubinstein should have tried to get a position like this:

click for larger view

Which is a draw.

It would have been maybe possible through:


click for larger view

...60.Ke4 d3 61.b4+ Kc6 62.Kxd3 Kd5 63.Rf1 Rh6 64.f6 Rh3+ 65.Ke2...

click for larger view

...etcetera (in case white wants to push the f pawn, because he could also just offer a draw anytime)

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Giles Farnaby>

61.b4+ may be a mistake.

59....d4 60.Ke4 d3 61.Kxd3 Kd5 62.Rf1 Ke5 63.Kc3 and 63....Rxf5 loses per the tablebases. 63....Ke4 64.Kb4 Ke3 65.Kxb5 Ke2 66.Rb1 also loses.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <Nietzowitsch: <offramp: Kasparov reckons that 59...b4 is the fatal error.> No, he doesnt!> Yes, he does - in the book On His Great Predecessors.
Jan-23-14  RookFile: This game is an example of amazing determination by Lasker.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: IM Danny Kopec analyzes this famous R&P endgame after 58 ... Rf6:

White gains the better Rook, better Pawns, and ultimately the better King.

<61. b4+ may be a mistake> After 63. Rf2:

click for larger view

The trade line 63 ... Rxf6 64. Rxf6+ Kxf6 65. Kxd5 wins for White because Black cannot reach the key squares in time - 65 ... Ke7 66. Kc5 Kd7 67. Kxb4 Kc6 68. Ka5 etc. In this case, the Pawns on b4 & b5 instead wouldn't change the analysis, but it's good for White to have the potential reserve move b3-b4 gaining the opposition in analogous situations, like:

click for larger view

Where 1. b4 wins.

Oct-03-16  Howard: According to that correction posted on Chessbase back in 2004 (see the link posted earlier on this thread), the "point of no return" was not where Kasparov stated it was in MGP.

This intriguing endgame could keep one busy for literally hours!

Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: The above link still works - RIP Danny Kopec.

Here's another look at this famous endgame by Bruce Alberston in "Chess Mazes" (Russell Enterprises, INC, 2004) which is a novel analysis training method encouraging piece mazes (one unit moves repeatedly with no response). After 62 ... Ke6:

click for larger view

<Diagram 13 is from Lasker vs. Rubinstein, St. Petersburg 1914, where four consecutive rook moves decided the contest. White has the advantage in operating space and this grants greater activity for his king and rook. At the moment he is stymied on the kingside where Black has blockaded the f6-pawn. This prompts Lasker to seek greener pastures for his rook. That's the explanation for his next move.> 1. Rf2 <looking to become active on the queenside. The first tactical point is that Black cannot take the f6-pawn without falling into a lost king and pawn ending. For example: 1 ... Rxf6 2. Rxf6+ Kxf6 3. Kxd5, and White comes back 4. Kc5, wins the b-pawn, 5. Kxb4, and the game. Rubinstein temporizes> 1 ... Kd6 <and Lasker continues with his plan> 2. Ra2 <Again the f6-pawn is poisoned, 2 ... Rxf6 3. Ra6+ Ke7 4. Rxf6 Kxf6 5. Kxd5 etc. Rubinstein tries to make his own rook active> 2 ... Rc7 <when there follows> 3. Ra6+ Kd7 <Now the hasty pawn grab 4. Kxd5 allows 4 ... Rc3, getting behind the white pawns and causing trouble. But Lasker's next precise move quashed all resistance:> 4. Rb6! <Black resigned, since 4 ... Rc3 now fails to 5. Rxb4 (this would be the fifth consecutive rook move had the game continued) 5 ... Rf3 6. Ke5 with 7. Rf4 coming up.>

Study endgames!

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