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Fabiano Caruana vs Emanuel Berg
"Melting Icebergs" (game of the day Mar-31-2011)
Olympiad (2008), Dresden GER, rd 7, Nov-20
French Defense: Rubinstein Variation. Blackburne Defense (C10)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 5 OF 5 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Aug-11-13  radtop: Phony Benoni. thanks for pointing that out . That discovered check was astounding.
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Thought this looked familiar. 5/5 for the week, with 2 already known.
Aug-11-13  EvanTheTerrible: Incredible. I have not familiarized myself with some of Caruana's earlier games. This is fantastic.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Now that's funny. I last posted on this game nearly five years ago when the best boy in the world was your typical noisy playful 8 year old. Squeaky voice, silly jokes and endless play. It seemed like a long summer that would never end. Just as the birthday party that I endured back them seemed to be one long scream that would never end.

Now he is a 12½ year old trainee teenager. As I write this I can hear him in his bedroom. He is in his usual state - plugged in to his laptop, playing Minecraft and World of Tanks whilst skyping his friends on the internet. He is nearly as tall as the Mem, has discovered that clothes can have a "style" and is beginning to master that immortal sense of outraged surliness that happens testosterone kicks in and we discover that girls can sometimes be a little bit more exciting than robots that turn into trucks that turn into robots. Oh, and he has finally twigged the awful truth that we have been trying to hide from him for years - that his parents may love him totally and utterly but they are most certainly not cool.

Most striking of all is the sense of an accelerating adventure with the BBITW in the starring role. At 8, he was just a kid - 12 months older than a 7 year old and 12 months younger than a 9 year old. That's not unusual.

But now, he's growing into a young man. There's a line of fur growing on his top lip (which he is reluctant to do anything about). His voice is deepening day by day. Maybe not a bass profundo yet, but most certainly no longer a chipmunk squeak. His ever-lengthening legs are getting hairy. And all of a sudden you don't see a child stuck at a certain age. You see a lifetime stretching ahead of him - more school, university, job, taxes, family. His own life increasingly drifting away from us.

Suddenly, it doesn't feel like 12 months between birthdays when he seems to be maturing more and more on a daily basis. The gap between age 12 and 11 feels much bigger than that between 8 and 7.

Great game, BTW. Sad to say it was way above my pay grade five years ago and it still is. And the onset of senility means that I didn't remember it. Got the first two moves, and that was about it.

Aug-11-13  satkul: nice finish!
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: The material is identical.

Black threatens 20... Nxe5.

White has several candidates: 20.Nxd7, 20.f4 and 20.Nxf7.

In the case of 20.Nxd7 Rxd7 and Black seems to improve its chances.


In the case of 20.f4 Nc5 looks unclear.


In the case of 20.Nxf7

A) 20... Kxf7 21.Qh5+

A.1) 21... Kf6 22.Qg6+ Ke7 23.Qxg7+ Ke8 24.Bg6#.

A.2) 21... Ke7 22.Bh4+ Kf8 (22... g5 23.Qxh6 and if 23... gxh4 24.Qg7+ Ke8 25.Bg6#) 23.Bxd8 and Rxe6 with attack and slight material advantage.

A.3) 21... Kf8 22.Rxe6

A.3.a) 22... Bxg3 23.fxg3+ Nf6 (23... Kg8 24.Qf7+ Kh8 25.Rxh6+ gxh6 26.Qh7#) 24.Rfxf6+ gxf6 25.Rxf6+ Kg8 (25... Ke7 26.Qf7#) 26.Qg4+ Qg7 (26... Kh8 27.Rxh6+ Qh7 28.Rxh7#) 27.Qe6+ Kh8 28.Rxh6+ Qxh6 29.Qxh6+ Kg8 30.Bc4+ Bd5 31.Bxd5+ Rxd5 32.Qe6+ and 33.Qxd5, etc.

A.3.b) 22... Nc5 23.Qf5+ Kg8 (23... Qf7 24.Bxd6+) 24.Qh7+ Kf8 (24... Kf7 25.Qg6+ and 26.Bxd6) 25.Qf5+ draws at least.

A.4) 21... Kg8 22.Rxe6 Nc5 23.Bxd6 Rxd6 24.Re8+ Rxe8 25.Qxe8#.

B) 20... Bxg3 21.fxg3 Rf8 22.Ng5 (or 22.Nxh6+ with attack and three pawns for the knight) with attack and an extra pawn (22... hxg5 23.Qh7#).

Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: I had 20.Nxf7 Kxf7 <21.Rxe6> but continued 21...Kxe6 22.Bc4+ Kf5 23.Qh5+ Ke4 24.Bd3+ Kd4 25.Qg4+ Kc5 26.Qc4#

Strange, I neglected to interpolate 21...Nc5 in the winning line, but in an alternate line I looked at, I mused over the interpolation <21...Bxg3> continuing 21.Nxh6+ gxh6 22.fxg3 Nc5 23.Rf6 Nxd3 24.Rxh6 Nf2+ 25.Kg1 Qc5 26.Rh8+ Kf7 27.Qh7+ Kf6 28.Qh6+ Kf5 29.Qxe6+ Kg5 30.h4#


Aug-11-13  cyclon: "All Roads Leads To Rome" in this exceptionally "juicy" Puzzle. I haven't seen this, but let's join Caruana and be "Insane" for a while! I'll start with 20 . Nxf7 Kxf7 ( 20. -Bxg3 21. Nxh6+ Kh8 22. Nf7++ Kg8 23. fxg3 Nf6 [ 23. -Kf8 24. Rxe6 ] 24. Rxf6 gxf6 25. Qh8+ Kxf7 26. Qh7+ wins the Queen ) 21. Rxe6 and now;

1.1. 21. -Nc5 22. Rxd6 Rxd6 ( 22. -Nxd3 23. Rf6+ bedtime ) 23. Qf4+ Ke7 ( 23. -Kg8 24. Qxd6 entails win ) 24. Re1+ Ne6 [ 24. -Kd7 25. Qf7+ and either 25. -Kc8 26. Re8+, or 25. -Kc6 26. Bb5+ winning the Queen ] 25. Bc4 Qc6 [ 26. -Rf8? 27. Rxe6+ wins outright ] 26. Qxd6+ Qxd6 27. Bxd6+ Kxd6 28. Rxe6+ having good winning chances in the end-game.

1.2. 21. -Ne5 maybe 22. Rxe5 Bxe5 23. Qh5+ and -Be5 will fall - it's still a game, though. If 21. Rxd6 Black doesn't play -21. -Rxd6 22. Qf4+ Rf6 23. Qxe5 Qxe5 24. Bxe5 Rc6 [ 24. -Re6 25. Bc4 ] 25. Be4 winning the exchange back, but instead 21. -Qxd6 still gaming.

1.3. 21. -Nf8 22. Rxd6 Rxd6 23. Qf4+ Ke7 ( 23. -Kg8 24. Qxd6 with winning edge basically ) 24. Re1+ Kd7 ( 24. -Ne6 25. Rxe6+ ) 25.Qf7+ and again -25. -Kc6 26. Bb5+, or -25. -Kc8 26. Re8+ .

1.4. 21. -Bxg3 22. Re7+ Kg8 [ 22. -Kf8+ 23. fxg3+ similarly ] 23. Rxg7+ Kxg7 24. Qe7+ Kg8 25. Qh7+ Kf8 26. fxg3+ mating.

1.5. 21. -Nf6 22. Bc4 and NOW there are several possibilities;

1.5.1. -22. -Kf8 23. Rxf6+ gxf6 24. Qxf6+ Ke8 25. Re1+ Kd7 26. Qf5+ ( only so ) - 26. -Kc6 27. Qb5X.

1.5.2. -22. - Bd5 23. Rxf6+ gxf6 ( 23. -Ke8 24. Bb5+ Bc6 25. Re1+ Kd7 26. Qg4X - here White forced to block Black's King's escape-routes by his OWN 'visiers'. That is beyond " Macchiavellism" ) 24. Bxd5+ White has most likely winning attack - or he can take the exchange back by 25. Bxa8.

1.5.3. -22. -Nd5 23. Rxd6 Rxd6 24. Qf4+ Ke7 25. Re1+ Kd7 ( 25. -Re6 26. Rxe6+ Kxe6 27. Bxd5+ and 28. Qxc7 ) 26. Qf7+ and now either -26. Kc8 27. Re8+, or -26. -Kc6 27. Bxd5+ both wins.

1.5.4. -22. -g5 23. Rxf6++ ( maybe even 23. Rxd6+ are 23. Qxh6 plausible, but I prefer this ) -23. -Kxf6 ( 23. -Ke8 24. Re1+ Kd7 25. Be6+ Kc6 [ 25. -Ke7 26. Rf7+ Ke8 27. Qh5 ] 26. Qc4+ Bc5 27. Bd7++ [ only so ] -27. -Kxd7 28. Qe6X ) 24. Qxh6+ Ke7 ( 24. -Kf5 25. Qe6X ) 25. Qg7+ Ke8 26. Re1+ Qe7 ( 26. -Be5 27. Qxc7 / 26. Be7 27. Qf7+ ) 27. Bb5+ Rd7 28. Qg8X.

1.6.5. -22. -Ne4? / -Ne8? / -Ng8? gets all 23. Re7++ winning quite outright. These variations were just main outlines.

Then, another main-line ( after 20. Nxf7 Kxf7 21. Rxe6 ) is -21. -Kxe6 after which White moves 22. Bc4+. NOW there are couple of main-lines with their sub-alterations;

2.1. 22. Bc4+ Kf5 23. Qh5+ g5 ( on 23. -Ke4 there may be several lines but one is 24. Qe2+ Kf5 [ 24. -Kd4 25. c3+ Kc5 26. b4X ] 25. Qe6+ Kg5 26. h4+ Kh5 27. Be2+ and mates next ) 24. Qf7+ Nf6 ( 24. -Ke4 [ 24. -Kg4 25. h3X ] 25. Re1+ Kd4 26. c3+ Kc5 27. b4X ) 25. Be6+ Ke4 26. Qg6+ Kd4 27. Qd3+ Kc5 28. Qc4X.

2.2. 22. Bc4+ Bd5 23. Qe4+ Kf6 ( on 23. -Kf7 24. Bxd5+ White regains material with the edge and 23. -Ne5 / 23. -Be5 24. Bxd5+ followed by 24. Bxa8 White keeps the upper hand ) 24. Bxd5 and NOW White threatens by mating net with 25. Qe6+ and also 25. Bxa8. If Black plays, let's say 24. -Re8 ( 24. -Nc5 25. Qf3+ and 26. Bxa8 next ) , might follow; 25. Qh4+ Kf5 ( 25. -g5 26. Qxh6+ Ke7 [ 26. -Kf5 27. Bxd6 Black is losing ] 27. Qxg5+ Kf8 [ 27. -Nf6 28. Qg7+ Kd8 29. Qxf6+ is a catastrophe for Black ] 28. Qh6+ Ke7 29. Bh4+ Black is in ruins and quite fast actually ) 26. Qh5+ g5 ( or 26. -Kf6 27. Qf7+ Kg5 28. h4+ Kg4 29. Bf3X ) 27. Qf7+ Nf6 ( 27. -Kg4 28. h3X / f3X ) 28. Qxc7 Bxc7 29. Bxa8 White will have a theoretically winning endgame because - 29. -Bxg3 30. fxg3+ is check first so White can save his Bishop.

2.3. 22. Bc4+ Qxc4 23. Qxc4+ Bd5 ( 23. -Ke7 [ 23. -Kf6? 24. Bxd6, or 23. -Ke6 24. Re1+ Be5/Ne5 25. Bxe5 B/Nxe5 26. Rxe5+ Kd6 27. Qf6+ White surely wins ] 24. Re1+ Be5/Ne5 25. f4 ) 24. Qg4+ Ke7 25. Qxg7+ Bf7 26. Bh4+ curfew.

The most difficult move to meet was Black's 21. -Ne5 ( 1.2. ) . I'm still not quite sure about that line. As if there's something better for White.

Even if it didn't went quite like this, I can imagine Capablanca wink his eye for the game like this because of a new Latin super-chess-hero. C & C play by Caruana, meaning, 'cufflinks class'!

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: I Engage freefall to knight eminated fragment his,

in segue bin feed e5 to 20.nxf7 looks righted,

and give dues two perfectly good bishops will rake,

down ed squares once knight and rook have cleared a

route 20...kxf7 21.Rxe6 coupled in cleared again,

path for queen find entrance over f4 arm a cleric

g3 and alf staffed d3 in c4 once clopped knight,

could effaced c5 and e5 when evermore d6 a fluffed,

succumbs to injury see jams in e6 back to ever

ascent re as on it ar blip in a dilemma see knight,

e5 block d6 in be free burns cake-walk bind down,

pawns con e5 first a bit rook be effect on a

21...ne5 whimsical see see knight each queen

calming devious horse a d7 in free the bishop fun,

finger free red magi clink to aether a oomph to,

better gains believe under the radar curious queens

hive language to be 22.Rxe5 Bxe5 23.qh5+ and light,

two pawns up ply I see at enact flood gates open it

now in raided a order h5+ winning formula d7 goes

c5 rue in a 21...nc5 or bet c6 only affront f3 bad,

form c5 lop in d6 exchange d8 off capital screened,

in vent I'm engaged to gains computer ok an


Rxd6 23.Qf4+ kingside steps again back for dangle

am walled it is crack space g8 over nowinstead,

gauge in got 23...Ke7 boogie ar f1 low in ground,

fable one draws a lines and castle check in loom,

24.re1+ righted c5 jack enough gg dio mio chubb


again e6 shy effect sigh in moments past a c4 will

I be proof 25.bc4 Qc6 down inceed again dowry a

good while dog in dig sit honour in really believe.

Extricate a kingd7 in bull shin a kind flick in


or b5+ bishop ball flop over the edges kind to

sussed 26.qxd6+ gg hoofed be second 26...qxd6,

27.Bxd6+ it's abracadabra a jostle very alive to,

the pointed dynamo re bottle 27...kxd6 28.Rxe6+,

again 2 pawns up indeed aim each in a corner feed,

aorta he foraged see boom ie tie gate a oddity d7,

dig clean bow ie hones 25.bb5+ bc6 be miffed,

26.Qf5+ now ledge miss figured bish go ok b5 epi,

centre cuffed rook queen a hob plan hatch I net,

arcane fender 26...ne6 blow sugar d6 entwine g3,

keep abreast see booked a slot heading of line,

delve good bishop gassed in devious 27.Bxd6 qxd6


meatball 28.Rxe6 black loosen trial by foxedfire b5

us aint be bothered 28..qxe6 or 28..Bxb5 would,

gather e6 lagging a8 seals the deal.

Aug-11-13  Doniez: I couldn't see the combination. But this isn't the point. What made me completely astonished was the last move. I thought this was a clear win of Black!!!! Only after some minutes I understood the discoverd check of the White rook!!! One of the most incredible final combination I have ever seen! Congrats to Fabiano!
Aug-11-13  Isilimela: The final position is a salient lesson in the geometry/symmetry of chess. Black can maintain the symmetry with 28 ... Qd1+ but loses the battle of parallel lines following 29 ... Re1+. 28 ... Bxb5 again loses along parallel lines following Qf7+. Finally 28 ... Qxe6 falls to Bxc6 and this time black is lost on the parallel diagonals!
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <Once> Enjoyed your post today. My oldest of four grandsons just turned 13. Though he is a terrific kid (excellent student, great athlete and a good chess player), I can relate to your story about your soon-to-be-teen son occasionaly thinking he has more insights on life than his father.

Reminds me of the Mark Twain quote:

"When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years."

~Mark Twain, "Old Times on the Mississippi" Atlantic Monthly, 1874

P.S.: I too forgot my analysis from four years ago, and had to go to the computer to refresh my memory of this combination. The double piece sham sacrifice (Knight with 20. Nxf7!! and Rook with 20. Rxe6!) to get a winning King hunt reminds me of the game Fischer vs Reshevsky, 1958 where Fisher offered up a Bishop (10. Bxf7+!!) and a Knight (11. Ne6!) to put Reshevsky's King on the run. By the way Fisher was age 15 when he played his brilliancy while Caruana here was 16-years-old.

Aug-11-13  cyclon: One small thing just in case in the line 20. Nxf7 Bxg3 21. Nxh6+ if here, instead of -21. -Kh8 which loses as I have shown, -21. -gxh6, comes 22. Qg4+ Kh8 23. Rxe6 ( only so ) and if -23. -Bf4 24. Re7 wins, or -23. -Nf8 24. Rxh6+ Nh7 25. Rxh7+ White will prevail. Yet, if -23. -Nf6, comes 24. Rxf6 Qg7 ( 24. -Bf4 25. Rxf4 / 24. -Bxh2+ 25. Kh1 / 24. -Rxd3 25. Rxh6+ do not change anything ) 25. Rg6 Bxh2+ 26. Kxh2 Qh7 27. Qh4 ( threat is devastating 28. Rxh6 and Black can't play -27. -Rxd3 on account of 28. Qf6+ ) -27. -Rg8 28. Rxh6 Rxg2+ 29. Kh3 and it's a 'bed-time' for Black.
Aug-11-13  patcheck: Material is equal. 20. Nxf7 seems an interesting option, in particular because black pieces are away from this area.

A) 20. … Bxg3 21.Nxh6+

A1) 21. … gxh6 22. Qxh6+ Kg8 23. Qh7+ Kf8 24. fxg3+ Nf6 (24. … Ke8 25. Qf7#) 25. Rxf6+ Ke8 26. Rxe6+ and mate next.

A2) 21. … Kh8 22. Nf7+ Kg8 23. fxg3 Kf8 (only way to avoid 24. Qh8#) 24. Nxd8+ Nf6 (24. … Ke8 25. Bg6# / 24. … Kg8 25. Qh7#) 25. Nxe6+ (for instance) followed by 26. Nxc7 and black is totally lost

A3) 21. … Kf8 22. fxg3+ Nf6 (22. … Ke8 23. Bg6#)23. Rxf6+

A3a) 23. … gxf6 24. Qxf6+ Ke8 25. Qxe6+ Kf8 (25. … Qe7 26. Qxe7#) 26. Rf1+ and mate next.

A3b) 23. … Ke7 24. Rf7+ Kd6 (24. … Ke8 25. Rxe6+ and mate next) 25. Kf4+ and black is totally lost.

So, after 20. Nxf7 Bxg3 21. Nxh6+ black is lost.

B) 20. … Kxf7 21. Rxe6+!
B1) 21. … Kxe6 22. Bc4+

B1a) 22. … Kf5 23. Qh5+

B1a1) 23. … Kf6 24. Qf7+ Kg5 25. h4+ Kg4 26. Qg6#

B1a2) 23. … g5 24. Qf7+ Ke4 (24. … Kg4 25. h3#) 25. Qf3+ Kd4 26. Qd3+ Kc5 27. b4+ Kxb4 (27. … Kc6 28. Bb5#) 28. Rb1+ and black is lost : 28. … Kc5 29. Rb5+ Kc6 30. Qe4# / 28. … Ka4 29. Qb3+ Ka5 30. Qb5# / 28. … Ka5 29. Qc3+ Bb4 (29. … Kb4 30. Qb3+ and mate next) 30. Qxb4#

B1a3) 23. … Ke4 24. Qf3+ Kd4 and things are the same than in the variation we’ve just seen, leading to mate.

So, in the line B1a), after 20. Nxf7 Kxf7 21. Rxe6 Kxe6 22. Bc4+ Kf5 23. Qh5+, black will be mate.

B1b) 22. … Qxc4 23. Qxc4+ Ke7 [to avoid 24. Bxd6 and doesn’t work 23. … Bd5 24. Qg4+ Ke7 25. Qxg7+ Ke6 (to avoid losing the bishop in d6) 26. Re1+ and white will win another piece at least and stay with an advantage] 24. Re1+ Ne5 (or Be5) 25. Bxe5 and white has an advantage

B1c) 20. Nxf7 Kxf7 21. Rxe6 Kxe6 22. Bc4+ Bd5 (the only other answer for black here) 23. Qg4+

B1c1) 23. … Kf7 24. Bxd5+ and black is lost : 24. … Ke7 25. Qxg7+ Ke8 26. Qf7# / 24. … Kf6 25. Qe6+ Kg5 26. h4+ Kh5 27. Bf3# / 24. … Kf8 25. Qe6 Nf6 (or maybe 25. … Nc5 or Nb8 but not 25…. Ke8 26. Qf7# ) 26. Qg8+ Ke7 27. Qxg7+ Ke8 28. Re1+ Be5 29. Bxe5 and black is lost.

B1c2) 23. … Ke7 24. Qxg7+ Ke8 25. Bxd5 Rdb8 (25. … Nf6 leads to the line we’ve just seen : 26. Re1+ Be5 27. Bxe5) 26. Qf7+ Kd8 27. Bh4+ Nf6 (27. … Rc8 28. Qe8+ Qd8 29. Qxd8# / 27. … Be7 Qxe7+ Kc8 28. Qe8+ Qd8 29. Qxd8#) 28. Bxf6+ Be7 (28. … Kc8 leads to the same mate we’ve seen) 29. Qf8+! Kd7 29. Qxe7+ Kc8 30. Qe8+ Qd8 31. Qxd8#)

B1c3) 23. … Kf6 24. Bxd5 treatening mate as in the lines we saw. 24. … Re8 (or Nf8) to prevent the queen from going to e6 25. Bxa8 regaining the rook with advantage for black can’t play 25. … Rxa8 26. Qf3+ followed by 27. Qxa8 and white has a rook and two pawns against bishop and knight.

So, although I didn’t analyze this last variation (B1c3) in details, I think that the line B1: 20. Nxf7 Kxf7 21. Rxe6 Kxe6 22. Bc4+ is winning for white o, at last, gives white an advantage.

B2) 20. Nxf7 Kxf7 21. Rxe6 Bxg3 22. fxg3 (22. Qe7+ Kg8 23. fxg3 Rf8 doesn’t seem easy, for instance : 24. Rg6 Qe5 25. Qxd7 Bd5)

B2a) 22. … Kxe6 23. Bc4+

B2a1) 23. … Qxc4 24. Qxc4+ Bd5 seems a sufficient defense for black.

So, probably, the best continuation is 20. Nxf7 Kxf7 21. Qh5+ although 21. Rxe6 wins in many lines but 21. Bxg3 seems a sufficient defense for black.

Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: I love this game.
Aug-11-13  ajile: Wow mind blown. Genius.
Aug-11-13  Kinghunt: 20. Nxf7 and 21. Rxe6 jumps to mind fairly quickly. Finding the idea isn't difficult. The hard part is figuring out if it works. I probably wouldn't be able to convince myself that the sac was sound if I had this position in a game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <patzer2:> Great quote. Thanks for sharing!.
Aug-12-13  ajile: I saw 20.Nxf7 and 21.Rxe6 also figuring the basic idea was to sac and remove Black's defenses. But I didn't see what comes after that.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <patzer2> Thanks for the brilliant Mark Twain quote. He did have such a remarkable way to pack a lot of wisdom into a pithy sentence or two.
Sep-27-14  MarkFinan: This is quite brilliant! To see the knight and rook sacs (or offers) from here

click for larger view

is really impressive for a 16 year old kid.

His chess speaks volumes which is more than the man himself. I like him and I hope he gets a shot against Carlsen, but I still think people are going OTT with Caruana since he won that tournament. But this is a brilliant little game with lots of tactics and I like his style of chess. ✌

Nov-23-14  tranquilsimplicity: <MarkFinan> I agree with you. And I believe Caruana may be Carlsen's next challenger; with a possibility of even beating Carlsen squarely.#
Feb-08-15  TyroneBlackMan: <Once> I created a account on this site just to tell you how creepy your comment sounds
May-16-15  Artemio: Carlsen versus Caruana in the near future....the two C's replacing the two K's....
Oct-02-15  The Kings Domain: Scintillating play by Caruana. I like how the game picks up after a slow and steady start.
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French Rubinstein Blackburne Def (C10) 1-0 B pair, brash Rs
from Father Rubin Burned Fort Knocks?! by fredthebear
French Rubinstein Blackburne Def (C10) 1-0 B pair, brash Rs
from French Rubinstein, Fort Knox and Stuff by fredthebear
plus 68 more collections (not shown)

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