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Solomon Rubinstein vs John Homer Stapfer
American National (1913), New York, NY USA, rd 1, Jan-19
Old Indian Defense: General (A53)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: <czx> yes, quick mate after that. Any Rook move down the g file works. Surprisingly effective clearance move.
Dec-12-13  hedgeh0g: 32...Rxg2+ also looked strong. Black was really spoilt for choice...
Premium Chessgames Member
  gofer: <30 ... Rg3>

The gift is too greek...

31 fxg3 fxg3
32 Be2 Qh2+
33 Kf1 Qh1#

<31 Qd1 f3>

32 fxg3 Bxg3 mating

32 Rxf3 Rxf3

33 Bd3 Qxf2+
34 Kh1 Qh4+
35 Kg2 Qh2#

33 g3 Bxg3+ (Qxf3/gxf3 Qh2#)
34 fxg3 Rxf3+
35 Bg2 Qxe5 winning

As the options are so bad for white, I wonder when he gave up...


Hmmm, yep...

Dec-12-13  Nick46: Thanks hedgeh0g, that's what I 0pted for.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: The material is even (opposite color bishops).

White threatens b4-c5 but this is very slow.

The dark squares around the white king are weak and the light squares are overcrowded. This suggests 30... Rg3, eliminating the defensive move Qh3 and diverting the white queen from blocking the pawn on f4 or provoking a further weakening of the dark squares:

A) 31.fxg3 fxg3 32.Qxg3 (32.Be2 Qh2+ 33.Kf1 Qh1#) 32... Bxg3 33.Rxg3 Qxg3 - + [Q vs B].

B) 31.Qd1 f3

B.1) 32.Rxf3 Rxf3 33.g3 (else mate soon) 33... Bxg3 34.fxg3 (34.Be2 Qh2+ 35.Kf1 Qxf2#; 34.Bg2 Qh2+ 35.Kf1 Rxf2+ 36.Ke1 Qg1+ 37.Bf1 Qxf1#) 34... Qxg3+ 35.Kh1 (35.Bg2 Rxd3, etc.) 35... Rg8 wins.

B.2) 32.fxg3 Bxg3 and mate in two.

B.3) 32.Be2 Rxg2+ 33.Kf1 Qh1#.

B.4) 32.Rb3 Rag8 33.Rxf3 (33.fxg3 Bxg3 and mate soon) 33... Qh2+ 34.Kxh2 Rxg2+ 35.Kh1(3) Rh2#.

C) 31.Qe2 f3 looks even worse that B.

Dec-12-13  Vermit: I went down the same route as Houdini with 31...Rxd3 32 Qxd3 f3 with the idea of 33.g3 Bxg3
Dec-12-13  morfishine: I figured <30...Rg3> and Black wins after <31.fxg3 fxg3>


Premium Chessgames Member
  The HeavenSmile: <hedgeh0g> forced mate in 5 i believe

32...Rxg2+ 33.Bxg2 Qh2+ 34.Kf1 Qxg2+ 35.Ke1 Qg1+ 36.Kd2 Qxf2+ 37.Kd1 Qe2#

Dec-12-13  sorch: It's obviously not Akiba nor even his son Solomon (Sammy, b.1920, registered in chessgames as "Solomon").
Dec-12-13  abuzic: <32...Rh3> is forced mate in 3:

21...Rh3 33.gxh3

<(33.gxf3 Rh1+ 34.Kg2 Qh3#)>

33...Rg8+ 34.Kh1

<34.Bg2 Rxg2+ 35.Kh1 <(35.Kf1 Qxf2#)> 35...Qxh3#>

34...Qxf2 and mate next

Dec-12-13  abuzic: After 30...Rg3, white has to give the Q for a R to avoid mate, the safest is 31.Be2 Rxf3 32.Bxf3.
Dec-12-13  WoodPushkin: Greetings


If 31. Qd1 then 31...f3

If 31. Qe2 then 31...Rag8

31...Rxd3 works but is slower. As the other rook will be needed for mate, why wait?

JAH love

Premium Chessgames Member
  SonOfSteel: <Phony Benoni: I can take no credit for this, since I submitted the game to the database!>

How does one submit games to the database ?

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Another fine example of the attac♔ chances in middlegames with <opp. coloured ♗♗>.
Dec-12-13  MiCrooks: When I played back through the game to see how we got here my first thought was why not play Rg3 immediately rather than Rg6. What is it about Rd3 that suddenly makes this move better. It didn't take long to see the answer. The Rook on d3 block's White's only chance for luft--Bd3. Be2 isn't good enough as when the Queen gets to h1 the King with need e2 to escape.

As it turns out Bd3 was probably the best chance rather than Rd3 but nothing really helped. And for pretty much every other move (than Rd3) Rag8 was the proper reply. But after Rd3 Rag8 leads only to a small but definite advantage, but one that White could hope to survive given the opposite colored Bishops.

Hats off to Stapfer for not getting locked into a move, and overcoming the aversion many of us have to moving the same piece twice in the same direction...i.e. moving to a square we could have moved to the move before. I would assume that Stapfer had been working through all of his mating attack options and had considered Rg3 before but discounted it due to Bd3. And as for Rubinstein, he may have felt that taking the chance that Stapfer would play Rag8 was as good a chance as he had in the position...or he could have just missed Rg3! altogether. I have noted in going through GM games that quite often they make suboptimal moves in desperate defenses...but usually they are moves that require precise play by their opponent so that if the opponent finds the best line their position gets worse faster, but they figure they are dead already so they may as well take chances that their opponent misses something.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: The rook move chases the queen away and allows the black forces to attack without interference.
Dec-12-13  GoldenKnight: Got the first and second moves very quickly, but Black still has to be careful.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <SonOfSteel> To submit games to database, follow the instructions here:

PGN Upload Utility

The process will probably take a while, since the games are run through various checks in an attempt to assure legibility and avoid duplicates. Also, the slightest typo in submitted PGN can cause a rejection.

Also note that this database generally requires that at least one player be of Master strength (USCF 2200+), though exceptions are made.

Premium Chessgames Member
  araodin: Nice combination attack. White king has no escape route.
Dec-12-13  knight knight: 30... Rg3 on the queen:

A) 31. fxg3 fxg3:

1) 32. Be2 Qh2+ 33. Kf1 Qh1#

2) 32. Qxg3 Bxg3:
a) 33. Be2 Qh2+ 34. Kf1 Qh1#
b) 33. Rxg3 Qxg3 queen for bishop and pawn

B) 31. Qxg3 fxg3 32. fxg3 Bxg3 33. Rxg3 Qxg3 queen for bishop and pawn

C) 31. Qd1 f3 threat 32... Rxg2+ 33. Bxg2 Qh2+ 34. Kf1 fxg2+ 35. Ke2 Rg8 36. Qg1 Qh5+ 37. Rf3 Bh2 etc winning

1) 32. Rxf3 Rxf3 33. Q/gxf3 Qh2#

2) 32. Qxf3 Rxf3 winning the queen

3) 32. Be2 Rxg2+ 33. Kf1 Qh1#

4) 32. fxg3 Bxg3 33. Be2 Qh2+ 34. Kf1 Qxg2# (or Qh1#)

Let's see...

Dec-12-13  Moszkowski012273: Yep no need to double the rooks...
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Woah! I miscalculated with 30...Rxg2 31.Bxg2. :|
Dec-12-13  DcGentle: Position after <32. Qc1>:

click for larger view

Instead of <32... Rag8> Black could have played:

<32... Rh3 33. gxh3 Rg8+ 34. Kh1 Qxf2 35. Bg2 fxg2#>

click for larger view

Checkmate by a pawn is always sweet and a nice mate picture.


Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: Picking up on what <MiCrooks> said earlier, 29...Rg6 is such a nice move.

It does not really matter if white plays the text 30 Rd3 or tries instead 30 Bd3. If 30 Bd3, 30...Rg3? does not work; it leads to 31 fxg3, below.

click for larger view

If 31...fxg3 White's king can escape to f1 and then e2.

The correct response after 30 Bd3 is 30...Rag8.

click for larger view

The threat is 31...Rxg2, seeing 32...Bd4 which has three pieces attacking f2.

One nice variation off of this line is 31 Kf1 Rxg2 32 Qxg2 Rxg2 33 Kxg2.

click for larger view

Material is relatively equal, but black has the very involved winning response beginning with 33...Bd4.

Dec-13-13  mel gibson: This was not a quick checkmate.
Deep Rybka4 on 10 seconds per move gives move 31.Be2 losing the white Queen on the next move & checkmate doesn't arrive till move 70.
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