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Rubinstein 
 
Akiba Rubinstein
Number of games in database: 1,035
Years covered: 1897 to 1948
Overall record: +474 -164 =294 (66.6%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      103 exhibition games, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

MOST PLAYED OPENINGS
With the White pieces:
 Queen's Pawn Game (128) 
    D02 A46 D05 D00 A40
 Orthodox Defense (51) 
    D63 D61 D64 D53 D52
 Nimzo Indian (39) 
    E38 E34 E46 E44 E21
 Queen's Gambit Declined (37) 
    D37 D30 D31 D36 D35
 Tarrasch Defense (33) 
    D33 D32 D34
 King's Gambit Declined (23) 
    C30 C31 C32
With the Black pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (101) 
    C79 C77 C98 C68 C88
 Orthodox Defense (51) 
    D63 D60 D52 D61 D55
 Four Knights (46) 
    C48 C49 C47
 Queen's Pawn Game (46) 
    D02 D00 D04 D05 A46
 French Defense (41) 
    C01 C11 C10 C00 C02
 Queen's Gambit Declined (35) 
    D31 D30 D37 D06
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Rotlewi vs Rubinstein, 1907 0-1
   Rubinstein vs Lasker, 1909 1-0
   Rubinstein vs Hromadka, 1923 1-0
   Rubinstein vs Salwe, 1908 1-0
   Rubinstein vs Schlechter, 1912 1-0
   Rubinstein vs Capablanca, 1911 1-0
   Alekhine vs Rubinstein, 1912 0-1
   Rubinstein vs Duras, 1908 1-0
   Rubinstein vs Janowski, 1925 1-0
   Rubinstein vs Alekhine, 1911 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Karlsbad (1907)
   18th DSB Kongress (1912)
   Bad Pistyan (1912)
   San Sebastian (1912)
   St Petersburg (1909)
   Vienna (1922)
   Marienbad (1925)
   Karlsbad (1911)
   Baden-Baden (1925)
   Budapest (1929)
   San Remo (1930)
   Prague (1908)
   Vienna (1908)
   London (1922)
   Semmering (1926)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Dry Rubinstein by Gottschalk
   Rubinstein's Chess Masterpieces by Karpova
   Rubinstein vs World Champions Decisive Games by visayanbraindoctor
   Akiba Rubinstein's Best Games by KingG
   The Unknown Rubinstein - Forgotten treasures by Karpova
   Rubinstein Rubies by chocobonbon
   Match Rubinstein! by amadeus
   Guess-the-Move Chess: 1920-1939 (Part 2) by Anatoly21
   Rubinstein's Rook Endings by kiadd
   Capa, Rubinstein & Schlecter Games by fredthebear
   Akiba Rubinstein's Rook Endings by Knight Pawn
   Learn from the great Rubinstein by timothee3331
   annotated games & lis short brilliancys by gmlisowitz
   Akiva Rubinstein by Archives

GAMES ANNOTATED BY RUBINSTEIN: [what is this?]
   Spielmann vs Rubinstein, 1920
   Salwe vs Rubinstein, 1907
   O Bernstein vs Rubinstein, 1912
   Rubinstein vs Loman / Van Gelder, 1920

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Akiba Rubinstein
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AKIBA RUBINSTEIN
(born Dec-01-1880, died Mar-15-1961, 80 years old) Poland (citizen of Belgium)

[what is this?]
Akiba (Akiva, Akiwa) Kiwelowicz Rubinstein (1) was born on 1 December 1880 (2) in Stawiski, Poland.(3) He was the youngest of 12 children of a family of rabbis and scholars living in extreme poverty.(4) Ten of his siblings died of tuberculosis in infancy, and his father also died a few weeks before Akiba was born.(4) Akiba was raised by his grandparents to become a rabbi and went to the Cheder,(UK, p. 15) where he got acquainted with chess at the age of 14.(5) At age 16, he became interested in chess theory (5) and decided to become a chess professional instead of a rabbi.(6) Around the turn of the century, Rubinstein moved to Bialystok, Poland and left his family.(7) He soon became too strong for G G Bartoszkiewicz, the best player of Bialystok and Rubinstein's first nemesis.(8)

Early Chess Career

Rubinstein moved to Lódz, Poland in 1902 (AS, page CV) where he faced Georg Salwe. They played a match in 1903 to qualify for the 3rd All-Russian Championship in Kiev, 1903 (UK, pp. 19-20) (TLY, p. 390). The match ended drawn at 7.0-7.0 (UK, p. 20) and both chessplayers competed in the Championship later that year.(9) In 1904, Rubinstein and Salwe played a second match and Rubinstein emerged as the winner (TLY, pp. 390-391). He crowned his international debut at the Barmen 1905 Hauptturnier by sharing first place with Oldrich Duras, and became recognized as a master.(10) In the fall of 1905, Rubinstein beat Jacques Mieses in a match by the score of 3.0-0.0 (included in Rubinstein - Mieses, May (1909)).

Rubinstein continued to improve in 1906, sharing second place at the 4th All-Russian Championship in St. Petersburg behind Salwe,(11) and winning Lódz 1906 ahead of Mikhail Chigorin. (12) At Ostende 1906, a 5-stage 36-player tournament won by Carl Schlechter, Rubinstein achieved an excellent third place (UK, pp. 58-73). He was also successful in local events in Lódz.

Ascending to the Top

Rubinstein shared first place together with Ossip Bernstein at Ostende B 1907,(13) before he had his final breakthrough by winning Karlsbad (1907). (14) Rubinstein was also successful in his last match against Salwe, winning 16.0-6.0 (TLY, pp. 395-402). The year 1907 concluded with Rubinstein's win at the 5th All-Russian Championship 1907-1908 in Lódz,(15) where he played probably his most famous game Rotlewi vs Rubinstein, 1907.

The year 1908 was a bit disappointing, as he managed only 4th place at both Vienna (1908) and Prague (1908). He won two matches, one against Richard Teichmann (16) and Rubinstein - Marshall (1908). He also won Lodz (1908).

A contender for the title

At St Petersburg (1909), Rubinstein shared first place with world champion Emanuel Lasker and beat him in their individual encounter. He went on to win Rubinstein - Mieses, May (1909) and was successful in smaller events. A match against Jose Raul Capablanca was planned in 1909, but never took place for reasons unknown (UK, pp. 207-208).

In 1910, a quiet year for the chess world, Rubinstein moved to Warsaw, Poland (AS, page CV). The Warsaw championship 1910 ended with a surprise, since Alexander Flamberg won ahead of Rubinstein (UK, p. 210). Soon afterwards, the two masters played a match which Rubinstein won 4.5-0.5 (UK, pp. 213-214). Rubinstein did not participate in Hamburg (1910) with respect to his health.(17) A planned match against Bernstein, which was to start in December 1910 and consist of 16 games, was postponed several times and, in the end, never took place (UK, pp. 215-216).

Rubinstein beat Capablanca in their individual encounter and remained unbeaten at San Sebastian (1911), but he still had to share second place behind the young Cuban. He also had to be content with a shared second place at Karlsbad (1911), Teichmann's great triumph. The year concluded with Rubinstein winning the strong Warsaw championship.(18)

The year 1912 was Rubinstein's magical year. He won four consecutive major tournaments: San Sebastian (1912), Bad Pistyan (1912), the 18th DSB Kongress (1912) and Vilnius All-Russian Masters (1912).

World Championship Challenger

During San Sebastian 1912, Rubinstein wrote to Lasker that he wanted to play a title match against him. Lasker was still bound by the ill-fated negotiations with Capablanca.(19) Rubinstein officially challenged Lasker in August 1912, and the world champion accepted. The negotiations and the arrangement of the world championship took place mainly in 1912 and 1913.(20) The match was to take place in autumn 1914 in Europe, mainly in Germany and Russia. Rubinstein doesn't seem to have played serious chess in 1913, but probably prepared for the match. He spend a few months in Bad Reichenhall, a popular health resort in Germany.(21)

1914 - The end of a dream, but not of all hopes

Rubinstein only scored 50% at St Petersburg (1914) and was eliminated in the preliminary tournament.(22) This had no influence on the planned world championship match, and Lasker went on with the arrangements for the match.(23) The outbreak of the First World War was the force majeure that forced the cancellation of the title match (UK, p. 304).

The First World War

From 1914 to 1917, Rubinstein was confined to Poland, a major battleground. He could only compete in events in Warsaw and Lódz and did so with success (UK, pp. 304-311). There were also good moments, as Akiba married Eugenie Lew in 1917 and their son Jonas Jacob was born on 24 January 1918 in Szczuczyn, Poland (AS, page Family Tree) (TLY, p. 26). He was able to travel to Berlin in early 1918 (UK, p. 311) and competed in several events. His play became uneven and very good performances took turns with very bad results. First, he won the Rubinstein - Schlechter (1918) match in January, and then came in last at Berlin Four Masters (1918). He followed up with a second place, unbeaten behind world champion Lasker, at Berlin Grandmasters (1918).

The post-war era

In late 1919, the Rubinstein family moved to Sweden where they lived until 1921 (UK, p. 323) (AS, page CV). He came in second in the Stockholm quadrangular tournament in December 1919 (behind Rudolf Spielmann, ahead of Efim Bogoljubov and Richard Reti) (UK, pp. 327-333). At the beginning of 1920, Rubinstein beat Bogoljubov in a match.(24) During a Simul tour through the Netherlands (20 March 1920), Rubinstein spoke about the world championship (UK, p. 370), since Capablanca had emerged as Lasker's main rival. He reminded the public of still having a contract with Lasker, yet did not deny Lasker's and Capablanca's right to play for the title. He thought that an official body should administer the world championship and also suggested a triangular match between Lasker, Capablanca and himself. However, Rubinstein had lost his financial basis in post-war Europe and couldn't raise the necessary funds. Capablanca met Lasker in The Hague in January 1920 and they drew up a draft agreement for a title match, not to begin before 1 January 1921.(25) Capablanca had already declared in August 1919 that Lasker, Rubinstein and he himself were considered the strongest chessplayers in the world and that he would accept a challenge from Rubinstein, if he won the title from Lasker.(26) Rubinstein ended the year with a good second place at Gothenburg (1920) and then won the small Göteborg Winter tournament, which extended from 1920 to 1921, in convincing fashion (TLY, pp. 29-34).

At The Hague (1921), Rubinstein came in third behind Alexander Alekhine and Savielly Tartakower. Rubinstein co-authored the Lärobok i Schack, one of the most important contemporaneous works on opening theory.(27) He went on to win the strong Triberg tournament, December 1921, ahead of Bogoljubov and Spielmann (TLY, pp. 44-52). Alekhine wanted to challenge the new world champion Capablanca already after The Hague (1921), but the Cuban granted Rubinstein the right of a first challenge. He had already accepted Rubinstein's challenge on 7 September 1921. Dutch chess officials suggested a candidates match between Rubinstein and Alekhine. Both masters agreed to the match. The winner would receive 1,000 Guilders, the loser 500 Guilders. The match was to take place not earlier than March 1922. In the end, Alekhine avoided the match.(28)

At London (1922), Rubinstein came in fourth and Capablanca drew up the London Rules.(29) Capablanca granted Rubinstein some time to meet the high financial demands, setting the deadline for 31 December 1923, but Rubinstein couldn't raise the funds.(30) After a second place at Hastings (1922), he came in fifth at Teplitz-Schönau, October 1922, but won 4 Brilliancy prizes (TLY, pp. 72-83). At the end of the year, he had one of his greatest successes at Vienna (1922). Rubinstein, who had to support his family and raise money for the title match, suffered a severe financial set-back when Austrian frontier officials impounded his prize money (TLY, p. 84). In 1922, the Rubinstein family moved to Germany, where they stayed until 1926 (AS, page CV). After winning Hastings 1922/1923 (TLY, pp. 96-100), Rubinstein had very disappointing performances at Karlsbad (1923) and Maehrisch - Ostrau (1923).

Although Rubinstein had to content himself with a third place in Meran, February 1924 he popularized the Meran variation of the Semi-Slav by beating the tournament winner in Gruenfeld vs Rubinstein, 1924. Rubinstein was willing to compete in New York (1924), but this was out of question for the organizers. Bernhard Kagan, responsible for contacting the European masters and trying to help Rubinstein, explained that the number of participants was limited and the Grandmasters who were already in New York had an influential word.(31) He competed in smaller events, before managing a good second place at Baden-Baden (1925). The year 1925 continued to be a successful one with a shared first place at Marienbad (1925). At Breslau (1925), he only shared third place and ended the year with a very disappointing performance in Moscow (1925), his first and only trip to the Soviet Union (TLY, p. 165). While his results improved in 1926, at Semmering (1926), Dresden (1926), Budapest, June-July 1926 (shared third to fifth place) (TLY, pp. 196-203), Hannover (1926) and Berlin (1926), they were not outstanding. The Rubinstein family moved to Belgium in 1926, where Akiba lived until the end of his life (AS, page CV). In the spring of 1927, Rubinstein visited Poland and won the Second Polish Championship in Lódz (TLY, pp. 212-221). On 19 March 1927, his son Samy Rubinstein was born in Antwerp, Belgium (AS, page Family Tree).

In early 1928, Rubinstein visited the USA, gave Simuls and played several exhibition games (TLY, pp. 348-362). An international tournament had originally been planned and then a match against Marshall was suggested in its stead, but neither took place. He shared third place with Max Euwe at Bad Kissingen (1928), but Berlin (1928) was a disappointment. Then came the year 1929, which was one of his best years and stands out among the post-World War I years. First, he scored +3 -0 =4 against the British players in the Scheveningen-style Ramsgate tournament, March-April 1929 (TLY, pp. 238-241). Then followed three large tournaments, where Rubinstein came in fourth at Karlsbad (1929), second at Budapest (1929) and won Rogaška Slatina (today Slovenia), September-October 1929, ahead of Salomon Flohr (TLY, pp. 265-273). Donaldson and Minev on these three tournaments: "Rubinstein's overall result, which included only three losses in forty-nine games, was 34 1/2 - 14 1/2 during the sixty-nine days span."(TLY, p. 238)

The end of his chess career

He reached third place at San Remo (1930). Rubinstein also competed in the Belgian Team Championship in March and beat Johannes Hendrik Otto van den Bosch (3.0-0.0) and Salo Landau (2.5-0.5) in short matches in June (TLY, pp. 282-286). After a third place at Scarborough (1930), Rubinstein played on first board for the Polish team at the Hamburg Chess Olympiad, scoring +13 -0 =4. Rubinstein, together with Savielly Tartakower, David Przepiorka, Kazimierz Makarczyk and Paulino Frydman won the Gold medal.(32) Possibly tired from the Olympiad, which took place in July, Rubinstein disappointed at Liege (1930) in August.

In the spring of 1931, Rubinstein conducted a Simul tour through Palestine. He was the first well-known chess master to do so and the visit had a great, positive and long-lasting influence on chess in Palestine.(33) Then came the Prague Olympiad, July 1931, and Rubinstein played on first board again for the Silver-medal winning Polish team.(34) He was invited to Bled (1931), (35) but did not participate. After a successful Scheveningen-style tournament in Antwerp, July-August 1931 (TLY, pp. 316-318), Rubinstein came in last at Rotterdam, December 1931 (TLY, pp. 318-321) which was followed in January 1932 by a consultation event, which also took place in Rotterdam. Rubinstein scored the most points (TLY, p. 322). This was the last serious chess event he participated in, ending his professional chess career in early 1932.

The later years

The Rubinstein family had moved to Brussels, Belgium in 1931, where his wife Eugenie operated a restaurant (TLY, p. 26). With Akiba retiring from chess in 1932, Eugenie had to feed the family (two children) and the situation became critical. An appeal for help was made in 1932 and the publishing house of the Wiener Schach-Zeitung tried to help by publishing the book Rubinstein gewinnt!, with an introduction by Jacques Hannak and annotations by Hans Kmoch. (36) Akiba stayed for some time in a sanatorium before being reunited with his family (TLY, p. 16). In 1936, Eugenie reported that Akiba's health at least hadn't declined compared to the years before and he still occupied himself with chess, having followed the Alekhine - Euwe World Championship Match (1935) also.(37)

The fact that the Rubinstein family survived the Holocaust seems like a miracle. Sammy spend 1943-1944 in prison but was released. Factors which helped them to survive: They were probably all Belgian citizens by 1940 living in Brussels, and the Germans had no clear plans for Belgium which affected its administration (about 44% of the Jewish population in Belgium perished in the Holocaust), in addition, Akiba hid in a sanatorium (TLY, pp. 18-19).

Rubinstein's last public appearance as a chess player was a Simul he gave in Liège, Belgium in March 1946, scoring +24 -2 =4 (TLY, p. 377). It was reported that he would participate in a tournament in Maastricht soon afterwards, but he withdrew (TLY, p. 19). The financial situation of the Rubinstein family became critical again, and an appeal to help him was made in 1948 (TLY, pp. 17-18). In 1950, FIDE awarded the Grandmaster title to Rubinstein.(38)

Akiba had two students, Paul Devos and the third correspondence chess world champion Alberic O'Kelly de Galway (TLY, p. 19). He was also visited by Daniel Abraham Yanofsky and Miguel Najdorf, who said that Rubinstein won two fantastic games against him, and possibly Euwe.(39)

After his wife Eugenie died in 1954, Akiba moved to a home for old people. Sammy and Jonas remember visiting him and analysing the games of the world championship matches between Mikhail Botvinnik and Vasily Smyslov together.(TLY, p. 21) On 15 March 1961, Akiba Rubinstein passed away in Antwerp, Belgium (TLY, p. 21).

Contributions to Opening Theory

Akiba Rubinstein invented and popularized many important opening variations, or turned innovations by others into fully-fledged opening systems. Many opening variations therefore bear his name. Among them are the Rubinstein variation of the Nimzo-Indian Defense (1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3), the Rubinstein variation of the French Defense (1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4), the Rubinstein variation of the Symmetrical English (1.c4 c5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.g3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.Bg2 Nc7), an important variation in the Four Knights Game (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bb5 Nd4), the important system against the Tarrasch Defence of the Queen's Gambit Declined with 6.g3 (introduced by Schlechter), and the already mentioned Meran variation in the Semi-Slav.

Testimonials

Garry Kasparov: "Careful analysis shows that modern chess, proceeding from the Botvinnik era, is very strongly influenced by the games of Rubinstein, who was, essentially, one of the fathers of modern chess history." (40)

Vladimir Kramnik: Rubinstein was “...an incredibly talented and fantastic chess player...Why didn't he become a World Champion? That's a mystery to me…” (41)

Boris Gelfand on the question if Rubinstein was his favorite player: "Yes, sure, definitely." (42)

Additional Information

An overview of Rubinstein's individual scores against the strongest players of his time: User: RubinsteinScores

An overview of Rubinstein's matches: User: RubinsteinMatches

An overview of Rubinstein's tournament career: http://www.phileo.demon.co.uk/uk_ar...

User: jessicafischerqueen 's documentary of Rubinstein can be found in three parts at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hi3h... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQQO... and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3sqG...

Sources and Footnotes

The most important sources, apart from contemporaneous newspapers, were Donaldson's and Minev's two volumes on Rubinstein and Anita Sikora's website on Rubinstein with a lot of original research. In order to save space, these sources will simply be abbreviated in the text and don't get their own footnotes. The abbreviation "UK" stands for John William Donaldson and Nikolay Minev, The Life & Games of Akiva Rubinstein - Volume 1: Uncrowned King, 2nd edition, 2006, Russell Enterprises, Inc., Milford CT USA. The abbreviation "TLY" stands for John William Donaldson and Nikolay Minev, The Life & Games of Akiva Rubinstein - Volume 2: The Later Years, 2nd edition, 2011, Russell Enterprises, Inc., Milford CT USA. The abbreviation "AS" stands for Anita Sikora's (User: anyi) website http://rubina.yfw24.de/.

(1) His forename is usually written Akiba with b. In the Hebrew alphabet b, v and w are the same letter and v is the correct transliteration. See the discussion in AS (page CV). Rubinstein himself once used the German transliteration Akiwa (cover of KARL 3/2013). His name is spelled Akiba in the biography because it is the official spelling on chessgames.com. Kiwelowicz is his patronym (other transliterations are Kivelovitch and Kiwelowitsch, see AS, page CV) according to Jeremy Gaige's Chess Personalia (p. 364 of the paperback edition, 2005, McFarland) since Poland was occupied by Russia at that time.

(2) Rubinstein's birthday was unclear for a long time, see the discussion on p. 384 of UK. The earliest sources gave 12 October 1882 (Gregorian calender, converted from 30 September 1882 of the Julian calender), while later sources gave 12 December 1882. It has lately been established that the birthdate on his gravestone, 1 December 1880, is correct, by Elzbieta Kusina and Jan Kusina of the Malopolska Chess Association, Krakow, Poland (19 April 2014, news of the Kenneth Whyld Foundation & Association, http://www.kwabc.org/index.php/17-l...).

(3) Tomasz Lissowski wrote a photo article on Stawiski, Irgendwo im Nirgendwo, KARL 3/2013, pp. 12-17.

(4) Ernst Strouhal, Alles Schöne war geistig..., KARL 3/2013, pp. 12-17. AS, page Family Tree. UK, p. 15. Strouhal notes that rabbis and Jewish scholars usually lived in great poverty in Eastern Europe at that time.

(5) Akiba Rubinstein, Wiener Schach-Zeitung, June 1926, pp. 164-165. Provided in "ANNO / Österreichische Nationalbibliothek". Rubinstein was answering Eugen Gömöri's question on how he became a chessmaster.

(6) Ernst Strouhal, Alles Schöne war geistig..., KARL 3/2013, pp. 12-17. Rubinstein's first chess book was Zosints' Instructor, written in Hebrew.

(7) Ernst Strouhal, Alles Schöne war geistig..., KARL 3/2013, pp. 12-17. This decision haunted him throughout his life, see for example TLY, p. 16 where the misunderstood story of the fly is explained. What pestered him was not an actual fly (it's a midrash) but the decision to leave behind his family and Jewish tradition to become a chess professional.

(8) Rubinstein vs G G Bartoszkiewicz, 1897 is Rubinstein's first recorded game. The date of the game is not clear: UK tentatively gives 1897 and played by correspondence (according to S. Postma, Jeugdpartijen van Beroemde Meesters), while Strouhal (see source (7)) has 1901 and played in Steins Café in Bialystok. Lissowski offers 1901 and 1902 as possible dates in Szachowa Vistula Chess Monthly, http://szachowavistula.pl/vistula/b...

(9) Rod Edwards, http://www.edochess.ca/tournaments/...

(10) Rod Edwards, http://www.edochess.ca/tournaments/.... UK, pp. 33-40. A play-off between Rubinstein and Duras ended 1.0-1.0 (two draws).

(11) Rod Edwards, http://www.edochess.ca/tournaments/.... UK, pp. 43-50.

(12) Rod Edwards, http://www.edochess.ca/tournaments/.... UK, pp. 51-57.

(13) Rod Edwards, http://www.edochess.ca/tournaments/.... UK, pp. 79-88. Walter John criticized the Ostend (Championship) (1907) for not inviting Rubinstein instead of the two tail-enders (Generalanzeiger für Elberfeld-Barmen, 6 July 1907; reprinted in Wiener Schach-Zeitung, August-September 1907, p. 254. Provided in "ANNO / Österreichische Nationalbibliothek")

(14) Jacques Hannak called the Karlsbad 1907 tournament the "historical turning point of our chess history" (Der historische Wendepunkt unserer Schachgeschichte), because the youth triumphed over the established masters (Jacques Hannak, Wiener Schach-Zeitung, November-December 1907, p. 252. Provided in "ANNO / Österreichische Nationalbibliothek").

(15) Rod Edwards, http://www.edochess.ca/tournaments/.... UK, pp. 117-125.

(16) Game Collection: Rubinstein vs. Teichmann, Match (1908)

(17) Wiener Schach-Zeitung, October-November 1910, p. 354. Provided in "ANNO / Österreichische Nationalbibliothek".

(18) UK, pp. 244-245. Salwe of Lódz was a special guest. This championship, played in December 1911, counted as the 1912 city championship.

(19) Emanuel Lasker, Pester Lloyd, 31 March 1912, p. 10. Provided in "ANNO / Österreichische Nationalbibliothek". See Lasker - Capablanca World Championship Match (1921) for more information on the negotiations between Capablanca and Lasker.

(20) UK, pp. 290-295 provides extensive coverage, e. g. the conditions can be found there. Lasker announced the successful conclusion of the negotiations on 28 August 1913 (Emanuel Lasker, Pester Lloyd, 31 August 1913, p. 11. Provided in "ANNO / Österreichische Nationalbibliothek").

(21) Wiener Schach-Zeitung, July 1913, p. 200. Provided in "ANNO / Österreichische Nationalbibliothek".

(22) The artificial division into a preliminary and a final tournament, instead of a double round robin event, was criticised by many people according to the St. Petersburger Zeitung (Wiener Schach-Zeitung, May-June 1914, p. 96. Provided in "ANNO / Österreichische Nationalbibliothek"). Rudolf Spielmann also criticised the format in the Münchner Neuesten Nachrichten, 31 May 1914 (Wiener Schach-Zeitung, May-June 1914, p. 97. Provided in "ANNO / Österreichische Nationalbibliothek").

(23) UK, p. 294 quotes the American Chess Bulletin (1914, p. 139): "Word comes from St. Petersburg that Dr. Lasker will go ahead with his arrangements to play the match for the championship with A. K. Rubinstein of Lodz." It's worth remembering that Carl Schlechter only scored 50% at St Petersburg (1909), before drawing the Lasker - Schlechter World Championship Match (1910).

(24) Game Collection: Bogoljubov-Rubinstein Match, Sweden 1920

(25) Edward G Winter, Capablanca: a compendium of games, notes, articles, correspondence, illustrations and other rare materials on the Cuban chess genius José Raúl Capablanca, 1888-1942, 1989, McFarland 1989, pp. 108-109 (originally from the American Chess Bulletin, March 1920, pp. 45-46). Edward Winter notes that it is unclear why Capablanca didn't want to play prior to 1921. The consequence was that clause 15 stated that Lasker had the right to play a title match against someone else before 1921. Despite the signed contract, Rubinstein could have played a title match against Lasker, if he had raised the necessary funds. Also telling is Winter's comment on Capablanca's My Chess Career, published in early 1920 on p. 105: "...he also had to convince the chess world of his right to a world title match with Lasker." defending Capablanca from critics accusing him of self-laudation in this book.

(26) Winter, Capablanca, pp. 97-98 (originally from The Observer, 24 August 1919, p. 9).

(27) This was the fourth edition, Stockholm 1921, by Gustaf Collijn and Ludvig Collijn, written by Rubinstein, Richard Reti and Rudolf Spielmann (Aron Nimzowitsch also contributed). Sources are TLY, p. 26; AS, page Mysteries; there are also online resources from libraries, but the fourth edition is not publicly available.

(28) Toni Preziuso, Amerika! Amerika!, KARL 3/2013, pp. 36-37.

(29) Edward G Winter, The London Rules, 2008, http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/...

(30) Toni Preziuso, Amerika! Amerika!, KARL 3/2013, pp. 37-38. In 1923, Rubinstein tried to finance a trip to the USA as a part of his title campaign, but couldn't raise the money.

(31) Toni Preziuso, Amerika! Amerika!, KARL 3/2013, pp. 38-39 (Kagan gave the explanation in his Neueste Schachnachrichten, 1924, p. 176). According to Preziuso, it is not clear why Rubinstein wasn't invited. He was never considered and financial reasons appear unlikely.

(32) TLY, pp. 289-299. Wojciech Bartelski & Co., http://www.olimpbase.org/1930/1930i...

(33) TLY, pp. 368-371. Avital Pilpel, Rubinsteins Abenteuer im Heiligen Land, KARL 3/2013, pp. 46-49. For Rubinstein, the trip was not a success as he suffered a financial set-back.

(34) TLY, pp. 307-315. Wojciech Bartelski & Co., http://www.olimpbase.org/1931/1931i...

(35) Wiener Schach-Zeitung, July 1931, p. 220. Provided in "ANNO / Österreichische Nationalbibliothek"

(36) TLY, pp. 16-17. An advertisement for the book in the Wiener Schachzeitung can be seen here: http://anno.onb.ac.at/cgi-content/a... (Provided in "ANNO / Österreichische Nationalbibliothek").

(37) Wiener Schach-Zeitung, February 1936, p. 60 (originally from the British Chess Magazine). Provided in "ANNO / Österreichische Nationalbibliothek"

(38) Jeremy Gaige, Chess Personalia, 2005 (paperback edition), McFarland, p. 364.

(39) TLY, p. 19. Edward G Winter, Akiba Rubinstein’s Later Years, http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/...

(40) Garry Kasparov, On My Great Predecessors Part I, 2003, Everyman, p. 204)

(41) Interview with Vladimir Barsky, Kramnik Interview: From Steinitz to Kasparov, 15 May 2005, http://www.kramnik.com/interviews/61

(42) Interview on 5 June 2012, part 2, http://www.chessvibes.com/?q=report...


 page 1 of 42; games 1-25 of 1,035  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Rubinstein vs G G Bartoszkiewicz 1-017 1897 CorrespondenceC55 Two Knights Defense
2. Rubinstein vs NN 1-018 1902 ?000 Chess variants
3. Rubinstein vs Znosko-Borovsky ½-½24 1903 Kiev All-Russian chD53 Queen's Gambit Declined
4. Chojnacki vs Rubinstein 0-123 1903 Handicap tournament000 Chess variants
5. Chigorin vs Rubinstein 1-033 1903 KievC00 French Defense
6. M Lowcki vs Rubinstein 1-029 1903 RUS-ch03D31 Queen's Gambit Declined
7. Rubinstein vs S Levitsky ½-½38 1903 Third All-Russian ChampionshipD08 Queen's Gambit Declined, Albin Counter Gambit
8. Rubinstein vs Salwe 1-032 1903 Lodz mD05 Queen's Pawn Game
9. Rubinstein vs Dus Chotimirsky 0-175 1903 RUS-ch03D05 Queen's Pawn Game
10. Salwe vs Rubinstein 0-114 1903 LodzC50 Giuoco Piano
11. W Von Stamm vs Rubinstein 0-127 1903 Third All-Russian ChampionshipD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
12. Salwe vs Rubinstein 1-030 1903 Lodz mB57 Sicilian
13. Rubinstein vs P P Benko 1-018 1903 RUS-ch03A84 Dutch
14. Rubinstein vs V N Kulomzin 1-020 1903 Third All-Russian ChampionshipD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
15. S Izbinsky vs Rubinstein 0-136 1903 RUS-ch03C81 Ruy Lopez, Open, Howell Attack
16. Salwe vs Rubinstein 1-049 1903 ConsultationC55 Two Knights Defense
17. N E Kalinsky vs Rubinstein 0-139 1903 Third All-Russian ChampionshipC22 Center Game
18. Rubinstein vs S F Lebedev 1-059 1903 Third All-Russian ChampionshipC10 French
19. Salwe vs Rubinstein ½-½39 1903 RUS-ch03D02 Queen's Pawn Game
20. Rubinstein vs A Rabinovich 0-149 1903 Third All-Russian ChampionshipA84 Dutch
21. Rubinstein vs O Bernstein 0-125 1903 Third All-Russian ChampionshipC45 Scotch Game
22. Yurevich vs Rubinstein 0-164 1903 Third All-Russian ChampionshipA02 Bird's Opening
23. Rubinstein vs NN 1-022 1903 Handicap tournament ?000 Chess variants
24. Schiffers vs Rubinstein 0-121 1903 Third All-Russian ChampionshipC11 French
25. Rubinstein vs V Nikolaev 1-040 1903 Third All-Russian ChampionshipD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
 page 1 of 42; games 1-25 of 1,035  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Rubinstein wins | Rubinstein loses  
 

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 48 OF 48 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Mar-14-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Karpova: Dr. Emanuel Lasker, Berlin, September 11:

<Die Verhandlungen wegen der Partien des Matches Rubinstein-Lasker machen guten Fortschritt. Es ist zu hoffen, daß das Programm des Matches im Monat Oktober festgelegt werden kann. Wenn nun die Subskription auf das Buch des Matches einen günstigen Fortgang nimmt, wird der Kampf, für den sich allerorts großes Interesse kundgibt, im Frühjahr beginnen können.>

(The negotiations because of the games of the match Rubinstein-Lasker are making good progress. It is hoped that the program of the match can be determined in October. If now the subscription for the match book goes on favourably, the match, for which great interest is voiced everywhere, can begin in spring.)

Source: 'Pester Lloyd', 1913.09.14, p. 9

Mar-14-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Karpova: There was obviously a misunderstanding (although Dr. Lasker presumes it may have been intentional) to which the line quoted here Akiba Rubinstein gave rise:

<Ein solcher Wettkampf soll ja nicht der Eitelkeit der Spieler dienen oder eine Meinung über deren Stärkeverhältnis klären, sondern vor allem Tausenden von Schachfreunden Freude machen.>

(Such a match shall not serve the players' vanity or settle an opinion on their strength relation, but foremost bring joy to thousands of chess friends.)

The 'St. Petersburger Zeitung' now assumed the match would not be taken seriously, as the players played without inner solicitousness (as they didn't play because of vanity or relative strength) and the 'Wochenschach' adopted the misunderstanding without correcting it.

So Dr. Lasker makes clear how it was meant. <Wenn man sagt, der Mensch lebt nicht, um zu essen, heißt das etwa, daß der Mensch nicht esse?> (If you say that men don't live to eat, does that perhaps mean that men don't eat?). He merely wanted to stress that there are also completely different motifs for a world championship (not just those misconceptions (<Wir haben gegenüber falschen Auffassungen der Weltmeisterschaftskämpfe hervorheben wollen [...].>)). World championship matches are unlike private games, they are an ostantation and the personal has to take a back seat.

Source: 'Pester Lloyd', 1913.10.19, p. 9 (written in Berlin, October 16)

Mar-15-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Karpova: Dr. Emanuel Lasker, Barmen, November 6:

<Die Unterhandlungen mit den Klubs wegen Uebernahme der zwanzig Partien des Wettkampfes mit Rubinstein machen erfreulichen Fortschritt. Die Orte, wo vierzehn der Partien gespielt werden, sind bereits festgestellt. Es sind dies die Städte Berlin, Frankfurt, Moskau, Lodz, Warschau. Außerdem sind Verhandlungen im Gange mit Zürich und Malmö.>

(The negotiations with the clubs because of acceptance of the 20 games of the match against Rubinstein make pleasant progress. The venues where 14 games will be played, have already been determined. These are the cities Berlin, Frankfurt, Moscow, Lodz, Warsaw. Furthermore, negotiations are under way with Zürich and Malmö.)

Source: 'Pester Lloyd', 1913.11.09, p. 11

Apr-19-14  thomastonk: Recent news on his date of birth: http://www.kwabc.org/index.php/17-l....
Apr-19-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Karpova: <thomas>

Thanks for the interesting news item! I updated the biography.

Apr-19-14  thomastonk: <Karpova> Thank you for the update! I wasn't completely sure (-> Editorial in "Karl", 3/2013), and so I left it to the expert.
Apr-22-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Stonehenge: Should be updated here too:

User: RubinsteinLife

Jun-17-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Karpova: Hermann Helms: <Rubinstein who is staying with his wife at the Hotel Majestic in Manhattan, smiled good-naturedly when told about Capablanca's latest whim. The Polish expert is on excellent terms with the former world champion.>

Source: 'Brooklyn Daily Eagle', 16 February 1928, p. 4A, http://bklyn.newspapers.com/image/?...

Found by Christian Sánchez (Rosario, Argentina) and posted in C.N. 8689, http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/..., as Rubinstein opposed Capablanca's proposed changes to chess.

Jul-06-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: Information on Rubinstein circumstances immediately after the Second World War from Chess Review. Mrs Genia Rubinstein "We are alive. Akiba is much better and he will give a simultaneous exhibition in February. We have lost everything and we haven't even a place to live. We are staying in the home of the famous Belgium painter Kurt Leiser at 44, Rue du Chateau d'Eau, (Uccle) Brussels. We need assistance".

<Chess Review page 12, March 1945>.

Isador Samuel Turover was shown Chairman of the Rubinstein Relief Committee. He was a wealthy patron who had lived in Belgium before emigrating to the United States

"His son writes. It gives me pleasure to inform you that my father, who was in an asylum during the occupation, is in a satisfactory condition, as is our entire family. He has even began to play in public (for 12 years he had refrained from playing in public) and on the second of this month (March) will give a simultaneous exhibition against the players of the first category of Brussels."

<Chess Review page 4, May 1945>.

Aug-30-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Karpova: Regarding Akiva's participation in the 4th All-Russian Championship (1906) in St. Petersburg:

<Für Spieler, die dem israelitischen Kultus angehören, wurde das Aufenthaltsrecht in St. Petersburg während der Dauer des Turniers vom Ministerium des Innern erwirkt.> (For players, who are members of the israelite cult, the right of residence in St. Petersburg for the duration of the tournament was effected by the interior ministry.)

Source: 'Wiener Schachzeitung', May-June, p. 172

Dec-12-14  The17thPawn: There must have been a time when men were demi-gods - or they could not have invented chess. - Gustav Schenk I could not help but think this was true after seeing the 1907 masterpiece Rubinstein played against Rotlewi in my youth. Despite the many amazing games by the world champions, Rubinstein's best efforts always left me awed in a way I could never describe.
Dec-12-14  RookFile: There is something about an excellent Rubinstein game that makes all of us say: "This is what chess is supposed to be."
Apr-13-15  A.T PhoneHome: Akiba Rubinstein acknowledged the importance of strategical chess, but even then he did not avoid tactical twists. I consider him to be openings expert, strategical mastermind and endgame artist and his Rook endgames have taught us the importance of endgames in general.

While his stay at the very peak of the chess world wasn't as long as one might expect, he gave us principles that will be accepted for ages, maybe eternally!

Apr-14-15  Howard: Rubinstein had the best tournament record in the world from 1907-1912---no ands, buts, or ifs. In particular, the year 1912 has been nicknamed "the Rubinstein year" because he took first place in 4-5 events that year.

That, by the way, was a record at the time. I think it was Larsen who broke it in 1967.

May-05-15  thegoodanarchist: <offramp: I think that the best chess book that has not yet been written is <The Collected Chess Journalism of Akiva Rubinstein>.

Someone would have to translate it from the Yiddish.>

I'm on it.

May-12-15  TheFocus: <Question to Rubinstein: "Who is your opponent tonight?" Answer: "Tonight I am playing against the black pieces."> - Akiba Rubinstein.
May-19-15  TheFocus: <Rubinstein's games flow along so smoothly and easily, and are so pleasant to play over, that one is apt to forget that they also offer valuable instruction> - Irving Chernev.
May-19-15  TheFocus: <Another of Rubinstein's characteristic features is his dislike for melodramatics. Empty rhetoric and pretentious moves alike shock him to the core!> - Aron Nimzowitsch.
May-19-15  TheFocus: <Judging by his style of play he may be accounted an Epigonus. He had adopted the style of his period, that is to say the scientific chess style, and he brought it to the highest stage of artistic perfection> - (on Rubinstein) - Richard Reti.
May-19-15  TheFocus: <A championship contender in the early twentieth century needed charisma and a knack for cultivating sponsorship, and Rubinstein was the epitome of the shy and unsocial chess player. Now matter how great his chess skills, he lacked the people skills to be a self-promoter and fund-raiser> - Garry Kasparov.
May-19-15  TheFocus: <Rubinstein is the type of man who lives only for his self-appointed task, a veritable ascetic; who denies himself the slightest pleasure, that might have any deleterious influences on his chess playing capacity> - Richard Reti.
May-19-15  TheFocus: <It is not a matter of a fight for him, but the working out of a victory, and so his games create the impression of a great structure from which one stone dare not be shifted> - (on Rubinstein) -Richard Reti.
May-23-15  TheFocus: <During the height of his fame, Rubinstein was by no means so hard to beat as many other masters- for example, Capablanca and Schlechter. He was often defeated in the first round of a tournament, but his serene, apparently colorless method of building up his game was in reality far more powerful and dangerous to his opponents than Capablanca’s ‘safety play,’ and therefore he usually obtained a very high percentage of wins, despite one or more losses> - Gideon Stahlberg in Chess and Chessmasters.
May-23-15  TheFocus: <It is easy to pick out Akiva Rubinstein as another favorite player, even though he had some chess and psychological limitations. As a player, he was an anachronism. When the hypermoderns were triumphing, he was not one of them. Yet he was surely a great classical player> - Bent Larsen.
May-25-15  TheFocus: <His style is of extraordinary fineness, and his knowledge of the game can hardly be surpassed by any living player> - Emanuel Lasker on Akiba Rubinstein.
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