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Paul Johner vs Akiba Rubinstein
Bad Pistyan (1912), Pistyan (Piestany) AUH, rd 15, Jun-07
French Defense: Rubinstein Variation. Blackburne Defense (C10)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-09-07  Karpova: Seems that Johner was hoping for a win. 15.Rac1 would have lead to equality but 15.Nc6 was a mistake.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: How about 25. Rxa8 Rxa8 26. Nxc7 Rc8 27. Nb5 Rc2 28. Rd1? White's certainly worse, but not lost as far as I can see.

For that matter, why did Johner resign? Seems early.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: <Karpova> <15.Rac1 would have lead to equality but 15.Nc6 was a mistake>

Fritz gives an evaluation of (.00) (18 ply) for both 15.Rac1 and 15.Rfc1.

Also, Fritz finds White to be equal after 15.Nc6 Bd6 16.Bb7 (not 16.f3) Rae8 17.Nxa7: (.00) (18 ply) 17...Rb8 18.Bf3 b5 19.Nc6 Rb6 20.Ne5, or (.07) (18 ply) 17...Bd3 18.Rfd1 Be2 19.Re1 Bd3 20.Re3 Bf5 21.Nb5.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: <keypusher> 25.Rxa8 is White's best move according to Fritz, and was also recommended in the 1912 "The Year Book of Chess" and later in "Lesser-Known Chess Masterpieces: 1906-1915", <25.Rxa8 would have been better, but even then Black would have retained his advantage.>

Fritz indicates: 25.Rxa8 Rxa8 26.Nxc7 (-.54) (18 ply) 26...Ra3 27.Rf3 Bd6 28.Rc3 Ra1+ 29.Kf2 Bxh2.

Fritz indicates after 25.Rxa8 Rxa8 26.Nxc7, an almost equal position (-.09) (18 ply), for 26...Rc8.

Your question why Johner resigned is difficult to answer. Certainly in the final position White can put up considerable resistance.

One thing to consider is in "Lesser-Known Chess Masterpieces:1906-1915", with the game score taken from, "The Year Book of Chess", White's 25th move is given as 25.Rc2.

I believe 25.Rc2 was the move actually played in the game. This move is more logical than 25.Re2, because if White had played 25.Re2, Black could have immediately won White's Knight with 25...c6!.

However, even with the move 25.Rc2, it appears to be a difficult task for Black to win the final position.

Black does have a considerable advantage, and I am fairly certain someone can work out a winning line. Here is one possible continuation that seems to offer Black winning chances: 28.Kf2 Kf8 29.Rd3 Ra5 30.Nc3 Bxc3 31.Rcxc3 Ra2+ 32.Kf3 exd5 33.exd5 Rd6

Jun-13-13  Karpova: On page 371 of the 1912 'Wiener Schachzeitung', the following analysis is given: 25.Rxa8 Rxa8 26.Nxc7 Ra7 with advantage for Black. A sample line: 27.Nb5 Ra5 28.Nc7 Bc3 28.Rd1 Kf8 and White will have to sacrifice material in order to extricate the knight.

Regarding the resignation, they say that the White knight is cut off and if 28.d6 e5 followed by f6 and Back will finally win the d-pawn also.

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