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David Janowski vs Akiba Rubinstein
Karlsbad (1907), Karlsbad (Karlovy Vary) AUH, rd 5, Aug-26
Four Knights Game: Spanish Variation (C49)  ·  0-1



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Given 36 times; par: 165 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-17-03  aulero: As stated by Razuvajev,

1) before this game no one saw the manouvre Ng6-Ne7-Ng8-Nf6 to dislodge the annoying Knight in e4;

2) neither before, nor after, one can find something similar to the manouvre Qd7-Qd8-Qb8-Qa7-Qc5-Qb4 to activate the Queen and try to obtain the advantage.

The end-game is a master piece.

Jan-17-03  ughaibu: Rubinstein was a very original player, this game is really a strategical masterpiece.
Jan-17-03  drukenknight: 40 Kh3 appears to have created some problems. what about 40 h4?
Oct-11-04  Swindler: Kmoch gives 40.c5 as best for White.

Another nice finess in this endgame is 60.Rf4+ forcing the King to d3 and therefore enabling 63....Rd7.

Jul-01-07  Karpova: Amazing game with Rubinstein making use of white's Queenside weaknesses in a highly original and logical manner - bytransferring the Queen over there via d8-b8-a7
Aug-06-12  LoveThatJoker: Guess-the-Move Final Score:

Janowski vs Rubinstein, 1907.
Your score: 189 (par = 162)


PS. Par is now 164

Apr-06-13  Cemoblanca: Wonderful Queen moves here:


My favorite move was 36.a5! to open the useful a-line (39...Ra8!). Enjoyed the whole game & especially the endgame. A truly (endgame) masterpiece by the great Akiba.

Dec-19-15  cunctatorg: This game must become a GOTD ... and Rubinstein is the predecessor of many great players including Botvinnik, Petrosian and Karpov!!
Nov-25-19  EdC: What if black doesn't exchange queens and just plays 37. Re1? How does white make progress?
Dec-22-20  MordimerChess: Very inspiring game. How often positions like that can appear in the games and players just agree for a draw. A completely new dimension for people in 1907 and must know ideas for players in 21st century!

Full video analysis of this game:

Premium Chessgames Member
  fiercebadger: for a similar but modern game see Shirov Polgar Madrid 1994
Jun-07-21  tbontb: A game famous for Black's 30th move! Later, 41.Kg4 (better Kg2) is misguided and exposes the K to mating threats, ultimately leading to loss of a pawn and the game. The last (forlorn) chance may be 58.Re2 Rf4+ 59.Kc3 Kg6. The move 60....Rf4+ is clever but simply 60....Rf7 also seems adequate (e.g. 61.c5 bxc5 62.b6 Rf4+ 63.Ke3 cxb6).
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Does 45.Ra3 offer White any cause for hope? If 45...Rh1, not 46.h4,h5X, but rather 46.Kh3. Superficially, the attempt to seize the a-file seems to drum up counterplay, but what sayeth the silicon monsters?
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <An Englishman: Good Evening: Does 45.Ra3 offer White any cause for hope? If 45...Rh1, not 46.h4,h5X, but rather 46.Kh3. Superficially, the attempt to seize the a-file seems to drum up counterplay, but what sayeth the silicon monsters?>

45.Ra3 Rh1 46.Kh3 Rh5+ is mate in five.

46.Rc2 is better but the h-pawn goes after ...Rg5+, ...Rh5+. Black is still threatening mate after ...Rxh2 followed by an exchange of rooks, so there's no time for the counterplay on the a-file to materialize.

Jun-08-21  SChesshevsky: <...45. Ra3 Rh1 46. Kh3 Rh5+ is mate in five...>

Yes, the crush on the kingside does seem quicker.

But on the plus side, 45. Ra3 can possibly eliminate the humiliation and shame of choosing to open the qside with 12. axb3 then letting the opponent take probably game winning advantage there. Maybe DJ can pretend 45. Ra3 was the plan all along.

Jan-03-22  Ivan Karamazov: <"neither before, nor after, one can find something similar to the maneuver Qd7-Qd8-Qb8-Qa7-Qc5-Qb4">

Questionable, viz.: J Mieses vs J Mason, 1901 including Qc3-d1-h1-h2-d6 (followed soon by Qxc5xa7). However, Rubinstein's execution seems to have been more accurate.

As <fiercebadger> suggests, also see: Shirov vs Polgar, 1994

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: 9 Qd2 had been played once before and has never been repeated since this game; 9 Re1 is the main line. In the previous 1898 game Black had played 10..Ne6; Rubinstein's 10..Be6 eliminated White's advantage of the two bishops. 15 d4 would have been more logical not releasing the pin.

Gelfand on 17 Bxf4?!:
"This is quite a serious mistake that soon leads to a slightly worse pawn structure, creating long term problems for White. The knight on h5 was not dangerous and the bishop on g3 was defending the king. With the bishop gone, White has to weaken his structure in order to kick the knight away from f4."

24..Ne7! was the start of an extended manoeuvre to exchange the white knight on e4. Gelfand thought it was possible that that Kasparov may have had the idea for the knight journey in the Kings Indian with ..Kh8, ..Ne7 to g8 to f6 to h5 after seeing this game. White clearly did not understand 29..Qd8! or he would have played 30 Ree1 preparing Qe3. Despite all of Black's clever play White would still have had enough counterplay after 40 c5; instead after 40 Kh3?..b6 Black was better. Marin pointed out that White's idea may have been 42 h4..Rh1 43 h5..Kh7 but he must have realized that after 44 Ra2..g6 45 hxg+..Kxg6 46 f4..e4! his king cannot survive.

Gelfand after 46 f4:
"This brilliantly illustrates how things have gone wrong for White. Only five moves ago he rejected making this committal decision, when he was reasonably active. But now he feels compelled to play it, when it is passive and loses a pawn by force. This is the nature of the squeeze. When you are under pressure you will usually have to make a concession or an unpleasant decision a number of times, and it is so easy to miss the moment when you have to accept that things are going wrong. You then find yourself in a situation where everything has gone entirely wrong."

Black had to avoid 65..Rg6? when after 66 Kf5 White gets enough counterplay to easily draw (66..g4? 67 Rc6 even wins for White).

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: I like how cute little plans integrate here - The knight rerouting then the Queen manoever to b4 based on the statistical dark square weaknesses.
May-31-23  TwoMinutesToMidnight: i think i have seen games where Kasparov manoevered his queen the same manner as Rubinstein here, so i guess this is where he learnt it from

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