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George Alan Thomas vs Akiba Rubinstein
Baden-Baden (1925), Baden-Baden GER, rd 2, Apr-17
Spanish Game: Closed Variations. Chigorin Defense (C98)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jun-22-08  Lutwidge: Exceedingly well defended by Black.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: Rubinstein was loyal to the Chigorin variation throughout his career.


O Bernstein vs Rubinstein, 1907, which only deviated from this game after:

<21. Be3> Bd7 22. Qe2 Ra8 23. Nd2 Kh8 24. b3 Qb7 25. Bd3 Ra6 26. Rgb1 Rfa8 and drawn.


Bogoljubov vs Rubinstein, 1926; Bogoljubow tried <14.a4> three times against Rubinstein in 1925-26, but could not win once as white.

Thomas appears to have gone wrong just before move 40 (time pressure?).

click for larger view

<39. Nde4> appears to maintain equality, for example 39...Be7 40. Ng5 Bxg5 41. Bxg5 Bf5 42. Bxf5 Nxg5 43. Qxh5 Nxh5 44. Bxc8 Nf4 45. Nf5 Nf7 =

Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: White was in zugwang on move 58:

click for larger view

The White Queen has to stay on d6 to protect the Knight and to stop ...♗f5+. With no pawn moves, 58.♘b1 is forced, which loses the Knight a couple of moves later.

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Marin refers to this branch of the Chigorin variation as the Rubinstein system as he was the first player to use it on a regular basis. Lasker felt that 15 a4 was inaccurate and that White should concentrate on the kingside with 12 g4; not sure modern players would agree. 19 Kh1 was a wasted move; he eventually moves to h2 anyway. Marin criticized the maneuver 27 Nd2 and 29 Nb3 saying that the knight belonged on the kingside and that a better method of meeting Black's queenside play was 29 Qb1 followed by b4. Had White played 35 Bd1 the game could have continued 35..f5 36 Nxh5..Nxh5 37 Bxh5..f4 38 Qg6..Be8 39 Bd2..Bxh4 40 Bc1..Ng5 41 Qxe8+ (41 Qxd6+..Kg8 and the Black queen decisively penetrates on h3)..Qxe8 42 Bxe8..Kxe8 43 Nd2..f3 and White is helpless against the Black Kings march to f4. Tartakover says recovering the pawn with 41 Bxh5..Nxh5 42 Qxh5..Bg4 43 Bh6+..Ke8 44 Qg6..Qf5 leads to a lost ending for White. This is not obvious to me; in any event White's chances look as least as good in this line as in the game.

<<39. Nde4> appears to maintain equality, >

This indeed looks better than what White played.

Apr-01-12  Karpova: Tartakower: <The value of this game lies not so much in some sort of variation, but in the overall construction of that firm foundation of defense on which Black's counterattack develops. Rubinstein's style in this battle is indeed epic.>

Source: Page 140 of J. Donaldson and N. Minev 'The Life and Games of Akiva Rubinstein - Volume 2: The Later Years', 2nd edition, Milforld, USA, 2011.

Apr-01-12  JoergWalter: the knights on f7 and g7 prove effective. see also

Von Bardeleben vs Spielmann, 1908

Oct-31-13  Karpova: This is the game that moved Mihail Marin to write 'A Spanish Repertoire for Black'* as he says on page 33 of Karl 3/2013.


Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <GrahamClayton: White was in zugwang on move 58:

click for larger view
The White Queen has to stay on d6 to protect the Knight and to stop ...Bf5+. With no pawn moves, 58.Nb1 is forced, which loses the Knight a couple of moves later.>

OK, but isn't immediate mate with 57....Bf5+ better than zugzwang with 57....Kh6? Is there something wrong with the game score?

Nov-01-13  Karpova: <keypusher: OK, but isn't immediate mate with 57....Bf5+ better than zugzwang with 57....Kh6?>

Where is the immediate mate?

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <karpova>

Holy @#$%. This is when I wish I could delete day-old posts.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Some good annotations on this page, except for mine. SF suggests 42 c4! and it still seems pretty even. If …bxc4 the knight gets a very good square, while if …b4, then d5 is secure.

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