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Alexander Alekhine vs Akiba Rubinstein
"Pale Ale" (game of the day Sep-05-2009)
Vilnius All-Russian Masters (1912), Vilna (Vilnius) RUE, rd 5, Aug-23
Spanish Game: Open Variations. Classical Defense (C83)  ·  0-1



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Given 65 times; par: 29 [what's this?]

Annotations by Savielly Tartakower.      [4 more games annotated by Tartakower]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Sep-05-09  anjyplayer: My sources told me the match was fixed.
Sep-05-09  ounos: <RookFile: The way Rubinstein slapped Alekhine around in this game was incredible.> He was aiming the fly, it temporarily landed on Alekhine. He apologized afterwards and all.
Sep-05-09  Sem: <Once> Some great kibitzing. Thanks.
Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: Rubinstein was only a figment of the fly's imagination. A sad loss for chess.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Rubinstein was under-rated. And Alekhine could have a bad day.

The bottle is NEVER the inly answer for Alex's defeats.

Sep-05-09  AnalyzeThis: There was no way that Alekhine saw 15...fxg6!! coming. Fantastic move, the move of the game. I bet that white would have been ok with the other capture.
Sep-05-09  fhl: nice game
Sep-05-09  WhiteRook48: an ouch to Alekhine
Sep-05-09  taliakarpovia: Schlehter and after Rubinstein..Sometimes they taught lasker what also chess is..:))) even to young alekhine..
Sep-05-09  hope62: To Once.... yes what you says is exactly what Purdy says about how to master opennings and early middlegames. that is. The key are the rooks!!!!
Sep-06-09  rigel1503: Again to Once: What you say about rooks is very insightful. When I played over games from Horowitz's book "Golden Treasury of Chess" the great combos and sacrifices so often involved the ability to rapidly bring the rooks into play and instinctively know the files where they will be most effective. Two rooks are nominally equal to queen, and often beginners ignore them. It's the equivalent of playing with an extra queen if you know how to use them in the opening and middle game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: I think the trickiest thing about rooks is the preparation. Getting the pieces off the back rank is part of rook activation. Who was it who said "castling is a rook move"? And then those funny little Re1 or Rd1 moves, often a long time before the combination strikes. Quiet, deadly, subtle.

<rigel1503> Don't know the Horowitz book - do you recommend it?

Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: Do you care to explain, <kevin86: The bottle is NEVER the inly answer for Alex's defeats.>
Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: I agree that the move 15...fxg6! was imaginative, but all that Black has achieved so far is equality. White has a sound development plan in ♘df3, ♕e2, ♖d1 and ♘d4. White cannot allow the rook sacrifice, so he has to play carefully there, but the position is even.
Oct-22-09  fischerstein: What the heck?? 13Qe1?? 14Nh2?? Alekhine MUST have been drunk, those are beginner level blunders. also, the way he practically ignores black's attack later on is extremely unlike a sober Alekhine. Or, maybe he just didn't give a F$#k about this game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Rubinstein's other victory against Alekhine with the black pieces : Alekhine vs Rubinstein, 1910
Dec-20-11  optimal play: In the accompanying annotations by Savielly Tartakower he notes at move 12.h3 "The most reasonable course here is 12.Re1, guarding the e-pawn." That's exactly what Alekhine played against Levenfish the year before Alekhine vs Levenfish, 1911 That game ended in a draw after 45 moves, however in this game he plays h3 before bringing his Queen across to e1 and doesn't move his rook until it's too late. Maybe Alekhine had an idea to improve on that previous game but it certainly backfired against the best player in the world in 1912.
Dec-20-11  visayanbraindoctor:

click for larger view


click for larger view

Typical thematic sac that weakens the pawn structure protecting the King, which we just saw recurring in Carlsen vs Nakamura, 2011

Premium Chessgames Member
  Garech: Great game from Rubinstein - how many of us would have immediately played 15.hxg6 -capturing towards the centre and opening up the h file instead?



Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: I like these old games. Just enough annotation. Not too much (e.g. N Davies vs The World, 2008) and not too little (e.g. NN vs Lucena, 1497).
Nov-27-13  Karpova: Garry Kasparov: <The game is important mainly because it clearly demonstrates that, thanks to his chess genius, Rubinstein was capable of blazing completely new trails.>

Source: 'On my Great Predecessors Part I', Everyman, 2003, p. 203

Oct-23-14  Cheapo by the Dozen: <Gregor Samsa Mendel>'s comment from a decade ago looks correct. ... Qh5 will threaten both ... Nf2++/Qh8# and ... Nf4+ winning the queen. If White has cleared the f-pawn so as to allow Qh2, then ... Nf4+/Qxh2 still leaves Black with a material-winning double check. To avert ALL of that, White would need to try something like

28 Rf1 Qh5
29 f4 N(h3)xf4+
30 Qh2 Qxh2+
31 Kxh2 Nd3+

Black has 5 pawns for the exchange in that line; and probably there's some variation for him that's substantially better yet.

Nov-28-14  MindCtrol9: This is a really good concept of what position is which was the key to win this game.What excellent moves by Akiba R.looking for squares to place his pieces.This is what I call a Master.Every player has good and bad days, but this one was special beating Alekhine so easy in this game.Like I have said before:the players from the past were stronger no matter what anybody thinks against.One of the reasons is less madness in their minds.
Jun-02-15  scheidt: Rubinstein can play along like a strong club player and then do one or tow moves beyond the level of a strong club player. Such simplicity requires to see the depth of such moves and also to play so such moves can exist. For this, it takes a grandmaster. In this game Alekine 14 Nh2 appears to be sound strategy by prior play, yet Rubenstein's 14 Bg6 and fxg6 takes strategy to a deeper level.
May-12-17  User not found: Great little game but I wonder if Alekhine just didn't think 19..Rxf3 would lead to anything other than a fruitless tactical onslaught that would end with him weathering the storm and being a piece up. Other than Rubinstein missing it once on his 18th move Alekhine had the chance to play the simple 19.Qe2 that renders RxN useless...

click for larger view

After 18..Qd7? I like Nbd4 for white even if the engine prefers other moves.

If I was playing a serious game 18..Qd7 is the equivalent of a tell in poker, it raises suspicions because he's placing the queen on the h3-d7 diagonal. It opens up to <possibly> Nf4 clearing the diagonal line towards the weak h3 pawn which is <only> defended by g2 which itself is overworked defending f3!

I go through Fischer's game's and they baffle me, I have to go back and forth through moves trying to understand the ideas behind them. I go through <some> of Alekhine's games and I don't get the same confusion, I see the idea behind things a lot clearer. I still prefer the old early 20th century games because they're more Hollywood, more tactical and more mistakes. Chess must have changed dramatically between 1910-1960, even more so than the difference now between 1960-2000 onwards in the engine era of precision chess. These players wouldn't stand a chance against an average 2600 of today <IMO>.

But what do I know :)

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