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Akiba Rubinstein vs Alexander Alekhine
London (1922), London ENG, rd 12, Aug-15
Slav Defense: Czech Variation. Classical System (D18)  ·  0-1



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Given 27 times; par: 94 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-21-04  Hidden Skillz: impossible to attack 2 passed pawns..
Feb-21-04  ruylopez900: Actually it is, here is the pgn to such a game.

[Site "CANADA"]
[Date "????.??.??"]
[White "Lu, C."]
[Black "Ray-Chaplin, M."]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D31"]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 e6 4. Nf3 dxc4 5. a4 Bb4 6. e3 b5 7. Bd2 Qe7 8. axb5 Bxc3 9. bxc3 cxb5 10. Be2 Nf6 11. Ne5 Bb7 12. Bf3 a6 13. O-O O-O 14. Bc1 Qc7 15. Ba3 Re8 16. Bxb7 Qxb7 17. Rb1 Qe4 18. Qe1 Nd5 19. Bc5 f6 20. Nf3 Qd3 21. Rc1 Nc6 22. Bd6 f5 23. Kh1 a5 24. Kg1 Red8 25. Bc5 b4 26. cxb4 axb4 27. Ng5 Re8 28. Rd1 Qa3 29. Rc1 Qa2 30. Nf3 Rec8 31. h3 Nc3 32. Kh2 Ne2 33. Rd1 c3 34. Rh1 Ra3 35. Rd3 Qb2 36. Nd2 Ne5 37. dxe5 cxd2 38. Qxe2 Rxd3 39. Qxd3 Qxe5+ 40. g3 Qxc5 41. Rd1 Qd5 42. Qxd5 exd5 43. Rxd2 Rc5 44. Rb2 Rb5 45. Rb3 Kf7 46. f4 Ke6 47. Kg2 g6 48. Kf2 h6 49. Ke2 Rb8 50. g4 Rb5 51. Kd2 Rb7 52. Ke2 g5 53. Kd2 Kf6 54. Kd3 Rb6 55. Kd4 Rb5 56. Rb2 gxf4 57. exf4 Kf7 58. Rb1 Ke7 59. Re1+ Kf7 60. Rb1 Kg7 61. Rb2 Kf8 62. Rb3 Kg7 63. Rb2 Kh7 64. Rb1 Kg8 65. Rb3 Kf8 66. gxf5 Ke7 67. Ke5 Kf7 68. f6 h5 69. h4 Ke8 70. Ke6 d4 71. f5 Rb6+ 72. Ke5 Kf7 73. Kxd4 Rb5 74. Kc4 Rxf5 75. Rxb4 Rxf6 76. Kd3 Rf2 77. Ke4 Rf1 78. Rc4 Kg6 79. Rc6+ Kg7 80. Rc5 Kg6 81. Rc6+ Kg7 82. Ke3 Rh1 83. Rc4 Kf6 84. Kf2 Kf5 85. Kg2 Re1 86. Rc5+ Kg4 87. Rc4+ Kf5 88. Rc5+ Kg4 89. Rc4+ Kf5 1/2-1/2

Note around move 26 Black has connected passed pawns, but by move 43 they have been neutralised.

Feb-22-04  Hidden Skillz: let me rephrase this situation dat alekhine was in..of course its possible to stop it wit some good def..what i meant was in this game..sorry for the misunderstanding..
Feb-23-04  drukenknight: 56 Kf3 looks suspect.
Feb-23-04  ruylopez900: <Hidden Skillz> ahh, sorry than, no offence meant =D

<drukenknight> Kf3 has the advantage of centralizing the king before dropping back to e2. If the king went by f1 he would be totally out of the action.

Feb-25-04  Hidden Skillz: nah man its all good..i think i didnt make myself clear..
Jun-25-04  Geronimo: This is a pretty cool game. What do folks say about 12.Ktxg6? Seen post-hoc, it seems to cost white valuable development tempi. After 15.Ktxe4, Ktxe4 white has no attack left. Were the exchanges sound?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <50.f4? e3!> It looks like this lost the game for White because White king now under a house-arrest. A resolute elimination of pawns should draw; lines can go something like this:

50.Kh3 Nf3! 51.g4 h4 (51.Bxe4? Ng5+) 52.g5! fxg5 53.Bxe4 Nd4 54.f4 Kf6 55.Kg5 gxf4 (55.fxg5 Kxg5 56.f6 Kxf6 57.Kxh4 also draws, but it requires much more precision) 56.Kxf4 ... and maybe ... 56...h3 57.Kg3 Nxf5+ 58.Kxh3 Ke5 59.Bd3 Ne3 60.Kg3 Kd4 61.Bg6 Kc3 62.Bf7 Nc2 63.Kf2 Nd4 64.Ke1 Nxb3 65.Kd1...=

Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: <drukenknight>56. ♔f3 looks suspect.

A better try was 56. g4, although Alekhine's analysis shows that Black still wins after 56....♘d4 57. g5 fg5 58. fg5 ♘f5 59. ♗f7 ♔d4 60. ♔f1 ♔d3 61. ♔e1 ♘h4 62. ♗d5 b3

Source: Edmar Mednis, "King Power in Chess", McKay Publishinbg, 1982

Sep-21-08  drukenknight: Graham I think he's right on that, but look on move 52 g4...

Uh OH. PROBLEM: the site has a different move order, they show the e4-f4-e3 sequence starting on move 51. Now I'm totaly confused, on black's 51st move they show his e pawn on e5 and white pawn on f2, I think that is the difference...

Jun-11-09  Bridgeburner: You have to seriously wonder about the state of Rubinstein’s mind in the post War period, when he comes up with plans like <20.a5>.

It doesn’t lose, but what was he thinking? In the circumstances, what was wrong with the natural <20.Rc2> followed by <21.Bb2> gaining a tempo on the White queen and forcing it off that nice central square, perhaps to <f5> where queen exchange could lead to an even endgame, incidentally preventing <Bc3> as occurred in the game? And why did Rubinstein studiously avoid doing something about the open d-file, leaving it to his opponent to make good use of?

Yet in spite of all that, Alekhine made a few inexact moves, and Rubinstein realized his omission and concocted an ingenious plan to take control of the d-file in return for a pawn, with what has to be full equality.

It’s these patches of brilliance by Rubinstein during these sorts of games that makes me really feel for the man. Hiding behind a potted palm after every move had to take its toll on his concentration. Especially when he came up with moves like <50.f4??> throwing away an easy draw that came with <50.g4>:

click for larger view

If now <50...h4> (50...hxg4 51.Kg3 e3 52.fxe3 Nf1+ 53.Kf2 Nd2 54.Kg3 Nf1+ 55.Kf2 Nd2 56.Kg3= or 50...e3 51.fxe3 hxg4 52.Kg3 Nf1+ 53.Kf2 Nd2 54.Kg3 Nf1+ 55.Kf2 Nd2 56.Kg3=)

then would follow a series of more or less forced moves: <51.Kh3 Nf3 52.g5 fxg5 (52…Nxg5 53.Kxh4=) 53.Bxe4> and a draw is certain with reasonable play, eg: <53…Nd4 54.f4 Kf6 55.fxg5+ Kxg5 56.f6 Kxf6 57.Kxh4 Nxb3> and White will always be able to sacrifice his bishop for Black’s last pawn.

Oct-04-11  druknight: Has anyone given any thought to 25...b5? with an eye to the bank rank issues of white.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sastre: If 25...b5, 26.Rxc3 bxc4 (26...Qxc3 27.Rxc3 Ra1 28.Bf1) 27.Rxc4 Rab8 28.R4c3 .
Premium Chessgames Member
  jessicafischerqueen: From the great <London 1922> tournament. <Alekhine> finished clear 2d behind <Capablanca>.

<"Rubinstein and Alekhine had a very hard battle. The game went on for some moves along the same lines as the Bogoljubow-Alekhine game.

(Bogoljubov vs Alekhine, 1922)

At the 6 o'clock adjudication Alekhine had slightly the better of it. On resumption of play a very difficult ending ensued in which Alekhine played well. Rubinstein, on the other hand, after having a comparatively easy draw, played <<<badly>>> and lost.">

--JR Capablanca
<The Times>
Aug. 16, 1922

Mar-13-12  optimal play: <Geronimo><What do folks say about 12.Ktxg6?> Up to and including 11...c5 the position was exactly the same as Bogoljubov vs Alekhine, 1922 played just five days earlier in round 8 of this tournament.

It seems that 12.Nxg6 doesn't look like much of an improvement over Bogoljubov's 12.f4 One would expect Rubinstein to have a plan ready if Alekhine tried the same Slav variation again but it looks more like he just wanted to exchange down in order to circumvent any plan that Alekhine may have prepared. As it turned out anyway it was the endgame where Rubinstein lost it.

Mar-17-12  Karpova: Moves missing here but included in the tournament book: 33...Rc8 <34.Rd2 Rd8 35.Rc2 Rc8> 36.h4

Donaldson & Minev: <Alekhine in 'My Best Games of Chess 1908-1923' and Glatman in the recent book 'Akiva Rubinstein's Chess Academy' omit the repetition on moves 34 and 35. We consider the tournament book a primary source and follow its score. This is an important detail, because now Rubinstein does not repeat the position, but chooses another continuation. This is a clear signal that he does not want to draw and is playing for a win.

In view of the tournament standings, Rubinstein's decision was not surprising. Going into the twelfth round of this fifteen-round event, Capablanca was leading with 9.5 followed by Alekhine at 9 and Rubinstein on 8.5. A draw here would have put Rubinstein a point and a half out of first, as Capa was winning his game.>

Page 60 of J. Donaldson and N. Minev 'The Life and Games of Akiva Rubinstein - Volume 2: The Later Years', 2nd edition, Milforld, USA, 2011.

Btw., this is Capablanca's game from round 12: C Watson vs Capablanca, 1922

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: One of two black wins by Alehkine, given to Rubinstein in 1922.

Rubinstein vs Alekhine, 1922

Jun-10-13  Whitehat1963: Brilliant finish!

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