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Hermanis Karlovich Mattison vs Akiba Rubinstein
Karlsbad (1929), Karlsbad CSR, rd 4, Aug-04
Spanish Game: Exchange. Alekhine Variation (C68)  ·  0-1



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Given 46 times; par: 67 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Dec-16-02  ughaibu: This is a great endgame by Rubinstein demonstrating that a backward pawn isn't necessarily a disadvantage.
Nov-26-04  kostich in time: The editors of the tournament book(Spielmann, Tartakover, Becker, etc), asserted that if Rubinstien had won an endgame like this in the middle ages, he would have been burnt at the stake for practicing witchcraft!
Nov-26-04  jcmoral: So where is (are) white's mistake(s)? Is 33. g4 one of them? Or was he already lost by then?
Premium Chessgames Member
  akiba82: According to Kmoch, White should play 31.g4+ hg4 32.Rg4, since if 32... Rg4 33. fg4+ Kg4 34.cb5 ab5 35.a4 White wins with the remote passed pawn. Also in this line if 32... b4+ 33.Kd3 Rg4 34.fg4+ Kg4 35.Ke4 again White wins. So Black would play 32... Rh8, but White would retain drawing chances.
Premium Chessgames Member
  akiba82: <ughaibu ... a backward pawn isn't necessarily a disadvantage> According to Nimzowitsch, the disadvantage of a backward pawn is not so much that the pawn will become weak and fall, although that can happen, but that it allows a blockading square (here d5). The opponents pieces will find themselves less well placed, with less freedom of movement and less cooperation among themselves, until Black (in this case) can get in the freeing move d5. But these considerations only hold true if there is a certain amount of material on the board. By White's nineteenth move he no longer had any advantage because of all the simplification, so there was no need to retain the Black backward pawn. With 19.Re5 he has an easy draw.
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Afternoon: Absolutely one of the greatest endgames ever played. How on earth could Rubinstein have seen any winning chances in the position after 18 moves?
Mar-04-05  soberknight: A collection of games I once read pointed out that White could have forced the draw he was seeking with 19 Rxe5 dxe5 20 Rd1. Black must either concede the d-file or exchange into a dead-even pawn ending.
Mar-04-05  ughaibu: But black could recapture with the f-pawn getting a minority attack.
Mar-06-05  soberknight: That's true, but I still think it's a draw. Show me, ughaibu, how you would play black after 19 Rxe5 fxe5 20 Rd1 Kc7 21 c4?
Mar-06-05  ughaibu: I'm not Rubinstein. Maybe someone else wants to give it a go.
Aug-01-05  aw1988: Sorry to revive a dead animal, but it seems to me Black's only real try to get any kind of advantage in this line is b5, and once the (forced) opening of the b-file is realized then Rb8-b4-a4.
Aug-01-05  Koster: I think black's only advantage was that he was the better player. If the opening had been a little more modern I would have guessed it was a karpov win against an IM. At move 15 white is at least =, probably slightly better if he just doubles rooks. Ncd5 looks natural but removes a defender from the e pawn which Rubinstein threatens with Rhe8. A series of trades leads to an = position and if white just played 21.Kd2 and 22. Ke3 I bet it would soon be drawn. The key mistake might be 32.Re4ch instead of g4. It looks natural but gives black the strong Rf8. After this he is probably lost no matter what against an endgame master like Rubinstein.
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: soberknight, it's easy to win after 19.Rxe5. Just use a little witchcraft...
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: Wow: Nimzowich book on Karlsbad 1929 leaves this game out! Instead he presents three Rubi wins with white (Treybal, Gruenfeld, Spielmann). Nimzo was wrong.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: At the second look: The story of this endgame is the naieve play by Mattison. While Pd6 looks (and is) weak, Black king can adequately buttress it. On the other hand, a minority attack on the K-side is bound to create a soft spot or two in the White pawn structure. A transfer of white king to the center/K-side (Kc1-d2-e3) would have kept things safely under control. IMKO, <Koster> reads the endgame right.
Sep-03-06  notyetagm: The ending here is a perfect illustration of the endgame theme that widely separated passed pawns are better than connected pawns pawns.

In the final position, the Black d7-king can easily deal with the connected passed White f- and g-pawns.

On the other hand, the White e3-king cannot stop both of Black's widely separated passed c- and h-pawns from promoting.

Sep-03-06  notyetagm: It is just like Stean says in "Simple Chess", you want to introduce -width- into your endgame.

That is, in the endgame you want to create threats on the extreme flanks of the board because that will overstretch the defense.

Oct-02-06  Archives: Witchcraft!

<39.cxd5 h3 40.Kf2 <<<40.g5 h2 41.g6 h1=Q 42.g7 Qg2 >>> 40...c4 41.g5 h2 42.Kg2 c3 43.f4 <<<43.g6 c2 44.g7 h1=Q+ 45.Kxh1 c1Q+ 46.Kh2 Qg5 >>> 43...c2 44.Kxh2 c1=Q >

Jan-11-07  Karpova: If 32.g4 Kmoch gives:
32.g4 h4 33.g5 Rxg5 34.Rxh4 Rg6 35.Rf4 b4+ <and white soon loon loses either the Queen's Rook or the King's bishop pawn> i.e. 36.Kd3 Kf5 37.Ke3 Rg3+ 38.Kf2 Rc3
May-09-08  Vollmer: I looked at 19.Re1-Rxd5 20.exd5-Kd7 21.Kd2 which looks like a draw . The losing 19.Rhd1 was seen as better (+0.14) than either Re1 (+0.08) or Rxe5 20...fxe5 21.Rd1-Kc7 22.c4-b5 (+0.11) by CM9000 (so much for computer endgame analysis) . I would have chosen 19.Re1 btw .
Nov-27-08  sleepyirv: It looks more like a grandmaster draw than anything at move 18. The old adage "Nobody won by resigning" could be corrected to "Nobody won by resigning or offering a draw!"
Apr-19-09  schroedingers cat: I'd like to see Mattisons's face after this game :) First it looks like a draw, than BOOM! all of a sudden the position turns in the favor of the great Akiba.
Nov-21-09  MaczynskiPratten: Beheim and Barden suggest 26 b4 as better than b3, with some liquidation as opposed to passive defence.
Sep-13-11  ToTheDeath: Good way to squeeze something out of nothing, but White's play was very weak. A case of a strong player outclassed by a legendary player.
Oct-08-11  a1h8: Hi, I was wondering would 34. gxh5 not be better? (Did not see this mentioned above).

Then maybe 34..Rxf3+ 35.Kd2 bxc4 36.Rxc4 Rh3 37.Ra4 Kc7 38.Rxa6 Rxh5 39.Kc3 Rh3+ 40.Kc4

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