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Akiba Rubinstein vs Jacques Mieses
"Monumental Mastery" (game of the day Apr-10-2008)
St. Petersburg (1909), St. Petersburg RUE, rd 7, Feb-23
Queen Pawn Game: Krause Variation (D02)  ·  1-0



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Given 13 times; par: 78 [what's this?]

Annotations by Emanuel Lasker.      [80 more games annotated by Lasker]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-22-05  Karpova: how does white win after 44...nd6: ?
Mar-22-05  aw1988: The knight simply returns, aids the pawn and the king captures black's only pawn, after which he may then promote.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Karpova>
After 44...Nxd6 45. Nxd6+ is a win according to Nalimov tablebase (, bookmark this page!)

I haven't looked at the tables (except to confirm it's a win), but a win that's easily understandable for human players is:

44...Nxd6 45. Nxd6+ Kg6 46. Ne4 Kh5 47. Nf2 Kh4 48. h3! Kg3 49. Kd5. If 49...Kxf2, 50. h4 and the pawn queens, so now White's king is free to take care of the a-pawn. The tables may have faster wins.

Mar-22-05  Sydro: 45.Nxd6+ 45...Kg6 46.Kd5
Not much black can do. White will use king to capture black's pawn and let knight protect white's pawn.
Mar-22-05  Karpova: <aw1988> <beatgiant>

thank you very much!

Aug-24-05  Raskolnikov: Kmoch gives 9.♘f5 an exclamation mark, but I don't agree: black can play 9...♗:b5 e.g. 10.♕:d8 ♔:d8 11.♘:b5 ♘:e4 12.f3 a6! compare F Schubert vs G Marco, 1915. If 10.♘:b5 ♕a5+ 11.♘c3 ♘:e4 12.0-0 Black should not capture on c3 but simply develop his pieces. Further play of Rubinstein deserves (as usual ) study.
Dec-01-07  Karpova: Emanuel Lasker: <Rubinstein conducted the endgame of this game with monumental mastery.>

Source: Akiba Rubinstein - Uncrowned King by Donaldson/Minev

Apr-10-08  CapablancaFan: Instructive endgame technique, worthy of study.
Apr-10-08  Karpova: After 17.Bxc5

click for larger view

Lasker critisizes this move but Razuvaev writes: <A surprising decision. White exchanges his strong bishop. Rubinstein's idea will be clear after the 19th move>

After 17...Rxc5 18.Rac1 Nc6 [see diagram]

click for larger view

Lasker calls 18...Nc6 a mistake and suggests 18...Rc7 followed by ...0-0 instead. Kmoch: <Relatively best appears to be 18...Rc7. White, however, replies with 19.Na4! and retains the advantage>

After 18...Rc7 19.Na4

click for larger view

Kmoch gives (18...Rc7 19.Na4) 19...Nc6 20.Ke3 0-0 21.Nc5 Nd4 22.Nd3 for example [see diagram]

click for larger view

Kmoch concludes with <The exchange 17.Bxc5 was therefore well considered!>

Source: "The Life & Games of Akiva Rubinstein - Volume 1: Uncrowned King" by IM Donaldson and IM Minev, 2nd edition, page 184.

Apr-10-08  Philidor: I don't get it. Black had several chances to draw! For God's sake, why didn't he just take the damn pawn on move 40? The only explanation is that he must have thought he could get the whole point - instead he didn't even get half of it!
Apr-10-08  arnaud1959: <Philidor> White's plan is simple. The ♔ takes care of capturing the black ♙'s while the ♘ takes care of protecting the ♙ on f1 (or on g1 with the ♙ on h3 etc.) waiting for the ♔ coming back to help it.
Apr-10-08  nhat8121: this is a draw...
Apr-10-08  Karpova: <Philidor: I don't get it. Black had several chances to draw! For God's sake, why didn't he just take the damn pawn on move 40? The only explanation is that he must have thought he could get the whole point - instead he didn't even get half of it!>

After 40...Nxd6 41.Kxd6 [see diagram]

click for larger view

a) 41...a5 42.Kxe5 -> Black faces Mate in 20
b) 41...Kc8 42.Kxe5 -> Black faces Mate in 17
c) 41...Ke8 42.Kxe5 -> Black faces Mate in 19

<nhat8121: this is a draw...>

How? In the final position, Black faces Mate in 22 after 44...Nxd6 45.Nxd6.

Results thanks to Nalimov Tablebases:

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: Black could have saved his b pawn and most likely achieved a draw by 30...Kc7.

click for larger view

If there is a clear path for white to win at this point, it escapes me.

Apr-10-08  kevin86: An odd finish-for most of the ending,white is down a pawn-yet he still wins!
Apr-10-08  Zorilla: If Black NxP ... then it is a Draw.

You can not mate with just a knight.
How is this a win for White?

Apr-10-08  Zorilla: Disregard .... I didn't see the last pawn in the corner!

Nov-28-09  WhiteRook48: 17 Bxc5 has pros and cons
Dec-07-10  Rama: I disagreed right away with the note. You just know that black N is going to be a pest; it should die Bxc5.

♖ubinstein's mastery lay in maintaining control of the square in front of his pawn with the N while the K protects it. That's the reason for the exclam on move 33 and he does it again on move 42.

In the final position the key is that white's K is within the queening square of the black Pawn, a8-a5-e5-e1.

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