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Savielly Tartakower vs Akiba Rubinstein
Moscow (1925), Moscow URS, rd 20, Dec-06
Bishop's Opening: Vienna Hybrid (C28)  ·  1-0



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Given 19 times; par: 60 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Mar-02-19  JimNorCal: No doubt about it, Tartakover had real talent!
There must have been days when he was sorry to live during a time of giants: Lasker, Capablanca and Alekhine.

Otherwise, he might have been World Champion

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Already knew this one, but still enjoyed replaying the game.
Aug-22-19  Cheapo by the Dozen: Many choices win at Move 34. My plan was to move the queen to e-file, so as to wind up ahead in material. Then as I checked the game, I saw that an immediate f6 worked comparably well.

I never got around to seeing that the game move, which protects the advancing f-pawn, was much better than either of those choices.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Deja vu
Aug-22-19  groog: Rather easy for a Thursday
Aug-22-19  agb2002: I know this classical (in every aspect) game.
Aug-22-19  stacase: I went move for move until 37.f7. I would have moved 37.fxe7 which probably still wins.
Aug-22-19  Lambda: I saw 34. Qe2 and then advancing the f-pawn, which goes into an ending a pawn up, which is enough to justify the continuation. You can think again after moves like 33...Qxe8 to see if you can find anything even better.
Aug-22-19  mel gibson: I didn't guess right.
Stockfish 10 says:

31. Rxg7

(31. Rxg7
(♖g3xg7 ♖e7xg7 ♘h5xf6 ♕d7-e7 ♘f6xe8 ♖g7-g8 ♕f2-f4 ♖g8xe8 f5-f6 ♕e7-e6 ♕f4-g5 ♖e8-g8 ♕g5xe5 ♕e6xe5 ♖e4xe5 ♖g8-f8 ♖e5-e6 h7-h5 ♖e6xc6 ♔h8-g8 ♔h1-g1 ♔g8-f7 ♖c6-c7+ ♔f7xf6 ♖c7xa7 ♖f8-e8 ♔g1-f2 ♖e8-f8 ♖a7-a4 ♔f6-e6+ ♔f2-g1 ♔e6-d7 g2-g3 ♔d7-d6 ♖a4-h4 ♖f8-e8 ♔g1-f2 ♖e8-h8 b3-b4 ♖h8-h6 b4-b5 ♖h6-f6+ ♔f2-e2 ♖f6-e6+ ♔e2-f3 ♖e6-h6 ♔f3-g2 ♖h6-e6 ♖h4-e4 ♖e6-h6 ♖e4-f4 ♔d6-d7 ♖f4-h4 ♖h6-e6 ♔g2-f2 ♖e6-f6+ ♔f2-e3 ♖f6-g6 ♖h4xh5 ♖g6xg3+ ♔e3-d2 ♖g3-g6) +4.36/45 165)

score for White +4.36 depth 45

Aug-22-19  saturn2: My choice was
31. Rxg7 Rxg7 32. Nxf6 Qd8 33. Nxe8 Qxe8 34. f6 Rf7 35. Qe3
Aug-22-19  patzer2: Black's decisive error appears to be 30...Kh8, allowing today's Thursday puzzle solution 31. Rxg7! +-.

Necessary instead is 30...Rf8 31. Kg1 ± (+1.00 @ 42 ply, Stockfish 10) when Black has practical drawing chances in a complicated position.

Earlier in the opening, I prefer 4...Na5 as in Black's win in Naiditsch vs Caruana, 2017.

Aug-22-19  cunctatorg: It's way harder than medium; not insane but hard!!
Aug-22-19  thegoodanarchist: 31.? White to play (and win!)

This famous combination was played in a famous game from the famed tournament in Moscow, 1925.

White's famous opponent, Rubinstein, had famously been a world champion contender in the previous decade.

Playing the White pieces was the soon-to-be-famous Savielly Tartakower, who also co-authored a famous chess book with his not-so-famous co-author, DuMond, (or was it DuMont?):

<500 Master Games>

Aug-22-19  TheaN: Despite the common knowledge of this game itself, the puzzle is not terribly hard either.

This one solves itself by deduction: you want the knight on f6, only g7 defends f6, after Rxg7, Nxf6 and Qf4 White wins all the material back and pushes through. Simplified version, but it works.

Aug-22-19  NBZ: It's important to see that after 34. Qf4 Re7 35. f6 Re6 36. Rxe5! wins: 36. ... Rxe5 37. f7 Re1+ 38. Kh2 Qf8 39. Qf6+ Qg7 40. f8=Q#.

Not seeing this idea of 36. Rxe5, I went for the inferior line 34. f6, which wins back the knight but gives up the f6 pawn. White is still a lot better, but it is not anything as easily winning as the game.

Aug-22-19  JimNorCal: No doubt about it, Tartakover had real talent!

There must have been days when he was sorry to live during a time of giants: Lasker, Capablanca and Alekhine.

Otherwise, he might have been World Champion.

Oh wait. I already said that this year.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <JimNorCal>

It’s a silly thing to say any time. Tartakower was a fine player and a great chess writer, but he was never a threat to be world champion at any point during his 50-year career, and I can’t think of any time in chess history when he would have been a threat. See for yourself.

Aug-23-19  JimNorCal: <key>, your chart shows Savielly as #2 in the world in 1921 behind Rubinstein IF you remove Capa.

I'd consider that WC potential.

No way did ST ever outmatch Capa, Lasker or AA. But he could hold his own against the rest of the pack. He "coulda been a contender", as they say in the movies.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <9 JimNorCal: <key>, your chart shows Savielly as #2 in the world in 1921 behind Rubinstein IF you remove Capa.>

Yes, at a time when chessmetrics ratings were meaningless because of the shutdown in international chess caused by World War I. By that point Lasker and Alekhine were markedly stronger than Rubinstein and Bogoljubow was roughly as good. Any of them would have been heavy favorites against Tartakower, Maroczy or Vidmar would have been even money, and of course let’s not even speak of Capablanca.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: I should have noted that Spielmann beat Tartakower in a match in 1921.
Aug-26-19  JimNorCal: <keypusher>:"I should have noted ..."

You should have noted that with Capa, Lasker and Alekhine on the scene, Tartakover had no realistic chance to be World Champ. If you imagine a chess world without those three, ST could conceivably have made it.

Aug-26-19  JimNorCal: Tartakover was competitive with Spielmann.

Classical games: Savielly Tartakower beat Rudolf Spielmann 18 to 14, with 29 draws

Ignoring draws, ST won their final decisive encounter. RS won the 3 previous games (1925 and 1926) while ST won the 3 before that (1923). The point being: Tartakover did not run up a plus score early which drained away after Spielmann hit his peak. No, they were competitive throughout.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <JimNorCal: Tartakover was competitive with Spielmann. >

You've now moved the goalposts so far that they're no longer in the stadium. And Tartakower is as far from being a threat to the world title as ever.

Aug-28-19  JimNorCal: "moved the goalposts"

Not at all, dear keypusher.
My contention: 1) with Lasker, Capa, AA in the mix it is unrealistic for GM Tartakover to dream of ever being World Champion. 2) without them, Tartakover was a valid contender.

You mentioned Spielmann as beating ST in a match. I responded that their overall record was competitive, indeed, ST held the edge.

You mentioned ChessMetrics showed ST never being at the top. I pointed out that ST was second highest at one point (if Capa is dropped).

With the Big Three to one side, Tartakover is clearly in the small group of likely WC contenders. How can this opinion possibly be considered silly?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Messiah: Very nice finish, it was satisfying to replay this classic game.
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