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Ossip Bernstein vs Akiba Rubinstein
St. Petersburg (1914), St. Petersburg RUE, rd 6, Apr-29
Four Knights Game: Spanish. Rubinstein Variation (C48)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
May-19-04  Whitehat1963: Who misses the win? Where?
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <Who misses the win? Where?> Rubinstein allows Bernstein to get a series of irritating checks at move 61 before his King has any real shelter.

Instead of 60...Kc6 which allows 61 Re6+ and a long queen ending, why not 60...c4 straight away.

Here is a line I checked with Shredder 8

60...c4 61 b4 axb3 62 axb3 Rf3 63 Kg2 cxd3 64 cxd3 Rxd3 65 Rf1 Rxg3+ 66 Kxg3 Qxf1 67 Qxg6+ Kc5 68 b4+ Kb5 69 Qxh5 Qg1+ 70 Kh3

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Now after 70...Kxb4 White's queen alone can't hold back the d pawn.

Oct-03-16  Howard: Yes, the tournament book verifies what you've posted.

After 60...c4, Black threatens both ...Rxc2 and also Qf3. Either move should win.

Jan-04-20  zydeco: This wasn’t Rubinstein’s tournament. He wins a pawn out of the opening and it proves to be nearly worthless. 10.Bxe8 is a very strange decision.
Jan-04-20  Granny O Doul: Just seeing the move on the scoresheet, without considering the position, how could "10.Bxe8" be any good?
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: For all the criticism which has been levelled at 10.Bxe8, Bernstein's play preceding that exchange is passive and hardly beyond reproach; if he leaves the light-squared lump of lead on the board, it faces a wall of granite and is not precisely in the mould of the bishop which often wreaks havoc against f7 in the open games.
Jan-06-20  zydeco: <perfidious> Maybe you're right. 7.Ne2 was a weak novelty.

10.Bxe8 basically loses a pawn though, since if white tries to hold onto the pawn with 12.Bf4 then 12....f6 13.exf6 Qxf6 14.Bxc7 Bxf3 15.Qxf3 Qxf3 16.gxf3 Rac8 17.B moves Re2 and black is much better - he'll recover the pawn on c2 and keep a rook on the seventh.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <zydeco>, the line you give after 12.Bf4 indeed looks unpleasant for Bernstein and I doubt any strong player would willingly go in for it.

Given time, White would like to get h3, c3 and 0-0 in, but unfortunately he has not time for all this. As <Granny> noted, from an aesthetic standpoint, 10.Bxe8 doesn't look too hot either. Alternatives? An obvious one is 10.c3, but White needs development and king safety above all else and this does nothing to further either cause.

Jan-06-20  zydeco: <Perfidious> Just castle and play chess. The light-squared bishop isn't great but black's dark-squared bishop is also fenced-in. It's just equality at that point.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <zydeco>, I never could play. (laughs)

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