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Akiba Rubinstein vs Jose Raul Capablanca
Berlin (1928), Berlin GER, rd 12, Oct-26
Indian Game: Yusupov-Rubinstein System (A46)  ·  1/2-1/2

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-03-04  Whitehat1963: Has Capablanca ever seen an even exchange that he didn't like? It's as though he can't wait to get to the endgame, even if it's an even endgame.
Mar-03-04
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: An exciting ending! <Whitehat1963> What are you talking about?
Mar-03-04  Whitehat1963: <Calli>, not necessarily talking about this game. It just seems as though Capablanca loves to simplify and get to the endgame.
Mar-28-05  Karpova: <Whitehat1963>
capablanca knew how to strengthen his position by exchanging pieces. this can be observed quite often. especially against opponents who play for a draw.

a superb endgame and thrilling fight!

Mar-28-05  colp99: Yes. A great game by Capablanca.
Mar-28-05  white pawn: That poor a-pawn was so close :'(
Mar-28-05  Hinchliffe: A beautifully crafted draw by Rubinstein who must have seen the passage of play as far back as move 23.Qf3 (if not slightly earlier). A classic example of a little hardcore calculation leading to a very precisely engineered conclusion.
Mar-28-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: Rubinstein was trying to win. It was Capablanca who found a precise order of moves to avoid losing (24...a5! etc). We might be able to find a better attacking line for White earlier in the game.
Oct-23-05  sneaky pete: <a better attacking line for White earlier in the game> 20.Rxb7 .. and 23.g6 .. have been suggested.
Mar-13-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Very similar to this famous draw:

Rubinstein vs Capablanca, 1914

Mar-22-06  CapablancaFan: I personally like this draw between Capa and Rubinstein here. Good play on both sides of the board. True, Rubinstein forces Capa to give up his queen, but Capa has a trump card...the (a) pawn! After the ensuing exchanges Capa has a pawn sitting on the seventh rank. Rubinstein soon realizes he can't make anymore progress and he dare not give Cap another tempo. He wisely decides to call it a day and draw the game.
Dec-11-06  notyetagm: My favorite example of the saying <Passed pawns guarantee counterplay>.

Here the powerful Black passed a-pawn allows Capablanca to draw what looks like a lost position, with those two White rooks ("pigs") doubled on the 7th rank.

Jun-23-09  Bridgeburner: This qualifies as a perfect game as neither side made a mistake.

The outcome was more or less determined by Capablanca’s <15.Rfc8>: The king rook was brought to that square to save the tempo consumed deploying the queen rook to <c8>(<a6> had to be played before the QR could be moved).

BUT… the removal of the king rook from <f8> leaves one less defender around the Black king AND there is no way Black could avoid the discovered attack that <16.Rad1> created on the d-file BUT the drawback of this move is that it left the queen side pawns unprotected. <16.Rfd1> doesn’t work as well as after <17.Bxf6 Bxf6> Black’s DSB is attacking White’s rook at <a1>.

So of course White attacks the king side and Black snips at the queen side.

The next decision point had to be in respect of White’s 20th move. Position after <19…Kg8>:


click for larger view

<20.Rxb7 Qxa3 21.Qb5 a5! 22.Qd7 Rf8 23.bxa5 Rxa5> is a very drawish heavy piece ending as White’s extra pawn is going to be impossible to cash in when all the pawns are well defended and on the same side of the board.

If <20.Nd2 Qxa3 21.Qh5 Rf8 22.Ne4 Qb2>:

Now if <23.b5> then <23…a5!> creates that passed a-pawn again.

If <23.Rxb7 Rab8!> and all the queen side pawns end up dissolved, with the same drawish heavy piece endgame appearing with all pawns on the king side.

If <23.Rfd1>, the <23…b6> followed by <24…a5>, and there’s that pesky passed a-pawn again.

The move chosen by Rubinstein, <20.h4>, builds a poetic fluidity, a smooth choreography, into the outcome as the rest of the moves virtually choose themselves to provide an aesthetic finale.

This would have been a pleasing game for Rubinstein in what was a wretched tournament for him.

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