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Sandor Takacs vs Akiba Rubinstein
"Three Sacs of the Sandor" (game of the day Nov-20-2014)
Rogaska Slatina (1929), Rogaska Slatina YUG, rd 6, Sep-??
English Opening: Symmetrical. Three Knights Variation (A34)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Oct-12-04  Leviathan: I mean in 1929 :)
Oct-12-04  sneaky pete: Sandor is the Hungarian form of the (Greek?) original Alexander, just like Pete is an American form of (Latin) Petrus. The B instead of S here is just a typo.
May-22-05  WMD: < Very impressive game by Sandor Takacs! You're right though, <Resignation Trap>, 14. ... Rb8 would have been a very good move for black, I read in a book by Larsen that Botvinnik found the move in 1938.>

Yes, apparently during the post-mortem of Botvinnik vs Kasparian, 1938. Botvinnik thought 14.Nxb5!? axb5 15.Bxb5 Ba6 16.Bxa6 Rxa6 17.Rc8+ Ke7 18.Nc3 was more promising.

Fritz thinks White's best is simply 14.Bb3 bxa4 15.Bxa4 with a bind.

May-22-05  ughaibu: "with a bind" does Fritz get such enlightening evaluations from Fischer's book?
May-22-05  WMD: I've got the American version of Fritz. I call it Hal.
May-22-05  ughaibu: No tattoos then?
Aug-23-09  WhiteRook48: compelling chess
Dec-03-09  Ulhumbrus: After 8 Rxc1 White has four pieces developed to Black's none.

After 11....e6 White has four pieces developed to Black's none, but in addition his King's Knight has developed further.

After 13...b5 White has six pieces - all of his pieces- developed to Black's none, and both Knights have developed further. White has therefore an lead of no less than eight moves in development. The question is: how can he gain from this?

Takacs' answer is to start an attack with a double piece sacrifice.

The move 13 Nxe6! answers Black's attack on White's Queen's Knight not by trying to save it but by offering in addition White's King's Knight on e6. Takacs follows this with a third sacrifice, an exchange sacrifice on c8 by 16 Rxc8+.

Immediately after 16...Rxc8, the capture 17 Bxd7 begins to regain material and it gains shortly thereafter a Rook on c8 as well, for after 18 Bg4+ the move 18...Kc7 walks into the skewer Rc1+. After 20 Bxa6 the attack is over and White has three extra pawns.

White sacrifices two pieces for just two pawns as well as the exchange, so sacrificing in effect a Rook and bishop for two pawns. However White then regains a piece and a Rook as well as a third pawn, thus winning in the end, on balance, three pawns.

Dec-03-09  TheChessGuy: <sneaky pete> Right! In this case, his name is pronounced Shandor Takatsch.
Dec-03-09  Smothered Mate: The Taktacs certainly worked out for white here :-)
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: This game was awarded the First Brilliancy Prize for the tournament.
Feb-10-11  Marmot PFL: <After 8 Rxc1 White has four pieces developed to Black's none.>

These days 7...Nf4+ is usually played.

Apr-19-11  SeanBurdine: It's possible that Rubinstein overlooked 18 B-N4 dis ch!!, thinking instead that Takacs would have to play 18 BxR ch after which 18... KxB would leave Akiba a piece ahead in return for his Pawns and good chances in the endgame.

Rubinstein should definitely have resigned on move 20. I guess he wanted to salvage some pride.

Sep-30-11  Resignation Trap: Despite this loss, Rubinstein went on to win this tournament, ahead of such greats as Flohr and Maroczy. If you can't find the site on a map, it is now the Slovenian resort town of Rogaska Slatina. The European Club Cup is being played there even as we speak.
Nov-20-14  Amarande: Perhaps he had some faint hopes for a draw with Bishops of opposite colours?

Truth be told, if Black, say, were able to win White's f-pawn, and trade off the a-, g-, and h-pawns and the Rooks ... it actually *would* be a draw: pawns with only two empty files separating them don't win with Bishops of opposite colours. E.g.:

click for larger view


But it would have to be that specific way - if, say, Black won the e-pawn instead, pawns with *three* empty files separating them do win, although it's slow if the Pawns are not advanced, e.g.

click for larger view

(1 b4 or 1 Be8 wins in 40, although everything except 1 f4?? does win eventually)

It's hard to really suggest a resignation cutoff, unless you're a computer (and computers probably would play on a while too - Rybka is giving an eval of -2.31 for Black at depth 19 for move 20. ..., and from what I've read usually the threshold isn't to give up until a few moves with an evaluation more than doubly as bad. At the end it's -5.11 at the same depth, which might be enough to satisfy some CPUs of their defeat, too), though, and given that B's of opposite colours are one of the prime opportunities for human players to blow a won game, we can hardly fault Rubinstein for giving it a few more moves :)

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: BOOC works for a draw, but not three pawns and a lot of pawns on the board!
Nov-20-14  sfm: Incredibly brilliant.
Nov-20-14  Ayaend: I love this game ! Very nice sac and surprise
Nov-20-14  waustad: I don't get the pun, though coming from Cleveland I'd pronounce Sandor as "Shondor" the way people did when discussing Alex (Shondor) Birns. Later in life I've come to associate the name more with Sándor Kónya the heldentenor, who was a great Lohengrin.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Resignation Trap....If you can't find the site on a map, it is now the Slovenian resort town of Rogaska Slatina.>

The old references I have seen call this town Rohitsch-Sauerbrunn; bit surprising to see the header listing only 'Sauerbrunn'.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Bubo bubo: <Resignation Trap: This is a famous game, one of the best-known drubbings of a great grandmaster. It is sometimes used to illustrate the virtues of an advantage in development.>

Indeed, note the difference in developement by move 13: White has activated all his pieces including the king ;-), while in the black camp only the knight has left its stable.

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: Not a clue what the pun is.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gregor Samsa Mendel:
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: Boy, that's bad.
Jun-10-19  whiteshark: Even the great Rubinstein missed the best sequel after the shocking impact:

click for larger view

Black to move

1) =0.00 (32 ply) <14...Rb8> 15.Nc7+ Kd8 16.Bxf7 bxa4 17.e5 Rxb2+ 18.Kf1 Ba3 19.e6 Rxf2+ 20.Kxf2 Bxc1 21.Nxa6 Ke7 22.Rxc1 Bxa6 23.Rc7 Bb5 24.exd7 Rf8 25.Kg3 Bxd7 26.Bh5 Kd6 27.Ra7 Rf1 28.Ra6+ Ke5 29.Ra7 Kd6

2) +1.06 (31 ply) 14...fxe6 15.Bxe6 Ne5 16.Bxc8 bxa4 17.f4 Ng6 18.f5 Ne5 19.Rd5 Ng4 20.e5 Be7 21.Bd7+ Kf8 22.f6 gxf6 23.Bxg4 Rg8 24.Rc4 Rb8 25.exf6 Bxf6 26.Kf3 Bxb2 27.Bf5 Rg7 28.Rxa4 Rb6 29.g3 Rf7 30.Kg2 h6 31.Rc4 Rbf6 32.Rc8+ Kg7 33.Bd3 Rf8 34.Rxf8 Kxf8 35.Rd7 Rf7

3) +2.68 (31 ply) 14...Ke7 15.Bd5 Rb8 16.Nd4 Ne5 17.Nc5 Kf6 18.Nd3 Bd6 19.Nxe5 Bxe5 20.Nc6 Rb6 21.Nxe5 Kxe5 22.Bxf7 Kf6 23.Rc7 Be6 24.Bxe6 Rxe6 25.Ke3 Rhe8 26.f3 R8e7 27.Rc5 g5 28.Rd8 Re8 29.Rdd5 h6 30.Kd4 R8e7 31.b3 g4 32.Rd8 gxf3 33.gxf3 Kf7 34.Ke3 Kg6 35.Kd4

6.0 minute analysis by Stockfish 9 v010218

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