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Aron Nimzowitsch vs Akiba Rubinstein
Breslau (1925), Breslau GER, rd 11, Aug-01
Four Knights Game: Spanish. Rubinstein Variation Accepted (C48)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-02-08  Karpova: "Mein System" - passed pawn

After 34...b5

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Nimzowitsch's concept is to bring his king over to f4 where he is blockading the (not yet) isolated pawn on f5. This frontal attack against an isolated pawn is the ideal post for a king in the endgame.

35.Re6+ Kd5 36.Rxf6 gxf6 37.axb5 (<threatening 38.c4+ Kxc4 39.b6>) 37...c4 38.Bxh6 Rh8 39.Bg7 Rxh5 40.Bxf6 Kc5 41.Kd2! (see next diagram)

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That's the point of all the foregoing moves - the king marches to f4 to attack the pawn on f5. It's interesting to note that Nimzowitsch considers the position to be winning - for black! But Rubinstein missed the opportunity due to the fact that he didn't know Nimzowitsch's "well-known" postulates from his system.

Indeed <41...Rh6 42.Bd4+ Kxb5 43.Ke3 Re6+ 44.Kd2 looks good for black though not easily winning. 44.Kf4 would be a mistake after 44...Re4+ 45.Kf3 Ka4 (see next diagram)>

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<Black will bring his king to d3 and the rook to e2 and then guide through his pawn on c4: 46.Bf6 Kb3 47.Bg7 (more stubborn than 47.Kg2 Re2! followed by 48...Rc2) 47...Kc2 48.Bd4 Kd3 49.Bf6 Re2 and Black wins). Note that 45...Rxd4 would throw away the win after 46.cxd4 c3 47.Ke2 Kc4 48.d5 Kxd5 49.Kd3 c2 50.Kxc2 Ke4 51.Kd2 Kf3 52.Ke1>

Back to the game:

Rubinstein played 41...Kxb5? 42.Ke3 Kc5 43.Kf4! (<everything is fine now>) 43...Kd5 44.f3 Ke6 45.Bd4 Rh1 46.Bg7 Rd1 47.Bh8 Rd3 48.Bg7 1/2-1/2

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