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Akiba Rubinstein vs NN
? (1902) (unorthodox)
Chess variants (000)  ·  1-0



find similar games 3 more Rubinstein/NN games
sac: 11.Rxe7 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: A Merry Christmas to everyone !
Dec-24-07  jackpawn: Of course both lines are equally good, so this debate is pretty moot.

For what it's worth I immediately thought of Qxh7+, saw that it worked, and ended my analysis.

Dec-24-07  DarthStapler: Too easy
Dec-24-07  xrt999: < dzechiel: <johnlspouge: ... Given his preferences in candidate moves, <dzechiel> might argue that Qxh7+ is more forcing.> Yes, I would say that. 16 Qxh7+ gives black only one legal move, you can't get more forcing than that. Furthermore, 17 Rh5+ again only leaves black with one legal move.>

After 16.Qh6, white's next move is 17.Qg7 checkmate, unless black makes the move 16...Nf5. Any other move loses the game, therefore 16...Nf5 is black's only move. Of course, black could play 16...a6, 16...a5, or any of the other legal 32 moves available....but they lose after 17.Qg7++.

So, how do you rationalize that 16.Qxh7+ is <more> forcing than 16.Qh6?

I am of the opinion that <16.Qh6> is more forcing because of the 32 legal moves for black, it distills the options down to one legal move, in effect preventing black from playing the 31 other moves, forcing black to play 1 of 32 moves.

16.Qxh7+ gives black one legal move, therefore this is actually less forcing.

Dec-24-07  zooter: hurrah...i saw the queen sac, but thought that Rh5 is mate!!! Off course, King goes to g8 and rook follows to h8...

1/1 :)

Dec-24-07  MaxxLange: I think it's standard to consider checks the most forcing moves
Dec-25-07  alphee: Basic and very elegant.
Putting oneself in Rubinstein's shoes for a win, what a Christmas Gift ! Thanks ChessGame and Merry Christmas to all.
Dec-25-07  UdayanOwen: <YouRang:> Your argument is the exact reason I put the word 'generally' in brackets. Yes, in some situations there would be a greater risk of calculation error in a shorter mating line.

Dec-25-07  UdayanOwen: Continued from previous...

And hence, a better general formulation of my argument is that when faced with a choice between two lines that you conclude force checkmate, the length of the checkmate should not be the only factor considered, but the room for error in each should also be considered (and the one with the least room for calculation error might be the best 'practical' choice, irrespective of whether it is longer or shorter.

Dec-25-07  ughaibu: This game doesn't work on Sjkbase.
Dec-26-07  kevin86: The usual Monday queen sac---Merry Christmas!
Jan-13-08  nauman: The knight is missing from b1 since the start of the game!!! and is evident in 13.Re1. Knight on b1 was never moved in the game. Any clues???
Jan-13-08  Karpova: <nauman: The knight is missing from b1 since the start of the game!!! and is evident in 13.Re1. Knight on b1 was never moved in the game. Any clues???>

This was an odds game, possibly from a Handicap tournament.

Btw, it's a duplicate of:
Rubinstein vs NN, 1903

Feb-18-08  mrbiggs: I got the equally winning (mate in three) but less flashy Qh6.
Feb-18-08  JamesBJames: Call me crazy, but wasn't there a puzzle EXACTLY like this about a month or so ago?
Feb-18-08  RPGmaster60: I too thought the move was Qh6.
Feb-18-08  TrueBlue: Qh7 is just stupid!!!! Why would I sacrifice the queen when Qh6 is mate in 4?!?!?!?!?!?!?
Feb-18-08  TurtleKaze: 13. Qh6 ...Nf5 14. Bxf5 would win faster. This guy's just showing off!
Feb-18-08  dzechiel: White to move. White has two bishops for the rook. Very Easy.

This position seems very familiar. In fact, the last time I saw it, I gave the answer

16 Qh6 Nf5 17 Bxf5 and 18 Qg7#

But, as I recall, the moved played by Rubinstein was

16 Qxh7+ Kxh7 17 Rh5+ Kg8 18 Rh8#

Further, there was some debate as to which of these solutions was better.

I think the one with all forced moves by black is better because it eliminates any chances for white to overlook a black resource.

Well, let's post and see how many others recognize this position of the day.


This game must be in the database twice.

Feb-01-09  WhiteRook48: the Q sac is amazing!! Well, maybe not considering his other game against Rotweli
Oct-12-09  TheTamale: I love this game. With odds, Akiba demolishes a player who, to a low-rated guy like me, seems to play a reasonable game. The only thing I see at first blush is that NN could have saved himself some trouble by capturing with the other knight on move 11. I will deconstruct this game to see if I can demystify some of Rubinstein's magic.
Jan-19-13  Diglot: 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.0–0 Be7 6.Qxd4 Nf6 7.Bg5 0–0 8.Bd3 Nc6 9.Qh4 g6 10.Rfe1 Nd5 11.Rxe7 Ndxe7 <Wrong Knight! 11...Ncxe7 keeps the advantage> 12.Bf6 <The only move that equalizes> 12...d5 <12...Re8 is the only move that doesn't give White an advantage> 13.Re1 <Misses a mate in three! 13.Ng5 h5 14.Qxh5 gxh5 15.Bh7#> 13...Be6 <13...Re8 would get the advantage back> 14.Ne5 <Misses the same mate in three again!> 14...Nxe5 <14...Re8 needed again> 15.Rxe5 Qd6 <Mate in three. 15...Nf5 is Black's best shot though White still has a good advantage> 16.Qxh7+ Kxh7 17.Rh5+ Kg8 18.Rh8# 1–0
Premium Chessgames Member
  PawnSac: < TurtleKaze: 13. Qh6 ...Nf5 14. Bxf5 would win faster. This guy's just showing off! >

Both lines are mate in 3. But whats wrong with showing off a little? The game was played during the "romantic era" of chess, and a queen sac is flashier, would draw more sensationalism from the crowd, and has a better chance of winning the first brilliancy price!

< jackpawn: Of course both lines are equally good, so this debate is pretty moot.

For what it's worth I immediately thought of Qxh7+, saw that it worked, and ended my analysis.>

As did i with the Qh6 line. There is no mate in 2 so why look further? And in contrast to the flashy romantic sensationalism, when there is a choice i often play the quieter but equally forcing mate, allowing the opponent to retain his material "en prise" as well as some of his dignity. It seems more gentlemanly. There is also a sense that it shows greater skill to slip in between all the enemy pieces and nab the king in the presence of his whole army, like a superbly planned navy seal operation, rather than smashing the position apart with brute force! But its a matter of style and taste i guess.

Premium Chessgames Member
  DanQuigley: There was a beautiful mate in three available on move 10 that Rubinstein missed. Has this mate ever been played in a historical game from a similar position?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi Dan,

I think you mean on move 13.

click for larger view

13.Ng5 h5 14.Qxh5 gxh5 15.Bh7 mate.

The most famous example is:

NN vs Blackburne, 1880

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