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Geza Nagy vs Akiba Rubinstein
Budapest (1926), Budapest HUN, rd 15, Jul-15
French Defense: Exchange Variation (C01)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: I got 25 Nh5 (threatening Rxg7+, Qf6, etc.)25...Ng4 26 Nxg7 Qc4 (threatening mate in one) 27 Rfg3.

click for larger view

If 27...Kxg7 28 Qe7+, taking the bishop next move. I don't know if black has anything better here.

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: <psmith: In <abg2002>'s line D after 25. Rxg7+ Kxg7 26. Nh5, here is an improvement for White: D': 26... Kh7 27.Nf6+ Kg6(7) (27... Kh8 28.Qxh6#) 28.Nxd7 Qd6 (else 29.Qg3+ and 30.Qxe3 + -) 29. Bxf5+! Nxf5 (29... Kg7 30. Qd4+ or 29... Kh7 30. Bg6+ winning) 30. Rxf5! and now if 30... Kxf5 31. Qg4# is cute, but in any case mate is forced soon.>

Very nice, thank you!

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: <abuzic: <agb2002:....> <B) 25... Nxf1(c2) 26.Rxg7+ Kh8 (26... Kf8 27.Qf6+ Ke8 28.Qf7+ Kd8 29.Qxd7#) 27.Qf6 Qf8 28.Rf7+ Kg8 29.Rxf8+ Rxf8 30.Qg7#.>

25. Nh5 Nxf1 26.Rxg7+ Kh8 (26... Kf8 27.Qf6+ Ke8 28.Qf7+ [or 28. Rg8+ Qf8 29. Rxf8, or Qxf8 or Ng7#] Kd8 29. Qxd7#) 27.Qf6 Qd6 (27...Qf8 28.Qxh6#) 28. Rh7+ (or 28...Kg8) 29. Qg7#.>

You're right, thank you.

Jul-07-11  BOSTER: White pieces are very good coordinated and have a good attacking position. Black king's position is too opened, and the only defender is pinned rook on g7. I'd play 25.Rxg7+ Kxg7
26.Nh5+ if Kf7 or Kf8
27.Qf6+ Ke8
28.Re1 and white wins a knight,who moved too far from his camp. if 26...Kg6
27.Qf6+ Kxh5
28.g4+ (fxg4 Bg6#) Nxg4
29.hxg4+ Kxg4
30.Bd1+ and mate in few moves.
After watching the game I'd say black moved his pawns h6,f5,g5 without any fear, and moves 21.Ng4, 23.Qc5 and 24.Ne3 were too agressive, leaving black king without good defense.
Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: Thursday (Medium)

G Nagy vs Rubinstein, 1926 (28.?)

White to play and win.

Material: Down a P. The Black Kg8 has 4 legal moves, with Bc2 x-raying h7. White has a distinct local superiority on the K-side of Nf4, Rg3, and Qh4 against Rg7. The White Rg3 pins Rg7 to Kg8. Black has several threats, notably 25Nxc2 and 27Nxf1. The White Kh1 is secure from check.

Candidates (25.): Rxg7+, Nh5

The forcing 25.Rxg7+ 26.Nh5+ leads to an easy win, but 25.Nh5 is devastating, because it practically forces Black to let White reload Rg3 with Qh4xg3+. The move 25.Nh5 also requires much less calculation.

25.Nh5 (threatening 26.Rxg7+, with mate following rapidly)

(1) 25...Rxg3 26.Qxg3+ Kf8 [or Kf7] [else, 27.Qg7#]

27.Qf6+ Ke8 [else 28.Qg7#] 28.Ng7#

(2) 25Nxf1 26.Rxg7+ Kh8 [Kf8 27.Qf6+ Ke8 28.Rg8+ Qf8 29.Ng7#]

27.Qf6 and # soon

(3) 25Ng4 26.hxg4 wins easily

(4) 25Qf8 [or Qe7] 26.Rxe6 wins Ne3

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Something struck me as odd about this game. True, Rubinstein was well past his peak in 1926, but it still seems odd to see him losing in 25 moves to an Exchange French. Moves like 12...g5 speak of a desperation not normally associated with him.

Then I glanced at the scoresheet, and saw the game was from round 15. In a normal 16-round tournament, this would be the last round. A little research found these scores going into this last round:

9.5: Grunfeld
9.0: Rubinstein
8.5: Monticelli
8.0: Kmoch, Reti, Takacs
7.5: Nagy
7.0: Tartakower
6.5: Mattison
6.0: Havasi, Vajda, yates
5.5: E. Steiner
4.5: Prokes, Znosko-Borovsky

So you're a half-point off the lead in the last round and your opponent plays the Exchange French. There's your desperation!

Ironically, Grunfeld wound up losing as well to Mattison, so a draw would have been sufficient for Rubinstein to share first place. Monticelli was the one player in the top groups to keep his head, defeating Reti to tie Grunfeld for first. Kmoch and Takacs also won to tie Rubinstein for third.

Premium Chessgames Member
  doubledrooks: <psmith> wrote: < In <abg2002>'s line D after 25. Rxg7+ Kxg7 26. Nh5, here is an improvement for White: D': 26... Kh7 27.Nf6+ Kg6(7) (27... Kh8 28.Qxh6#) 28.Nxd7 Qd6 (else 29.Qg3+ and 30.Qxe3 + -) 29. Bxf5+! Nxf5 (29... Kg7 30. Qd4+ or 29... Kh7 30. Bg6+ winning) 30. Rxf5! and now if 30... Kxf5 31. Qg4# is cute, but in any case mate is forced soon.>

I found this line through 29...Nxf5, when 30. Qg4+ also looks crushing.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: Move 25 of a game played at a time when time controls were longer, so maybe 2 hours for 40 moves. I have a good chunk of time to figure this out. Let's start with:

25.Rxg7 Kxg7 26.Nh5+

Let's examine each of the possible king moves:

A) 26Kh7 27.Nf6+ Kg7 28.Nxd7 Qd6 29.Re1 Qxd7 30.Rxe3

White is a piece up with good position.

B) 26Kh8 27.Qf6+ followed by 28.Qg7#

C) 26Kg8 27.Qg3+
C1) 27Kf8 28.Qg7+ Ke8 29.Nf6+ Kd8 30.Qxd8#
C2) 27Kf7 28.Qg7+
C2a) 28Ke6 29.Qf6#
C2b) 28Ke8 transposes back to the C1 line.

D) 26Kf7 Qf6+ 27.Ke8 Ng7 or 27.Kg8 Qg7#

E) 26Kf8 Qf6+ and either K move transposes back to the D line.

I get the sense that I've missed something in the A line, time used: 50 minutes, make the move. Time to check.


Nagy played 25.Nh5, which I had looked at briefly. Shredder says 25.Rxg7+ wins just as well though, but as I suspected, there is a problem in my A line: After 28Qd6 the winning move is, 29.Qd4+, and black is in big trouble. 29.Re1 and white still has an advantage, but nowhere near as easy a finish.

Okay time to read the comments and see what kind of fangled metaphysical space opera story <Once> has come up with this time.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: mm, my C line is bad too. Black blocks the check with 27...Ng4. White still has a dominating position, however.

Nice background on the tournament situation, <Phony Benoni>.

Jul-07-11  MiCrooks: I too chose Rxg7 though I noted that it looked like the immediate Nh5 would work as well. My thought was check, check...take the forcing line if it works as you don't have work out all the possible responses to Nh5 where Black can legally play any move on the board.
Jul-07-11  abuzic: <Jimfromprovidence:> < I got 25 Nh5 (threatening Rxg7+, Qf6, etc.)25...Ng4 26 Nxg7 Qc4 (threatening mate in one) 27 Rfg3>. On <25. Nh5 Ng4 26. Nxg7>

<26...Kxg7> is # in 7: 27. Rxg4+ Kf7 28. Bxf5 Be6 29. BXe6+ Kxe6 30. Qf6+ Kd7 31. Rg7+ Kc8 32. Qe6+ kb8 (32...Kd8 33. Qd7#) 33. Qe8#.

After <26...Qc4> it is # in 13 (27. Rgf3) For other moves # becomes clearer for the engines to see:

26-...Qf8 # in 8 (27. Nxf5)
-...Qf2 # in 8 (28. Rxf2)
-...Kf8 # in 8 (28. Nxf5 or Rxg4)
-...Kf7 # in 8 (28. Nxf5)
-...Rf8 # in 9 (28. Nxf5)
-...Qb5 # in 9 (28. Re1)

Jul-07-11  cjgone: Got it, but took me a while.
Jul-07-11  wals:

Analysis by Rybka 4 x64: d 17 : 18 min :

1. (8.93): 25.Nh5 Rxg3[] 26.Qxg3+ Ng4[] 27.hxg4[] Qe7 28.gxf5+[] Qg5 29.Qxg5+ hxg5 30.Nf6+[] Kf7 31.Nxd7[] Ke7 32.Ne5 Kf6 33.Ng4+ Kf7 34.Kg1 b5 35.Kf2 a5 36.Ne5+ Kf6 37.Nxc6 Rc8 38.Rh1 Kg7 39.Ne7 Rd8 40.Kf3

2. (8.93): 25.Rxg7+ Kxg7 26.Nh5+[] Kg8[] 27.Qg3+[] Ng4[] 28.hxg4[] Qe7 29.gxf5+[] Qg5 30.Qxg5+ hxg5 31.Nf6+[] Kf7 32.Nxd7[] Ke7 33.Ne5 Kf6 34.Ng4+ Kf7 35.Kg1 b5 36.Kf2 a5 37.Ne5+ Kf6 38.Nxc6 Rc8 39.Rh1 Kg7 40.Ne7

Black pulled the wrong rein with-

23...Qc5+, 2.16. Best, Nf6, +1.01,

and before that,

22...Rg7, +1.01. Best, Qe7, 0.23.

Jul-07-11  estrick: I wonder what Rubinstein was thinking with moves like 9 ...f5 and 12 ...g5?
Jul-07-11  WhiteRook48: I actually solved it! 25 Nh5 has too many g-file threats.
Jul-07-11  CHESSTTCAMPS: Black is a pawn up, but white has a much stronger pawn shelter for his king and much better coordination of major pieces. White would like to play Qxh6 to exploit the pinned rook, but both rooks are unprotected. This suggests:


Bringing another rook to bear on black's weak g-file is easily worth a bishop. With the bishop and Ra8 unable to contribute to defense, the attack is irresistable:

A) 25... Nxc2 26.Qxh6! Qf8 27.Nh5! Rxg3 (otherwise 28.Rxg7(+)) 28.Rxg3+ Kf7 29.Qf6+ Ke8 30.Ng7+ Qxg7 31.Rxg7 and mate next.

A.1) 26... Qe7 27.Nh5 Rxg3 28.Rxg3+ Kf7 29.Rg7+ wins

A.2) 26... Rxg3 27.Rxg3+ Kf7 28.Rg7+ Ke8 29.Qh8+ Qf8 30.Rg8 cleans up.

B) 25... Rxg3 26.Qxg3+ K moves 27.Rxe3 wins a piece

C) 25... d4 26.Qxh6 wins similarly to the A lines.

D) 25... Qe7 26.Qxe7 Rxe7 27.Rxe3 wins a piece.

E) 25... Other 26.Rxe3 wins.

Time for review....

Jul-07-11  CHESSTTCAMPS: Don't know why I missed the simplicity of an immediate 25.Nh5, but my choice of 25.R1f3 also wins handily, as I verified on first attempt against Crafty EGT. Multiple winning moves again, which makes things interesting.
Jul-08-11  M.Hassan: "Medium" White to play 25?
White is a pawn behind.

25.Rxg7+ Kxg7
The King can move to:

In the followings, I consider each move and the outcome: 26.........Kh8
27.Qf6+ Kg8 or Kh7

27.QF6+ Ke8

27.Nf6+ Kg6
28.Nxd7 Qd6
29.Bxf5+ Nxf5
30.Qg4+ Kh7
31.Qxf5+ Qg6
32.Qxg6 Kxg6
And White is up in exchange

27.g4 Nxg4
28.hxg4 Rf8
And there is no mating line or marked advantage for White in this line (At least as far as I can see)

Premium Chessgames Member
  doubledrooks: <M.Hassan> after 25. Rxg7+ Kxg7 26. Nh5+ Kg6 white mates with 27. Qf6+ Kxh5 28. Bd1+ Nxd1 29. Rxf5+ Bxf5 30. Qxf5+ Kh4 31. Qg4#
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Phony Benoni> I guess it's possible to beat the Exchange French. John Watson has written that he doesn't recall ever even giving up a draw to it, let alone a loss. Then there's M. Gurevich-Short and that game Korchnoi won in 13 moves or something (although Kasparov later improved on White's play).
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: S Tatai vs Korchnoi, 1978
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: M Gurevich vs Short, 1990
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Black wins in the Exchange French:
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <FSR> Of course it's possible to beat the Exchange French, as long as Black is by far the stronger player or is willing to take risks. I doubt there are a lot ot risk-free games like G Marco vs Maroczy, 1899.

All I'm observing is that the risks Rubinstein took may have been excessive, and that this may have been due to the tournament situation.

Apr-08-12  Karpova: Actually, Akiva lost on time (though the position is already losing) and yes, the tournament situation was most likely contributing to his hazardous play.
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