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Member since Jan-01-08
Hi! I'm User: Karpova and will tell you more about Akiba Rubinstein 's life in this profile. My sources are mainly "The Life & Games of Akiva Rubinstein - Volume 1: Uncrowned King" by IM Donaldson and IM Minev (second edition) and the second edition of "Volume 2: The Later Years", Edward Winter's, Anita Sikora's and, for the new birthdate, Elżbieta Kusina and Jan Kusina of the Malopolska Chess Association, Poland, Krakow, according to the April 19, 2014, news of the Kenneth Whyld Foundation & Association, .

Akiba Kiwelowicz Rubinstein was born December 1*, 1880, in Stawiski (near Bialystok). He was the youngest of 12 children (apart from Akiva, only Ester, born 1872, survived infancy) and raised by his grandparents to become a Rabbi (like his father and grandfather). His father's name was Kiwa Jankielwicz Rubinsztejn and his mother was Rejza Aronowna Lejzerowna Rubinsztejn (née Denenberg). He became acquainted with chess between his 14th and 18th birthday. Before the turn of the century, all his family moved to Bialystok. G G Bartoszkiewicz, the best player in Bialystok at that time, was his first strong opponent.

In 1903, Akiba moved to Lodz - together with Moscow and St. Petersburg - one of the three great chess chentres in the Russian Empire. There he met Georg Salwe. They played a match and the first one to score 7 points would qualify to represent Lodz in the Third All-Russian Championship in Kiev, 1903. The match ended 7-7 and so both of them travelled to Kiev - Rubinstein's first major tournament and came in fifth (+10 =3 -5)! In 1904 (March and April) he won a match against Salwe (5.5-4.5) and in 1905 he shared first prize with Oldrich Duras in his first international tournament - the Barmen Main tournament (August). In October 1905 he won a match against Jacques Mieses (3-0).

The Fourth All-Russian Championship in St. Petersburg saw him coming in shared second. He and his opponent displayed great sportsmanship in Rubinstein vs B Maliutin, 1906. Akiba greatly enhanced his reputation with his third place in the Ostende 1906 mammoth tournament (36 players, 5 stages) and in 1907 he even managed to share first plaze with Ossip Bernstein. Another great success was his win at Carlsbad and his long match with Salwe (he won +12 =8 -2) which they played throughout the year. 1908 saw him proving that he belonged to the best with good results in tournaments and match wins over Richard Teichmann and Frank James Marshall.

One of his most fmous accomplishments was St. Petersburg 1909 where he shared first prize with Dr. Lasker and beat him in their individual encounter. He won another match against Mieses and moved to Warsaw in the fall of 1909. Donaldson/Minev assume that it might have had something to do with Colonel Manakin, a major driving force of the Lodz Chess Club, being transferred to another district. Plans for a match against Jose Raul Capablanca in 1909 existed but the match never took place. Rubinstein visited Moscow from December 1909 to January 1910 and won a match against Alexander Flamberg in May. Another aborted match was the one he should have played against Bernstein in 1910.

Rubinstein came in second in San Sebastian 1911 - Capablanca's first appearence in Europe - and won against the winner of the tournament. Carlsbad, Teichmann's greatest success, saw him coming in second again. The year ended with Rubinstein winning the strong Warsaw City Championship 1912 - in December 1911!

And then came his magical year 1912 where he won four Worldclass tournaments - San Sebastian, Pistyan, Breslau and the Russian National Tournament in Vilna! He clearly had become Dr. Lasker's main challenger and negotiations for a match took place already after Breslau (July to August). All the conditions where settled during 1913 and 1914. There are actually no recorded games of Rubinstein from 1913 and nothing is known about tournaments he might have participated in. Rubinstein contributed to a short-lived yiddish chess magazine - "Shakh-Zaytung" (1913, edited by Salwe). The match was a Worldchampionship Match consisting of 20 games, played from 3 to 7 pm. It was to take place in Europe (Germany and the Russian Empire) scheduled for October 1914. St. Petersburg 1914 was a disappointment for Rubinstein (+2 =6 -2) who didn't make it to the final. But it should even become worse.

The first World War began on July 28, 1914 (Germany declared war with Russia on August 1, 1914). This was the force majeure leading to the abortion of the WC match and confined Akiba to Poland for the period 1914 to 1917. Poland was a major battleground and Warsaw, the city he lived in, was under German occupation from August 6, 1915 to November 13, 1918. He could only travel to Lodz and played in some small events. On March 30, 1917, Akiba married Enia (Eugenie) Lev (born 1893) who supported him and enabled him to continue his career in master chess for a further 15 years. Jonas Jacob, Rubinstein's first son, was born on January 24, 1918 in Szczuczyn. Their second son, Samy Rubinstein, was born 1927 in Antwerp.

Rubinstein could travel to Berlin in 1918 where he won a match against Carl Schlechter (11 months before this great sportsman and fantastic chessplayer died). He played in two tournaments - his first international tournament since St. Petersburg 1914, was a catastrophe but the second one saw him coming in second (unbeaten, behind Dr. Lasker).

Late in 1919, Rubinstein moved to Sweden (for health and financial reasons, Poland fought with the Bolsheviks while Germany's currency collapsed due to the politics during the war). During his stay in Sweden, Akiba was one of the editors of the fourth and final edition of the Collijn brothers' "Larobok". Reti, Rubinstein and Spielmann edited the second part of that book (on openings). Notable is his match victory over Efim Bogoljubov and his Simul Tour of the Netherlands in 1920. In The Hague, Rubinstein said he was not treated fairly with regards to the World Championship situation. Capablanca emerged as Dr. Lasker's main challenger in 1914 and now, in 1920, Rubinstein was the odd one out. He proposed a tournament between Dr. Lasker, Capablanca and him with each playing the two others 15 times. After the war, Rubinstein had no basis of support in Europe and couldn't raise the necessary funds. Capablanca beat Dr. Lasker clearly and became the convincing Worldchampion. Rubinstein never got a shot at the title during his whole life.

In Sweden, he played in several small tournaments that he won and also undefeated blindfold exhibition in the winter of 1921. At The Hague 1921, he had a good result overall but had to content himself with a 3rd place after losses to Tartakower and Alekhine. He bounced back with a clear victory at Triberg in December 1921 ahead of Bogolyubov, Spielmann and Selezniev and also winning all his mini matches.

In 1922, the Rubinstein family moved to Rehbruecke, Germany (near Potsdam). At London 1922, Rubinstein was in contention for first place until he lost again to Alekhine and finally came in 4th (+8 =5 -2). Hastings in September saw him coming in behind the winner Alekhine again though trailing him only by half a point (7.0/10). The Teplitz-Schoenau tournament is well-known for Rubinstein winning 4 out of 7 brilliancy prizes though he only came in 5th out of 14. After solid results, the end of the year was crowned with his great triumph at Vienna, undefeated and well ahead of a strong field.

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