Rubinstein - Hromadka 

  GM A. Rubinstein  (2722) - IM Karel Hromadka  (2469) 
  Maehrisch - Ostrau;  (Round # 4), 1923  

[A.J. Goldsby I ]


 ( Note: K. Hromadka would probably be a  GM  by today's standards. His peak rating, 
  BEFORE  being adjusted for inflation, was close to 2600. {Source: FIDE web-site.} ) 

One of the very best games that the great  Rubinstein  ever played. 
(I suggest the name of:  "The Rubinstein Star.")


The great  (Emmanuel)  Lasker  himself called it: 
"One of the greatest brilliancies of the last twenty or thirty years." (!!!)  

Jose Capablanca called it:  "A masterpiece of the chess-board." 

"One of the most profound games of that entire era of chess." - GM Salo Flohr
(Flohr and Botvinnik wrote a series of articles on great games that was published in Soviet 
 magazines during the 1930's and the 1940's.) 

"The very brilliant tactics in the following impressive game, are reminiscent of none other than 
the great Paul Morphy." - GM (and Dr.) Savielly Tartakower

GM Hans Kmoch said it was one of the greatest games Rubinstein ever played. 
He said it was:  "A star of the first magnitude." 

This game was one of only TWO wins that Rubinstein played at this event. 
The other game won a best game prize. (vs. Tarrasch.) 

This game was the winner of: << Brilliancy Prize, Number One. (#1.) >> 
  (First Brilliancy Prize.) 

GM Andrew Soltis considers this a great game, he showers both players with exclams. 
It is also Game # 93, (page # 236) of his book on, 
"The 100 Best,"  (games of chess)  ever played. 

I will only add that this game is one of the very best games that one of the greatest geniuses of chess 
ever played. Additionally there are many themes (such as FOUR on doubling) that are demonstrated 
in this game. The real kicker is that many were not discovered or "patented" until well AFTER this 
game was played!!!! {A.J.G.}.  


   << Rubinstein's artistry was not confined to the endgame. He could weave combinations in the 
         midgame to compel admiration, and perhaps secretly - envy. >> 

<< He begins here with a quiet move little move, ostensibly to dislodge a an annoying Knight. Hardly 
     has the Knight left, when Rubinstein hurls a couple of thunderbolts at the fortress of the enemy King. 
     The sparkling play that ensues makes this game a worthy runner-up to ... "The Rubinstein Immortal." >> 
     - the late, great Irving Chernev. See his book:  "The Golden Dozen,"  page # 38. 

(This game is often - mistakenly - given by many sources as having played in Vienna, 1922.  
 But that is incorrect. ---> See: "The Oxford Companion to Chess,"  
 for just one example of this error.) 

1. e4 e52. f4 Bc5!?;  
The King's Gambit Declined. 

At the time this game was played, this was thought to be the very best line for Black. 

One of the greatest King's Gambit players of all time, R. Spielmann, felt this was perhaps the best 
defense to this particular opening. 

Needless to say, any variation where Black adheres to the Four Basic Principles of the Opening is 
approved of by this Master. (Meaning the King's Gambit Declined is just as good as any other line 
in this particular opening.) 

     [ The King's Gambit Accepted runs: 2...exf4; 3.Nf3, etc. {Diagram?} 
       See my web page on the game: << B. Spassky - D. Bronstein
       28th U.S.S.R. Championship, Leningrad, 1959. >> 
       for more details and a complete opening survey on the King's Gambit. ].  


3. Nf3,  
Development is the {correct} order of the day. 

This one move does it all. White controls the center, develops a piece, and prepares K-side 
castling. And by attacking Black's King-Pawn, White forces the second player to address the 
question of the material balance. 

     [ A standard trap here is: 3.fxe5?? Qh4+; 4.g3, {Diagram?}  (4.Ke2?? Qxe4#) 
        4...Qxe4+; 5.Qe2 Qxh1; "-/+" Black is winning easily. ].  


The correct move, Black guards the key center pawn, and also paves the way for the 
development of the QB.  (And the whole of the Q-side as well.). 

4. Nc3,  
Simple development. (Center, gets a piece out, etc.) 

This is never the wrong approach either!! 

     [  The 'book' continuation is: 4.c3! Nf6; 5.fxe5!?,  {Diagram?}  This exchange seems to just help 
         Black out by simplifying and opening lines for the Q.   (I prefer the continuation: 5.d4! exd4
Bb4+; 7.Bd2! Bxd2+; 8.Nbxd2 0-0; 9.Bd3 Bg4; 10.0-0 Nc6; 11.Qb3!, "+/=" {Diagram?} 
           White has a little more space here, and the freer game. {A.J.G.}   5...dxe5; 6.d4 exd4
Bb4+; 8.Bd2 Qe7; 9.Bd3 Nxe4; {Diagram?} The end of the column. 
Qxe4+; 11.Kf2 Bxd2; 12.Nbxd2, {Diagram?} 
         Sophia Polgar - G. Flear;  Brussels, 1987.   (White could try: 12.Qxd2!? "~"    
         Now the continuation: 12...Qd5; 13.Re1+ Be6; "="  {Diagram?}  is equal, according to MCO. 
         [ See MCO-14; pg.'s # 16-17, columns # 31-35, 
           (Mainly column no. # 33, here.), and also note # (l.). ].  ]


Now both sides continue to develop. 
4...Nf6; (Maybe - '!') 
This is the correct way of handling this opening. Black develops and prepares King-side castling. 

He is also offering a pawn gambit, but it is a 'Greek Gift,' and one White should probably decline. 

     [ The theoretically approved way of handling ...Nc6;  here was actually pioneered 
        by Rubinstein himself. 4...Nc6!?; 5.Bb5!, "+/=" etc. {Diag?} 
(The older method was: 5.Bc4!?, "+/=" {Diagram?} with a tiny advantage.)   ].  


5. Bc4,  
One move which hits the center, develops, and prepares castling. This is also the approved method 
(by modern opening theory) of development in this position. 

     [ Too adventurous for White is the line: 5.fxe5!? dxe5; 6.Nxe5!? 0-0!; {Comp.} 
       Black has good compensation and great play.  (6...Qd4!?; 7.Nd3, "+/=")   ].  


Black develops in the approved manner of the Classical School. 
(This is also the main line here, even by Modern-day theory.) 

6. d3 Bg4!?;  
White has a very strong grip on the key central squares, so Black would naturally want to pin 
White's Knight so he might be better able to fight for these squares himself. 

This line is actually very old, dating back nearly 100 years, (Maybe more!); in opening praxis. 

Older texts used to praise this move and even give it an exclam. (6...Bg4!) 

(Modern praxis does not approve of this entire line for Black. See some of the lines quoted 
from:  "Modern Chess Openings,"  for possible alternatives that are more current according 
to today's opening theory.) 

     [ One author says a better line is: 6...Be6!?; "~" {Equal?}  '!' - Irving Chernev
        Black could also try: 6...Na5!?; "~"  with an unclear position. ].  


7. h3!?(Maybe - '!')  
White decides to "kick" the Black Bishop without delay. 
(This is called, 'asking the question.') 

     [  MCO gives the simpler line of: 7.Na4!? Bb6; {Diagram?} The most natural response. 

         ( A wild game is: 7...Bxf3!?; 8.Qxf3 Nd4?!; 9.Qg3! Nxc2+!?; 10.Kd1 Nxa1; 11.Qxg7 Rf8
Nh5; 13.Qg4! Qd7; 14.e6! Qxa4+; 15.b3 Nf6!; 16.exf7+ Rxf7; 17.Bxf7+ Kxf7
Qd4!; 19.Qe2! Rg8?; {Diagram?} A big mistake, according to GM Andy Soltis
             (A little better is: 19...Qe5; 20.Rf5 Qxh2!, "-/+" - GM A. Soltis.)    20.Bb2 Rxg2!?
Rxe2; 22.Rxf6+ Kg7!?; 23.Rxd6+! Bxd4; 24.Rd7+ Kf6; 25.Kxe2, "+/"  
           and White won. (1-0) .  D. Janowsky - Leonhardt;  Barmen, 1905. 
           (Culled from the Soltis book.) )  

        We now return to the MCO analysis of this line. 8.Nxb6 axb6{Diagram?} This is forced. 
        (The other capture is away from the center ... and gives Black more pawn islands.) 
0-0; "+/=" {Diagram?} when GM Nick de Firmian in MCO considers White to be 
        clearly a little better - in this position.  (I am not sure, but this position looks closer to equal to me.) 
        [ See MCO-14, pg's 16-17, and column no. # 31.]  ].  


7...Bxf38. Qxf3 Nd4; ('!?')   
"The fighting becomes fast and furious." - GM S. Tartakower

This is not the recommended move here by {modern} opening theory, but the computers like this 
move and even say Black has the advantage here. ("=/+") 

     [ According to GM S. Tartakower, a better line for Black is:  8...exf4!?; "~" (Maybe - "=") 
        with nearly an equal game for the second player here. ].  


9. Qg3!?(Probably - '!')  {Several writers give this move an exclam here.} 
 The most aggressive line. 

  (It is very old too, GM Hans Kmoch refers to it as "ancient!"  I found one game in a book 
    dedicated to older games that was played in 1843.  Blackburne  also played in similar 
    fashion to defeat  Anderssen  in Vienna, 1873!)  

'!' - IM John Donaldson.  '!' - GM Andy Soltis. 

     [ Too passive and time-consuming is the continuation: 9.Qd1!?, ('?!') {Diagram.} when Black 
       should have no problems from this position. Now Black should play: 9...Nd7!; "=/+" {Diagram?} 
        and Black is slightly better. ].  


9...Qe7(Maybe - '!') 
Black declines to go snatching the material. (Several authors have given this move an exclam.) 

Black has fair chances here, according to MCO-14. 

'!' - Irving Chernev. 

     [ Chernev says far too risky is: 9...Nxc2+!?; ('?!') {Diagram?} Kmoch also remarks that the 
       acceptance of the material that White offers here is MUCH too dangerous for the second player. 
Nxa1; {Diagram?} Black is obligated now.   (10...Nb4?; 11.Qxg7, "+/"
11.Qxg7, {Comp.} {Diagram?} M. Tchigorin - H.N. Pillsbury;  (Round. # 1) 
       Hastings, (ENG); 1895. White won a very sharp game. (But Pillsbury missed some chances.) 

       Another line here is: 9...exf4!?; 10.Qxg7, "+/="  which is {mostly} unclear. 
       (Slightly better for White?) 

       According to Tartakower, very bad for White is the line: 9...0-0!?; {Diagram?} 
       Tartakower says this move is very bad, another author gives it a dubious appellation. ('?!') 
dxe5; 11.Bg5 Nxc2+; 12.Kd2, {Comp.} {Diagram?} when he says White is 
       MUCH better. (BUT!!! That is NOT at all clear, or that easy.)  ].  


10. fxe5!?, (Maybe - '!')  
Chernev (correctly) remarks that this move is very sharp and opens lines for both a White Rook 
on the f-file, and the White QB. (Both Kmoch and White give this move an exclam here, as also 
does the Russian Rubinstein biographer, Yuri Razuvaev.). 

'!' - GM Hans Kmoch. 

     [ 10.Bb3  ]


This is definitely forced. 

     [ 10...Nxc2+?!; 11.Kd1 Nh5; Black's best chance.  (11...Nxa1?; 12.exf6 Qxf6; 13.Nd5, "+/"
        12.Qf3 Nxa1; 13.Qxh5 0-0; 14.exd6 Bxd6; 15.Bg5, {"Compensation"} 
        (If White wins the Black Knight on a1, he will be way ahead in material.)  ].  


11. Kd1!,  
A very hyper-modern and  "Steinitzian"  move. Rubinstein clearly demonstrates that he 
understands the concept of the strong King. 

All the Russian writers have also praised this move.

Many of my students have told me this move simply looks too odd. 
"How does White unravel his pieces and get his QR into play?,"  they would ask me. 

  '!' - GM Andy Soltis. 

     [  If 11.Bb3!? 0-0-0; "<=>"  {Diagram?} with good play for Black. ].  


11...c6; (Maybe - '!')   
This move does many things, chiefly it keeps the White pieces out of the d5-square 
and also prepares the thrust, ...b5! 

     [ Interesting is: 11...0-0-0!?; 12.Rf1, "<=>" ].  


12. a4!,   
White says: "I cannot allow you the luxury of the pawn advance, ...b7-to-b5." 
(This restrains any queen-side pawn advances, says Chernev.).  

 '!' - GM Hans Kmoch.  '!' - IM John Donaldson.  '!' - GM Andy Soltis.

     [ 12.Rf1!? Rg8; 13.Bd2 b5; "=" ].  


Black decides he cannot any longer risk White capturing the g-pawn. 

This move is safe, sane, logical ... and the choice of many strong chess analysis engines. 
(P.C./ computer chess programs.)

Several authors have condemned this move as too passive, (Given it a - '?'); and suggested Black 
play other lines ... but NONE of these lines stand up to computer analysis!!!!! 

      [ Black could try: 12...0-0-0!?; 13.Qxg7, "~" which is VERY unclear. 
        (And perhaps bad for Black; especially in the long run.); 

        MANY  authors recommended: 12...Nh5!?; ('?!')  13.Qg4!, "+/=" {White is better.} 
        but repeated computer analysis prove that White is slightly better here, in this position. ]


13. Rf1, (Maybe - '!')   
This is probably the best move here for White. 

"Initiating a lasting pressure on the King's Bishop-file." - GM S. Tartakower

     [ 13.Bg5!? h6; "="  - GM S. Tartakower. ].   


Black feels he must prevent the pin, but this costs times and weakens squares ... 
(on the K-side); as well. 

(Several writers have condemned this move as well. {'?!'}  But I will only note that Chernev and 
 Soltis did NOT condemn this move ... and that allowing the pin leads to a VERY CLEAR and 
 large advantage for White!) 

      [ Several writers have suggested that Black instead play: 13...0-0-0; 14.Ne2 Kb8
Bxd4; 16.c3 Bc5; 17.Kc2, "+/="  (Maybe - "+/") {Diagram?} 
        ... but White has an advantage in this position as well. ].  


14. Ne2,   (Maybe - '!') 
White understandably wishes to rid himself of the strong Black steed on the powerful d4-square. 
(This piece ... on a very good out-post, is also making White's King very uncomfortable!) 

      [ A possible improvement here is the move: 14.Nb1!?, "+/="  {Diagram?} intending to boot 
        the Knight and keep more pieces on the board to maintain the pressure. (Several computers 
        like this line better than the game.)  {But  this line is potentially very risky as White begins to 
        fall behind in development - - - with his King stuck in the center.} ].  


Black castles, getting his King to seeming safety. 

This is good and normal.

Several writers have suggested that Black do better by exchanging Knights on e2, 
but this is bogus. 

     [ Worse for Black is the line:  14...Nxe2?!; 15.Kxe2 0-0-0; 16.Rf5! Bd6; 17.Be3 c5
        18.Kf1!, "+/" 
{Diagram?} White is clearly better. ].  


15. Nxd4 Bxd4;  
This looks (positionally) forced. 

(To put a pawn in the path of the Black Bishop is not logical, and makes Black's 
dark-squared Bishop a much-worse piece.) 

     [  Worse for Black is: 15...exd4?!; {Diagram?} Black has blocked his Bishop and opened 
         a key line to his King. 16.Bf4, "+/="  {Diagram?} White is clearly (a little) better. ].  


16. c3 Bb6;  
The safest looking square. 

     [  A tad more risky is: 16...Bc5!?; 17.b4! Bd6; 18.Be3, "+/=" {Diagram?} White is a little better. ].  


17. a5, (Maybe - '!')  
White gains space without losing time, and also drives Black's B to a slightly worse square. 

Notice how White's QR stands on an active square ... without ever having to move a single time!!! 

GM Soltis notes that it is not at all obvious how White will profit from the current set-up. 

     [ 17.Rf3!? ].  


This looks forced. 

18. Be3 Kb8;  
Moving the King to a safer square. 

     [ 18...Nh5??; 19.Qg4+, ("+/-") {White is forking the King and the Knight.} 
        The same fork kills Black on 18...Nxe4??  (19. Qg4+, "+/-")  ].  


19. Kc2!, "+/="    
White safe-guards his King, connects his Rooks ... and avoids any nonsense like ...Nxe4. 

Almost ... as if by magic ... after a Houdini-like untangling - (Even the computers did not see this 
one coming!); White has emerged from the opening with a clear plus!! 

"White now has a powerful position. He has the two Bishops, and good attacking prospects 
on both wings."  - GM Hans Kmoch

     [ Several of my students have suggested the move: 19.b4!?, {Diagram?} here, in this position. ].  


Black decides his great leader will be safest in the corner. 

     [ 19...Rd7!? ]


20. Rf3!, (Maybe - '!!')   
A problem-like theme, White prepares both doubling or tripling on the f-file, and a battery on the 
g1-a7 diagonal as well. 

This would lead to a SIMULTANEOUS double-attack on both the f7 and the a7-squares! 

"High strategy based on bi-lateral objectives." - GM S. Tartakower

  '!' - GM Andy Soltis. 

     [  The "pawn-storm" method by playing: 20.b4!?, "+/="  {Diagram?} may be a little crude, 
         but also good enough for a small advantage for the first player. ].  


20...Nd5!?; (Maybe - '!')  
Black plays a very interesting move, trying to stir up some much-needed counterplay. 

"An ingenious means of working up an attack if White captures the Knight." - Irving Chernev. 

(Burgess condemns this move, {'?!'} but offers no viable alternative. His analysis of this game is 
 very poor and also extremely superficial. I also note that two GM's give this move an exclam here.).  

 '!' - GM Andy Soltis. 

     [  If 20...h5!?; 21.b4, "+/="  White is clearly a little better here.  

        The continuation: 20...a6!?; {Diagram?} ("+/") simply weakens too many squares 
        around the 2nd players King. 

        Several famous authors have suggested Black play B-N1. E.g., 20...Bb8!?; {Diagram?} 
        This could be inferior. 21.Qf2 Rd7; {Diagram?} - GM S. Tartakower
        22.g4!, "+/=" 
(Maybe - "+/") {Diagram?} White is clearly better here. ].  


21. Bg1!,  
The simplest, White chooses - in grand fashion - to maintain the maximum amount of pressure. 

< White refuses to allow his opponent to "fish in troubled waters." >  - GM S. Tartakower

  '!' - GM Andy Soltis. 

     [  It seems White could have also played: 21.Bxa7!? Kxa7; 22.Qf2+ Kb8; 23.exd5 e4
        24.Rxf7, "+/=" ("+/" ?) with some advantage to White. 

        The wrong approach here for White is to just thoughtlessly grab the proffered piece. 
, (Probably dubious / '?!')  This is too risky to be any good.  21...cxd5; 22.Bb3 e4
(23.Rf4? g5; "-/+"  23.Qg4!?, - {A.J.G.})    23...exf3; 24.Bxc7 Qe2+
f2; "-/+" - Irving Chernev. ].  


Black puts his Knight on the "great" out-post square. 

This is probably forced for Black. If Black passively retreats, he gives White the better game - 
for ... absolutely no cost. (!)  

     [ 21...Nf6!?; 22.Qf2 Bb8; 23.Qc5, "+/=" {Diagram?} with White having the 
       better game here, in this position. ].  


22.Qf2!, "+/"   
White completes the idea that he started earlier. The exclam is for his consistency. 

For problem solvers, White's play is especially beautiful. He has shown the unmasking of f7, and 
both the  "TOURTON"  and  "ZEPLER"  doubling themes! 

White's advantage now seems to be increasing with each move. 

  '!' - GM Andy Soltis. 

     [ White could have also played: 22.h4!?, {Diagram?} with an interesting game. 

       Or even 22.b4!?, "~" {Diagram.} with wild play to follow. ].  


This looks forced - to guard a7. 

     [ Obviously bad for Black are: 22...b6??; 23.axb6, "+/-"   Or 22...a6??; 23.Qa7#  ].  


GM Ruben Fine picks the game up from this point.  
23. g3!!, (Maybe - '!!!/!!!!')  {Diagram?} 

An incredible pawn sacrifice that is not at all obvious. What is the point of this move? 

As a teen-ager, I borrowed a very old book of Rubinstein's games, and I still remember how 
surprised I was by this move. (You can calculate several moves ahead and still not really grasp 
exactly what his move accomplishes here.)

Yet no other author (that I know of) praises this move or even bothers to give it an exclam. 
 {When I first wrote this, I was only looking at one book - and operating mostly from memory.} 

The move, 23.g3!!!,  is also the first move in a whole string of really incredible chess moves. 

"Beginning a mighty combination."  - GM Hans Kmoch.  

"Skillfully conquering the g-file."  - GM S. Tartakower

"A fine piece of calculation."  - GM A. Soltis

  '!!' - GM Hans Kmoch. '!!' - GM Ruben Fine.  '!' - FM G. Burgess. '!' - GM Andy Soltis. 

     [ With the very simple move: 23.h4!?, "+/="  (Maybe - '!')  
       White gains a small, but fairly significant advantage. ].  


23...Nxh3; {Box?}  
Black figures he may as well take. 

     [ The continuation: 23...Ne6?!; ('?') 24.Rxf7, "+/"  wins a pawn (for White) for free. ]


24. Rxf7!,  
AH-HA!!  (Uh. Err, I think.).  

One of those very tricky and unexpected 'in-between' moves. 

Instead of retreating his Queen, White attacks his opponent's lady. 

     [ If instead White plays: 24.Qc5 Qxc5; "=/+"  
       Or  24.Qf1?! Ng5; "=/+"  Black is a little better in both lines. ].  


24...Qd6; {Box?}  This looks forced for Black. 

     [ Bad for Black is:  24...Nxf2?; 25.Rxe7 Rgf8;   (25...Bd6!?; 26.Re6!, "+/")   26.a6!, {Diagram?} 
       The best according to Chernev.   (Better for White is: 26.Rxg7, "+/-" - {A.J.G.}  
         26.Rf1, "+/" - GM Hans Kmoch.)   26...b6; 27.Be6!, "+/" - Irving Chernev. 
White is clearly much better here. ].  


25. Qb6!!,  
Rubinstein plays the surprise move. Like Marshall, he places his Queen on a square - that at first 
glance - looks completely untenable. (This is also another theme in the realm of problem solving.) 

A shocking move, according to the tournament committee. 

"A staggering move,"  says Irving Chernev

"Brilliant and devastating."  - GM Hans Kmoch.  

"A real thunderbolt."  - GM S. Tartakower

Razuvaev calls this move electrifying. 

  '!!' - GM Hans Kmoch.  '!!' - GM Ruben Fine.  '!!' - IM John Donaldson.  '!!' - GM Andy Soltis. 

     [ The average Master may have been very happy with the line: 25.Qc5! Nxg1; 26.Qxd6 Bxd6
        27.Rxg1, "+/=" (Maybe - "+/") when White is better. ].  


This looks forced to me. 
(Black had to guard against the threatened mate on the b7-square.) 

     [ A complete failure for Black is: 25...axb6?!; 26.axb6+ Ba7; 27.Rxa7+ Kb8; 28.Rfxb7+ Kc8
       29.Ba6!?, ("+/-") {Diagram?} Black is completely helpless, according to Chernev. 
(The computer likes the move: 29.Bc5!, "+/-" {Diagram?} ... winning for White.)   ].  


26. Bc5!!,  
A marvelous intermezzo. 

The newspapers the next day said this move obviously came as a complete surprise to 
Rubinstein's poor and unsuspecting opponent. 

Chernev notes that Black's Queen does not have a decent flight square! 

  '!' - FM G. Burgess.  '!' - GM Andy Soltis. 

      [  Later, sometime after the game, Rubinstein said White could also win with the very simple Rxd7. 
         (The proof is in the pudding.)  26.Rxd7! Qxd7; 27.Bxg8! axb6; Black must capture here, or 
         simply be materially inferior. 28.axb6+ Ba7; 29.Bc5! Qd8; 30.Be6! Ng5; 31.Bc8! Nf3
(Much worse for Black is: 31...Qxc8?; 32.Rxa7+ Kb8; 33.Bd6+ Qc7; 34.bxc7+ Kxa7
             35.c8Q, "+/-"
{Diagram?} when White is winning.)    32.Rxa7+ Kb8; 33.Bxb7 Qf6
Ne1+; 35.Kb1! Nxd3; 36.b7! Qf1+; 37.Ka2 Nc1+; 38.Ka3, "+/-"   
         and White is winning. (Easily.) 

         As far as a I can tell ... NO OTHER MASTER or author ... ever pointed this line 
         out before!!  {A.J.G.} ].  


26...Rxf7, {Box?}  
This looks forced for Black. 

"The Queen has no satisfactory flight square in this position." - GM A. Soltis

(Soltis gives this move an exclam - which surprised me.).  

 '!' - GM Andy Soltis. (!!) 

     [ Worse was: 26...Qc7?; 27.Qxc7 Rxc7; 28.Rxc7 Bxc7; 29.Bxg8, "+/-" ].  


27. Bxd6 Rf2+!;  
A last bit of trickery from Monsieur Rubinstein's very sly opponent. 

     [ A complete mistake is: 27...axb6??; 28.axb6+ Ba7; 29.Rxa7#Check-mate.  

       Also bad for the second player is: 27...Bxd6?!; 28.Bxf7 axb6; Otherwise, Black is materially lost. 
Kb8; 30.Bxg8, "+/-"  with an easily won game for White - - - in this position. ].  


28. Qxf2!,  
Rubinstein is elegant right up to the very end. 
(Almost a dozen authors have adorned this move with an exclamation point here.).  

"The simplest and best." - GM S. Tartakower

"A glorious finish." - Harry Golombek

  '!' - GM Hans Kmoch. '!' - GM Ruben Fine. '!' - IM John Donaldson. '!' - GM Andy Soltis. 

     [  Inferior - to the game - is the following continuation: 28.Kb3!? Bxd6; 29.Qe3 Rgf8
        and ... "Black still needs subduing." - Irving Chernev. 
        30.a6, "+/="
{Diagram?} and White is better...... (But he had better!)  ].  


Black obviously must capture the Queen. (Or resign!)  

29. Bc5!, "+/-"    
Another tactical shot, now Black has both his Rook on the g8-square, and his Knight on the 
f2-square under fire. (Hanging.) 

There is no suitable defense here, so Black resigns. 1-0 

 '!' - GM Hans Kmoch.   '!' - GM Ruben Fine.   '!' - GM Andy Soltis. 

<< "A game which, in a most agreeable way, shows the power of combination and the logical method 
       of the great Polish Grand-Master,"  wrote Gideon Stahlberg. >>  - GM Andrew Soltis

One of the most beautiful games of chess Rubinstein ever played. 
(The two Russian biographers of Rubinstein also call this one of the best games he ever played.) 

     [ A simpler win was: 29.Bxg8!? Bxd6; 30.Be6! Bc5; 31.Kd2 h5;  This is forced.  
         (Or 31...Kb8?; 32.b4 Bd6; 33.Rf1, "+/-")  
Bd6; 33.Rf1 Ng434.Bxg4 hxg4; 35.Rf7, "+/-"  with a won endgame. ].  

I consulted the following books, in order they are listed, to annotate this game. 

(I actually started with another book, which has the story of Rubinstein's life, then it goes on to 
 give several hundred games; most are NOT annotated. After verifying the game score from this 
 book, I then took a stab at annotating the game myself. I did this FIRST, then I turned on the 
 computer and began consulting the opening books.).  

(The best books for info and commentary on this game is:) 
# 1.)  "The Golden Dozen,"  < The 12 Greatest Chess Players of All  Irving Chernev. 1976, Oxford University Press. 

# 2.)  "Rubinstein's Chess Masterpieces,"  < 100 Selected Games. >  by GM Hans Kmoch.  1941, by Horowitz & Harkness. (Published in 1960 by Dover books.)

# 3.)  "The World's Great Chess Games,"  by GM Ruben Fine.  1951, 1976;  by R. Fine. (Published by Dover books, 1983.).  

# 4.)  "500 Master Games of Chess,"  by GM Savielly Tartakower  and also J. Du Mont.  1952; by the authors, and G. Bell & Sons, Ltd. (ENG)  Published in 1975 by Dover Books. 

# 5.)  "Akiba Rubinstein: The Later IM J. Donaldson  &  IM N. MinevISBN:  # 1-879479-26-5   1995, I.C.E. (International Chess Enterprises); Inc. 

# 6.)  "Chess Highlights of The 20th Century,"  by  FM G. Burgess.  1999, Gambit Publications, Ltd. 
(Although this is a great book, it is obvious that his analysis of the games is often very light. Most often, he simply repeats what others have written and offers NOTHING new!).  

# 7.)  "The 100 Best,"  (The 100 Best Games of the 20th Century, Ranked.) by GM Andrew Soltis.  2000, A. Soltis & McFarland Books. 

Copyright (c) A.J. Goldsby I, Copyright A.J.G; 2002. 

1 - 0

   GM Akiba Rubinstein   - {1882 - 1961}, was maybe the strongest player to  
 have never won the World Championship. Easily one of the four best players  
 in the World during the period from 1907 to 1922, according to the Oxford  
 Encyclopedia of Chess. He was the first (and maybe only) player to win FIVE  
 (5) International Tournaments in a row. (Clear first, no ties.)  In 1912 he also  
 won all five tournaments he played in. 
"His play - during this period was    
unparalleled. His tournament record for the six years 1907 to 1912 was much   
better than that of ANY other Master; at one time or another he had met the   
   best ten or eleven players," (in the World); "and he had a minus score ONLY   
against Maroczy."
   (From a chess encyclopedia.)  
 In 1918, he defeated Schlecter. 

 He won many tournaments and matches. Aside from beating Schlecter, he also 
 beat Marshall, (1908, +4, =1, -3); and Bogolyubov. (1920, +5, =3, -4)  His  
 greatest International Tournament wins were St. Petersburg, 1909; Breslau, 1912; 
 San Sebastian, 1912; Vilnius, 1912; (he beat Alekhine TWICE!) - Triberg, 1921; 
 and  Vienna, 1922
(This tournament was one of the all-time greatest. Virtually  
 all of the best players of that time were present. Rubinstein was winning in virtually  
 every game. In the end, he has like 10 wins and four or five draws. He lost NONE!  
 He also won the first brilliancy prize in this event! His games from that event are   
 perhaps the most beautiful and accurate of his entire career.)

 Rubinstein was a great student of the opening and one of the greatest end-game  
 players of all time. Players made remarks like: "Rubinstein is a Rook-and-Pawn  
 endgame played by the gods." Another chess editor, circa 1909, wrote: ... "that  
 if Rubinstein had won such a Rook-and-Pawn endgame 100 years ago, he would 
 have been burned at the stake for being in league with devils." (!!!!!) 

 GM Ruben Fine  once said that  Rubinstein  was the greatest of ALL the  
 Masters ... when it came to the end-game.  (Ahead, even of Capablanca!!) 

 Rubinstein was a great innovator, there are close to half a dozen different main 
 lines of openings that are still used today, from the Nimzo-Indian to the Four  
 Knight's Opening; that his name is still attached to. He left his mark on any 
 opening he studied or played. 

 According to many players, prior to World War I, Rubinstein was, "The young 
 field general who knew  THE  Marshal's baton was firmly ensconced in his own 
 knapsack." But after the war, he was never quite the same, - he was plagued by 
 doubts, and began being bothered by 'nervous tics' and other mental problems. 
 He slowly began to slide downhill and was never quite the same.

Click  HERE  for more info on this great player. (Including his complete tournament record.)  


   IM Karel Hromadka  (Born in Austria.) A long-time & strong Czech player.
Born -
April 04, 1887.  Deceased - July 07, 1956. 

A fairly strong player, (FIDE awarded him the title of IM, posthumously.);  he would probably
be a  GM  of he were alive today. (His peak rating,  BEFORE  being adjusted for inflation, was
very close to 2600!)  He won many tournaments and matches. (He lost a match by only 1 game
vs. Spielmann when that player was at the height of his powers!)  He also won the  Championship
of Prague  MANY times. Additionally he played on his country's Olympiad Team several times
as well. He was always a feared competitor and played in dozens of tournaments.

His best tournament results were:  Brno, 1907. (1st Place.)
Brno. 1909. {Quadrangular DRR} (1st Place.)
Vilnius (Russian Championship, 'B'), 1912. (1st Place.)
Prague Championship, (many strong players competed); 1914. (1st Place.)
Schach-Kongress, 1936. (1st Place.) 

K. Hromadka is also an innovator. He had many original ideas in the opening.  
His chief idea was  "THE  HROMADKA VARIATION." (A predecessor/precursor of the Benoni.)

  This game was first posted on June 25th, 2002. 
(Page last updated on:  Aug. 21st,  2002.)   Last edit/save on: 03/17/2014 .  

  I worked on this game several times over the past 5-7 years. (A continuing project!)  
But it was only after I was chatting with a titled player on  The Internet Chess Club,  and he told
me he had never studied this game, that I finally decided to post the web page on this epic encounter.

This game is pretty much the full version of the game as it exists in my database.
(I have not shortened it for publication.)
 If you would like a copy of that game to study, please contact me.

Click  HERE  to return (or go to) to my <<formerlyGeoCities>> "Home Page." 

Click  HERE  to return (or go to) to my 'AF Downloads'  "Home Page."

   (Or press the  "BACK"  button on your web browser.) 

 Click  HERE  to go to, or return to, my: 
 (GeoCities)   "Best All-Time [Chess] Moves Page."  

Click  HERE  to go to, or return to, my:
 (GeoCities)   "Best (All-Time) [Chess] Games Page."  

 Click  HERE  to go to my (GeoCities)   "Best Short Games Page."  
(If you liked this game, you will enjoy the many games that are available on this page.)

Click  HERE  to go to,  "La Mecca." 
(An on-line, chess encyclopedia.)

 Copyright (c) A.J. Goldsby I.  A.J. Goldsby, 1985 - 2013. 

  Copyright () A.J. Goldsby, 2014.  All rights reserved.