Rubinstein's Queenless Masterpieces
One of the classical players who influenced me the most was Akiba Rubinstein, born in 1882. Rubinstein was, along with Paul Keres, the best player never to play a match for the world championship.
Rubinstein is known for his very objective and classical approach to chess. He was not the kind of grandmaster to engage in speculative attacks, and his openings were strictly solid and classical. He was considered one of the best endgame players ever, so it is not surprising that his games would end up in my column.
I spent many hours when I was fifteen to sixteen years old playing through Rubinstein's games. Now join me in looking through some of his most beautiful and instructive queenless middlegames.
First, here is a game by Rubinstein against his perennial rival Georg Salwe, in which he exploits the two bishops to perfection:
In the following game Rubinstein defeats Oldrich Duras in very instructive positional style:
And here we see him on the other side of the two bishops issue, against Aron Nimzowitsch.
Nimzowitsch (incidentally, considered by many to not really believe in the advantage of the two bishops) tries too hard to make something of his "minor exchange" and Rubinstein slowly pushes him to the back of the board:
Finally, here are some puzzles from the end of Rubinstein's endgames: