Rubinstein Plays The Greatest Chess Combination Ever! - Every Move Explained
Is Akiba Rubinstein's stunning combination the greatest ever?

Rubinstein Plays The Greatest Chess Combination Ever! - Every Move Explained

SamCopeland
NM SamCopeland
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4

Akiba Rubinstein's masterpiece against Rotlewi from 1907 concludes in likely the greatest chess combination of all time as Rubinstein offers nearly all of his pieces for a dazzling array of checkmates supported by the finest pair of bishops you will ever see.

Rubinstein may be unfamiliar to never players, but he is one of the greatest chess players of all time, and he was likely the strongest player in the world between 1910 and 1915. Unfortunately, the much longed-for match between Rubinstein and Lasker scheduled for October 1914 was aborted due to the start of World War I. Although Rubinstein did not have the opportunity to etch his name into the eternal history of chess with a world championship title, thanks to this game, he is certain always to be appreciated by students of chess.

Lessons:

  • Don't capture on c4/c5 until your opponent develops their bishop.
  • Bishops are (mostly) better than knights!
  • Pawns can't move backward. (see also Larsen vs. Spassky, 1970)
  • Never play f4!

I've annotated the game below. Note how Rotlewi gets in trouble, not due to ghastly tactical errors, but due to weak undirected moves.

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