|Sun Aug 2 2009 2:59PM | MsgID: 11780620|
Thanks for this posting,antolie. An interesting case study which tempts one to ask, "How often has a chess-genius and potential world-beater been stymied because of a lack of financial resource or the absence of opportunity?" Rubenstein was prevented for advancing his cause because of inufficient funds. How many others, with great potential, have been thrown aside because of a lack of resource, financial or otherwise.
[In raising this question, I do not refer to the complaint so often made by weak players that they could do better if they had better training resources. No amount of training will compensate for a lack of talent.]
|Sun Aug 2 2009 1:56PM | edited: 1:56:58 | MsgID: 11780329|
'You are Crazy! But Does It Matter?'
Translated from 'Schaaklezen' written by Dirk Jan ten Geuzendam. It's a collection of dutch chess collumns.
Show me your games and I tell you who you are. Is it possible to draw conclusions about the nature of somebody's character when looking at their chess games? A tempting hypothesis, which seems to be as easily proven as it is challenged. The book 'Snow Falling on Cedars' from David Guterson which has received numerous literary awards in the United States, describes a lawyer who believes his personality is reflected in his chess games. At least you come to that conclusion since he uses his chess style as a business card.
When Nels Gudmundsson for the first time visits Kabuo Miyamoto, accused of murder , he does not want to waste any time talking about why he is the man for the job to defend him , instead straight out he offers to play a game of chess . They draw for color and the lawyer has white: 'The old man doesn't seem to bother to castle at all. He is not faintly interested in the endgame. His strategy is to give up material in the beginning-phase of the game in favor of the position which occurs, give up his pieces to get an undefeatable bind on the board. He won , even though Kabuo saw what he was doing. No fiddling. And the game ended abruptly.'
The reader might now expect he knows how Gudmundsson will set about his defense and also has inadvertently faith in his qualities.
When going through two books about the great Akiba Rubinstein which first was released by the International Chess Enterprises, I was wondering in which extend the sober playing style of the Polish genius was a reflection of his excessive desire not to be a burden on his surroundings. various people of his time testified Rubinstein never sat at the board when it was not his move because he was terrified to disturb his opponent. As soon as he pressed his clock , he would stand up, duck under the cord which separated the players from the audience and if possible even hid behind a big plant until it was his move again.
This complete effacing of himself and his reluctance against all blatancy is also shown is his games. As Nimzowitsch wrote in his tournament book about Karlsbad 1929: 'Another characteristic property of Rubinstein is his aversion to melodrama. Hollow bombast and pretentious moves shock him deeply in his soul! All his moves are soaked with a natural elegance , almost contiguous to severity. [...] His moves are always normal, you could call them 'ordinary'. [...] Closer study brings to light that these simple, common moves are in fact extraordinary deep.'
This correlation between his nature and chess style produces a fine parallel, which undoubtly contains a core of truth, but sells Rubinstein short. Was his style indeed as sober as Nimzowitch outlined? Maybe so if we compare him to a lot of his contemporaries. Hypermodern and neoR0m@ntic players might consider him pretty boring and dogmatic despite his great strength. nevertheless Rubinstein's concept of many positions give you the feeling he was way ahead of his time.
Rubinsteins games to this day deserve to attention of every serious chess student. Only therefore alone John Donaldson and Nikolay Minev cannot be praised enough for all the material the put together in 'Akiba Rubinstein:Uncrowned King' en 'Akiba Rubinstein:the Later Years' On the basis of roughly thousand chess games, many accompanied with annotations and testimonies the reader gets a clear picture of the luster and sadness in the 'Curriculum Vitae' of one of the greatest chess players ever lived. thrilling as the wave of success was between 1907 and 1912 , when he stood above everybody else as a tourney player ,so compelling was the turn around after world war one , which amplified his mental state drasticly. The expected match against Lasker was canceled due to that reason.A few years later Rubinstein's dream to concur the highest title definitely shattered when he was unable to gather the needed money to be able to play a match against Capablanca.
More and more he was haunted by ghosts in his head, although he occasionally still showed his enormous talent. He managed to will a strong tourney ahead of Aljechin and Bogoljubov. During tourneys his peculiarities could not be unnoticed, but never it received more then a shrug of one's shoulders. Typical was the reaction of a neurologist from Munchen who examined him at the instance of Mieses Because Rubinstein constantly complained about a buzzing fly crawling on his face during a tourney in San Sebastian. Without hesitation the doctor said: 'My friend, you are crazy! But does it matter? You are a chessmaster!' Rubinstein had to stop playing chess in 1932. The rest of his life was totally grief.The Rubinsteins were very lucky they survived world war two in a by Germans occupied Brussels.
To make sure he was stationed in a sanitarium for five years.For this act of charitable the family received a sum of 49500 Belgian Franks Once in a while he played chess with his son Sammy, a Master class chess player who still lives in Brussels or with the master O' Kelly. It was not until 1961 when the relieving death came. Donaldson and Minev tried very hard to establish a honoring for Rubinstein, but a definite tribute their books cannot be called. For this the material needs to be reordered and reproduced and a few gaps need to be filled. This would be very convenient for the binded book which to my enjoyment is available.The will to improve is still there. in version two of the book are many adjustments and corrections.
As a tribute to Rubinstein a piece of classic clarity . Even now when someone wants to engross himself in the Tarrash defence can take advantage of the refutation which Rubinstein showed in 1908(!)
White: Akiba Rubinstein
Black: George Sawle
1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 c5 3. c4 e6 4. cxd5 exd5 5. Nc3 Nf6 6. g3 Nc6 7. Bg2 cxd4 These times more played is 7. .. Be7 8. Nxd4 Qb6 9. Nxc6! Exchanges the battle of the isolated pawn for the battle of the pawn left behind on c6 9. .. bxc6 10. 0-0 Be7 Kmoch finds 19. Le6 better but then according to Razoevajev white can play the strong move 11 e4! 11. Na4! Qb5 12. Be3 Everything revolves around c5. 12. .. 0-0 13.Rac1 Bg4 14. f3! Be6 15. Bc5 Rfe8 16. Rf2!
This key move strenghtens the second row.16. .. Nfd7 17. Bxe7 Rxe7 18. Qd4 R7e8 19. Bf1 Rec8 20. e3! Black does not have a shred of counterplay 20. Qb7 21. Nc5 Nxc5 22. Rxc5 R8c7 23. Rc2 Qb6 24. b4 a6 25. Ra5 He could also play 25. Rxd5 25. ..Rb8 26.a3 Rca7 27.Rxc6 Qxc6 28.Qxa7 Ra8 29. Qc5 Qb7 30. Kf2 h5 31. Be2 g6 32. Qd6 Qc8 33.Rc5 Qb7 34. h4 a5 35. Rc7 Qb8 36. b5 a4 37. b6 Ra5 38. b7 and black resigned