Studying Old Games (Part 2)

Continuing my review of some older games, here’s one that I consider to be very instructive, a strategic masterpiece by Akiba Rubinstein. The blockade of the hanging pawns was straightforward enough, but what I found remarkable was the way in which Rubinstein consolidated his position before trying to convert his advantage. Moves like 16.Rf2 and 19.Bf1 look slow if not pointless, but they are a key part of White rendering his position invulnerable to a sudden counterattack.

With White’s king position thoroughly secured Rubinstein resumes his siege of Black’s weak pawns on the queenside. The culmination is the tactical win of a pawn with 27.Rxc6, but after this we get further consolidation with 29.Qc5 and 30.Kf2.

It’s the quiet moves that should be studied here because Anatoly Karpov only learned to play like this more than sixty years later.

Nigel Davies

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About NigelD

Nigel Davies is an International Chess Grandmaster living in St. Helens in the UK. The winner of 15 international tournaments he is also a former British U21 and British Open Quickplay Champion and has represented both England and Wales on several occasions. These days Nigel teaches chess through his chess training web site, Tiger Chess, which has articles, recommendations, a monthly clinic, videos and courses. His students include his 15 year old son Sam who is making rapid progress with his game. Besides teaching chess, Nigel is a registered tai chi and qigong instructor and runs several weekly classes.