Sunday, 8 December 2019

Chess History Rewritten - Was Rubinstein Really a Mancunian?

The chess history books will tell you that the great chess master Akiba Rubinstein was born in Poland on December 1, 1880. But don't believe everything you read - fake news is not a modern invention, after all.

Chancing on a couple of his games recently, I was immediately struck by the fact that Rubinstein was a man who loved fianchettoing his knights - and as all devoted readers of the KCC Blog will know, this is one of the core characteristics of the Manchester School of Chess (see post dated January 14, 2019 by that other well known Mancunian, Joshua Pink). Take this game for instance:-

Or this one, when the fianchettoed knight is at the heart of a Rubinstein victory:-

Or even this one, where the knight is only fianchettoed for 2 moves:-

Fairly conclusive stuff, I think. A Mancunian if ever I saw one. From Didsbury, possibly. Or maybe Withington. But definitely from the south side of the City, I'd say! Although when you play through the following game, you may feel that only someone born in Heaven could have played such a brilliant combination. This is truly Rubinstein's Immortal Game. And thanks to being on the losing end of one of the greatest finishes ever, Georg Rotlevi has also acquired a degree of immortality. Even though he most definitely did not come from Manchester.

Wow, what a game! Seems like Rubinstein knew how to fianchetto his bishops as well!!

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