03 November 2012

Match Wits with Rubinstein

Since mid-September, my lessons for young players have been drawn from the games of Akiba Rubinstein (1882-1961). Rubinstein was a strong strategic player. Positions from his games have been employed to induce young, and often impulsive players, to consider the elements of the position before looking for candidate moves. Even so, positions have been presented in which there is a clear tactic. Pattern recognition alerts a player to a tactic, suspending positional analysis. But, at the end of a forcing sequence of moves, it remains important to assess the position accurately.

Today is the first scholastic tournament in Spokane for the 2012-2013 season. During check-in, the contestants will find a sheet with nine positions from Rubinstein's games. One of these appeared two weeks ago in "Monday Tactic"; another occurs after a position used in one of the weekly lessons. Players can use their time between rounds attempting to match wits with Rubinstein. In each position, he played the strongest move. Some of these positions are quite complicated, and may prove difficult even to the most skilled players. A couple are elementary.

 The correct answers will be posted during round four.

White moves first in the first four problems.





Black moves first in the remaining five problems.






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