The Rubinstein Trap

Edward Winter


rubinstein

Akiba Rubinstein


The ‘Rubinstein Trap’ acquired its name after Akiba Rubinstein fell into it twice, against Euwe at Bad Kissingen, 1928 and against Alekhine, San Remo, 1930:

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Rubinstein, as Black, versus Euwe (12...Nh5 13 Nxd5) and Alekhine (12...f5 13 Nxd5)

Below are the earlier instances of this trap that we have been able to record:

Amos Burn – Heinrich Wolf
Ostend, 3 July 1905
Queen’s Gambit Declined

1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Nf6 4 Bg5 Be7 5 Nf3 Nbd7 6 e3 O-O 7 Rc1 a6 8 cxd5 exd5 9 Bd3 Re8 10 O-O c6 11 Qc2 h6 12 Bf4

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12...Nh5 13 Nxd5 Nxf4 14 Nxf4, and White won a long game.



Niklós Bródy – Hermann von Gottschall
Düsseldorf, 13 August 1908
Queen’s Gambit Declined

1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Nf6 4 Nf3 Be7 5 Bf4 O-O 6 e3 a6 7 Rc1 Nbd7 8 cxd5 exd5 9 Bd3 c6 10 O-O Re8 11 h3 Nf8 12 Ne5 Ng6 13 Bg3 Nxe5 14 dxe5

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14...Nd7 15 Nxd5 Nxe5 16 Nxe7+ Qxe7 17 Bbl Ng6 18 e4 Qg5 19 Kh2 Qb5 20 b3 Be6 21 f4 Rad8 22 Qc2 Bc8 23 Qf2 Qb4 24 Rcd1 Nf8 25 e5 Be6 26 f5 Bd5 27 Bh4 Rd7 28 Qg3 Qa5 29 Bf6 g6 30 Qg5 Resigns.

Source: tournament book, pages 89-90.



Karpf – Eissmann
Nuremberg, 8 January 1911
Queen’s Gambit Declined

1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Nf6 4 Bg5 Be7 5 Nf3 O-O 6 e3 h6 7 Bh4 c6 8 Rc1 Nbd7 9 Bd3 Nh7 10 Bg3 Re8 11 O-O Ng5 12 cxd5

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12...exd5 13 Nxd5 Nxf3+ 14 Qxf3 Ne5 15 Nxe7+ Rxe7 16 Bxe5 Rxe5 17 dxe5 Qxd3 18 Rfd1 Qg6 19 Rd8+ Kh7 20 Qg3 Qe6 21 Qf3 Qxe5 22 Rcd1 Qxb2 23 Rxc8 Rxc8 24 Qf5+ g6 25 Qxc8 Resigns.

Source: Schachjahrbuch für 1911 I. Teil by L. Bachmann, pages 22-23 (Ansbach, 1912).

Bachmann’s book (page 19) gave the incorrect date ‘8 January 1910’, but the event (a match between the Tarraschklub and the Klub Noris) took place in 1911, as reported on page 56 of the February 1911 Deutsche Schachzeitung.



Amos Pokorný – Rudolf Mikulka
Pardubice, August 1923
Queen’s Gambit Declined

1 Nf3 d5 2 d4 Nf6 3 c4 e6 4 Nc3 Nbd7 5 Bg5 Be7 6 e3 O-O 7 Rc1 c6 8 Qc2 Re8 9 Bd3 Nf8 10 O-O N6d7 11 Bf4 g5 12 Bg3 Ng6 13 cxd5

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13...exd5 14 Nxd5, and White went on to win.



On pages 33-34 of 666 Kurzpartien (Berlin-Frohnau, 1966) Kurt Richter gave this specimen (about which we seek more details):

Burger – Hündorfer
Munich, 1924
Queen’s Gambit Declined

1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 e6 3 c4 d5 4 Nc3 Be7 5 Bg5 Nbd7 6 e3 O-O 7 Rc1 c6 8 Qc2 Re8 9 Bd3 Nf8 10 O-O N6d7 11 Bf4 f6 12 cxd5

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12...exd5 13 Nxd5 cxd5 14 Bc7 Resigns.

This game (with White’s name given as ‘Buerger’) was included on page 211 of 200 Miniature Games of Chess by J. du Mont (London, 1941) in the note to Black’s seventh move in the game ‘Fairhurst-Seitz, Scarborough, 1930’. That latter game was said to have gone as follows: 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 d5 3 c4 e6 4 Nc3 Nbd7 5 Bg5 Be7 6 e3 O-O 7 Rc1 Re8 8 Bd3 c6 9 O-O dxc4 10 Bxc4 Nd5 11 Bf4 Nxf4 12 exf4 Nb6 13 Bd3 Nd5 14 g3 Nxc3 15 bxc3 c5 16 Ne5 Qc7 17 Bxh7+ Kf8 18 Qh5 Resigns.

Although this score is to be found in various databases, on page 52 of the February 1950 BCM J.A. Seitz, writing from Buenos Aires, reported that the game (which had also been published as a Seitz loss on page 294 of the August 1930 BCM) ‘was not played by me but probably by some other opponent of Mr Fairhurst in the Major Open of the BCF 1930 Congress at Scarborough’. After checking the matter with Fairhurst, the 1950 BCM confirmed that Seitz had not been the loser, and said that the game was probably W. Fairhurst v A. Mortlock from the same tournament.



Eduardo Bauzá Mercére (New York, NY, USA) draws attention to this game published on page 14 of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 15 April 1915:

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Oscar Chajes – Jacob Bernstein
Metropolitan Chess League individual championship, New York, 10 April 1915
Queen’s Gambit Declined

1 d4 d5 2 Nf3 Nf6 3 c4 e6 4 Nc3 Nbd7 5 cxd5 exd5 6 Bf4 c6 7 e3 Qa5 8 Bd3 Bb4 9 Qc2 O-O 10 O-O Re8 11 Ne5 Nf8 12 a3 Be7 13 h3 N6d7 14 b4 Qd8

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15 Nxf7 Kxf7 16 Nxd5 Ne6 17 Nxe7 Qxe7 18 Bg3 Nf6 19 Bxh7 Nf8 20 Bd3 Kg8 21 Be5 Be6 22 f4 N8d7 23 Rf3 Rf8 24 Raf1 a5 25 e4 Nxe5 26 dxe5 Nd7 27 Qc3 axb4 28 axb4 Bf7 29 Rg3 c5 30 b5 c4 31 Be2 Nc5 32 Qf3 Qh4 33 Rg4 Qh6 34 f5 Bh5 35 Bxc4+ Kh8

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36 Rd1 Bxg4 37 hxg4 Rfd8 38 Bd5 Nd7 39 Qg3 Nb6 40 e6 Nc4 41 g5 Qh5 42 Re1 Ra3 43 Qc7 Qxg5 44 Qh2+ Qh6 45 Qxh6+ gxh6 46 Bxc4 Kg7 47 e7 Re8 48 e5 Raa8 49 f6+ Kg6 50 Rf1 Rac8 51 Be6 Ra8 52 Bd7 Resigns.



Note: These games were given in C.N.s 2187, 2588, 3354 and 7961.



Latest update: 3 March 2013.


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Copyright: Edward Winter. All rights reserved.