Monday 15 June 2015

London 1922

The 1922 London tournament has always held a bit of a fascination for me. Initially this was due to the participation of Charles Gilbert Watson, one of Australia's strongest, yet somewhat unknown players, of the inter-war period. But apart from that, it was still an incredibly strong event, with Capablanca, Alekhine, Euwe, Rubenstein and Reti in the field.
While Capablanca was already World Champion, and Alekhine and Euwe were to claim the title in the future, it was also one of the last strong results for Akiba Rubenstein. He scored 10.5/15 (Capablanca won with 13 points), and played a number of fine games.
Having recently been playing through the games from this event (and reading Maroczy's book of the tournament) , I was struck by how versatile a player Rubenstein was. While he was rightly recognised as a master of the rook and pawn ending, he could play some fine attacking chess when required. In the following game he dismantles Victor Wahltuch in pretty short order, after Wahltuch castles queenside, and then gets his pieces in a tangle. Rubenstein was even able the eschew the obvious win of a queen while conducting his attack, only capturing when it was absolutely necessary.

Wahltuch,Victor L - Rubinstein,Akiba [A46]
London BCF Congress London (3), 1922

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