Endgame Riddle: Reti vs Rubinstein, Gothenburg 1920

by Karsten Müller
8/18/2021 – At the height of his career Akiba Rubinstein (1 December 1880 - 15 March 1961) was considered a possible challenger for World Champion Dr. Emanuel Lasker, but the two never played a World Championship match. Rubinstein was considered to be particularly strong in the endgame, and Rubinstein's victory over Richard Reti in the tournament in Gothenburg 1920 is regarded as a typical example of his endgame skills. Karsten Müller has now taken a closer look at this endgame to find out whether and when the position was actually won for Black. And invites ChessBase readers to join him in his search for the truth about this fascinating endgame. | Photo: Deutsche Schachzeitung 1908

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R. Réti vs A. Rubinstein, Gothenburg 1920

In this endgame we once again see how a knight fights against a bishop. However, in this example the bishop has the better of it because White's position suffers from a number of weaknesses and Black not only has an active king but also a very mobile bishop.

Black indeed won the game and Rubinstein's way of playing the endgame seems to be a model for this type of positions in which Black plays on both sides to seek for a win.

 

But are things really that clear? Was Rubinstein really winning at the beginning of the endgame, or could Réti have defended better at some point? The reader is invited to join the search for the truth: did Réti have a draw at some point? And if so, when, where and how?

Share your analyses, ideas and discoveries in the comments!

Chess Endgames 1 to 14

All endgame DVDs by Karsten Müller in one package! More than 70 hours of instruction! from "Basic knowledge for beginners" (volume 1) to "Practical Rook Endgames" (volume 8) to the ever-popular "Golden Guidelines of Endgame Play" (volume 14).

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Karsten Müller is considered to be one of the greatest endgame experts in the world. His books on the endgame - among them "Fundamentals of Chess Endings", co-authored with Frank Lamprecht, that helped to improve Magnus Carlsen's endgame knowledge - and his endgame columns for the ChessCafe website and the ChessBase Magazine helped to establish and to confirm this reputation. Karsten's Fritztrainer DVDs on the endgame are bestsellers. The mathematician with a PhD lives in Hamburg, and for more than 25 years he has been scoring points for the Hamburger Schachklub (HSK) in the Bundesliga.

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