Ruy LopezC99

Richard Teichmann
Akiba Rubinstein

Carlsbad (4)

"RICHARD THE FIFTH" BECOMES RICHARD THE FIRST. "....a first-class fighting man" - Fuzzy-Wuzzy by Rudyard Kipling (1865 - 1936), English Writer and poet. Richard Teichmann (1868-1925) was arguably Germany's strongest player during the late nineteenth century to the early years of the twentieth century. He had a commanding physical appearance and looked like a buccaneer due to his thick beard and a black patch over his right blind eye. He was given the sobriquet "Richard the fifth" because he often placed fifth in many tournaments. The greatest moment of his career came when he defeated the creme de la creme of the chess world at Carlsbad in 1911. Of the top players in the world then only two were missing from the tournament: Emanuel Lasker (1868-1941), the then reigning (2nd) world champion (1894-1921), and the prodigious Cuban Raoul Capablanca y Graupera (1888-1942) who went on to defeat Lasker and become the third world champion (1921-1927). The absence of the two world champions did not diminish Teichmann's victory and he proceeded to finish with 18/25 a full point ahead of the strongest Polish player at the time, Akiba Rubinstein (1882-1961) and the talented Austrian Carl Schlecter (1874-1918), who narrowly lost his 10-game world championship match against Lasker in 1910). The 26-strong tournament also featured legends such as Rotlewi, Marshall, Nimzovich, Vidmar, Alekhine (the 4th world champion) and Tartakover just to name a few. In the fourth round of the tournament, the German had the white pieces against Rubinstein and showed his great form by defeating the man regarded as the wizard of Rook endings and the strongest player never to have got the chance to fight for the world title. Enjoy !!

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 The Polish immortal supergrandmaster steers the game into the closed Ruy Lopez territory. 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 d6

In game five of the Fide Final match the Ukrainian chose 7... O-O and there followed 8. h3 Bb7 9. d3 d6 10. a3 Nb8 11. Nbd2 Nbd7 12. Nf1 Re8 13. Ng3 c6 14. Nh2 d5 15. Qf3 g6 16. Ba2 Bf8 17. Bg5 h6 18. Bd2 Bg7 19. Ng4 Nxg4 20. hxg4 Nc5 Ponomariov, R / Ivanchuk, V, Fide Wch KO Final, Moscow, 2002 - 1-0 (64). In an interesting struggle between the 13th and fourteenth world champions, Black also 7... O-O and a tense draw resulted after 8. h3 Bb7 9. d3 d6 10. a3 Nb8 11. Nbd2 Nbd7 12. Nf1 Re8 13. Ba2 c6 14. Ng3 Bf8 15. Nf5 d5 16. d4 c5 17. dxc5 Nxc5 18. exd5 e4 19. N3d4 Bxd5 20. Bxd5 Qxd5 :Kasparov,G / Kramnik, V - Linares, 2003, 1/2-1/2 (33). 8. c3 O-O 9. d3 Teichmann could have employed the more aggressive 9. d4!? and if 9... Bg4 10. d5 Na5 11. Bc2 c5 12. Nbd2 Rb8 13. h3 Bh5 with an equal position. In another game of recent vintage the young Russian superstar chose 9. h3 and the game continued 9... Na5 10. Bc2 c5 11. d4 Qc7 12. Nbd2 cxd4 13. cxd4 Rd8 14. b3 Nc6 15. Bb2 exd4 16. Nxd4 Nxd4 17. Bxd4 Be6 18. Rc1 Qa5 19. Nf1 Ne8 20. Qd3 Rac8 -Grischuk, A / Kasimdzhanov, R -Wijk Aan Zee, 2002, 1-0 (49). 9... Na5 10. Bc2 c5 Rubinstein has played a quasi-Chigorin variation, the difference being that White has not yet played h3 and d4. 11. Nbd2 Nc6 12. a4 Bb7= The game is dead even. Black could also have tried 12... Bg4 13. h3 Be6= or 12... Be6 13. Bb3 Qd7 14. Bxe6 Qxe6 15. Ng5 Qd7 16. Qb3 b4 17. Nc4 Rab8 with full equality. 13. Nf1 A thematic move; the steed heads for the e3 or g3 square. 13... Qc7 14. Ng3 g6?! A weakening move which seeks to prevent the knight from riding to f5. Better was 14...d5 stirring up trouble in the centre and getting some kind of counterplay going. For example, 14... d5!? 15. exd5 Nxd5 16. Bb3 Rfd8= with a solid game. The text hands a slight advantage to white which Teichmann proceeds to exploit to the fullest. 15. Bg5! 15.Bb3, assuming control of the a2-g8 diagonal and attacking the sensitive f7 point was also very strong, especially as Black's light-squared bishop is on b7 and a couple of priceless tempi would have to be spent re-deploying it to his monarch's defence. 15... Rad8 15...Nd8 with the idea of playing 16...Ne6 and re-fortifying the kingside deserved attention. 16. axb5! axb5 17. Qc1! The regal lady assumes a strategic post with ambitions to head for the h6 real estate. Again, Bb3 was a strong and worthy alternative. 17... Rfe8! Guessing White's intentions and preparing to re-deploy the Bishop to f8. 18. h3! A quiet but very strong multi-purpose move which creates a luft for the white king, defends the g4 square and in some lines could assist a kingside attack. 18... Ra8!? Rubinstein has no counterplay and seeks to loosen the shackles a bit by liquidating 19. Rxa8?! The text seems to be complying with his adversary's plan. 19. Qe3 was very strong. 19... Rxa8 20. Nh2 heading for g4. Interestingly, this move was played by Ponomariov as early as the 14th move in the above-quoted game five of the 2002 Fide final against his fellow countryman Ivanchuk. 20... Bc8! The majestic Pole seems to be holding the position. The game is still roughly even but white has the better game with more space and greater chances of commencing an attack against the opposing liege. 21. f4! The best way to drum up any form of attack. 21... Ne8 21... c4 seeking to mix things up on the queenside, merited consideration. 22. f5!? Although Black's bishop was re-positioned to defend f5, Teichmann nevertheless pushes the infantryman forward into the heart of enemy territory. Teichmann could have played the useful 22.Nf3 or 22.Rf1, preparing the f5 pawn push, but cannot be faulted for preferring the more aggressive and direct approach. 22... Bxg5 23. Qxg5 Qe7! Seeking to exchange white's most dangerous piece. The position, though pregnant with tension, is still even. Indeed in some lines, Black might actually be better. 24. Qh6! Richard sagely avoids the exchange. If 24. Qxe7? then Black claims the ascendancy after 24... Nxe7 25. fxg6 hxg6 26. Nf3 Ra2 27. Rb1 Be6 28. d4 exd4 29. cxd4 c4 24... Qf8! Hmmm...what is this ? Her majesty pursues her counterpart ! Will the ladies dance ? 25. Qc1 25. Qh4 25... Qg7 Despite all the pressure and tension, Black is at least equal.This is a testament to Rubinstein's great defensive strength. 26. Rf1!

26... g5?! Ironically, after displaying great defensive prowess the great player appeared to have cracked under the building pressure.The text-move is a mistake and marks the turning point in the game. After this inaccuracy Akiba has to endure prolonged, unrelenting pressure as his territory is besieged. 26. ..Nf6, bringing the knight fully back into the game, or even 26...gxf5 was better. For example, 26... Nf6 27. Bb3 Ra7! protecting Black's second rank. 27...c4 or 27...b4 was also good. 28. fxg6 Qxg6!= but not 28...hxg6 ? with advantage to white after 29.Qg5 ! Black's other strong line of defence was 26... gxf5! 27. Nxf5 Bxf5 28. Rxf5! but not 28.exf5 ? as Black gains the clear advantage after 28...Nf6 ! 28... Ne7 29. Rg5 Ng6 30. Bb3 h6 31. Rg3 Nf6 32. Ng4 Kh7! with equality. Black has no problems as his pieces have come solidly to his defence and the Rook stands menacingly on the open "a" file, ready to spring into action. 27. Ng4!? Richard misses the poisonous 27. Nh5! as after 27... Qh6 (best) 28. Bd1! Nf6? (28...Kf8 is better) 29. h4! would have been winning for white. The text was a slight inaccuracy which afforded Black a crucial tempo to strengthen his kingside. 27... Nf6 Akiba seizes it, guarding the h5 square. 28. Nxf6+ Qxf6 29. h4! An internecine pawn push ! 29... h6 Black dare not capture on h4 and open the file as demonstrated by the following variation. 29... gxh4?? 30. Nh5 Qe7 31. Qh6 f6 32. Bb3+ or 32.Nxf6+ 32... c4 33. dxc4 Na5 34. Nxf6+ Kh8 35. Bc2 30. Nh5 Qd8 31. f6! White now has a commanding advantage which is accentuated by the advance of the foot soldier with malicious aforethought. 31... Kh7! 31...Bg4, immediately attacking the marauding knight, was also a good defence. 32. hxg5! Clearing the "h" file. 32... Bg4? Another mistake. 32...Kg6 was the best defensive resource. 33. Ng7! Even stronger was the immediate 33.Bd1. For example, 33. Bd1! Bxh5 34. Bxh5 Qg8 35. Rf3! A potent Rook-lift. If 35... Nd8 then 36. Rh3! Ne6 37. Bg6+! Qxg6 Forced. If(37... Kh8 38. Rxh6+ leads to a quick mate. If) (37... 37... fxg6 38. Rxh6#) 38. Rxh6+ Qxh6 39. gxh6 and wins. 33... Kg6? Another inaccuracy under pressure. Still losing, but better, was 33...h5. 34. Bd1! White also wins after 34. gxh6 Qh8 35. Bd1 Bxd1 36. Qxd1 Qxh6 37. Rf3 Qg5 38. Nf5 Kxf6 39. Nd4+ Ke7 40. Nxc6+ 34... Qd7 35. Nf5 Also winning was 35. Bxg4 (or 35.gxh6) 35... Qxg4 36. gxh6 Kh7 37. Nf5 Qg6 38. Qd2 Qxf6 39. Nd4 Ra1 40. Rxa1 and wins. 35... Bxf5 36. exf5+ and the great Pole sought clemency and resigned. White reaps the full point after 36. exf5+ Kh7 37. Bh5! preparing the g6 pawn push. 37... Kg8 38. g6 fxg6 39. fxg6 Rf8 40. g7 (or the fantastic deflecting shot 40. Bg4!! Although he might not have taken too kindly to being called "fuzzy wuzzy" this was doubtlessly a truly fabulous and "first-class fighting" performance by the newly dubbed "Richard the First" !!) 1-0 [Wilkinson I.]

Game(s) in PGN