03 October 2006

Rubinstein played the Rubinstein

A paragraph from 'Chess Memoirs' by Dr. Joseph Platz (p.51):

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bb5 Nd4. The Rubinstein Defense. The first time it was ever played against me, in a simultaneous exhibition when I was a youngster, was by the great Akiba Rubinstein himself. I was almost trembling with excitement, but I gave a good account of myself. When he made an unsound combination -- a very rare occurrence -- I refuted it and came out a full Rook ahead. Gracefully, silently, without even looking at me he turned over his King in surrender. It was the first and only time I ever saw Rubinstein.

The full game score isn't given. 'In 1933, when Hitler came to power I had to leave Germany in a hurry and fled across the border into Switzerland.' Dr. Platz told me once that when he saw the swastika adorning the hospital where he worked, he knew it was time to leave. Much of his chess memorabilia was left behind.

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