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Re: Chessplaying 'Stance'

Posted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 4:17 pm
by darren webb
i love this clip of tal, the little smile at 0.20 must have been pretty intimidating, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gI7TCZ4cLa4

Re: Chessplaying 'Stance'

Posted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 6:55 pm
by Simon Spivack
Michael Jones wrote:Rubinstein apparently used to "withdraw from the board after making his move, lest his presence distract his opponent" (unfortunately I can't remember the source of that quote).
From page vii of the paperback Dover edition of Rubinstein's Chess Masterpieces, annotated by Hans Kmoch, translated by Barnie Winkelman, ISBN 0-486-20617-3:
Rubinstein's character is too noble for the rough and tumble of life. His colleagues know best the spendour of his character, his consideration for others. So solicitous is he that his opponent be not disturbed in his reflection, that as a matter of principle, he leaves the board after each move, and only returns after his adversary has completed his play. Naturally, much time is lost thereby, and his own thinking suffers, and many a surprising lost of Rubinstein can no doubt be attributed to this factor.
What happened to Rubinstein during the Great War is largely unknown, although it can easily be inferred that he went through hell, given the vicissitudes Poland suffered during that period. This may provide an explanation of any odd behaviour.

Winkelman, who wrote the introduction, states that this part of the text was supplied by Dr. Hannak. The book was based upon Rubinstein Gewinnt. Note that Winkelman's prose, which some consider lapidary, is marred by the sacrifice of accuracy to polish. For instance,
At 19 Rubinstein learned that in the nearby town of Lodz ...
- page iv. To suggest that Lodz was near Stawiski, where Rubinstein was born, is akin to tabling that Glasgow is not far from Hassocks! Warsaw (or, better, Bialystok), in terms of geographical distance, is to Stawiski, as London is to Hassocks. This should have been immediately obvious to anyone with some knowledge of Polish geography.

Donaldson and Minev discuss this, and many other things, in The Life and Games of Akiva Rubinstein, 2nd edition, ISBN 1-88690-29-1. Apparently the family moved to Bialystok when Rubinstein was very young. It seems that the future champion of Russia did not travel to Lodz until early 1903, when he would have been twenty. I don't know whether anything further has been discovered, nonetheless, the book by Donaldson and Minev is worth purchasing, if only for the mini-portraits of many other players.

Incidentally, are there any plans in Poland to celebrate the centenary of Rubinstein's miracle year (1912)?

Re: Chessplaying 'Stance'

Posted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:35 pm
by Gavin Strachan
Image

I think the player was a character from Monkey and was playing chess on a cloud whilst seeking Buddha.

Re: Chessplaying 'Stance'

Posted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 11:32 pm
by Michael Jones
Simon Spivack wrote:From page vii of the paperback Dover edition of Rubinstein's Chess Masterpieces, annotated by Hans Kmoch, translated by Barnie Winkelman, ISBN 0-486-20617-3:
Rubinstein's character is too noble for the rough and tumble of life. His colleagues know best the spendour of his character, his consideration for others. So solicitous is he that his opponent be not disturbed in his reflection, that as a matter of principle, he leaves the board after each move, and only returns after his adversary has completed his play. Naturally, much time is lost thereby, and his own thinking suffers, and many a surprising lost of Rubinstein can no doubt be attributed to this factor.
Thanks for that - I haven't read the book in question so I presume whatever I did read it in must have been quoting from somewhere else.