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Rubinstein: Move by Move Paperback – March 31, 2016
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About the Author
Zenón Franco is a Grandmaster from Paraguay, now living in Spain. He represented Paraguay, on top board, in seven Chess Olympiads, and won individual gold medals at Lucerne 1982 and Novi Sad 1990. He's an experienced trainer and has written numerous books on chess.
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Top Customer Reviews
So why study Rubinstein? Well, what piqued my interest was the book 'Winning Chess Manoeuvres' by GM Sarhan Guliev. In that book, GM Guliev covered a handful of Rubinstein's masterpieces, in which most of them were not covered in this book. In fact, it could be argued that GM Guliev's book is quite complementary to this book. In 'Winning Chess Manoeuvres', there was an 'around the world' glorious combination that went on for 16 moves when he played against Eugene Znosko-Borovsky in St Petersburg in 1909. I also recall a game which left an indelible impression on the mind of FWC Botvinnik in which the plan was to create a bind on the d5 square (d4 for black), force an exchange of knights, recapture with the e-pawn creating an extended & strong pawn chain which also had the benefit of opening up the e-file, then building up one's heavy pieces on the semi-open e-file hence placing an insurmountable amount of pressure on the backward e6 pawn (e3 for black). Another classic idea was in the 'Spanish Torture' in which Rubinstein playing with the black pieces; after castling on the kingside, eventually moved his f- & g-pawns forward one square to make room for both of his knights to occupy the f7 & g7 squares. I was taken aback by how much control Rubinstein had on the kingside with this formation.
Back to GM Franco's book. He heavily borrows the commentary of GM Gelfand, FWC Kasparov & GM Razuvaev; obviously, all of which highly admired Rubinstein's style of play, particularly GM Gelfand. Rubinstein's contributions to opening theory are well covered, which I was delighted with. I found myself in awe going through the games covered in this book, especially the subtle backward moves which were so right! I don't think I'll ever get over how one man could come up with so many ideas. It's like he had taken the baton off of FWC Steinitz & just sprinted away with it, leaving Wilhelm to choke on his dust; as if experiencing blowback. I'm sure the 1st World Champion couldn't have foreseen someone exercising their imagination more than himself.
It's very difficult to criticise this book. Towards the end of the book, spelling mistakes & wrong words inserted, did take on a considerable uptick. Apart from that, I don't think I could have asked for a better book. The explanations of the ideas were lucid. Questions were asked of the author at appropriate moments & the reader was asked to give his/her move choice to test one's skills or judgement of Rubinstein's style. Alternate calculations were presented at the most critical moments of the game & where there were potential tactical blunders. The themes that Rubinstein's playing style was well known for, were separated into the aforementioned five chapters which made the division of the book quite logical. Thank you GM Franco for your contribution to this school of chess. I highly recommend this book to anyone who already possesses a firm foundation in chess understanding. This book is a treasure chest of chess ideas for the more advanced player.