Monday, July 12, 2010

The Rubinstein Trap

The Rubinstein Trap is a frequently seen trap in the Queen's Gambit Declined. It occurs in various different settings, and is characterized by White's Nxd5!, a pseudo-sacrifice of the knight that wins at least a pawn, since if Black plays ...cxd5, Bc7 will trap Black's queen. The trap is so named because the great Akiba Rubinstein, arguably the strongest player who never got a shot at the world championship, managed to fall into it twice - against Euwe at Bad Kissingen 1928 and against Alekhine at San Remo 1930. According to Edward Winter, the following game, predating Rubinstein's misadventures with the trap by over 20 years, is the earliest known example:

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