Author: Johann "Hans" Joseph Kmoch (1894-1974) signed by Akiba Rubinstein
Publisher: Verlag der Wiener Schachzeitung
Place: Wien (Vienna)
151+[1 ad] pages with frontispiece portrait and diagrams. Royal octavo (8 1/4" x 6 1/4") bound in original publisher's green cloth with gilt lettering and decorative squares to cover and spine. Biography by Jacques Hannak. (Bibliotheca Van der Linde-Niemeijeriana: 3262) Signed by Rubinstein below printed name on portrait. First edition.
Akiba Kiwelowicz Rubinstein (1880-1961) was a Polish chess player. He is considered to have been one of the greatest players never to have become World Chess Champion. Between 1907 and 1912, Rubinstein established himself as one of the strongest players in the world. In 1907, he won the Carlsbad tournament and the All-Russian Masters' tournament, and shared first at Saint Petersburg. In 1912 he had a record string of wins, finishing first in five consecutive major tournaments: San Sebastián, Pöstyén, Breslau, Warsaw and Vilna (All-Russian Masters' tournament), although none of these events included Lasker or Capablanca. Some sources believe that he was stronger than World Champion Emanuel Lasker at this time.
Rubinstein's peak as a player is generally considered to have been between 1907 and 1914. Rubinstein won at Vienna in 1922, ahead of future World Champion Alexander Alekhine, and was the leader of the Polish team that won the 1930 Chess Olympiad at Hamburg with a record of thirteen wins and four draws. He also won an Olympic silver at the 1931 Chess Olympiad, again leading the Polish team. Rubinstein came in fourth place in the London 1922 tournament, after which new world champion Jose Raul Capablanca offered to play him in a match if he could raise the money, which once again he was unable to do. At Hastings 1922, he came in second place, followed by a fifth-place finish at Teplitz-Schönau late in the year, and then won in Vienna brilliantly. This triumph, however, was soured when Austrian border guards impounded most of the prize money he had won. Rubinstein closed out 1922 with another appearance at Hastings, which he won, but his tournament record during 1923 was disappointing as he came in just twelfth place at Carlsbad and tenth at Maehrisch-Ostrau.
His first tournament of 1924, at Meran, saw him come in third. He attempted to participate in the New York tournament that spring but was excluded from the event due to a limited number of available slots, all of which were filled. Rubinstein's 1925 tournament record was reasonably good, but his year-end appearance in Moscow saw him come in 14th. His record in 1926 was fair but not outstanding.
Signed by Rubenstein on frontispiece. Corners bumped, spine ends and corners rubbed, pencil marginalia throughout, some dulling to spine gilt, former owner's stamp to front pastedown else about very good.