Saturday, May 31, 2014

Quick Note About Akiba Rubinstein's D.O.B.

Akiba Rubinstein. Credit: web site. 
It is often reported, for example by the well-known (and highly reliable) Jeremy Gaige, that Rubinstein's date of birth was 1882 (Oct. 12th, 1882, to be exact, according to Gaige's Chess Personalia). Yet his tombstone says Dec. 1st, 1880, as noted for example in this blog. Which date is correct?

Turns out that the 1/12/1880 date it correct, as proven conclusively by the Ken Whyld Foundation and Association only last month. The entire story, with (of course) the appropriate credit to all involved in the research, is found at the link.

I am not certain where the origin of Rubinstein's alleged "1882" date came from. Michael Negele -- as the wonders if this was due to Rubinstein making himself younger than he was on official documents to escape, or defer, military service. Such "tricks" were quite common among Eastern European Jews at the time, but so far I am not aware of specific proof.

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