Hall of Fame
Akiba (or Akiva) Rubinstein, along with Paul Keres and Viktor Korchnoi, is considered one of the strongest players never to become world champion, despite learning the game at the late age of 16. Born in what is today eastern Poland, he was one of the four strongest players in the world from 1907 to 1922, and for a short time in 1912, might have been number one. That year Rubinstein won four major events (San Sebastian, Vilnius, Breslau, and Piestany) and a match for the World Chess Championship with Emanuel Lasker seemed inevitable, but fate and World War I decided otherwise. Rubinstein is still remembered today for his contributions to opening theory and rook and pawn endgames.