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Samuel Reshevsky vs Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian
Zurich Candidates (1953), Zurich SUI, rd 2, Aug-31
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Normal Variation. Bernstein Defense (E58)  ·  1/2-1/2
ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Sep-10-05  ARTIN: how does fritz evaluate Re6?
Sep-10-05  RookFile: Re6 doesn't rank as any one of the
computer's top 6 choices. But, it does do something interesting.

.... Ra7 followed by ... Ne7
and .... Nd5

Dec-09-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Kasparov writes quite a bit about 25..Re6. He says that Petrosian introduced the exchange sacrifice for the sake of quality of position. Is this true? This is quite a claim. I can't think of earlier examples offhand.

Petrosian played this variation (9..b6) a few times during this tournament. It is not played much anymore. This game took place in the second round. In the 15th round he played 18..f5 against Smyslov and just barely drew. In the 20th round Taimanov played 11 Ne5 and beat Petrosian convincingly. This seems like an improvement as 11 Bb2 is a peculiar looking move. Crouch quotes Estrin as recommending 14..Bf5 as an improvement. 14..Nd2 seems to accelerate whites initiative. Kasparov thinks that the immediate 26 Be6 followed by 27 Rg3 would have given Reshevsky a better chance at maintaining his advantage. Bronstein and Crouch both felt that 32 c4 would have been very risky increasing chances of both winning and losing.

Dec-09-06  euripides: <plang> In the early years of the Soviet supremacy after the second world war, the exchange sacrifice was one of the idea associated with Soviet players - along with a generally dynamic approach, excellent opening preparation and enthusiasm for dynamic openings such as the KID and the Sicilian. Euwe, for instance, talked about the 'Russian exchange sacrifice'. Petrosian was not the first, though he may have been the greatest master of this sacrifice. For a canonical game, which I rather think made a great impression on Botvinnik:

Lilienthal vs Ragozin, 1935

Dec-09-06  RookFile: Reshevsky played with great skill in the opening. The position after 19. fxe4 is much better for him. I have to believe that at some point in the next few moves, before the exchange sac, Reshevsky must have had a way to further increase the pressure, that he missed.
Dec-10-06  Plato: I love this game. An early and beautiful example of the modern exhange sacrifice by its main pioneer, Petrosian.
Dec-10-06  who: <rookfile> like <backward development> quotes - h4 a move earlier would have given white a strong advantage.
Jan-05-09  Lt.Surena: 11.Bb2? looks weak. Instead, 11.Re1 looks better. Black notices the bad move and seals the bishop at b2 with 11.. c4.

Petrosian is smart. He doesn't take knight at f3 (ie plays 13... Ne4 instead). White's bishop gets sealed at b2. Black effectively takes over the e4 square. Great game !

Mar-17-09  WhiteRook48: 30 Rxd3... why sac the exchange?
Jun-02-09  marknierras: The 25... re6 sacrifice shows that sometimes a material loss can create a superior position... in this case 29...bd3; it looks like the sacrifice worked and white eventually realized that he had to give back the rook that he won on move 30 because of the strong black attack!
Jan-02-10  AnalyzeThis: <Plato: I love this game. An early and beautiful example of the modern exhange sacrifice by its main pioneer, Petrosian. >

The moral of the story is, when Capablanca sacrifices the exchange, it's old fashioned, but then Petrosian does it, it's modern.

Jan-17-10  BISHOP TAL: Bernstein defense cant say ive heard that before Petrosian sure plays it well rook e6 looks patzerish offhand but petrosian is anything but that,it makes the knight good.
Jan-30-10  larsenfan: I agree with many kibitzers, it is funny, to say the least, that such an amazing game has so few comments. Yes, it is a draw, but even so... By the way, I have just shown this position to Rykba and the exchange sac is its second option.

To Analyzethis: could you please provide examples of similar sacs by Capa or other calsics ? Thanks in advance.

Sep-03-10  DoubtingThomas: It's one of my favourites:

http://streathambrixtonchess.blogsp...

Nov-16-10  Knight13: 25...Re6 seems forced to me. Play it or die. I wonder if Petrosian saw this position many moves ahead and decided on ...Re6 some moves ago.
May-24-11  Llawdogg: The positional exchange sacrifice: 25 ... Re6!

Petrosian spent quite a lot of time looking for this move. When he finally found it he smiled. Reshevsky was watching him. When he saw the smile and then the move, it was like someone dumped a cold bucket of water on him. His win was gone.

Story told by Petrosian's student Melik Khachiyan.

Jun-09-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Most of the comments on this game are about how few comments there are on this game.
Jun-09-11  Petrosianic: Not just this game, it's amazing how many comments on the whole site are requests for others to make comments.

I wonder if Khachiyan's story isn't embellished slightly. Are we really to believe that Reshevsky never even remotely considered R-K3, but once he saw it, he knew in an instant that it saved the game? I doubt it all happened quite that quickly. If it were that obvious, surely he'd have considered it before, wouldn't he?

Jul-17-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Big Pawn: <Sep-10-05 ARTIN: how does fritz evaluate Re6?>

ARTIN asked how Fritz evaluated 25...Re6 back in 2005. Fritz wasn't seeing it back then. However, I just let Houdini think about this move and within ten minutes (perhaps sooner - I left my chess table for a few minutes) it gave 25...Re6 as the second best move.

First choice is 25...Ra7 with only a slight advantage to White - almost equal. 25...Re6 is given as second best but it is given a far worse evaluation.

25...Ra7 +0.35
25...Re6 +0.75

Nov-11-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: Nice strategic positional sac - Nimzo would be proud.
Dec-04-11  iamdeafzed: @ Big Pawn

A .40 unit difference between an engine's first choice and second choice move isn't exactly what I'd call "a far worse evaluation". Especially considering that, as I recall, different engines can vary on their analysis of a position by as much as .50 units. Engine analysis isn't gospel truth.

In other news, I'm not surprised by Petrosian's 25th move in hindsight. He seems to have been pretty big on exchange sacrifices in general.

Apr-06-14  Howard: "One of the jewels of the tournament", as Bronstein stated in his famous book on the 1953 tournament.
Sep-07-14  fisayo123: On 25...Re6!!

"This purely positional sacrifice made an indelible impression on me." -- Tal

Sep-01-16  Howard: Can't help but wonder if Reshevsky could have somehow pocketed the exchange, and thus kept winning chances, but that doesn't seem likely.
Mar-01-18  tgyuid: he got his donkey to e4 though; then it was all about the other donkey
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