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Samuel Reshevsky vs Lajos Portisch
Second Piatigorsky Cup (1966), Santa Monica, CA USA, rd 4, Jul-21
Queen's Gambit Accepted: Classical Defense. Alekhine System Except Main Line (D28)  ·  1/2-1/2


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Kibitzer's Corner
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  Petrosianic: Looks like your average GM draw, but according to <Chess Life>, Reshevsky had used most of his time when the draw was agreed.

I don't understand players like that, who can use so much of their time in the opening, and then play almost as well or better in extreme time pressure.

Jan-14-12  ughaibu: It strikes me as odd, too, that Reshevsky was strong from such a young age, but doesn't seem to have had chess in his blood, the way that Capablanca, for example, had, allowing him to play quickly and easily.
Jul-05-13  RookFile: I would say this, but in a slightly different way. Why didn't Reshevsky study the openings more in his time away from the board? Just imagine if he could show up and bang out the first 16 moves in two minutes. With all that time to think over the remaining 24 or so moves until the time control, he would have been almost unbeatable.
Jul-05-13  Nerwal: <I would say this, but in a slightly different way. Why didn't Reshevsky study the openings more in his time away from the board? Just imagine if he could show up and bang out the first 16 moves in two minutes. With all that time to think over the remaining 24 or so moves until the time control, he would have been almost unbeatable.>

Things are probably not that simple, otherwise Reshevsky would have fixed his problems at some point. Apparently, he had a poor memory. He worked on openings, but forgot the lines. Also I think he was this kind of players who prefered to solve the problems at the board - like Tal, and Najdorf. I thought this attitude on preparation was ridiculous and unprofessional til I realized how hard it actually is to play right after bashing 16 or 20 moves of heavy theory. Maybe for some players it's better to make the game their own, to start follow a personal path of thought at an earlier stage, rather than ending like a fish out of the water at move 20 of a book line. So overall maybe those great players sticked to what they felt was right - there is no guarantee they would have done much better armed to the teeth in the openings.

Addiction to time trouble is also a topic wider than just preparation on openings - Grischuk is a great opening theoretician, so is Ivanchuk, and Gata Kamsky has a lot of experience with different openings, yet...

Jul-05-13  RookFile: When he was older, he forgot stuff. But when younger, Reshevsky was giving blinfold simuls and always had outstanding calculation abilities - that doesn't come without an excellent memory. It may be that his job as an accountant and family commitments didn't give him enough time to study the opening properly.
Dec-15-14  zydeco: There are lots of ways to be a time-trouble addict. Somebody like Ivanchuk is such a perfectionist that you get the feeling he's working out all the possibilities of a game in the course of playing it -- even if that leads him far astray from choosing the next move. Benko is probably just a jumble of nerves and needs to check and recheck lines before he'll commit to a move (so that it's helpful to play in time trouble when he's forced to rely on his instinct). A lot of grandmasters are obsessed with opening theory, use up most of their time developing opening ideas, and then scramble through the rest of the game.

I have the idea that Reshevsky and Korchnoi approach time trouble similarly. They play the middlegame in a very non-programmed way, calculating all the variations, and never making a move just because it looks natural. That leaves them in terrible time-trouble, but they trust themselves not to blunder, and feel that, as often as not, their opponents will go wrong trying to play into their time trouble. That's definitely what happened in his first game against Donner in this tournament.

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