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Laszlo Szabo vs Samuel Reshevsky
"Lazy vs Rushy" (game of the day Jun-09-2011)
Zurich Candidates (1953), Zurich SUI, rd 19, Oct-04
Queen's Gambit Declined: Semi-Tarrasch Defense. Main Line (D42)  ·  1/2-1/2


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Dec-08-02  pawntificator: Szabo throws away a forced win on move 21. Then misses the way to a free rook on move 27
Dec-08-02  pawntificator: "Well, you don't just look for mates in two against a Reshevsky!" -Szabo
Dec-08-02  PVS: 21. Qxg6+ Bg7 22. Qxg7 mate. No wonder he missed 27. Bh6 a few minutes later.
Dec-08-02  Kulla Tierchen: Reshevsky's best chance outside of a match with the dying Alekhine or the bilious Botvinnik was the 1950 Candidates tournament, but the American State Department would not permit him to travel to Hungary.
Mar-09-04  suenteus po 147: This is why I stamp my motto of "Never Resign!" on every game I can! Reshevsky, by all rights, should have resigned after blunders like 9...g6 (9...h6 is far superior) and 20...Bxf6, especially against a GM, which Szabo was (or is, is he still alive?). Yet what do we have here? A draw! Reshevsky fought it out, despite the early weakening of the kingside and the forced mate in two eleven moves later, and won a draw. He does this fairly often, most recognizably in his trapped queen game against Fischer: Fischer vs Reshevsky, 1958. He lost that one, but a draw in this situation is a victory to be sure. The only reason we would know about this game if Reshevsky had resigned is by way of ughaibu's Game Collection: World champions lose miniatures 1. I prefer to see him here, Game Collection: Never Resign! as a fighter triumphant!
Mar-09-04  Benjamin Lau: Reshevsky was never a world champion suenteus po.
Mar-09-04  suenteus po 147: <Benjamin Lau> Good point. On the other hand, there isn't a game collection I'm aware of titled: Grandmasters Lose Miniatures. I was sort of going for pathos in my kibitz and got carried away with inserting all the links. Besides, with the popularity of certain players it's hard to remember who all the world champions are. I can almost never remember Euwe won it for a short while, yet I'm constantly under the impression that Tarrasch and Reti were world champions at one point (which they weren't, of course).
Mar-09-04  Benjamin Lau: suenteus po, yes I was aware you were aiming for pathos, sorry if I sort of dampened it. I also have problems remembering some of the champions. Whenever I write down the list, I never seem to recall Petrosian, Spassky, or Tal even though I'm quite fond of some of their games.
Sep-14-05  RookFile: Reshevsky said this during an interview with Russell:

Question: In 1950 there was a World Challengers Tournament in Budapest and you couldn't get to go to that. You had a fight with the state department. Reports had it they would not give you a visa to go. What was that all about?

Reshevsky: I didn't play because I didn't want to go to Budapest.

Question: That was your decision?

Reshevsky: Yes, mine.

Question: I read the reports in Chess Review that you wanted to go, but they wouldn't let you.

Reshevsky: No, I didn't want to go. I didn't have any problem with the state department.

Premium Chessgames Member
  syracrophy: The mating combination was:

21.Qxg6+ Bg7 22.Qxg7++ or 21...Kh8 22.Bxf6++

Nov-01-06  Resignation Trap: For part one of this story, see: Reshevsky vs Szabo, 1953 .

Laszlo Szabo wrote:

"It was this game that people most often tormented me with throughout my later career. Everyone 'seems' to know something about this infamous case, which in reality happened as follows."

"I made my 19th move, and saw that I could get a decisive advantage with 20.Nf6+, if Black had castled, indeed I could mate, if the Knight was taken. My opponent had only a few minutes left to complete the 20 obligatory moves before the time-control, while I still had more than an hour. And Reshevsky did castle ... But perhaps it is simpler if I demonstrate the whole thing with a diagram."

Nov-01-06  Resignation Trap:

click for larger view

"I quietly played 20.Nf6+ (well, as quietly as one could after getting one of the tournament favorites into such a hopeless position in twenty moves, and seeing that 20...Bxf6 is followed by 21.Qxg6+ and mate!). Unexpectedly, Reshevsky grabbed the Knight, and his nervous, possibly calculated, move swept me along so that instead of giving mate as I planned, I took the Bishop of f6 in turn. (Some analysts wrote about mutual chess blindness. But there really was no blindness on my part!) I instantly realized what I had done, but it was too late, because Reshevsky immediately exchanged my d5 Bishop, and the mating position was over. I just sat there, shook my head, and was unable to make a single move for a whole hour. The spectators and the other players looked at no one but me for long, long minutes. It was a horrifying feeling ... Had I been able to think, I still could have controlled the game. But I was also in time trouble by then, and missed winning a Rook after a few moves, winning instead only the exchange. Well, my mind was almost paralyzed, and in no shape to cope with the ever more complicated tasks. I was so disturbed that I simply do not recall long periods of the game. They told me that I offered a draw, which my opponent accepted--luckily for me. He just did not see that if he had continued, I would have exceeded the time limit, even though I had more than 75 minutes more than he, six moves earlier."

"The mutual errors were followed by 21...Bxd5 22.cxd5 Qd6 23.Qc3 Qxd5 24.Rfd1 Qf5 25.e4 Qe6? 26.Bg7 b6 27.Bxf8? (27.Bh6! f6 28.Qg3! wins a Rook because of the Qxg6+ mate threat) 27...Kxf8, and drawn, (allegedly) offered by White."

Nov-19-06  Open Defence: I have his book excellent stuff..
Feb-03-07  Confuse: poor guy. a draw in his most memorable games because he messed up. really, a tragedy.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Reshevsky learned something from this game: Reshevsky vs Yanofsky, 1968
Premium Chessgames Member
  notyetagm: Wow, what a *disaster* for Szabo. He misses a mate in 2(!) and then a free rook(!) and only manages a draw!

Holy criminy!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: OK, this is officially <Don't Feel So Bad; Grandmasters Can Blunder Too Week>.

"You just don't look for mates-in-two against Reshevsky"!

Jun-09-11  sevenseaman: It pains one to think how Szabo must have hurt the rest of his life. Even I saw the mating combination without any help. (Though knowing 'Lazlo missed something' must be deemed help enough).
Jun-09-11  scormus: I've thrown away so many wins like that myself, some of them still cause me pain to think about. I can only feel sorry when I see this happening to a GM.

BTW, I suppose W really cannot win from the final position?

Jun-09-11  ossipossi: <"I didn't have any problem with the State Department">. Not same thing for RJF, which was a hero OTB & ITL.
Jun-09-11  Ferro: una pena; quÉ triste!
Jun-09-11  Ferro: Yo jugaría hasta Finalizar el partido de Ajedrez (I should play until the END)
Jun-09-11  sevenseaman: Just the kind of game that should go for a Wednesday or Thursday POTD at move 21.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: White misses a forced win-TWICE!
Jun-09-11  sevenseaman: It looks so to me too.
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