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Samuel Reshevsky vs Rafael Vaganian
"San Rafael" (game of the day Dec-07-2014)
Skopje (1976), Skopje YUG, rd 5, Mar-??
French Defense: Tarrasch. Pawn Center Variation (C05)  ·  0-1


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Given 44 times; par: 33 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Jim Bartle: Uhhh, <conrad93>: the position you reference from Opening Explorer is not the position from this game.
Oct-29-13  SimonWebbsTiger: @<perfidious>

I played the ...f5 lines a bit myself after seeing Nigel Short employ it at an olympiad. Like a few other Watson's "Play the French" was something of a Bible but I grew to distrust much of the book from experience and lots of lines seemed to be refuted in each Informator!

Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: Fantastic the way 25.Rae1 doesn't help


Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Two roads diverged in a lonely wood, and the White king took both of them.
Dec-07-14  Howard: If I remember correctly, this game took #1 for best game in the Informant volume that it appeared in.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Howard> An honour richly merited indeed.

One thing has always puzzled me about this game: why did Reshevsky deviate from his, by then, nearly universal 1.d4?

Dec-07-14  1 2 3 4: so many positional blunders
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <perfidious> That is surprising. Reshevsky's rarely played White against the French, and his results were far from spectacular:

Well, OK, except for Reshevsky vs A Vasconcellos, 1944. In fact, maybe that gave him delusions of grandeur. Or maybe he saw this game from earlier int he tournament:

Karpov vs Vaganian, 1976

And figured he wouldn't mind having a little of that.

Dec-07-14  RookFile: The French Defense, exchange varation is considered as a reasonable way to play for a win these days. Reshevsky used to play the exchange variation of the Queen's Gambit (4. cxd5) and routinely put 1-0 up on the board. I thought he might have played the exchange variation of the French Defense too, but apparently it didn't interest him.
Dec-07-14  BOSTER: <newzild: Vaganian's notes: when lighting suddenly struck me from above : the f2 square!>.

30 years before this game in the best known game Pachman vs Bronstein, 1946 black found the invisible route b2-f2 in the pos. on diagram.

click for larger view

Black to play.

Dec-07-14  BOSTER: Shold be b6-f2.
Dec-07-14  rollingrook5: I know little to nothing about the French, or 1. e4 in general, but 8. Kf2 doesn't seem to me to be immediately losing. What I really don't like is 12. Kg3. I wonder if there was a better way to counter the threat of cxd4 and a mass exchange. Bc2 maybe?
Dec-07-14  Albion 1959: This game features in Jonathan Speelman's Best Chess Games 1970-80. Game 26, page 176. He gives 14.Re1 as ? and suggests h3 or h4, this looks to be correct because after Vaganian played 14.e5!! the attack is under way and was too powerful even for a tenacious player like Reshevsky to defend. It was very rare for Reshevsky to open with e4, (with a few exceptions) he nearly always played d4:
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: too much pressure, the knight must go!
Jan-22-15  fokers13: <boster> Rxa1!! thunderbolt from the blue

don't remember the rest of the sequence though:P

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Vaganian somehow finished minus in this event (+6 -7 =2), one in which he would been tipped to take a high prize, but this smashing creative achievement may well have been balm for his overall failure.
Mar-11-15  Lt.Surena: Bobby's old nemesis gets creamed here.
This is why Bobby avoided the new generation (Karpov, Kasparov, Vaganian, Beliyavesky, etc) like a plague.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Lt.Surena....This is why Bobby avoided the new generation (Karpov, Kasparov, Vaganian, Beliyavesky, etc) like a plague.>


Mar-11-15  Petrosianic: Surena fancies himself a mind reader. And by an amazing coincidence, everyone else's minds are always full of exactly what he wants to hear.
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: <Phony Benoni: Two roads diverged in a lonely wood, and the White king took both of them.>

This game is a great example of what can happen to your king if you develop it in the middle game.

Oct-27-15  Retireborn: Whenever I see this popular game, I'm always reminded of these two as well:-

L Christiansen vs Reshevsky, 1977

Piket vs Reshevsky, 1987

Such is the sad fate of the elderly chess master. Of course people younger than me probably think of Christiansen and Piket getting whupped by younger players too :)

Mar-04-17  kereru: Funny thing is Reshevsky didn't normally play 1.e4. Knowing that Vaganian was a French addict he obviously prepared this Kf2-g3 stuff... and he got slaughtered. By the way White is ok after 14.h3, giving the king an escape route.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: "The Vaganian Chronicles?"
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: <KeyPusher> Didn't you say Reshevsky wasn't capable of beautiful games? I think this definitely qualifies as a beautiful game.
Nov-17-18  kereru: The line is actually ok, if White plays 14.h3. that move 14...e5!! is brilliant judgement by Vaganian. What an explosion of power.
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