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Samuel Reshevsky vs Jose Raul Capablanca
"Play It Again, Sam" (game of the day Mar-24-12)
Margate (1935)  ·  Queen's Gambit Declined: Modern. Knight Defense (D51)  ·  1-0
To move:
Last move:

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Given 20 times; par: 81 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-23-07  shalgo: One of the interesting aspects of this game is its demonstration of Dvoretsky's idea of the "superfluous piece."

Here, the battle centers around the d5-pawn. It is hard for white to attack it with both knights (although Nf4 might work at some point). Therefore, he has only one really good square for his knights (c3) and the second one is superfluous. By playing 32.Nb5!, white exchanges off the Black knight that is defending d5 and is ready to replace one knight on c3 with another (34.Nc3) right away.

Pachman, in his Complete Chess Strategy, criticizes 25.Ne5 and 26.f4?!, suggesting instead Kh1, Ng1-e2, and then Nb5, carrying out this idea much faster than in the actual game.

Because the Black rook is stuck on a7, he can't follow the usual advice in "superfluous piece" situations, by avoiding the exchange.

Mar-17-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  technical draw: Reshevsky out simplifies Mr. Simplification himself. It's time for me to study Reshevsky who could be the most underated player in history.
Mar-18-07  CapablancaFan: <technical draw><Reshevsky out simplifies Mr. Simplification himself. It's time for me to study Reshevsky who could be the most underated player in history.> Really? I don't know, but here's a game between them the following year. Reshevsky decides to go into an endgame with Cap...foolishly I might add. Capablanca vs Reshevsky, 1936
Aug-09-07  sanyas: After 45.Ke2 Qe6, not 46.Rb5 Qf5 47.Nxd5 Rxb5 48.Rxb5 Qc2+ 49.Ke1 Bxg5 50.Rxb6 Bd8 51.Rb8 Ba5+ 52.Kf1 c3 53.Qe2 Qe4 54.Qg2 Qd3+ 55.Qe2 Qe4. but 46.Kd2 Qf5

(46...Bxg5 47.Rxb6 Qf5 48.Qf1 Bd8 49.R6b5 Rd7 50.e4 Qe6 51.exd5 Qg4 52.d6 Raa7 53.d5 Rf7 54.Qf2 Qxf4+ 55.Qxf4 Rxf4 56.Rb7+ Rxb7 57.Rxb7+ Rf7 58.Rb8 Ba5 59.Rb5 Ra7 60.Kc2 Bxc3 61.Kxc3 h5 62.a5 h4 63.Kxc4 Kf6 64.Rb8 g5 65.Kb5 Ke5 66.Rg8)

47.Qe2 Rd7

(47...Rfa7 48.Rb5 Rxb5 49.Rxb5 Ra5 50.Rb2 Bc7 51.Qf1 Ra8 52.Rb5 Ra5 53.Qb1 Qxb1 54.Rxb1 Kf7 55.Rh1 Kg7 56.Ke2 Bd8 57.Kf3 Bc7 58.Kg4 Bd8 59.f5)

(47...Bc7 48.Rb5 Rxb5 49.Rxb5 Rd7 50.Nxd5 Rxd5 51.Qxc4 Rxb5 52.Qxc7+ Kg8 53.axb5 Qxb5 54.Qd8+ Kg7 55.Qf6+ Kg8 56.Qe6+ Kf8 57.d5)

48.Rb5 Bc7

(48...Kg8 49.Qf1 Qe6 50.Rxa5 bxa5 51.Rb5 Be7 52.Qh1)

(48...Rxb5 49.Rxb5 Rd6 50.Kc1 Qh3 51.Kc2 Qh1 52.e4 dxe4 53.d5 Rd7 54.Qxc4 Qh2+ 55.Kb3 Qxf4 56.Qd4+ Kg8 57.Nxe4 Bxg5 58.Rxb6 Re7 59.Nf6+ Kf8 60.Qxf4 Bxf4 61.d6 Re3+ 62.Kc4 h5 63.Rb8+ Kf7 64.d7 Bc7 65.Nd5 Re7 66.Rh8)

49.Rxa5 bxa5 50.Rb5 Bd8 51.Qf1 Bxg5 52.Rxa5 Rb7 53.Rb5 Rxb5 54.axb5 Bd8 55.Qb1 Qh3 56.b6 Qg2+ 57.Kc1 Qf1+ 58.Nd1 c3 59.b7 Qe2 60.Nxc3 Qxe3+ 61.Kc2 Bc7 62.Qb5 Qxf4 63.Qd7+ Kh6 64.Qxd5 Bb8 65.Qe4 Qf7 66.Ne2 Qc7+ 67.Kd3 Kg7 68.Ng1 Qf7 69.Nf3 h5 70.Ne5 should win, eg.

70...Qf1+ 71.Kd2 Qg1 72.Nf3 Qf2+ 73.Qe2 Qxe2+ 74.Kxe2 Bc7 75.Ne5 g5 76.Nc6 g4 77.b8=Q Bxb8 78.Nxb8 Kf6 79.Ke3 h4 80.Nd7+ Kf5 81.Nc5 h3 82.Ne4 Ke6 83.Ng3 Kf6 84.Ke4 Ke6 85.d5+.

Nevertheless, Reshevsky's play must be deemed imperfect, as there were two clearer wins. On move 45: 45.Qg2! (not 45.Rb5 Bxg5 46.Nxd5 Bh4+ 47.Kf1 Qa3 48.Rxb6 Qd3+ 49.Kg2 c3 and Black might be winning) 45...Rf5 (45...Qe6 46.Rb5 Qf5 47.Qxd5 Qc2+ 48.Kf3. With the Queen on d3 Black is winning, on c2 White wins) 46.Ke2 Qe6 47.Qh3 Kg8 48.Kd2 Qd7 49.Rb5.

On move 44: 44.Rb5 Qa3 45.Nxd5 Rxb5 46.Rxb5 Qxa4 47.Rb4 Qa6 48.Qe4 Qa2+ 49.Ke1 Qa1+ 50.Ke2 Qa2+ 51.Kd1 Qa1+ 52.Kc2 Qa2+ 53.Rb2 Qa4+ 54.Kd2 Qc6 55.Nc3 Qd7 56.g5 Re7 57.Qf3 Qf5 58.Qf1 Qe6 59.Qe2 Qf7 60.Qg4 Rd7 61.d5 Rd8 62.Qe2 Rxd5+ 63.Nxd5 Qxd5+ 64.Kc1 b5 65.Qd1 Qc6 66.Qd4+ Kg8 67.Rd2 b4 68.Qd5+ Qxd5 69.Rxd5 c3 70.Kc2 Bb6 71.Rd3 Bc5 72.e4 Be7 73.Rd7 Kf7 74.Rb7 Kf8 75.e5 Kf7 76.Rb6 Bc5 77.Rc6 Be7 78.e6+ Kg7 79.Rc7 Kf8 80.Rb7 zugzwang.

Dec-27-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Indeed, after <45...Qe6> it looks like a balanced position. Outcome unclear


click for larger view

Aug-11-09  WhiteRook48: outcome" 1-0
Nov-26-09  sackman: Intriguing king walk by Reshevsky (from h1 to d2 via d3) - his king looks insecure but he demonstrates it is actually quite safe
Jul-14-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: <16.b4!> is a superb move creating targets on the Q-side and recognising that the now passed <c> pawn is not a threat.
Sep-10-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  sevenseaman: .. 12. Nf8? It gives Reshevsky a chance to exchange his already marginalized Bishop. Was Capa earnestly trying to develop his Bishop, having already sealed c4?
Sep-10-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  sevenseaman: .. 48. Rxa4? The R is immune to the N on c3 but in the bargain the move has led to the pernicious clean out of the Black pawns at d5 and c4; clearly equivalent to handing White the win, in addition to providing a haven for the White K.
Mar-24-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  sevenseaman: A very high quality game. I do not know how many times I've been to it and found it invigorating every time. Like a ballet dancer's routine, every move executed with precision.

May be Reshevsky's best.

Mar-24-12  SChesshevsky: <<He thought that the bl d pawn was the cause of all the trouble.>>

Black's d-pawn certainly was weak but I was thinking after 21...Rxa6 it's the backward b pawn on the open file that ends up losing.

White gets to double up the rooks and Black's are stuck defending and never do seem to coordinate.

Mar-24-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  King Sacrificer: <sevenseaman: .. 48. Rxa4? The R is immune to the N on c3 but in the bargain the move has led to the pernicious clean out of the Black pawns at d5 and c4; clearly equivalent to handing White the win, in addition to providing a haven for the White K.> I agree. It looks like Capablanca didn't calculate enough before making this move. Reshevsky has played very accurate though.

Great open game in general.

Mar-24-12  Danzowich: One can really learn from Reshevsky
Mar-24-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Could is be a fact that Capa was slipping a bit at the end of his chess career?
Mar-24-12  RookFile: Yeah, he really slipped in 1936, when he won everything.
Mar-24-12  Penguincw: It seems like whenever an underdog has white against Capablanca, if the game had to decided, the underdog would win more than Capablanca.
Mar-24-12  bischopper: today , I have not comment Im sorry...
Apr-29-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: Reshevsky - Capablanca

after 35...b6


click for larger view

"Here Capablanca offered a draw, but since I had a clear initiative and pressure on black's weaknesses, I declined the offer. I thought I could win, and I could not hope to become a grandmaster by accepting draws in winning positions."

Source: Reshevsky's Best Games by Reshevsky
- Samuel Reshevsky

Mar-23-13  apexin: Can someone explain the pun,please?
Mar-23-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <apexin> "Play It Again, Sam" is a line associated with the film "Casablanca" (though it was never actually said).

That makes it a natural for a game between "Sam" Reshevsky and Capablanca.

Mar-23-13  apexin: Thanks, Phony Benoni. Of course i seen that movie, some 20 years ago, but didnt know about this misquotation at all. It's a good one, Capablanca, died some 4 months after the premiere, guess he liked a name very alike his, used in a film. Well, i if hes seen it. I would have liked it.
Mar-23-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Marmot PFL: < I thought I could win, and I could not hope to become a grandmaster by accepting draws in winning positions.">

Fortunately, these days players can meet the required norms without having to take unnecessary risks.

Apr-14-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <kevin86: Could is be a fact that Capa was slipping a bit at the end of his chess career?>

No doubt about it. Compare his tournament results before and after 1930. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jos%C3... From 1910 (the beginning of his tournament career) through 1929, he finished 1st 17 times, 2nd 5 times, 2nd-3rd once, and 3rd once. In the 1930s he finished 1st twice, 1st-2nd twice, 2nd 3 times, 2nd-3rd once, 3rd-4th once, 4th twice, and 7th once. As Reinfeld cruelly, but accurately put it, after Capablanca lost the world championship to Alekhine in 1937, "From this point on, the road is downward." <The Immortal Games of Capablanca>, p. 1. http://books.google.com/books?id=Nm...

Oct-17-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: Reshevsky when smaller:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:S...

This game is featured in his book "Great Chess Upsets". He indicates he was very determined to win even if it risked losing. By winning he got first prize.

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