Members · Prefs · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing

Samuel Reshevsky
Number of games in database: 1,522
Years covered: 1917 to 1991
Overall record: +562 -212 =661 (62.2%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      87 exhibition games, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Nimzo Indian (118) 
    E46 E43 E57 E47 E34
 King's Indian (92) 
    E92 E97 E60 E95 E62
 Grunfeld (51) 
    D97 D81 D92 D83 D82
 Orthodox Defense (43) 
    D51 D50 D55 D60 D62
 English (37) 
    A15 A10 A16 A14 A17
 Queen's Gambit Declined (36) 
    D37 D35 D31 D30 D36
With the Black pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (138) 
    C96 C95 C86 C93 C88
 Sicilian (117) 
    B32 B72 B40 B71 B42
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (95) 
    C96 C95 C86 C93 C88
 Nimzo Indian (76) 
    E33 E57 E54 E46 E21
 King's Indian (65) 
    E60 E95 E69 E94 E79
 Queen's Indian (48) 
    E12 E19 E17 E16 E15
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Larry Evans vs Reshevsky, 1963 1/2-1/2
   Reshevsky vs A Vasconcellos, 1944 1-0
   Botvinnik vs Reshevsky, 1948 0-1
   Reshevsky vs Petrosian, 1953 1/2-1/2
   Reshevsky vs G N Treysman, 1938 1-0
   Reshevsky vs Capablanca, 1935 1-0
   Reshevsky vs Najdorf, 1952 1-0
   Lasker vs Reshevsky, 1936 0-1
   Keres vs Reshevsky, 1953 1/2-1/2
   Reshevsky vs Mecking, 1967 1-0

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: [what is this?]
   FIDE World Championship Tournament (1948)

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   US Championship (1936)
   Syracuse (1934)
   Margate (1935)
   Kemeri (1937)
   Reshevsky - Najdorf (1952)
   56th US Open (1955)
   Third Rosenwald Trophy (1956)
   Amsterdam (1950)
   US Championship 1957/58 (1957)
   Buenos Aires (1960)
   Zurich Candidates (1953)
   US Championship (1972)
   Nottingham (1936)
   Sousse Interzonal (1967)
   Amsterdam Interzonal (1964)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Match Reshevsky! by amadeus
   Challenger of 48 Reshevsky_125 by Gottschalk
   Reshevsky's Best Games of Chess, Vol. I by suenteus po 147
   The Art of Positional Play by SamAtoms1980
   WCC Index [Zurich 1953] by suenteus po 147
   On My Great Predecessors 4 (Kasparov) by Qindarka
   Garry Kasparov's On My Great Predecessors (4) by AdrianP
   WCC Index [World Championship Tournament 1948] by Resignation Trap
   1948 World Chess Championship by Penguincw
   Second Piatigorsky Cup 1966 by Benzol
   Match for the Championship of the Free World by Resignation Trap
   1953 Reshevsky - Najdorf by TheFocus
   Art of War's favorite games 8 by Art of War

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Samuel Reshevsky
Search Google for Samuel Reshevsky

(born Nov-26-1911, died Apr-04-1992, 80 years old) Poland (federation/nationality United States of America)

[what is this?]
Samuel Herman Reshevsky (Szmul Rzeszewski) was born in Ozorkow, Poland. He learned to play chess at the age of four. At eight years old he was giving simultaneous exhibitions and defeating some of the country's most prominent players.

Following the events of World War 1, Reshevsky immigrated to the United States (1920). As a 9-year old, his first American simultaneous exhibition was with 20 officers and cadets at the Military Academy at West Point. He won 19 games and drew one. He toured the country and played over 1,500 games as a 9-year old in simultaneous exhibitions and only lost 8 games. In his early years he did not go to school and his parents ended up in Manhattan Children's Court on charges of improper guardianship. His benefactor was Julius Rosenwald, founder of Sears & Roebuck, who agreed to provide for Reshevsky's future if he devoted himself to completing his education. Reshevsky then largely abandoned chess for 10 years to pursue a vocation as an accountant, receiving an accounting degree from the University of Chicago in 1933 which he put to use in New York City.

After obtaining his college degree, he devoted himself to tournament chess. Several subsequent successes in international events led to his invitations to both AVRO 1938 and the World Championship Tournament ten years later. Between 1936 and 1942, he had a streak of 75 games without a loss in U.S. Championship competition. He won the US Open in 1944. Pan-American Champion at Hollywood 1945. He played in 21 U.S. Championships, from 1936 to 1981. Over the course of a long international career that continued until he was almost 80, he qualified for the Candidates five times, won the U.S. Championship on six occasions (first time in 1936, last time in 1971) and played 11 World Champions, ranging from Emanuel Lasker to Anatoly Karpov.

He won matches against several notable Western players, including Svetozar Gligoric, Miguel Najdorf and Robert James Fischer (after Fischer was forfeited while the match was tied). However, he was never able to secure the right to a World Championship match. In 1981, at the age of 70, he tied for 3rd place in the U.S. Championship. In 1984, at the age of 72, he took first place in the powerful Reykjavik Open, which featured many grandmasters. (1)

Wikipedia article: Samuel Reshevsky; (1)

 page 1 of 61; games 1-25 of 1,522  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Reshevsky vs Factor 0-126 1917 Lodz, PolandC22 Center Game
2. Reshevsky vs Rubinstein 0-124 1917 WarsawC50 Giuoco Piano
3. Reshevsky vs G W Beaumont  1-030 1920 Simultaneous exhibitionC34 King's Gambit Accepted
4. Reshevsky vs Traube 1-017 1920 HanoverA02 Bird's Opening
5. Reshevsky vs Gency  1-037 1920 Paris simulC30 King's Gambit Declined
6. Reshevsky vs L Von Dory 1-016 1920 Berlin simulC35 King's Gambit Accepted, Cunningham
7. Reshevsky vs S Katz ½-½29 1920 Simul, 20bB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
8. P Krueger vs Reshevsky ½-½39 1920 Blindfold gameC48 Four Knights
9. Reshevsky vs Zabludovsky 1-029 1920 Berlin simulC62 Ruy Lopez, Old Steinitz Defense
10. Reshevsky vs F Knoller 1-040 1920 Simul, 20bC79 Ruy Lopez, Steinitz Defense Deferred
11. Reshevsky vs A Simchow  0-134 1920 Simul, 20bD05 Queen's Pawn Game
12. M A Schapiro vs Reshevsky 0-140 1920 Exhibition gameC14 French, Classical
13. Reshevsky vs L Schwarz 1-065 1920 20 board simultaneous exhibitionC00 French Defense
14. Reshevsky vs M J Clurman ½-½23 1920 Simul, 20bB15 Caro-Kann
15. Reshevsky vs E B Hilliard 1-027 1920 Blindfold gameC30 King's Gambit Declined
16. Reshevsky vs R C Griffith 1-030 1920 LondonC67 Ruy Lopez
17. Reshevsky vs M Herzfeld  1-052 1920 Paris simulC66 Ruy Lopez
18. C Jaffe vs Reshevsky 0-117 1920 New York blindfoldC30 King's Gambit Declined
19. Reshevsky vs L S Stillman 1-020 1920 New York simB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
20. Reshevsky vs H Daly  1-042 1921 Simul, 19bC49 Four Knights
21. Reshevsky vs E E Stearns  ½-½35 1921 Simul, 20bB30 Sicilian
22. Reshevsky vs E G Short  ½-½45 1921 Simul, 12bC79 Ruy Lopez, Steinitz Defense Deferred
23. Reshevsky vs Horace Levison  1-022 1921 Simul, 20bC53 Giuoco Piano
24. Reshevsky vs H Hopper  ½-½32 1921 SimulD53 Queen's Gambit Declined
25. Reshevsky vs W Tevis 1-032 1921 San Francisco simC53 Giuoco Piano
 page 1 of 61; games 1-25 of 1,522  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Reshevsky wins | Reshevsky loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 60 OF 60 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: The argument has been made that, because Reshevsky scored +1 =3 against Botvinnik in 1955 on top board of USSR-USA, that such a score projects to a Reshevsky victory in a title match.

While tremendously strong and evidently a top 5-10 player from circa 1935 to the mid-fifties, Reshevsky never quite stood out from fellow aspirants to the extent that one would have tipped him to claim the crown, unlike Smyslov, winner twice running of the candidates and eventual titleholder.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: < HeMateMe: could be some kasparovian revisionism. Because Fischer could beat Reshevsky, it makes Bob look good by implying that Sammy R might have been the best of the earlier generation. Were that the case, Reshevsky would have emerged from the Candidates at some point, and played a world championship match. He just wasn't that good.>

Basically, there were three candidates tournaments in which Reshevsky might have realistically hoped to win: Budapest 1950, Zurich 1953, and Amsterdam 1956. Of those three, he only participated in one: Zurich 1953.

At Zurich, he finished in a tie for 2-4 with Bronstein and Keres, two points behind the winner Smyslov. Bronstein has claimed that the Soviet authorities favored Smyslov, and we've all kibitzed about this at length. I certainly don't believe everything Bronstein said. But even if you didn't believe a word: there were 15 participants at Zurich; nine were Soviet; one was American, in the coldest days of the Cold War. Not ideal for Sammy.

Budapest and Amsterdam, he wasn't there at all. Whatever you think of him, he would have had a much better shot at qualifying for a match with Botvinnik with three chances than with one.

He was a very strong GM in any format, but he had a particularly good reputation in matches. He never lost one until he was in his late 50s. So I think the really tough thing would have been for him to qualify (which would have been REALLY hard) but if he had qualified, he would have had a good chance of beating Botvinnik head to head.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Yes, it was only at 52 that Reshevsky first lost a match, in the playoff for a candidates spot after Amsterdam Interzonal (1964):

Amsterdam Interzonal Playoff (1964)

Nov-06-15  HeMateMe: why wasn't Reshevsky at the two Candidates tournaments mentioned above, when he was a bit younger?
Nov-06-15  Caissanist: I believe it was for economic reasons. Reshevsky had a wife and three young children, and worked full time as an accountant to support them; in those days it was impossible for even a world championship-caliber player to support a family off tournament prizes. He later wrote in his book <Reshevsky on Chess> that <Never again will I permit chess to interfere with the more important business of caring for my family.>
Nov-06-15  Olavi: Amsterdam 1956 is a mystery. Bronstein and Keres conceeded the spot to him, they wanted to play the 1955 Interzonal in Gothenburg, counting on qualifying; getting an extra trip abroad (says Bronstein in The Sorcerer's Apprentice). 1950 he had a spot because of the 1948 WC; it's been said that at the height of the Cold War, the State Department forbade him, but he has also stated that it was his decision. I'm quoting from memory.
Nov-06-15  Olavi: Reshevsky on Chess is known to have been written By Reinfeld, but of course those words can still be genuine.
Premium Chessgames Member
  RookFile: I think that Reshevsky came ready with his openings for a match. Fischer in 1972 varied his openings against Spassky, which was remarkable. For the opponents Reshesky would play, he could make a real good guess at what openings to beef up on. So, for matches, he could transform his usual weakness into a strength. There certainly wasn't anything wrong with his middlegame or endgame play, so it's not exactly clear how you beat Reshevsky in a match unless you can do what Fischer did in 1972. Fischer in 1961 wasn't capable of that, nor were the others that Reshevsky beat in match play (Najdorf, Gligorc, Botvinnik in '55, etc. )
Premium Chessgames Member
  Lambda: 1946-1956 is a really weird period of time for comparing Reshevsky and Botvinnik. In the late 40s, Botvinnik was obviously superior, he dominated the 1948 tournament very convincingly. In the 50s, there was almost nothing to choose between the top players, any one of a handful of players including both Reshevsky and Botvinnik would have a chance of winning a match against any other.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <1946-1956 is a really weird period of time for comparing Reshevsky and Botvinnik. >

As for why Fischer picked that time period, I think <petrosianic> has got it.

Nov-07-15  Olavi: There is no denying that Keres won four supertournaments in a row, two of them USSR championships, and after that Smyslov became the dominant player, for 1953-58. Botvinnik was a good third, lest say, but Reshevsky not near.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Olavi: There is no denying that Keres won four supertournaments in a row, two of them USSR championships, and after that Smyslov became the dominant player, for 1953-58.>

Fair point. But Keres and Smyslov played in all three candidates tournaments during that period, to Reshevsky's one. Nor did Reshevsky play in tournaments like Budapest (1952) or the Alekhine Memorial (1956). He simply didn't have the same opportunities Soviet grandmasters had.

Nov-15-15  Howard: Agreed! Reshevsky would have hardly stood a chance against battle-hardened players like Botvinnik and Smyslov.

He was certainly one of the top 6-7 players in the world for many years, but hardly a contender for the top spot.

Premium Chessgames Member
  RookFile: Tarrasch won some tournaments too, and Lasker toyed with him in their match. Match play is a different animal, and Reshevsky was a feared match player.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <RookFile....Fischer in 1972 varied his openings against Spassky, which was remarkable....>

It was a matter of necessity: Fischer had already lost twice to Spassky in the Exchange Gruenfeld and would surely have faced the Saemisch, another bugbear, if he had tried the King's Indian.

As matters went, some of Fischer's favourite opening lines he actually used at Reykjavik came into considerable difficulties, hence more switching of systems followed.

<For the opponents Reshesky would play, he could make a real good guess at what openings to beef up on. So, for matches, he could transform his usual weakness into a strength....Fischer in 1961 wasn't capable of that, nor were the others that Reshevsky beat in match play (Najdorf, Gligorc, Botvinnik in '55, etc. )>

As of 1961, given Fischer's rigidity, though he was mixing it up a bit by then, not hard at all for anyone to guess what he might play.

Reshevsky may have been declared the winner in the match with Fischer and received the winner's prize after all the shenanigans, but that match ended 5.5 all.

Nov-26-15  Marmot PFL: Botvinnik never won a match as World Champion. Draws with Bronstein & Smyslov, then losses to Smyslov, Tal, & Petrosian.

Reshevsky could have also beaten him in a match, but of course Botvinnik would win the return match.

Reshvsky's 104th birthday today(or 106th or 102nd, depending which bio you believe).

Premium Chessgames Member
  RookFile: <Reshevsky could have also beaten him in a match, but of course Botvinnik would win the return match.>

I never thought of that, but now that you mention it, that would be a perfectly logical result for those two.

Nov-27-15  Petrosianic: <Reshevsky may have been declared the winner in the match with Fischer and received the winner's prize after all the shenanigans, but that match ended 5.5 all.>

No, 7½-5½. Fischer forfeited two games before leaving.

Nov-27-15  Marmot PFL: Doubt whether anyone ever forfeited as many games as Fischer. Reshevshy match, the Interzonal he would have easily won in '67, game 2 vs Spassky in '72, match with Karpov in '75 and probably some others I don't recall.
Premium Chessgames Member
  RookFile: That's the difference between Reshevsky and Spassky. When you forfeit a game to Reshevsky, he just says thank you. With Reshevsky, it's win first and ask questions later.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: From the <Mechanics Institute Newsletter #725>:

Philidor C41
Sammy Reshevsky–Walter Shipman
New York (Training Game) December 1947

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 Nf6 4.dxe5

<This move is the reason why modern players try to enter the Philidor by the move-order 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 e5, but of course this gives White the extra option of heading for a queenless middlegame with 4.dxe5.>

4...Nxe4 5.Bc4

<5.Qd5 Nc5 6.Bg5 Be7 (the less commonly played 6...Qd7 still leaves White in charge after 7.exd6 Bxd6 8.Nc3 0–0 9.0–0–0) 7.exd6 Qxd6 8.Nc3 is the “official” reason why this move-order favors White, who has a small but annoying pull.>

5...c6 6.exd6 Bxd6 7.0–0 0–0 8.Nbd2 Nxd2

<8...Nf6 was a reasonable alternative.>

9.Bxd2 Bg4 10.h3 Bh5

<10...Bxf3 11.Qxf3 Nd7 12.Bb3 Qf6 13.Qxf6 Nxf6 14.Rad1 gives White the two-bishop edge in the ending.>

11.Bc3 Bc5

<White’s threatened Qd4 forces the bishop to move again.>

12.b4 Bb6 13.g4 Bg6 14.Ne5 Qh4?!

<14...Qxd1 15.Rfxd1 Bxc2 16.Rd2 Bg6 (16...Be4 17.Nxf7) 17.Re1 offers White a strong initiative for the sacrificed pawn. The tricky 14...Qf6, intending ...Qf4, was best here. The text is skating on thin ice.>


<15.Kg2 is more precise, meeting 15...a5 with 16.Nxg6 hxg6 17.Rb1, and Black is in serious trouble.>


<This meets with a drastic refutation. 15...a5! was correct, with the point that on 16.Nxg6 hxg6 17.Rb1 Black has 17...Bc7+.>

16.Qf3 Bb6 17.Nxg6 hxg6 18.Qxf7+! Rxf7 19.Rxf7 Na6 20.Raf1 1–0

Source: <Christian Science Monitor>, February 15, 1965.

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: In his first chess tournament, New York City Chess Club 1922: "The two brilliancy prizes of the masters tournament at the Chess Club International - a cup, offered by W.M. Vance, and $25 by A.J. McClure - were awarded by F.J. Marshall to H.R. Bigelow and Samuel Rzeschewski, respectively for their games with Janowski. Tournament Director Jaffe ignored the decision and gave the cup to Rzeschewski. Thereupon the McClure prize was withdrawn. Boy-like, Sammy holds on to what he has. Just what may be the status of Bigelow in this queer mixup is not exactly apparent, but his state of mind is philosophic."

See <American Chess Bulletin>, February 1923, pg. 44.

Premium Chessgames Member
  amadeus: Holy Reshevsky!
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: I doubt it was flying off the shelves, but does anybody have the Reshevsky book by Stephen Gordon?

I'd like to know how many simul games it has from Reshevsky's tour of the US in 1920-22, and whether it has a detailed list of those exhibition dates.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eduardo Bermudez: The longest period in years since their first game to the last,for a GM, belongs to Reshevsky: (1917-1991
Jump to page #    (enter # from 1 to 60)
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 60 OF 60 ·  Later Kibitzing>
NOTE: You need to pick a username and password to post a reply. Getting your account takes less than a minute, totally anonymous, and 100% free--plus, it entitles you to features otherwise unavailable. Pick your username now and join the chessgames community!
If you already have an account, you should login now.
Please observe our posting guidelines:
  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, or profane language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, or duplicating posts.
  3. No personal attacks against other members.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. No posting personal information of members.
Blow the Whistle See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform an administrator.

NOTE: Keep all discussion on the topic of this page. This forum is for this specific player and nothing else. If you want to discuss chess in general, or this site, you might try the Kibitzer's Café.
Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of, its employees, or sponsors.
Spot an error? Please suggest your correction and help us eliminate database mistakes!

home | about | login | logout | F.A.Q. | your profile | preferences | Premium Membership | Kibitzer's Café | Biographer's Bistro | new kibitzing | chessforums | Tournament Index | Player Directory | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | privacy notice | advertising | contact us
Copyright 2001-2016, Chessgames Services LLC
Web design & database development by 20/20 Technologies