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Samuel Reshevsky
Number of games in database: 1,502
Years covered: 1917 to 1991
Overall record: +560 -212 =663 (62.1%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      67 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 (41) 
    D51 D50 D55 D62 D52
 English (37) 
    A15 A10 A16 A17 A14
 Queen's Gambit Declined (35) 
    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 (64) 
    E95 E69 E60 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 Treysman, 1938 1-0
   Reshevsky vs Capablanca, 1935 1-0
   Szabo vs Reshevsky, 1953 1/2-1/2
   Keres vs Reshevsky, 1953 1/2-1/2
   Reshevsky vs Najdorf, 1952 1-0
   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)
   Kemeri (1937)
   Reshevsky - Najdorf (1952)
   Third Rosenwald Trophy (1956)
   56th US Open (1955)
   Leningrad/Moscow training (1939)
   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
   Guess-the-Move Chess: 1940-1959 (Part 2) by Anatoly21
   The Art of Positional Play by SamAtoms1980
   WCC Index [Zurich 1953] by suenteus po 147
   Garry Kasparov's On My Great Predecessors (4) by AdrianP
   1948 World Chess Championship by Penguincw
   WCC Index [World Championship Tournament 1948] by Resignation Trap
   Rematch for Championship of the West 1953 by Resignation Trap
   Match for the Championship of the Free World by Resignation Trap
   Art of War's favorite games 8 by Art of War

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Samuel Reshevsky
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(born Nov-26-1911, died Apr-04-1992, 80 years old) Poland (citizen of 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 1,502  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Reshevsky vs Rubinstein 0-124 1917 WarsawC50 Giuoco Piano
2. Reshevsky vs Factor 0-126 1917 Lodz, PolandC22 Center Game
3. Reshevsky vs S Katz ½-½29 1920 New York simB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
4. Reshevsky vs Gency  1-037 1920 Paris simulC30 King's Gambit Declined
5. Reshevsky vs Zabludovsky 1-029 1920 Berlin simulC62 Ruy Lopez, Old Steinitz Defense
6. P Krueger vs Reshevsky ½-½39 1920 Blindfold gameC48 Four Knights
7. Reshevsky vs Knoller 1-040 1920 New York simC79 Ruy Lopez, Steinitz Defense Deferred
8. Reshevsky vs A Simchow  0-134 1920 New York simD05 Queen's Pawn Game
9. M A Schapiro vs Reshevsky  0-140 1920 New YorkC14 French, Classical
10. C Jaffe vs Reshevsky 0-117 1920 New York blindfoldC30 King's Gambit Declined
11. Reshevsky vs L T Haller 1-039 1920 Paterson simD02 Queen's Pawn Game
12. Reshevsky vs M J Clurman ½-½23 1920 New York simB15 Caro-Kann
13. Reshevsky vs L Schwarz 1-065 1920 20 board simultaneous exhibitionC00 French Defense
14. Reshevsky vs R C Griffith 1-030 1920 LondonC67 Ruy Lopez
15. Reshevsky vs E B Hilliard 1-027 1920 Blindfold gameC30 King's Gambit Declined
16. Reshevsky vs L Von Dory 1-016 1920 Berlin simulC35 King's Gambit Accepted, Cunningham
17. Reshevsky vs L S Stillman 1-020 1920 New York simB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
18. Reshevsky vs M Herzfeld  1-052 1920 Paris simulC66 Ruy Lopez
19. Reshevsky vs Traube 1-017 1920 HanoverA02 Bird's Opening
20. Reshevsky vs G W Beaumont  1-030 1920 Simultaneous exhibitionC34 King's Gambit Accepted
21. Reshevsky vs Ed. Lasker 0-129 1921 ChicagoC80 Ruy Lopez, Open
22. Reshevsky vs Hopper  ½-½32 1921 Niagara Falls simD53 Queen's Gambit Declined
23. Reshevsky vs W Tevis 1-032 1921 San Francisco simC53 Giuoco Piano
24. Reshevsky vs J Grommer  1-037 1921 Simultaneous exhibitionD02 Queen's Pawn Game
25. Reshevsky vs Chernev  1-050 1921 Simultaneious ExhibitionC53 Giuoco Piano
 page 1 of 61; games 1-25 of 1,502  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 58 OF 58 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-20-15  Zonszein: I think that Reshevsky even gave a simul here in Paris at the age of 8 and beat a lot of long bearded club players. There is a picture somewhere
Premium Chessgames Member
  Caissanist: Assuming speed chess counts, the youngest player to play Reshevsky is probably Jeff Sarwer. I don't know of any game scores, but there are a few seconds of video on Youtube: .
Premium Chessgames Member
  Caissanist: I don't see how Reshevsky could have a Morphy number of 2, since every player who played against Morphy had apparently died by 1911:
Apr-20-15  HeMateMe: In the comments section a reader says his father was "murdered by drug dealers when Jeff was 10." First time I've seen this clip or heard of this kid. Right away I had a bad vibe about the father, especially when he said he didn't want a trainer for his son.

Could this kid have gone higher? We'll never know.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Caissanist: The comment I see was that his father was "murdered by drug dealers more than 10 years ago"--so far as I know, his father raised both him and his sister to adulthood.

Jeff doesn't talk about his childhood much (for a while his sister was going to write a book, but that never happened). He does say, however, that although the way his father raised them was not right, the efforts by the Canadian authorities to "save" them were worse.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <Caissanist> We don't know the names of all Morphy's opponents, so it's possible one of them may have lived long enough to play Reshevsky. Unlikely, but possible.
May-09-15  TheFocus: <It often happens that a player is so fond of his advantageous position that he is reluctant to transpose to a winning endgame> - Samuel Reshevsky.
May-10-15  TheFocus: <My style is somewhere between that of Tal and Petrosian> - Samuel Reshevsky.
May-10-15  TheFocus: <The knight is renowned for, among other things, its suitability as a blockader ... Because its strength lies in short-range operations it is not uncomfortable standing in a single spot for long periods, as the Bishop is> - Samuel Reshevsky.
May-10-15  TheFocus: <Tartakower once wrote that after planting a Knight in the center you can go to sleep. This is not to be taken literally, of course, but it contains more than a germ of truth> - Samuel Reshevsky.
May-14-15  TheFocus: <The only good Rook is a working Rook!> - Samuel Reshevsky.
May-16-15  TheFocus: <Good players develop a tactical instinct, a sense of what is possible or likely and what is not worth calculating> - Sammy Reshevsky.
May-16-15  TheFocus: <No matter how much theory progresses, how radically styles change, chess play is inconceivable without tactics> - Sammy Reshevsky.
May-17-15  TheFocus: <By playing slowly during the early phases of a game I am able to grasp the basic requirements of each position. Then, despite being in time pressure, I have no difficulty in finding the best continuation. Incidentally, it is an odd fact that more often than not it is my opponent who gets the jitters when I am compelled to make these hurried moves> - Sammy Reshevsky.
May-17-15  TheFocus: <Young players calculate everything, a requirement of their relative inexperience> - Sammy Reshevsky.
May-17-15  TheFocus: <We often hear the terms 'positional' and 'tactical' used as opposites. But this is as wrong as to consider a painting's composition unrelated to its subject. Just as there is no such thing as 'artistic' art, so there is no such thing as 'positional' chess> - Sammy Reshevsky.
May-19-15  TheFocus: <Reshevsky is the exception - he is an all-round player with an all-round temperament. He has no partiality for any special type of position; he likes and plays every sort of game equally well; it is this which distinguishes him from his fellow-masters> - Max Euwe.
May-19-15  TheFocus: <Fortified by strong nerves, devout optimism, great self-confidence, a philosophical temperament and a tremendous weight of experience, he feels confident in any position that is even remotely presentable, and is up to any task the world of his opponents may present him> - Max Euwe. - (on Reshevsky)
May-19-15  TheFocus: <Reshevsky is the exception - he is an all-round player with an all-round temperament. He has no partiality for any special type of position; he likes and plays every sort of game equally well; it is this which distinguishes him from his fellow-masters> - Max Euwe.
May-19-15  TheFocus: <Fortified by strong nerves, devout optimism, great self-confidence, a philosophical temperament and a tremendous weight of experience, he feels confident in any position that is even remotely presentable, and up to any task the world of his opponents may present him> - (on Reshevsky) - Max Euwe.
May-22-15  TheFocus: <At 43, Reshevsky, despite his smallness, is an imposing figure whose icy boardside manner is a weapon which powerfully complements his wits. Barely 5 feet 2 inches tall, with a wide, bulging brow and steely eyes, he sits un-movingly erect for hours on end, his head in his cupped hands, his mouth pursed in an expression of ineffable hauteur. Most players nibble and sip at something at intervals during a game; Reshevsky eats nothing and only seldom drinks a glass of water. He chain-smokes, but in him even this habit betrays no sign of nerves.

“Sammy,” a colleague once observed, “plays chess like a man eating fish. First he removes the bones, then he swallows the fish.” His self-confidence is so boundless that in tournament play, where 40 moves must be made within two and a half hours, he will spend half that time pondering a single move, feeling sure of finding one that will make the next moves virtually automatic. On rare occasions only does he leave himself so little time that he blunders through sheer haste> - John Kobler, writing about Sammy Reshevsky, in his article “Icy Wizard of the Royal Game”, which appeared in the October 17th, 1955, issue of Sports Illustrated.

May-23-15  TheFocus: <The most important causes of blunders are time pressure, tension, fatigue and the lack of sufficient concentration. The outstanding cause of blunders in top-level competitions is time trouble... > - Sammy Reshevsky (Introduction to Great Chess Upsets).
May-24-15  TheFocus: <He was one of the smallest men I have ever seen - but he was all steel wire and blazing tenacity: one of the toughest tenacious chess players of all time> - Neil Falconer on Sammy Reshevsky.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Many people feel that GMs know everything there is to know about chess. This is not true at all! Like everyone else, they blunder. Nobody is immune from making blunders., Blunders are committed by the best of us.>

This Reshevsky quote should be required reading for those who pontificate about this or that top player who errs.

Jul-19-15  Sally Simpson: " He [Reshevsky] chain-smokes...."

Chain smokes a pipe?

He sits there with a pile of pipes lighting up one after another. No wonder he got into time trouble.

Hi perfidious,

I too have a Morphy 4 (Reshevsky is a 3) due to Oliver Penrose who I've played 3 times.

Oliver played John Littlewood at the Edinburgh Congress in 2002.

Big deal?

The only time they had played each other before was at the Cambridge Open in 1952! A gap of 50 years. (Oliver won both games.)

Just off to post that wee tit-bit on Oliver's page.

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