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

Reshevsky - Najdorf Match

Samuel Reshevsky11/18(+8 -4 =6)[games]
Miguel Najdorf7/18(+4 -8 =6)[games] Chess Event Description
Reshevsky - Najdorf (1952)

In 1952, Samuel Reshevsky and Miguel Najdorf played an 18-game match which was unofficially called "The Match for the Championship of the Free World". The first eight games were played in New York, New York. Games 9 through 13 were played in Mexico City, Mexico and games 14 through 18 were played in San Salvador, El Salvador.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Reshevsky 1 1 1 1 = 1 1 = 0 = 0 0 = 1 = 1 = 0 11 Najdorf 0 0 0 0 = 0 0 = 1 = 1 1 = 0 = 0 = 1 7

Based on an original collection by User: TheFocus.

 page 1 of 1; 18 games  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Najdorf vs Reshevsky 0-1331952Reshevsky - NajdorfE39 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Pirc Variation
2. Reshevsky vs Najdorf 1-0311952Reshevsky - NajdorfD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
3. Najdorf vs Reshevsky 0-1411952Reshevsky - NajdorfE39 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Pirc Variation
4. Reshevsky vs Najdorf 1-0321952Reshevsky - NajdorfE69 King's Indian, Fianchetto, Classical Main line
5. Najdorf vs Reshevsky ½-½761952Reshevsky - NajdorfE39 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Pirc Variation
6. Reshevsky vs Najdorf 1-0611952Reshevsky - NajdorfD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
7. Najdorf vs Reshevsky 0-1411952Reshevsky - NajdorfB93 Sicilian, Najdorf, 6.f4
8. Reshevsky vs Najdorf  ½-½251952Reshevsky - NajdorfD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
9. Najdorf vs Reshevsky 1-0381952Reshevsky - NajdorfB93 Sicilian, Najdorf, 6.f4
10. Reshevsky vs Najdorf  ½-½291952Reshevsky - NajdorfE70 King's Indian
11. Najdorf vs Reshevsky 1-0371952Reshevsky - NajdorfB93 Sicilian, Najdorf, 6.f4
12. Reshevsky vs Najdorf 0-1291952Reshevsky - NajdorfE60 King's Indian Defense
13. Najdorf vs Reshevsky  ½-½171952Reshevsky - NajdorfC53 Giuoco Piano
14. Reshevsky vs Najdorf 1-0411952Reshevsky - NajdorfE68 King's Indian, Fianchetto, Classical Variation, 8.e4
15. Najdorf vs Reshevsky  ½-½651952Reshevsky - NajdorfD42 Queen's Gambit Declined, Semi-Tarrasch, 7.Bd3
16. Reshevsky vs Najdorf 1-0301952Reshevsky - NajdorfD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
17. Najdorf vs Reshevsky  ½-½371952Reshevsky - NajdorfE54 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Gligoric System
18. Reshevsky vs Najdorf 0-1431952Reshevsky - NajdorfD79 Neo-Grunfeld, 6.O-O, Main line
 page 1 of 1; 18 games  PGN Download 
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-03-14  wordfunph: sizzling start by "The Lone Warrior" 6.5/7!
Apr-22-14  ughaibu: What was the system, such that Najdorf won the final game but lost the match?
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Maybe the system was <we're going to play all the games of the match>.
Apr-22-14  RookFile: Reshevsky didn't care. What else did he have to do in San Salvador, anyway?
Apr-23-14  ughaibu: If that's an explanation, I don't get it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: The promoters sold tickets to all 18 games and they were going to keep every penny, rain or shine.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <ughhaibu: If that's an explanation, I don't get it.>

A sense of humour is required at times in life.....

Apr-24-14  ughaibu: I take it nobody knows what the system was.
Apr-24-14  Petrosianic: It's not the only match played this way. The second Alekhine-Euwe match also played all 30 games. You've only seen the first 25, because the last 5, played as exhibition games, are rarely seen. They weren't in this database the last I looked.

For what it's worth, Euwe won the last 5 games +2-1=2.

The Evans-Lombardy match in the early 60's also played a full schedule, so that was another match in which the loser won the final game.

Apr-24-14  Petrosianic: This match was not for the "Championship of the Free World". Chess Life referred to Reshevsky as the "Champion of the Western Hemisphere", and kept calling him that until Fischer won his second US Championship, after which they very quietly dropped it.
Apr-24-14  RookFile: It's funny that they didn't call the Fischer vs. Reshevsky match something like this.
Apr-24-14  ughaibu: Petrosianic: are you saying that the last three of this match were exhibition games?
Apr-24-14  Petrosianic: I don't know. Maybe, maybe not. The difference between a meaningless game and an exhibition game is whether or not it counts in the "official score". Most matches don't play meaningless games at all, which makes it confusing.

The last two games of the 1966 match are often described as "exhibition games" (since they could have no effect on who kept the title). But since the score is usually listed as 12½-10½, rather than 12-10, apparently they weren't really exhibition games. (And they did have an effect on whether the match would be won by the champion or only drawn.)

Games 26-30 of the 1937 Match were true Exhibition games, as were Games 18-20 of the 1889 match (which were played under different conditions than the rest of the match, as consultation games with each player taking one of the organizers as a partner).

In this match, it's not clear. The score is usually listed as "11-7", but books are notoriously lax on such things. Like, you can find lots of books saying that the score of the 1978 match was 16½-15½. No, the OFFICIAL score was 6-5 (because draws didn't count). If the Official Score of this match was really 11-7, then there were no exhibition games.

Didn't the Kasparov-Short match have exhibition games too?

Apr-24-14  Petrosianic: As I recall, the Evans-Lombardy match was a straight 10 Games Match, so the final game (won by Lombardy, who lost the match 6-4, was not an Exhibition Game). So matches with a fixed number of games do happen.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: The Alekhine-Euwe rematch also spun out to the full thirty games, though Alekhine had secured victory a full five games before the end.
Apr-24-14  Petrosianic: Right, I mentioned that one. But those games are never counted in the final score. The score of that match is always listed as +10-4=11, not +11-6=13. Alekhine himself calls them Exhibition games in his notes. In that case it makes sense. The match was played in several different ities, and they didn't want cities at the end of the line missing out on a chance to see the players just because the match ended too early.

To settle the Reshevsky-Najdorf question, it's probably going to be necessary to get out the old issues of Chess Life and Chess Review, and see how they report it.

Sorry, typo in the above post. It should have read "12½-11½", not "12½-10½".

Apr-25-14  ughaibu: Perhaps Reshevsky gave Najdorf odds of four wins, and the match was actually drawn. In any case, the eleven to seven score is an eccentricity that should be cleared up in the heading.
Apr-25-14  Petrosianic: Interestingly, there are 53 Reshevsky-Najdorf games in the database, and 50 of them were played between 1950 and 1953. These two had very little history with each other outside of their two matches.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: It was surprising to me that their should be so few games between those rivals, post-1953; turns out there were actually eight games played between them afterwards.

The point stands, though: not as much action as one might have expected.

Apr-25-14  Petrosianic: You're right, memory was faulty in this case. I got the number of games right, but not the number of post '53 ones. Should have double checked before posting.
Dec-29-14  offramp: <Petrosianic: Interestingly, there are 53 Reshevsky-Najdorf games in the database, and 50 of them were played between 1950 and 1953. These two had very little history with each other outside of their two matches.>

I wrote the following at the first game of the match; it should've been posted here:

<Two players born 1 year and 136km apart. They played 52 games together, mostly in the New World, and < Samuel Reshevsky beat Miguel Najdorf 20 to 10, with 22 draws>.>

Jan-27-15  RookFile: Reshevsky absolutely pulverized Najdof to start this match. If it had ended after game 7, we would be saying this was comparable to Fischer beating Larsen 6-0.
Apr-25-17  offramp: If you are trying to raise funds for a match it helps to get paid for the bums on seats before the match starts.

If you go to the mayor of San Salvador and offer her games 14 to 18 she might say, "Ey up! What if the match is already over?"

Scratching your nose you say, "Nah, that won't happen."

But if you guarantee that 18 games will be played the mayor will be happy.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eggman: I either didn't know or had forgotten about this match. An almost Fischer-like beginning for Reshevsky - 6-1 after 7 games! What a shame Reshevsky couldn't play in the 1950 candidates tournament.

NOTE: Create an account today to post replies and access other powerful features which are available only to registered users. Becoming a member is free, anonymous, and takes less than 1 minute! If you already have a username, then simply login login under your username now to join the discussion.

Please observe our posting guidelines:

  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, or profane language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, duplicate, or gibberish posts.
  3. No vitriolic or systematic personal attacks against other members.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. No cyberstalking or malicious posting of negative or private information (doxing/doxxing) of members.
  6. No trolling.
  7. The use of "sock puppet" accounts to circumvent disciplinary action taken by moderators, create a false impression of consensus or support, or stage conversations, is prohibited.
  8. Do not degrade Chessgames or any of it's staff/volunteers.

Please try to maintain a semblance of civility at all times.

Blow the Whistle

See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform a moderator.

NOTE: Please keep all discussion on-topic. This forum is for this specific tournament only. To discuss chess or this site in general, visit the Kibitzer's Café.

Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of, its employees, or sponsors.
All moderator actions taken are ultimately at the sole discretion of the administration.

Spot an error? Please suggest your correction and help us eliminate database mistakes!

Copyright 2001-2021, Chessgames Services LLC