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Samuel Reshevsky vs Paul Keres
Zurich Candidates (1953), Zurich SUI, rd 26, Oct-17
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Normal. Bronstein (Byrne) Variation (E45)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Apr-20-05  ughaibu: RookFile: I dont really know what you mean by "Reshevsky had a clear advantage in the final position, but
had a couple of games and had no
confidence." In any case this was round 26, why on earth would Reshevsky agree a draw if he had a clear advantage? and only move 14?? Are you suggesting Reshevsky was also under orders?
Apr-20-05  RookFile: Reshevsky has lost confidence.

Here is Bronstein's comment on this
position, from his classic book
on the tournament:

"If the reader ever has such a position with White, he should never accept a draw; and if he has black, he should never offer one, White has the better position. He may attack as he chooses, on either flank, with good prospects in either case. So, why did Reshevsky offer a draw? Obviously, he was making his own calculations: there remained three rounds, with no chance for him to take first, and second place now seemed assured. Perhaps, physchology had something to do with it, too, as well as arithmetic; after all, the three previous rounds had brought him only one half-point...."

Apr-20-05  ughaibu: What does Bronstein say about his own draw with Smyslov played in the same round? A draw that he claims he was ordered to play yet here he is saying Reshevsky had "no chance to take first", if that's so there was no reason for him to be ordered to draw. I'll go and look up the scores but I'm pretty sure Reshevsky could still have won the tournament at this point.
Apr-20-05  ughaibu: The scores before this game were: Smyslov 15.5, Reshevsky 14, Bronstein and Keres 13.5 Smyslov and Keres had five more games to play while Reshevsky and Bronstein had four more to play. According to Bronstein's "revelations" he (Bronstein) was still in with a chance to win the tournament, the reality is that he was in fourth place, how can he say he had a chance but Reshevsky had no chance?
Apr-20-05  RookFile: Well, Reshevesky didn't play in
round 27, he had the bye. If we
assume Bronstein beats Smyslov,
this reduces Smyslov's point total
by 1.5 points.

To reduce this deficit, this means
that Reshevsky must score a full
point with black against Bronstein,
instead of losing, and Reshevsky
must score a full point with black
against Taimanov, instead of drawing.
This theoretically ties the score.

Of course, Smyslov might have tried
for more, for example, with the white
pieces, maybe he doesn't agree to
a draw with Najdorf after only 11 moves.
If Smyslov puts a win up on the board
against Najdorf, or Petrosian conviently
loses to Smyslov, it really doesn't
matter what Reshevsky does.

So, Sammy at this point was setting his
sights on seconds place.

Apr-20-05  RookFile: So, I'm not saying Bronstein is perfect: he does seem to show a certain lack of objectivity, from what I can see, by thinking he had a shot but Reshevsky didn't.
Apr-20-05  ughaibu: If Reshevsky had won this game and all his further remaining games his final score would've been 18. Bronstein claims to have been ordered to draw with Smyslov, that puts Smyslov on 16, in Smyslov's remaining four games he has two non-Soviet opponents who cant be controlled, they might win against him and if they do Smyslov can only guarantee to tie with Reshevsky if Taimanov and Petrosian throw their games. So, the only way to ensure a Smyslov victory at this stage is for Bronstein to lose to him. Even more so in the previous round, asking Keres to draw doesn't help Smyslov so it doesn't have a sensible motivation, Bronstein's accusations just dont fit the reality of the figures.
Apr-20-05  RookFile: As I said earlier, the priority
was not so much to guarantee a
Smyslov victory. Bronstein or Keres
would also have been 'acceptable'

The Russians weren't really worried
about it at this point, because
Reshevsky wasn't the type of player
to win with black. Certainly,
Reshevsky was trying to beat Taimanov, but could not. Bronstein makes this comment
himself in his 1953 book:
Reshevsky is unbelievable with
the white pieces, but with black,
he's just a guy who makes draws.

Apr-20-05  RookFile: For example: let's say that Reshevsky
still had a shot. Ok, fine, but
now he needs to beat Bronstein with
black, not just draw against him.
He can't play 1. e4 e5 because there
are a dozen different ways, practically speaking, for Bronstein to force a drawish position with
the white pieces. The only other
opening he can really play is the
Sicilian, 1. e4 c5. A scary prospect, when you play over how Bronstein smashed Keres earlier in the tournament.

Bottom line: Reshevsky thought this
was all too improbable. So, he offers Keres a draw in this position that favors him, thinking that he'll
get clear second. He wasn't counting
on losing to Bronstein, to slip back
into a tie for second.

Apr-20-05  ughaibu: By the time Bronstein was to play white against Smyslov, Reshevsky was in second place, if anyone wanted to guarantee that Reshevsky didn't win they had no choice about the winner, it had to be Smyslov. If nobody was worried because Reshevsky was "just a guy who makes draws" there would again be no reason to ask Bronstein to draw with Smyslov.
Apr-20-05  ughaibu: What have Reshevsky's cogitations got to do with Bronstein's claims?
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Bronstein is a kvetch.
Apr-20-05  RookFile: Well, there are 2 separate issues:

1) Why did Reshevsky take a draw
in this game with Keres?

Answer: His confidences was shot,
he had lost some games lately. He
had only a remote chance of first,
but thought a draw would give
him an excellent shot at clear

2) Is Bronstein right
in saying the tournament was

Answer: We don't know. His
statments are not corroborated.
I believe him, you don't there's
no point in making the same
arguments a dozen different ways.

Apr-20-05  ughaibu: RookFile: there is also the "mandate" mentioned by you on the Keres page. Why didn't Keres win this game? On the Keres thread you also said that Bronstein's claims make sense to you, leaving aside the question of belief, do you still think Bronstein's claims make sense in light of the tournament standings and the number of points involved?
Apr-20-05  RookFile: Because Keres was black, got an
inferior position, and it made
excellent sense to accept a draw
when you opponent has a clear advantage. Further, the tournament was essesentially over, it was clear
Smyslov was going to win.
Apr-20-05  ughaibu: That sounds reasonable to me.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: It seems as if there was once a dialogue on this game between Ughaibu and Rookfile; this has now become a monologue. The effect is quite that dinner in The Sixth Sense.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Are you saying <ughaibu> was under orders to agree with <Rookfile>?
Mar-31-09  AnalyzeThis: Not that!
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <ughaibu: That sounds reasonable to me.> That's possibly of historical importance.
Mar-31-09  AnalyzeThis: The way Bronstein describes the final position of this game is that Reshevsky had an absolutely clear advantage.

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