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Samuel Reshevsky vs Akiba Rubinstein
Warsaw (1917) (blindfold)
Italian Game: Italian Variation (C50)  ·  0-1



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Given 20 times; par: 35 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Aug-27-02  morphynoman2: 9. Ng5?? is one of that childish auto-combination that always failed against a strong master as Rubinstein!
Aug-27-02  refutor: i'm obviously not a world class player, but what was reshevsky thinking?
Aug-28-02  bishop: I think Reshevsky was only 6 years old when he played this game.
Mar-23-03  Green Bishop: Rubinstein played this game blindfold against his 6 years old opponent.
Mar-24-03  aulero: 9.Ng5 is the sign of smartness! Reshevsky (6 years old!!!) saw now future for him after 8...g4 and he tried to complicate matter with a tactical shot. The real error is 6.h3: never play in Italian games h3 (or h6) before the opponent's castle: as you can see Rubinstein started the attack without any hesitation.
Mar-03-05  RookFile: aulero is right, of course, especially
about the h3 before black castles.
Fischer made the same strategic mistake when he was a kid too, although as I remember, he actually ended up winning the game. When I first saw this, the thought that 10. Nxf7 might be interesting. Not sound, of course, but maybe a bit more active. The d5 knight isn't going anywhere, and maybe white can play f3 or f4 and open up against the black king.
Mar-03-05  RookFile: Remember how we all played when we
first played chess. We'd bring the
queen out, hunt around board, etc.
Reshevsky already had a notion of
9...hxg5 10. Bxg5 and was able to
defend against Rubinstein attacking,
for a little while, anyway.
Mar-03-05  RookFile: This was the game where fischer played h3 before black had castled. It was noted that this was a serious
mistake. Put Rubinstein as black,
and you know that somehow, he's going to windup with a .... g5 thrust as black and castle queenside, if at all.
But Fischer's opponent did not think
of this idea....

Fischer vs A Di Camillo, 1956

May-25-05  Xparoni: Does someone know how to find other games played by famous 5 or 6 year old prodigies? We have a talented 5-year old at our club, and it would be interesting to compare her games with those of other child wonders.
Mar-27-07  malbase: Reshevsky - Rubinstein first appeared in a book
on Chess by Endewelt and Weisblatt, published in
Warsaw 1917. The book was written in Yiddish.
A further note, Rubinstein played the game blindfolded.
Mar-27-07  malbase: Chess prodigies:
See games played by Morphy, Capablanca and Fischer.
There is also the book by Reinfeld called the Young Alekhine. The question is why Reshevsky?
Reshevsky learned the game on his own at age 4.
He never studied the game.
Reshevsky never owned a chess set.
From my knowledge he never wrote a book. He probably provided the biography, but not the notes to the game. The same for his chess column which appeared for years in a local NYC paper. See the Chess Review Book Reshevsky's Best games.
The games go up to 1946.
The biographical is great.
The book may be found probably from online book dealers.
Mar-27-07  Marmot PFL: Reshevsky also wrote The Art of Positional play based on his column in CL&R. No way is any 6 year old going to beat Rubinstein. His parents were exploiting his talent for all they could however. Today it would probably be considered child abuse.
Mar-27-07  RookFile: He also wrote a book on the 1972 world chess championship.
Dec-17-07  Karpova: <The November 1971 issue of Chess Life and Review, pp. 641-644, featured an article by Albrecht Buschke entitled "When Sammy was 'Shmulik,'" which details the sole encounter between two of the greatest players in the history of chess.

"During the war winter of 1916/17, first rumors, then news, reached the Western world from German-occupied Poland: A little 5-year old chess prodigy was said to have beaten some better than average Polish players and given simple simultaneous exhibitions with astonishing success. In its double issue 7/8 of February 25, 1917, the German chess magazine Deutsches und Berliner Schachzeitung reported from Warsaw that on February 11, 1917, the 5-year-old Schmul Rzeszewski had played a game against the well-known master A. Rubinstein 'who played blindfold' and that, while 'the little man' was on the defensive all the time, he gave the great Rubinstein a valiant battle which lasted about 90 minutes, 'presented many interesting moments and became particularly exciting in the final phase.' Certainly, 'things were not made easy for Mr. Rubinstein and the kiss he pressed on the blond locks of his little opponent, who after brave opposition had to resign in the end after all, was a token of warmest and most genuine appreciation...'

"Well, by now our readers will have gathered that the poor little 'Schmul Rzeszewski' is none other than our senior grandmaster Samuel (Sammy) Reshevsky, just turning 60. He did not quite live up to the prediction that Rubinstein supposedly made. According to the pamphlet by B. Kagan Samuel Rzeschewski das Schachwunderkind (Berlin, ca. 1920), 'the little guy aroused such excitement (by his success in the Warsaw Chess Club) that Chess Master Rubinstein decided to play a game with him. This, of course, the boy lost, but Rubinstein said after the game: "You will some time become the Chess Champion of the World." It might also be mentioned that, when Rubinstein showed him the game he had won in the St. Petersburg Tournament of 1909 against Lasker, the boy pointed out a win in two moves less.'

How much of the preceding is legend, how much is truth, is of course very difficult to prove after so many years.">

"Akiba Rubinstein: Uncrowned King" by Donaldson/Minev

Apr-09-09  TheTamale: I once owned a book by Reshevsky called something like "Great Blunders in the History of Chess." It was a book dedicated to game-losing moves--hanging your queen, stuff like that. The annotations were at times acerbic, to say the least.
May-11-09  notyetagm: 9 ♘f3-g5!?

click for larger view

<morphynoman2: 9. Ng5?? is one of that childish auto-combination that always failed against a strong master as Rubinstein!>

Reshevsky's idea was to <RELOAD> on the g5-square with 9 ...h6x♘g5? 10 ♗c1xg5, giving White a *fine* game, according to I believe Kasparov's comment in his OMGP book.

9 ... h6x♘g5? 10 ♗c1xg5 <reload: g5>

click for larger view

click for larger view


Premium Chessgames Member
  OBIT: <Karpova>I suspect the two-move improvement in Rubinstein vs Lasker, 1909 that Reshevsky pointed out comes toward the end. Rubinstein's last four moves of the game don't really do anything except ensure he makes time control. If Reshevsky's improvement is something like 37. Rc6 instead of 37. Ra6 (which repeated a previous position), I'd say that's a good observation for a five-year-old, but not particularly deep.
Jul-23-13  jerseybob: Any record of whether the two ever encountered each other later in life? Not played, just met.

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