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Vasily Smyslov vs Samuel Reshevsky
Zurich Candidates (1953), Zurich SUI, rd 25, Oct-14
English Opening: Anglo-Indian Defense. Nimzo-English Opening (A17)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-04-06  Maynard5: Some fine positional play by Reshevsky here, against an opponent also noted for his positional skills. White accumulates a series of small advantages, starting with the two bishops, then achieving a bind in which Black is saddled with a backward pawn on d6. Smyslov's attempt to break out on the king side with 33. ... f5 only opens lines for White to exploit.
Jan-06-07  Brown: I think Smyslov is white here, according to the game score.
Jan-07-07  Maynard5: Brown is quite correct -- in fact this is a fine positional victory by Smyslov over Reshevsky! Apologies for the earlier confusion.
Jul-02-07  sanyas: Years later, the same thing happened to him: Botvinnik vs Smyslov, 1964
Jul-02-07  DrGridlock: It's kind of amusing (or disturbing), watching Reshevsky move his knight in a circle between f6, h7 and h5 for 11 moves between move 21 and move 32.
Mar-29-10  waustad: I'm always impressed and somewhat baffled by such play. They keep shifting stuff around until somebody has a weakness that only one of them notices. Like R+P endgames, I'm quickly out of my league.
May-03-11  theagenbiteofinwit: Smyslov psychs out Reshevsky. Black's habitual knight-doodling is because he thinks that Smyslov is preparing f4. Resh is unaware that Smyslov's real plan is a battery with the bishop on e3.

Resh decides to sac some pawns for a complicated situation where he hopes to profit tactically, an unwise decision against the man who possessed the best technique in the world at the time.

Bronstein gives 33.Rc2 two exclamations and said he did it because if he didn't he'd have to give every white move one !

Jul-24-11  AVRO38: This was the 25th round and only 1/2 point separated Smyslov and Reshevsky heading into the final stretch. After this game Smyslov would cruise to victory.
Jan-05-13  madhatter5: probably a patzer question, but what is the purpose of 14.Qe3? And what threat did it contain that obliged Reshevsky to weaken himself with 14...e5?
Jan-05-13  madhatter5: And also why 28. Bg2, placing the bishop in front of his pawns? I realize the bishop was useless on h3, but how is it better on g2? because it's defended?
Jan-05-13  Strongest Force: Many of the greats had the nice clear and simple style we find in this game.
Oct-15-13  jerseybob: A painful, frustrating game to watch if you're a Reshevsky fan. Sammy gets suckered into a bad transposition with 3..Bb4 expecting a Nimzo with 4.d4, but Smyslov plays 4.g3! instead. (I know Larsen used to play this occasionally, but he was Larsen). Black might've tried 7..Be7, but if he must swap the bishop, it should be done before white's Qb3 to at least inflict doubled pawns. After 7..Bc3 coupled with the overly-committal 10..c5 and the later 14..e5, black has weak center pawns, no bishop pair and no prospects. As for why Smyslov played this or that move, in maneuvering games there's not always a reason. Just maintain your advantage and spook the other guy into making a mistake.
Aug-08-15  RookFile: The position after 26. Re2 is interesting. With black, I would want to play 26...g5 with the idea of 27...f6, 28....Nf8, and 29.....Ng6.

But - white can defeat that plan by piling up on the d pawn 25. Re2 g5 26. Bh3 (stops ...Re6) f6 27. Red2 Nf8 28. Rd5 Ng6 29. Qd2 Nb7 30. Ba3.

click for larger view

Bye-bye d pawn.

Apr-09-17  storminnorman2010: After the 1948 FIDE WC Tournament, This was probably the closest that Reshevsky (or any American, for that matter) would come to playing in a World Chess Championship until Bobby Fischer came along. Of course, it didn't help that there was (possible) Soviet collusion involved.
Oct-29-17  RookFile: Reshevsky had to win this game. He could have offered Smyslov a draw on move one and the latter would have gladly taken it. In hindsight, if he did it this way, it would have gotten Reshevsky clear second in the tournament.
Oct-29-17  SChesshevsky: madhatter5, looks like 14. Qe3 allows the possibility of Bxf6. If ...Qxf6 then Rxd6. Otherwise black's ...gxf6 probably doesn't look appealing.

28. Bg2, yeah, probably due to it hanging on h3. Mainly because with a knight on h5 there is the potential, and maybe Smyslov saw the probability, of it able to ...Nf4 forking h3 and e2. If that happens you likely don't want something hanging on h3.

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