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Laszlo Szabo vs Samuel Reshevsky
"Lazy vs Rushy" (game of the day Jun-09-2011)
Zuerich Candidates (1953), Zuerich SUI, rd 19, Oct-04
Queen's Gambit Declined: Semi-Tarrasch Defense. Main Line (D42)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: White misses a forced win-TWICE!
Jun-09-11  sevenseaman: It looks so to me too.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: 21.Qxg6+ how did Szabo miss that!?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Everyone should go back to the two posts by <Resignation Trap> beginning with Szabo vs Reshevsky, 1953 and read Szabo's own account. Tragic.

I've had similar things happen to me, and the last thing you want to do is touch another chess piece as long as you live.

Jun-09-11  IRONCASTLEVINAY: Fantastic info Resignation trap !


Jun-09-11  Marmot PFL: The position at the end still looks quite good for white. Coordinate the rooks and get the e & f pawns moving. Evidently white was almost out of time here.
Jun-09-11  David2009: <scormus: BTW, I suppose W really cannot win from the final position?> Clearly not, for the reasons set out by <Resignation Trap>. [<RT> nice to see you back - if you are still interested in NN vs P check out Game Collection: NN vs P: unheard melodies. However with unlimited time - a correspondence game? - White can probably squeeze out a win.

click for larger view

At first sight Black has excellent compensation for his material deficit (exchange for a Pawn) since White's a2, e4 and h4 Pawns are all weak, and there is no obvious safe haven for White's King: in order to win White needs to create a passed King side Pawn. Meanwhile two White Pawns are en prise. The defensive move 28.a3 is well met by 28...Nc6 intending Nd5 and Qf6 pressurising the h4 Pawn. Here's a link to Crafty End Game Trainer to probe these variations:

However, there is a tactical shot that turns the tables (discovered with silicon help; all Black moves are by the EGT): 28.Qh8+ Ke7 29.Rd5! Nc6 30.Qc3 (preventing Nd5 for the time being) Kf8 31.Rbd1 Kg8 (threatening to capture the e Pawn)

click for larger view

32.Qg3! Qxe4 33.Qc7 Qe8 34.Rd7 Rc8 35.Qb7 White's temporary Pawn sacrifice has give him excellent play, so Black now hands back the Pawn allowing general exchanges: 35...Nd4 36.Rxf7 Qxf7 37.Qxc8+ Qf8 38.Qxf8+ Kxf8

click for larger view

We have now reached an ending which it will not be easy for White to win. Analysis is to continue in due course in my forum. Meanwhile, here's a direct link to the ending set up in Crafty EGT:

Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: The pun: Laszlo is "lazy" because he could have tried to win the endgame, and Reshevesky is "rushy" because he nervously rushed 20...Bxf6, causing Laszlo to miss the mate in two?
Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: <David2009: <scormus: BTW, I suppose W really cannot win from the final position?> Clearly not .....>

Yes, I see. And I'm not at all surprised. You see, I've been there. It still haunts me ....

Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <Phony Benoni: Everyone should go back to the two posts by <Resignation Trap> beginning with Reshevsky vs Szabo, 1953 and read Szabo's own account. Tragic.>

In the statement by Szabo quoted by <Resignation Trap> in his posts of <Nov-01-06>, the Hungarian GM claims he saw the mate but played a different move essentially due to extreme nervousness. The other statement about this game frequently attributed to Szabo goes: "Well, you don't just look for mates in two against Reshevsky!"

There is at least an implicit inconsistency between these two remarks.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <Peligroso Patzer> Technically yes, but the two statements seem to serve different ends. The first seems like an attempt at dark humor, laughing through th tears. Szabo had to realize people would ask him about it for the of his life, and that was just a snappy comeback.

The long account was written many years later in his autobiography, and is clearly a more serious attempt to actually explain the move and what it meant to him at the time and afterward. I see no reason to doubt its essential accuracy.

Jun-10-11  njchess: Tough, psychologically crushing game for GM Szabo.
Feb-21-12  Everett: Sorry of this was asked already, but what is the best response to 20..Kh8?
Feb-21-12  AlphaMale: <Harry Lime>:!
Apr-14-12  wordfunph: "If Sammy Reshevsky offers you a draw, take a good look at the position and see if you've got a mate in two."

- GM Miguel Najdorf

Apr-14-12  King Death: Then there's this game later in the event where Reshevsky offers a draw when his opponent is sealing a move (Bronstein vs Reshevsky, 1953) that threatens mate and forces the win of material. That Reshevsky was a real ethical player.
Aug-15-12  The Last Straw: I recently played a rapid game at Here are the moves: Me (SimonWebbTiger) vs s868790
1-0 [B01] Scandinavian Defense Time Control: 15 min for the whole game.
1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qd8 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.Bb5 e6 6.0-0 Bd7 7.d4 a6 (1) 8.Ba4 Be7 9.Ne5 b5 10.Nxc6!? Bxc6 11.Bb3 Nf6 12.Ne2 0-0 13.Ng3 Qc8 (2) 4.Bg5 Qb7 15.f3 Rad8 16.c3 (1) Qb6 17.Re1 Bb7 (4) 18.Ne4!? (2) Nxe4 19. Bxe7 Nf6 20.Bxf8 Kxf8 21.Kf2!? (3) c5! (5) 22.Qe2 cxd4 23.cxd4 Qxd4+ 24.Kf1 Qh4 25.h3 Qg3 (7) 26.Rad1 Re8 (8) 27.Qf2!? (4) Qb8 (10) 28. Rd2 a5 (12) 29.Bc2 b4 30.b3 g6 31.Qh4 Nh5 32.Red1 Qh2 (13) 33.Rd8!? Ba6+ 34.Kf2 Rxd8 (14) 35.Rxd8+ Kg7 36.Qe7?! Qg3+! 37.Ke3 Qe1+ 38.Kd4 (6) Qxc2+ 39.Ke5 Qxg2?? 40.Qf8# 1-0 This is why you never resign.
Feb-23-14  gabriel112000: Lame!
Mar-17-14  naufallabs: Why not white 20 Qg6+
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <naufallabs: Why not white 20 Qg6+>

Because the knight blocks the queen from the g6 square and Qxg6 wouldn't be check anyway. If you're asking why not 21.Qxg6+, see previous kibitzing.

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: 7..Nxc3!? is rarely played and seems illogical; 7..cxd and 7..Be7 are usually played. Reshevsky took a lot of time with 9..g6 indicating that he was already uncomfortable with his position. 12..Bd7 could have been answered with 13 Bxg6..fxg 14 Qxg6+..Kf8 15 e4. Barcza recommended 25..Qxe4 26 Bg7..Ne6 27 Bxf8..Rxf8 with Black having two pawns for the exchange; instead Reshevsky's 25..Qe6 put the queen on the knights best square.

Certainly unusual to see a game where both players played so poorly,

Premium Chessgames Member
  fiercebadger: not a good day at the office for Szabo missing 20 qh6+ and 27.Bh6! f6 28.Qg3 Rf7 29.Qxb8 and wins.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: <fiercebadger> 28...Ra7 would have been an improvement, but still not worth the draw. Lucky old Reschevsky
Apr-16-21  sudoplatov: In addition to 28.Qh8+, White can try 28.f4.
Apr-16-21  RookFile: You would expect to see 21. Qxg6+ in a bullet game without any problems. The fact that Szabo didn't play it is likely due to him having some psychological fear of Reshevsky. In other words, if you're thinking about how you're going to survive against Reshevsky rather than just looking at the board, you miss things like this.
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