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Samuel Reshevsky vs Vladimir Savon
Petropolis Interzonal (1973), Petropolis BRA, rd 16, Aug-16
Benoni Defense: Classical Variation. Czerniak Defense Tal Line (A77)  ·  0-1



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sac: 18...Nxe4 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Feb-15-09  WhiteRook48: no, it was the blunder of six centuries
Dec-15-09  jlssoft: This game is typical of Reshevsky's career; he takes (took) too long in the opening and got into time trouble (the blunder is on 40th move), the win is 40. g5+ Kxg5 41. h4+ Kxh4 42. Qf4#!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <jlssoft: This game is typical of Reshevsky's career; he takes (took) too long in the opening and got into time trouble *** >

According to a post in this thread by <Gypsy> from <Jun-06-04>:

<“ *** Reshevsky was not in a time pressure here. Alegedly, Reshevsky had 18 minutes left! ***" >

Reshevsky got into time pressure so often that it is natural to assume that zeitnot is the explanation for a blunder by him on move 40, but apparently that was not the case here.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: I had a teacher when I was a kid who always said "if your opponent leans on the board too much, threaten his rook on a1". Reshevsky was short and I doubt he was leaning on the board so much that the bishop on b1 fell out of sight, but one way or another, he forgot about that bishop.
Aug-06-11  Tigranny: WhiteRook48, I liked what you said about the black king screaming for the bishop to capture the queen.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kbob: I had forgotten what an amazing attacking game this was by Reshevsky until the blunder. He had qualified for the candidates in the previous cycle, but at this interzonal I think he fell two games short, so it didn't really change things. I remember a quote at the time from someone who saw both players several hours later, Savon looking "sheepish" and Reshevsky appearing "absolutely distraught".
Nov-25-11  King Death: < kbob: I had forgotten what an amazing attacking game this was by Reshevsky until the blunder. He had qualified for the candidates in the previous cycle>

Reshevsky was lost for most of this middlegame until his opponent let things get away, and he finished in the bottom half of the table in Palma 1970. He did qualify at Sousse 1967 though because of the rules that applied then.

Nov-25-11  Darek: Samuel can play nice finish
40 Rh8+ Kg5 41 h4+! Kh4 42 Rh5+! gh5 43 Qh5 # !
Jul-21-12  Pulpofeira: Well, at least is a consolation for SR that he`s been favoured by serious blunders of his opponents in more than one occasion; Szabo missed a mate in two and Boleslavsky a forced draw, both in Zurich 53. Although he hadn`t any possibility to win that tournament, but that`s another story...
Sep-26-12  brankat: <Qxg6+>, a Super-blunder for ages! :-)
Oct-29-12  master of defence: This is the case of don´t see a defence to checkmate.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eggman: <<Darek>>

Yes, but there's a faster mate: 40.g5+ Kxg5 41.h4+ Kxh4 42.Qf4#.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: That story involving Wolff and Anand is most amusing, and reminds me of my first game with Maxim Dlugy.

In a complicated Saemisch KID middlegame, I sacrificed a pawn and had decent play for it, though probably no more. At one point I played Ra1-a3 and got the strange feeling Dlugy would play ....Be3, leaving that piece en prise. To my amazement, several moves on he played that very move and looked shocked when the rook snapped it off!

Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: The mate Reshesvsky had at hand and missed, given by <Darek>, 40.Rh8+ Kg5 41.h4+! Kh4 42 Rh5+! gh5 43 Qh5#, is one of the most beautiful forms of the x-ray theme I have ever seen.
Sep-26-13  Abdel Irada: <SwitchingQuylthulg: Something very similar happened to me here (to my credit, it was an online blitz game...)>

Slightly different story for me. Mine was also a blitz game, but OTB, and my opponent didn't *quite* blunder after all.

With a knight on g5 and queen on d3, he threatened mate on h7. I then played ...Qxc2, and my opponent triumphantly picked up his queen and menaced h7 ... and then a look of consternation overspread his face when he saw that my queen could simply follow his over and take it.

Luckily for him, he hadn't touched the pawn, so he exchanged queens on c2, and I was forced to win a grueling endgame.

That endgame was a story in its own right.

Some three/four moves later, we'd traded down to a minor-piece ending, and my opponent offered me a chance to take a free bishop with check — and lose!

The trick was that if I took the prelate, I couldn't get back in time to stop his passed b-pawn. In fact, I had to sac the knight to stop it.

But that wasn't all, because I had a passed c-pawn of my own, and my opponent had to sac in turn to stop it. This left me exactly a pawn ahead again, but in a simplified position, and I won some 30 moves later.

For an endgame played in blitz, this surely felt like a dozen games compressed into one. By the end of it, we were both exhausted and trembling with post-adrenal letdown, and I proceeded to lose my next game in nine moves against a C player (who proudly showed that game to anyone who'd look for the next two months). :-S

Sep-26-13  A Square: <Abdel> Amazing! Definitely, a chess player life deserves to be lived.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eggman: I see yet another win that Reshevsky missed here, with the simple 39.g5, though this is a tad slower simply because Black can prolong things with checks, e.g. 39...Qxf2+ and 40...Bc5+, etc.
Nov-17-14  drleper: Of the two mating options:
<40. g5+ Kxg5 41. h4+ Kxh4 42. Qf4#> and <40. Rh8+ Kg5 41. h4+ Kxh4 42. Rxh5+ gxh5 43. Qxh5#>

I would definitely take the latter. Although one move longer it is much more satisfying (and certainly more satisfying than the howler 40.Qxg6?? ;).

Apr-20-15  FairyPromotion: This is how I imagine the final moves of the game. Reshevsky grabs his queen, says "Check," plays 40. Qxg6, looks Savon in the face saying "... and Mate." Savon sees the move, looks at Reshevsky, looks back at the board in disbelief, and says... *drumroll please*

GOTD: <Eppur Si Muove>


Sep-07-16  N.O.F. NAJDORF: I quite like 39 g5 !!

It prevents the black king from escaping via g5

and he is shortly mated.

Nov-22-19  TheBish: I think maybe what happened here is that Reshevsky forgot he wasn't in time trouble for a change! It's hard to explain otherwise, other than the proverbial chess blindness. If this were the case, you would think Reshevsky would have mentioned that at some point, but maybe he was just so disgusted by the whole episode that he never wanted to speak of it again.
Mar-17-21  N.O.F. NAJDORF: I have just noticed that Eggman anticipated my solution by nearly three years! I think he is wrong about it being slower than the variation ending with Qf4 mate.


39 g5 Qxf2+

40 Kxf2 Bc5+

41 Kg2

whatever Black plays next, there follows

43 Qxf7 or Qf7 mate

If it were not for the spite checks, this would be the fastest finish.

Dec-27-22  Allderdice83: I had an opponent who had me down 2 pawns in a Q and P endgame with the position pretty well closed so I couldn't harass his king. He left a pawn en prise on a4 which he could have defended or shielded (I forget exactly). I played Qxa4, and in that position, Black had K on f7, Q on e5, and pawns on f6 and d6. I had pawns on g4 and c4. Sure enough, he played Ke6. I sat there slack-jawed, unable to believe my good fortune, and also a little guilty that I didn't deserve the win, wrote down "Ke6???," played Qe8, and announced checkmate. 2 "?"s aren't enough for walking into immediate mate in a won position, and it was still won for Black if he just played almost any reasonable move. That win gave me a clear $100 prize -- a lot of money for a 16 year-old in 1983.

My opponent was an 1800-something, no GM. I did play Reshevsky once, though, in an exhibition. He crushed me in about 20 moves.

Aug-06-23  N.O.F. NAJDORF: I think


was the right move


38. Qf4+ Bf5 39. Qxh6 Nxd5

Aug-07-23  Granny O Doul: Reshevsky annotated this game for his book "Great Chess Upsets". I don't remember much, though, aside from his reporting that he was not in time pressure.
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