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Charlie Chaplin vs Samuel Reshevsky
"Checkers is for Tramps" (game of the day Jun-18-2017)
New York (1923) (other), New York, NY USA
Russian Game: Modern Attack (C43)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-16-08  devioustalfan: let's see Charlie Chaplin was an actor. How many actors play chess? honestly!
Aug-23-09  WhiteRook48: 12 0-0-0: castling into it
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Here is a publicity photo of Chaplin and Reshevsky from 1921:

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: I don't see Chuck's moustache. Was that real, or did he just glue one on for the movies?

I daresay Chaplin was more brilliant in his field, than Sammy was in his. Charlie C. came over here from England, performing with 3 other brits as a vaudville quartet. One of the other guys also became well known as a solo performer, but was not as big as Chaplin.

Jul-08-11  Igor Egin: It was a simulateonous game. Young Sammy was only 12.
Jul-08-11  goodevans: <HeMateMe: ... I daresay Chaplin was more brilliant in his field, than Sammy was in his.>

Whilst chess ability can be measured, standings in the field of art and entertainment are largely subjective.

I'm much more a fan of Reshevky's than Chaplin's. I simply don't find his films terribly interesting. I do, however, admire the way he stood up for his beliefs against Nazism and McCarthyism.

Jun-14-14  dchrist: 17. Nxe7?! (Qe4 Bxf5 Qxf5 better)
Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: My name is Bond


Oct-02-14  MarkFinan: I think old Chappers did okay until Nxe6. Even then I doubt most of us would have done any better, plus he seemed to have a good understanding of the game.
Jun-18-17  actinia: if this game was presented to me as a modern game between two super-grandmasters, among other games to study, I would play over it, try to absorb what I could, think: "huh, that's interesting" and then move on, without ever questioning it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: As the above link is now behind a paywall, the crux:

<A decade or so ago we noted that the following alleged game between Chaplin and Reshevsky had been published on page 414 of Sah Cartea de Aur by Constantin Stefaniu (Bucharest, 1982), with a claim (devoid of any source) that it had been won by Reshevsky in New York in 1923....>

Chess Notes, 2875

Jun-18-17  The Kings Domain: Fun game. Chaplin was a decent amateur, he held up well against the master. One wonders why he resigned, perhaps shooting had to resume and he had to drop the game. :-)
Jun-18-17  rea: "I don't see Chuck's moustache. Was that real, or did he just glue one on for the movies?"

He grew it to mock Hitler, who no one had heard of in '21, when the picture was taken.

Jun-18-17  RandomVisitor: "in his autobiography, Chaplin devotes two pages to the little prodigy of Chess and confesses not knowing how to play."

translated from French from this page:

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Two pages on one simple photo-op? Is it a big book?

<confesses not knowing how to play.>

That was Reshevsky's opinion, too.

Jun-18-17  WorstPlayerEver: Chopin vs Reshevsky.. oh what? Chalpin? Hmmm..
Jun-18-17  RandomVisitor: From Chaplin's autobiography:

"During the cutting of *The Kid*, Samuel Reshevsky, aged seven, the boy champion chess-player of the world, visited the studio. He was to give an exhibition at the Athletic Club, playing chess with twenty men at the same time... <'Can you play chess?' he asked. I had to admit that I could not.> 'I'll teach you. Come see me play tonight, I'm playing twenty men at the same time,' he said with braggadocio."

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: From Random Visitor's link:

<La partie est sans doute inventée pour la galerie>

I agree; White plays too well for a beginner. On the other hand, if Reshevsky taught him when R was 7 (1918) and this game was played 5 years later, I suppose Chaplin could have improved, but only if he'd put a fair amount of effort into the game.

Jun-18-17  morfishine: Gawd, what a mess, not only is the game title lame, but the game quality is also lacking, and we don't even know if its a legitimate game in the first place

What a monumental waste of time


Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Little Tramp in America
Jun-18-17  Clement Fraud: So Charlie Chaplin took on top grandmasters at chess!! Life is full of surprises!

I would like to offer my thanks to Mr C - albeit posthumously - for his very good idea of playing 5.Qe2! This particular line of play in the Petroff has long had me frustrated (from the point of view of white), and I generally end up with up with a position I don't care for following my usual 5.Qxd4. 5.Qe2, however, is a genuinely viable try for white; and while Chaplin's play thereafter did not pass muster, there is still a lot of room for improvement for white following Charlie's fifth move innovation.

Many thanks Charlie!

Jun-18-17  RandomVisitor: <Clement Fraud><5.Qe2, however, is a genuinely viable try for white>

Perhaps, but 5...Bb4+ is complicated:

click for larger view

Stockfish_17061704_x64_modern: <47 minutes computer time>

<0.00/47 5...Bb4+ 6.Kd1> d5 7.exd6 f5 8.Nbd2 Bxd2 9.dxc7 Qxc7 10.Nxd2 0-0 11.Qc4+ Rf7 12.Nxe4 fxe4 13.Qxc7 Rxc7 14.Bf4 Rc5 15.Bd6 Bg4+ 16.Kd2 Rc8 17.b3 Be6 18.Re1 Bd5 19.f3 e3+ 20.Kc1 Nc6 21.Rd1 Bf7 22.Bc5 a5 23.Kb2 a4 24.Bd3 axb3 25.axb3 b6 26.Bxb6 Nb4 27.Be4 Ra2+ 28.Kb1 Bg6 29.Bxg6 hxg6 30.Rxd4 Rcxc2 31.Rxb4 Rab2+ 32.Ka1 Ra2+ 33.Kb1

Jun-19-17  Olavi: 5.Qe2 was played twice by Steinitz against Pillsbury.

Steinitz vs Pillsbury, 1895 Steinitz vs Pillsbury, 1895

Jun-21-17  Clement Fraud: <RandomVisitor> Thankyou very much for your analysis. Once again I find myself getting all befuddled with the Petroff: In looking through the variation you've given, I find myself asking "why not this?" & "why not that?" - only to remind myself that Stockfish will have seen far more than I can; and it ends in a perpetual check.

Over all, however, I now think that the position is better for black. I am convinced that black can win a Pawn with 19... exf3, and that all of white's back rank threats can be successfully parried (even after 20.gxf3 Bxf3 21.Bc4+ Kh8); but then again, I could be missing something.

I shall stick with 1.d4!

Jun-21-17  Clement Fraud: <Olavi> Many thanks for your research
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