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Kim Commons vs Samuel Reshevsky
72nd US Open (1971), Ventura, CA USA, rd 4, Aug-11
King's Indian Defense: Normal. King's Knight Variation (E60)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: According to some other sources (eg Chessbase) this was played in the <72nd US Championships> at Ventura, not the <72nd US Open>.

I'm sure *somebody* here knows which is correct.

At the moment, this seems to be the only one of Commons' games from this tournament in the CG database. I'm uploading some more - his other opponents included Nash, MacFarland, McCrory, Schwarz and Romanenko.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <Domdaniel> Good; that'll be five less games for me to do if I ever make it to the 1971 event.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: <Domdaniel & Phony Benoni> This game was not played in the 1972 U.S. Championship.

The crosstable in, "The U.S. Chess Championship, 1845-1985", by McCormick & Soltis, shows that Commons was not a participant in the 1972 championship.

The tournament book, "Title Chess - the 1972 United States Chess Championship", by B. Hochberg, confirms that Commons was not a participant in this tournament.

The 1972 U.S Championship tournament site was provided by Group Health Inc., 230 West 41 St., New York City.

Oct-05-11  Murky: Getting the facts straight: This game was played at the US Open in Ventura 1971. I know this, because I was a participant in the event, and I watched the post-mortem analysis after this game. At one point Commons pointed out a tactical line, and said, "Did you see this?" Reshevsky replied bluntly, "Do you think I'm stupid!" This caused a crowd of spectators to break up in laughter, and Commons looked quite embarrassed.
Oct-05-11  Shams: <Murky> Thanks for sharing-- please post more, I see that's your first on the site.

Yet another tale of Sammy's churlishness.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <Pawn and Two> We've been having some discussion of this point elsewhere. The US Open Championship and the US (Closed) Championship are entirely separate events. The US Open has been held annually since 1900, so its 72nd Championship was in 1971.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: <Phony Benoni> Thanks for the clarification. I overlooked the "nd" on the 72.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <Murky> Yes, I'm with <Shams> on this ... do tell us more, please.

And thanks to everyone who has helped to clear up the ambiguities around this game. was right (hooray!) and Chessbase was wrong (Boo!).

Oct-05-11  Marmot PFL: OK, what's so special about this game? It looks like white just blunders a knight away.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <Marmot> I don't think it's *that* bad a game, but if you're wondering why we're all suddenly kibitzing on it, it's just fallout from the brilliant GOTD by Commons recently. I noticed that we were missing many of his games, that this was the only game from the Ventura event (US Open) in the CG database, and have been digging up the others.
Oct-05-11  Murky: <Domdaniel> Here is another Commons game played in the same event.

Kim Commons (white)
Stewart Schwartz (black)
US Open Ventura 1971
1. e4 c6
2. d4 d5
3. Nc3 dxe4
4.Nxe4 Nd7
5. Bc4 Ngf6
6. Ng5 e6
7. Qe2 Nb6
8. Bb3 h6
9.N5f3 a5
9. a3 a4
10. Bxc4 Nc4
11. Ba2 c5
12. Bf4 c4
13. Bxc4 Nxc4
14. Qxc4 Qb6
15. 0-0-0 Nd5
16. Bg3 Bd7
17. Qd3 Bb5
18. Qd2 Rc8
19. Ne5 Nc3
20. Re1 Bxa3
21. bxa3 Na2+
22. Kd1 Nc3+
23. Kc1 Na2+
24. Kd1 Bf1
25. Rf1 Nc3+
26. Qxc3 Rc3
27. Kc1 Qb3

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <Murky> Thanks. Before I submit it, just to check -- I presume Black is the same player, Stewart Schwartz, who was in the 1969 US open as well?
Oct-05-11  Murky: <Domdaniel> Yes, with high probability it's the same Stewart Schwartz.

Regarding the Ventura 1971 US Open, I have been searching for Walter Browne games against Lombardy and Gheorghiu, both nicely won by Browne, but I can't find them anywhere on the net. These games deserve to be found and posted.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <Murky> This looks like the Lombardy game, from Chessbase (with the event misnamed as 'USA-72ch'):

[Event "USA-72ch"]
[Site "Ventura"]
[Date "1971.??.??"]
[Round "12"]
[White "Lombardy, William James"]
[Black "Browne, Walter S"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B36"]
[EventDate "1971.08.08"]
[EventType "swiss"]
[EventRounds "12"]
[EventCountry "USA"]
[Source "ChessBase"]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.Nf3 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 g6 6.e4 d6 7.Be2 Nxd4 8.Qxd4 Bg7 9.O-O O-O 10.Qe3 Bd7 11.Bd2 a6 12.Nd5 Nxd5 13.cxd5 Rc8 14.Qb3 b5 15.Be3 Qa5 16.Rac1 Rb8 17.h3 b4 18.Bc4 Ba4 19.Qd3 Bxb2 20.Rb1 Bc3 21.Bxa6 Bb5 22.Bxb5 Qxb5 23.Qc2 Ra8 24.Rfc1 Qa6 25.Bd2 Rfc8 26.Rb3 Bd4 27.Qb1 Qe2 28.Be3 Rxc1+ 29.Qxc1 Bc3 30.a3 Qa2 31.Rxc3 bxc3 32.Qxc3 Qxa3 33.Qc7 Qa1+ 34.Kh2 Qe5+ 35.g3 Kg7 36.Qb7 Ra4 37.Bf4 Qxe4 38.h4 Ra2 39.Qb6 0-1

I'll submit it here. Unfortunately, they're missing two of Browne's games, rounds 7 and 9, and the Gheorghiu game must be one of those.

Thanks again.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <Domdaniel> You beat me to it. I found the game in Spence's tournament book, which unfortunately does not have the game between Browne and Gheorghiu (round 9) either.

The score may be lost, which would not be unusual. In large US Swiss tournaments at that time, players were not always required to turn in copies of their scores, and often did not even if required to do so. I don't recall an instance of a player being forfeited for not turning in a scoresheet.

And even if they did--well, after helping to produce tournament bulletins at several US Open, I developed a theory about the Swiss System. There are three types of chess players: those with good handwriting, those with bad handwriting, and those who never turn in a scoresheet. The main function of the Swiss System is to pair players <within> those groups, meaning you either get two perfect scoresheets, two illegible scoresheets, or none at all.

Browne's handwriting was bad, even when he wasn't in time pressure.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <Phony> Believe me, I know. In 2007, at the Irish championships, IM Mark Orr (as well as playing) managed to get each day's games online within a couple of hours of play ending. He needed somebody to help decode scoresheets - I tried to help one evening but got nowhere, and realized I was just getting in the way. Some people have a knack for decoding squiggles.

I've also seen players scrunch up the scoresheet in disgust - usually when they lose.

Thanks to this, a single combination once gained me 1.5 points. I played a fairly crushing sac/mate game in a weekend tournament. It was Saturday night, the next day's draw was up, and my next opponent found a scoresheet on the floor. Intrigued to find it involved his next opponent, he sat down and went through it. And got a bit more worried than he should have, as he was rated about 250 points above me.

In the morning, I offered an exchange sac and he offered me a draw. Maybe not two, but certainly one-and-a-half for the price of one.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: And when these players next met, this time in a US Championship, Commons got his own back on the old cur: K Commons vs Reshevsky, 1974.

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