Members · Prefs · Laboratory · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing

Samuel Reshevsky
Number of games in database: 1,587
Years covered: 1917 to 1991

Overall record: +585 -216 =683 (62.4%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 103 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Nimzo Indian (124) 
    E46 E54 E43 E56 E47
 King's Indian (94) 
    E92 E97 E60 E95 E66
 Grunfeld (53) 
    D81 D97 D83 D92 D82
 Orthodox Defense (46) 
    D51 D50 D55 D60 D62
 Queen's Gambit Declined (40) 
    D37 D35 D31 D30 D36
 English (37) 
    A15 A10 A16 A17 A14
With the Black pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (143) 
    C96 C95 C93 C86 C69
 Sicilian (122) 
    B32 B93 B40 B71 B42
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (99) 
    C96 C95 C86 C93 C84
 Nimzo Indian (76) 
    E33 E54 E46 E56 E39
 King's Indian (75) 
    E69 E60 E95 E94 E67
 Queen's Indian (48) 
    E12 E19 E17 E16 E15
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Reshevsky vs Petrosian, 1953 1/2-1/2
   Botvinnik vs Reshevsky, 1948 0-1
   Evans vs Reshevsky, 1963 1/2-1/2
   Reshevsky vs A Vasconcellos, 1944 1-0
   J Mieses vs Reshevsky, 1935 0-1
   Reshevsky vs Najdorf, 1957 1-0
   Lasker vs Reshevsky, 1936 0-1
   Reshevsky vs Fischer, 1961 1/2-1/2
   Reshevsky vs Capablanca, 1935 1-0
   Reshevsky vs G N Treysman, 1938 1-0

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: [what is this?]
   FIDE World Championship Tournament (1948)

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   US Championship (1936)
   Kemeri (1937)
   Syracuse (1934)
   United States Championship (1940)
   United States Championship (1942)
   United States Championship (1946)
   Havana (1952)
   Reshevsky - Najdorf (1952)
   Third Rosenwald Trophy (1956)
   56th US Open (1955)
   Amsterdam (1950)
   US Championship 1957/58 (1957)
   Buenos Aires (1960)
   Zuerich Candidates (1953)
   Amsterdam Interzonal (1964)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Match Reshevsky! by docjan
   Match Reshevsky! by amadeus
   Challenger of 48 Reshevsky_125 by Gottschalk
   Best Games of Chess (Reshevsky) by passion4chess
   Best Games of Chess (Reshevsky) by Qindarka
   Reshevsky's Best Games of Chess, Vol. I by suenteus po 147
   Veliki majstori saha 23 RESHEVSKY (Marovic) by Chessdreamer
   Rgrrgrr at Fredthebear by fredthebear
   How Chess Games are Won (Reshevsky) by igiene
   How Chess Games are Won (Reshevsky) by Qindarka
   American Chess Bulletin 1921 by Phony Benoni
   Red Robin Riding Hood went around by fredthebear
   The Art of Positional Play by Okavango
   Art of Positional Play (Reshevsky) by Qindarka

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Samuel Reshevsky
Search Google for Samuel Reshevsky

(born Nov-26-1911, died Apr-04-1992, 80 years old) Poland (federation/nationality United States of America)

[what is this?]
Samuel Herman Reshevsky (Szmul Rzeszewski) was born in Ozorkow, Poland. He learned to play chess at the age of four. At eight years old he was giving simultaneous exhibitions and defeating some of the country's most prominent players.

Following the events of World War 1, Reshevsky immigrated to the United States (1920). As a 9-year old, his first American simultaneous exhibition was with 20 officers and cadets at the Military Academy at West Point. He won 19 games and drew one. He toured the country and played over 1,500 games as a 9-year old in simultaneous exhibitions and only lost 8 games. In his early years he did not go to school and his parents ended up in Manhattan Children's Court on charges of improper guardianship. His benefactor was Julius Rosenwald, founder of Sears & Roebuck, who agreed to provide for Reshevsky's future if he devoted himself to completing his education. Reshevsky then largely abandoned chess for 10 years to pursue a vocation as an accountant, receiving an accounting degree from the University of Chicago in 1933 which he put to use in New York City.

After obtaining his college degree, he devoted himself to tournament chess. Several subsequent successes in international events led to his invitations to both AVRO 1938 and the World Championship Tournament ten years later. Between 1936 and 1942, he had a streak of 75 games without a loss in U.S. Championship competition. He won the US Open in 1944. Pan-American Champion at Hollywood 1945. He played in 21 U.S. Championships, from 1936 to 1981. Over the course of a long international career that continued until he was almost 80, he qualified for the Candidates five times, won the U.S. Championship on six occasions (first time in 1936, last time in 1971) and played 11 World Champions, ranging from Emanuel Lasker to Anatoly Karpov.

He won matches against several notable Western players, including Svetozar Gligoric, Miguel Najdorf and Robert James Fischer (after Fischer was forfeited while the match was tied). However, he was never able to secure the right to a World Championship match. In 1981, at the age of 70, he tied for 3rd place in the U.S. Championship. In 1984, at the age of 72, he took first place in the powerful Reykjavik Open, which featured many grandmasters. (1)

Wikipedia article: Samuel Reshevsky; (1)

 page 1 of 64; games 1-25 of 1,588  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Reshevsky vs Rubinstein 0-1241917Blindfold gameC50 Giuoco Piano
2. Reshevsky vs S Factor 0-1261917LodzC22 Center Game
3. Reshevsky vs Traube 1-0171920HanoverA02 Bird's Opening
4. C Jaffe vs Reshevsky 0-1171920New York blindfoldC30 King's Gambit Declined
5. Reshevsky vs R C Griffith 1-0301920Blindfold gameC67 Ruy Lopez
6. Reshevsky vs J Zabludowski 1-0291920Simul, 20bC62 Ruy Lopez, Old Steinitz Defense
7. Reshevsky vs L Von Dory 1-0161920SimulC35 King's Gambit Accepted, Cunningham
8. Reshevsky vs Saemisch 0-1381920BerlinE50 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3 O-O 5.Nf3, without ...d5
9. P Krueger vs Reshevsky ½-½391920Blindfold gameC48 Four Knights
10. Reshevsky vs M Herzfeld 1-0521920Simul, 20bC66 Ruy Lopez
11. Reshevsky vs M Gency 1-0371920Simul, 20bC30 King's Gambit Declined
12. Reshevsky vs L Schwarz 1-0651920Simul, 20bC00 French Defense
13. Reshevsky vs G W Beaumont 1-0301920Simul, 15bC34 King's Gambit Accepted
14. Reshevsky vs S Katz ½-½291920Simul, 20bB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
15. Reshevsky vs F Knoller 1-0401920Simul, 20bC79 Ruy Lopez, Steinitz Defense Deferred
16. Reshevsky vs A Simchow  0-1341920Simul, 20bD05 Queen's Pawn Game
17. Reshevsky vs M J Clurman ½-½231920Simul, 20bB15 Caro-Kann
18. Reshevsky vs L S Stillman 1-0201920Simul, 20bB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
19. M A Schapiro vs Reshevsky 0-1401920Exhibition gameC14 French, Classical
20. Reshevsky vs E B Hilliard 1-0271920Blindfold gameC30 King's Gambit Declined
21. Reshevsky vs C More  ½-½211921Simul, 20bD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
22. Reshevsky vs J H Longacre  ½-½251921Simul, 20bC68 Ruy Lopez, Exchange
23. Reshevsky vs S T Sharp ½-½271921Simul, 20bC31 King's Gambit Declined, Falkbeer Counter Gambit
24. Reshevsky vs A H Beckman 1-0201921Simul, 20bD46 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
25. Reshevsky vs E Michelsen 1-0341921Simul, 5bB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
 page 1 of 64; games 1-25 of 1,588  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Reshevsky wins | Reshevsky loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 64 OF 64 ·  Later Kibitzing>
May-27-21  wrap99: This may have been asked before and either answered or is in fact unanswerable (pre-Elo ratings): There is a photo of young Sammy playing multiple grey beards and it says something like the prodigy is playing a simul vs masters but I don't think that is reliable. One early result is 19.5 out of twenty vs West Point when he was 9. That is a pretty good result even if every one of the players was a B player but we don't know how strong they were and I bet The Point emphasized athletics a lot in those days vs academics. So, was Reshevsky, perhaps based on computer game analysis, a master at 9? I think Morphy probably was, probably a GM by 12. Reshevsky beating Janowski in a not very good game probably does not indicate much one way or the other.
May-27-21  SChesshevsky: <...was Reshevsky a master at 9?...>

Interesting question. By his loss to Saemisch in 1920 and loss to Ed. Lasker in 1921, I'd guess he was a low to mid level master for those times. Maybe like an IM today. Possibly not age 9 though. Apparently there are questions as to Reshevsky's true birth year.

Seems his game improved tremendously around 1933 or so. When it appears he did turn into a world class master.

May-28-21  wrap99: the birth year which if wrong was wrong in his favor definitely makes the question somewhat meaningless. also, kind of so what, i guess. if he was a very young master, great; he was not, he was still world class as an adult. older people like me find it impressive when late bloomers like tchigorin do well. even morphy being a prodigy is not so amazing given his family in a time when that presented a very rare opportunity. reshevsky's dad could play but was no master, i believe, as morphy's dad and/or uncle was.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: I think we may safely state that Reshevsky did not succeed in converting Fischer to Judaism. From Wikipedia (I largely wrote this section):

<Fischer made numerous antisemitic statements and professed a general hatred for Jews since at least the early 1960s.[487][488] Jan Hein Donner wrote that at the time of Bled 1961, "He idolized Hitler and read everything about him that he could lay his hands on. He also championed a brand of anti-semitism that could only be thought up by a mind completely cut off from reality."[173] Donner took Fischer to a war museum, which "left a great impression, since [Fischer] is not an evil person, and afterwards he was more restrained in his remarks - to me, at least."[173]

From the 1980s on, Fischer's comments about Jews were a major theme in his public and private remarks.[489] He openly denied the Holocaust, and called the United States "a farce controlled by dirty, hook-nosed, circumcised Jew bastards".[490] Between 1999 and 2006, Fischer's primary means of communicating with the public was radio interviews. He participated in at least 34 such broadcasts, mostly with radio stations in the Philippines, but also in Hungary, Iceland, Colombia, and Russia. In 1999, he gave a radio call-in interview to a station in Budapest, Hungary, during which he described himself as the "victim of an international Jewish conspiracy". In another radio interview, Fischer said that it became clear to him in 1977, after reading The Secret World Government by Count Cherep-Spiridovich, that Jewish agencies were targeting him.[491] Fischer's sudden reemergence was apparently triggered when some of his belongings, which had been stored in a Pasadena, California, storage unit, were sold by the landlord, who claimed it was in response to nonpayment of rent.[492] Fischer was also upset that UBS had liquidated his assets and closed his account without his permission. When asked who he thought was responsible for the actions UBS had taken, Fischer replied: "There's no question that the Jew-controlled United States is behind this - that's obvious."[458][460]

Fischer's library contained antisemitic and racist literature such as Mein Kampf, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and The White Man's Bible and Nature's Eternal Religion by Ben Klassen, founder of the World Church of the Creator.[493][494][495] A notebook written by Fischer contains sentiments such as "12/13/99 It's time to start randomly killing Jews".[496] Despite his views, Fischer remained on good terms with Jewish chess players.[497]>

Jun-07-21  Granny O Doul: ...let alone to 1. d4.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Fischer had one flirtation with that dreadful move 1.d4 in his career. (laughs)
Jun-07-21  savagerules: Yeah, Fischer was so anti- Jews that he played a tournament in Netanya, Israel in 1968 and about all the players there were Jewish. Wikipedia is about as reliable as CNN and BBC. Sometime in the late 70s is when Fischer started going off the deep end with the anti Semitic thing. There's something called mental illness that may explain some things.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <perfidious> Fischer is known to have played 1.d4 thrice: in an offhand game played when he was 11, against Hort in the 1970 Herceg Novi blitz tournament, and in a simul.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <FSR>, only game I ever saw was the one from Herceg Novi--and that was enough of a shock!
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Fischer died a lonely old outcast. Only his past chess career kept him from dying like a bum on the street, a guy in a homeless shelter.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <perfidious> Fischer playing the White side of the Exchange Slav is not representative of Fischer's play at Herceg Novi (which he dominated as no one has ever dominated a tournament) or anyplace else!
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Has anyone read <The Art of Positional Play>? Was it helpful?
Oct-14-21  Helios727: Reshevsky did not play in the 1950 candidates tournament, nor the 1952 interzonal. So how did he get placed in the 1953 candidates tournament?
Oct-14-21  RookFile: Lasker didn't play in a few tournaments either. Times were different then, but folks still knew how the strongest players in the world were and they got invitations.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Helios727: Reshevsky did not play in the 1950 candidates tournament, nor the 1952 interzonal. So how did he get placed in the 1953 candidates tournament?>

According to Najdorf's tournament book, Reshevsky and Euwe got special invitations on account of their inability to play in the Budapest tournament -- Reshevsky because he couldn't get a visa, Euwe "because his duties as a teacher of mathematics in Amsterdam made foreign travel difficult at that time of year." Maybe a little high-handed in Euwe's case, but hard to argue with the field -- per Chessmetrics, of the top 15-rated players in the world, only Botvinnik was absent, for obvious reasons. The "weakling" of the field was 25th-ranked Yuri Averbakh, who wound up doing pretty well.

Reshevsky had beaten Najdorf in a couple of matches in 1952 -- glad FIDE was able to do the sensible thing and invite him.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Reshevsky had beaten Najdorf in a couple of matches in 1952>

Well, almost. Should have said Reshevsky - Najdorf (1952) and Reshevsky - Najdorf (1953).

Oct-15-21  RookFile: On paper, you have to invite Euwe, the former world champion. Alas, he was past his prime at this point. Reshevsky certainly was at or near his prime, a tie for 2nd was very respectable.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <RookFile: On paper, you have to invite Euwe, the former world champion. Alas, he was past his prime at this point. Reshevsky certainly was at or near his prime, a tie for 2nd was very respectable.>

Euwe finished next to last but two of his wins made Burgess, Nunn, and Emms' <The World's Greatest Chess Games>.

Geller vs Euwe, 1953

Euwe vs Najdorf, 1953

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Today's Quote of the Day and a mighty tribute from Fischer, someone who had no love for him:

<For a period of ten years--between 1946 and 1956--Reshevsky was probably the best chessplayer in the world. I feel sure that had he played a match with Botvinnik during that time he would have won and been World Champion.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Did reshevsky really meet with Fischer in Pasadena for three hours? I'm sceptical. Does reshevsky himself say this occurred? I thought they hated each other.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi, K.P

<Has anyone read <The Art of Positional Play>? Was it helpful?>

No. Not read it. (It came out in the mid 70's and then as now I still have my head up my ass when I see the word 'Positional' or 'Endgame' on a cover. If see 'Opening Trap' then I'll buy it.)

That was also the name of his chess column, so perhaps it was those columns redone (tidied up, theory updated, more background...) but I honestly do not know.

I have his (most likely ghosted by Fred Reinfeld - see below) 'Reshevsky on Chess.' and you can see Reinfeld's influence. Lets go with Sammy provided the life and background stories, Freddy noted up the games, Sammy checked the notes.

I also have his book on the 1972 match. It does it's job.

Here (game 15)

click for larger view

Spassky has just played 14.Qxg7.

Golombek writes in his ‘Fischer v Spassky’ book;

“An interesting pawn sacrifice that at once enlivens the position from Black’s angle.”

Purdy on his Fischer-Spassky book ‘How Fischer Won’

“Black hasn’t very clear compensation for his pawn - just the initiative and prospect of getting Spassky to use up a lot of his 2½ hours at an early stage.”

And then we come to Sammy on his ‘Fischer - Spassky’ book;

“The question is what did Black have for the pawn? The answer is that he had nothing for it.”


'Sidney Bernstein 25 September 1986:

‘I was a close friend of Reinfeld – and, for what it’s worth, he confided to me that he had indeed written the Reshevsky book [Reshevsky on Chess]....'

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: well, Larry Evans wrote Fischer's <Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess>. Fischer is the laziest, most selfish MoFo chess has ever produced, so I can't blame Reshevsky if he did something that others, like Fischer, have done.

BTW, are books like Golobek and Reshevsky on the Fischer/Spassky '72 match now free downloads? Don't copyrights expire after 50 years? Just curious. Maybe Ray Keene would know.

Premium Chessgames Member
  0ZeR0: <Fischer is the laziest, most selfish MoFo chess has ever produced>

Prepare for the wrath of Harry in three, two, one...

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: England hasn't had a world chess champion since Bismark was Chancellor of Germany.

Harry has decided to adopt Fischer as his own, a surrogate world champion, if you will.

Aug-08-22  belgradegambit: Actual film of his famous 1920 simul when he was a prodigy:

Jump to page #    (enter # from 1 to 64)
search thread:   
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 64 OF 64 ·  Later Kibitzing>

NOTE: Create an account today to post replies and access other powerful features which are available only to registered users. Becoming a member is free, anonymous, and takes less than 1 minute! If you already have a username, then simply login login under your username now to join the discussion.

Please observe our posting guidelines:

  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, or profane language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, duplicate, or gibberish posts.
  3. No vitriolic or systematic personal attacks against other members.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. No cyberstalking or malicious posting of negative or private information (doxing/doxxing) of members.
  6. No trolling.
  7. The use of "sock puppet" accounts to circumvent disciplinary action taken by moderators, create a false impression of consensus or support, or stage conversations, is prohibited.
  8. Do not degrade Chessgames or any of it's staff/volunteers.

Please try to maintain a semblance of civility at all times.

Blow the Whistle

See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform a moderator.

NOTE: Please keep all discussion on-topic. This forum is for this specific player only. To discuss chess or this site in general, visit the Kibitzer's Café.

Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of, its employees, or sponsors.
All moderator actions taken are ultimately at the sole discretion of the administration.

Spot an error? Please suggest your correction and help us eliminate database mistakes!
Home | About | Login | Logout | F.A.Q. | Profile | Preferences | Premium Membership | Kibitzer's Café | Biographer's Bistro | New Kibitzing | Chessforums | Tournament Index | Player Directory | Notable Games | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | Privacy Notice | Contact Us

Copyright 2001-2021, Chessgames Services LLC