Reshevsky serves up a one-game edge for game 7 where he stands to play the white pieces. Kashdan serves up another Nimzowitsch Defence and Reshevsky alters the opening by choosing a favorite of Capablanca 4. Qc2 which went out of favor after 1933 due to the defence finding adequate play to keep in the game. The move has subsequently returned to favor and championed by Kasparov and others in modern times.
White: Samuel Reshevsky vs. Black: Isaac Kashdan Opening: Nimzowitsch Defence
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 d5 5. cxd5 Qxd5 I believe Fine regarded this recapture as good as 5. … exd5 that seems equal.
6. Nf3 c5 7. Bd2 Bxc3 8. Bxc3 Nc6 9. e3 O-O 10. Rd1 Qxa2 Kashdan improves on Capablanca vs. Fine, AVRO 1938 that appears on the surface to give Black good play; yet it seems as though to me that grabbing the pawn sheds a tempo which can prove costly in time.
11. dxc5 Nd5 12. Be2 An interesting thought here is 12. Ng5 to score some positional points weakening Black’s pawnstructure.
12. … Ncb4 13. Qd2 Nxc3 14. Qxc3 Nd5 15. Qd2 b6!! Well played as it forces the coming exchange. Should Reshevsky try c6 here, then Black has the excellent response …Ba6.
16. cxb6 axb6 17. O-O Bb7 18. Rc1 Rfc8 The right Rook, the wrong square. Best is 18. … Rfd8 and should White centralize the Queen with Qd4, then …Qa4! leads to sharp play.
19. Ne5 Nf6 This keeps an eye on the light squares but White has threats which he ably demonstrates in the following play.
20. Nc4! Putting the finger on the shortcoming of Black’s strategy starting with some moves ago. Jump moves like ….>Rd8 ….>Be4 and ….>Qa7 might remedy the ill effects of Kashdan’s 18th turn. But as so often is the case, a bad idea leads to other bad move choices.
20. … Qb3 21. Qd4 Rx6 22. Nd6 Rxc1 23. Rxc1 Qd5 24. Qxd5 Bxd5 25. Rc8+ Rxc8 26. Nxc8 Kf8 27. Nxb6 Bb7 Now, for both players it becomes a rush to bring the Kings into active participation for the coming fight.
28. f3 Ke7 29. Kf2 Ne8 30. Nc4 f6 31. Ke1 e5 32. Kd2 Nc7 33. Bd3 h6 34. Na5 Bc8 35. Bc4 Kd6 36. Kc3 Nd5+ 37. Bxd5 Kxd5 38. e4+ Ke6 39. Nc4 Ba6 40. Ne3? h5 41. Kb4 g6 42. Kc5 f5 43. b4? fxe4 44. fxe4 Bd3 45. b5 Bxe4 46. g3 Bf3 47. h3 Bh1 48. b6 Ba8 49. Nc4 Kf5 50. Kd6 h4 Kashdan misses the strong 50. …e4!
51. gxh4 e4 52. Ke7 Bc6 53. Kf7 Bd5+ 54. Kg7 Ba8 55. Kh6! Bc6 56. Na5 Bd5 57. b7 Bxb7 58. Nxb7 e3 59. Nc5 Ke5 60. Nd3+ Ke4 61. Ne1 Kf5 62. Kg7 e2 63. Nc2 Kashdan resigns.
While I could not find any conditions of the playing area, temperature, time situation of both players, I tend to believe that each, if not all, had something to do with this long drawn out game and probable errors in judgment or even outright mistakes; such conditions usually lead to one side winning in a not too glamorous manner. It might be safe to say that both players suffered time control problems since both were considered skillful endgame handlers and possessed talent to spot such opportunities. This hard fought game put pressure on Kashdan who has fallen two points down.
In this game, Black strove to challenge the center directly. Another interesting possibility is to play 4. Qc2 Nc6 5. Nf3 d6 6. a3, or; 4. Qc2 O-O 5. Bg5 which follows Capablanca’s theory expressed in his Chess Fundamentals about attacking aggressively and aimed at digging into the guts of the enemy position. Check what the opening books recommend.
Adios for now!