Kindred’s Special: Reshevsky vs. Kashdan Chess Match, Game 4–The Ruy Lopez Again Visited

Leading 2-1 with the white pieces, Reshevsky enters this game having once again to face the determination of Isaac Kashdan and his favorite 1. e4 opening, The Ruy Lopez.  Reshevsky again opens with a Steinitz Defence setup and Kashdan varies deciding to essay the Duras Variation. Instead of following a course of hypermodernism, Reshevsky decides to deal with the opening in a more classical form.  Once again, Kashdan establishes a spatial edge that multiplies into a greater square count differential as the critical position is reached.  Kashdan carries out his operations in Grandmaster form and once more the match is tied.

White:  Isaac Kashdan      vs.     Black:  Samuel Reshevsky            Opening:  Ruy Lopez –Steinitz Defence Deferred

1. e4  e5  2. Nf3  Nc6  3. Bb5  a6  4. Ba4  d6  5. c4   Varying from Game 2 adopting the Duras Variation probably is a good idea and illustrates that White can also build upon home preparation for surprise value.

5. … Bd7  6. Nc3  Nf6 I do not really like this developing move that seems to be the prelude to his later positional problems.  A bit of hypermodernism with 6…g6 7. d4 Bg7 8. Be3 exd4  9. Nxd4  Nge7 is offered in the books as an alternative plan. Yet, this has problems that arise as well for Black.

7. d4  exd4  8. Nxd4  Nxd4? I give this move a ? because my play versus my computer 2600 program as well published games in New In Chess Magazine often avoid exchanges.  I ask, “why exchange developed pieces when you have men to develop”? It would seem more logical here to try 8…Be7 >9…O-O.  On the other hand, perhaps Reshevsky felt that exchanges might loosen his defensive requirements later on and give him more room to maneuver.

9. Bxd7+ Qxd7  10. Qxd4  Be7 11. O-O  O-O  Again, I point to the advisability of castling before the King is caught in the center.  This, of course, is standard procedure in playing good chess strategy but I have seen many games at every level of skill where the King caught in the center finds itself with no clothes.

12. b3  Rfe8  13. Bb2  Bf8  14. Rad1  Re6 Interesting defense that at this stage I do not understand.  It seems to me that Black should try Rad8 and then the square count defensive resource of …c6 to cover the d5 square from a future invasion by the Knight.

15. Rfe1  Rae8  16. f3  Kh8 Putting me in a box because in the earlier game of this match I said the King found safe haven in the corner which is often the case.  I suspect, however, that Reshevsky again may have been in time trouble and made the move more as uncertainty as to what course of action to take so he played a safe move.  The problem with this though is that the opponent may establish a gain in position that simply has too many threats or punctures practical defensive motifs.  I would have chosen perhaps the move 16…Qc8 with the intention of playing c6 guarding the entry way for Kashdan’s Knight.

17. Ne2 with visualized jump moves of a Knight walk >Nd4 > Nf5. This seems an excellent plan. And talking about a plan, Reshevsky seems to lack one to adequately keep in the game.

17… Qc8  18. Qf2 Nd7 19. Nd4  R/6e7  20. Qg3  f6  21. Nf5  Re6  22. h4  With the dual purpose to (1)  put stress on his opponent by anchoring the Knight on f5, and; (2) inroads to the King position.

22. … b5 It was uncommon for someone of Reshevsky’s talent to get into such a crampt mess. His effort to break out with this Q-side pawn demonstration only adds to weaknesses in Black’s position because the position of the Rooks make any such counter measures impractical. Yet, there is little Black can do but pray for a miracle. And ill laid plans just don’t work in the real world. American politicos–take note!!

23. cxb5  axb5  24. h5  Qa6 25. a3  c5  26. Rd5  Ne5 27. Red1  Notice how my theory of square count almost beckons the right course of action.

27. …Nf7  28. Qh4  Ne5  29. f4  Nf7  30. h6  Oh, how Kashdan must have relished this position!

30. … g6  31. Bxf6+  Kg8  32. Ng3  Bxh6  33. Bb2 Eyeing the coming powerful pawn advance. Fischer might call it, “I like to see my opponent squirm.”

33. …Bg7  34. f5 Bxb2  35. fxe6  Rxe6  36. Qg4  Re8  37. Qd7  Rd8  38. Qe7  Rf8  39. Rf1  Be5  40. Rd3  Qc8  41. Rdf3  Qe8 42. Rxf7  Qxe7 43. Rxe7 Bxg3  44. Rxf8+ Kxf8 45. Rb7  c4  46. bxc4  Black resigns.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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