Archive for October, 2011

Kindred’s Special: Reshevsky vs. Kashdan Match, NYC 1942, Game 10

October 26, 2011

What brought about this match in 1942? It happened. It was a first time event for the series of US Chess Championship Tournament series where Reshevsky virtually dominated the events and American chess without loss.  It was certainly most undesireable to have two players sharing the US Championship Title.  This arose when, for the the first time, Reshevsky did not sweep the opposition off the board and had to share lst  place with Isaac Kashdan. He had played 75-games without a loss since his defeat by Horowitz in 1936. Thus, losing games 2 and 4 in the early start of this match playoff caused a sensation and great following.  He won four and drew three in the next seven games and by game 11 held a 7.5-3.5 after 11-games.  Kashdan resigned the match which was set for 14-games. Winning games 10 and 11 was decisive.  And here in the next segments, I present games 10 and 11 to conclude this historic battle waged over the 64-squares.

White:  Isaac Kashdan      vs.    Black:  Samuel Reshevsky     Opening:  Gruenfeld Defence

1. d4  This is the first time he opened with the QP.

1. … Nf6  2. c4  g6  3. Nc3  d5  4. Bf4  Bg7  5. e3  c6 Pursuing his his desire to avoid unnecessary risks, Reshevsky continues his strategy off the board of just playing safe. A more tactical game could be achieved by playing 5. … c5 which might play into the hands of his opponent who desperately needs to win this game with having the white pieces.

6. Nf3  O-O  7. Qb3  dxc4  8. Bxc4  Nbd7  9. O-O  Perhaps this is a place where my square count would dictate as a spatial edge the interesting move 9. e4! as it appears he has an initiative and added advantage that Black has some problems finding good squares for his pieces.

9. … Nb6  10. Be2  Be6  11. Qc2  Nbd5 12. Be5  Bf5  13. Qb3  Qb6  14. Bc4  Nxc3  15. bxc3  Ne4  16. Qa3  Bxe5  17. Nxe5  Qc7  18. Rad1  It would be harder to combat the white position had he gone instead 18. f3!! Nd3  19. e4 or Be2 with a good center and possible tactical chances.

18. …Nd6  19. Bb3  Since the bishop cannot remain on this diagonal because of the following chase by the a-pawn, it would have saved time by playing directly to d3.

19. … a5!  20. Qc1  a4  21. Bc2  c5  Striking at the center and creates an unfavorable situation for Kashdan.

22. Bxf5  Nxf5  23. e4?  This idea is wrong and deserves a ? because a more straightforward 23. Qa3  b6 and 24. Rb1 looks good again with square count leading the way. One mistake compounds often into another which occurs here.

23. … cxd4! 24. Ng4? His failure to grasp the best from the position stalls Kashdan’s tactical chances of which two present themselves here.  The tactic Knight shot 24. Nxf7!? Rxf7 25. exf5 dxc3 26. fxg6 hxg6 27. Qc2 keeps threats alive like the g-pawn and Rook jump move threats of Rd3 >Rc1. It was probably Kashdan’s best chance to score a full point in this game.

24. … Nd6  25. Rxd4  Rac8  26. Ne3  Nb5  27. Rc4  Qe5  28. f4?!  Qe6  29. f5  Qb6  30. Rxc8  Rxc8  31. c4  Nd6  32. Kh1 Nxe4 33. Nd5  Qd6  34. fxg6  hxg6  35. Qb1 Rxc4  36. Qxb7  Nf2+ 37. Kg1 Ng4 38. Nxe7+ Kg7  39. Qb2+ f6  White Resigns.

The next, game 11 seals Black’s fate as Reshevsky grinds his opponent with positional and tactical finesse.  Victory was a must in-game 11 to continue the 14 scheduled game match. It was not to be. So Reshevsky repeats as the US Chess Champion once again, a position he held much of the time until Bobby Fischer emerged on the scene many years later.

Kindred’s Special: Reshevsky versus Kashdan, NYC, 1942 Match, Game 9

October 26, 2011

Ahead in the match by 2-points, Reshevsky is in good position to win the match which forces Kashdan to play aggressively and take chances which can prove dangerous. Thus, in match play, when ahead, it is wise to play openings that try to limit such complex positions. In this, Reshevsky was always a master of the art.

White: Samuel Reshevsky     vs.    Black:  Isaac Kashdan     Opening: Grunfeld Defence

1. d4  Nf6  2. c4  g6  3. Nc3  d5  4. Qb3  c6  5. Nf3  Bg7  6. Bf4  O-O  7. e3  dxc4  8. Bxc4  Nbd7  9. O-O  Nb6  10. Be2  Be6  11. Qc2  Nbd5  12. Be5 Bf5  13. Qd2 Nxc3  14. Qxc3  Ne4  15. Qb4  f6!  Playing to secure his beloved bishop-pair, Kashdan tries to achieve some decent play in an otherwise equal position. For the student, it is worth noting how Reshevsky and Kashdan both work the battlefield to good account. Neither side appears to find any noticeable weakness on the front.

16. Bg3  Qd7  17. Rfd1  Kh8  18. Nd2  Nxg3  19. hxg3  Rfd8  20. Rac1 Bf8  21. Qc3  Bg4  22. Qc4  I think this simply plays it safe. More adventureous but perhaps having some more interesting and active play for both sides would be 22. f3 > 23. Kf2 with the thought that square count considerations in move plans might prevail here. Still, Reshevsky remains content to play for the draw and only go for more should Kashdan try to force play where White may benefit.

22….Bxe2  23. Qxe2 e6  24. Ne4  Qf7  25. Nc5  Here for example, Reshevsky is so in tune with drawing that he misses a slightly better turn with 25. Qf3 first. Not that the Knight move is inferior but Kashdan takes the opportunity to gain absolute equality and assures the draw which, by now, he must have resigned himself to splitting the point.

25. … e5 26. dxe5 fxe5 27. b3 Rd5 28. Rxd5 cxd5 29. Nd3 Bg7 30. e4! Rd8 31. exd5 Qxd5 32. Nb2  e4  33. Nc4  Bd4  34. Ne3  Qe5  35. Ng4  Qe7  36. Re1  Re8  37. Qc4  Qg7  38. Qd5  h5!  39. Ne3 40. Nc4  Qc3!! Almost forcing White to accept a draw outcome.

41. Rxe4  Rxe4  42. Qxe4  Qa1+ 43. Kh2  Bxf2  44. Qe8+  Kg7  45. Qd7+  Kg8  46. Qc8+ Kh7  47. Qd7+ Trying one more trick should Black play 47. … Kh6? 48. Qd2+.

47. …Qg7 48. Qe6 Bd4  49.Nd6  Kh7  52.Ne4  Kh6 Draw agreed.

Please note: For some reason from 47…Qg7 on was not recorded in my original script of the game due to the line being dropped on my PC for some reason. And I did not catch the deletion.

A good game to study the psychological factors in playing a match.

Kindred’s Special: Reshevsky vs. Kashdan Chess Match,NYC 1942, Game 8

October 22, 2011

During Reshevsky’s rise to prominance from a child prodigy to adulthood, he continued remaining in the classical style of e-pawn openings, answering 1. e4 by e5 and continued to employ such defensive strategy throughout his career.  The early dependence was due to his deep understanding of the systems he employed but also because of studying to earn a degree in accounting and preparation for employment that brought in a steady income.  He must be considered a professional chessplayer having wisdom to combine his chess interest with that of providing food for the family table. Thus, the 8th match game as Black against the reknowned Isaac Kashdan who essays once again the Ruy Lopez sets the stage for the following battle.

White:  Isaac Kashdan         vs.      Black:  Samuel Reshevsky          Opening:  Ruy Lopez

1. e4  e5  2. Nf3  Nc6  3. Bb5  a6  4. Ba4  Nf6  5. O-O  Be7  6. Qe2  Termed the Worrall Attack, this move selected by Kashdan may well have come from an understanding of Reshevsky commentary in Chess Review who praised this move in place of the more commonly seen 6. Re1. He noted therein that it seemed more aggressive, less explored, and having a primary purpose to continue developing with jump move planning > Rfd1 > c3 > d4 attacking the center in answer to a black deployment starting with the passive 7…d6 instead of the sharp 6… b5 7. Bb3  O-O 8. c3 d5 9. d3, where play might go 9. …d5 10. h3  Be6  11. Rd1 hoping if Black moves his Q say to d7, then 12. cxd5  Nxd5 13. Nxd5 exd5 14. Bf4  c5 15. Nd2  Rfc8 16. Rac1 a5  17. a4! forced but bold and follows my thoughts about square count.

I point this out because chances are that in researching Reshevsky’s games prior to the match, Kashdan had used this as a weapon against his opponent. Reshevsky varies from the above idea to play a more passive move keeping his center solid and intact.

6. …b5  7. Bb3  d6  8. a4  Bg4  9. c3  O-O  10. h3  Bd7  11. d4  Qc8  12. Rd1  b4  13. cxb4  Not a serious mistake but it lets the Knight to settle nicely on b4.  White may get more from 13. a5, keeping up the central tension.

13. … exd4  14. Nxd4  Nxb4  15. Nc3  c5!  No rest for the wicked. Now, as often seen, Reshevsky goes for a series of exchanges which assures excellent drawing chances and good endgame play.

16. Nf3  Be6  17. Bc4  Bxc4  18. Qxc4 Qe6  19. Qxe6  fxe6  20. e5  dxe5  21. Nxe5  Nfd5  22. Ne4   Rfd8 Offset of the weakened pawn structure is the active units eyeing the White position!

23. Bg5  Bxg6 24. Nxg5  Nf4  25. g3  Ne2+  26. Kg2  Rxe5  27. Rac1 Rd5 28. Re1  h6  29. Ngf3  Nxf3  30. Kxf3  Rf8+ 31. Kg2  Rxe5 32. Rxe5  Nd3  33. Rexc5  Rxf2+ The point of this little combination.

34. Kg1  Nxc5 35. Rxc5 Rxb2  36. Rc6  a5  37. Rc5 Ra2  38. Rxa5 e5  39. Rxe5  Rxa4  Game Drawn!

With this, Reshevsky maintains his edge in the match and only 3-games remain for Kashdan to come back and that means he must try hard to put together a full point!  Can he do it?

Kindred’s Special: Thinking about Old-Timers and Passing of Time

October 5, 2011

I ask your forgiveness in not presenting Game 8 here of the Reshevsky vs. Kashdan match; a brief rest and a bit of reflection is good for the soul.  But never fear, Game 8 will be coming soon, God willing.

The following is from a visit to the Blossom View Nuring Home located in Sodus, New York during my almost daily visit to the activities room where a music program was in progress for the residents.  It is sung in tune with MY FAVORITE THINGS from the musical THE SOUND OF MUSIC.  A few words were changed to fit my column.  God Bless Us All in health and joy as we grow wiser and tell the grim reaper he can’t knock on our door just yet.

Maalox and nose drops and needles for knitting,

Walkers and handrails and new dental fittings,

Bundles of magazines all tied up in string–

These are a few of my favorite things.

Cadillacs and cataracts, and hearing aids and specs,

Polident and Fixodent and false teeth in glasses,

Pacemakers, golf cars and porches with swings,

These are a few of my favorite things!

When the pipes leak: when the bones creak,

And when the knees go bad,

I simply remember my favorite things,

And in prayer I do not feel so sad.

Hot tea and crumpets and corn pads for bunions,

Bathrobes and heating pads and hot meals on trays,

These are a few of my favorite things.

Back pain, confused brains and no need for sinnin’,

Thin bones and fractures and hair that is thinnin’,

And we won’t mention our shrunking frames,

When we remember our favorite things.

When the joints ache, when the hips break,

When the eyes grow dim,

Then I remember the great life and blessings I’ve had,

And with a joyful SPIRIT UPLIFT!!