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.