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Thursday, April 8, 2010

My Favorite Player

I always liked Reshevsky’s style. It always seemed to me his moves were simple yet strong. I always liked his straightforward, practical play. He was an excellent tactician, but you rarely saw a lot of flashy combinations in his play. This win against Kramer shows how easy he made things look.

Samuel Reshevsky – George Kramer
US Championship 1954-55
Nimzo-Indian Defense

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 b6
I don't really care for this line because the B seems to always get blocked. I prefer the sharp 4....c5. Solid is 4....O-O.
5.Nge2 Bb7
5...Ba6 6.Ng3 Bxc3+ 7.bxc3 d5 offer Black the best play.
6.a3 Bxc3+
Not the best because it relinquishes the 2B's. Black has had the most success with the simple retreat 6....Be7.
7.Nxc3 0–0
A satisfactory alternative is 7...d5 8.cxd5 exd5
This is best. 8.d5 c6 ( 8...Qe7 9.Be2 d6 10.0–0 c6 11.dxe6 Qxe6 Euwe-Capablanca, Amsterdam 1931 also lead to a quick draw.) 9.e4 exd5 10.exd5 Qe7+ 11.Be2 cxd5 12.cxd5 Qe5 with a quick draw in Gligoric-Trifunovic, Zagreb 1953.
8...Bxg2 is too risky because after 9.Rg1 Bb7 10.e4 White has a strong attack. A good line is 8...c5 9.d5 b5 10.0–0 bxc4 11.Bxc4 exd5 12.Nxd5 as played in Botvinnik-Bronstein in the 13th game of their World Championship match in 1951
If 8...d5 9.0–0 Nbd7 10.b4 Larry Evans recommends 10...e5 but it would seem that after 11.Nxd5 Bxd5 12.cxd5 exd4 13.e4 White has the upper hand. Better for Black was10...dxc4 11.Bxc4 c5 as in Bareev-Timman, Hoogovens 1995.
9.e4 e5


White is free to operate on either side of the board and it's difficult to suggest an active plan for Black. Against Reshevsky it's reasonable to assume that Kramer is strategically lost at this point.
10...Nbd7 11.0–0 Re8
Played with the idea of getting the N to g3, but it will accomplish very little when it arrives there. Black is feeling the loss of his dark squared B and is going to find counterplay difficult. 11...Ne8 followed by ...g6, ...Ng7 and ...f5 is recommended by Evans but 12.b4 g6 13.Bh6 Ng7 doesn't look so good to me.

11...a5 trying to hold White at bay on the Q-side looks like a better try. 12.Be3 Nc5 13.Bc2 h6 looks more reasonable.
12.Be3 Nf8 13.b4 Ng6 14.g3
This little move makes sure the N will never gets to f4 and reminds Black of the possibility of White's playing f4 at some point. 14.c5 straightway was also playable. 14...Qe7 15.Rc1 with a comfortable game.
This is an ugly little move that just opens up the Q-side for White. 14...Bc8 trying to get is out of play B into the game on the K-side was better.
15.dxc6 Bxc6 then doubling R's on the c-file is also playable.

15...cxd5 16.cxd5 Rc8 17.Rfc1 Re7 18.a4 Rec7 trying to eliminate some of the pressure by trading R's on the c-file offers some hope but after 19.Nb5 Rxc1+ 20.Rxc1 Rxc1+ 21.Bxc1 a6 22.Na3 Qc8 23.Qc2 Qxc2 24.Bxc2 Ne7 25.Nc4 White is better.
16.Rfc1 h6 17.f3
White is dawdling. Correct is 17.dxc6 at once. 17...Bxc6 18.f3 Nf8 19.Qf2 Ne6 20.a4
This was his last chance to play 17...cxd5 18.cxd5 Re7
18.dxc6 Bxc6 19.a4
Black will be helpless against the opening of lines on the Q-side.
19...Rb8 20.a5 Nf8 21.axb6 axb6 22.Nd5
White now has a very nice position. Reshevsky's technique is instructive.
22...Bxd5 23.cxd5 Rec8 24.Bb5 Rxc1+ 25.Rxc1 Qd8 26.Rc6
23.Ra6 N6d7 24.Qf2 Bb7

White can't play 25.Bxb6? because it would throw away the win. After 25...Nxb6 26.Rxb6 Bxd5 27.Rxb8 Qxb8 28.cxd5 Qxb4 the game is only a draw.
25...Bc6 26.Bf1 Ne6 27.Rd1 b5
This loses a P, but it's the best he has. 27...Bxd5 28.cxd5 Nd4 29.Bxd4 exd4 30.Qxd4 isn't any better.
Even stronger appears 28.c5 dxc5 29.bxc5 Qc8 30.Nb4
28...Bxd5 29.cxd5 Nd4 30.Bxd4 exd4 31.Qxd4 Ne5 32.Kg2 Re7 33.f4
Driving back Black's only well placed piece.
33...Ng6 34.Rc1 Qd7 35.h3 h5 36.Rcc6 h4 37.Rxd6 Qe8 38.e5 hxg3 39.Bd3 f6
Neither better nor worse than 39...Nf8 40.Kxg3 Reb7 41.Rdb6 Qc8 42.Rxb7 Rxb7 43.d6
40.e6 Nh4+ 41.Kxg3 Qh5
And with this move, reaching the time control Black resigned. There really isn't much point in playing on after 42.Rdb6 Rbe8 43.Rxb5

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