When Reshevsky decides to have some fun

8/20/2008 – Sammy Reshevsky wasn't known as a freewheeling player. But in the last round or the 1944 US Open, having already having clinched first, he decided to have some fun with a 19th century sideline in the French. Reshevsky sacrificed a pawn and then a piece, and crushed his opponent with a magnificent combination. All of this on view in Dennis Monokroussos' Wednesday night Playchess lecture.

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Dennis Monokroussos writes:

American great Samuel ("Sammy") Reshevsky wasn't really known as a freewheeling player – in fact, he wasn't known as a freewheeling anything; it's not an accident that one of his chess books had the sober title The Art of Positional Play. Reshevsky was a great player though (a small portion of the evidence: he was twice a Candidate, participanted in the 1948 World Championship match-tournament, won the U.S. championship six times and drew a match with Bobby Fischer), and like any great player he could do everything well.

Case in point: his last round game from the 1944 U.S. Open in Boston. Having already clinched first place going into the last round, he decided to have some fun against the young Brazilian player Fernando Vasconcellos. Facing Vasconcelles' French Defense, Reshevsky played a sideline and then went into 19th century mode, sacrificing a pawn and then a piece for attacking chances. Reshevsky crushed his opponent, concluding the game with a magnificent combination that's worth seeing, but what happens in between the sac and the finale is interesting too. It's far from clear that Rehevsky's piece sac was sound, and we'll go exploring to find the truth of the matter.

To see this truth, or at least our initial approximation to it, and to discover this wonderful game that's not (yet) in your Mega database, join me Wednesday night (tonight for those of us in the Western hemisphere) at 9 p.m. ET. The show is free - just show up in the broadcast room of the playchess.com server, find Reshevsky-Vasconcellos in the game list, and start watching and listening! (Further instructions here.) Hope to see you there.

Dennis Monokroussos' Radio ChessBase lectures begin on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. EST, which translates to 02:00h GMT, 03:00 Paris/Berlin, 13:00h Sydney (on Thursday). Other time zones can be found at the bottom of this page. You can use Fritz or any Fritz-compatible program (Shredder, Junior, Tiger, Hiarcs) to follow the lectures, or download a free trial client.

You can find the exact times for different locations in the world at World Time and Date. Exact times for most larger cities are here. And you can watch older lectures by Dennis Monokroussos offline in the Chess Media System room of Playchess:

Enter the above archive room and click on "Games" to see the lectures. The lectures, which can go for an hour or more, will cost you between one and two ducats. That is the equivalent of 10-20 Euro cents (14-28 US cents).



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Dennis Monokroussos is 41, lives in South Bend, IN, where he teaches chess and occasionally works as an adjunct professor of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame and Indiana University-South Bend.

At one time he was one of the strongest juniors in the U.S. and has reached a peak rating of 2434 USCF, but several long breaks from tournament play have made him rusty. He is now resuming tournament chess in earnest, hoping to reach new heights.

Dennis has been working as a chess teacher for ten years now, giving lessons to adults and kids both in person and on the internet, worked for a number of years for New York’s Chess In The Schools program, where he was one of the coaches of the 1997-8 US K-8 championship team from the Bronx, and was very active in working with many of CITS’s most talented juniors.

When Dennis Monokroussos presents a game, there are usually two main areas of focus: the opening-to-middlegame transition and the key moments of the middlegame (or endgame, when applicable). With respect to the latter, he attempts to present some serious analysis culled from his best sources (both text and database), which he has checked with his own efforts and then double-checked with his chess software.


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