Larry Evans Versus Samuel Reshevsky: A Throwback to the Past

By Shai Hecker, Operations Intern

Samuel Reshevsky was a Polish Chess prodigy who became a chess grandmaster. Although he never won the World Chess Championship Tournament he did win the US Championship eight times. Here we have a picture of a young Samuel playing against multiple opponents.

Larry Evans was an American chess player. However, he only won the US Chess Championship five times. In addition to being a chess grandmaster, Evans was also an author and over his lifetime he wrote several books on chess.

In 1963 these two grandmasters played against each other in the US Chess Championship in New York. Reshevsky played as black and Evans played as white.

The game began with 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3. Here we see Samuel playing the Indian Defense. The Indian Defense allowed for white to take control of the center of the board and then Black will ultimately destroy White’s presences in the center. When Samuel moves his Bishop to attack Evans’ Knight and hinder his board presence Evans responds by pushing up his pawn so that his bishop can get out and take control.

By the 12th move it seems that Reshevsky’s Indian defense did not work as well as he would have liked. Evans still has a strong presence in the center. Evans pieces have more access to the board while Reshevsky’s pieces are caged in.

Midway through the game we see that Evans has two bishops while Reshevsky has two knights. In general knights are stronger in closed positions while bishops are stronger in open ones. It seems here we have a more open positions and thus Evans is in a better position.

They eventually get into this position where they are now in a closed position and Reshevsky’s knight has the advantage of a closed position.

Reshevsky goes Re2+ Kh1 Qxg3 Qg8+ Kxg8 and then Rxg7+ which results in a stalemate. It seems that Rashevsky had the upper hand at the end here and perhaps there was another way to prevent a stalemate.

Although I am no grandmaster, National Master Evan Rabin hosts a lecture every Sunday from 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM and he could provide insight into the unfortunate ending of this game. Click here to learn more about Evan’s lectures.