Saturday, November 17, 2007

SPICE Cup International Chess Tournament

Held in memory of grandmaster Samuel Reshevsky

Samuel Herman (Sammy) Reshevsky (born Szmul Rzeszewski, November 26, 1911, Ozorków near Lodz, (then Russian Empire, today Poland) - died April 4, 1992, New York, USA) was a leading American chess Grandmaster. He won the U.S. Chess Championship six times outright, and lost a playoff for the title in 1973. Reshevsky was a Candidate for the World Chess Championship three times (1948, 1953, and 1968). Reshevsky was also a chess author.

Reshevsky learned to play chess at age four, and was soon acclaimed as a child prodigy. At age eight he was beating accomplished players with ease, and giving simultaneous exhibitions. In November 1920 his parents moved to the US to make a living exhibiting their child. He played in the 1922 New York Masters tournament.

As an adult however, Reshevsky was never a professional chess player. He temporarily gave up chess to enter the University of Chicago, and graduated in 1933 with a degree in accounting. He supported himself and his family by working as an accountant. His 1941 marriage to the former Norma Mindick produced three children.

Reshevsky was a devout Orthodox Jew and did not play on the Jewish Sabbath. His games were scheduled accordingly.

Reshevsky Quotes:

* "By playing slowly during the early phases of a game I am able to grasp the basic requirements of each position. Then, despite being in time pressure, I have no difficulty in finding the best continuation. Incidentally, it is an odd fact that more often than not it is my opponent who gets the jitters when I am compelled to make these hurried moves."

* His self-description, "My style is somewhere between that of Tal and Petrosian," is sometimes circulated as an ironic comment but makes more sense in its full context; from his book Great Chess Upsets:

"I am essentially a positional player, although I can conduct an assault with precision and vigor, when the opportunity arises. My style lies between that of Tal and Petrosian. It is neither over-aggressive nor too passive. My strength consists of a fighting spirit, a great desire to win, and a stubborn defense whenever in trouble. I rarely become discouraged in an inferior situation, and I fear no one."

The winner of this great tournament was Eugene Perelshteyn, a grandmaster from Massachusetts, he won the Spice Cup, a tournament at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Tex. He led from start to finish, scoring 6.5 out of 9. You just have to see his games! I must admit i have never heard of this GM before now.

View some really great games here

SPICE CUP Chess Tournament, Round 7

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