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Laszlo Szabo vs Paul Keres
Zuerich Candidates (1953), Zuerich SUI, rd 3, Sep-02
Queen's Gambit Accepted: Showalter Variation (D24)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-05-03  refutor: no games similar to this one? no kidding! szabo tosses a pawn in the first 5 moves
Jan-05-03  PVS: If it is anything but an outright blunder, the plan is too deep for me (entirely possible).
Jan-06-03  Dr Young: Szabo probably intended 6.Nxb5 and then 7.Qxa8 but saw too late that 7...Bd7 would leave white a piece down.
Jan-07-03  Cyphelium: In Stahlberg's tournament book from Zurich, it is clearly stated that the move was a blunder. I think he even dared to call it "unbelievable".

If I remember correctly, Szabo made at least one more incredible mistake in this tournament. It had something to with missing a winning Qxg6+, but I can't remember against whom. Guess I have to find that old book again.

Jan-07-03  mj29479: well the reason is obvious.white lost 2 extra pawns at the wrong time and for free.i thing the game was otherwise even.
Mar-08-03  Rookpawn: In response to Cyphelium, Szabo missed mate in two against Reshevsky. In the same game, he missed winning a rook, and the game ended up drawn!
Mar-08-03  kostich in time: Zurich seems to have set at least one all time less than FOUR tournament books were written about it. The famous one is Bronsteins,but Stahlberg, Najdorf and Euwe also wrote books..Najdorfs was in two volumes.
May-09-04  WMD: After 5.Qa4+ Bronstein writes, "Practically speaking the shortest game of the tournament: even though it did continue until the 41st move, after this check Szabo might as well have resigned, since in effect he is now giving Keres odds of pawn and move (odds once given by masters to first-category players in the handicap tourneys of Chigorin's day). One wonders how, after prolonged consideration, Szabo could blunder a pawn as early as move five. Keres was more than a little amazed himself: he spent fifteen minutes considering his reply."

Bronstein also criticises 8.Bg5, shedding a second pawn. "Why not 8.Be3, when his two center pawns, e4 and d4, promise White plenty of opportunities to complicate?"

Dec-04-04  Backward Development: some notes provided by various:
"After this check, Szabo may as well have resigned."
Jul-24-05  Koster: Szabo (Hugarian) was probably under orders to lose to the Soviet players but at least made it obvious.
Jul-24-05  ughaibu: Koster: Would you like to comment on Szabo's wins against Bronstein, Kotov and Boleslavsky in this tournament? I suppose you're joking as not even Bronstein has taken it to this level of absurdity.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Surely <koster> was joking, or trolling. Szabo famously overlooked a mate in two and subsequently the win of a rook against Reshevsky in this tournament. Soviet orders?

Szabo vs Reshevsky, 1953

Jul-25-05  Koster: Would you like to comment on Szabo's wins against Bronstein, Kotov and Boleslavsky in this tournament? I suppose you're joking as not even Bronstein has taken it to this level of absurdity.

They owed Keres some payback after making him lose to Botvinnik. At least they let Bronstein draw with M.B. so why should he complain?

Jul-25-05  sharpnova: <keypusher> you obviously don't understand the technique the soviets used to bully their way through tournaments. it didn't require only the cooperation of other soviets as they admitted to in their confessions.
Jul-26-05  ughaibu: You people really are utterly pathetic.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: As I wrote elsewhere on the internet:

"The Moon landings were faked, Paul McCartney is dead, Bacon wrote Shakespeare, Jack the Ripper was the Priory of Sion, circles in cornfields are made by Jim Morrisson, John Kennedy died of a peanut allergy, exploding cigars, the Loch Ness Monster, the Philadelphia Experiment, What's the frequency Kenneth?, Tunguska, Atlantis...."

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Black occasionally can cling on to the c-pawn in this type of opening, it happened in A Afifi vs Beliavsky, 1985 as well.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <sharpnova> I assume you are joking/trolling too? As has just been pointed out to you, Szabo beat Bronstein, one of the Soviet favorites, and overlooked (perhaps I should insert scare quotes?) a mate in two against Reshevsky, the American favorite. (In their other game Szabo played a very dubious gambit and lost badly.) Surely the Soviets would want their Hungarian slaves to beat Americans and lose to Soviets, not the other way around.

By the way, didn't the Hungarians beat the Soviets in the 1980 chess olympics? Perhaps they confused the Soviets with the Americans, as Szabo apparently did here.

Jul-02-07  jokerman: the fifth move isn't a blunder, but a quick way to open the d file, white takes the centre with his rook, don't think thats much of a blunder
Jul-02-07  jokerman: the bigger blunder is trading of the queen when your pawns down, not smart ^^
Dec-16-13  DrGridlock: Of course White's 5th move, Qa4+, is incorrect. As to the "why," Soltis writes in "Transpo Tricks in Chess,"

"When opponents are confronted with an unfamiliar move, they are strongly, even irrationally, tempted to look for a way to reach a recognizable position.

Laszlo Szabo fell victim to that in the 1953 candidates tournament when his game with Paul Keres began 1 d4 d5 2 Nf3 Nf6, 3 c4 dxc4, and then 4 Nc3 and 4 ... a6.

That was unfamiliar to him. But he remembered getting a very good game once with 4 Qa4+ Nbd7 5 Nc3 a6.

Szabo vs J Sorli, 1938>

After studying the position for a while he played 5 Qa4+ seeing that 5 Nbd7 would transpose.

A stunned Keres took 15 minutes to make sure he wasn't dreaming. Then he played 5 ... b5! and won easily (6Nxb5? Bd7)."

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: I always look for an opportunity to play an early...dxc4 in these openings AND I jump through hoops trying to hang on to that extra pawn, because I've been on the white side a few times and I know how annoying it is trying to get that pawn back.

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