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Charlie Chaplin vs Samuel Reshevsky
"Checkers is for Tramps" (game of the day Jun-18-2017)
New York (1923) (other), New York, NY USA
Russian Game: Modern Attack (C43)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jun-18-17  The Kings Domain: Fun game. Chaplin was a decent amateur, he held up well against the master. One wonders why he resigned, perhaps shooting had to resume and he had to drop the game. :-)
Jun-18-17  rea: "I don't see Chuck's moustache. Was that real, or did he just glue one on for the movies?"

He grew it to mock Hitler, who no one had heard of in '21, when the picture was taken.

Jun-18-17  RandomVisitor: "in his autobiography, Chaplin devotes two pages to the little prodigy of Chess and confesses not knowing how to play."

translated from French from this page:

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Two pages on one simple photo-op? Is it a big book?

<confesses not knowing how to play.>

That was Reshevsky's opinion, too.

Jun-18-17  WorstPlayerEver: Chopin vs Reshevsky.. oh what? Chalpin? Hmmm..
Jun-18-17  RandomVisitor: From Chaplin's autobiography:

"During the cutting of *The Kid*, Samuel Reshevsky, aged seven, the boy champion chess-player of the world, visited the studio. He was to give an exhibition at the Athletic Club, playing chess with twenty men at the same time... <'Can you play chess?' he asked. I had to admit that I could not.> 'I'll teach you. Come see me play tonight, I'm playing twenty men at the same time,' he said with braggadocio."

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: From Random Visitor's link:

<La partie est sans doute inventée pour la galerie>

I agree; White plays too well for a beginner. On the other hand, if Reshevsky taught him when R was 7 (1918) and this game was played 5 years later, I suppose Chaplin could have improved, but only if he'd put a fair amount of effort into the game.

Jun-18-17  morfishine: Gawd, what a mess, not only is the game title lame, but the game quality is also lacking, and we don't even know if its a legitimate game in the first place

What a monumental waste of time


Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Little Tramp in America
Premium Chessgames Member
  Clement Fraud: So Charlie Chaplin took on top grandmasters at chess!! Life is full of surprises!

I would like to offer my thanks to Mr C - albeit posthumously - for his very good idea of playing 5.Qe2! This particular line of play in the Petroff has long had me frustrated (from the point of view of white), and I generally end up with up with a position I don't care for following my usual 5.Qxd4. 5.Qe2, however, is a genuinely viable try for white; and while Chaplin's play thereafter did not pass muster, there is still a lot of room for improvement for white following Charlie's fifth move innovation.

Many thanks Charlie!

Jun-18-17  RandomVisitor: <Clement Fraud><5.Qe2, however, is a genuinely viable try for white>

Perhaps, but 5...Bb4+ is complicated:

click for larger view

Stockfish_17061704_x64_modern: <47 minutes computer time>

<0.00/47 5...Bb4+ 6.Kd1> d5 7.exd6 f5 8.Nbd2 Bxd2 9.dxc7 Qxc7 10.Nxd2 0-0 11.Qc4+ Rf7 12.Nxe4 fxe4 13.Qxc7 Rxc7 14.Bf4 Rc5 15.Bd6 Bg4+ 16.Kd2 Rc8 17.b3 Be6 18.Re1 Bd5 19.f3 e3+ 20.Kc1 Nc6 21.Rd1 Bf7 22.Bc5 a5 23.Kb2 a4 24.Bd3 axb3 25.axb3 b6 26.Bxb6 Nb4 27.Be4 Ra2+ 28.Kb1 Bg6 29.Bxg6 hxg6 30.Rxd4 Rcxc2 31.Rxb4 Rab2+ 32.Ka1 Ra2+ 33.Kb1

Jun-19-17  Olavi: 5.Qe2 was played twice by Steinitz against Pillsbury.

Steinitz vs Pillsbury, 1895 Steinitz vs Pillsbury, 1895

Premium Chessgames Member
  Clement Fraud: <RandomVisitor> Thankyou very much for your analysis. Once again I find myself getting all befuddled with the Petroff: In looking through the variation you've given, I find myself asking "why not this?" & "why not that?" - only to remind myself that Stockfish will have seen far more than I can; and it ends in a perpetual check.

Over all, however, I now think that the position is better for black. I am convinced that black can win a Pawn with 19... exf3, and that all of white's back rank threats can be successfully parried (even after 20.gxf3 Bxf3 21.Bc4+ Kh8); but then again, I could be missing something.

I shall stick with 1.d4!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Clement Fraud: <Olavi> Many thanks for your research
Oct-18-20  login:

Рад познакомиться с тобой


Dec-02-20  Jean Defuse: ...

Olimpiu G. Urcan - <A Charlie Chaplin Game>


Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: <Olimpiu G. Urcan - <A Charlie Chaplin Game>>

Yawn. 5 years ago on this page:

< This game is probably a hoax; yet it is interesting enough for us to include it.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  Williebob: Charlie Chaplin should be removed or de-listed from CG.COM - nothing personal, only he was not a chess player and almost certainly did not play this game. Change Reshevsky's opponent to "NN" and leave the Chaplin story in the comments.
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: <Willie> if a person came to to see if Chaplin played chess, how would they do so?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Williebob: <OCF>Not making a major issue of it, but I went to <Jean>'s link and read about Kramnik citing this game, then thought, great, yet another historical blunder for the chess world. It makes otherwise brilliant people look a bit foolish to cite bad facts about your supposed area of expertise!

But that is the norm among top players, it seems. I started to watch Nakamura do a "ranking" video of past masters, and right off he clearly knew nothing about Rubinstein, and didn't care, but ranked him anyway (poorly!)

That's pure arrogance. If studying the past is useless for modern competition, fine, but don't pretend to be an expert about it, Hikaru!
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: < Change Reshevsky's opponent to "NN" and leave the Chaplin story in the comments.>

There being no evidence that this is a legitimate Reshevsky game, one must leave the game as is, change both players to NN, or erase it entirely.

Dec-02-20  Z4all: Well, I guess the back-story has been fully outlined in previous posts.

It appears that we can blame Kramnik's DB for the game(?), or perhaps Stefaniu:

(The original <CG> ref, updated)

Was Stefaniu really the first? Or merely the first that Winter (or who else?) could discover?

We should keep these folkloric games, imo, just to point out their "true" status.

Dec-02-20  Z4all: I think I saw somewhere that Kramnik's DB claimed Chaplin was a half-way decent player (see <login>'s post)- but that's belied by this quote from Chaplin's autobiography:

<Charlie Chaplin with chess prodigy Samuel Reshevsky, who died on this day in 1992. In his autobiography, Chaplin wrote,

<"During the cutting of The Kid, Samuel Reshevsky, aged seven, the boy champion chess-player of the world, visited the studio ... He had a thin, pale, intense little face with large eyes that stared belligerently when he met people. I had been warned that he was temperamental and that he seldom shook hands with anybody.

After his manager had introduced us and spoken a few words, the boy stood staring at me in silence. I went on with my cutting, looking at strips of film.

A moment later I turned to him. `Do you like peaches?' `Yes,' he answered.

`Well, we have a tree full of them in the garden; you can climb up and get some — at the same time get one for me.'

His face lit up. 'Ooh good! Where's the tree?'

`Carl will show you,' I said, referring to my publicity man. Fifteen minutes later he returned, elated, with several peaches. That was the beginning of our friendship.

`Can you play chess?' he asked.
I had to admit that I could not.

`I'll teach you. Come see me play tonight, I'm playing twenty men at the same time,' he said with braggadocio.

I promised and said I would take him to supper afterwards. `Good, I'll get through early.'" >>

(I think <randomvisitor> posted a similar link much earlier in the thread, and of course, Urcan mentions it as well in his article, though only briefly)

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: < if a person came to to see if Chaplin played chess, how would they do so?>

I'll answer my own question. If they came to find out if Chaplin played chess, they'd go to the home page and type his name in the search. Whereupon they'd end up at this page and find out that the game is considered superflous. If it didn't return, they really wouldn't have an answer. I do think Chaplin's bio should include the reservations about his ability that are mentioned here.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Seems almost Chaplinesque
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