Samuel Reshevsky

American chess player

Samuel Reshevsky (Szmul Rzeszewski, near Łódź, 26 November 1911 – New York, 4 April 1992) was a Polish-American chess Grandmaster.

Samuel Reshevsky
Samuel Reshevsky in 1968
Full nameSamuel Herman Reshevsky
Country United States
Peak rating2565 (July 1972)
Sammy, aged eight, gives a simultaneous display. He won all of the games.[1] France, 1920

Sammy was a famous chess prodigy, and later a leading American chess Grandmaster. He was a contender for the World Chess Championship from about 1935 to the mid-1960s. He came equal third in the World Chess Championship 1948 tournament, and equal second in the 1953 Candidates Tournament. He was also an eight-time winner of the U.S. Chess Championship.

He was the greatest American player in the long period between Pillsbury (d.1906) and Fischer. Sammy was an Orthodox Jew, and did not play on the Jewish Sabbath: his tournament games were re-arranged. He was a regular top board for the USA at Chess Olympiads. He played in eight Olympiads, helping the U.S. team to win the gold in 1937.[2]p335

Sammy was tremendously strong in matches, and the Soviets made sure he never got the chance to play Botvinnik in a match. He played eleven of the first twelve world champions, and drew a match against Fischer at the age of 49. His one weakness as a player was his time trouble. He used up so much of his time in the early stages of a game that he was often short of time at the end. This probably cost him the Candidates tournament in 1953.

Reshevsky was not a full-time chess player. He was a qualified accountant.

  • Reshevsky, Samuel [and Fred Reinfeld] 1948. Reshevsky on chess. [aka Reshevsky's best games of chess, Dover.] Chess Review, N.Y.
  • Reshevsky, Samuel [and Fred Reinfeld] 1962. How chess games are won. Pitman, N.Y & London.
  • Gordon, Stephen W. Samuel Reshevsky: a compendium of 1768 games. McFarland, Jefferson NC. Some annotated by Soviet grandmasters.


  1. Zalman, Jonathan (2015-05-15). "This Week in Chess History: Samuel Reshevsky". Tablet magazine. Retrieved 2023-06-11.
  2. Hooper D. & Whyld K. 1992. The Oxford companion to chess. Oxford University Press.