How Kashdan Checkmated With Only Two Knights - Best Of The 1940s - Siff vs. Kashdan, 1948

How Kashdan Checkmated With Only Two Knights - Best Of The 1940s - Siff vs. Kashdan, 1948

SamCopeland
NM SamCopeland
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From 1928 through much of the 1930s, Isaac Kashdan was the strongest chess player within the United States, straddling the dominant eras of Frank Marshall on the early end and Reuben Fine and Sammy Reshevsky on the opposite end. Despite his skill, many may not know of him as the peak of his career was placed within the Great Depression, and he was not able to compete professionally.

Kashdan represented the United States in multiple Olympiads and still has the best score of any US player in the Olympiads. Kashdan also served as a respected organizer later in life for the famed Piatagorsky Cup super-tournaments.

Kashdan's undoubted immortal is the following game against Boris Siff where Kashdan sacrifices nearly all of his pieces for a beautiful finish.

Top 10 Games of the 1940s

The game arrives by transposition in an Exchange Queen's Gambit Declined structure. Kashdan doesn't play perfectly, but he does play with a plan, building up on the kingside and playing to exchange his bad bishop.

Siff plays a bit timidly in critical moments, and once Kashdan's pieces can be improved no further, he launches a vigorous attack, sacrificing his bishop on h3, rooks on e3 and then e2, and finally his queen on h2 for an incredible finish.

My annotations are below. I hope you enjoy all of the beautiful moves in the game

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