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Paul Keres vs Erich Eliskases
Semmering/Baden (1937), Semmering/Baden AUT, rd 5, Sep-14
Sicilian Defense: Wing Gambit. Deferred Variation (B50)  ·  1-0


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Given 14 times; par: 42 [what's this?]

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sac: 24.Rxg4 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-02-04  sleepkid: A game that deserves to be more widely known. Keres employs the Wing Gambit and despite Black's clever defense uncorks a vicious attack with 24. Rxg4!
Feb-02-04  Benjamin Lau: Keres was undoubtedly a very strong CC player, did he ever try out for the CC championship?
Feb-02-04  sleepkid: I'm not sure that there was a formally organized Correspondnce Chess World Championship when Keres was actively playing correspondence chess. (Late 1920's to early 1930's - and remember, he was born in 1916!) He did participate in some CC tournaments though. However, once he turned to OTB chess I don't believe he ever seriously returned to correspondence.
Jan-14-05  sleepkid: ...another interesting feature of this game is that Keres' Queen's Knight makes 9 of the opening 15 moves of this game.
Jul-06-05  InspiredByMorphy: Keres control of the queen knight and insightful rook maneuvering are unpredictable and effective. Not to take away from the merit of his play by any means, but either 6. ...Bg4 or 6. ...d6 were better. The text move helps white develop and gain control of the center.
Jul-29-05  Montreal1666: Is 3)b4 a sound gambit?
Dec-19-05  sitzkrieg: <Montreal> b4 deserves a ?! not a !? for sure
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Keres said he played the wing gambit as a psychological ploy; feeling that Eliskases was more confortable in quiet positions. 8 Neg5 is a similar idea to what is played in the modern 4..Nd7 Caro Kann system. If 8..h6 then 9 Ne6. I'm not sure I have ever seen a game where the queen knight is used like it is used here; 7 moves out of whites first 13 including a trip to g1! Keres did not understand why he did not just take the pawn with 21 Rb4. The idea of the exchange sacrifice on g4 crippling black on the light squares is not that hard to anticipate; maybe Eliskases could have tried to avoid it with h5. Then the rook on f4 would have been accomplishing less. After the sacrifice Keres gets a blistering attack.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: Keres was one tactical monster, that's fo sho.
Feb-08-12  DrGridlock: Keres provides comments on this game in, “The Complete Games of Paul Keres.” His opening choice is, as others have pointed out, psychological. “Eliskases is well-known as a good positional player who prefers quiet positions in which strategy dominates over tactics. Therefore in this game I played from the very beginning for great tactical complications.” He further describes his opening choice at the Semmering Grandmaster Tournament, where Keres drew three games and won one in the first four. “So far my play was far from satisfactory and I became convinced that my chances would be very slim if I continued to play in the same style. My opponents were superior to me in quiet positional play, and therefore I decided to strive for much more complications. In the very next game, against Eliskases, I chose the notorious gambit against the Sicilian – b4.”

One historically analyzed point in the game is Black’s decision at move 19 to accept or not White’s offer of a pawn sacrifice.

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Keres wrote, “This position became a repeated and controversial subject for analytical discussion amongst a number of commentators. First of all, Euwe claimed that White obtained a decisive attack after 21 … Nc5. It was also pointed out that 21 … Qf6 … or Rd8 would not rescue black from a loss. Then Riumin discovered that Black had a better defense in 21 … Kh8!, and that in this way he could obtain an advantage. “

Analysis by Komodo suggests that Riumin is correct – 21 … Kh8 is black’s best defense in the pawn grabbing line – but that there is not much difference between accepting the pawn offer with 19 … Qxd4 (.05) or declining with 19 … Nb6 (-.014)

Analysis by Komodo32 3 32bit (depth = 27):

1. = (-0.14): 19...Nb6 20.Rb1 Qxd4 21.Bxh6 Rd8 22.Qc1 Nd5 23.Bg5 Nc3 24.Bxd8 Qxd8 25.Qe3 Qxh4 26.Qe8+ Bf8 27.Rxb4 Nd5 28.Bc4 Bf5 29.Qxa8 Nxb4 30.Qxb7 Qf6 31.Qxa7 Kg7 32.Rd1 Nd3 33.Bxd3 Bxd3 34.Qe3 Bc2 35.Rc1

2. = (0.05): 19...Nb8 20.Be3 Nc6 21.Bc2 Qb5 22.Rc1 Rd8 23.Bb3 Nxd4 24.Bxf7+ Kxf7 25.Bxd4 Rxd4 26.Rc7+ Bd7 27.Qb3+ Rd5 28.Nf5 Re8 29.Nd6+ Kg6 30.Nxe8 Bxe8 31.h3 Bc6 32.Qe3 gxh3 33.Qe6+ Kh7 34.Rxg7+ Kxg7 35.Qe7+

3. = (0.05): 19...Nf6 20.Re5 Qd6 21.Qe2 Nd5 22.Qe4 Nf6 23.Qe2 4. = (0.05): 19...Qxd4 20.Nf5 Qxa1 21.Qxg4 Kh8 22.Nxh6 Qc3 23.Nxf7+ Kg8 24.Nh6+ Kh8 25.Nf7+

In Riumin’s line, Riumin gives 22 Nxg7 as white’s best move. Keres conceds that, “Black retains some winning chances in the endgame.” Keres continues, “However, turning once again to Riumin’s analysis, we find in it some debatable points. Thus, for example, the very first move provides some well grounded doubts, since instead of 22 Nxg7 serious consideration should be given to Nxh6.” Komodo agrees with Keres on this point.

click for larger view

Analysis by Komodo32 3 32bit (depth = 21):

1. = (-0.05): 22.Nxh6 Qc3 23.Nxf7+ Kg8 24.Nh6+ Kh8 25.Nf7+

2. ł (-0.59): 22.Rd1 Qe5 23.Qh4 Qf6 24.Qh5 Qg6 25.Nxg7 Nf6 26.Qh4 Rd8 27.Ne8 Rxd3 28.Rxd3 Nxe8 29.Rg3 Qd6 30.h3 Bf5 31.Bf4 Qe6 32.Bxh6 Bh7 33.Qd4+ f6 34.Qxb4 Qf7 35.Re3 a5 36.Qc5 Rd8 37.Qxa5 Rd1+

3. µ (-0.89): 22.Bd2 Qf6 23.Nxh6 Bxh6 24.Qh5 Qd6 25.Bxh6 Qxd3 26.Bxf8+ Qh7 27.Bh6 Nf6 28.Qh4 Qg6 29.Bd2+ Kg8 30.Bxb4 Bd7 31.Bc3 Re8 32.Rxe8+ Bxe8 33.h3 Nh7 34.Qd8 f6 35.f3 b6 36.h4 Qf7 37.Qc8 Nf8

4. µ (-1.32): 22.Qh4 Qf6 23.Qh5 Qg6 24.Nxg7 Nf6 25.Bxg6 Nxh5 26.Nxh5 fxg6 27.Bxh6 Rf7 28.Nf4 Bf5 29.h3 Kh7 30.Bg5 a5 31.g4 Bd7 32.Nd5 Bc6 33.Ne7 Raf8 34.f4 Re8 35.Kf2 Bd7 36.Kg3 Bc6

5. µ (-1.36): 22.Rf1 Qe5 23.Bf4 Qf6 24.Qh5 Qg6 25.Nxg7 Nf6 26.Bxg6 Nxh5 27.Bxh5 Kxg7 28.Bd6 Be6 29.Bxb4 Rfd8 30.Bc3+ Kh7 31.Bf3 Bd5 32.Bg4 Bxa2 33.Bf6 Rd6 34.Be5 Rd5 35.f4 a5 36.Rc1 b5 37.Bf3

6. (-1.65): 22.Nxg7 Qc3 23.Nf5 Qxe1+ 24.Bf1 Rg8 25.Bb2+ Kh7 26.Qh5 Rg6 27.Nxh6 Rxg2+ 28.Kxg2 Qe4+ 29.Kg3 Qg6+ 30.Qxg6+ Kxg6 31.Ng8 f6 32.Bg2 a5 33.f4 Kg7 34.Bd5 Ra6 35.Ne7 Nb6 36.Be4 Be6 37.Bd4 Bxa2

Feb-08-12  DrGridlock: After White’s 21’st move Re4 Keres writes, “It is not clear to me, to this very day, why I refrained from the capture 21 Rxb4, by which White would have restored the balance of material and would certainly not have the worse position. The attempt begun by the text-move to bring about further complications is very risky and has little positional basis. Komodo agrees with Keres.

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Analysis by Komodo32 3 32bit (depth = 21):

1. = (-0.05): 21.Rxb4 Rfe8 22.Be3 Rac8 23.Qb1 Bf6 24.Nf5 h5 25.Nh6+ Kg7 26.Nf5+ Kh8 27.Bd2 Rxe1+ 28.Bxe1 Bxf5 29.Bxf5 Rc4 30.Rxc4 Nxc4 31.Be4 Qxd4 32.Bxb7 Kg7 33.Bc6 a5 34.Qe4 Qxe4 35.Bxe4 Bg5 36.Bc3+ Bf6

2. ł (-0.50): 21.Re7 Be6 22.Rxb4 Rac8 23.Be3 Qd6 24.Rxe6 fxe6 25.Rb3 h5 26.Qb1 Bxd4 27.Bh7+ Kf7 28.Ng6 Bxe3 29.Rxe3 Nd5 30.Re1 Qb4 31.Qxb4 Nxb4 32.Nxf8 Kxf8 33.Bg6 Rc5 34.a3 Nc6 35.h3 Nd4 36.hxg4 hxg4

3. µ (-0.82): 21.Be4 Qxd4 22.Nf5 Qxd1 23.Rxd1 Bxf5 24.Bxf5 a5 25.Bxg4 Na4 26.Rf1 Rfe8 27.Be3 Rad8 28.Rbc1 Nc3 29.Rc2 a4 30.Bf3 Rd3 31.Bxb7 b3 32.axb3 axb3 33.Rb2 Nd1 34.Rd2 Nxe3

While after Kere’s 21 Re4 Komodo gives:

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Analysis by Komodo32 3 32bit:

1. µ (-0.78): 21...Qh5 22.g3 a5 23.Ng2 Nd5 24.Nf4 Nxf4 25.Rxf4 Qd5 26.Qb3 Qxb3 27.axb3 Rfe8 28.Be3 h5 29.Bc4 Re7 30.Rd1 b5 31.Bd5 Rae8 32.Rb1 Rc8 33.Kg2 Rc3 34.Bd2 Rd3 35.Be3

2. µ (-0.71): 21...Rfe8 22.Rf4 Qxa2 23.Nf5 Bxf5 24.Rxf5 a5 25.g3 Qa4 26.Qxg4 Re1+ 27.Kg2 Qc6+ 28.Qf3 Qxf3+ 29.Kxf3 Nd7 30.Bf4 Rxb1 31.Bxb1 Nf8 32.Rb5 Ne6 33.Rxb7 Nxd4+ 34.Kg2 b3 35.Be4 Rd8 36.Ra7 Ne2 37.Rxa5

3. ł (-0.62): 21...Rac8 22.Bd2 Rfe8 23.Rf4 a5 24.Nf5 Bxf5 25.Bxf5 Rcd8 26.Bxg4 Qxa2 27.Ra1 Qd5 28.Bf3 Qb5 29.Rg4 Re6 30.Be3 Nd5 31.Be2 Qb6 32.Qd3 Rde8 33.Rg3 b3

click for larger view

Analysis by Komodo32 3 32bit (depth = 25):

1. µ (-0.82): 24.Nf5 Qf6 25.Nxg7 Qxg7 26.Re4 Rxe4 27.Bxe4 Qxd4 28.Bxd5 Qxd5 29.Bxb4 Qe4 30.Bd2 Bc6 31.Qf1 h5 32.Be3 a6 33.Re1 b5 34.Bb6 Qd5 35.Rc1 Qe6 36.Rc5 Be4 37.Bc7 Bd5 38.a4 bxa4 39.Qc1 Re8

2. µ (-0.90): 24.Rxg4 Qf6 25.g3 Rad8 26.Re4 Rxe4 27.Bxe4 Qxd4 28.Bxd5 Qxd5 29.Bxb4 Be6 30.Qxd5 Rxd5 31.a3 b6 32.Ng2 a5 33.Be1 Rd6 34.Ne3 Bd4 35.Rd1 Rd7 36.Rd3 Bc5 37.Rxd7 Bxd7 38.Bc3 Kh7 39.Bb2 Kg6

Feb-08-12  DrGridlock: At move 24, White takes black’s pawn – Rxg4 – and Keres comments, “Of course White makes use of the first opportunity to attack the enemy king. The exchange sacrifice is naturally absolutely correct, since after its acceptance White gains the square f5 for his pieces and obtains a wonderful attacking position.” After Black’s move 24 … Bxg4? (Keres’ question mark) Keres writes, “Now it is Black’s turn to make a mistake, and this time one with the most serious consequences. Black should on no account give up his best defensive piece, not even for a Rook. He should by all means carry out the second half of his plan and play 24 … Nc3!; 25 Bxc3, bxc3. In this position White can continue 26 Nf5, Bxf5; 27 Bxf5. … Then White’s tactical chances, which are mainly based on the weakened enemy King’s position, should enable him to neutralize the power of the enemy passed pawn on c3.” In this analysis, Keres missed Black’s best defensive resource, 24 … Qf6, which leaves Black with a superior position. Komodo’s analysis:

click for larger view

Analysis by Komodo32 3 32bit (depth = 22):

1. µ (-0.88): 24...Qf6 25.Re4 Rxe4 26.Bxe4 Qxd4 27.Bxd5 Qxd5 28.Bxb4 Qxa2 29.Rc1 Qb2 30.Bd2 Rd8 31.Bf4 Bf6 32.g3 Be6 33.Qf3 Bxh4 34.gxh4 Qf6 35.Qg3+ Kh7 36.Be5 Qg6 37.h5 Qxg3+ 38.hxg3 Rd5 39.f4 a5 40.Ra1

2. = (-0.06): 24...Nc3 25.Bxc3 bxc3 26.Nf5 Bxf5 27.Bxf5 Qd5 28.Bc2 Qc4 29.Rg3 Rad8 30.Bb3 Qxd4 31.Qxd4 Rxd4 32.Rxc3 Rd7 33.Re3 Rxe3 34.fxe3 Be5 35.Rd1 Rxd1+ 36.Bxd1 b5 37.g3 Kg7 38.Kg2 f5 39.Bc2 Kf6 40.e4

3. = (-0.04): 24...Bxg4 25.Qxg4 Ne7 26.Rxb4 a5 27.Ra4 Qe6 28.Qg3 Kh8 29.h3 b6 30.Bc4 Qf6 31.Nf3 Nf5 32.Qf4 Rad8 33.d5 Re7 34.Kh2 Qd6 35.Bd3 Qxf4+ 36.Rxf4 Nd6 37.Nd4 Be5

Keres also missed Black’s defensive resources in the game continuation, which should have resulted in an approximately even position. While 24 … Qf6 might have won the game for black, at move 25 … Qf6 cost Black the game. Komodo finds 24 … Ne7 as a defensive resource not played by Eliskases and not analyzed by Keres.

click for larger view

Analysis by Komodo32 3 32bit (depth = 22):

1. = (-0.20): 25...Ne7 26.Bb5 a5 27.Bxe8 Rxe8 28.Re1 Qxd4 29.Qxd4 Bxd4 30.Nf5 Bc5 31.g4 f6 32.Nxh6+ Kh7 33.Kg2 Rd8 34.Bc1 Nd5 35.Re6 Rc8 36.Nf5 Bf8 37.Be3 Rc2 38.Re8 Bg7 39.Rb8 Nxe3+ 40.Nxe3 Rxa2 41.Rxb7

2. ˛ (0.66): 25...Qf6 26.Nf5 Ne7 27.Nxh6+ Kf8 28.Bg5 Qe6 29.Bxe7+ Qxe7 30.Nf5 Qf6 31.Bb5 Qg6 32.Qf4 Re6 33.Bc4 Ree8 34.Rf1 a6 35.Bd5 Rad8 36.Bf3 a5 37.h4 Rd7 38.h5 Qh7 39.Nd6

Keres chose a tactical game over a positional game. Over the board, he found more attacking resources than Eliskases found defensive resources. As a testimony of how difficult tactical games can be to play, even in post-game analysis, Keres missed many of the defensive resources black had in this game.

Jan-10-14  lopedevega: Interesting play.
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