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Paul Keres vs Efim Geller
"Keres Seen" (game of the day Oct-02-2017)
Keres - Geller 2nd place Candidates Playoff (1962), Moscow URS, rd 8, Aug-25
Queen's Gambit Declined: Semi-Tarrasch Defense. Pillsbury Variation (D41)  ·  1-0


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Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: Keres taught himself the game.
To reach such a high level with his own efforts is not something that you see everyday.
Sep-01-08  notyetagm: <chancho: Keres taught himself the game.

To reach such a high level with his own efforts is not something that you see everyday.>

You mean Keres *never* had a coach as a developing player?

Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: <notyetagm> I could be wrong, but yes. I read somewhere that Keres played mostly with his brother and with the lack of chess tournaments where he lived, he turned to correspondence chess juggling at least 200 correspondence games. That's a lot of stamps, yo.
Jan-08-09  xrt999: Since the lines with 7.Bd3 or 7.Bc4 give white the advantage in the majority of all the games in the database with this position after move 7, I think Geller was experimenting with different lines for black at move 7. He used this same novelty move order to draw Taimanov 3 years earlier.

Taimanov vs Geller, 1959

After looking over some of these QGD games, including Reshevsky vs Fischer, 1959 I feel that 7.cxd4, giving white the isolated pawn, would be the preferred move I would add to my opening repetoire.

Jan-11-09  waustad: <weary_willy>"Carries the ball"
Jan-11-09  ILikeFruits: balls...
Jan-19-09  I Like Fish: who...
Jun-03-09  WhiteRook48: 28...Kxh7 29 Rh3+
or is there something better?
Aug-21-09  WhiteRook48: 29 Qh3#
was this after Curacao?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: According to Game Collection: 1962 Candidates play-off match: Geller-Keres, this game was from a match played to break the second-place tie between Geller and Keres at the Candidates tournament in Curacao.

Therefore, I assume it came afterwards. However, with Curacao, you never know.

Aug-03-12  Cemoblanca: "Keres The Ball" or in chess jargon: "The Balls Of Keres"!!! :D
Oct-24-12  Conrad93: It's too bad this game is refuted by computer analysis.
Premium Chessgames Member
  brankat: <conrad93> It was not refuted when it mattered. In 1962.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: This was the eighth and decisive game of the match, producing a final score of 2-1 Keres with five draws.

Other sources, however, claim that this match was played at Curacao, not Moscow.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: The match was a tie-break for the second place in Curacao Candidate Tournament but it was played in Moscow some time after Curacao.
Oct-24-12  RookFile: Just one of those details that shows the Keres was stronger than Geller.
Jul-22-14  posoo: GET BACK OVER HERE says da keresman. Capablanca was WRONG, tictacs DO matter!
Jul-22-14  Chessman1504: Assuming you meant tactics, when did Capablanca say tactics didn't matter? He was a bit of a tactical monster, so I would find such a comment surprising from him.
Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: Botvinnik was quoted to have claimed that Geller was the strongest chess player in the 1960s. Yet here in this crucial game, which Keres needed to win to take the match (or lose second place in the Candidates due to a worse SB score), Keres demolishes Geller seemingly at will. Keres was exceptionally good in seizing the initiative and converting it into an attack.

Whenever I see Keres games such as this it saddens me that Keres never became World Champion. Nevertheless, I regard him with the same awe and respect accrued to the actual World Champions.

I honestly think that Keres at his prime was probably a stronger chess player than at least four World Champions that he played competitively in his career, Euwe, Smyslov, Tal, and Petrosian. I agree that <RookFile: Just one of those details that shows Keres was stronger than Geller.>. For Almost World Champion Korchnoi, Keres was just too powerful, and Victor the Terrible never succeeded in even winning a single game against him in the two decades that they played each other until Keres was just a few months away from dying of an AMI in 1975. Keres was the bane of both Tal and Korchnoi. In fact a quick perusal of CG games shows that for all the players above, only Smyslov and Petrosian managed tied records against Keres; the rest had negative scores.

They say that for some World Champions, a little bit of good luck was needed for them to take the Title. In Keres we see the opposite, what a little bit of bad luck can do to derail a chess master who should have been World Champion.

Sep-20-14  Olavi: <visayanbraindoctor: Botvinnik was quoted to have claimed that Geller was the strongest chess player in the 1960s.>

Pardon me, but this needs a source. It's a sensational novelty.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Have to say I have never heard of such a statement being made by Botvinnik--not that I am implying any doubt of its veracity. Bit surprising, really, and I cannot imagine why Botvinnik should have believed that in the face of clear and convincing evidence that it was not so, despite Geller's impressive record against numerous titleholders of the past, present and future.
Sep-20-14  Olavi: I am implying. It is not possible that Botvinnik uttered anything of the kind.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: "...Geller was the strongest chess player in the 1960s."

Slight mis-quote if we follow Wiki: it was the late 1960's.

"Former champion Botvinnik stated that, in his opinion, Geller was the best player in the world in the late 1960s."

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Spassky defeated Geller twice in Candidate matches in 65 and 68 both 3-0 with 5 draws
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Maybe Botvinnik meant Geller was the best player in the world at 2359 hrs on December 31st 1969. You cannot get more late 1960's than that.
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