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Raymond Keene vs Anthony Miles
"Miles to Go" (game of the day Nov-14-2017)
Hastings (1975/76), Hastings ENG, rd 13, Jan-12
Queen's Gambit Declined: Semi-Tarrasch Defense. Main Line (D42)  ·  1-0


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Given 58 times; par: 38 [what's this?]

Annotations by Raymond Keene.      [406 more games annotated by Keene]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  gofer: Well I think the point of attack is pretty obvious; Pg6. Also, the first piece to attack it being Ne5 is also quite clear. But then we have a number of choices, but after while it is clear that I would like to take with either Bb1 or Rg3 and then follow up with my queen, but the entry squares for the queen are few and far between. In face at the moment there are none. So then it is clear that the second piece to take Pg6 is Bb1, which leaves the queen an entry square!

<18 Nxg6 fxg6/hxg6>
<19 Bxg6 ...>

19 ... hxg6/fxg6
20 Qb1 ...

White has played a big fat <GOOT>. White has given up two minor pieces for two pawns and a HUGE attack. So how can black defend this? I can't see a way for black to defend this! So we have to back up a move as black cannot accept the bishop sacrifice!

NOW, we have an insane puzzle! So many options after 19 ... Bd6 or 19 ... Bf8. Its late and I am too tired to work any harder...

Time to check...


Wow, black took played the continuation I thought he couldn't...

Mar-11-12  LoveThatJoker: <ray keene> I read the interview. He sounds like a well-grounded person. So long as the money is there, I have a great feeling about Mr. Paulson's relationship with Chess.

I truly wish that everything goes swimmingly for the World Championship Cycle from now on.

Best of luck to FIDE and Mr. Paulson to bring Chess into the mainstream!


Mar-11-12  SimonWebbsTiger: @<Ray>

I can imagine Tony completely missed Qb1; it is one of those "long moves", with the twist the queen used her rook attributes ("oh Matron"!) to get there first. Did you discuss the game afterwards?

@<LoveThatJoker>, the cynical and jaded here will believe it when we see it actually happening. I simply don't trust FIDE, with its friend of dictators (eg the late Ghadaffi) and ET president....

Mar-11-12  LoveThatJoker: <SimonWebbsTiger> Your comment is well-founded, man. I'm also of the mindset that us, the chess public, need to see the good things happen first.

But am just saying that I'm hoping it does happen.

That being said, again, what you said is well-founded.

Here's hoping to a better time, man!


Mar-11-12  sevenseaman: <Black has a plan here as well. He wants to play 18...Nxe5, seeing 19 dxe5 Rxc3!, exploiting white's vulnerable back rank.

<He's just beaten to the punch.>>

<jimfromprovidence> A very insightful and alert observation. I think Miles missed it by mere millimetres. Its just the accident of his name that prompted one of the finest puns I've seen on <CG>.

Thanks <scormus>. "The night is long and the forest deep ........and miles to go before I sleep" - Robert Frost, were the favorite (often quoted) lines of <Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru>, India's first prime Minister.

Mar-11-12  stst: looks simple, if Black "cooperates":
18.Nxg6 hxg6
19.Bxg6 fxg6
20.Rxg6 Kf7
21.Qd3 Qxd4 (tries to exchange out Q)
22.Rg7+ Kf8
23.Rg4 dis+ Kf7
Mar-11-12  stst: I go against all praises,
20.Qb1 is "soft" and delays the win somewhat....
Mar-11-12  sevenseaman: <stst> <I go against all praises, 20.Qb1 is "soft" and delays the win somewhat....>

I like your spirit of adventure but you must consider 21...Ne5, forking the White R and the Q. I think its better for Black than <21...Qxd4> you have chosen.

Mar-11-12  James D Flynn: My main line goes
18.Nxg6 hxg6 19.Bxg6 fg6 20.Qb1(and Black must interpose or divert the Q) Ne5 (the only defense to g6) 21.dxe5 Ne4 22.Nxe4 Rc1+ 23.Qxc1 Bxe4 24.Qf4 Bf5 White is the exchange and 2 pawns up and can force the exchange of the black square bishops by Bg5, Black should ,perhaps, resign. However White can play to win the B on f5 e.g 25.Rc3 Qd5(gives up the reply g5 to the threatened g4 but Black is in virtual Zugzwang ) 26.g4 Be4 27.f3 Qd4+ Kh1 and White is a rook up. Black has to take the N on move 18 because of the double check Ne7 eg. 18. Nxg6 Bd6 19.Ne7+ Kh8 Bg7#. Black can certainly try something other than taking the B on move e.g 19. …. Bd6 18.Nxg6 hxg 19.Bxg6 Bd6 20 Bxf7+(Black cannot decline this one Kh8 21 Bg7+ Kh7 22.Qd3+ and mates on g6) Kxf7 21.Rg7+ Kf8(obviously White has perpetual here is he wants it with Rg3)22.Rd7+ Kg8 23.Rxd8 Rfxd8(Black has a material advantage with R , B, nad N for the Q but his K istill under attack) 24 Qf3 Kf7 25.Ne4 Be7 26 Nxf6 Bxf6 27<bxg5 wins the B on f6 and with Q for R and N plus 3 pawns and the exposed Black K White has a clear win. If instead 24….Rf8 25.Bxf8 Rxf8 26.Rd1 and White has more than enough material for the 3 minor pieces. Now for the game.
Mar-11-12  TheBish: Keene vs Miles, 1975

White to play (18.?) "Insane"

Funny, but when I first typed the above, it read "Inane", so I had to fix the typo! Back to the problem... I sense a sacrifice coming!

18. Nxg6!! hxg6

I don't think there is much difference between this and 18...fxg6, as the follow-up move will be the same in both cases; the bottom line is White is weakening the king's position. Note that 18. Bxg6 first allows 18...Nxe5, which should still win after 19. Be4+ Ng6 20. Bxb7, but White wants to attack the king.

19. Bxg6 fxg6

Maybe not the best, but the threat was 20. Bd3+ Kh8 21. Bg7+ Kg8 22. Bxf6+.

20. Qd3 and the threat of 21. Qxg6+ with a quick mate will win, e.g. 20...Bf8 21. Qxg6+ Kh8 22. Bg7+ Kg8 23. Bxf6+ will mate.


Nuts! I rushed the ending. Close but no cigar. Analyzing from the position, the defense (after 20. Qd3) ...Ne5! is easy to miss, but I'm sure in a game situation I would have seen that coming.

Jul-22-12  Swedish Logician: The game Keene-Miles must have been known to white in the game A Shariyazdanov vs V Petukhov, 2004 .
Oct-23-13  BSharp: Interesting to see comments about wanting the to grow the game's popularity under this brilliant mating attack and then to see the 2004 match Swedish posted above ending in resignation. Basketball didn't grow in popularity by calling off the fast break every time it's obvious a player has a clear path to the basket. Brilliant endings should be witnessed, not imagined. That might help market chess to more than just chess players. I'm not saying it solves all problems, but it does epitomize what perpetuates the perception of elitism.
Mar-16-14  crazyim5: 15. Rg3 was the hardest move to find. You really need to have the whole concept in your head to see that move!
Premium Chessgames Member
  ray keene: Definitely one of my favourite games, though I am quite fond of my other victories against Miles. Against that generation of English Grandmasters I had a good score, 3 wins v Miles, 4 wins v Nunn, 2 wins v Speelman and 1 win v Mestel, with overall just 2 losses. Also some draws of course.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <ray....the important thing to know is that exactly the same positions can arise from

the english opening
panov botvinnik caro kann
queens gambit tarrasch and semi tarrasch

In the eighties, I had several games which reached the position after White's tenth via the Panov move order, but always played 10....Bf6 112.Be4 Nce7 instead of Miles' choice here.

Believe Samarian did not much care for 10....Nf6 in his book on the Queen's Gambit.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Keene v Miles

In 1975 the race was on between Tony and Raymond Keene as to who would be Britain's first GM. and pick up the £6000 Slater prize.

From what I can recall most players I knew wanted it to be Tony. Tony was aggressive, adventurous, flamboyant. Keene was stodgy.

By the end of the year neither player had achieved their final GM norm but there was Hastings to come and both players had entered.

They met and this position was reached with White (Keene) to play. It was published in a newspaper and I had a go at solving it.

click for larger view

I soon spotted the Bishop and Knight sac on g6 but kept finding defences. I dug out my board and pieces, set up the position and tried for about 15 minutes without moving the pieces about.
No joy. When the Queen goes to c2 or d3 then Ne5 defends everything.

It was only when I played the double sac on the board 1 Nxg6 hxg6 2 Bxg6 fxg6 that I suddenly realised b1 was available. 3 Qb1 and Qxg6+ cannot be prevented. In the original position I could not visualize the vacated b1.

I know this position made an impression on me because it made me realise that I was not as clever as I thought I was and Keene was not just a stodge merchant.

How could Tony Miles lose to Raymond Keene?

In 1976 my library had grown by quite a bit so I easily managed to get my hands on some of Raymond Keene's games. Actually he was quite tactical player in his day and has some fine wins to his credit.
Through him I discovered the strength of active stodge.

Before that I was a Morphy man (1 e4 Nf3 Bc4) and actually avoided playing over anything with a fianchetto.
This is true, 70% of my Fischer's 60 was at that time was unread.

I started looking at other players games who were 'unfashionable' and I happened upon Tarrasch whose dogmatic ideas I had been told to avoid.

Things improved dramatically.
They say you always learn from your losses well this Tony Miles loss had a lot to do with me vastly improving my play and furthered my enjoyment of the game.

Nov-14-17  nalinw: Lovely appreciation Geoff (Sally)
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: I thought at the time that the race to become England's first GM was between Keene and Hartston. To me, it seemed like Miles came out of nowhere to win the race.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Romildo: And the race was won by miles, most certainly.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Romildo: Or yet “by Miles, not by miles ...”
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: With the GOTD title "Miles to Go" I assumed that he lost on time, but that is not the case.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: The kingside attack was irrestistible (in both senses).
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <Sally Simpson> - < Actually he was quite tactical player in his day and has some fine wins to his credit. Through him I discovered the strength of active stodge.>

Nice observation, Geoff. I was about to make a similar point ... Ray Keene at his best was a quite deceptive player: he used quiet openings like the Reti and Nimzo-Larsen, but was quite capable of devastating tactical sequences.

I played both Miles and Keene in the 1970s, in simuls - drawing with Miles and losing to Keene. I reckon Miles was the stronger player, though flawed - Keene was better at maximizing his talents.

Premium Chessgames Member
  ajile: <ray keene: Definitely one of my favourite games, though I am quite fond of my other victories against Miles. Against that generation of English Grandmasters I had a good score, 3 wins v Miles, 4 wins v Nunn, 2 wins v Speelman and 1 win v Mestel, with overall just 2 losses. Also some draws of course.>

Did Mestel ever play the Philidor Counter Gambit against you?

Nov-14-17  Magpye: <ray keene: Definitely one of my favourite games, though I am quite fond of my other victories against Miles. Against that generation of English Grandmasters I had a good score, 3 wins v Miles, 4 wins v Nunn, 2 wins v Speelman and 1 win v Mestel, with overall just 2 losses. Also some draws of course.>

And those 2 losses were against Miles. But a nice record all around.

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