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Pal Benko vs Paul Keres
Curacao Candidates (1962), Willemstad CUW, rd 27, Jun-23
King's Indian Attack: Keres Variation (A07)  ·  1-0
ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Nov-06-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: Crosstable http://www.mark-weeks.com/chess/616...

(thank you Mr Weeks)

Nov-07-05  ughaibu: Interesting that Geller did best at the top of the table ie qualifiers and play-off members. Pity about the candidates tournament, I wonder if it was another case of "nerves"(?)
Mar-11-07  e4Newman: why couldn't keres put the dsb on d6 at about move 15 or so

it provokes white to counter on the c-file (like he was going to do anyway), and targets the weak dark squares in front of white's king

Oct-07-08  Ulhumbrus: Instead of 41...Ra4, 41...Ra8 prevents Rd8 and threatens the manoeuvre ...Nf8-g6-h4-f3+
Jul-15-09  belgradegambit: GOTD title:
A Whiter Shade of Pal
Aug-05-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: What defies logic is why Stein was included in a playoff for the final spot if he couldn't play at Curacao anyway. Benko and Gligoric should have gone at it heads-up.
Nov-27-12  edbermac: <perfidious: What defies logic is why Stein was included in a playoff for the final spot if he couldn't play at Curacao anyway. Benko and Gligoric should have gone at it heads-up.>

Not necessarily, Tal was in poor health and might not have played there at all, which would have given Stein a chance to participate in Curacao. Given the fact that he had to withdraw after 3 laps due to a recent operation indicates he probably shouldn't have been there in the first place.

Nov-27-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <edbermac> Most would probably not have played at Curacao in such circumstances, and I agree-it was likely foolhardy, especially in that enervating climate.

What operation did he have prior to Curacao? There is the well-known photo of Fischer visiting him in hospital during the candidates, but Tal's event was done with by then.

Dec-05-12  edbermac: <What operation did he have prior to Curacao? There is the well-known photo of Fischer visiting him in hospital during the candidates, but Tal's event was done with by then.>

In his book Tal said he was suffering from kidney colic around that time. He wound up having an operation about 2 months before Curacao. It probably took him a few weeks to recuperate, giving him little time to prepare for the Candidates. Add to the fact that he smoked like a fiend and drank like a fish, which did no help at all. I think even Korchnoi stated that Tal never ever took care of himself.

Dec-16-13  Cheapo by the Dozen: Benko was one of those Hungarians who really hated the USSR. Think of him as being akin to the Hungarian water polo players in the 1956 Olympics.
Feb-15-14  devere: One wonders what mirage Benko was seeing that caused him to avoid the obvious 40.Nd6. I suppose it must have been time pressure.
Feb-15-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Given Benko's tendencies, good chance it was indeed time shortage; of course, same as any GM, chances are that he would have envisioned a great deal more than we non-grandmasters, and may well have had a reason to reject 40.Nd6.

It is, by turns, vastly amusing and annoying when a random player makes comments on the lines of 'mirage' and 'obvious' moves.

Easy to play Monday morning quarterback in the quiet of one's study, software frequently near to hand. Whole lot tougher playing GMs heads-up.

Feb-21-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  zydeco: I think black gets into trouble with 10....Bb4 compounded by 11....a5, which lose time and weaken the dark squares.

I like the idea of trying to win a pawn with 13....Bxe2 14.Rfe1 Bh5 15.Nf5 Bf8 followed by ....Bg6 to chase away the knight and then .....Be7 and .....0-0.

I'm not sure why white didn't play 20.Bxg5 Nxg5 21.Qxa5. If 21....Ra8 22.Qb4.

After 44.Rd8 black is helpless against Qb4.

Feb-22-14  jerseybob: Perfidious: I share your doubts about 40.Nd6(if I read you correctly), and considering the play Benko got with 40.Nb6, who's to knock success? But I think black should have avoided the flashy rook "attacks" of moves 41 and 42 and gone for safety first with 41..Ra8. White's unopposed rook on the eighth turned into a monster.
Feb-22-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <jerseybob> Your suggestion of 41....Ra8 in the game continuation looks sensible.

In point of fact, 40.Nd6, as noted by <devere>, was probably Benko's strongest move. White can then play for the win of the e-pawn and it is unclear what compensation his opponent will have for its loss.

My point was that it is very easy to criticise after the fact, especially in the manner used by the above-named poster, who offered up nothing but banalities in his criticism-not a hint of a constructive idea to be seen.

During my playing career, I was fortunate enough to sit across the board from two of the participants at Curacao (the winner of this game being one of them), and I can assure you from experience that such players have tremendous insight and analytic power, despite innumerable criticisms of their play levelled by posters such as <devere>, who, unlike yourself, have no positive suggestions to offer.

Feb-22-14  devere: <jerseybob: Perfidious: I share your doubts about 40.Nd6(if I read you correctly), and considering the play Benko got with 40.Nb6, who's to knock success? But I think black should have avoided the flashy rook "attacks" of moves 41 and 42 and gone for safety first with 41..Ra8. White's unopposed rook on the eighth turned into a monster.>

After 40...Nxb6 41.cxb6 Ra8 Black should be able to draw. If Nb6 were really the right move it would merit !! because it is so counter-intuitive. Anyone properly trained to play chess would think first of Nd6 (which was also perfectly good on the 39th move). No computer is needed. 40.Nb6?! should draw, and 40.Nd6! wins rather easily. It's a mystery why Benko failed to play Nd6. He's dead now and can't tell us.

P.S. Google the word perfidious and see what it means. LOL

Feb-22-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: It's funny how these things go...I suspect one reason that Benko played Nb6 on move 40 is that he'd put the knight on that square twice already!
Feb-22-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Were <devere> to sit at the green felt opposite me, or anyone else, he should surely learn the definition of <perfidious>-wouldn't need Merriam Webster to see him home on that!
Feb-22-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  zydeco: After 40.Nd6 g6 I think black can defend. He can play .....f5 if white tries to attack e4 with, say, 41.Bg2. It looks loose but it's not so easy for white to play on the kingside. If white switches to attacking d5 with, say, 41.Bc4, black has time to defend with 41.....Nd7 and .....Ndf6.

I like 40.Nb6 -- Benko figured that he had to get black's knight off d5 to make progress. If 41.....Ra8 (definitely better than 41....Ra4) white gets a comfortable bind with 42.Qd4: black's knight can't get to d7 and white has ideas of attacking e4 or pushing b5.

Feb-22-14  jerseybob: devere: Benko is dead?
Feb-22-14  devere: <jerseybob: devere: Benko is dead?>

I apologize to Mr. Benko who is still alive, and now 85 years old.

Feb-22-14  jerseybob: Perfidious: Here's the best(non-computer) idea I can come up with for black: 40.Nd6,Nd7(if 40..b6, my first thought, 41.Nf5! looks too strong) 41.Nf5,N7f6. In some lines I see black playing Ra8-e8.
Feb-22-14  RookFile: I thought Keres did an amazing job for most of this game in defending. I was sure that his weakening ...a5 was going to be his doom. It appears that but for a late error, he was on the way to holding a draw here.
Aug-28-19  Cibator: <devere: One wonders what mirage Benko was seeing that caused him to avoid the obvious 40.Nd6. I suppose it must have been time pressure.>

In 1966 Dimitrije Bjelica wrote an article about Petrosian's career up to the time of his first WCM with Spassky. This was published (or reprinted - I don't know which) in B H Wood's "Chess" magazine. DB's account of the 1962 Candidates' includes the passage: "Keres' record against Benko is 7-0. Such a run has to end some time. And it does. With Benko in time-trouble, Keres blunders." Seems to answer your query, <devere>. Although it's worth mentioning that Mr Bjelica appears to have a reputation for accuracy and integrity second only to [CENSORED on legal advice]. No wonder he ended up being sued by Fischer.

Aug-28-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <[CENSORED on legal advice]> indeed.

Classic.

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