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Keres 
 
Paul Keres
Number of games in database: 2,065
Years covered: 1929 to 1975
Overall record: +1034 -208 =816 (70.1%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      7 exhibition games, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

MOST PLAYED OPENINGS
With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (193) 
    B20 B50 B36 B62 B43
 Ruy Lopez (184) 
    C86 C78 C97 C83 C87
 French Defense (97) 
    C02 C07 C05 C10 C03
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (88) 
    C86 C97 C87 C88 C93
 Caro-Kann (63) 
    B10 B14 B18 B11 B13
 English (47) 
    A14 A15 A16 A13 A10
With the Black pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (232) 
    C72 C92 C79 C99 C73
 Nimzo Indian (126) 
    E32 E43 E41 E45 E20
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (108) 
    C92 C99 C97 C96 C84
 Queen's Pawn Game (87) 
    A46 E00 D02 E10 A40
 Queen's Indian (66) 
    E15 E19 E12 E17 E14
 English, 1 c4 e5 (42) 
    A23 A28 A29 A22 A20
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Keres vs Szabo, 1955 1-0
   Euwe vs Keres, 1940 0-1
   Keres vs Geller, 1962 1-0
   Keres vs Verbac, 1933 1-0
   Keres vs W Winter, 1935 1-0
   Keres vs Alekhine, 1937 1-0
   A Karu vs Keres, 1931 0-1
   Keres vs Spassky, 1955 1-0
   Fine vs Keres, 1938 0-1
   Hort vs Keres, 1961 0-1

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: [what is this?]
   FIDE World Championship Tournament (1948)

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   USSR Championship (1950)
   USSR Championship (1947)
   Budapest (1952)
   USSR Championship (1951)
   Buenos Aires (1939)
   Gothenburg Interzonal (1955)
   Bled-Zagreb-Belgrade Candidates (1959)
   USSR Championship (1957)
   Curacao Candidates (1962)
   USSR Championship (1940)
   Zurich (1959)
   Zurich Candidates (1953)
   Kemeri (1937)
   Bled (1961)
   USSR Championship (1955)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Match Keres! by amadeus
   Keres' Whirligigs by chocobonbon
   challenger of 48 Keres by Gottschalk
   The Road to the Top & The Quest for Perfection by Bidibulle
   Veliki majstori saha 20 KERES (1916-1975) by Chessdreamer
   Paul Keres "Valitud Partiid" by Legend
   Keres vs World & Almost Champions Decisive Games by visayanbraindoctor
   Guess-the-Move Chess: 1940-1959 (Part 2) by Anatoly21
   Paul Keres by Legend
   Guess-the-Move Chess: 1940-1959 (Part 1) by Anatoly21
   A few Keres games by Catfriend
   WCC Index [Candidates Tournament 1959] by Resignation Trap
   WCC Index [Zurich 1953] by suenteus po 147
   WCC Index [Curacao 1962] by Hesam7

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Paul Keres
Search Google for Paul Keres


PAUL KERES
(born Jan-07-1916, died Jun-05-1975) Estonia
PRONUNCIATION:
[what is this?]
Paul Petrovich Keres (pronounced CARE-ess) was born in Estonia, where he would reside his entire life. He was very active in correspondence chess throughout his youth, and soon began to make a name for himself at over-the-board play as well with a series of tournament victories culminating with a tie for first at AVRO (1938). He was thrice Soviet Champion, in 1947 [rusbase-1], 1950 [rusbase-2], and 1951 [rusbase-3]. In 1948, Keres participated in the World Championship tournament to determine a successor to Alexander Alekhine. He finished joint third. This turned out to be the only opportunity he would ever have to play for the world title--he finished second five times in the Candidates' tournaments over the next fifteen years, but was never able to win one.

He scored 13½/14 at the 11th Olympiad in 1954 (1) and in 1963 he won at Los Angeles http://www.worldchesslinks.net/eziq... (sharing the first place with Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian). He suffered a fatal heart attack on the way home from a tournament in Vancouver in 1975, at the age of fifty-nine.

Keres was the player who have defeated the largest number of world champions, no less than 9: Capablanca (http://www.chessgames.com/perl/ches... Alekhine http://www.chessgames.com/perl/ches... Euwe http://www.chessgames.com/perl/ches... Botvinnik http://www.chessgames.com/perl/ches... Smyslov http://www.chessgames.com/perl/ches... Tal http://www.chessgames.com/perl/ches... Petrosian http://www.chessgames.com/perl/ches... Spassky http://www.chessgames.com/perl/ches... and Fischer http://www.chessgames.com/perl/ches...

With his five second-place finishes in Candidates events and his results against world champions, Keres was often known as "Paul, the Second" and "The Uncrowned King".

A list of books about Keres can be found at http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/...

References: (1) Wikipedia article: World records in chess , (2) Wikipedia article: Paul Keres


 page 1 of 83; games 1-25 of 2,065  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Keres vs I Raud 0-140 1929 Parnu, Parnu-ViljandiC54 Giuoco Piano
2. I Raud vs Keres  ½-½54 1929 Parnu, Parnu-ViljandiE10 Queen's Pawn Game
3. Keres vs I Raud 1-029 1931 Tartu, Est jr chB34 Sicilian, Accelerated Fianchetto
4. Keres vs R Pruun 1-043 1931 Tartu, Est jr chB12 Caro-Kann Defense
5. L Norvid vs Keres 0-125 1931 Tartu, Est jr chC12 French, McCutcheon
6. A Karu vs Keres 0-127 1931 corrD08 Queen's Gambit Declined, Albin Counter Gambit
7. Keres vs Molder 1-024 1931 Tartu, Est jr chC33 King's Gambit Accepted
8. R Pruun vs Keres 0-124 1931 Tartu, Est jr chE60 King's Indian Defense
9. Keres vs A Remmelgas  ½-½43 1932 Parnu, Est jr chD30 Queen's Gambit Declined
10. Keres vs J Vilkins ½-½24 1932 corrC25 Vienna
11. A Holm vs Keres 0-143 1932 Parnu, Est jr chC00 French Defense
12. A Remmelgas vs Keres  0-155 1932 Tartu, Est jr chA46 Queen's Pawn Game
13. Keres vs E Verbak  1-017 1932 corrC00 French Defense
14. L Peterson vs Keres 0-139 1932 Parnu, Est jr chD02 Queen's Pawn Game
15. Keres vs Faltweber 1-018 1932 corrA06 Reti Opening
16. Keres vs A Peet 1-019 1932 Moisakula Moisak-ParnuC25 Vienna
17. E Kiiver vs Keres 0-158 1932 Tartu, Est jr chE20 Nimzo-Indian
18. Keres vs A Abel 1-061 1932 Parnu, Est jr chB01 Scandinavian
19. Von Feilitzsch vs Keres 0-132 1932 corr ,/33C22 Center Game
20. A Peet vs Keres  0-129 1932 Moisakula Moisak-ParnuD02 Queen's Pawn Game
21. Keres vs Tuul 1-033 1932 Tartu, Est jr chC33 King's Gambit Accepted
22. R Pruun vs Keres 0-133 1932 Parnu, Est jr chD08 Queen's Gambit Declined, Albin Counter Gambit
23. Keres vs G Menke 1-062 1932 corresp.C33 King's Gambit Accepted
24. A Jurgens vs Keres 0-153 1932 Parnu, Est jr chD00 Queen's Pawn Game
25. Keres vs Beskov 1-043 1932 corrC50 Giuoco Piano
 page 1 of 83; games 1-25 of 2,065  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Keres wins | Keres loses  
 

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 34 OF 34 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-30-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: <Keres' precarious post-war rehabiltation>:

Extracts from an article by Russian chess historian Sergey Voronkov:

http://www.chesspro.ru/_events/2008...

"Retired Colonel Boris Frolov (perhaps now the only living witness from the former security agencies) can confirm that the head of the Investigation Department of the Estonian NKVD Major Jacobson wanted at all costs to arrest Keres....local authorities have prepared a list of 111 major enemies of Soviet power in Estonia - "active participants in the nationalist underground, undertaking intensive activities aimed at the seizure of the Estonian SSR from the Soviet Union and the restoration of the bourgeois system and their accomplices."

Number 85 was Paul Keres: "Chess player, was associated with (Leo) Talgre (the legendary leader of Estonian anti-Soviet resistance) , before the retreat of the Germans from USSR he had intended to escape to Sweden and for this purpose went to the coast of County Läänemaa."

The Estonian People's Commissar of the NKVD Kumm, however, ordered the deletion of the name Keres from the list."

At the beginning of the USSR Championship (1947), in Leningrad, party members suddenly made an official complaint in which Keres was again called <Fascist>...

In 1982, Mikhail M Yudovich Sr. confirmed to me (Sergey Voronkov): Yes, there was a complaint ... "

After defeating Keres in this championship (Keres vs K Klaman, 1947) the Leningrad master Konstantin Klaman exclaimed:<"Well, guys, I killed a Fascist!> "People who knew Klaman believe that he was joking. But at the time it was no joke".

http://www.chesspro.ru/_events/2008...

Feb-22-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Wow! To appear on a list of anti-Soviet sympathizers just after the War would have been a very sobering experience!

Flohr ran to Russia - he must have been mad. Both he and Keres should have tried to get to the States.

How different history would have been (in chess)!

Feb-25-14  Yopo: [Event "Simul"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "1937.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Paul Keres"]
[Black "NN"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C41"]
[PlyCount "25"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. Nc3 Nbd7 5. d4 exd4 6. Qxd4 Be7 7. Bxf7+ Kxf7 8. Ng5+ Kg8 9. Qc4+ d5 10. Nxd5 Ne5 11. Nxf6+ Kf8 12. Ngxh7+ Rxh7 13. Qg8# 1-0

Feb-25-14  RedShield: <Both he and Keres should have tried to get to the States.>

Leaving aside any other familial ties, Keres married in 1941, and by 1944, I think he already had one or two bairns.

Wikipedia has: <His 1942 Nazi newspaper interview was used for anti-Soviet propaganda.> I'm assuming this information comes from Valter Heuer. Anything known about the contents of this interview?

Jul-22-14  drnooo: so near as I can make out Keres had planned to escape to Sweden, was foiled in the sudden retreat of the Nazis from Russia, wound up on a list of those that likely would have been executed or sent to -70 degree places were it not for the intervention of a high placed Estonian.
Again, had he made it safely out to free Europe my guess is he would have been under to qualms about beating anyone then including Botvinnik. Though with the soviets, he might have had to worry about some KGB hitman. At any rate, he certainly never had free rein to play as he chose, though many here hold to the opinion that he was too peaceable to fight for the championship. I believe otherwise, that around 1947 he was the best in the world. Unconstrained he would have proved it, though he certainly would not have ventured back into the lovely arms of the soviets for that match. His stat of 70 plus percentage is only a little shy of the greatest players ever. But, alas he did not make it out and
the rest is conjecture. Had he ever made it to the States, Fischers US championships would have been a good deal less impressive.
Jul-22-14  Rookiepawn: As said above, this is speculation and wishful thinking. Besides, it is an example of double standards.

For someone who accepted to make propaganda for the nazis against the USSR, he was treated fairly well. The USSR lost millions of lives in WWII, so it was just natural for someone who collaborated, even slightly, with the nazis to be held in contempt by some people.

Probably he had not much of a chance, I don't judge Keres, but the same would happen in any other country. 

If you want to speculate about how Paul Keres would have done living in the USA, you should first set the right scenario: how cheerfully would you guys support Keres if he made anti-USA and pro Al-Qaeda propaganda?

Please compare the way Keres was treated by the USSR with the way USA citizens whose only fault was to be of Japanese origin were treated in USA during WWII:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intern...

Hey, it seems to me those guys had a slightly harder time than Keres.

Now if you want a true case of injustice and abuse by USSR authorities against a chess player, remember Vladimirs Petrov. THAT ONE is a real case, but he was much less known.

Jul-22-14  ughaibu: But he didn't make propaganda for the Nazis against the USSR, did he? He was actively collaborating with the Estonian resistance at a time when Estonia was occupied by the Nazis. Judging from the above quote, the Soviets seem to have taken a blanket view that resistance to the Nazis was a form of nationalism that would entail resistance to the USSR. That certainly isn't a matter of logical consequence, though it may well have accurately matched Keres' political stance.
Jul-22-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: <rookie Pawn--Please compare the way Keres was treated by the USSR with the way USA citizens whose only fault was to be of Japanese origin were treated in USA during WWII:>

Estonia lost 1/4th of its population to death and deportations during the soviet occupation. They killed scores of Estonians when they occupied the country. The also forcibly drafted tens of thousands of young Estonian males into the Red army, where casualty and surrender rates were horrific. Red army soldiers who surrendered to the Germans usually starved to death. They were simply put behind barbed wire, and there would be a very limited amount of food for the P.O.W.s.

Members of the Baltic states (Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania) joined the Finnish armies, allied with Germany, in the war on the eastern front. Finland had fought a brutal 18 month war with the red army in 1939 and inflicted a gruesome 200,000 casualties on the inept and poorly led Red forces. A relatively small number of balts joined the Finnish army, those who could get past the red army troops guarding the country.

The Baltic states were occupied by the Soviet Union and their freedom was taken away.

Losing 1/4th of your country's population to death and deportation is a pretty awful thing. This makes the internment of Japanese Americans in California a bit more tame, by comparison, don't you think? They weren't deported, killed, or made to do slave labor. They had to live in isolated villages for a few years.

Disgraceful behavior by the USA, and unwarranted, but please don't compare it to the mass murders committed by Stalin.

Jul-23-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Difficult to say how the Soviet authorities viewed Keres' participation in events held under Nazi auspices. A player of lesser stature may well have found himself charged under the terms of the notorious Article 58, or simply treated as a collaborationist and executed. The fate of Vladimirs Petrovs for a substantially lesser offence (ten years in gulag under Article 58) is well worth noting.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artic...(RSFSR_Penal_Code)

Jul-23-14  Rookiepawn: <HeMateMe: <rookie Pawn--Please compare the way Keres was treated by the USSR with the way USA citizens whose only fault was to be of Japanese origin were treated in USA during WWII:> Estonia lost 1/4th of its population to death and deportations during the soviet occupation. They killed scores of Estonians ...

Disgraceful behavior by the USA, and unwarranted, but please don't compare it to the mass murders committed by Stalin.>

You would probably save time if you answered what I actually wrote instead of shadow boxing.

I'm not comparing with Stalin, I deeply hate Stalin, I'm saying Paul Keres is not a good example.

Jul-23-14  Rookiepawn: <ughaibu: But he didn't make propaganda for the Nazis against the USSR, did he? He was actively collaborating with the Estonian resistance at a time when Estonia was occupied by the Nazis.>

It is not clear for me whether he worked with the Estonian resistance or not, I don't know any proof of that.

He made some interviews that were used by the nazis, but I don't think it means he was a nazi himself. He probably didn't have a choice. Suppose an SS officer "kindly invites" you to some interviews you know they will use for their purposes, what would you do? Of course there are heros, but nobody can force anybody to be one.

My point is that war leaves scars, resentment and paranoia everywhere, not only in the USSR. Anybody slightly suspected of collaboration with an enemy in a war, even if the suspicion has no firm basis, will have a bad time.

As I said, and <perfidious> also remarked, other players were certainly examples of Stalin's crimes, but not Paul Keres.

Jul-23-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: <rookie Pawn--> Sorry, I was responding to Dr Nooo. Got the names mixed up.
Jul-23-14  MissScarlett: <He made some interviews that were used by the nazis, but I don't think it means he was a nazi himself.>

Ever seen one of these interviews?

<If you want to speculate about how Paul Keres would have done living in the USA, you should first set the right scenario: how cheerfully would you guys support Keres if he made anti-USA and pro Al-Qaeda propaganda?>

The correct scenario would involve America having occupied and annexed Keres's homeland.

Jul-23-14  Rookiepawn: <MissScarlett: <He made some interviews that were used by the nazis, but I don't think it means he was a nazi himself.> Ever seen one of these interviews? >

Ever seen George Washington?

<The correct scenario would involve America having occupied and annexed Keres's homeland.>

No, it wouldn't.

I'm talking about someone who lives in a country being suspect of collaboration with an enemy country in a recent war that costed millions of lives.

Jul-23-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: What would YOU do to keep from being killed or sent to an extermination labor camp? The only difference between Stalin and Hitler was that Joe gave the inmates more food, so that they would work longer before dropping.

If Keres did the same thing that Alekhine did, write up some gobblety gook crap to save his own skin, it seems excusable by the threat they were up against.

Not a whole lot different than what a hostage does on camera, what he says with a gun at his head.

Jul-23-14  Rookiepawn: <HeMateMe: What would YOU do to keep from being killed or sent to an extermination labor camp? The only difference between Stalin and Hitler was that Joe gave the inmates more food, so that they would work longer before dropping. If Keres did the same thing that Alekhine did, write up some gobblety gook crap to save his own skin, it seems excusable by the threat they were up against.

Not a whole lot different than what a hostage does on camera, what he says with a gun at his head.>

Are you answering to me this time? If not, please make it clear. If so, please, READ what I write. Not so difficult!

Jul-23-14  MissScarlett: <<Ever seen one of these interviews? >

Ever seen George Washington?>

No. Now again, ever seen one of these interviews?

<<The correct scenario would involve America having occupied and annexed Keres's homeland.>

No, it wouldn't.

I'm talking about someone who lives in a country being suspect of collaboration with an enemy country in a recent war that costed millions of lives.>

A war started by the Soviet Union. An enemy that the Soviet Union was itself allied with. Keres should have told the Soviets to go @#$% themselves.

Jul-23-14  Rookiepawn: <MissScarlett: <<Ever seen one of these interviews? > Ever seen George Washington?>

No. Now again, ever seen one of these interviews? >

Then your question is irrelevant.

<A war started by the Soviet Union.>

You need history books.

<An enemy that the Soviet Union was itself allied with.>

Again, you need history books. You use a temporary, unstable agreement between two countries that shortly after devastated each other to call them "allies". The Allies against The Axis, basic history facts.

<Keres should have told the Soviets to go @#$% themselves.>

Of course, you reason so well and know so much about history that you are in a position to tell anybody what to do and not to do.

Jul-23-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: <A war started by the Soviet Union. An enemy that the Soviet Union was itself allied with. Keres should have told the Soviets to go @#$% themselves. >

Exactly. The Russians killed more Estonians than any German army did.

Jul-23-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Had the Nazis remained in Estonia a few years longer, the count might well have gone in their (dis)favour; for they had little use for yet another people whom they regarded as Untermenschen.
Jul-23-14  Rookiepawn: Alas, Paul Keres was Soviet Champion three times.

I don't know if I'm expressing a too complex idea. It seems to me that some people desperately need to make a point about politics by shaping a person into a given character useful for a political purpose. Just what fanatics do.

According to Valter Heuer ("The Troubled Years of Paul Keres, the Great Silent One”) "His 1942 Nazi newspaper interview was used for anti-Soviet propaganda". Please notice: that is not the same as saying he was a nazi, or even he made any propaganda. He took part of tournaments under the nazis and gave some interviews as he probably had no choice. Nobody can be condemned for not being a hero.

Now, on the other side, Paul Keres was no martyr either. Of course, after the war some called him "fascist", but that was just logical in a country that went under a brutal ordeal, with devastated families. The same would have happened in ANY country because that is what wars bring: paranoia, pain, a need for scapegoats. You don't need a Stalin for that. I brought the example of USA's Japanese origin citizens to illustrate the point. 

Stalin was a butcher, but Paul Keres was not a victim of stalinism, he was rather a victim of war's aftermath, and by far not a terrible case. Stalinism spare him the fate it certainly didn't spare others, probably because being such a talented player he could be used. Exactly like the nazis did.

Paul Keres compromised with both the nazis and Stalin, probably disgusted with both, but having only a narrow margin to do otherwise. Neither a hero, nor a martyr.

Now if your brain is fueled by bigotry, then of course you'll need to make him some extreme character: a Fascist Nazi Collaborator, or a Martyr Freedom Fighter. He was neither, just a chess player trying to survive in a difficult moment of history.

It's funny that extreme Anti-Communism is not so different from Stalinism, some people want to tell Keres what to do: "He should have told the Soviets to go @#$% themselves", "He should have told the Nazis to go @#$% themselves", pretty much the same. 

Writing "@#$% themselves" is pretty easy, you know.

If you guys cannot cope with complexity and grey areas, then you cannot cope with reality.

Jul-23-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: If anyone has a reference to where I could read the pieces published during the Nazi years, I'd be thankful.

<Rookiepawn> I'm not sure anymore what your original question was. I could read back through the thread, but I'll add a couple of quotes about Keres from Soltis' <Soviet Chess 1917-1991>:

<Here is what is known:

Keres was in Estonia when it was overrun by German troops in the opening weeks of the war. He played in tournaments organized under the authority of the Nazis in Munich, Prague, Poznan and Salzburg. In last 1944 he returned from Sweden to liberated Tallin and won a tournament of Baltic players with a score of 10 wins and one draw in Riga, followed by the Estonian (open) Championship, which had attracted Kotov, Alexander Tolush, Flohr and Andor Liliental. But he played in only minor events before the 1946 matches with the United States and Britain and no major tournament until 1947.

[...]

Historian Valter Heuer wrote that Keres was interrogated by the NKVD in September 1944. [...] Veinstein [(head of planning for the NKVD)] indicated that, in his view, Keres deserved a term in the gulag. [...] Also, an August 31, 1946, memo to the Central Committee raised questions about Keres should be included in any world championship [...] But a note to the memo said Nikolai Karotamm, the First Secretary of the Estonian Communist Party Central Committee, would vouch for Keres.

During the winter of 1944-45 Keres wrote to the Sports Committee but never got a reply [...]

Keres was deeply disappointed when he was not allow to go to Groningen. [...] Certainly Kere's skill showed no hint of decline in the immediate postwar years and he won the Georgia (open) Championship of 1946 by allowing only two draws in 19 games - one of them to candidate master Tigran Petrosian.

[...]

If there were any secret terms to Keres' eventual return to the good graces of Sports Committee it was his relinquishing of any right to challenge Alekhine on the basis of AVRO 1938.>

Soltis also describes how Keres help Botvinnik prepare for the 1946 WCC.

Jul-24-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Rookiepawn: If you guys cannot cope with complexity and grey areas, then you cannot cope with reality.>

Many people are not disposed to deal with reality.

Jul-24-14  MissScarlett: <<Now again, ever seen one of these interviews? >

Then your question is irrelevant.>

Why is it so difficult just to say 'no'?

<<A war started by the Soviet Union.>

You need history books.>

A war started by the Soviet Union.

<<An enemy that the Soviet Union was itself allied with.>

<Again, you need history books. You use a temporary, unstable agreement between two countries that shortly after devastated each other to call them "allies". The Allies against The Axis, basic history facts.>

Between their alliance and the breakdown of that alliance, what happened? Oh yes, the occupation and annexation of Estonia. The Soviet Union declared war on Keres, not the other way around.

<Of course, you reason so well and know so much about history that you are in a position to tell anybody what to do and not to do.>

Listen to it. He thinks I was advising Keres to commit suicide. The boy's a fool.

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