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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 (1947)
   USSR Championship (1950)
   USSR Championship (1951)
   Hastings 1957/58 (1957)
   Budapest (1952)
   Buenos Aires (1939)
   Gothenburg Interzonal (1955)
   Bled-Zagreb-Belgrade Candidates (1959)
   USSR Championship (1957)
   Curacao Candidates (1962)
   USSR Championship (1940)
   Zurich Candidates (1953)
   Kemeri (1937)
   Bled (1961)
   USSR Championship (1949)

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 [Zurich 1953] by suenteus po 147
   WCC Index [Candidates Tournament 1959] by Resignation Trap
   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, 59 years old) Estonia
PRONUNCIATION:
[what is this?]
Paul Keres 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. L Norvid vs Keres 0-125 1931 Tartu, Est jr chC12 French, McCutcheon
4. Keres vs Molder 1-024 1931 Tartu, Est jr chC33 King's Gambit Accepted
5. R Pruun vs Keres 0-124 1931 Tartu, Est jr chE60 King's Indian Defense
6. Keres vs I Raud 1-029 1931 Tartu, Est jr chB34 Sicilian, Accelerated Fianchetto
7. A Karu vs Keres 0-127 1931 corrD08 Queen's Gambit Declined, Albin Counter Gambit
8. Keres vs R Pruun 1-043 1931 Tartu, Est jr chB12 Caro-Kann Defense
9. Keres vs Beskov 1-043 1932 corrC50 Giuoco Piano
10. A Peet vs Keres  0-129 1932 Moisakula Moisak-ParnuD02 Queen's Pawn Game
11. Keres vs Tuul 1-033 1932 Tartu, Est jr chC33 King's Gambit Accepted
12. Keres vs M Villemson  ½-½47 1932 Deutsche Schz 133/A corrD30 Queen's Gambit Declined
13. R Pruun vs Keres 0-133 1932 Parnu, Est jr chD08 Queen's Gambit Declined, Albin Counter Gambit
14. Keres vs J Vilkins ½-½24 1932 corrC25 Vienna
15. Keres vs G Menke 1-062 1932 corresp.C33 King's Gambit Accepted
16. A Jurgens vs Keres 0-153 1932 Parnu, Est jr chD00 Queen's Pawn Game
17. Keres vs E Verbak  1-017 1932 corrC00 French Defense
18. Keres vs J Siitam 1-021 1932 Parnu, Est jr chC25 Vienna
19. Keres vs L Peterson 1-029 1932 Tartu, Est jr chB01 Scandinavian
20. Keres vs Faltweber 1-018 1932 corrA06 Reti Opening
21. Keres vs A Remmelgas  ½-½43 1932 Parnu, Est jr chD30 Queen's Gambit Declined
22. A Holm vs Keres 0-143 1932 Parnu, Est jr chC00 French Defense
23. A Remmelgas vs Keres  0-155 1932 Tartu, Est jr chA46 Queen's Pawn Game
24. Von Feilitzsch vs Keres 0-132 1932 corr ,/33C22 Center Game
25. L Peterson vs Keres 0-139 1932 Parnu, Est jr chD02 Queen's Pawn Game
 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
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Oct-30-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Absentee: <HeMateMe: I'm pretty sure that in everyday life when Mort encounters someone of Jewish heritage who is proud of the state of Israel, Mort immediately dislikes such person(s).>

How weird to dislike someone who supports something you oppose!

Oct-30-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: Thank you <nimh> for those links.

If you're knowledgeable, and motivated, you could create a similar page for Estonian names, I think even anonymously.

Just a thought. Thanks again.

Oct-30-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  nimh: <If you're knowledgeable, and motivated, you could create a similar page for Estonian names, I think even anonymously.>

No, thanks, I don't feel like doing that :)

Nov-01-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: <nimh> First I would like to object to your use of the term <misinformation> regarding my posts. It implies I am deliberately trying to lie, which I am not. I am giving my opinions on the subject of Keres' ethnicity.

Good write up on Keres; it would clarify some things and I appreciate it. I have some questions that you might wish to further explain.

Narva is essentially a predominantly ethnic Russian town/city in Estonia. How could Keres spend his childhood there without knowing Russian, as the article implies? As a child he would hear Russian spoken in the streets and by his playmates.

Second, where does his middlename Petrov(ich) come from? Keres was born in the Russian Empire, when Estonia was still in effect a province of Russia. Even if the Baltic peoples do not traditionally use patronyms, AFAIK many people born in the Russian Empire were given patronyms. (Not sure of this; did the Russian Empire require it of babies when their parents registered a birth or baptism?) In any case, Petrov sounds Russian not Estonian, and implies he had some Russian ancestry.

Nov-01-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Caissanist: <visayanbraindoctor>: Do you know if Narva was ethnic Russian before WWII? According to the Wikipedia entry the city was almost entirely destroyed during the war, and the city's former inhabitants were not allowed to return, so it would not be surprising if the demographics changed drastically.
Nov-01-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  nimh: <visayan> of course, you're right, I'm sorry. But I still feel you could have at least attempted to do some research instead of making speculations. It was frustrating to read your posts.

<Narva is essentially a predominantly ethnic Russian town/city in Estonia. How could Keres spend his childhood there without knowing Russian, as the article implies? As a child he would hear Russian spoken in the streets and by his playmates.>

Before the soviet era Narva wasn't predominantly Russian. Being merely 6 years old at the time of moving to Pärnu, he probably had not enough time to pick up Russian language.

<Second, where does his middlename Petrov(ich) come from? Keres was born in the Russian Empire, when Estonia was still in effect a province of Russia. >

It wasn't his middle name, it's an east slavic patronym forced on him. Estonians simply do not use it.

Petrovich <- Petr <- Peeter
The latter was his father's name.

Here's a good read on the subject:

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

Nov-08-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: <Caissanist, nimh> I am not 100% certain that Narva was a predominantly ethnic Russian town before WW2. Barring the presence of ethnic population surveys before WW2, IMO there is probably no way we can now definitively determine if this is true or not. However, it stands to reason that it was dominated by Russian speakers then as now. If one look at a map, Narva juts out like some kind of alley into Russia proper. Given that Estonia had already been part of the Russian Empire for more than 200 hundred years (and I do know for a fact that the Russian Empire implemented an oppressive 'Russian language only' government policy in the 1800s following France's post French Revolution example) at the time of Keres' birth, and given the above location of Narva, IMO there would have been good chances that Narva was already predominantly Russian speaking even before WW2. At the very least, most governmental bodies and schools would have used some Russian even up to the 1920s.

As I have said, I am not sure. Perhaps you know of people still alive that resided in Narva in the 1920s that can help clear up this issue.

<Being merely 6 years old at the time of moving to Pärnu, he probably had not enough time to pick up Russian language.> But this is the usual time that kids begin to play with neighboring kids in the streets (at least in my culture). This is also the time when kids pick up languages in a naturally rapid manner. If Keres had a normal childhood interacting with other children in his vicinity and at least some of them spoke Russian, he probably would have learned Russian pretty fast.

It occurs to me that being a border town, both ethnic Russians and Estonians in Narva might have spoken Russian with a a slight Estonian accent and similarly both ethnic Estonians and Russians in Narva might have spoken Estonian with a slight Russian accent. And almost all of the natives would probably be bilingual in both. Perhaps this can explain Keres' Estonian accent when speaking Russian?

Nov-09-14  Olavi: In the 1800´s, most Estonians, in the cities at least, in their childhood learned also Russian, German and possibly some Finnish, (which is closely related to Estonian). I'd imagine Keres did too, even if he lived in Pärnu, a more provincial little city. The small nation may in fact hold some sort of a record as far as multilingualism goes, well, not anymore.
Nov-09-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  nimh: <IMO there would have been good chances that Narva was already predominantly Russian speaking even before WW2. >

Not true, population of Narva through history since 1897 sensus is well documented and there should be no ambiguity. he rest is just a mere speculation.

<If Keres had a normal childhood interacting with other children in his vicinity and at least some of them spoke Russian, he probably would have learned Russian pretty fast.>

A moot point, as we know Keres did not speak Russian well until soviet period.

<It occurs to me that being a border town, both ethnic Russians and Estonians in Narva might have spoken Russian with a a slight Estonian accent and similarly both ethnic Estonians and Russians in Narva might have spoken Estonian with a slight Russian accent. And almost all of the natives would probably be bilingual in both.>

This is a weird statement, where did you even get that idea?

<Perhaps this can explain Keres' Estonian accent when speaking Russian?>

Usually when people learn a new language while being an adult, they still have the accent of mother tongue, don't they?

Nov-15-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: <Olavi: In the 1800´s, most Estonians, in the cities at least, in their childhood learned also Russian, German and possibly some Finnish, (which is closely related to Estonian). I'd imagine Keres> I agree. The Russian Empire forced everyone who went to schools and who tried to attain government posts to learn Russian with its Russian only language government policy. In fact we see this happening even today especially in unitarian nation-states that adhere to a one-nation one-language state policy.

<nimh> See my post to <Olavi>. It's impossible not to get an education in such states or even get into the government and not learn the official state language.

<Not true, population of Narva through history since 1897 sensus is well documented and there should be no ambiguity. he rest is just a mere speculation.> Could you be more specific? For the reason I stated above, I doubt this. Every educated man and woman in the Russian Empire, including in Estonia must have learned Russian at school or in he government.

<A moot point, as we know Keres did not speak Russian well until soviet period.> Again I doubt this for the reasons above. Rather I would tend to think that Estonian nationalistic literature (as I believe what some of your articles are) would naturally tend to de-emphasize Russian and emphasize Estonian. If I were an Estonian and writing from a nationalistic perspective, I would.

<This is a weird statement, where did you even get that idea?> This is a well-known phenomenon. In many linguistic border areas, languages tend to 'mix'. There are areas in my country, which has almost 160 languages, where it happens. And I am quite aware of it since I have written grammar books for three of these languages. In literature, I have read that a similar thing can be encountered in some border areas in Europe, where I presume you are living.

<Usually when people learn a new language while being an adult, they still have the accent of mother tongue, don't they?> Not unless they learned the new language as a kid. It's entirely possible that an adult person can speak two or more languages perfectly, even correct idiomatically and accent-wise, if he or she learned all of them as a child.

Nov-15-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  nimh: Is it really worth to argue with this user? I think I just give up. He may believe whatever he wants.
Nov-15-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: <nimh> Everyone has misconceptions. I think even you in this case. Now before getting offended, let me say that the fact that you do not seem to be aware of the basic existence of border dialects is quite telling to me. I am going to voluntarily offer a piece of info (which of course you can always arbitrarily dismiss as nonsense same as what you have just essentially done to all my posts). One (actually two) of the languages for which I made a grammar book does not have a standard literature. That means I had to do some research; in this case actually talking to people who use various dialects of the same language in order to come up with a kind of standard vocabulary for use in the book. I had already known of the existence of border dialects from my readings, but I quickly discovered that I had to choose words from two border dialects- which ones to use in the grammar book. Everything that I have posted above about languages AFAIK is true. (Personally I can speak 6 of our local languages, and am familiar with many of their dialects and the gradings in between, especially in border areas, and how the official government promotion and use of only one forces everyone to learn it.) I would agree with you in that I am giving up this discussion, as this is not the proper forum for it, and I dislike talking about these things here.

Regarding Keres' languages, I still believe (see Olavi's post above) that apart from his native Estonian he, and every educated Estonian then, knew Russian (or at the very least he knew a Russian border dialect with all its peculiar accent and vocabulary, and even more probably standard Russian which AFAIK is based on old church Slavonic and Pushkin's works and which was and is the Russian taught and used by the state) even as a child. While true that for Keres at the age of two or three, the Russian Empire had ceased to exist, state institutions, schools, and mass media still tend to carry over the use of the previous state language for a few more years at the least and for decades at the most; aside from the fact that he spent his formative years in a border area beside an ethnic people who at that time were in social majority over his, which almost always puts social pressure on adjacent minority peoples to learn the language in social majority.

Nov-15-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  nimh: Do you have any evidence or concrete facts that support the notion that Keres spoke Russian well before 1940?

In any case it's hard to understand why you're so hung up on Keres ability to speak Russian.

Nov-15-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: <nimh> <Do you have any evidence or concrete facts that support the notion that Keres spoke Russian well before 1940?> Do you have evidence that he did not? It's as though you have not read a single thing that I have posted above.

I am not hung up on <Keres ability to speak Russian>. I was discussing things with other kibitzers in a normal manner about Keres' ethnicity and you suddenly barged in, insinuating I was lying. I was not offended by your attempted insult; but since you seem to be bent on continuing in a belligerent tone (in spite of your apology above), I will be more frank.

I do appreciate your correction of my notion that a Russian sounding middle name does not necessarily mean Russian ancestry. I did not know that.

On the other hand, in your posts you gave wrong ideas about the topic of languages. I feel I have an obligation to correct this. I have done so as euphemistically as I can, in order to try to not offend you but at the same time pointing out that you are wrong. A post or two of yours above imply that you are an expert on languages. From your same posts, I can see that you are not, or if you are for some reason you are deliberately trying to give false impressions. It's clear from above that you don't even know of the existence of border dialects, the ability of children to learn multiple languages fluently, and the Russian Empire's Russification program through the forcible use of Russian (or if you do for some reason you are pretending that you do not). I do not know for sure of the truth of my next statement, but your posts may indicate that originally you did not even know that Estonia was part of the Russian Empire for more than 200 years, for you to imply that educated Estonians then would not know Russian; and that the Russian influence on Estonia occurred only after WW2 under the Soviet Union.

Nov-15-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <nimh> re <Keres ability to speak Russian>

I'd like to point at Keres vs Botvinnik, 1948 (if I recall correctly it has been from a German chessbase report (on Unzicker, Keres or the 1948 tournament) that I've translated).

Nov-15-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  nimh: <Do you have evidence that he did not? It's as though you have not read a single thing that I have posted above.>

Yes, of course. I posted three independent sources a while ago.

I repost them for you.

<Here is a 1986 documentary titled "Ainult teine. Paul Keres" ("Only second. Paul Keres") on Keres' life and career on the archive site of Estonian National Broadcasting Company.

https://arhiiv.err.ee/vaata/ainult-...

During 35:17-35:33 Botvinnik says the following on Keres' ability to speak Russian:

'He started to speak Russian very well
'even learnt all the contemporary jargon
'although he spoke with a small Estonian accent.
'He indeed became a big friend of us.

The fact Keres' command of the language was not native is also documented on the chessgames.com site. <whiteshark: Wolfgang Unzicker was very impressed by Keres ("a chess genius, very cultured and adorable") and they also have been good friends. Unzicker who spoke Russian fluently said that Keres spoke German substantial better than Russian. He could of course communicate in Russian very well, but all his lifelong not fully. Sometimes he used cusses (maternije slowa) without realising it.

Someday Keres narrated the following episode about this game:

<Botwinnik offered a draw after move five, which he didn't accept. Than after four more moves Botwinnik offered again draw. Keres refused, using a 'strong Russian term'. The surrounding people saw Botwinnik blushing like a peony.>

It could maybe that it was a bit immodest, Keres said to Unzicker in his typical way.

Many years later Unzicker told this story Vaganjan, quoting Keres's expression, when Rafael had screams of laughter and reported it immediately to Khalifman, who also smirked upon it.

I wonder which <maternije slowa> Keres used. Maybe someone could ask Vaganjan or Khalifman sometime or other.>

In 2008, Genna Sosonko pubished an article in "Sirp" ("Sickle"), an Estonian culture newspaper:

http://www.sirp.ee/s1-artiklid/c9-s...

unfortunately, I don't know an English version, but the relevant passage in Estonian is

<Sina peal oli ta väga väheste maletajatega: , Smõslovi, Euwega. 1940. aasta Nõukogude Liidu maletšempionaadil Moskvas Keres ei rääkinud veel vene keelt ning tema saksakeelseid partiikommentaare vahendas tõlk. Pärast sõda omandas ta kiiresti vene keele, kuid selgeks saada ei tulnud ainult keel, vaid ka kaksipidimõistmised, kahtlustamised ja muud, mida lääne inimesel Nõukogude Liidus alati raske mõista oli. Keres oli sattunud uue koordinaatide süsteemiga ühiskonda, mille väärtused erinesid sootumasti Paul Kerese elu eelmisel perioodil kogetust.>

He was in familiar terms with very few chess players: Ståhlberg, Smyslov, Euwe. In the Chess Championship of USSR in 1940 Keres did not yet speak Russian, and his game commentaries in German had to be translated. After the war he rapidly achieved a command of Russian, but what he had to learn was not just a language, but also ambivalent understandings, suspictions and other things that Western people had difficult to understand in Soviet Union. Keres had gotten in a society that had a new coordinate system whose values were quite different from what Keres experienced in the previous period of his life.>

I don't think it'll make any sense if you're going to argue that Botvinnik, Unzocker and Sosonko were Estonian nationalists or their accounts were fabricated by them.

Nov-15-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  nimh: <whiteshark> thanks, I already was aware of your post. :)
Nov-15-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  nimh: BTW, in the pre-war Estonia, Russian was not a compulsory subject in schools. According to 1922 and 1934 census, Russian population was in both occassions merely 8.2%. Pärnu, where he spent his childood and youth, is more than 200 km away from the border.

Easy and logical explanation why Keres' command of Russian was not good. He did not need to use it.

Nov-16-14  MissScarlett: Keres must be turning in his grave:

< San Marino secured their first point in European Championship qualifying history as they drew with Estonia.

The result ended a 61-game losing run on a notable night for Europe's football minnows as Liechtenstein edged to a 1-0 victory in Moldova.>

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/footba...

The Baltic nations are notably bad at football.

Nov-16-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: <nimh> Thanks for being more polite this time. So I shall continue discussing.

Keres according to the accounts above spent his first 5 or 6 years in Narva, not in Parnu. This is precisely the time children learn to speak. I already mentioned this, so I see no point in you emphasizing Parnu again and again. Keres learned to speak human languages in Narva, not in Parnu.

Yes I have read those posts, and they do document that Keres spoke Russian with some Estonian mixed in accent-wise and idiomatically. That does not exclude the possibility that he learned Russian as a child in Narva. As I have posted above, border areas often have peculiar dialects. Learning to speak as a child in a border area, he would be bilingual in both Estonian and Russian (unless he lead a super cloistered life), but it's quite possible he learned a version (or dialect) of Russian that has some Estonian elements.

If you were aware of this possibility in border areas, then you would see that the narratives above of Botvinnik, et al, are not incompatible with Keres learning Russian as a child. I see such things happen all the time in dialect border areas in my own setting; and I have read that the same thing happens in some European border areas too.

Also remember that Estonia as an independent polity never existed until after WW1. It was always a province of Germans, Swedes, and Russians. At any time of its recent history, educated Estonians must have known how to speak German, Swedish, and Russian, depending on who their colonial masters were at the moment. Let me point out again that Estonia was an integral part of the Russian Empire for more than two hundred years, a polity that implemented a Russification program beginning in the 19th century. That essentially means that the Russian government aimed to make everyone in its territory speak Russian. It's impossible in such as state to live an educated life, get into government positions, or read and listen to mass media (naturally there were newspapers even then and radio as well by the 1910s, although it may not have yet been used in the Russian Empire) without learning to speak the state language. There is no census for people who knew Russian then AFAIK but if the Russian Empire follows the usual historical pattern, every educated Estonian must have known how to speak Russian, whether or not they had Estonian accents and idioms. I see no reason at all why Keres should be an exception.

Nov-17-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  nimh: <Thanks for being more polite this time. >

So, I was impolite? I may have been abrasive, but that was for reason.

It's hard to deal with people who have little regard for facts and prefer assumptions and prejudices, and distort of selectively pick facts to support their views.

I have seen your posts long enough on this site.

<I see no point in you emphasizing Parnu again and again. Keres learned to speak human languages in Narva, not in Parnu.>

The point being that in Pärnu, a town where there were almost no russians, Keres had no chance of practising the language.

We are not talking about human languages in general, but Keres' knowledge of Russian.

The fact that you speculated Keres might have had a Russian accent in his mother tongue seemed peculiar to me. Even if Narva had 90% of russians, Keres' both parents were pure estonians and he'd easily kept his mother tongue perfect.

<That does not exclude the possibility that he learned Russian as a child in Narva.>'

I never intended to. Again you make assumptions, as is customary with you.

<Learning to speak as a child in a border area, he would be bilingual in both Estonian and Russian >

Looks like he had not a sufficient exposure.

<If you were aware of this possibility in border areas, then you would see that the narratives above of Botvinnik, et al, are not incompatible with Keres learning Russian as a child. >

So you think they all were lying? Liars Botvinnik, Sosonko and Unzicker?!

As a matter of fact, and especially in the light of facts, theories about language situations on border areas are irrelevant. I do no know about your homeland, but I think you make a serious mistake by uncritically applying a situation from one context to another one.

What might have been true for your homeland, might not necessarily be true for Estonia. Did you even think about that?

Your last paragraph reeks of patronizing. You probably were not aware of this, but history is one of my interests, and I think I know more about that than you. Your attempts to lecture me about the subject is funny.

And totally irrelevant too. Keres was 2 when Estonia gained independence in 24th of February 1918.

Nov-19-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: <nimh> There isn't a single point from your rant above that I haven't answered, sometimes two times, in my previous posts. I have seen this kind of behavior from you way back in Bridgeburner's forum. I have decided to go back to my original decision to stop discussing things with you as it's becoming counterproductive.
Nov-19-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  nimh: The thing is that your answers and claims were largely incorrect.

You know nothing about the subject, but pretending you know everything.

Nov-19-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: I really do admire all the work in research in these matters you lads do. I know only too well how balls-aching it can be.

But why the fascination in what language Keres spoke or knew.

Chess is international. Following an apeal on The Corner I have boxes of foreign mags from all over the world. I can play over the games with ease.

Don't have a Chinese mag. Maybe The Corner was banned there! I think they use symbolic algebraic.

Does it really matter in the great scheme of things what language(s) Keres spoke?

(Anybody got a Chinese magazine? I wonder if Keres spoke Manderin?)

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