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Keres 
 
Paul Keres
Number of games in database: 2,051
Years covered: 1929 to 1975
Overall record: +1025 -208 =811 (70.0%)*
   * 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 (96) 
    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 (229) 
    C72 C92 C79 C99 C77
 Nimzo Indian (125) 
    E32 E43 E41 E45 E20
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (107) 
    C92 C99 C97 C96 C91
 Queen's Pawn Game (83) 
    A46 E00 D02 E10 A40
 Queen's Indian (66) 
    E15 E19 E12 E17 E14
 English, 1 c4 e5 (41) 
    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 Alekhine, 1937 1-0
   Keres vs Verbac, 1933 1-0
   Keres vs W Winter, 1935 1-0
   A Karu vs Keres, 1931 0-1
   Keres vs Spassky, 1955 1-0
   Hort vs Keres, 1961 0-1
   Fine vs Keres, 1938 0-1

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

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   USSR Championship (1947)
   USSR Championship (1951)
   USSR Championship (1950)
   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)
   USSR Championship (1955)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Match Keres! by amadeus
   Keres' Whirligigs by chocobonbon
   Challenger of 48 Keres_125 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
   Favorite Games of Paul Keres by Olanovich
   A few Keres games by Catfriend
   WCC Index [Zurich 1953] by suenteus po 147
   WCC Index [Candidates Tournament 1959] by Resignation Trap

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 Narva, 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). Keres 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 Keres would ever have to play for the world title--he finished second five times in the Candidates' tournaments over the next fifteen years, but never won.

He scored 13/14 at the 11th Olympiad in Amsterdam 1954 (1) and in 1963 he won at Los Angeles http://www.worldchesslinks.net/eziq... (sharing the first place with Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian). Keres suffered a fatal heart attack in Helsinki 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 nine: 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 2,051  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. I Raud vs Keres  ½-½54 1929 Parnu, Parnu-ViljandiE10 Queen's Pawn Game
2. Keres vs I Raud 0-140 1929 Parnu, Parnu-ViljandiC54 Giuoco Piano
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. A Karu vs Keres 0-127 1931 corrD08 Queen's Gambit Declined, Albin Counter Gambit
6. L Norvid vs Keres 0-125 1931 Tartu, Est jr chC12 French, McCutcheon
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 E Verbak  1-017 1932 corrC00 French Defense
10. L Peterson vs Keres 0-139 1932 Parnu, Est jr chD02 Queen's Pawn Game
11. Keres vs A Peet 1-019 1932 Moisakula Moisak-ParnuC25 Vienna
12. Von Feilitzsch vs Keres 0-132 1932 corr ,/33C22 Center Game
13. E Kiiver vs Keres 0-158 1932 Tartu, Est jr chE20 Nimzo-Indian
14. Keres vs A Abel 1-061 1932 Parnu, Est jr chB01 Scandinavian
15. A Peet vs Keres  0-129 1932 Moisakula Moisak-ParnuD02 Queen's Pawn Game
16. Keres vs Tuul 1-033 1932 Tartu, Est jr chC33 King's Gambit Accepted
17. R Pruun vs Keres 0-133 1932 Parnu, Est jr chD08 Queen's Gambit Declined, Albin Counter Gambit
18. Keres vs Beskov 1-043 1932 corrC50 Giuoco Piano
19. Keres vs M Villemson  ½-½47 1932 Deutsche Schz 133/A corrD30 Queen's Gambit Declined
20. Keres vs G Menke 1-062 1932 corresp.C33 King's Gambit Accepted
21. A Jurgens vs Keres 0-153 1932 Parnu, Est jr chD00 Queen's Pawn Game
22. Keres vs J Vilkins ½-½24 1932 corrC25 Vienna
23. Keres vs J Siitam 1-021 1932 Parnu, Est jr chC25 Vienna
24. Keres vs L Peterson 1-029 1932 Tartu, Est jr chB01 Scandinavian
25. Keres vs A Remmelgas  ½-½43 1932 Parnu, Est jr chD30 Queen's Gambit Declined
 page 1 of 83; games 1-25 of 2,051  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 39 OF 39 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Nov-26-14  Petrosianic: Hmmm, 9/18. Chessmetrics gives it a 2634 performance, compared to 2645 for Rubinstein. But do we know for sure that Schlechter was the challenger that early? It looks like he played another tournament between that and the championship match.
Nov-26-14  Olavi: <But do we know for sure that Schlechter was the challenger that early?>

The match was agreed on very early. I'll just mention that for instance in five issues of New in Chess 1995 http://www.newinchess.com/Archives/... the matter was discussed in length. But of course e.g. Kasparov wrote so in OMGP, without source.

Nov-26-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: <transpose: Nearly 40 years after his death, and there are heated exchanges over when exactly Keres learned to speak Russian. Amazing.>

It's not too complicated. In all former colonies, the upper class and intelligentsia were and are always able to speak the language of their former colonial masters for a few more years, decades, or even hundreds of years after the colony has seceded (derogatory term) or gained independence (the term that I would rather use). Estonia and the other Baltic Republics had intelligentsia that were able to speak Geman even hundreds of years after thery were transferred to Sweden and to Russia. That may sound peculiar but as <Strelets> points out, it could happen. Even in my locality, the intelligentsia were fluent Spanish speakers even two or three generations after we got transferred to the USA. Until now, every educated person here knows how to speak English, the language of our latest colonial master.

It's the same everywhere in the world AFAIK. Why would Estonia be any different? That's why Keres must have known how to speak German and Russian, this apart from the fact that he grew up in his formative childhood years in a border area.

<Strelets: the reign of Alexander III (1881-1894), who, inspired by the vehement Russian nationalism of his adviser Konstantin Pobedonostsev, intensified Russification throughout the Empire>

Thank you for giving the details. This Russification program has had huge effects on the cultural attitudes of the ethnic peoples of the old Russian Empire, and consequences that I believe exert influence until today.

Nov-26-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: Regarding the Almost World Champions, rating the first among them for me has always been a toss-up between Keres and Korchnoi. Unlike the other Almost World Champions, in both of their cases they had real possibilities of capturing the Title for a long long time, almost three decades. At any moment in 30 years, a window may have opened a crack (it did for Korchnoi in 1974, 1978, and 1981, and for Keres in 1948), and they could have gotten in. They were always on the the brink of the Title. I believe were just unlucky.

Euwe was lucky enough to have been given a Title shot in 1935. Same can be said of Kramnik in 2000. (Notwithstanding, it was not luck that drove them to prepare and fight it out tooth and nail in their WC matches once given the opportunity.) They nailed it.

Smyslov and Tal were given opportunities (they won their chance fairly in a Candidates tournament). They nailed it.

Keres and Korchnoi were the other unnailed end of the lucky dice roll.

I regard these two with the same awe and respect accrued to the ones that actually won a Title match.

Between the two, I favor Keres slightly more, for the reasons given above.

Nov-26-14  Petrosianic: <I believe were just unlucky.>

Unlucky in the sense of unlucky in their games, or unlucky in the fact that somebody a little better was always around?

For example, I consider Fischer to be a little unlucky in coming right before Karpov and Kasparov. With the dominance he showed, compared to the primus inter pares champions that had reigned since the war, Fischer could reasonably expect to be considered far and away the best player in history for decades to come. Instead, two players that were in the same ballpark followed right on his heels. That's bad luck.

Nov-26-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: <Petrosianic: <I believe were just unlucky.>

Unlucky in the sense of unlucky in their games, or unlucky in the fact that somebody a little better was always around?>

A little bit of both in case of Keres. More of the latter for Kochnoi.

In the mid to late 1960s, Petrosian and Spassky were still a bit better than Korchnoi. By the time Korchnoi played better than them, Karpov had arrived on the scene.

For Keres, a little more luck in his games, and he could have been the Challenger instead of Smyslov, or Tal, or Petrosian. By that time, Botvinnik I believe was on a steady decline, notwithstanding intermittent strong performances. IMO Keres had a more than even chance of beating in a World Championship match the same Botvinnik that Smyslov, Tal, and Petrosian beat. At this time these three players were not significantly better than Keres. In particular, as you previously said, and I agree with it, Keres probably would have beaten Tal and I would give him even chances with Smyslov and Petrosian in match play.

Keres was unlucky also in the same general context as Korchnoi. There was always someone active whose peak rose above his during the 3 decades of his long high plateau. At the start of his career, I don't think he would have much chances against Alekhine, unless the latter treated him as over confidently as he did Euwe. I admire Keres obviously but I would have to say that AAA was better than him in their kind of attacking game genre. Although he occasionally came out ahead of AAA, the general rule was that if they played in the same tournament, AAA tied or placed ahead of Keres and either drew or beat him in their games.

During the late 1940s, Botvinnik was playing more strongly than Keres. IMO Botvinik would have beaten him too. However, although it might sound peculiar, I don't think that Botvinnik was significantly better than Keres in the 1930s and early 1940s. (The only tournament wherein Botvinnik placed significantly ahead of Keres was the 1941 Soviet tournament, and I have doubts about the motivation of the other players here, considering the tournament was organized at the behest of Botvinnik in order to legitimize his challenge to AAA. This was one tournament where external pressure on the other players may have been exerted. Perhaps in the 1948 WC Tournament as well but I believe this was more unlikely. In AVRO 1938 and in the 1940 Soviet Championship Keres placed ahead of Botvinnik, in spite of the shock that he must have felt at Estonia just getting annexed by the SU.) Then Botvinnik peaked in the late 1940s, and he was clearly above Keres. Afterward, in the 1950s, Botvinnik began his steady decline. I am almost sure Keres would have beaten him in a match in the late 1950s and early 60s.

Again unluckily, this was the era when Smyslov, Tal, and Petrosian attained their high peaks.

Dec-15-14  Lovuschka: The wife (widow) of Paul Keres, Maria Konstantsia Rives, has died recently. (24.iv.1917-31.x.2014)

They had three children together, according to the geni.com website. At an inquiry to the officials in Tallinn, I was responded with the information she died there.

<Hello,

Yes, we can confirm that Maria Keres (born on 24.04.1917) died 31.10.2014 in Tallinn. Best Regards,

Darja Jemeljanova
AS Andmevara>

Dec-16-14  domradave: I have Fine's Basic Chess Endings and Keres' Practical Chess Endings and much prefer Keres. It is simpler and there are less variations. So I will go through Keres first and Fine second.
Dec-16-14  SimonWebbsTiger: whilst Fine's endgame was a standard book in its time, it is showing its age. Mistakes in analysis, discoveries in endgame theory in the past half Century, the advent of tablebase/computer analysis of simple positions.

In many respects "Fundamental Chess Endings" by Karsten Mueller and Frank Lamprecht has surpassed it as the one volume encyclopedia cum textbook.

But certainly a good approach to work though Keres and then move on to something more technical. As Paul mentions there are numerous details which were left out and which can be found in more specialist books.

Dec-29-14  Gottschalk: [Event "?"]
[Site "USSR"]
[Date "1951.??.??"]
[White "Keres,Paul"]
[Black "Taimanov,Mark"]
[Round "17"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A15"]

1. c4 Nf6 2. Nf3 e6 3. Nc3 d5 4. e3 Be7 5. b3 O-O 6. Bb2 b6 7. d4 Bb7 8. Bd3 dxc4 9. bxc4 c5 10. O-O cxd4 11. exd4 Nc6 12. Qe2 Re8 13. Rfd1 Rc8 14. Rac1 Qd6 15. Bb1 Qf4 16. d5 exd5 17. cxd5 Nb8 18. Rd4 Qd6 19. Rcd1 Bf8 20. Ne4 Nxe4 21. Rxe4 Rxe4 22. Qxe4 Qh6 23. Ng5 Bd6 24. h4 Nd7 25. Qf5 Nf6 26. Bxf6 gxf6 27. Nxf7 Qc1 28. Qxh7+ Kf8 29. Nxd6 Qxd1+ 30. Kh2 Qxd5 31. Nxb7 Qe5+ 32. g3 Rc7 33. Qh8+ Kf7 34. h5 Rxb7 35. Qh7+ Ke6 36. Qxb7 Qxh5+ 37. Kg2 1-0

Jan-04-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <Later on in the 1960s, he played a newspaper game against grandmaster Paul Keres. Following a system similar to that adopted in the Kasparov versus The World match, readers would vote on moves and send them into the Chronicle. Koltanowski would select the move actually played, and would award points and prizes to his readers for their selections. However, after about only 25 moves, Keres abruptly stopped the game and declared himself the winner by adjudication. Koltanowski disagreed and showed analysis which seemed to give him at least an even game. Keres, an Estonian, may have been ordered by his Soviet handlers to stop playing.>

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

Didn't know about this, nor had Taylor Kingston:

http://www.chessbanter.com/rec-game...

Turns out the Donaldson score was correct, and the Keres letters shown here (http://www.chessdryad.com/articles/...) suggest it wasn't his idea to curtail the game, let alone the KGB's.

The 'bad innovation' 9...Qa5 had actually occurred a few months earlier in R Byrne vs Benko, 1962. The bigger problem was 10...d4.

Jan-07-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  Martin Riggs: Happy B'Day Mr. Keres & thank you for the immortal games & memories. :]
Jan-07-15  thegoodanarchist: <Petrosianic: ...

For example, I consider Fischer to be a little unlucky in coming right before Karpov and Kasparov. With the dominance he showed, compared to the primus inter pares champions that had reigned since the war, Fischer could reasonably expect to be considered far and away the best player in history for decades to come. Instead, two players that were in the same ballpark followed right on his heels. That's bad luck>

That is quite an interesting assessment of Fischer's bad luck! You make no mention at all of the fact that he became a paranoid whacko. I think that should be considered part of his unluckiness as well.

Or one could counter my argument and say that Fischer was lucky, in that his mind went south on him <after> winning the world championship. Poor Rubinstein! Fischer's arc in life was 1. Become great at chess. 2. Win WC. 3. Become a kook. Rubinstein's arc jumped right from 1 to 3, skipping 2 altogether.

Jan-07-15  thegoodanarchist: <domradave: I have Fine's Basic Chess Endings and Keres' Practical Chess Endings and much prefer Keres. It is simpler and there are less variations. So I will go through Keres first and Fine second.>

Don't bother with Fine's. I used it for years as my endgame manual, until Muller and Lamprecht's "Fundamental Chess Endings" was published.

It is so far above Fine's work, in no small part due to their access to powerful chess engines (as well as the advancement in general in chess knowledge since Fine), that I donated Fine's book to the public library.

Why not? I might meet those library-educated players in a tournament and I want the advantage :)

May-03-15  TheFocus: <Chess is a test of wills> - Paul Keres.
May-08-15  drnooo: Korchnoi is on record (at least according to one book) that Keres would likely have become
the World Champion had he escaped to the
west during the war. With his wife, that is.
He always suffered from high blood pressure which could hardly have served him much during the ultra critical games in the paranoid sweat rooms of the Soviet Union.
It would be interesting history indeed to have seen Keres OUTSIDE the borders of Russia, playing in the relative calm of the West. There he would have bloomed and at his peak he might well have done just what Korchnoi said.
May-09-15  TheFocus: <A player can sometimes afford the luxury of an inaccurate move, or even a definite error, in the opening or middle game without necessarily obtaining a lost position. In the endgame ... an error can be decisive, and we are rarely presented with a second chance> - Paul Keres.
May-09-15  TheFocus: <Even the best grandmasters in the world have had to work hard to acquire the technique of Rook endings> - Paul Keres.
May-09-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  Karposian: <TheFocus> That's a good quote from Keres concerning Rook endings.

Earlier it seemed to me that Carlsen struggled somewhat with Rook endings. But I suspect that he has worked hard on getting better in such endings, and now he seems to handle them much better.

Carlsen was already at a very young age a great endgame player, but Rook endings were an exception. Yeah, I think Keres was onto something!

May-10-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: <Even the best grandmasters in the world have had to work hard to acquire the technique of Rook endings> - Paul Keres.

Good quote. Rook endgames are the most common endgames, and are in a class by themselves in difficulty.

I still think that for a beginner, the most practical way to begin studying rook endgames is by going through Capablanca's rook endgames and trying to figure out how he positionally and tactically handled them, as he almost always somehow managed to treat them in the most maximal of ways.

May-10-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: <A player can sometimes afford the luxury of an inaccurate move, or even a definite error, in the opening or middle game without necessarily obtaining a lost position. In the endgame ... an error can be decisive, and we are rarely presented with a second chance> - Paul Keres.

A very constructive quote from Keres, one that every competitive chess player should keep in mind.

Now that we have the internet, we can see many games as they progress along in real time, and we can clearly see how so many games are won or lost as precisely described by Keres above. Among competitors of the same level, these tiny but irrevocable endgame errors often decided the final placings in the tournament table. IMO even more so than surprise opening novelties.

May-12-15  TheFocus: <The older I grow, the more I value pawns> - Paul Keres.
May-15-15  TheFocus: <However hopeless the situation appears to be there yet always exists the possibility of putting up a stubborn resistance> - Paul Keres.
May-15-15  TheFocus: <An innovation need not be especially ingenious, but it must be well worked out> - Paul Keres.
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