< Earlier Kibitzing · PAGE 27 OF 33 ·
|May-23-11|| ||drnooo: Hardly maligning Fischer fab, hardly. Nobody doubts his quality as a player. Keres, well, the conventional wisdom for him is, yeah, ole Paul he just was not quite good enough. It's stupid. I am even going on out a limb here and saying he was the best player in the forties and into the mid to late fifties, period, with the possible exception of Bronstein, another that the KGB hung up to dry. And going out further and saying that he may well have even belonged in the top five of all time. Look at whom he was beating. When he and Fischer tumbled he was just starting on his way down, and Fischer on his way up, so it was about equal. Even giving Fischer a slight nod there, by then, 62 I suspect Fischer in a match would have come out ahead, a ten, twelve game series. By then Keres was just kind of plodding along, which given his high percentages of wins is rather amazing in itself, showing his immense talent, hardly desire.
simply put Keres, totally sane, great of character, and yes, noble.
Fischer nuts, sadly so, and for many many years his nuttiness not affecting his game at all, even helping it, and finally unhinging him.|
both, from different sources, living under stress. with Keres, we will never know how much
with Fischer we know too much, only too well.
|May-27-11|| ||parisattack: <drnooo:>
I very much enjoyed your thoughts and tribute to Paul Keres; thanks for taking the time to put them to paper, sharing.
I might add only two rather pedestrian thoughts on the man: His annotations are among the best and most useful I have ever read. His playing style is one which even a patzer might learn much by attempting to emulate - as opposed to the opaque style of a Kasparov or the deceptively simple style of a Capablanca.
|May-27-11|| ||Eggman: <<Keres, well, the conventional wisdom for him is, yeah, ole Paul he just was not quite good enough. It's stupid.>>|
I've never understood that to be the conventional wisdom. Keres won (by tiebreak over Fine) possibly the strongest tournament ever held, AVRO 1938, which was supposed to qualify him for a world championship match against the declining Alekhine, but the match fell through and Keres subsequently lost many of his best years to WWII.
It seems to me that the conventional wisdom on Keres is that he was, for about 25 years, one of the equals referred to in Botvinnik's famous "first among equals", and that he might well have been world champion, but that it just didn't happen, and that he is probably the greatest player never to acquire the title.
In fact, I don't recall anyone ever mentioning that Keres didn't win the world title because he "just wasn't good enough." The most damning assessment I can recall (I'm pretty sure this was from Kasparov in his "My Great Predecessors" series) is that Keres never won the title because his nerves failed him at decisive moments in candidates competitions.
|Jun-25-11|| ||bronkenstein: Reposting from Bronstein`s page , since this concerns Keres oh-so-very-much : |
...And speaking of Botvinnik`s intrigues , he surely knew how to use his political ties much earlier than 50s. There is detailed story (on Russian thou http://www.chesspro.ru/_events/2007...) explaining how he used his ˝protectors˝ to simply `improvise` another USSR championship (!) only few months after he finished only 6th (!) in the 12th USSR championship 1940.( http://www.chesspro.ru/_events/2007... , table is on the bottom , and there is few interesting photos meantime if you dont know Russian ). Needles to say , his fragile dreams of match with Alekhine crumbled to dust in such situation.
The artificial USSR championship , called ˝The absolute˝ (as you might recall from the history books) to justify and distinguish it from the ˝normal˝ one in which Bondarevsky ( later on the Spassky`s second, man without whom Boris might never become the WC) and Lilienthal shared USSR champ title only few months prior to that.
Just for the flavor , I will try to translate first few lines of this mammoth text :
<˝Operation Absolute Championship˝
After 12th championship Botvinnik lived in shock for 2 months , and he had good reason : all his hopes for Match against Alekhine suddenly vanished! OFC , he could try to return the title in a year on the next championship , but he couldn`t wait that long. and who guaranteed that he will succeed ? His position seemed hopeless , when he came up with desperate idea :˝In december I sent a letter to Snegirev (Chess Sportcommittee) , ironising the fact that the champion of the state , ie leader of USSR chess , will become the winner of the Bondarevsky-Liliental match (both of them are very talented players , but without signifucant chess achievements) , while Keres and me had such , and international BTW , achievements.
Snegirov knew himself , that such match has no value concerning the Alekhine`s challenger; He understood my sign , and started working - as always , silently but with great energy. How he persuaded the higher authorities , I have no clue , he didn`t talk too much about that , but in 2 months it was declared that 6 winners of the 1940. championship ...> Why exactly 6? Remember , Botvinnik was, accidentally, 6th...just an innocent remark ;) < ...will play for the title of ˝absolute˝ champion . The meaning of the word ˝absolute˝ was clear: the ˝absolute˝ USSR champ would play the match against Alekhine.˝...>
Keyword was ˝silent˝ , players had no idea what is happening until it was too late, and what is most important, nobody mentioned Botvinnik`s name in the process. He was diligently preparing , while :
<... Lilienthal remembers that he , relaxed by the promises ( by Snegirov? ) that he and Bondarevsky will be , without any match , declared the USSR champions , went traveling to Syberia: ˝Suddenly i recieved a letter from the president of Sportcommittee , Snegov , to immediatelly return to Moscow , to take part in so called absolute championship. I was shocked. I was very angry : I simply did not expect anything like that. Needless to say , i went totally unprepared ˝...> Keywords shocked , suddenly + unprepared =)
<...Young Bondarevsky told angrily to Keres one year later : ˝I was simply inexperienced...I should simply decline , and that`s it!˝...> BTW , decline in 1941 USSR ? keyword: inexperienced =)
<...Keres , accepting the participation , had no idea how high the stakes were. Neither previous nor this championship did he consider connected in any way with the world championship , and he payed dearly for being so naive. If up to that moment Keres was seen as the Alekhine`s challenger (he was placed above Botvinnik twice in important tournaments)...> key one being AVRO , considered ac the ˝candidates˝ by many <... after the ˝Absolute˝ Botvinik had every right to say ˝It is clear now who should challenge Alekhine˝...> And it was only the first of the cruel games that destiny played with Paul...keywords, cruel games + naive =(
PS You can compare the scoretables in first and second tournament to compare how successful ˝Operation Absolute˝ was for Botvinnik =)
PPS My English is not perfect , and Russian even worse than that , so the translation is prolly far from accurate @ some points.
PPPS There is few very long ie elaborated texts on Keres ( including eyewitnesses and quotes ) about things happening to him during WW2 , in 1945-1947 (he was lucky to survive that one ) period and later on on the site I took this from (ChessPro), for example ˝The mystery of Keres˝.
|Jul-01-11|| ||Stonehenge: Some nice pictures here:
|Jul-01-11|| ||jussu: Regarding the USSR championship 1940 where Botvinnik finished sixth - Keres finished forth in that same tournament. Sure the title of the "absolute championship" that followed was ridiculous but essentially it was simply a tournament to determine the USSR candidate for a match against Alekhine. Yes the tournament was initiated by Botvinnik's intrigue, but in the end, Botvinnik won it with crushing ease, and I have never heard about anything fishy in that tournament, so his victory itself was fair and square.|
|Jul-01-11|| ||jussu: By the way, funny that nobody has mentioned it here: Estonia switched to Euro in this year, so the only banknotes ever to feature a chessplayer (Estonian 5-kroon notes) are no longer valid.|
|Jul-01-11|| ||BobCrisp: <Benjamin Franklin> was a chessplayer and can be found on the US$100. Must be others.|
|Jul-02-11|| ||jussu: And we are writers. All of us.|
|Jul-28-11|| ||wordfunph: The Estonian grandmaster Paul Keres was famous for his fierce attacks against the Sicilian Defence, having the motto, "White to play and win in 24 moves."|
- Egon Varnusz (in his book Paul Keres' Best Games Volume 2: Open & Semi-Open Games)
|Aug-17-11|| ||coolchess1: Thanks drnooo for very informative details on the great Paul Keres. I always felt the similarities in the characters of these great chess players i.e. Paul Keres, Boris Spassky and Vishy Anand. Being great chess players, they also come across as wonderful human beings and show great sportsmanship. These three players along with the magician from Riga the great Michael Tal are my favourite players. I'm fascinated by their great play as well as their wonderful human traits. Very unfortunate that Paul Keres was not to be a WC, but it is a tribute to him that he still rose to the top tier in the world despite various problems which you have detailed earlier.|
Respect to Paul Keres and RIP.
|Sep-03-11|| ||Knuckle Sandwich: In the biographical note on Keres above, the author has written: <For their performances usually deployed, he is known as Paul, the Second and The Uncrowned King.> Can anyone decipher this and tell me what it means.|
|Sep-03-11|| ||talisman: <Knuckle Sandwich> not really but i think it refers somewhat to Keres being the greatest player never to win the WCC Crown.|
|Sep-03-11|| ||Knuckle Sandwich: Here's an interesting impression of the great Estonian Grandmaster from another gentlemanly chess player with an enviable record against world champions.|
<The first truly world-class player I ever saw was Paul Keres. It was in 1975. Vancouver, a beautiful city just across the border from Seattle, hosted a large open tournament. In those years I ofter traveled north to Vancouver, British Columbia and south to Portland, Oregon, playing in as many open events in the Pacific Northwest as I could squeeze in between my school classes. I was a "Class A" to "Expert" player at the time, meaning I sported a 1900-2100 rating, which jumped around a great deal....With the [tournament] about to begin...our eyes were glued Paul Keres as we watched his every move. he was well dressed dignified an with what might be called a noble bearing. He deeply impressed out whole party.>
<In his game, Keres' opponent was Denis Allan, a strong Canadian master who employed the Petroff Defence and was a tough man to beat. We were all anxious to see how Keres might gain an advantage so that we could use the same idea ourselves. After all the announcements the game began 1. e4 e5 2. f3 f6, and now, without any hesitation at all, Keres played 3 d3. as if this was a killer refutation. We were sunk. The game continued 3 ...c64. bd2 c5 5. c3 d5 6. e2 dxe4 7. dxe4 a5, and Keres won smoothly in 25 moves. It was a thrill to watch a world-class player in acrion. His manner, his bearing, his unhurried approach to the position, the accuracy of his moves, and the precision and manner in which he physically played his moves all made a deep impression. I was especially drawn to observing his physical movement of the pieces, as he carefully put them correctly in the middle of the square so as not to annoy his opponent. In fact, I went home to practice so that I could mimic his movements as well and to endeavour, as best I could, to play chess "properly" at the board ... I wanted to be world class and behave like world-class player. I wanted to be, a least in manner, like Paul Keres.>
--Yasser Seirawan (Chess Duels My Games with the World Champions)
|Sep-03-11|| ||ughaibu: It's a nice game: Keres vs D Allan, 1975|
|Sep-03-11|| ||coolchess1: Thanks Knuckle Sandwich for the interesting share from Yasser Seirawan.|
|Sep-04-11|| ||HeMateMe: A nice story from the <Seirawan book>. How do you beat the Petroff in 25 moves?|
|Sep-04-11|| ||perfidious: <HeHateMe> Here 'tis: Keres vs D Allan, 1975.|
|Sep-04-11|| ||HeMateMe: Thanks, I guess it was a rhetorical question: How can the sturdy Petroff not last more than 25 moves?|
|Sep-04-11|| ||Gregor Samsa Mendel: <HMM>--Regrettably, openings don't just play themselves. If I played the Petroff against the likes of Keres, I'd probably be lost by move 10.|
|Sep-04-11|| ||Akavall: Even an expert on the Petrov Kramnik has gone down in less than 25 moves:|
Anand vs Kramnik, 2005
Btw, I don't think that Petrov is drawish at sub-GM level, a lot of times the game gets pretty complicated with both sides having winning chances. The reason it is drawish on super-GM level is that the theory is so deep, and many analyzed to a draw. Marshall gambit in Ruy Lopez seems to be similar: can be drawish (if black wants it to be) on super-GM level, but not at all drawish at lower levels.
|Sep-06-11|| ||jackpawn: Has anyone ever noticed that Boris Spassky's style of play (especially in the 1960's) was very similar to Keres style of play? I never heard of it, but I wonder if Keres wasn't Spassky's role model . . .|
|Sep-07-11|| ||Korifej: Keres is the best|
|Dec-29-11|| ||Korifej: He did not become world champion only because he was politically incorrect in USSR.Big loss for chess.|
|Dec-29-11|| ||Petrosianic: I'm not sure when he would have won if he had been politically correct. Chessmetrics never has him at #1. He played in six candidates series without ever winning. There are people here and there who hover near the top for decades without ever being THE best player.|
< Earlier Kibitzing · PAGE 27 OF 33 ·