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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, 59 years old) 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 13˝/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. A Karu vs Keres 0-127 1931 corrD08 Queen's Gambit Declined, Albin Counter Gambit
7. Keres vs I Raud 1-029 1931 Tartu, Est jr chB34 Sicilian, Accelerated Fianchetto
8. Keres vs R Pruun 1-043 1931 Tartu, Est jr chB12 Caro-Kann Defense
9. Keres vs Tuul 1-033 1932 Tartu, Est jr chC33 King's Gambit Accepted
10. Keres vs Faltweber 1-018 1932 corrA06 Reti Opening
11. R Pruun vs Keres 0-133 1932 Parnu, Est jr chD08 Queen's Gambit Declined, Albin Counter Gambit
12. Keres vs G Menke 1-062 1932 corresp.C33 King's Gambit Accepted
13. A Jurgens vs Keres 0-153 1932 Parnu, Est jr chD00 Queen's Pawn Game
14. Von Feilitzsch vs Keres 0-132 1932 corr ,/33C22 Center Game
15. Keres vs J Siitam 1-021 1932 Parnu, Est jr chC25 Vienna
16. Keres vs L Peterson 1-029 1932 Tartu, Est jr chB01 Scandinavian
17. Keres vs A Remmelgas  ½-½43 1932 Parnu, Est jr chD30 Queen's Gambit Declined
18. A Holm vs Keres 0-143 1932 Parnu, Est jr chC00 French Defense
19. A Remmelgas vs Keres  0-155 1932 Tartu, Est jr chA46 Queen's Pawn Game
20. Keres vs Beskov 1-043 1932 corrC50 Giuoco Piano
21. Keres vs M Villemson  ½-½47 1932 Deutsche Schz 133/A corrD30 Queen's Gambit Declined
22. L Peterson vs Keres 0-139 1932 Parnu, Est jr chD02 Queen's Pawn Game
23. Keres vs A Peet 1-019 1932 Moisakula Moisak-ParnuC25 Vienna
24. Keres vs J Vilkins ½-½24 1932 corrC25 Vienna
25. E Kiiver vs Keres 0-158 1932 Tartu, Est jr chE20 Nimzo-Indian
 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 35 OF 35 ·  Later Kibitzing>
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.

Aug-11-14  Rookiepawn: <<Then your question is irrelevant.>

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

Answering irrelevant questions is useless.

<<<A war started by the Soviet Union.>

You need history books.>

A war started by the Soviet Union. >

OK, you are a robot. What am I doing answering a robot?

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

"He should have told the Soviets...". A defective robot, you need a new memory chip.

Aug-11-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Rookiepawn>, the poster who now operates under the handle <MissScarlett> has been banned numerous times, but bigotry, intolerance and faux intellectualism are constants of his. If the world were still ruled by Albion, lording it over the brown and black untermenschen of other countries, O Happy Day for him! As matters stand, he is reduced to racist, xenophobic posts which rail against all and sundry.
Aug-12-14  MissScarlett: <<<Then your question is irrelevant.>

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

Answering irrelevant questions is useless.>

It's relevant to the fact that you claim the Nazis made use of some interviews given by Keres. Interviews of which you've never seen one, let alone some. Sorry that I had to answer for you.

<OK, you are a robot. What am I doing answering a robot?>

I'm a genius at deconstructing the faulty and fallacious arguments of others. But let me just repeat it one more time for the public record, because I appreciate that such a bald statement of fact discomfits you so:

<A war started by the Soviet Union.>

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

"He should have told the Soviets...". A defective robot, you need a new memory chip.>

You need a new irony detector.

Game over. 1-0.

Aug-12-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <MissScarlett: I'm a genius at deconstructing the faulty and fallacious arguments of others....>

A legend in his own mind. Who knew?

Yeah, auto-fallacio is your bag.

<Game over. 1-0.>

Hmm--didn't know <unagi> had migrated to this page. Must think he's found easier prey here than at Rogoff, where all his attempts at 'logic' get picked clean.

Aug-13-14  Petrosianic: <perfidious>: <A legend in his own mind. Who knew?>

Generally, once you've turned the focus away from the argument onto yourself, you've already lost it.

Aug-13-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  nimh: Those 'nazi interviews' are certainly something i'd want to read? Any chance those exist on the web?
Aug-13-14  MissScarlett: Don't ask <RookiePawn>. I asked him; <zanzibar> asked him. Apparently, they're irrelevant. As is the fact the Soviets invaded Estonia. As is the fact that Keres collaborated with the Soviets before he was collaborated with the Nazis. In this regard, I define collaboration as a desire to continue living. But according to Rookiepawn, the Soviets were right to be furious with Keres, and he can consider himself lucky not to have been shot.
Aug-13-14  Rookiepawn: <sigh> it is funny how this:

<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.>

becomes this:

<It's relevant to the fact that you claim the Nazis made use of some interviews given by Keres.>

I use a source, someone who is reliable because he has no need to lie regarding this matter.

It feels funny to explain to a self-declared "genius" the basic fact that you don't need to actually "see" something to give it credit. This lowers the debate level to some kind of retarded child drool: "You didn't see it, so you lie! Game over, 1-0! I am a genius!"

Leave apart the fact that I am clearly not blaming Keres, a point you get too late and repeat as your own.

Boring.

Sep-17-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  docbenway: HeMateMe: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."

The US and England are accomplices in Stalin's post WW2 mass murder campaign by shipping White Russians (Cossacks)back to Russia by the boat load for mass execution. This story has been suppressed into the 1970s. It's been told in a few books. It slowed down when Eisenhower and Montgomery finally refused to go along with it any more. I read about this yesterday in the NY Times, Encyclopedia Britannica, and Wikipedia after seeing Foley's War-The Russian house and wanting to know more.

Sep-17-14  Olavi: <docbenway>
In fact, of the thousands of Cossacks, who the British mainly captured in Austria, only a minority had ever been Soviet citizens. Many of them had fought in the Civil War of 1918-22, but they had not committed treason or anything like that.
Sep-17-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  SteinitzLives: So, was Keres the strongest player of his time never to be World Champion? He gets my vote for that title.

Perhaps followed by Rubinstein?

What about Schlechter? Bronstein?, Geller?, or L.Stein? There are other candidates, I'm sure.

Problem is, there are too many ways to measure chess greatness: Peak rating, average rating, tournament record, match record, percentage of losses, percentage of wins, records against top players of the time, etc.

Sep-17-14  Petrosianic: Keres is a strong contender, but not the lead pipe cinch people think. His main claims to fame were a) one first place tie in a supertournament, and b) the sympathy factor of finishing 2nd in four Candidates Tournaments. Anybody that close to the top for that long obviously could have been world champion.

Is there any feeling that he OUGHT to have been world champion, though? Nobody seems to know when that would have been. Unlike someone like Reshevsky, Keres was never #1 on the Chessmetrics List (although he was #2 for an eye-popping 52 months). So, when was his dominant period, exactly, when he stood out from the pack? No one's quite sure.

Sep-17-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <SteinitzLives> I put this question to the masses elsewhere a few years ago:

http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/1...

Sep-17-14  Petrosianic: Rubinstein did have the Sweet Spot. Say around 1908-1912, when he was super hot, and might very well have been the best in the world. Bronstein and Korchnoi I both feel should have won their respective matches, but I'm not sure they were really the best in the world (Botvinnik was 3 years out of practice, and Karpov was way ahead until he tired).

Here's a question. Where would Korchnoi's reputation be today if he had won in 1978, and then lost a rematch in 1979? He'd have been a world champion, and that's good. But would people look at him the same, or would they start to look down on him for "only" being champion a year?

Sep-18-14  Olavi: Keres did win four consecutive tournaments in 1950-52, including twice USSR ch, in what were the strongest tournaments of the time. (The order of the tournaments on the Chessmetrics site is incorrect.) And that run put him on the first board for the 1952 Olympiad. Perhaps he wasn't dominant, but undoubtedly nr. one.
Sep-18-14  Petrosianic: Okay, but then he didn't win the Candidates Tournament. That was the one time he didn't even finish second. So he did have his chance, unlike, say Rubinstein.
Sep-18-14  Olavi: Agree completely. He had his chance seven times, in fact. 1948-65: first time there was no playing Botvinnik, -50 off form, -53 -56 -59 -62 always second best to the player who would become World Champion, averiging much better than Smyslov; and 1965, there was Spassky. Yes, I am partial.
Sep-18-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  SteinitzLives: Can't believe I left off Korchnoi, he could challenge for top player never to be world champion for sure. Perhaps I just wanted to block out Karpov's dominance and the Soviet government's treatment of Korchnoi during that period, which in hindsight teaches a great deal.
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