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|Nov-26-14|| ||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|| ||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|| ||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.
Yes, we can confirm that Maria Keres (born on 24.04.1917) died 31.10.2014 in Tallinn.
|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 "?"]
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|| ||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.>|
Didn't know about this, nor had Taylor Kingston:
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|| ||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|| ||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|| ||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|| ||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.|
|May-25-15|| ||TheFocus: <The older I get the more I value pawns> - Paul Keres.|
|Aug-13-15|| ||fisayo123: Keres' win percent in this database is 70 plus %. That's Capablanca, Fischer, Alekhine, Kasparov range. Pretty impressive.|
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