chessgames.com

Keres 
 
Paul Keres
Number of games in database: 2,063
Years covered: 1929 to 1975
Overall record: +1033 -208 =817 (70.0%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      5 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 (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 Alekhine, 1937 1-0
   Keres vs W Winter, 1935 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?]
   Kemeri (1937)
   USSR Championship (1940)
   USSR Championship (1947)
   USSR Championship (1950)
   USSR Championship (1951)
   Budapest (1952)
   Zurich Candidates (1953)
   Gothenburg Interzonal (1955)
   USSR Championship (1957)
   Bled-Zagreb-Belgrade Candidates (1959)
   Bled (1961)
   Curacao Candidates (1962)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Match Keres! by amadeus
   Keres' Whirligigs by chocobonbon
   The Road to the Top & The Quest for Perfection by Bidibulle
   challenger of 48 Keres by Gottschalk
   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) Estonia

[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. 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/...

Wikipedia article: Paul Keres


 page 1 of 83; games 1-25 of 2,063  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. L Peterson vs Keres 0-139 1932 Parnu, Est jr chD02 Queen's Pawn Game
10. Von Feilitzsch vs Keres 0-132 1932 corr ,/33C22 Center Game
11. Keres vs A Peet 1-019 1932 Moisakula Moisak-ParnuC25 Vienna
12. E Kiiver vs Keres 0-158 1932 Tartu, Est jr chE20 Nimzo-Indian
13. Keres vs A Abel 1-061 1932 Parnu, Est jr chB01 Scandinavian
14. A Peet vs Keres  0-129 1932 Moisakula Moisak-ParnuD02 Queen's Pawn Game
15. Keres vs Tuul 1-033 1932 Tartu, Est jr chC33 King's Gambit Accepted
16. Keres vs Beskov 1-043 1932 corrC50 Giuoco Piano
17. R Pruun vs Keres 0-133 1932 Parnu, Est jr chD08 Queen's Gambit Declined, Albin Counter Gambit
18. Keres vs M Villemson  ½-½47 1932 Deutsche Schz 133/A corrD30 Queen's Gambit Declined
19. Keres vs G Menke 1-062 1932 corresp.C33 King's Gambit Accepted
20. A Jurgens vs Keres 0-153 1932 Parnu, Est jr chD00 Queen's Pawn Game
21. Keres vs J Vilkins ½-½24 1932 corrC25 Vienna
22. Keres vs J Siitam 1-021 1932 Parnu, Est jr chC25 Vienna
23. Keres vs L Peterson 1-029 1932 Tartu, Est jr chB01 Scandinavian
24. Keres vs E Verbak  1-017 1932 corrC00 French Defense
25. Keres vs A Remmelgas  ½-½43 1932 Parnu, Est jr chD30 Queen's Gambit Declined
 page 1 of 83; games 1-25 of 2,063  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 33 OF 33 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Nov-12-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jim Bartle: Saw a comment from Spassky which originally appeared in Kingpin:

"Keres was the Gulliver among the Lilliputians, he was a real giant. Botvinnik, I believe, was the leader of the Lilliputians. And that is the crux of the matter. As simple as that."

Ouch!

Nov-13-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Jim> During the Soviet epoch, that would probably have bought Spassky another internal vacation from, inter alia, international chess.
Nov-20-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  brankat: <drnooo> <Keres article he is hardly being a nice guy. He is fairly brutal when you examine just how he lays out his assessment of the various players.>

I suppose this is the impression You got while reading the article. My feeling was that Keres was being quite objective and fair in his assessment of the potential challengers.

<As for the rest I won't go into the very good reasons how come it always seemed to me that he lost the championship in 48, other than to say that Siberia can be a lonely place..>

By mentioning Siberia, You very clearly state what "very good reasons" are.

The fact is Keres didn't "lose" the title in '48. He had not held it to begin with, neither was he a front runner amongst the candidates. He didn't even manage to finish second.

<..had he been able to make his escape to the west during the war, the history of chess would be written differently altogether..>

This is strictly a combo of Speculation and Wishful Thinking. One thing is certain, Keres would not have become a stronger player by living in the west. Richer, perhaps.

Between 1948 and 1965 Paul Keres had 7 chances to get to play for the Title. When it was most important, crucial: He failed. Every time.

Nobody ever questioned Keres's great talent, his knowledge, his playing strength. But there were, there must have been, some champion-kind-of element(s) missing. Will power, nerves, courage, determination. An elusive, but absolutely necessary ingredient was not in place. Champions had it. Keres did not.

As for Capablanca's opinion of Keres, you may want to read the original source: Capablanca's famous interview, given in Buenos Aires, 1939:

http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/...

Old Dr.Lasker was not as tactful as Capablanca. Around that same time he stated flatly: 'Keres will never be the World Champion." Lasker didn't bother to elaborate, but I have always felt his opinion was along the same lines as Capa's. Being exceptionally intelligent, smart and experienced, Dr.Lasker must have somehow perceived, felt, read through Keres's shortcomings.

None of the above takes anything away from Paul Keres's greatness, but may help put things in a more objective prospective.

Nov-25-12  stanleys: Keres having a phone conversation in Curacao: http://chess-news.ru/sites/default/...

Very interesting article about the Curacao's tournament (in Russian)with a lot of pics by Sosonko - http://chess-news.ru/node/10079

Nov-25-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Great to read this (to me) new material-his lowdown on other rivals http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/...
Capa's dismissal of his chances-
http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/...

and also the article by Sosonko.

Keres himself was so totally absorbed by chess and self-improvement, that he could not see the machinations that his rivals made against him.

He is in that respect a lot like Chigorin, not winding up champion, but playing the most interesting chess.

Nov-25-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: A useful thing to remember to this day from the first link given by <tamar>, and not only for kibitzers at CG who rush to proclaim the name of the next talent:

<'....Every tournament player knows that the ultimate result depends not only on chess prowess but on numerous other factors whose influence is very great at times. Hence, it would be wrong to judge the strength of a chess master by isolated tournament results. One must also take into account the personal experience of previous meetings with the same players, and only by taking all factors in conjunction can a more or less accurate picture be obtained....'>

Nov-25-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: <Capa: I recall that during the Moscow, 1925 tournament – Tartakower often refers to this – various famous chessplayers had been studying a particular position for three hours, without being able to reach a conclusion. I was passing by at that moment and they asked me my opinion. I was not in doubt for a single second, and I told them: “This is won; and it is won like this, and this.” And I was not mistaken. >

I think Capa overrates himself. I understand it's easy to say that years after the fact, but the computer has changed the entire dynmaic. While Capa does fare well in engine analysis of his games, there are more mistakes than just about anyone would have thought.

Dec-13-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Here is a study by Keres from 1936:

White to play and win:


click for larger view

1. Nc2+! Ka2 2. Nb4+ Ka1 3. Qa2+! bxa2 4. Nc6, and there is no defence to 5. Nd4 and either 6. Nb3# or 6. Nc2#.

Jan-07-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  waustad: 3 more years until the 100th aniversary of his birth. Hopefully that event gives rise to one of the strongest tournaments ever.
Jan-07-13  jussu: <3 more years until the 100th aniversary of his birth. Hopefully that event gives rise to one of the strongest tournaments ever.>

At this moment, Estonian chess players and organizers are busy quarrelling each other, and Keres is remembered by an obscure annual rapid event. Thinking about Tal memorial, I would put my hopes on Russians.

<Old Dr.Lasker was not as tactful as Capablanca. Around that same time he stated flatly: 'Keres will never be the World Champion.">

Reminds me of another grand old man saying "You will never play chess" :P

Jan-07-13  IndigoViolet: <<Old Dr.Lasker was not as tactful as Capablanca. Around that same time he stated flatly: 'Keres will never be the World Champion.">>

Source? My impression of Lasker is that he was always circumspect when talking about his colleagues. This bald statement seems out of character.

Jan-07-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  ketchuplover: Yet Hifan has done quite well imo :)
May-05-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Caissanist: <tamar: Keres himself was so totally absorbed by chess and self-improvement, that he could not see the machinations that his rivals made against him.>

My impression of Keres has always been that he preferred to play dumb about the larger world, as probably did many Estonians of his generation. If you don't want to be shot or imprisoned by whoever the current authorities lording it over your country are, the safest course is to say something like "I just play chess and spend time with my family, I don't know anything about that stuff".

May-05-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <Caissanist...My impression of Keres has always been that he preferred to play dumb about the larger world, as probably did many Estonians of his generation.>

Interesting observation. When I see Karjakin somewhat guileless and friendly in postgame analysis, I think Keres might have had similar non-aggressive personal qualities that allowed the wolves at the very top manipulate him in critical situations.

<Apparently relaxed when playing, he moved the men quietly, never displaying ill-temper. His charm and tact made him friends everywhere, not least in English speaking countries (he spoke the language fluently)...> p 198 The Oxford Companion to Chess, Hooper and Whyld

Whether this is an Estonian trait, I don't know. Certainly people in continually conquered countries have their personalities affected by invaders. But if it was a mask, he doesn't ever seem to have let down his guard, and I haven't seen anecdotes that show a hidden side to him.

Jun-22-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  James D Flynn: I read the article by Keres. He was clearly taking pains to be objective and I thought he succeeded very well. I seem to have read a comment that his assessments were brutal. I did not find that any brutality in the article.
Aug-24-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  parisattack: <Brankat...Nobody ever questioned Keres's great talent, his knowledge, his playing strength. But there were, there must have been, some champion-kind-of element(s) missing. Will power, nerves, courage, determination. An elusive, but absolutely necessary ingredient was not in place. Champions had it. Keres did not....>

I've always had that sense also <brankat>. But he remains one of my favorite players to study along with Gligoric and Botvinnik. I think Keres' transparent/aggressive style is one patzers like me can at least understand, endeavor to copy.

His book trio - Road to the Top, Power Chess and Quest for Perfection is a complete chess course for intermediate players.

Aug-24-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Some of Capablanca's observations on that amorphous quality of judgment, from the interview at Buenos Aires, 1939:

<Old Lasker, however, was astonishing in the sureness of his judgment. When a position was submitted to him, he examined it for a while and then, rapidly, without wasting time analyzing, he would state, “White is better” or “Black is better” or “It is a draw”, and he was not mistaken.

It is difficult to judge oneself. Nonetheless, the general opinion of masters is that the precision and speed of my chess judgment were superior to Lasker’s. In chess one can lose with age the strength and fullness of one’s vision, sureness in the order of one’s moves, resistance to fatigue, etc., but one never loses one’s judgment, and I imagine I still possess it . ... Precise positional judgment, the overall vision of every maneuver in the interdependence of its cogwheels, is what characterizes a great master. It is not a question of a great master seeing any number of isolated moves or of his knowing how to construct a mate; all that is to be taken for granted. What counts is that he should have ideas, and that these ideas should be accurate. That when he is shown any position he should not beat about the bush but should say without hesitation: “This is won, and the win is secured by maneuvering on this or that wing, like this.” I recall that during the Moscow, 1925 tournament – Tartakower often refers to this – various famous chessplayers had been studying a particular position for three hours, without being able to reach a conclusion. I was passing by at that moment and they asked me my opinion. I was not in doubt for a single second, and I told them: “This is won; and it is won like this, and this.” And I was not mistaken.>

Whilst Capablanca has been criticised for his apparently superior tone in some of his writings, this view of Lasker displays a ruthless objectivity, the more so given the personal animus which existed between those great masters.

Sep-22-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: My tribute to the great Paul Keres, always the second, but should have been first.

Game Collection: Keres vs World and Near Champions Decisive Games

Sep-22-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  parisattack: Wonderful <visayanbraindoctor>.

Keres has always been one of my favorites. I recommend his games to new players for the clarity, transparency and adherence to basic principles. In one of his books he says: "Look to bring your pieces to better and better squares." Perhaps an insight into his approach to the game.

'Power Chess', 'Road to the Top' and 'The Quest for Perfection' all great reads and studies.

Sep-23-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: <parisattack> Thank you.

I have also just made game collections on the other almost world champions, Pillsbury, Rubinstein, and Korchnoi.

Jan-30-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: <Keres' precarious post-war rehabiltation>:

Extracts from an article by Russian chess historian Sergey Voronkov:

http://www.chesspro.ru/_events/2008...

"Retired Colonel Boris Frolov (perhaps now the only living witness from the former security agencies) can confirm that the head of the Investigation Department of the Estonian NKVD Major Jacobson wanted at all costs to arrest Keres....local authorities have prepared a list of 111 major enemies of Soviet power in Estonia - "active participants in the nationalist underground, undertaking intensive activities aimed at the seizure of the Estonian SSR from the Soviet Union and the restoration of the bourgeois system and their accomplices."

Number 85 was Paul Keres: "Chess player, was associated with (Leo) Talgre (the legendary leader of Estonian anti-Soviet resistance) , before the retreat of the Germans from USSR he had intended to escape to Sweden and for this purpose went to the coast of County Läänemaa."

The Estonian People's Commissar of the NKVD Kumm, however, ordered the deletion of the name Keres from the list."

At the beginning of the USSR Championship (1947), in Leningrad, party members suddenly made an official complaint in which Keres was again called <Fascist>...

In 1982, Mikhail M Yudovich Sr. confirmed to me (Sergey Voronkov): Yes, there was a complaint ... "

After defeating Keres in this championship (Keres vs K Klaman, 1947) the Leningrad master Konstantin Klaman exclaimed:<"Well, guys, I killed a Fascist!> "People who knew Klaman believe that he was joking. But at the time it was no joke".

http://www.chesspro.ru/_events/2008...

Feb-22-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Wow! To appear on a list of anti-Soviet sympathizers just after the War would have been a very sobering experience!

Flohr ran to Russia - he must have been mad. Both he and Keres should have tried to get to the States.

How different history would have been (in chess)!

Feb-25-14  Yopo: [Event "Simul"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "1937.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Paul Keres"]
[Black "NN"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C41"]
[PlyCount "25"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. Nc3 Nbd7 5. d4 exd4 6. Qxd4 Be7 7. Bxf7+ Kxf7 8. Ng5+ Kg8 9. Qc4+ d5 10. Nxd5 Ne5 11. Nxf6+ Kf8 12. Ngxh7+ Rxh7 13. Qg8# 1-0

Feb-25-14  RedShield: <Both he and Keres should have tried to get to the States.>

Leaving aside any other familial ties, Keres married in 1941, and by 1944, I think he already had one or two bairns.

Wikipedia has: <His 1942 Nazi newspaper interview was used for anti-Soviet propaganda.> I'm assuming this information comes from Valter Heuer. Anything known about the contents of this interview?

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