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Paul Keres
Number of games in database: 2,042
Years covered: 1929 to 1975

Overall record: +1018 -204 =808 (70.0%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 12 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (185) 
    C78 C86 C83 C97 C87
 Sicilian (181) 
    B20 B50 B36 B43 B62
 French Defense (94) 
    C02 C07 C05 C10 C15
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (88) 
    C86 C97 C87 C88 C93
 Caro-Kann (61) 
    B10 B14 B18 B11 B13
 English (45) 
    A15 A14 A16 A13 A10
With the Black pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (228) 
    C72 C92 C99 C79 C97
 Nimzo Indian (125) 
    E32 E43 E41 E45 E53
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (107) 
    C92 C99 C97 C96 C84
 Queen's Pawn Game (82) 
    A46 E00 D02 E10 A45
 Queen's Indian (65) 
    E15 E19 E12 E17 E14
 English, 1 c4 e5 (41) 
    A23 A28 A22 A29 A25
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 W Winter, 1935 1-0
   Keres vs Verbac, 1933 1-0
   Keres vs Alekhine, 1937 1-0
   A Karu vs Keres, 1931 0-1
   Keres vs Spassky, 1955 1-0
   Keres vs Vladimir Petrov, 1940 1-0
   Keres vs Kotov, 1950 1-0

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

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   USSR Championship (1950)
   USSR Championship (1947)
   USSR Championship (1951)
   Budapest (1952)
   Hastings 1957/58 (1957)
   Buenos Aires (1939)
   Gothenburg Interzonal (1955)
   Bled-Zagreb-Belgrade Candidates (1959)
   USSR Championship (1957)
   Curacao Candidates (1962)
   USSR Championship (1940)
   Zurich Candidates (1953)
   Bled (1961)
   Kemeri (1937)
   USSR Championship (1955)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Match Keres! by amadeus
   Keres' Whirligigs made of chocobonbon for FTB by fredthebear
   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
   Paul Keres by Legend
   Chess in the USSR 1945 - 72, Part 2 (Leach) by Chessdreamer
   Chess in the USSR 1945 - 72, Part 1 (Leach) by Chessdreamer
   Quest for Perfection (Keres) by Incremental
   Quest for Perfection (Keres) by Qindarka
   Road to the Top (Keres) by Incremental

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Paul Keres
Search Google for Paul Keres

(born Jan-07-1916, died Jun-05-1975, 59 years old) Estonia
[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, finishing joint third. This would turn out to be the only opportunity Keres would ever have to play for the world title--he finished second ex aequo or outright four times in the five Candidates' tournaments, from 1950 to 1962 inclusive, but never won.

Keres scored 13/14 at the 11th Olympiad in Amsterdam 1954 (1) and in 1963, he won at Los Angeles (sharing 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 is the player who has defeated the largest number of world champions, no fewer than nine: Capablanca ( Alekhine Euwe Botvinnik Smyslov Tal Petrosian Spassky and Fischer

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

References: (1) Wikipedia article: World records in chess , (2) Wikipedia article: Paul Keres

Last updated: 2017-09-10 14:57:50

 page 1 of 82; games 1-25 of 2,042  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Keres vs I Raud 0-1401929Parnu, Parnu-ViljandiC54 Giuoco Piano
2. I Raud vs Keres  ½-½541929Parnu, Parnu-ViljandiE10 Queen's Pawn Game
3. A Karu vs Keres 0-1271931corrD08 Queen's Gambit Declined, Albin Counter Gambit
4. M Villemson vs Keres 0-1511931Deutsche Schachzeitung 133-A corrA15 English
5. Keres vs Molder 1-0241931Tartu, Est jr chC33 King's Gambit Accepted
6. Keres vs R Pruun 1-0431931ChJB12 Caro-Kann Defense
7. L Norvid vs Keres 0-1251931Tartu, Est jr chC12 French, McCutcheon
8. Keres vs I Raud 1-0291931Tartu, Est jr chB25 Sicilian, Closed
9. R Pruun vs Keres 0-1241931Tartu, Est jr chE60 King's Indian Defense
10. Keres vs E Verbak 1-0171932corrC00 French Defense
11. Keres vs Faltweber 1-0181932corrA06 Reti Opening
12. Keres vs M Villemson ½-½471932Deutsche Schz 133/A corrD30 Queen's Gambit Declined
13. Von Feilitzsch vs Keres 0-1321932corrC22 Center Game
14. Keres vs G Menke 1-0621932corrC33 King's Gambit Accepted
15. Keres vs J Vilkins ½-½241932corrC25 Vienna
16. Keres vs Beskov 1-0431932corrC50 Giuoco Piano
17. E Kiiver vs Keres 0-1581932Tartu, Est jr chE20 Nimzo-Indian
18. A Remmelgas vs Keres  0-1551932Tartu, Est jr chD02 Queen's Pawn Game
19. Keres vs L Peterson 1-0291932Tartu, Est jr chB01 Scandinavian
20. Keres vs Tuul 1-0331932Tartu, Est jr chC33 King's Gambit Accepted
21. Keres vs A Peet 1-0191932Moisakula Moisak-ParnuC25 Vienna
22. A Peet vs Keres 0-1291932Moisakula Moisak-ParnuD02 Queen's Pawn Game
23. A Holm vs Keres 0-1431932Parnu, Est jr chC00 French Defense
24. Keres vs J Siitam 1-0211932Parnu, Est jr chC25 Vienna
25. Keres vs A Abel 1-0611932Parnu, Est jr chB01 Scandinavian
 page 1 of 82; games 1-25 of 2,042  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 43 OF 45 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  Stonehenge: From a 1946 simul:

Oct-11-17  ahmadov: Some years ago, I was playing chess online with a guy from Estonia. He asked me if I knew Keres. I said yes and he started speaking further about Keres and suggested sending me a book about Keres. Some days later I received the book and a banknote with Keres picture on it. Unfortunately, I lost that guy later. If he visits this page and remembers me, I would love to resume my contacts with him.
Premium Chessgames Member
Dec-11-17  ahmadov: <tpstar>, exactly, this is the banknote I received :-)
Jan-07-18  Sularus: happy birthday! RIP
Jan-07-18  Magpye: Is there a good bio on Keres?
Jan-07-18  botvinnik64: Happy 102 Paul!
Party on!
Premium Chessgames Member
  transpose: I am surprised Keres never defeated Karpov, but then i only see two quick draws between the two. Too bad.
Jan-19-18  Sularus: <transpose>

just in case you haven't, consider their age difference, the age of keres and karpov when those games were played. imho, those draws were already quite an achievement for keres.

Jan-19-18  Absentee: <drnooo: The 48 championship was as rigged as the Clinton Sandars affair>


<Had Keres fled to the west...Fischers claim to be being the best player in the west would have folded under Keres domination and record...he would have beaten everybody and it would have taken the KGB to take care of him with either poison or a bullet.>

Counterfactuals aren't a very solid argument.

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <drnoo> <<Had Keres fled to the west...Fischers claim to be being the best player in the west would have folded under Keres domination and record...he would have beaten everybody and it would have taken the KGB to take care of him with either poison or a bullet.>

Fischer won his first two games played between them, and won four of the first 7 games.

Overall: Fischer had 4 wins, 3 losses, and 3 draws.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <Absentee: <drnooo: The 48 championship was as rigged as the Clinton Sandars affair>


<drnooo> means that it wasn't rigged at all.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Clinton Sandars affair> Brain bleach, stat!
Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: Stonehenge: From a 1946 simul:

<Paul Keres holds a simultaneous game of chess on 40 boards with sailors of the Baltic fleet aboard the battleship "October Revolution", Tallinn, 1946.>

Feb-08-18  Senk: Great article series:
Mar-07-18  todicav23:

"Over 100,000 people lined up the streets at his state funeral in Tallinn".

Mar-07-18  ughaibu: As he kept coming second in the candidates tournaments, why wasn't he nicknamed Paul the Third?
May-12-18  morfishine: God Bless Paul Keres!
Sep-06-18  JimNorCal: <paavoh>: " ... it is a great gesture that Tallinn has erected a statue for him. Happy to have found it on my last visit to that charming city."

I've seen it too- not so easy to find! Any chess player visiting Tallinn should attempt to see it.

Sep-06-18  Boomie: I played in Keres last tournament, which he won, of course. There were some fine players there. For example, Walter Browne. But none in Keres class. I never got a shot at the champ, but my good friend, Jim McCormick did: J McCormik vs Keres, 1975

His bio here is a disgrace, by the way. He deserves so much more.

Sep-07-18  pazzed paun: Hard to imagine ....
That McCormick had friends
Sep-07-18  Nisjesram: <boomi> , i saw your interest in omv. <johnlspouge> and i defeated <big pawn> in omv debate very thoroughly and later <nok> too defeated <big pawn> in omv debate .

If you have any questions , you are welcome.

Thank you


Sep-07-18  nimh: That photo of Keres above is actually outdated by now. The open spot where the statue once was has been liquidated and a residential building is now being erected there.

The new location for the statue will be much closer to the street in front of the new house, and easier to find.

Nov-06-18  Boomie: Keres was Spassky's favorite as both a player and a man.

Samuel Reshevsky tried to pinpoint why Keres never became world champion. "Well, I believe that Keres failed in this respect because he lacked the killer instinct. He was too mild a person to give his all in order to defeat his opponents. He took everything, including his chess, philosophically. Keres is one of the nicest people that I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. With his friendly and sincere smile, he makes friends easily. He is goodnatured and kind. Yes, he loves chess, but being a human being is his first consideration. In addition to chess, Keres was interested in tennis, Ping-Pong, swimming, and bridge."

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: my library has this:

<Keres: Move by Move (Everyman Chess) Paperback 2017 >


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