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Paul Keres vs Reuben Fine
Zandvoort (1936), Zandvoort NED, rd 4, Jul-22
Reti Opening: Reti Gambit (A09)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jul-27-06  Maynard5: White plays a series of inaccuracies here. The aggressive 9. Ne5 achieves nothing, and concedes Black the two bishops. Subsequently, 18. Qf3 results in some short-lived complications, in which White emerges down a pawn. Preferable is 18. Ne5, to try to exchange the knight for Black's light square bishop.
Jul-30-09  AnalyzeThis: This looks like a really complex game.
Oct-23-10  uscfratingmybyear: I find 46...e4 just a stunning move.
Mar-29-13  Conrad93: Paul Keres played this gambit pooorly.
Feb-26-16  peterh99: I wonder what Keres hoped to achieve by giving up the pawn? Later, 46 e4 is a amazing coup as another commenter mentioned.
Nov-23-18  cehertan: I’d call this fairly routine super-gm technique and exploiting pk’s Inferior opening. Even one of the Steiner match wins stands out more for me, though fines record against top players is a tremendous testament to his strength (notwithstanding his fits against nemesis reshevsky). As he was still a young man when he quit who knows how far he could have gone.
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The opening of this game is hard to fathom. Fine played 9..Na5 putting his Knight on the edge of the board instead of trading Keres' central Knight with 9..Nxe5. The Bc4 is no doing much as in similar QGA positions so should go to e2 which 9..Na5 encourages. But Keres passes on this option and replied 10 d4.

The endgame on the other hand is amazing. Fine held an extra pawn but with few winning chances. He consistently sets Keres problems and is finally rewarded.

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46..e4! 47 fxe4 hxg4 48 e5 Rf3! (setting a diabolical trap) 49 exf6? (which Keres falls into. Only 49 Kg1! draws evading ..Bf1+) 49..gxf6 50 Kg1 (50 e4 Bf1+ 51 Kg1 g3 is no good) 50..Bf1 51 Rc6 Kf7! (not 51..f5? 52 h5 g3 53 Rg6+ Kh7 54 Be5. Fine prevents Keres' Rook form accessing the g-file) 52 e4 g3 53 e5

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53..fxe5! (53..f5? 54 e6+ Kg6 55 Bd4 lets the win slip since 55..Bh3 56 Rc1 f4 57 e7 Kf7 58 Re1 Ke8 59 h5 and White has counterplay) 54 Bxe5 Bh3 55 Rc1 a5! (not the hasty 55..g2? 56 Rc7+ Ke6 57 Bd4 and Black will be left with R&B vs R) 56 Kh1 (if 56 Ra1 g2! 57 Bd4 Rf1+ 58 Kh2 g1=Q+ winning a Rook) 56..a4 57 Bd4 a3 58 Rc2 Rb3 59 h5 Rb1+ 60 Bg1 Rb2 with the exquisite point that 61 Rc1 Bg2 is mate.

Sep-13-20  Retireborn: <woldsman> I think 9...Na5 is just an attempt to win the bishop pair, probably guessing that Keres would be averse to retreating the piece. In that context one could note the move 13...Be8, and that when Keres does eliminate the bishop pair with 21.Nd6, he's giving up a pawn to do so, which may well be the turning point of the game.

A modern player would likely prefer the more cautious 8.Be2, or 9.Be2 as you suggest.

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