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David Bronstein vs Paul Keres
Amsterdam Candidates (1956), Amsterdam NED, rd 10, Apr-14
Spanish Game: Morphy Defense. Chigorin Defense Panov System (C99)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: Given how ruthless Stalin was it's not suprising medical help was denied him. What is suprising is that he wasn't assassinated earlier given the number of enemies he must have made.
May-03-05  Shams: <Gypsy> very, very interesting posts. thank you.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Gypsy>, I can only echo Shams. Fascinating.

I must admit, one reason I always discounted any accusation of chichanery in the 1951 match was that I couldn't understand why the Soviets just didn't stop Bronstein from winning the Candidates tournament. (As Gypsy notes, Boleslavsky, who had a very bad record against Botvinnik, was one point in front of Bronstein with two rounds to go. Bronstein won his last two, while Boleslavsky drew both games. Bronstein won the subsequent playoff.) Now I see I may have judged too quickly.

I should add, I still believe the 1948 match tournament, '50 candidates, '51 match, and '53 candidates were on the level -- not necessarily that there was no monkey business, but that the final result was legitimate. But it is evidently a closer question than I realized.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <keypusher: .... I should add, I still believe the 1948 match tournament, '50 candidates, '51 match, and '53 candidates were on the level ...> That definitely is a fair and sane way of going through life. I'll be happy if history settles the question conclusively that way.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <keypusher> Here is an interesting piece of the mosaic -- not teribly important, just interesting -- that of chess qualifications of Veinstein.

Enigmatic Veinstein has been presented as both, Bronstein's second and co-author, and an apparatchik in Beria's organization. Thus I thought that perhaps he was one of the many Russian masters that got drafted into intelligence/security services. But I never ran accross any mention of his games or participation in tournaments -- with one exception, I think.

If my reading between the lines is correct, in the last game/section of "200 Open Games" Bronstein actually describes his first encounter with Veinstein and the casual odds-game they played. The year was 1938, place was Kiev semi-final of the national championship, Bronstein was 14, and they were introduced by Bronstein's chess teacher Konstantipolsky, who played in the semi-finals. Veinstein gave Bronstein rook odds. The english-translation of the book gives Veinstein as 'GM Queenabber', which I think is derived from 'GM Ferz', a nickname Bronstein used for Veinstein. There seems to be an inside joke to the nickname, as 'ferza' is the russian term for queen, but, etymologically, it is derived from arabic 'vezir', the term for an advisor of the ruler of the land. Since Mr. Queenabber prevailed in their odds game in a Morphy-like fashion, and since he claimed to always play young gentlemen at odds, he must have been a chessplayer of considerable strengh.

May-17-05  checkpat: This is great reading but I am still waiting for an honest explanation of 42 Rd2 other than zeitnot and Bronstein
artistic temperament...
May-17-05  Poulsen: Why is 42.Rd2 such a mystery? I find it a rather logical continuation of 41.Rc6 offering the exchange. If black takes it, white plans to play dxc6 in order to capture the pawn on d6.

No, the real mystery is 46.Qxa4, which simply gives the position away. I don't have an improvement though, since I'm not a GM.

46.f4 and 46.Nxe5 are worth looking at. Or what about 46.Qb4? Perhaps an improvement should be found in move 45?

May-18-05  checkpat: 42 Rd2 puts a rook on a square where it is less active than before!!!

Certainly the pawn d5 does not require

May-18-05  sneaky pete: <checkpat> 42.Rd2 .. is a prophylactic measure meant to discourage .. Bxc6 43.dxc6 .. (after 43... Nc5 white can choose between capture on d6 or e5). The immediate 41... Bxc6 would have been countered with 42.dxc6 Nc5 43.Nxe5 dxe5 44.Qxc5 .. with a clear white advantage. After your earlier recommandation 42.Rxa4? .. black can however play 42... Bxc6 43.dxc6 Nc5 gaining a tempo by attacking Ra4.

42.Rd2 .. is no doubt the best move here, but there seems to be no forced win. Bronstein's mistakes were maybe moves 46 and 47 and certainly moves 49 (49.Ne3 .. is equal) and 50 (50.Qxc5 Rcxc6 51.Qxb6 Rxb6 52.Nc8 .. still draws).

White might have tried (after 46... Nc5) 47.Rxc7 Qxc7 48.b6 .. with (unclear) chances. Black could have avoided this possibility with the transposition 46... Bxc6 47.dxc6 Nc5 leading to the actual game.

May-23-05  checkpat: <sneaky pete> Thanks! Its much clearer now
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: clue #21: If you read Gypsy's post dd May-10-05 you will search in another direction. But Veinstein isn't it :(
Premium Chessgames Member
  cu8sfan: <whiteshark: clue #21: If you read Gypsy's post dd May-10-05 you will search in another direction. But Veinstein isn't it :(> Very funny. What a coincidence. Anyway, if hunting #21 has brought you here you've come a long way.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <cu8sfan: <Very funny. What a coincidence. Anyway, if hunting #21 has brought you here you've come a long way.>> Oh yes, indeed.

I put some descriptions of 'female' into a English/Russian translator a transcript the results. (женская женщина девочки мелкая сука цыпленка девчушки королевы)

Female = Kournikova, but no game of Kournikova was in the game database.

I googled that girl than... My Russian seems a bit rusty... :D

Premium Chessgames Member
  cu8sfan: <Female = Kournikova> Maybe it's a tennis player playing a Russian... B Becker vs Kasparov, 2000. Nope, dead end.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Keres defended this difficult game very instructive. I wonder why it is not mentionend in his <Ausgewählte Partien> from 1964.
Dec-10-08  sneaky pete: One reason may be that Keres afterwards discovered that both players mishandled the position just before the time control. After move 36... a4

click for larger view

Bronstein (200 Open Games) mentions the possibility 37.Rc6 Bxc6 38.dxc6 ... when black can still try 38... Nc5 (B. only gives 38... Nd8), but after 37.Rc6 Bxc6 38.Nb6 .. black would be in real trouble.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <keypusher: The confused and ragged character of the play is easy to understand. The Kremlin, forced to choose between a Jewish Ukranian semi-dissident and an Estonian collaborator, ordered both men to lose. In his memoir _Soelicism's Apprentice_ Bronstein eloquently described his fury at making a horrible move, only to have Keres respond with an even worse one.>

Now the truth is clear, after all these years of marvelling at Keres' sangfroid in defending a difficult position.

Da fix was in!

Oct-31-13  SimonWebbsTiger: Paul Keres, an Estonian collaborator? Jesus wept....It is a small miracle Keres wasn't sent to a Stalin Gulag.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Simon>: Or still worse.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Bronstein had a dominating record against Keres up to this game, and never beat him again afterwards, according to this database.

It was the first game repeating the same opening colors since Bronstein's famous victory Bronstein vs Keres, 1955 (1-0 Gothenburg Interzonal), and looks to be as nearly high quality from Bronstein up to the time control.

Had Bronstein won this 10th round game, he would have been a clear favorite at +3, with Smyslov only at +1 after only 2 wins and a defeat by Spassky.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: In point of fact, after Keres vs Bronstein, 1959, there were no decisive serious games between these old warhorses, with short draws predominating.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: This change of fortune could cause anyone to opt for short draws.

Bronstein, of course, is noted for having nerves cost him, most notably not closing out Botvinnik in 1951, and losing to an outsider with qualification at stake R T Cardoso vs Bronstein, 1958

The risk-reward of trying to beat Keres in these settings had to be excruciating for Bronstein.

After the adjournment, he probably should have shut it down, to use Magnus Carlsen's phrase, and taken a draw somewhere, but continues optimistically and makes several more mistakes.

Dec-10-16  paul1959: Keres gave his side of the story on several pages of 'The art of the middle game'. Here are the highlights: Bronstein sealed the strong 41-Rc6 but took 35 minutes to do so. Black only chance was to play unexpected moves and push white further into time trouble. 41- ... Rb8. This offers the a pawn and was overlooked by Bronstein. He took 15 minutes to play 42- Rd2! preventing BxRc6. 42... h5 43-Rd1. This move and the following are the real point behind Rd2: Black is tied up and Bronstein can afford to make safe moves that do not change the position until the next time control is reached. Then he will have plenty of time to find the win. 45- Qa3 Bronstein diverts from his do-nothing strategy and attacks two pawns. 45- ... Qe7 Black offers two pawns! This was too much for Bronstein. He spent most of his remaining time here checking which pawn to take. He could have stayed on the winning path with 46- Qc3. Instead, 46- Qxa4 is a miscalculation which cost White his advantage. 48...Rxb5! Bronstein was sure that Black could not play this. 49- Nxd6 with little time left Bronstein takes the wrong direction. Instead 49- Ne3 Rb8 50- Nd5 equalized. 49... Rb6! Now White chances take a bad turn. His further 50- Bb5 was a losing mistake but in any case Bronstein`s clock flag felled with still three moves to make.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi Gypsy,

Interesting post, and I did take it with a ' healthy dose of scepticism' but this bit:

"....and thus many other players gave him [Botvinnik]a wide berth (Flohr, Boleslavskij, Keres,...)."

Not Salo Flohr, he was quite friendly with Botvinnik to who he probably owed his life when Botvinnik smuggled him and his family out of the Netherlands into Russia via Sweden.

Also Flohr was Botivinnik's second in the 1951 match v Bronstein.

Dec-11-16  Amulet: <Gypsy:>

Three months after Stalin's death, Laurentiy Beria was already at the top command. He was working in his office preparing for his next plan for the party when two who officers sent by Kruchev came to arrest him. Beria upon seeing them frantically groped for his gun, but was too late for him. He was killed by Nikita's men. Nikita just made it appear that Beria was under custody and was being tried. And they made to appear that he was sent to the gallows where in fact Beria was already dead six months ago. ( That's how it allegedly happened, together with the allegation that Stalin died of poisoning, not heart attack)

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