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Raymond Keene vs Anthony Miles
"Miles to Go" (game of the day Nov-14-2017)
Hastings (1975/76), Hastings ENG, rd 13, Jan-12
Queen's Gambit Declined: Semi-Tarrasch Defense. Main Line (D42)  ·  1-0



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Given 61 times; par: 38 [what's this?]

Annotations by Raymond Keene.      [407 more games annotated by Keene]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 9 OF 9 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Mar-11-12  sevenseaman: <stst> <I go against all praises, 20.Qb1 is "soft" and delays the win somewhat....>

I like your spirit of adventure but you must consider 21...Ne5, forking the White R and the Q. I think its better for Black than <21...Qxd4> you have chosen.

Mar-11-12  James D Flynn: My main line goes
18.Nxg6 hxg6 19.Bxg6 fg6 20.Qb1(and Black must interpose or divert the Q) Ne5 (the only defense to g6) 21.dxe5 Ne4 22.Nxe4 Rc1+ 23.Qxc1 Bxe4 24.Qf4 Bf5 White is the exchange and 2 pawns up and can force the exchange of the black square bishops by Bg5, Black should ,perhaps, resign. However White can play to win the B on f5 e.g 25.Rc3 Qd5(gives up the reply g5 to the threatened g4 but Black is in virtual Zugzwang ) 26.g4 Be4 27.f3 Qd4+ Kh1 and White is a rook up. Black has to take the N on move 18 because of the double check Ne7 eg. 18. Nxg6 Bd6 19.Ne7+ Kh8 Bg7#. Black can certainly try something other than taking the B on move e.g 19. …. Bd6 18.Nxg6 hxg 19.Bxg6 Bd6 20 Bxf7+(Black cannot decline this one Kh8 21 Bg7+ Kh7 22.Qd3+ and mates on g6) Kxf7 21.Rg7+ Kf8(obviously White has perpetual here is he wants it with Rg3)22.Rd7+ Kg8 23.Rxd8 Rfxd8(Black has a material advantage with R , B, nad N for the Q but his K istill under attack) 24 Qf3 Kf7 25.Ne4 Be7 26 Nxf6 Bxf6 27<bxg5 wins the B on f6 and with Q for R and N plus 3 pawns and the exposed Black K White has a clear win. If instead 24….Rf8 25.Bxf8 Rxf8 26.Rd1 and White has more than enough material for the 3 minor pieces. Now for the game.
Mar-11-12  TheBish: Keene vs Miles, 1975

White to play (18.?) "Insane"

Funny, but when I first typed the above, it read "Inane", so I had to fix the typo! Back to the problem... I sense a sacrifice coming!

18. Nxg6!! hxg6

I don't think there is much difference between this and 18...fxg6, as the follow-up move will be the same in both cases; the bottom line is White is weakening the king's position. Note that 18. Bxg6 first allows 18...Nxe5, which should still win after 19. Be4+ Ng6 20. Bxb7, but White wants to attack the king.

19. Bxg6 fxg6

Maybe not the best, but the threat was 20. Bd3+ Kh8 21. Bg7+ Kg8 22. Bxf6+.

20. Qd3 and the threat of 21. Qxg6+ with a quick mate will win, e.g. 20...Bf8 21. Qxg6+ Kh8 22. Bg7+ Kg8 23. Bxf6+ will mate.


Nuts! I rushed the ending. Close but no cigar. Analyzing from the position, the defense (after 20. Qd3) ...Ne5! is easy to miss, but I'm sure in a game situation I would have seen that coming.

Jul-22-12  Swedish Logician: The game Keene-Miles must have been known to white in the game A Shariyazdanov vs V Petukhov, 2004 .
Oct-23-13  BSharp: Interesting to see comments about wanting the to grow the game's popularity under this brilliant mating attack and then to see the 2004 match Swedish posted above ending in resignation. Basketball didn't grow in popularity by calling off the fast break every time it's obvious a player has a clear path to the basket. Brilliant endings should be witnessed, not imagined. That might help market chess to more than just chess players. I'm not saying it solves all problems, but it does epitomize what perpetuates the perception of elitism.
Mar-16-14  crazyim5: 15. Rg3 was the hardest move to find. You really need to have the whole concept in your head to see that move!
Premium Chessgames Member
  ray keene: Definitely one of my favourite games, though I am quite fond of my other victories against Miles. Against that generation of English Grandmasters I had a good score, 3 wins v Miles, 4 wins v Nunn, 2 wins v Speelman and 1 win v Mestel, with overall just 2 losses. Also some draws of course.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <ray....the important thing to know is that exactly the same positions can arise from

the english opening
panov botvinnik caro kann
queens gambit tarrasch and semi tarrasch

In the eighties, I had several games which reached the position after White's tenth via the Panov move order, but always played 10....Bf6 112.Be4 Nce7 instead of Miles' choice here.

Believe Samarian did not much care for 10....Nf6 in his book on the Queen's Gambit.

Apr-23-17  Sally Simpson: Keene v Miles

In 1975 the race was on between Tony and Raymond Keene as to who would be Britain's first GM. and pick up the £6000 Slater prize.

From what I can recall most players I knew wanted it to be Tony. Tony was aggressive, adventurous, flamboyant. Keene was stodgy.

By the end of the year neither player had achieved their final GM norm but there was Hastings to come and both players had entered.

They met and this position was reached with White (Keene) to play. It was published in a newspaper and I had a go at solving it.

click for larger view

I soon spotted the Bishop and Knight sac on g6 but kept finding defences. I dug out my board and pieces, set up the position and tried for about 15 minutes without moving the pieces about.
No joy. When the Queen goes to c2 or d3 then Ne5 defends everything.

It was only when I played the double sac on the board 1 Nxg6 hxg6 2 Bxg6 fxg6 that I suddenly realised b1 was available. 3 Qb1 and Qxg6+ cannot be prevented. In the original position I could not visualize the vacated b1.

I know this position made an impression on me because it made me realise that I was not as clever as I thought I was and Keene was not just a stodge merchant.

How could Tony Miles lose to Raymond Keene?

In 1976 my library had grown by quite a bit so I easily managed to get my hands on some of Raymond Keene's games. Actually he was quite tactical player in his day and has some fine wins to his credit.
Through him I discovered the strength of active stodge.

Before that I was a Morphy man (1 e4 Nf3 Bc4) and actually avoided playing over anything with a fianchetto.
This is true, 70% of my Fischer's 60 was at that time was unread.

I started looking at other players games who were 'unfashionable' and I happened upon Tarrasch whose dogmatic ideas I had been told to avoid.

Things improved dramatically.
They say you always learn from your losses well this Tony Miles loss had a lot to do with me vastly improving my play and furthered my enjoyment of the game.

Nov-14-17  nalinw: Lovely appreciation Geoff (Sally)
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: I thought at the time that the race to become England's first GM was between Keene and Hartston. To me, it seemed like Miles came out of nowhere to win the race.
Nov-14-17  Romildo: And the race was won by miles, most certainly.
Nov-14-17  Romildo: Or yet “by Miles, not by miles ...”
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: With the GOTD title "Miles to Go" I assumed that he lost on time, but that is not the case.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: The kingside attack was irrestistible (in both senses).
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <Sally Simpson> - < Actually he was quite tactical player in his day and has some fine wins to his credit. Through him I discovered the strength of active stodge.>

Nice observation, Geoff. I was about to make a similar point ... Ray Keene at his best was a quite deceptive player: he used quiet openings like the Reti and Nimzo-Larsen, but was quite capable of devastating tactical sequences.

I played both Miles and Keene in the 1970s, in simuls - drawing with Miles and losing to Keene. I reckon Miles was the stronger player, though flawed - Keene was better at maximizing his talents.

Nov-14-17  ajile: <ray keene: Definitely one of my favourite games, though I am quite fond of my other victories against Miles. Against that generation of English Grandmasters I had a good score, 3 wins v Miles, 4 wins v Nunn, 2 wins v Speelman and 1 win v Mestel, with overall just 2 losses. Also some draws of course.>

Did Mestel ever play the Philidor Counter Gambit against you?

Nov-14-17  Magpye: <ray keene: Definitely one of my favourite games, though I am quite fond of my other victories against Miles. Against that generation of English Grandmasters I had a good score, 3 wins v Miles, 4 wins v Nunn, 2 wins v Speelman and 1 win v Mestel, with overall just 2 losses. Also some draws of course.>

And those 2 losses were against Miles. But a nice record all around.

Apr-22-19  mckmac: <Sally Simpson ...Actually he was quite tactical player in his day and has some fine wins to his credit. Through him I discovered the strength of active stodge...>

Nice post!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: The game that GM Ray Keene chose for his last ever column in The London Times today.
Jan-13-20  dashjon: on note 19(a)...Bf8 Fritz's 24.Qf4 is just a crush.
Jan-13-20  RandomVisitor: After 16.Bh6 Stockfish thinks that Keene is "miles" away from a win...

click for larger view


<54/82 1:06:37 +0.08 16...Nc6 17.Bxf8 Bxf8 18.Nxc6 Rxc6 19.Bc2 Rc7 20.Qd2 Be7> 21.Rd3 Ba6 22.Rf3 Bb7 23.d5 exd5 24.Rd1 Nh5 25.Ba4 Bg5 26.Qd4 Bf6 27.Qb4 d4 28.Rxf6 Nxf6 29.Rxd4 Qf8 30.Qxf8+ Kxf8 31.f3 h5 32.Kf2 Bc8 33.Bb3 Bf5 34.Ke3 Re7+ 35.Kd2 Rd7 36.Nb5 Rxd4+ 37.Nxd4 Bd7 38.Bc4 a5 39.a3 Ne8 40.g3 Ke7 41.Kc3 Nd6 42.Bd5 g5 43.h4 gxh4 44.gxh4 a4

Jan-13-20  RandomVisitor: Note that if 16...Nc6 17.Nxg6 hxg6 18.Bxg6 fxg6 19.Qb1 Qe8.

This square for the black queen becomes unavailable in the game when black plays 16.Re8.

Jan-13-20  RandomVisitor: After 15.Bh6

click for larger view


<60/81 2:42:38 +0.61 15...Re8 16.Rg3 Bf8 17.Bg5 Be7 18.h4> Nd7 19.Be4 Bxe4 20.Nxe4 Nxe5 21.dxe5 Qxd1+ 22.Rxd1 Nd5 23.Rf3 h5 24.Nd6 Rf8 25.Bxe7 Nxe7 26.Rc1 Nd5 27.g3 Rad8 28.Kg2 Kg7 29.a3 Rd7 30.Rc2 Rfd8 31.Rc6 Ra8 32.Kf1 Rad8 33.Rc1 Kf8 34.Rc2 Kg8 35.Kg1 Kg7 36.Kg2 Kf8 37.Rc6 Kg7 38.Kf1 Kf8 39.Rc1 Kg7 40.Ke2 Kg8 41.Rd3 Kf8 42.b4 Ne7 43.Rdd1 Nd5 44.Ne4 b5 45.Rd2 a5 46.bxa5 Ra7 47.Nf6 Rxa5 48.Nxd5 Rxd5 49.Rxd5 exd5

Mar-23-20  Caissanist: Julio Kaplan, writing about this game in the April 1976 issue of Chess Life and Review (after 15..Rc8?):

<After this Black is lost. I was passing by the board when Miles made this move. He stood up, looking very nervous, and whispered to me: "I think I may be getting mated here! He can sac all his pieces!" Such nervous outbursts are common among chessplayers; no reply or opinion is expected, or indeed allowed. So I just smiled, put on my non-committal expression reserved for such occasions, and resumed my pacing. Then Keene played

16 Bh6,

stood up looking just as nervous, and told me: "I think it is mate! I think I can sac all my pieces!"

So I was not surprised when I saw the following sequence>

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