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Paul Keres vs Jose Raul Capablanca
AVRO (1938), The Netherlands, rd 6, Nov-14
French Defense: Tarrasch Variation. Open System Main Line (C09)  ·  1-0



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Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <ughaibu> if you had the knowledge you claim, you'd realise it isn't nonsense.....on the other hand, maybe you wouldn't, since you know everything..........
Sep-22-05  ughaibu: Try the medical opinion here Jose Raul Capablanca
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: 9.Re1 Be7 10.Nb3 is another possibility, as Black's lack of development will cause him some trouble.

I believe Capablanca's judgment was correct, as it nearly always was; it's just that the line 6....Qe7+ isn't anything to write home about. Note how few games were played in this line until very recently.

May-06-06  Ulhumbrus: 15...dxc4?? is completely anti-positional, leaving Black with a broken Queen side. Capablanca has described himself the effects of his blood pressure at the time : he was playing in a red haze at times. Keres of course played superbly.
Jul-09-06  ismetov: old Capa lost, younger win easily (Capa died 4 years after this game!!!)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: <tud> <...and gets gold medal at Buenos Aires ahead of Keres, Alekhine, Najdorf, Eliskases etc. And Alekhine once again avoids playing him.>

<Calli> <I don't know the whole story of 1939. Why didn't Capa and Alekhine play?>

<tud> <Alekhine was the team captain of the French team. It's from what I heard, not read that Capablanca had to play someone else (Vassaux or Tartakover)when France met Cuba. It's not a surprise, you know, looking back to Alekhine's strategy.>

I have heard the same story many times too and it always convinces me again and again that some myths are very persistent if not immortal despite their evident factual falsity. The facts here clearly indicate the opposite that Capa avoided to play with Alekhine. When Cuba met France, Capa absented and Alekhine played on the first board against Alberto Lopez Arce. See Alekhine vs A A Lopez, 1939 and

Jun-01-07  jmrulez2004: Capablanca was such a wonderful player that it took an endgame to beat him, many players after keres wonderful moves would have lost in midgame.
Apr-18-08  Ulhumbrus: On 14 c4 Black cannot reply with 14...d4 and so it may seem that Black's centre has become a target instead of a weapon. However instead of 15...dxc4 which leaves Black with a shattered Queen side, 15...c5! changes things. It threatens ...d4 and on 15...c5 16 cxd5 Nxd5 threatens ...Nf4. So why did Capablanca not play it? The answer is that he was suffering from blood pressure and was playing in a haze, if not in a daze : Anything could have failed to occur to him. Had Capablanca been in better health, the public would have gained a completely different impression of his strength, such as that which he displayed at the Buenos Aires Olympiad in 1939.
Aug-02-09  birthtimes: This game provides a wonderful example of Nimzowitsch's concept of overprotection. By move 17, the d4 square is contacted by White's bishop, knight, and queen. On move 20, Keres moves his f1 rook to d1, further "overprotecting" the d4 square.

On the next move, Keres moves his knight onto the d4 square, and from that point onwards, as Nimzowitsch states, "the reward came in the form of a large radius of activity for the pieces engaged on that service [of overprotecting a strategically important point]."

That is, the knight radiated out from d4 to e6, g5, and f7; the queen to g4; the bishop to g7; and the d1 rook to d7 followed by e7.

Thus, "everything that we can include in the conception of strategically important points, should be overprotected. If the pieces are so engaged, they get their reward in the fact that they will then find themselves well posted [for further beneficial action] in every respect."

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Capablanca played the French all 3 games he faced 1 e4 in this tournament with only one draw to show for it. 6..Qe7+ was first played in Panov-Bondarevsky 1937 USSR Championship; it seems dubious as White obtains a large lead in development. 9..Bd6?! led to a further loss of time; 9..Nf6 followed by ..Be7 seems more logical. 15..dxc was almost forced due to the threats of c5 and Ng5. Capablanca may have been counting on playing 21..Rd5 only to realize that after 22 Nxc6!..Rxd1+ 23 Rxd1..Qxc6 24 Rxd6! White wins a pawn. Kasparov showed extensive analysis of 25..Re7 with Black having decent drawing chances. Capablanca's last chance to stay in the game would have been 27..Bxg3. Instead, he lost a second pawn and had no chance to save the game.
Sep-13-11  Kasparovsky5: Instead of: 28.Rxf4 Keres could have won prettily as follows: 28.Rd7!!,Bb8. 29.Bxg7!!,Rh5 (Kxg7. 30.Nd6+ wins the queen). 30.R4-d4,Rd5 (Practically forced). 31.Nh6 mate.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: <Kasparovsky5> - <28. Rd7> is better met by <28...Rd5>, for instance, 29. Rd4 Qxd7 30. Qxd7 Rxd7 31. Rxd7. I believe that Keres' actual move is still the best continuation.
Sep-16-11  Kasparovsky5: < Chessical> After 28. ...,Rd5 Keres has 29.Re7!!,Bxg3. 30.Nh6+!!,gxh6. 31.Rg7+,Kf8. 32.Qxg3,Qf5. 33.Rxh7 with an extra pawn and a dominating position as 33. ...,Qb1+?? loses as follows: 34.Kh2,Qxb2. 35.Qf3+,Kg8. 36.Qf7 mate!!
Feb-22-14  Everett: <Kasparovsky5: < Chessical> After 28. ...,Rd5 Keres has 29.Re7!!,Bxg3. 30.Nh6+!!,gxh6. 31.Rg7+,Kf8. 32.Qxg3,Qf5. 33.Rxh7 with an extra pawn and a dominating position as 33. ...,Qb1+?? loses as follows: 34.Kh2,Qxb2. 35.Qf3+,Kg8. 36.Qf7 mate!!>

Can't <30.Nh6+> simply be taken by ...Bxh6? Remember Black still has a Bf4, since your suggestion eschews its capture on move 28.

Even if Keres saw such tactical possibilities (and be likely saw many options) he chose the most solid and easily winning. Nothing to quibble about...

Feb-22-14  Everett: Oh, I see... Well Keres' move is still best, but I see you have Capa playing 29.. Bxg3. In either case, Keres is still crushing his opponent.
Nov-06-18  laskereshevsky: From what i know the only other game Capablanca was in the position after 6...♕e7+ was in this 1929 simul game Capablanca vs D E McNab, 1929 .... just in the white camp (!) ... He played 7. ♕e2 and lost... May be he hope Keres did the same choice? ... of course 7 ♗e2 is much better
Jan-02-19  machuelo: "Gypsi" is wrong. Keres just beat Capa once, in AVRO 1938.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: I wonder why Keres avoided 23.Nxg7.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Telemus: <Honza Cervenka> At least some commentators thought that White loses a piece after 23. ♘xg7 ♗e5.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: <Telemus: <Honza Cervenka> At least some commentators thought that White loses a piece after 23. ♘xg7 ♗e5.> OK, Keres apparently, as well as these commentators, missed that after 23.Nxg7 Be5 24.Bxe5 Qxe5 white can play 25.Qg4 attacking the Rook on c8 with next retreat of Knight from g7 via h5.
Premium Chessgames Member
  fredthebear: Paul Keres
"Keres beat nine world champions during his career, including Tal, Smyslov, Petrosian, Spassky and Fischer, some of them several times. He was the most consistently successful player and won more international tournaments than any of his contemporaries."


Jul-29-19  pdvossen: Paul Keres is one of my favorite players. I love Fischer, Tal, Kasporov, Short and more. However, the inventive and very strong games of Paul Keres intrigue me. So close to becoming World Champion so many times. His chess is simply powerful, and beautiful to study. If not for Soviet Politics, he most probably would have been one of the great World Champions. His not being a " Russian " no doubt hindered him in many ways. Yet, he made no excuses. This match as well as others are all worthy of study, this one particularly a good to consider in his creative style.
May-05-20  jerseybob: <Ulhumbrus: On 14 c4 ...instead of 15...dxc4 which leaves Black with a shattered Queen side, 15...c5! changes things. It threatens ...d4 and on 15...c5 16 cxd5 Nxd5 threatens ...Nf4> I'll agree that 15..dxc4 was bad(Stockfish suggests 15..Ng6), but the idea that 15..c5 is a game-changer seems a little over the top. I don't have Keres' notes, but after 16.cxd5,Nxd5 17.g3 seems OK, and if 17..Nb4 18.Qc3,f6 19.Bc4!? and black has defensive resources for sure, but I'd take white.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <perfessor>
On 23. Nxg7 Be5 24. Bxe5 Qxe5 25. Qg4 f5, why can't White simply play <26. Nxf5>?
May-05-20  RookFile: If chess was like Wimbledon in tennis and they had a championship tournament every year, undoubtedly Keres would have won some of these.
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