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Paul Keres vs Kurt Richter
"Excuse Me if I'm Kurt" (game of the day Dec-20-2016)
Munich (1942), Munich GER, rd 8, Sep-22
English Opening: King's English. Four Knights Variation General (A28)  ·  0-1



Annotations by Alexander Alekhine.      [77 more games annotated by Alekhine]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Alekhine said of 11...♔d7 "that it deprives White's flank attack of any point."
Nov-27-10  WhiteRook48: i believe that 51 kf4 may last longer. if not, kg5 does but still loses
May-13-12  Rook e2: <samvega: this Alekhine-annotated game appears to have gone un-noticed > It does, maybe it deserves some attention.. Very nice game!
Dec-25-14  visayanbraindoctor: This game is mentioned in Lipnitsky's book Questions of Modern Chess Theory. It was featured in:

<There are many more examples in the book which have this 'futuristic' quality. Many of Lipnitsky's examples can now be found in any serious book on chess strategy. In a chapter on making concrete decisions, Lipnitsky gives the following now-famous position:

Keres vs K Richter, 1942

Indeed, this position is also included again in Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy, where it features in the chapter 'Royalty in our times' about the modern ideas on where to put your king. Black's move 11...Kd7!! was, as Lipnitsky mentions, already praised by Alekhine who 'observes that it deprives White's flank attack of any point.' (Apparently, Richter's creativity had not suffered from the circumstances in which this game must have been played.)>

A surprising plan by Richter, one of chess history's underrated masters (same as with Lipnitsky himself). Keres by that time may have been the world's leading Title contender, but he falls to Richter's imaginative play.

Chekhover vs Pirc, 1935 is also mentioned.

These games are often quoted as <modern>, as though only more recent masters can play them. Now this I don't get at all. The above games were played in 1942 and 1935 by pre-WW2 masters.

As was this game on which I have posted some notes on Capablanca vs T van Scheltinga, 1939

In all these games, the winning side left their kings in the center and developed their flanks instead. It can look surprising, and takes quite a bit of imagination and courage to do, but sometimes the concrete positional and tactical conditions allow such development. In these cases, it so happened that castling would place their Kings in a line of tactical fire and hence their kings were actually safer in the center.

Karpov was later to emulate the same strategy.

Kamsky vs Karpov, 1993. Karpov shocked Kamsky and their chess audience by developing his King into the center.

Apr-09-16  morfishine: Richter's win over Keres sent seismic shock waves through the chess community
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: 53...Qxf3+ 54. Kxf3 Ra8 wins immediately. (Alekhine points this out one move later.)
Dec-20-16  AlicesKnight: <visayanbraindoctor> Interesting. Perhaps also L Merenyi vs Capablanca, 1928 - an attacking king at move 9, though admittedly the queens have come off. The ending is also noteworthy.
Dec-20-16  mrknightly: The historical aspects of this game are indeed interesting. In Munich in the middle of WWII, we have an Estonian (Estonia was under Russian control prior to WWII, but was occupied by Germany by July 1941)playing a German with the game commentary by a Russian (Germany had invaded Russia in June 1941)who had been living in France, under German occupation.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <Estonia was under Russian control prior to WWII>

Not quite.

Dec-20-16  The Boomerang: What a game!
Dec-20-16  RandomVisitor: After 11.h4

click for larger view


+0.11/29 11...Rg8 12.hxg5 hxg5 13.Qd1 a5 14.f3 Qe7 15.a3 Bc5 16.Nd5 Nxd5 17.Qxd5 Bc8 18.Bf2 c6 19.Qd2 Be6 20.g3 Bxf2+ 21.Kxf2 Qc7 22.g4 0-0-0 23.Qd4 Kb8 24.e4 a4 25.Rd1 Qa5 26.Be2 Qe5 27.Qxe5 dxe5 28.Rh5 Rxd1 29.Bxd1 Bxc4

+0.21/29 11...Bc5 12.Qd2 Rg8 13.hxg5 hxg5 14.Rh6 Ng4 15.Rh5 a5 16.a3 a4 17.e4 Be6 18.Be2 Qe7 19.Qc2 Qf6 20.Bxg4 Bxg4 21.Nd5 Qg6 22.Rh1 Kd8 23.f3 Be6 24.Bf2 b6 25.g4 Re8 26.Bxc5 dxc5 27.Kf2 Kc8 28.Kg2 Kb7 29.Qc3 Rad8 30.Rcd1 Bxd5 31.cxd5

+0.35/29 11...c5 12.Qxd6 Qxd6 13.Bxd6 Ne4 14.Be5 f6 15.f3 fxe5 16.fxe4 Bh7 17.hxg5 hxg5 18.g3 Ke7 19.Bg2 Bg6 20.Kd2 Raf8 21.a3 Bxc3+ 22.Kxc3 g4 23.Rxh8 Rxh8 24.Rh1 Rxh1 25.Bxh1 b6 26.Kd3 Be8 27.Bg2 a5 28.e3 Bc6 29.Bf1 Kf6 30.Be2 Kg5 31.Bd1

Dec-20-16  thegoodanarchist: <mrknightly: ...(Estonia was under Russian control prior to WWII, but was occupied by Germany by July 1941)...>

Russian control!, he says.

Try <Soviet Union> control.

<MissScarlett: <Estonia was under Russian control prior to WWII>

Not quite.>

Yes you are right. WWII started in Europe on September 1st, 1939 (officially), with the Nazi German invasion of Poland. At that time, Estonia was an independent Baltic state (NOT Balkan state, Baltic state!)

The <Soviet Union> (not Russia) waited about 9 months after that, to occupy Estonia, in June of 1940.

Good catch, <Scarlett>.

Dec-20-16  Olavi: Soviet troops were in Estonia since autumn 1939.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <VisayanBrainDoctor> Lipnitsky's book is indeed an all-time classic.
Dec-20-16  RandomVisitor: After 11...Kd7

click for larger view


<+0.60/36 12.Rd1 Ne4 13.c5> Bxc3+ 14.bxc3 Nxg3 15.fxg3 Re8 16.e3 Qe7 17.Bb5+ c6 18.0-0 Qxe3+ 19.Qxe3 Rxe3 20.Rxd6+ Ke7 21.Rxf5 cxb5 22.Rxh6 gxh4 23.gxh4 Rg8 24.Rh7 Rf8 25.h5 Rxc3 26.Rg7 Ke6 27.Rf2 Rxc5 28.g4 a5 29.h6 Rh8 30.h7 f6 31.Rxb7 Rg5 32.Re2+ Kd6 33.Rg2 Ke5 34.Kh2 f5 35.Rxb5+ Kf4 36.Rb7 Rxg4 37.Rxg4+ Kxg4 38.Kg2 Kg5 39.Kg3 f4+ 40.Kf3 Kg6 41.Re7 Rxh7

Dec-20-16  RandomVisitor: 40.e6 appears to draw.

click for larger view


0.00/26 40...fxe6 41.fxe6 a4 42.Rf2 b3 43.e7 bxa2 44.Rxa2 Kb3 45.Kd7 Kxa2 46.Kxc8

0.00/26 40...a4 41.exf7 b3 42.Re2 Rf8 43.g6 b2 44.Ke7 Kd3 45.Kxf8 Kxe2 46.g7 b1Q 47.g8Q Qxf5 48.Kg7 Qe5+ 49.Kh6 Qd6+ 50.Kh5 Qh2+ 51.Kg4 Qg1+ 52.Kh5 Qh1+ 53.Kg5 Qd5+ 54.Kf6 Qd6+ 55.Kg7 Qg3+ 56.Kh7 Qh2+ 57.Kg7 Qe5+

0.00/26 40...Kd3 41.Rg2 fxe6 42.fxe6 c2 43.Rxc2 Kxc2 44.Kd7 Rb8 45.e7 b3 46.axb3 Kxb3

Dec-21-16  RandomVisitor: After 15.Qxg3

click for larger view


0.00/40 15...Qf6 16.c5 Ke7 17.hxg5 hxg5 18.Rxh8 Rxh8 19.Qf3 Rc8 20.cxd6+ cxd6 21.Qxb7+ Bd7 22.Qe4+ Qe5 23.Qxe5+ dxe5 24.Rc1 Rb8 25.e4 Rb2 26.Bc4 Bc6 27.Bd5 Bxd5 28.exd5 g4 29.c4 Kd6 30.Rc3 a5 31.g3 a4 32.Ra3 Rb4 33.Rc3 Rb2

+0.17/40 15...Qe7 16.c5 f6 17.cxd6 cxd6 18.Rd4 Rae8 19.hxg5 fxg5 20.e3 Kc7 21.Bd3 Bxd3 22.Rxd3 Qe5 23.Qf3 Qe4 24.Qxe4 Rxe4 25.Rd4 Re5 26.g4 Ra5 27.a4 b5 28.axb5 Rxb5 29.Ke2 Rb2+ 30.Kd3 Rxf2 31.Ra4 Kd7 32.Rxa7+ Ke6 33.Ra6 Rb2 34.Ra5 Rg2 35.Ra4 Rb2 36.Rh5 Rf2 37.Re4+ Kd7 38.Rd4 Ra2 39.Rh1 Ke6 40.Rb1 h5

Jul-09-20  Predrag3141: For anyone that wondered how a Soviet chess player found himself in Munich in 1942, I found the answer in Keres's Wikipedia page.

Keres's birthplace, Estonia, was indeed part of the USSR starting with the Nazi-Soviet Pact on August 23, 1939. But then the Nazis seized Estonia in the course of invading the USSR. For a couple years after this, Keres played in Germany -- including this Munich event.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Indeed Keres did, and such 'collaboration' brought him in for potential danger after the war--had he been a minor master, he may have wound up in a camp as Petrov did, or on the gallows.

It was not for nothing that Fedor Parfenovich Bohatirchuk fled to the American zone postwar under the alias Bogenko and eventually made his way to Canada; he well knew what might await him on a return to Ukraine, after working in a Nazi 'research unit' there.

Jul-10-20  Alan McGowan: The score given here is incorrect in several places, as was confirmed by research on how the game appeared in nine publications for Kurt Richter: A chess Biography with 499 Games.

Kurt Richter provided an article about several endgames from Munich 1942 in the November 1942 Deutsche Schachblätter. He included the score of this game from move 30 to the end. Brinckmann was editing the periodical because Richter, the previous editor, had been called up for war duties earlier in the year.

Brinckmann included the game in Europa-Schach-Rundschau (1943), where it was annotated by Alekhine, but the score he used differed in five sections. That incorrect score was later used in Alekhine's Spanish language books Legado and Gran Ajedrez, as well as -somewhat ironically - in Kurt Richters beste Partien (1961), by Brinckmann.

Confirmation of the correct score was given by Mr Hendrik Olde, who compiled Paul Keres: Photographs and Games (1995). Mr Olde had access to Keres' scoresheets and said that they "were of great help as he always filled them in correctly and in legible writing."

The score I provided in my book about Richter appeared in the October 1942 Schach-Echo, the November 1942 Deutsche Schachzeitung, Barcza's tournament book and the Keres work. Richter's endgame article followed the same score, with one exception; he gave 50...Qd5+ where Keres and the others show 50...Qd5+. That could have been a misreading of Richter's handwriting or a typographical error.

The correct moves are:
22.Rg5! Be4 23.Be2 Reg8
32.Kd5 c4 33.e4 Kb4 34.g5 c3
43.f7 b3
46.g6 b2
50.Kf5 Qd7+

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <he gave 50...Qd5+ where Keres and the others show 50...Qd5+.>

Practically indistinguishable.

Jul-10-20  Alan McGowan: Where Keres and the others show 50...Qd7+.
Jan-23-21  Helios727: Is it possible that the Germans pressured Keres to lose this game and perhaps others as well during the time that he was living under German control?
Sep-19-21  tbontb: A game famous for Black's startling eleventh move ! As Alekhine points out, after 38.Kxd6 Black wins the race and queens first while e.g. 38.Kd4 a4 39.Kd3 Rh8 40.Rg2 Rh3+ 41.Kd4 Rh1 should probably draw. However, earlier on Black missed 33....Kd3 34.e4 Rc8 35.Rxf7 Rc5+ 36.Ke6 c3 which seems decisive.
Jul-26-22  brimarern: I know GM Keres is lost, but 58. g8=Q with stalemate traps is just pure tactical genius. The first time I saw it, I applauded at my laptop.
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