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Paul Keres vs Eero Einar Book
"Book Moves" (game of the day Feb-09-2010)
Helsinki Olympiad qual-3 (1952), Helsinki FIN, rd 5, Aug-15
Semi-Slav Defense: Meran Variation (D47)  ·  0-1



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sac: 16...Rxc4 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: The number of possible puns in this one is high:

"Book 'em"

"By the book"

"Throw the book at 'em"

"Nobody Keres anymore"

"If I didn't Keres"


Btw,good exciting attack by black.

PS-"little black book"

Feb-09-10  VargPOD: Eero Einar Böök, one of Finland's all time greatest players. He could have become a professional, but chose a civil career for economical reasons. In his career he won e.g. Euwe and Reshevsky in the 1930's.

Euwe describes this game in his memoirs "Mestarin mietteitä" (Thoughts of a champion). He thinks 19...f5 a mistake recommending instead 19...Nxc4 20.Rxc4 f6 21.Bh4 Kf7 22.Qxd4 Qxd4 23.Rxd4 Be7 24.Rd3 Rc8 "strong center base, bishop pair and a pawn as compensation for the exchange".

Also, Böök thinks 20.Ng3 is decicive mistake, and 20.Bxd5 would win for white. After 20.Ng3 "white's initiative ends and black's bishop pair with strong central pawns weighs the game for black."

Feb-09-10  chillowack: I must admit, I was dreading another "GOTD-for-the-sake-of-the-pun" here, but I was pleasantly surprised at the beautiful game Book played. And against one of the best players of all time!
Feb-09-10  jefflissa: I've never seen Keres get completely outplayed like this before.
Feb-09-10  Petrosianic: Is this the guy who invented the Book Variation?
Feb-09-10  sfm: Wow!! A highly original game, incredible. Starts indeed with "book moves", but not for long.

Seems like 15.Nfd2 is a mistake, but no wonder if Keres missed 15.-,cxd4!! 16.Nc4,Rxc4. Black takes over the center, and chases back White's pieces. Total dominance follows and Black's king is safe enough. After 24.-,d3! the black tsunami starts rolling, and it appears that White is completely defenseless.

Keres is overplayed in a very unusual way. Wonder if a silicon monster can find improvements for White after 15.-,cxd4.

Feb-09-10  Marmot PFL: Fortunately for Keres he was able to play Book in the finals as well, and this time win Keres vs Book, 1952. Otherwise there could have been unpleasantness, especially if the USSR had not won the gold. Keres played board 1 but only scored 6.5 out of 12 (also losing to Szabo) compared to Najdorf (12.5 of 16) or new Soviet hero Smyslov (10.5 of 13 on board 2). I think Keres was USSR ch., but had erratic results throughout his career.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: What a delightful game! I really enjoyed the exchange sac with 16...Rxc4. In return, black gets such a powerful central mass that white can't really do much for the rest of the game.

Then 20...Kf7 to eschew castling in favour of the Rh8-h5-g5 rook lift. The black king is of course perfectly safe behind his pawn screen.

Finally, just when you think black will win by rolling his central pawns forwards, he goes around his pawns to make a crushing kingside attack.

The final position is funny, as black overwhelms white's king with sheer force of numbers. White can now choose to lose with three different ways of getting out of check:

38. Ng2 Qh1#

click for larger view

or 38. Kf2 Qg2#

click for larger view

38. Qg2 is, naturally, not much help either. White either loses a ton of material and could even allow this mate: 38. Qg2 Bxg2+ 39. Nxg2 Qf3#

click for larger view

Gruesome. And not a single book pun in sight.

Feb-09-10  meloncio: <jefflissa>< I've never seen Keres get completely outplayed like this before.> Take a look on this game:

Keres vs Botvinnik, 1941

Feb-09-10  sileps: 20.Bxd5 has to be better than the text move. It does several things to help white's position; opens up a file for the rook and eliminates one of black's strong knights.

Best reply for black is probably 20..Bxd5 and then white plays 21.Nf6+, I think this causes black some trouble.

Feb-09-10  Blunderdome: I guess it was hard for Keres to facebook.
Feb-09-10  Everett: White could have tried 14.Nfg5 with Geller Gambit type play.
Feb-09-10  Everett: 16..Rxc4 is one of the stronger exchange sacs I've seen in recent memory.
Feb-09-10  SuperPatzer77: < Once: What a delightful game! I really enjoyed the exchange sac with 16...Rxc4. In return, black gets such a powerful central mass that white can't really do much for the rest of the game...>

<Once> Yes, indeed!! This exchange sacrifice amuses me. It sure gives Black great compensation for the Black rook.


Feb-09-10  Shams: <sileps>< 20.Bxd5 has to be better than the text move...

...Best reply for black is probably 20..Bxd5 and then white plays 21.Nf6+, I think this causes black some trouble.>

In your line after 21.Nf6+ gxf6:

click for larger view

I have to disagree with you, black is simply crushing here.

Feb-09-10  WhiteRook48: 31 Ne2 looks like a good gamble
Feb-09-10  patzer2: <VargPod><...Böök thinks 20.Ng3 is decicive mistake, and 20.Bxd5 would win for white> He's right! After the forcing 20. Bxd5 Bxd5! 21. Rc8+ Kf7 22. Qh5+ g6 23. Nd6+ Bxd6 24. Qh6! , Black must surrender the Queen with 24...Qb8 25. RxQ (-1.82 @22-depth, 2-pcu, Fritz 10).
Feb-10-10  Shams: <patzer2>

click for larger view

position after 24.Qh6 in your line. I can neither see why black must surrender the queen nor why white is winning when your computer eval shows a near two-pawn plus for black.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: <Shams> Well, at least i can see why black must surrender his Queen. In the position of your diagram 25.Rxh8 is quite evident threat and 24...Rxc8 25.Qxh7+ and 26.Qxa7 is definitely worse for black than 24...Qb8.
Feb-10-10  VargPOD: Böök himself gives following variations:
20.Bxd5 Bxd5 21.Rc8+ Kd7

(after 21...Kf7 22.Bf4 fxe4 23.Bxe5 black would be completely helpless)

22.Rd8+ Kc7 23.Qc2+ Bc6

(or Nc6 24.Rxd5 exd5 25.Rc1 Qb7 26.Bf4+ Kd7 27.Nc5+ Bxc5 28.Qxc5 etc.)

24.Nc5! Qxc5 25.Qxc5 Bxc5 26.Rxh8 winning for white.

Feb-10-10  Shams: <Honza> you're right, I should have seen that.
Jul-14-11  SuperPatzer77: <Kevin86> Let's say "Book him for checkmate" when mirandizing Eero Einar Book. LOL LOL LOL. --> just a joke.


Oct-28-14  TheBish: Wow, I never saw Keres crushed like this before! I'm not too familiar with Book, but this has to be one of his very best games. Total domination of the center, ending in a mating attack.
Nov-14-20  Eric Farley: Pretty arrogant on Keres' part. To continue playing with four pawns down. Soviet's arrogance thinking that non-soviet players are mediocre.
Nov-15-20  sudoplatov: A quick Stockfishing expedition indicates that 22.Qh5+ is a blunder whereas 22.Re1 is equal. Also 21.Bd8 would have left White up about 1.36 Pawns.
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