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Paul Keres vs Vasily Smyslov
Zurich Candidates (1953), Zurich SUI, rd 24, Oct-13
English Opening: Anglo-Indian Defense. Hedgehog System (A17)  ·  0-1



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Given 55 times; par: 50 [what's this?]

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Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Thanks <Petrosianic>!
Jun-13-12  ughaibu: It's pretty @#$%* obvious which remarks, isn't it? "All the GM's got together and ganged up on Needleman to keep him out of the FIDE lottery" is incorrect and defamatory.
Jun-13-12  Petrosianic: Okay, well I just explained why those remarks couldn't have been defamatory,and you don't seem to have any answer to my explanation. Repeating a mistake doesn't make it become true as a consolation prize.
Jun-13-12  ughaibu: The term isn't exclusive to legal usage, again obviously, but here you go: So your explanation wasn't worth @#$%. Further, if the lengths of the games is a matter of public record, produce that record, produce any score from the play-off. Next, explain why those who only need to draw would have a motive to "gang up" on anyone.
Jun-13-12  Petrosianic: <The term isn't exclusive to legal usage, again obviously, but here you go:>...

I'm reading it. "Defamatory: The act of defaming." Oh yes, that was very helpful. This should show you the dangers of trying to use a link as a substitute for arguing your own case.

Before you continue, have you actually <seen> the games in question? And have you seen the crosstable of the event? If you haven't, they're available here on, so consider them "produced". You don't seem to have any idea why anyone would think they played harder against Needelman than each other, so I assume you've seen neither. Get the facts first, THEN form your opinion. That's the way the pros do it.

Jun-13-12  Petrosianic: Incidentally, how come you aren't upset about the Cheparinov comment? That's why it wasn't obvious which comments you meant. I thought I was harder on him than the others (the GMS in the Needleman case acted in their own best interests, but Cheparinov might have acted against his) but you seem to have passed that over completely.
Jun-13-12  ughaibu: 1) either you understand that "defamatory" has a breadth of usage or you're incorrigibly ignorant on the matter.

2) if you cannot show me any of the games, then I will not be able to see any of them, will I? If you can produce the score of any game from the play-off, do so. As far as I'm aware, those games were not recorded. The burden is on you.

3) you are some species of master, aren't you? This really should be piss easy for you to figure out, from my first reply to you. If the there is a collection of players, all but one of whom need only draws, and if it is late at night, after a hard day of chess, should it surprise anyone if the players who only need draws quickly both offer and accept those draws? On the other hand, if there is only one player who needs a win, would it be a surprise if that player offered or accepted quick draws?

4) are you unaware of the fact that this matter was fully sorted within days of the event? That Needleman himself repudiated any association with the accusations?

Jun-13-12  Petrosianic: 1) You have a tendency to ask people to accept your case before you've even made one. This is you third post on the matter, and only now are you deigning to actually argue your case, rather than demand I accept your conclusion on faith. This is why you lose arguments.

2) I told you where the games are, why haven't you looked at them?

3) If you'd looked at the games, you wouldn't be asking this. I'm telling you <what actually happened> in those games. You've got an explanation for why it probably wouldn't happen, which ignores the fact <that it already has>. You're like the mathematician who proved that bees can't fly. There's just one <tiny> problem with that theory...

4) I explicitly said that all the players acted within the rules. Therefore there was no "accusation". I'm just repeating myself now.

You're wasting my time now. Unless you look at those games, my next answer to you, word for word is going to be "If you'd looked at the games, you wouldn't make that mistake." I'm giving you my next post in advance, unless you prevent it.

Jun-13-12  ughaibu: Link to a game from the play-off, any game.
Jun-13-12  Petrosianic: If you'd looked at the games, you wouldn't make that mistake.
Jun-13-12  Petrosianic: To cut this short, it wouldn't help to link to one game. I could link to one GM draw, and it wouldn't prove anything by itself. You'd have to see all of the games to get an accurate picture. That would be a lot of work to link to every game without any guarantee that you'd even look at them, or that the facts would matter if you did (you've given me considerable reason to doubt that).

So, how about this? I'll admit that you've won the battle of wills (because I couldn't "make you drink", so to speak), but not the argument (because you haven't given me any reason not to repeat the claim to the next guy). But at least you can say you won something.

Jun-13-12  ughaibu: Bull @#$%. You have far greater credibility as a historian of chess than I have, but your persistence with this nonsense is jeopordising that status.

The play-off games were not recorded, as far as I know, linking to any score from the play-off would be sufficient to show me to be wrong about this.

You're not a fool, are you? You understand that given two players, A and B, if A only needs a draw but B needs a win, then there is no surprise about A offering a draw as early as possible, neither is there any surprise about B refusing all offers of draws, for as long as possible. In the Needleman case, there were several players in A, so there is nothing surprising about them agreeing quick draws, is there? In B there was only one player, Needleman, so there is nothing surprising about him refusing draws, is there?

Sure you can repeat the claim to the next guy, but why would you? The "ganging up" claim was made by one excessively nationalistic journalist, it was denied by everyone else, including Needleman. In short, there is even less of a case for ganging up than there is with Bronstein's nonsense about Zurich, or Fischer's about Curacao. So, not only is supporting this nonsense beneath the level of your wit, it's also beneath the level of your integrity.

Jul-07-12  LoveThatJoker: Guess-the-Move Final Score:

Keres vs Smyslov, 1953.
Your score: 55 (par = 49)


Aug-22-15  ToTheDeath: A justly famous game, a masterpiece of defensive ingenuity.
Aug-22-15  ToTheDeath: "Don't Rook Back"
Mar-11-18  sakredkow: Grischuk asked if he remembers a "famous Steinitz game with a rook manouevre". His response: "No, but I remember a really famous game with Keres-Smyslov in Candidates 1953. White put rooks on h3 and h5, took on h7 - and lost."

Tweet from Tarjei Svenson following Grischuk-So game and interview in Berlin.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: The questioner asked about this game specifically:

Steinitz vs Von Bardeleben, 1895

Premium Chessgames Member
  drleper: That part of the interview (about Keres - Smyslov) is here:

Although it's worth watching from the start, Grischuk in top form!

Mar-22-18  Howard: Incidentally, Soltis wrote a long two-part article for ChessCafe many years ago titled "Treachery In Zurich", and he touched upon this game, in fact.

One point to be made was that not only was Keres trailing Smyslov going into this game, but Keres had not yet taken his second-half bye..but Smyslov had. Thus, Keres needed to strive for a win at all costs here.

Too bad it backfired on him.

Mar-22-18  Marmot PFL: Keres at least twice could have forced a draw I think but needed to win.
Oct-13-18  Howard: Exactly where was the point-of-no-return in this game? Bronstein's book doesn't really specify where.

In other words, at one point did Keres throw away the draw for good?

Oct-13-18  Olavi: Usually 20.Dg4 is given (c3 21.Bxc3 Rxc3 22.Rxc3 Qxd4 23.Qxd4 Bxd4 24.Rc7).
Oct-13-18  SChesshevsky: <Howard> Could be going all out for the h-file attack after 18...g6 was all or nothing.

Might be very limited chances of success without ideas on fighting for the key f6, g7, h8 dark squares though.

Best examples I can think of for successful like attacks are the Dragon Yugo attack such as in Fischer - Puryo something. A Mongolian as Soltis notes in his Fischer book. And the famous Karpov - Korchnoi 74 game, and a win by Polgar in the Sicilian match with Kaidanov. I believe getting rid of Blacks DSB helped in all.

Also Spassky had some somewhat similar attack success in his Geller match where he played the Closed Sicilian three or four times. I think dealing with the bishop was important there too.

Jan-14-19  bunbun: This game is referenced in Grischuk's Thug Life Compilation #2 --

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Certainly one of the most significant games of Kere's career. Being just a half point behind Smyslov prior to this the 24th round game (out of 30) and with a bye scheduled for the 25th round Keres felt the need to play for a win though realistically he still would have had some chances had the game ended in a draw. Keres, a classical player throughout his career here played for an attack when the position did not warrant it.

Kasparov:"This was one of those "key moments", when a player's qualities are fully revealed. Was it an accident that Keres placed the game "on its end" and played in an uncustomary manner? No, I think that this great player was simply unable to withstand the savage tension in decisive, culminating moments on the very approaches to the chess heights."

This game started as an English but transposed into a position that can be reached in the Queen's Indian (E14) or the Queen's Gambit.

21 Qc1 was a clever trap: eg. 21..Bxg2 (21..cxb? 22 Qh6..Qxd4 23 Rg7+ and mates) 22 Bxg2..bxc 23 Qh6..Rc1+ 24 Bf1..Rxf1+ 25 Kxf1..b8(Q) 26 Ke2 and Black has only a perpetual.

Although this game did not show Keres at his best Smyslov's 19..dxc! was a brilliant defense reminiscent of Karpov at his best.

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