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Paul Keres vs Miroslav Filip
Amsterdam Candidates (1956), Amsterdam NED, rd 17, Apr-27
Spanish Game: Closed Variations. Chigorin Defense (C97)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Sep-04-03  WhoKeres: A famous game from the 1956 Candidates Tournament. 38. Kh2 is a blunder. Keres apparently found four winning lines at move 38, but selected this move as he thought it won most clearly. This loss cost him a chance at first place, as I believe the game was played in the next to last round. Filip is probably one of the least well known world championship candidate caliber level of players. He also played at Curacao in 1962.
Sep-05-03  Sylvester: Was Keres under orders not to qualify?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: Table of 1956 CT is on
Dec-06-03  Resignation Trap: Shortly after this game was played, Ragozin annotated it in a Russian publication. He noted that 26. e5! was advantageous for White: 26...dxe5 27.Qxb7 exd4 28. Bxd4 Bc6 29. Qb2.

Instead Keres played 26. Nb3? He was hoping for 26...Bxa4 27. e5 dxe5 28. Qxb7 Rb8 29. Qxa6 Bxb3 30. Bxe5!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: After 26.e5 dxe5 27. Qxb7 black can continue 27...Rb8 28.Nc6 (28.Qxa6 Rxb2 29.Rxb2 exd4 ) 28...Rxb7 29.Nxd8 Rxd8 30.Bxe5 and the position looks equal.
Aug-17-09  Dredge Rivers: <Sylvester> <Was Keres under orders not to qualify?>

I don't know, but if not his strategy in this and the previous two rounds really has to be questioned. Both were quiet draws, (with Smyslov and Panno respectively) when he should have and needed to play more agressively. As a result, in this one he was forced to be TOO agressive.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <WhoKeres: A famous game from the 1956 Candidates Tournament. 38. Kh2 is a blunder. Keres apparently found four winning lines at move 38, but selected this move as he thought it won most clearly.>

Simplest was 38.Qf6! Nxe5 39.Qxe5 and 39....Re8 is crushed by 40.Qc7.

Keres only had this chance, though, because 36....Nf7 was a blunder. Instead 36....Rc4 was dead equal, according to Shredder.

About the tournament as a whole, Keres wrote: <I employed new tactics at this tournament, the chief idea being to save as much energy as possible. For this purpose I was ready to incur a series of short draws whenever the position offered very few realistic chances of obtaining an advantage. In between, I aimed at inserting here and there a full point. One may indeed entertain varying opinions about such a strategy, but in Amsterdam they served very well.>

<The Quest for Perfection, p. 99>

In the first half of the tournament Keres went +2-0=7, good for a second place tie with Bronstein, a half point behind Geller. In the tenth round Keres beat Bronstein in this famous game Bronstein vs Keres, 1956, which put him in first. But (says Keres) he failed convert strategically won positions Spassky and Pilnik into wins, which allowed Smyslov to catch up.

Going into this game, played in the next-to-last round as WhoKeres said, Keres was a half-point behind Smyslov.

Sep-02-17  ughaibu: It's interesting that this was Keres' only loss to Filip and presumably the most important game between them. I guess the same can be said of his loss to Benko at Curacao. Are there other equally conspicuous exemplifers of Keres' apparent tendency to lose his nerve?
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