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Paul Keres vs Lajos Portisch
"Who Keres?" (game of the day Sep-12-2016)
Moscow (1967), Moscow URS, rd 2, May-22
Spanish Game: Closed Variations. Smyslov Defense (C93)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Oct-07-08  Marmot PFL: The brain doesn't always work so good after move 80.
Oct-07-08  kevin86: How sad is it to play so well for 80 moves and then to die out at the end.
Oct-07-08  Ezzy: This game was from the 1967 Moscow supertournament won by the late great Leonid Stein. There were 4 world champions in the strong 18 man field, Tal, Petrosian, Smyslov and Spassky.
Oct-07-08  AnalyzeThis: It's hard to believe that Keres lost this, for the longest time he was the one who dominated the only open d file.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: <a lackluster game for Keres to say the least. Wonder what his comments were after the game?> I think his comments were, "Leave me alone."
Oct-08-08  drukenknight: the endgame is analyzed in Dvoretsky's endgame book, pretty much jovack's comments from 10/7 are the point of Dvoretsky. It's one of my books somewhere. I'll try to find it...
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <<acirce> The positional draw after 47. - Nxb2? 48. Nxb2 Bxb2 49. Kd2 Bxa3 50. Kc2 is quite extraordinary.>

Indeed, and it deserves a diagram:

click for larger view

If Black trades the B for the N, his King gets cut out of the battle, and he cannot win. White's King can stop both passed pawns. (Black's King move to c5 would be answered with Na6+ and then back to b4, BTW.)

<<al wazir> Doesn't the more obvious 89...Kxd7 also win?> This and other comments about 89...Kxd7 do not apply anymore. I guess there was an error in the score when those comments were posted.

<<AnalyzeThis>: It's hard to believe that Keres lost this, for the longest time he was the one who dominated the only open d file.> True. When the rooks were still on the board, White looked better. Keres was by nature an attacking player, and Portisch a positional one (and a solid defender). Portisch style was more suitable for the endgame that ensued after trading all rooks.

This database shows that 9...h6 was a popular line in the sixties and seventies (thanks CG for the Opening Explorer position search feature!). It's rarely seen today. The purpose seems to play Re8 without being concerned about Ng5, but there are more active moves available. Most players' choice continue to be Chigorin's 9...Na5 (101 games from 2009 in this database). Second comes the Breyer system, 9...Nb8 (63 games from 2009 in this database).

Dec-07-12  vinidivici: <acirce The positional draw after 47. - Nxb2? 48. Nxb2 Bxb2 49. Kd2 Bxa3 50. Kc2 is quite extraordinary.>

47...Nc5 is a clever move by black. And followed by 48...g5! that finally broke the white fortress. Its a masterpiece of ending by black.

47...Nxb2 48.Nxb2 Bxb2 49.Kd2 Bxa3 50.Kc2 Bxb4 51.cxb4 a3 ...draw, black king cannot penetrate

47...Bxb2 48.Nxb2 Nxb2 49.Kd2 Kc5 50.Kc2 Nd3 51.Nxd3+ cxd3+ 52.Kxd3 is an obvious draw.

So Portisch recognized this drawish trap and done the 47...Nc5 to avoid those lines.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <al wazir>,<dzechiel>,<TheaN>:

How is 89...Kxd7 winning the knight on d7 even possible? The knight is on f6 at that moment. Has the game score been corrected since those comments in 2008?

Apr-06-15  zydeco: Portisch at his best. He prepares well enough to neutralize Keres in his favorite opening, and then he shows tremendous patience and subtlety in the ending.

Keres made sound-looking, natural moves in the middlegame, but I get the feeling that he looked around at about move 32, and was surprised to discover that his pieces had no real prospects. His knights are badly uncoordinated for most of the game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Forgot to check the result of the game before studying it and thought that White had a slight edge in the opening and early middle game, esp. after he (temporarily) took control of the d file. Failed to appreciate how Black had subtly restricted the scope of the White Knights. Superb endgame play from Portisch.
Sep-12-16  sfm: Seriously bad pun.
Sep-12-16  wtpy: Great endgame.
Sep-12-16  Ironmanth: Wow. What a patient grinding down of White's defenses! Well done by Lajos.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <sfm: Seriously bad pun.>

Yes. The only people who would think of it as a pun would be people who pronounce "Keres" as Keers or Kears.

In fact it is pronounced QUAAAY-əəəəəə-AAA-R-əəəə-ee-aaa-SSSSSSH, so the pun doesn't work.

Sep-12-16  kevin86: A lot of horseplay in this one, but the pawns dominate this one at the end.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: It's worth knowing that this type of pawn setup:

click for larger view

is a draw because there is no way through.

Sep-12-16  morfishine: <offramp> It's brilliant!! said the Guinness man
Sep-12-16  cunctatorg: A gem of an endgame!!
Sep-12-16  Moszkowski012273: Yeah pretty damn sure I'd also play 47...Nxp and end up drawing.... Quite instructive.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: (To the tune of Gershwin's "Who Cares")

Let them blitz and blunder,
Let a score of pawns go under.
I am not concerned with
Weak debuts that I've been burned with.

Black and White play on and on
Until Black takes White's final pawn,
And nothing else can ever mean a thing.

Who cares how the kibitzers chatter?
Moves are the only things that matter.

Who cares if the pawn cares to fall on c3,
Who cares if Fischer goes bonkers
Long as we've got Portisch who conquers?

Why should I care?
Life's a 90-move endgame slog,
So long as Black's got the edge,
And time's on his clock.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: The song is from the 1931 hit Broadway musical, "Of Thee I Sing." It's about a man running for US President against a backdrop of beauty pageant promotion, dueling trophy wives, and embarrassing litigation. Nothing close to that would ever happen in real life, right?

But any further discussion of matters consequential, presidential should probably be redirected to the T Bush vs A Carter, 1976 page.

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: Bravo, bravo, bravo.
Nov-07-16  sudoplatov: Keres and Portisch are two legs of one of the dominance triangles among chess masters.

Lajos Portisch beat Paul Keres 4 to 1, with 3 draws. Paul Keres beat Mikhail Tal 8 to 5, with 17 draws. Mikhail Tal beat Lajos Portisch 9 to 5, with 18 draws.

There are other dominance triangles. Perhaps I'll try to post a list when I get a few of interest.

Aug-23-18  Granny O Doul: Korchnoi drew a dominance rectangle among the tree names above and himself. Not all the final results were yet in, but VK had then a big score against Tal and a small score vs. Keres.

8-5 with 17 draws seems to fall well short of ownership. For that matter, 9-5 is rather borderline.

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