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Leonid Stein vs Paul Keres
Moscow (1967), Moscow URS, rd 12, Jun-07
Spanish Game: Open. St. Petersburg Variation (C82)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-05-03  ughaibu: Of course I agree that Keres was a great player but sometimes his play comes over as if he was rather tired. Here Stein wins quite easily.
Jan-06-03  knight errant: To be fair to Keres, he was much past his prime by this time. In addition, Stein once called this the best game he ever played.
Jan-06-03  ughaibu: Thanks for that, I didn't know about Stein's comment.
Sep-21-04  aragorn69: The game is thoroughly commented by Lubosh Kavalek at He is fairly critical of Steinīs game too...
Jul-29-05  notyetagm: Stein gives Keres a lesson on the subject of the <weak backrank>. 30 ♗xf5! is a tremendous tactical shot; Black cannot recapture because 30 ... ♖xf5? 31 ♕xc6!! wins because of the double threat of ♕x♕ and mate on the backrank.
Jul-29-05  WhoKeres: It should also be noted that this was one of the first times Keres played the Open Defense to the Ruy Lopez as black. He had already beaten Tal in the same tournament in a sensational game with it, but Stein was too much for him.
Jul-29-05  MackTheTemp: the threat isnt qxc6, forking the queen and mate, it's much more simple

qd8!- mate follows

Jul-29-05  sitzkrieg: In an interview in 1971 Stein referred to this game as being probably one of his best. Keres was in 67 stil a very strong world class player, able to beat anyone. Stein won this all Grandmaster tournament a point ahead of competition and at the time seems to have been considered as a real candidate for the World Champion title (which Kotov mentioned in the tournament bulletin) About the game; the pawn sacrifice with a4 was the best move of the game. I give a variaton out of the book Stein, master of Risk strategy:

if 19..Qxe5 then 20 Re1! Qd6 21 axb5 axb5 22 Rxa8 Rxa8 23 Bxf5 and white's bisshops swing into action. 20..Bc7 21 Bg1! in this side variation explaines why 16(!). Kh1 was a good move..

When I replayed this game i was greatly impressed, I remember however that Fritz 6 found the move a4 in just a second.

@ Ughaibu; If you want to see a game in which Keres indeed plays a lot weaker against the same opponent check Stein-Keres,Parnu 1971.

Jul-29-05  sitzkrieg: Ah i wanted to post the link to the game but I see u already found it before:)

Leonid Stein vs Keres, 1971

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <WhoKeres: It should also be noted that this was one of the first times Keres played the Open Defense to the Ruy Lopez as black.> Ahem, no!

May-24-16  User not found: Brilliant game, love the ending but I would have been tempted to play 12.pxd4 instead of the knight. After that you've got a guaranteed passer if Bxe4. Not that white played too shabby of course :)
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