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Paul Keres
Paul Keres at Hastings, © December 1964. 

Number of games in database: 2,044
Years covered: 1929 to 1975
Overall record: +1018 -207 =807 (70.0%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 12 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (185) 
    C78 C86 C83 C97 C88
 Sicilian (180) 
    B20 B50 B36 B43 B62
 French Defense (94) 
    C07 C02 C05 C10 C15
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (89) 
    C86 C97 C88 C87 C93
 Caro-Kann (62) 
    B10 B14 B18 B13 B11
 English (45) 
    A15 A14 A16 A13 A10
With the Black pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (230) 
    C72 C92 C99 C79 C78
 Nimzo Indian (125) 
    E32 E43 E41 E53 E45
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (107) 
    C92 C99 C97 C96 C91
 Queen's Pawn Game (81) 
    A46 E00 D02 E10 A45
 Queen's Indian (65) 
    E15 E19 E12 E17 E14
 English, 1 c4 e5 (41) 
    A23 A28 A29 A22 A20
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Euwe vs Keres, 1940 0-1
   Keres vs Szabo, 1955 1-0
   Keres vs W Winter, 1935 1-0
   Keres vs Geller, 1962 1-0
   Keres vs Verbac, 1933 1-0
   Keres vs Alekhine, 1937 1-0
   Keres vs Spassky, 1955 1-0
   A Karu vs Keres, 1931 0-1
   Keres vs Kotov, 1950 1-0
   Keres vs Capablanca, 1938 1-0

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: [what is this?]
   FIDE World Championship Tournament (1948)

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   non-FIDE Munich Olympiad (1936)
   Madrid (1943)
   USSR Championship (1947)
   USSR Championship (1951)
   Przepiorka Memorial (1950)
   Budapest (1952)
   Estonian Championship (1953)
   Mar del Plata (1957)
   Buenos Aires (1964)
   Bamberg (1968)
   Gothenburg Interzonal (1955)
   Bled-Zagreb-Belgrade Candidates (1959)
   Warsaw Olympiad (1935)
   Curacao Candidates (1962)
   Stockholm Olympiad (1937)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Match Keres! by amadeus
   Keres' Whirligigs made of chocobonbon for FTB by fredthebear
   Keres' Whirligigs by chocobonbon
   Challenger of 48 Keres_125 by Gottschalk
   The Road to the Top & The Quest for Perfection by Bidibulle
   The Road to the Top & The Quest for Perfection by alos2109
   Veliki majstori saha 20 KERES (1916-1975) by Chessdreamer
   Paul Keres "Valitud Partiid" by Legend
   Keres vs World & Almost Champions Decisive Games by visayanbraindoctor
   Keres vs World & Almost Champions Decisive Games by Okavango
   Paul Keres by Legend
   Chess in the USSR 1945 - 72, Part 2 (Leach) by Chessdreamer
   Quest for Perfection (Keres) by Incremental
   The Quest for Perfection by Edwin Meijer

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Paul Keres
Search Google for Paul Keres

(born Jan-07-1916, died Jun-05-1975, 59 years old) Estonia
[what is this?]

Paul Keres was born in Narva, Estonia and lived there his entire life. He was very active in correspondence chess throughout his youth, and soon began to make a name for himself at over-the-board play as well with a series of tournament victories culminating with a tie for first at AVRO (1938). Keres was thrice Soviet Champion, in 1947 [rusbase-1], 1950 [rusbase-2], and 1951 [rusbase-3]. In 1948, Keres participated in the World Championship tournament to determine a successor to Alexander Alekhine, finishing joint third. This would turn out to be the only opportunity Keres would ever have to play for the world title--he finished second ex aequo or outright four times in the five Candidates' tournaments, from 1950 to 1962 inclusive, but never won.

Keres scored 13½/14 at the 11th Olympiad in Amsterdam 1954 (1) and in 1963, he won at Los Angeles (sharing first place with Tigran V Petrosian). Keres suffered a fatal heart attack in Helsinki on the way home from winning a tournament in Vancouver in 1975, at age 59.

Keres is the player who has defeated the largest number of world champions, no fewer than nine: Capablanca ( Alekhine Euwe Botvinnik Smyslov Tal Petrosian Spassky and Fischer

With his five second-place finishes in Candidates events and his results against world champions, Keres was often known as "Paul, the Second" and "The Uncrowned King".

A list of books about Keres can be found at

References: (1) Wikipedia article: World records in chess , (2) Wikipedia article: Paul Keres

Last updated: 2023-03-17 05:17:43

 page 1 of 82; games 1-25 of 2,044  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Keres vs I Raud 0-1401929Parnu, Parnu-ViljandiC54 Giuoco Piano
2. I Raud vs Keres  ½-½541929Parnu, Parnu-ViljandiE10 Queen's Pawn Game
3. A Karu vs Keres 0-1271931corrD08 Queen's Gambit Declined, Albin Counter Gambit
4. M Villemson vs Keres 0-1511931Deutsche Schachzeitung 133-A corrA15 English
5. Keres vs Molder 1-0241931Tartu, Est jr chC33 King's Gambit Accepted
6. L Norvid vs Keres 0-1251931Tartu, Est jr chC12 French, McCutcheon
7. Keres vs R Pruun 1-0431931ChJB12 Caro-Kann Defense
8. Keres vs I Raud 1-0291931Tartu, Est jr chB25 Sicilian, Closed
9. R Pruun vs Keres 0-1241931Tartu, Est jr chE60 King's Indian Defense
10. Von Feilitzsch vs Keres 0-1321932corrC22 Center Game
11. Keres vs G Menke 1-0621932corrC33 King's Gambit Accepted
12. Keres vs Faltweber 1-0181932corrA06 Reti Opening
13. M Seibold vs Keres 0-1391932Deutsche Schachzeitung 1932/33 corrC12 French, McCutcheon
14. Keres vs Beskov 1-0431932corrC50 Giuoco Piano
15. Keres vs E Verbak 1-0171932corrC00 French Defense
16. Keres vs M Villemson ½-½471932Deutsche Schachzeitung 133-A corrD30 Queen's Gambit Declined
17. E Kiiver vs Keres 0-1581932Tartu, Est jr chE20 Nimzo-Indian
18. A Remmelgas vs Keres  0-1551932Tartu, Est jr chD02 Queen's Pawn Game
19. Keres vs L Peterson 1-0291932Tartu, Est jr chB01 Scandinavian
20. Keres vs Tuul 1-0331932Tartu, Est jr chC33 King's Gambit Accepted
21. J Vilkins vs Keres  1-03819322nd Match Vilkins - KeresC12 French, McCutcheon
22. Keres vs J Vilkins ½-½4519321st Match Vilkins - KeresC25 Vienna
23. A Peet vs Keres 0-1291932Moisakula Moisak-ParnuD02 Queen's Pawn Game
24. Keres vs A Peet 1-0191932Moisakula Moisak-ParnuC25 Vienna
25. Keres vs J Siitam 1-0211932Parnu, Est jr chC25 Vienna
 page 1 of 82; games 1-25 of 2,044  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Keres wins | Keres loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 47 OF 47 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-07-22  Cysticcandy2: Hi Mr. Technical draw! I'm a huge fan. You're very funny and been on here for a long time !
Premium Chessgames Member
  technical draw: Why thank you <Cysticcandy2>. You've just made 2022 a great year for me. I don't always get fan mail, but when I do it's from nice guys like you!
Jan-12-22  Albertan: The Perfect Score:Keres wins Tallinn 1942 with 15/15:

I wonder how many tournaments in the history of Chess the winner scored a perfect score?

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: A lot, so it would be useful to impose some restrictions.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Albertan>, one obvious example which comes to mind was Fischer's demolition of the field of the 1963-64 US championship; a lesser-known version was Belyavsky making a clean sweep in a South American tourney in the late 1970s (possibly held in Bogota).
Jan-15-22  Albertan: Perfidious thanks for your response.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Albertan>, another perfect result was that of Alekhine in Caracas, 1939.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: 19th century: Atkins won all his games at DCA Congress 27th (1899) and Lasker won all his games at the Impromptu Tournament in New York in 1893.

Neumann went 34-0-0 in some event.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Impromptu game collection:

Game Collection: New York 1893, The Impromtu Tournament plus

Rice 1913 CC tournament, which Capablanca swept:

Game Collection: Rice CC Summer Masters Tourn. (New York 1913)

Would be nice to have tournament pages for these two events, but reading Phony Benoni's writeup of the chaotic Rice event, God help anyone who tries.

Premium Chessgames Member


That is some impressive research you've done, especially on Game Collection: Rice CC Summer Masters Tourn. (New York 1913) .

It's exactly the kind of work that should be listed in the Tournament Index

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <JFQ> I'm just a MOOCHER!

The Impromtu was <Calli>'s doing, and New York 1913 was <Phony B>, assisted by <crawfb5> and <Calli>. Agree it would be nice to have those tournaments in the index.

Jan-16-22  Phony Benoni: <jfq> <keypusher> It's been nearly a decade since I worked seriously on Game Collection: Rice CC Summer Masters Tourn. (New York 1913). I think most of the information is there, and it's just a little mater of cleaning the Augean Stables.

My Herculean days are probably over, but I'll ltake another shot. If Ijust can't do it, I'll let you know.

Premium Chessgames Member
  gezafan: If you want to win playing the black side of the Ruy Lopez it's a good idea to study the games of Paul Keres. He had a high winning rate in it.

Keres played the Chigorin. He often played 11...Nd7 (the Keres variation) or 12...cxd4. He won a lot of games playing this way.

Oct-27-22  Chessius the Messius: In Italian, but lots of pics:

Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: Thanks for the pictures <Chessius the Messius>!
Feb-26-23  Honest Adin Reviews: what a way to go, happy knowing u won your last tourney! he is the only chss playa to have money with his face on it?
Feb-26-23  Olavi: <Honest Adin Reviews> Petrosian is on the 2000 dram note.
Feb-27-23  Honest Adin Reviews: what country>?
Mar-01-23  Olavi: < Honest Adin Reviews> Armenia, naturally. Check the English wiki page.
Mar-02-23  Honest Adin Reviews: o hell no, not wikipedoia garbage, nothing is right there as succinctly proven: stay away from it forever!!! check my posts right! how much money is on keres' bill?
Mar-02-23  Caissanist: Well, none anymore, Estonia converted to the Euro 12 years ago. Back when they had their own currency he was on the 5 kroon bill. My source for this is, yes, Wikipedia: .
Mar-02-23  Olavi:
Aug-04-23  ADmightywarriorIN:

paul keres was never given shot at title?

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <ADmightywarriorIN> Keres participated in no less than 7 title shots. He came in third in FIDE World Championship Tournament (1948) and was in every Candidates from 1950 through 1965, often coming in second (hence his nickname "Paul the Second").
Aug-04-23  Caissanist: A droll quote from Keres (quoted by Larsen in 1972):

<Sometimes I sit for 20 minutes and I know that some spectators are thinking that now there is something very deep coming: you know what's happening? I can't find any ideas and I am taking a nap--except for snoring and closing my eyes>.

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