2016 – Year of Paul Keres

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  • 2016 – Year of Paul Keres

    2016 – Year of Paul Keres

    November 24, 2015

    The following is from the FIDE site:

    http://www.fide.com/component/conten...aul-keres.html

    January 7 2016 will be the 100th birth anniversary of the legendary chess grandmaster Paul Keres who has been nicknamed “The Eternal Second” in the chess world.

    Already in 1938, Keres earned the right to play a world championship match against Alexander Alekhine after winning the AVRO tournament in Holland, but the match never took place due to World War II. After Alekhine's death, the Hague-Moscow match tournament was organized in 1948, its winner was crowned the new world champion (Keres was 3. -4.). Since then, Paul Keres was one of the main world champion title contenders – for decades he was a participant in the Candidates Tournaments: Budapest 1950 (4th. place); Zurich 1953 (2. -4.); Amsterdam 1956 (2nd place); Bled 1959 (2nd place) and Curacao 1963 (2nd place). Due to the fact that Keres almost always came only second, he was nicknamed “the Eternal Second“.

    Paul Keres won the gold at 7 Chess Olympiads (1952-1964) as a member of the Soviet Union team. Later, he also was the captain of the Soviet team. In 1939, Keres came third at the Buenos Aires Chess Olympiad in Argentina representing Estonia.

    Paul Keres is a national hero of Estonia and a symbol of fair play. He was elected the Estonian Sportsman of the 20th century by a popular vote and is the only chess player in the world whose portrait has been on a banknote. Several Estonian cities have streets named after him, there are monuments to Keres in Pärnu and Tallinn, and in 2016, a monument will be built in his birthplace Narva. In 1975, Paul Keres Chess House in Tallinn was opened and it is active to this day. Many books have been written about his life and games, there are also several plays and movies about Keres.
    Outside Estonia, several Paul Keres memorial tournaments are held, as he has won the hearts of chess players all over the world with his chess games, fair play and gentlemanly behaviour.

    In connection with the 100th birth anniversary of Paul Keres, the Estonian Chess Federation in cooperation with the Republic of Estonia and the Estonian Olympic Committee will organize a year-round international memorial festival Paul Keres`100, which will start on December 8 2015 with the international youth tournament “Chess Stars of the Baltic Sea Region” in Narva. The final event of the festival will be the European Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships in December 2016 in Pärnu.

  • #2
    Re: 2016 – Year of Paul Keres

    Thanks for the great post, Wayne!!

    And of course, Vancouver has its annual highly successful Paul Keres Memorial Tournament each May. GM Keres scored his final tournament victory at Vancouver 1975, defeating GM Walter Browne in the last tournament game of his amazing career. :)

    I am also hoping that the centenary of Keres' birth, the year 2016, will bring new revelations about the Soviet government's treatment of Keres immediately following World War II. Many mysteries still remain.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: 2016 – Year of Paul Keres

      2016 – Year of Paul Keres

      November 24, 2015

      Yes, Frank, I hope that a lot is written about Paul Keres in the next year. In the FIDE tribute, I did not like the epithet, “The Eternal Second” at all. In my mind both Paul and David Bronstein were clearly the best in the world at one time and never got to be crowned World Champion for a variety of reasons.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: 2016 – Year of Paul Keres

        Paul Keres is featured at ChessBase today, his 100th birthday.

        http://en.chessbase.com/post/estonia...100th-birthday

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: 2016 – Year of Paul Keres

          2016 - Year of Paul Keres

          January 10, 2016

          There is an old British Pathé newsreel film on YouTube at:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elQoDWI6PZ8

          which starts with the drawing of lots for the 1948 World Championship Tournament at The Hague.

          You can see Dr. Euwe (47 years of age) draw first and then a very handsome and young Paul Keres (32). The other players were Samuel Reshevsky (37), Mikhail Botvinnik (37) and Vasily Smyslov (27).

          One can also see the tournament director, Milan Vidmar. Chess Review captioned a caricature of him once by saying, “a famous grandmaster of an earlier day. An incessant cigarette smoker, he is beloved by Dutch chess enthusiasts for his expansive waist-line” ,thereby committing two infractions against present day Political Correctness.

          The first game is Euwe-Keres:

          World Championship Tournament 1948, The Hague
          Round 1, March 2, 1948
          C75 Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defence, Rubinstein Variation

          1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 d6 5.c3 Bd7 6.d4 Nge7 7.Bb3 h6 8.Nbd2 Ng6 9.Nc4 Be7 10.O-O O-O 11.Ne3 Bf6 12.Nd5 exd4 13.Nxd4 Re8 14.Nxf6+ Qxf6 15.f3 Nf4 16.Nxc6 Bxc6 17.Be3 Rad8 18.Qd2 Ng6 19.Bd4 Qe7 20.Rae1 Qd7 21.c4 Ba4 22.Bxa4 Qxa4 23.Qc3 f6 24.f4 Kh7 25.b3 Qd7 26.Qf3 b5 27.Qd3 bxc4 28.Qxc4 Rxe4 29.Rxe4 d5 30.Qxa6 dxe4 31.Be3 Qg4 32.Qc4 Rd3 33.Bc1 Nh4 34.Qxe4+ f5 35.Qb7 c6 36.Qxc6 Rc3 37.Qd5 Rc5 38.Qd2 Rxc1 39.h3 Qg3 40.Qe2 Qxf4 41.Rxc1 Qxc1+ 42.Kh2 Qf4+ 43.Kg1 Ng6 44.Qc2 Ne7 45.a4 Qd4+ 46.Kh2 Qe5+ 47.Kg1 Nd5 48.Qd1 Nc3 49.Qc2 Kg6 50.Kh1 Qe1+ 51.Kh2 Ne2 52.Qc6+ Kh7 53.Qc5 Ng3 54.Qd6 Nf1+ 55.Kg1 h5 56.Qf4 0-1

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: 2016 – Year of Paul Keres

            2016 - Year of Paul Keres

            January 11, 2016

            GM Ian Rogers has a brief memoir about Paul Keres at:

            http://gardinerchess.com.au/gm-roger...been-champion/

            It includes pictures of the bank note and stamp with Paul’s portrait and a photo of his bust in Tallinn.

            Two quotes:

            - My first introduction to Keres came from his best games book, one of only two challenging chess books stocked by my local Heidelberg Library in Melbourne in the early 1970s. (The other was Bronstein’s 200 Open Games.) Keres’ annotations made me believe that I could attack from any position or any opening, though my games never seemed quite as smooth as Keres’.

            - Known as the perfect gentleman – who, legend had it, could pick a chicken leg clean using only knife and fork – Keres’ chess career was disrupted and arguably ruined by the turbulent politics of his era.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: 2016 – Year of Paul Keres

              2016 - Year of Paul Keres

              February 2, 2016

              Besides being a player, Keres was also a composer of problems and studies. He began when he was very young, 13-years-old, with a problem published in Päevaleht (1929).

              In his lifetime Keres is said to have composed about 200 problems and 30 studies. Way back in 1999, Aleksander Hilderbrand and Friedrich Chlubna published a bi-lingual booklet, Paul Keres der Komponist, with a short collection of his problems. A more comprehensive work would be welcome in the year of his centenary.

              A set of problems is given by Prof. Nagesh Havanur on the ChessBase site today:

              http://en.chessbase.com/post/paul-keres-the-composer

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: 2016 – Year of Paul Keres

                2016 – Year of Paul Keres

                February 9, 2016

                At the beginning of the ACP Open (Jan. 8-10, 2016) – Paul Keres Memorial, some of the players present were asked about the influence of Paul Keres’ works on them:

                The grandmasters were asked the question about the influence that the creative works of Keres had on them. Among all participants of the press conference it was only Evgeny Sveshnikov who happened to be personally acquainted with the outstanding Estonian chess player and met him over the board. He told the audience that he grew up on the brilliant opening monographs of the maestro and was trying to continue his work at present time by writing books devoted to the initial stage of the game. However, what his younger colleague Igor Kovalenko revealed in response proved no less interesting indeed: according to the grandmaster he had recently obtained the theoretical books by Keres published a few decades ago in Germany, and even nowadays in this computer era of ours he did find a lot of still relevant original ideas in them.

                Boris Gelfand praised the book of Paul Keres, devoted to the match-tournament of 1948, and added with regret that such a beautiful work remained yet undervalued up to present days. Keres’s brilliant collection of selected games was, of course, among those works being referred to. Grandmasters pointed out Keres as being an example of a true athletic nobleness, one of those people whom you aspired to look up to. Daniel Friedman once again paid attention to the fact that as many 500 thousand pieces of a two euro coin in honor of Keres had been put into circulation, the case being quite a unique one for chess world: indeed, in Russia, for example, there used to come out coins dedicated to Botvinnik and Chigorin, but they were rather collectors' coins minted from silver in an extremely limited quantity. They were immediately snapped up by collectors. A small coin with a portrait of Keres will spread throughout Europe and thus even those people who are not involved in chess at all will come into awareness about such an outstanding grandmaster, the national hero of Estonia. It will undoubtedly contribute to the prestige of our game.

                http://ruchess.ru/en/news/report/tallinn2016_01/

                Works Cited

                1. Paul Keres - Matč-turnir na pervenstvo mira po šachmatam : Gaaga-Moskva, 1948 g. (1950)
                2. Paul Keres - Theorie der Schacheröffnungen; 1,2 Tl.: Offene Spiele (1958)
                3. Paul Keres - Theorie der Schacheröffnungen; 3. Tl.: Halboffene Spiele (1958)
                4. Paul Keres - Spanisch bis Franzözisch (1969)
                5. Paul Keres - Dreispringerspiel bis Königsgambit (1971)
                6. Paul Keres - Vierspringerspiel bis Spanisch (1976)
                7. Paul Keres - Valitud partiid 1931-1958 (1961)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: 2016 – Year of Paul Keres

                  2016 - Year of Paul Keres

                  August 21, 2016

                  To mark Paul Keres’ centennial year, much will be written about the man and chess player.

                  Presently, Joosep Grents is publishing a series of articles on his life at chess24.com. I gather that much of the material was in Estonian and is translated into English for the first time.

                  https://chess24.com/en/read/news/pau...ithout-a-crown

                  I give the introductory paragraphs:

                  I have to start the story of Paul Keres with an unlikely participant: a German zeppelin; for it was a zeppelin that bombed Pärnu and brought about the widespread panic that drove the Keres family to flee eastwards from their hometown. Paul Keres was thus born in the city of Narva – then part of the crumbling Russian Empire – in 1916, during the First World War. However, despite the attempt to flee from the war and bombs, the zeppelins and explosions would not leave the family behind. The Russians withdrew, but the collapse of the Russian Empire soon culminated in the Civil War and Estonia’s War of Independence. The Keres family again found themselves in the middle of what they had tried to escape from, with frequent bombing recalled by Paul's elder brother Harald:

                  We had to flee to our neighbour's basement to find shelter from the bombings, and suffer the blaring echoes of fighting on the streets. In the end, we had to flee the city. (In 1919) we arrived in Tallinn and stayed in a hotel there... we immediately caught scarlet fever... The hardships of our childhood did not leave our adult health untouched.

                  Amid all this violence, chess provided an escape from the horrific everyday realities. Paul’s father Peeter Keres played chess as a pastime with his visitors and friends. Paul's first dabbling in chess is similar to that of the other great champions of the time.
                  I was about 4-5 years old when I managed to break my hand while sledging and had to give up the usual childhood joys of winter. While I was forced to stay inside, I often observed my father's chess games with visitors, and that's how I first got acquainted with the game.

                  His father concurred, and added that Paul had not always been a respectful observer:

                  During the war we stayed in Narva. While there, I often played with one of my Estonian friends from America. He was quite a good player. Paul was, as always, watching from the side, and at one point, when I was about to make a move, he grabbed my hand and exclaimed, “Father, don't make that move! Look, move the knight!” I suppose he was already right back then, but my friend got furious and snapped at me sharply to stop Paul from intervening.

                  And as a young man taking up correspondence chess:

                  Taking part in correspondence tournaments became one of his obsessions and the amount of games he was engaged in grew rapidly over time, surpassing 150 simultaneous games in the mid-30s – a feat which even current digital correspondence players (or “button-pushers” if you prefer Nigel Short's phrase) would find challenging. However, from his activity on the correspondence scene a particular theme became apparent in the games of the early Keres.

                  The focus Keres put on correspondence chess had a big impact on his openings.

                  He would later explain: I used correspondence games, above all, for experimental purposes, often opting for very risky opening lines and attempting, at all cost, to create complicated positions which I could use to train my tactical skills... It is easy to notice a bias toward tactics in these games, while there are still considerable problems apparent in solving strictly technical problems.
                  ________

                  An informative and enjoyable series. One that should be copied so that you can dip into it from time to time.

                  Two informative threads from the past:

                  http://forum.chesstalk.com/showthrea...ighlight=keres

                  http://forum.chesstalk.com/showthrea...eres#post65916


                  Reposted September 25, 2016

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: 2016 – Year of Paul Keres

                    2016 - Year of Paul Keres

                    December 20, 2016

                    The Year of Paul Keres is rapidly drawing to a close. Today, chess24 published the fourth installment of their series on Keres, by Joosep Grents. If you’ve missed the others, they are well-worth copying for your files.

                    1)

                    https://chess24.com/en/read/news/pau...ithout-a-crown

                    2)

                    https://chess24.com/en/read/news/pau...perstar-1936-7

                    3)

                    https://chess24.com/en/read/news/pau...ful-challenger

                    4)

                    https://chess24.com/en/read/news/pau...-the-war-years

                    _________

                    In The War Years a story is recounted where Paul just missed being mown down by machine-gun fire by the occupying forces.

                    How he coped during the war:

                    Becoming a family man meant that Keres inevitably had to continue his chess activities, no longer only out of individual ambition, but simply out of the need to provide for his family. After all, he had no other way to put food on the table. He was able to get his main income by providing annotations and chess analysis to various chess publications as well as chess columns in local newspapers. He even tried a hand at composing crossword puzzles.

                    Maria Keres:

                    How did we live? We were still young and Paul was an optimist by nature. It was all right! At that time we were helped by our connections with the country folk. We didn't exactly have them, but we always managed to put something on the table. Down at the basement, there was a shop, with a spirited old man who even organized us some meat and cream... Paul also got some things from somewhere.

                    Then came the end of the war and Soviet occupation.

                    There is an absolutely lovely photo of Keres giving a 40-board simul in 1946 for the sailors on the ‘October Revolution’, which was docked in Tallinn.

                    My favorite simul photo ever!

                    ________

                    This installment ends in 1947 with Keres and Botvinnik ready to go forward to the World Championship tournament Hague/Moscow 1948.

                    See also:

                    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_...mpionship_1948

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: 2016 – Year of Paul Keres

                      2016 - Year of Paul Keres

                      December 20, 2016

                      When one thinks of the 1948 quintuple round-robin for the World Championship many books come to mind. These are the ones that are more or less accessible:

                      Books on the World Championship tournament:

                      The World Chess Championship 1948 Harry Golombek (1949)

                      The Hague-Moscow 1948: Match/Tournament for the World Chess Championship Max Euwe (2013)

                      World Chessmasters in Battle Royal I.A. Horowitz & H. Kmoch (1949)

                      The World Chess Championship, 1948 J. Soudakoff & S. Goodman (1949)

                      A whole raft of contemporary volumes: The Hague 1948, Moscow 1948 variously by S.G. Tartakower, V. Baturinsky, M. Botvinnik, S. Seneca, F.C. Igel and H. Muller.

                      Paul Keres's books appeared in both Estonian and Russian and for that reason, not well-known in the West.

                      Now this:

                      World Chess Championship 1948
                      First English Edition
                      by Paul Keres
                      World Chess Championship 1948
                      Publisher: Verendel Publishing, 2016
                      Edition: Hardcover
                      ISBN: 978-91-983665-0-1
                      Pages: 540
                      Language: English

                      After the death of Alekhine in 1946, FIDE took charge of the World Chess Championship and it was resolved that the new World Champion should be decided by a tournament.

                      Botvinnik, Smyslov, Reshevsky, Keres and Euwe fought for the crown. The outright winner was Mikhail Botvirnnik.

                      Paul Keres spent several months after the tournament giving it a fitting tribute. The result is this epic work, one of the most highly acclaimed tournament books in the history of chess.

                      Former World Champion Gary Kasparov said that it was one of the three best chess books ever written. He repeated his praise for this book in 2016. Boris Gelfand, who drew a match against Anand for the World Championship in 2012 is also full of praise for it.

                      Readers will very quickly see for themselves how Keres explains what is going on with exceptional clarity. The level of accuracy in his analysis is surprisingly high. Even with the strongest chess engines of today it is tough to crack his analysis.

                      The quality of the games coupled with Keres' unique analytical ability and his huge theoretical knowledge of all aspects of the game point the way to a richer understanding of practical chess.
                      Last edited by Wayne Komer; Saturday, 24th December, 2016, 01:07 AM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: 2016 – Year of Paul Keres

                        2016 – Year of Paul Keres

                        January 10, 2016

                        The fifth installment of the series on Paul Keres at chess24 is now out.

                        https://chess24.com/en/read/news/pau...d-championship

                        It details the 1948 World Championship Tournament Hague/Moscow 1948, the USSR Championships of 1948 and 1949, the Candidates Budapest 1950, the Dr. Przepiorka Memorial and his winning the 18th and 19th Soviet Championships.

                        By the by, one of the quickest wins against a master in an international tournament is given:

                        Przepiorka Memorial 1950
                        Szczawno Zdroj
                        Keres, Paul – Arlamowski, Edward
                        B10 Caro-Kann, Two Knight’s Variation

                        1.e4 c6 2.Nc3 d5 3.Nf3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nf6 5.Qe2 Nbd7 6.Nd6# 1-0

                        see also:

                        http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1072334
                        _______

                        The conclusion of the chess24 article:

                        Keres then followed his two Soviet Championship triumphs with tournament victory in Budapest, winning the event in the last round by defeating Gedeon Barcza, leaving Botvinnik, Geller, Smyslov and Petrosian in his wake.

                        Those results propelled him to first board of the Soviet Olympiad team, pushing the World Champion Botvinnik to board two! Botvinnik found this decision preposterous and refused to participate, once more just going to show the strength of the Soviet chess machine. What other team could afford the luxury of pushing a reigning World Champion onto board two due to having stronger options available! Despite Keres playing modestly and scoring 6.5/12 it was the fact that the Soviets could afford immense strength on the lower boards that enabled them to win the 1952 Olympiad, and for that matter every consequent Olympiad for the next 22 years.

                        Keres had achieved formidable momentum and despite the slight hiccup of his first board performance at the Olympiad, he continued striving for his long held dream of playing for the World Championship title. With the Zürich Candidates Tournament of 1953 looming on the horizon, the dream was still alive. But mind you, in 1953 he had already reached the age of 37, meaning that time was not really on his side anymore.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: 2016 – Year of Paul Keres

                          2016 – Year of Paul Keres

                          February 9, 2017

                          Installment Six

                          https://chess24.com/en/read/news/pau...eternal-second

                          The sixth installment of Joosep Grent’s series in chess24 continues covering the period 1953 until 1959 with Bobby Fischer and Mikhail Tal appearing on the scene.

                          This excerpt:

                          There was a sensational draw with Reshevsky.

                          Despite losing to Bronstein right after this game, Keres switched gears and before the 24th round had stormed to wins over Petrosian, Stahlberg, Boleslavsky and Geller to lie in second place on 13/23, just half a point behind the leaders Smyslov and Reshevsky. Keres faced Smyslov in the next round and so had a chance to overtake him in the standings. However, the fact that it was an American, Reshevsky, who was level with Smyslov in first place, meant that an internal fight amongst the Soviet players was, to put it mildly, not to be encouraged. Aleksei Sutov describes what followed:

                          Keres was summoned by the leader of the Soviet delegation, Postikov, and told that he was not allowed to play for a win against Smyslov, since it would benefit Reshevsky. Keres’ second, Tolush, believes Smyslov was unaware of this. A tense conversation lasted several hours. Keres sharply rejected such a dishonourable agreement and became very upset.

                          Bronstein recalls:

                          Keres came to the game in a competitive mood, but he seemed clearly upset and was red in the face. I saw he was unable to play. Smyslov, also a friend of Keres, noticed this, approached me and asked, "Why is Paul glowering at me like that? Have I somehow insulted him?" I didn’t know what to say and remained silent.

                          Keres seemed to defy the Soviet suggestion to play for a quick draw and instead played sharply. However, the rook sacrifice he offered in order to get a strong attack was declined by Smyslov, who cold-bloodedly opted for counterplay on the queenside.

                          Keres: I offered my opponent an extremely complicated piece sacrifice, the acceptance of which would have seen Smyslov come under a fierce attack. But, after long reflection, Smyslov discovered an excellent defence and, once I had sacrificed the chance of securing equality in favour of an ill-considered plan, the consequences were soon apparent. I suffered an ignominious defeat and in so doing I had not only thrown away all chance of first place, but was once again back in fourth.

                          Zurich Candidates 1953
                          Round 11, Sept. 16, 1953
                          Keres, Paul – Reshevsky, Samuel
                          E41 Nimzo-Indian

                          1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 c5 5.Bd3 O-O 6.a3 Bxc3+ 7.bxc3 b6 8.e4 Bb7 9.Bg5 h6 10.h4 d6 11.e5 dxe5 12.dxe5 Be4 13.Rh3 Bxd3 14.Rxd3 Qc7 15.Bxf6 gxf6 16.Qg4+ Kh8 17.Qf3 Nd7 18.O-O-O Nxe5 19.Qxf6+ Kh7 20.Rd6 Nxc4 21.Nf3 Nxd6 22.Ng5+ Kg8 23.Qxh6 f6 24.Nxe6 Qe7 25.Rxd6 Rf7 26.Qd2 Re8 27.f4 f5 28.Qd5 Kh8 29.Qe5+ Qf6 30.Kc2 c4 31.Kd2 Kg8 32.Qd5 Qxh4 33.Qxc4 Qf2+ 34.Kc1 Qg1+ 35.Kc2 Qxg2+ 36.Kb3 b5 37.Qd4 Qf1 38.Kb4 Qc4+ 39.Qxc4 bxc4 40.Kxc4 Rc8+ 41.Kd5 1/2-1/2

                          Zurich Candidates 1953
                          Round 24, Oct. 13, 1953
                          Keres, Paul – Smyslov, Vasily
                          A17 English Opening

                          1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 e6 3.Nf3 c5 4.e3 Be7 5.b3 O-O 6.Bb2 b6 7.d4 cxd4 8.exd4 d5 9.Bd3 Nc6 10.O-O Bb7 11.Rc1 Rc8 12.Re1 Nb4 13.Bf1 Ne4 14.a3 Nxc3 15.Rxc3 Nc6 16.Ne5 Nxe5 17.Rxe5 Bf6 18.Rh5 g6 19.Rch3 dxc4 20.Rxh7 c3 21.Qc1 Qxd4 22.Qh6 Rfd8 23.Bc1 Bg7 24.Qg5 Qf6 25.Qg4 c2 26.Be2 Rd4 27.f4 Rd1+ 28.Bxd1 Qd4+ 0-1

                          There are photos and footage of Tal and Fischer.

                          Again, an outstanding series.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: 2016 – Year of Paul Keres

                            Originally posted by Wayne Komer View Post
                            2016 – Year of Paul Keres

                            Keres then followed his two Soviet Championship triumphs with tournament victory in Budapest, winning the event in the last round by defeating Gedeon Barcza, leaving Botvinnik, Geller, Smyslov and Petrosian in his wake. Those results propelled him to first board of the Soviet Olympiad team, pushing the World Champion Botvinnik to board two! Botvinnik found this decision preposterous and refused to participate, once more just going to show the strength of the Soviet chess machine. What other team could afford the luxury of pushing a reigning World Champion onto board two due to having stronger options available! Despite Keres playing modestly and scoring 6.5/12 it was the fact that the Soviets could afford immense strength on the lower boards that enabled them to win the 1952 Olympiad, and for that matter every consequent Olympiad for the next 22 years.
                            This does not square with Botvinnik's account in his book Achieving the Aim. Botvinnik did not resign from the Olympiad team in 1952; there was a vote and he was excluded. In the subsequent USSR Championship he took revenge by scoring +3 =2 -0 against the players who had been on the team (with the exception of Kotov, who did not play in the championship).

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: 2016 – Year of Paul Keres

                              2016 – Year of Paul Keres

                              May 23, 2017

                              Installment Seven

                              https://chess24.com/en/read/news/pau...nce-in-curacao

                              The seventh installment of Joosep Grent’s series in chess24 continues covering the period 1960 until 1962.

                              At Zurich 1961 he managed to take a nap during play:

                              The tactful humour of Keres is unforgettable. In the international tournament of 1961, played in Zürich, the following story unfolded. After a few opening moves – it was a common variation of the Spanish – Keres covered his forehead with both of his hands and studied the position... for about half an hour. Finally he made his move, stood up and went for a walk in the playing hall. I (Alois Nagler) then immediately approached him and asked if the variation had really been that complicated that he had to spend such a long time for such an obvious move. Keres smiled slyly and said: “No, not at all!” The position had not been hard for him at all, but what had been hard was concealing an afternoon nap from the spectators and the opponent. “Apparently I acted so well that even you, my dear friend, were unable to detect it.”
                              ________

                              In Bled 1961 a loss in the first rounds against Bisguier meant that Keres could not keep up with the youthful prowess of Tal and Fischer. In the end he finished with only one loss and seven wins, along with 11 draws. +6 would at first sound like a very good result, but in the era of Fischer and Tal +6 was only good enough for third place, and Fischer could only shake his head in disillusionment, as even his +8 was not good enough to win the tournament. It was Tal who completely dominated the event by winning 11 of his games!
                              ______

                              The main emphasis of the article is on Curacao 1962, the Candidates.

                              Curaçao was to be an arduous tournament, dragging on for nearly two months. Keres, Tal, Petrosian, Fischer, Geller, Korchnoi, Benko and Filip would not only face each other four times, but have to face the tropical climate as well. You would, at first, assume that would be the last thing the oldest contestant needed. However, in an extensive interview Keres gave prior to the tournament, he came up with a surprising response when asked whether the climate would affect the players:

                              That's doubtful. The sea compensates for the heat quite well, so that the climate should be healthy and favourable. Besides, Curaçao is a recognised holiday resort. But South America in general is quite capricious – you can find places that have an unbearably humid and hot climate which are almost next to places that have a mellow maritime climate. The distance between Buenos Aires and Montevideo, for instance, is a mere 100 kilometres, but while you can feel at home in Montevideo the air in Buenos Aires is so warm and humid that it can make you feel you’re suffocating. It’s even more puzzling, then, that the first settlers gave it such a name, which in translation stands for good air. However, I still believe that Curaçao is a well-chosen location for a tournament lasting two months.
                              ______

                              The Soviet machine was perhaps not as well-oiled as it might have appeared afterwards. A curious organisational detail in Curaçao was that the Soviet players did not have private seconds. Instead, they were provided with two “communal coaches”: Averbakh and Boleslavsky. They would assist the players with the analysis of adjourned positions and help them prepare for their games, but this was hardly ideal for such a long tournament. Keres criticised this in the interview and he was not alone in doing so. Tal:

                              As the fight for the first places was conducted among the Soviet players, our coach Boleslavsky was forced to be neutral. During our crucial games, we were left to our own devices, both in preparing for the games, and analysing our adjourned positions. When we were playing the Western players, meanwhile, a line formed behind his door! I would hope that this unsuccessful experiment will not be repeated.
                              _______
                              Curacao is discussed in detail. There was a tacit agreement that the games between Keres, Geller and Petrosian would be drawn.

                              If Fischer suspected something, it became readily apparent that the fix was in when Petrosian played 14…a5 against Keres and the game was drawn.

                              Keres (White) was in big trouble. Fischer afterwards wrote an article in Sports Illustrated entitled “The Russians Have Fixed World Chess”.

                              The magazine misinterpreted what Bobby said and wrote that there was mate in 5 moves in this position. There is not.

                              An outstanding article. I recommend as usual that readers make a pdf copy and then put all the articles together in an ebook.

                              Curacao Candidates 1962
                              June 20, 1962
                              Keres, Paul – Petrosian, Tigran
                              B36 Sicilian, Accelerated Fianchetto

                              1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 g6 5.c4 Nf6 6.Nc3 Nxd4 7.Qxd4 d6 8.c5 Bg7 9.Bb5+ Bd7 10.Bxd7+ Qxd7 11.cxd6 O-O 12.Bg5 Ne8 13.Qb4 Nxd6 14.f3 a5 1/2-1/2

                              If 15.Qb3 a4 16.Qb4 a3

                              Position after Petrosian played 14..a5:

                              Last edited by Wayne Komer; Tuesday, 23rd May, 2017, 10:45 AM. Reason: misdated curaçao 1962

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