Semmering Baden 1937

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  • Semmering Baden 1937

    Semmering Baden 1937

    April 5, 2020

    In 1937 Paul Keres, IM, had a series of tournament successes.

    (Wikipedia) - He won in Tallinn with 7˝/9 (+6−0=3), then shared 1st–2nd at Margate with Reuben Fine at 7˝/9 (+6−0=3), 1˝ points ahead of Alekhine. In Ostend, he tied 1st–3rd places with Fine and Henry Grob at 6/9 (+5−2=2). Keres dominated in Prague to claim first with 10/11 (+9−0=2). He then won a theme tournament in Vienna with 4˝/6 (+4−1=1); the tournament saw all games commence with the moves 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 Ne4, known as the Döry Defence. He tied for 4–5th places at Kemeri with 11˝/17 (+8−2=7), as Salo Flohr, Vladimirs Petrovs and Samuel Reshevsky won. Then he tied 2nd–4th in Pärnu with 4˝/7 (+3−1=3).

    This successful string earned him an invitation to the tournament at Semmering–Baden 1937. He won with 9/14 (+6−2=6), ahead of Fine, José Raúl Capablanca, Reshevsky, and Erich Eliskases. Keres, in his autobiographical games collection, refers to this major event as a 'Candidates' Tournament', and claimed that he was recognized as a Grandmaster after winning it, although its parallel connection with later FIDE-organized Candidates' tournaments (from 1950 onwards) is not exact, and the Grandmaster title was not formalized by FIDE until 1950.

    When I read this a few years ago, I thought I would very much like to get the Semmering Baden tournament book. This turned out to be much more difficult than I thought.

    There is one by Reinfeld (1938), one by B.H. Wood (1937), one by Kondor (1938),two modern ones (MacLellan, 1958) and (Lopez Esnaola, 1957) and a very desirable one by J. Hannak (1937). But they come up for sale or auction very rarely.

    I decided to go to a U.S. dealer and pay a three-figure price for a copy. I paid and awaited the packet but was shaken when I received this email:

    I have just gotten the item that I had shipped you back from the post office: "Damaged in transit". It appears that the vehicle has run over the box and crushed it with brite tire marks left behind. They are going to reimburse me the value, but not the postal fee. Can't figure that one out, so I will send you a paypal refund for the total amount that you paid.

    I am sorry about this, but something outside of my control.

    A year later, I got a copy of the Hannak on eBay for half the price I was willing to pay the dealer.


    Canadians have always had a deep affection for Paul Keres. So, I thought that since there are no new tournament games with the pandemic on, that I would do a mini-version of Semmering Baden over the next week.

    Anyone who is interested can save the tourney as a pdf and print it up for their collection. Let us see the post office run over that with their truck!


    Semmering is a town in the district of Neunkirchen in the Austrian state of Lower Austria. It is famous for its skiing. When the famous Semmering Railway was completed in 1854 it brought many tourists from Vienna. The Panhans Hotel is an historic four-star hotel, which opened in 1888 and got enlarged since. William Zimdin, the proprietor of the hotel has organized a succession of tournament there.

    There was a tournament in 1926 there and the Spielmann-Eliskases Match of 1936 among others. The former:

    An international chess master tournament was organized and held at the Grand Hotel Panhas in the Semmering Pass south of Vienna from March 7th to the 29th, 1926. The event was organized by Ossip Bernstein, who invited 18 players to participate in the round robin tournament. Among those invited were the very best masters of the day, including Alexander Alekhine, Akiba Rubinstein, Aron Nimzowitsch, Siegbert Tarrasch, Milan Vidmar, Savielly Tartakower, Richard Rčti, and Rudolf Spielmann. The hypermodern school was well represented, and in the first half of the tournament Nimzowitsch and Tartakower lead the field. However, toward the end of the competition a series of missteps and surprises found the lead changing hands until finally Spielmann, the great romantic, emerged as the winner over Alekhine after the last round. It was to be Spielmann's best tournament performance of his chess career.


    In 1937, sponsored by casinos, eight chess masters, including the former world champion Jose Capablanca, participated in the double round robin from September 8th until the 27th. The first four rounds were conducted at the Semmering, and then moved to the Hotel Grüner Baum in Baden bei Wien for the duration of the tournament. World champion Max Euwe served as chief arbiter for the first half of games and then was relieved by Rudolph Spielmann for the second half. Young Paul Keres won the event a full point over second place Reuben Fine.

    The prize money was piddling and will be discussed at the end.

    Round One

    Round 1, Sept. 8, 1937
    Reshevsky, Samuel – Petrov, Vladimir
    D27 QGA, Classical

    1.Nf3 Nf6 2.d4 d5 3.c4 dxc4 4.e3 e6 5.Bxc4 c5 6.O-O a6 7.a3 b5 8.Ba2 Bb7 9.Qe2 Nbd7 10.Rd1 cxd4 11.Nxd4 Qb6 12.Nc3 Bc5 13.Nf3 Qc6 14.Bd2 Ne5 15.Ne1 Rd8 16.f3 O-O 17.Kh1 Ba7 18.Rac1 Qb6 19.Nb1 Nd5 20.Nc2 Ng6 21.Nc3 Bb8 22.Nxd5 Bxd5 23.Bxd5 Rxd5 24.Be1 Rxd1 25.Rxd1 Rd8 26.Rxd8+ Qxd8 27.Qd2 Qxd2 28.Bxd2 Be5 29.b3 Bb2 30.a4 Ne5 31.Kg1 Kf8 32.Kf1 Ke8 33.Ke2 Kd7 34.Nb4 bxa4 35.bxa4 a5 36.Nd3 Nc4 37.Bxa5 Bf6 38.Bb4 Kc6 39.e4 Nb6 40.e5 Bd8 41.Nb2 g6 42.Kd3 Nxa4 43.Nxa4 Kb5 44.Nc5 Kxb4 45.Ne4 Be7 46.Kd4 g5 47.Nd6 f5 48.g4 f4 49.Ne8 Kb5 50.Nc7+ Kc6 51.Nxe6 Kd7 52.Kd5 h6 53.Ng7 Bf8 54.Nf5 Ke8 55.Ke6 1-0

    - Reshevsky's conduct of the ending is beyond all praise, against a player who might have gone on to be an all-time great.

    - I am not completely convinced. 42.Kd3 (?) seems very questionable as there was no reason to allow the upcoming combination. However, the way Reshevsky conducts the ending after that is very interesting. I hardly believe there was no way to draw for Black. Maybe 46...g5? was the losing move.

    Round 1, Sept. 9, 1937
    Capablanca, Jose Raul – Fine, Reuben
    D19 QGD Slav, Dutch variation, main line

    1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.a4 Bf5 6.e3 e6 7.Bxc4 Bb4 8.O-O O-O 9.Qe2 Bg4 10.Rd1 Qe7 11.h3 Bh5 12.e4 Nbd7 13.e5 Nd5 14.Ne4 f6 15.exf6 gxf6 16.Ng3 Bf7 17.Bh6 Rfe8 18.Ne1 Kh8 19.Nd3 Bd6 20.Qf3 Rg8 21.Nf4 Nxf4 22.Bxf4 Bxf4 23.Qxf4 Nb6 24.Bb3 Rad8 25.Re1 Nd5 26.Qh4 Bg6 27.Ne4 f5 28.Qxe7 Nxe7 29.Nc5 Rxd4 30.Rxe6 Nd5 31.Nxb7 Bh5 32.Bxd5 Rxd5 33.Nd6 Rb8 34.Rb1 Rd1+ 35.Rxd1 Bxd1 36.Re7 Bxa4 37.Rxa7 Bc2 38.Rc7 Rxb2 39.Rxc6 Kg7 40.Nc4 Ra2 41.Ne3 Be4 42.Re6 Kf7 43.Re5 Kf6 44.Rb5 Ra6 45.Kh2 Ra2 46.Kg3 Ra4 47.Kh2 Rd4 48.f3 Bd3 49.Ra5 Ke6 50.g3 Bc2 51.f4 Bd3 52.Re5+ Kf6 53.Nd5+ Kf7 54.g4 fxg4 55.hxg4 Bc4 56.Rf5+ Kg7 57.Ne3 Bd3 58.Rd5 Rxd5 59.Nxd5 Bc4 60.Ne3 Bf7 61.Ng2 Bc4 62.Ne1 Bd5 63.Kg3 Kf6 64.Nf3 Be4 65.Ne5 Bc2 66.Kh4 h6 67.Nd7+ Kg7 68.f5 Ba4 69.Nc5 Bd1 70.Kg3 Kf7 71.Kf4 Be2 72.Ne4 Bd1 73.Nc3 Bb3 74.Ke5 Bc4 1/2-1/2

    Position after Black’s 37….Bc2


    - A slightly better try here seems to be 38. Rb7. Black must trade rooks (otherwise his king is cut off), but the resulting minor piece ending still has queenside pawns so White has something to play for.
    Here's a sample line to get the idea of what White can do with an extra pawn, an acrobatic knight, and play left on the queenside.

    38. Rb7 Rxb7 39. Nxb7 Kg7 40. f4 Kf6 41. Kf2 Ke6 42. Ke3 Kd5 43. g4! Be4 44. Na5 Bc2 45. g5 Bd1 46. Kd3 Bf3 47. Nb3! Be4+ 48. Ke3 Bc2 49. Nd2 Bd1 50. h4 Bg4 51. Nf3! Bh5 52. Nd4 Bg4 53. h5! Bxh5 54. Nxf5 c5 55. bxc5 Kxc5 56. Ke4 Kc6 57. Ne7+ Kd6 58. Ng8, and White wins the race to the kingside (the plan is f5, Nf6, Nxh7).

    - The game was drawn at least 25 moves before they both gave 'up the ghosts.' Was it love or hate that drove them on? You call it!

    - I'm sure the Capa of the twenties would have won this ending in a canter! 38. Rc7 certainly looks an inexplicable decision, allowing Black to go into an ending with pawns on one side of the board only.

    -You look at this game somewhere around move 39 and predict lots of pain and suffering from black. It's very surprising it didn't work out that way.

    (to be continued)

  • #2
    Semmering Baden 1937

    April 5, 2020

    Round One (continued)

    Round 1, Sept. 8
    Eliskases, Erich – Ragozin, Viacheslav
    D64 QGD, Orthodox Defence, Rubinstein Attack

    1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Bg5 Be7 5.e3 h6 6.Bh4 O-O 7.Nf3 Nbd7 8.Rc1 c6 9.Qc2 a6 10.a3 b5 11.c5 e5 12.dxe5 Ne8 13.Bxe7 Qxe7 14.Ne2 Nxe5 15.Nxe5 Qxe5 16.Nd4 Bd7 17.Bd3 Nc7 18.O-O f5 19.Rce1 Qf6 20.f4 Rae8 21.Nf3 Re7 22.Ne5 Be8 23.g4 fxg4 24.Bh7+ Kh8 25.Bg6 Re6 26.Bxe8 Rfxe8 27.Nxg4 Qg6 28.Qg2 Re4 29.Ne5 Qxg2+ 30.Kxg2 Re6 31.h4 Kg8 32.b3 a5 33.Kf3 Rf6 34.Ng4 Rf8 35.Nf2 Re7 36.Nd3 Re4 37.Nf2 Re7 38.Nd3 Re4 1/2-1/2

    Round 1, Sept. 8
    Flohr, Salo – Keres, Paul
    D36 QGD, Exchange, Modern Line

    1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Bg5 Nbd7 5.e3 c6 6.cxd5 exd5 7.Bd3 Be7 8.Qc2 O-O 9.Nf3 Re8 10.O-O Nf8 11.Ne5 Ng4 12.Bxe7 Qxe7 13.Nxg4 Bxg4 14.Ne2 Qh4 15.Ng3 Rad8 16.b4 Rd6 17.Rfe1 Rh6 18.Nf1 Ne6 19.b5 Bf3 20.gxf3 Ng5 21.Bf5 Nxf3+ 22.Kg2 Qh5 23.Ng3 Nxe1+ 24.Rxe1 Qxh2+ 25.Kf3 Qh4 26.Rh1 Qf6 27.Rxh6 gxh6 28.bxc6 bxc6 29.Kg2 Rb8 30.Bxh7+ Kh8 31.Bd3 Rg8 32.Qd1 Qg5 33.Qf3 Kg7 34.Kf1 Kf8 35.Bf5 Ke7 36.Bc2 Qf6 37.Nf5+ Kd7 38.Qh3 Kc7 39.Qh2+ Kb6 40.Ke2 Rh8 41.Qh5 Qg6 42.Qxg6 fxg6 43.Ne7 g5 44.Ng6 Rb8 45.Kf3 c5 46.Ne5 Rd8 47.dxc5+ Kxc5 48.Bb3 Re8 49.Nd3+ Kd6 50.Nb4 a5 51.Nc2 Rf8+ 52.Kg2 Ra8 53.Nd4 a4 54.Bd1 Kc5 55.a3 Kc4 56.Nc6 Kc3 57.Bf3 1/2-1/2

    Round Two

    Round 2, Sept. 9
    Petrov, Vladimir – Capablanca, Jose Raul
    D17 QGD Slav, Krause Attack

    1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.a4 Bf5 6.Ne5 Nbd7 7.Nxc4 Qc7 8.Qb3 e5 9.dxe5 Nc5 10.Qa2 Na6 11.e4 Nxe4 12.Nxe4 Bxe4 13.Nd6+ Bxd6 14.exd6 Qxd6 15.Bxa6 bxa6 16.O-O O-O 17.Qa3 Qg6 18.f3 Bd5 19.Bf4 Rfe8 20.Rfe1 h6 21.a5 Rad8 22.Qc3 Kh7 23.Bg3 Rxe1+ 24.Rxe1 Rd7 1/2-1/2

    Round 2, Sept. 9
    Fine, Reuben – Flohr, Salo
    D81 Grunfeld, Russian variation

    1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.a4 Bf5 6.Ne5 Nbd7 7.Nxc4 Qc7 8.Qb3 e5 9.dxe5 Nc5 10.Qa2 Na6 11.e4 Nxe4 12.Nxe4 Bxe4 13.Nd6+ Bxd6 14.exd6 Qxd6 15.Bxa6 bxa6 16.O-O O-O 17.Qa3 Qg6 18.f3 Bd5 19.Bf4 Rfe8 20.Rfe1 h6 21.a5 Rad8 22.Qc3 Kh7 23.Bg3 Rxe1+ 24.Rxe1 Rd7 1/2-1/2

    Round 2, Sept. 9
    Eliskases, Eric – Reshevsky, Samuel
    D27 QGA, Classical, Rubinstein variation

    1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.Nf3 a6 4.e3 Nf6 5.Bxc4 e6 6.O-O c5 7.a4 Nc6 8.Qe2 Qc7 9.Nc3 Be7 10.Rd1 O-O 11.h3 b6 12.d5 exd5 13.Bxd5 Bb7 14.e4 Rad8 15.Be3 Nd7 16.Rd2 Bf6 17.Rad1 h6 18.Bxc6 Bxc6 19.Nd5 Bxd5 20.Rxd5 a5 21.Qb5 Nb8 22.Nd2 Rfe8 23.Nc4 Rxe4 24.Nxb6 Bd4 25.Rxd8+ Qxd8 26.Qxc5 Rxe3 27.Rxd4 Re1+ 28.Kh2 Qf6 29.Rc4 Kh7 30.Qd4 Qg6 31.Qd2 Rf1 32.Qc2 f5 33.Nc8 Nd7 34.Rc6 Qg5 35.g3 Ne5 36.Rc5 Nf3+ 37.Kg2 Ne1+ 38.Kxf1 Nxc2 39.Rxc2 Qh5 40.Kg2 Qd1 41.Rc5 Qxa4 0-1

    - 36. Rc5?? - ouch! 34. Rf4 looks like a very easy win, and even after the forced 36. Rc3 White is doing fine. Eliskases must have been in dreadful time-trouble.

    Round 2, Sept. 9
    Ragozin, Viacheslav – Keres, Paul
    A28 English, Four Knights, Capablanca variation

    1.c4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.d3 d5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.g3 f6 7.Bg2 Be6 8.a3 Nb6 9.O-O Be7 10.Be3 Nd4 11.b4 Qd7 12.Bxd4 exd4 13.Ne4 Na4 14.Nxd4 Nb2 15.Qc2 Qxd4 16.Nc3 Nc4 17.dxc4 c6 18.c5 a5 19.Rfd1 Qc4 20.Qe4 axb4 21.Qxc4 Bxc4 22.axb4 Kf7 23.h4 f5 24.e4 Rxa1 25.Rxa1 Bf6 26.Rc1 Be6 27.exf5 Bxf5 28.b5 Rc8 29.bxc6 bxc6 30.Na4 Rc7 31.Nb6 Bd3 32.Na8 Rc8 33.Nb6 Rc7 34.Rd1 Bb5 35.Kh2 Be7 36.Nd7 Ke8 37.Bh3 Ra7 38.Be6 Bc4 39.Bxc4 Rxd7 40.Bf7+ Kd8 1/2-1/2

    Position after Black’s 13…Na4


    - 13...Na4!? has to be a pawn sacrifice rather than a blunder. I guess the idea is that Black gets compensation for the pawn with the Bishop pair. However, 16...Nc4?! looks like a mistake since White could have played 17.Bxb7! instead of the automatic reply 17.dxc4?!.

    - Ingenious play by Keres in an inferior position. 17 Bxb7 Rb8 18 Bc6+ Kf7 and the Black King is happy on this square.

    Instead of 16..Nc4 the move 16..o-o-o is interesting and the complications difficult to fathom after 17 Rfc1!

    Short Bios

    Paul Keres, Estonia (1916-1975)
    Reuben Fine, United States (1914-1993)

    Jose Raul Capablanca, Cuba (1888-1942)
    World Champion 1921-1927

    Samuel Reshevsky, United States (1911-1992)
    Salo Flohr, Czechoslovakia (1908-1983)
    Erich Eliskases, Austria later Argentina (1913-1997)
    Viacheslav Ragozin, Russia (1908-1962)
    Vladimirs Petrovs, Latvia (1907-1943)


    • #3
      Semmering Baden 1937

      April 6, 2020

      Rounds Three and Four

      Round 3, Sept. 10
      Capablanca, Jose Raul – Eliskases, Erich
      D56 QGD, Neo-orthodox variation

      1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Bg5 Be7 5.e3 h6 6.Bh4 O-O 7.Nf3 Nbd7 8.Rc1 c6 9.a3 Ne4 10.Bxe7 Qxe7 11.Bd3 Nxc3 12.Rxc3 dxc4 13.Bxc4 e5 14.O-O e4 15.Nd2 Nf6 16.Qc2 Bg4 17.h3 Bd7 18.Rc1 Rac8 19.b4 Rfe8 20.Bb3 Nd5 21.Bxd5 cxd5 22.Qb3 Qd6 23.Rxc8 Rxc8 24.Rxc8+ Bxc8 25.Qa4 a6 26.Qe8+ Qf8 27.Qe5 Be6 28.Nb3 Qc8 29.Nc5 b6 30.Nxe6 Qxe6 31.Qb8+ Kh7 32.a4 Qc6 33.Qa7 Qxa4 34.Qxb6 Qa2 35.Qc5 f6 36.g3 Qb3 37.Kg2 Kg6 38.g4 Qc4 39.Qd6 Kh7 40.Qd7 Qb5 41.Qc8 h5 42.gxh5 Qxb4 43.Kg3 Qb5 44.Qf5+ Kg8 45.h4 Qc6 46.f3 exf3 47.Kxf3 Qc4 48.Kf2 Qa2+ 49.Kg3 Qc4 1/2-1/2

      Round 3, Sept. 10
      Reshevsky, Samuel – Ragozin, Viacheslav
      D38 QGD, Ragozin variation

      1.Nf3 Nf6 2.d4 d5 3.c4 e6 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.Qa4+ Nc6 6.e3 O-O 7.Bd2 a6 8.Qc2 dxc4 9.Bxc4 Bd6 10.a3 e5 11.d5 Ne7 12.h3 b5 13.Ba2 Qd7 14.e4 a5 15.O-O b4 16.axb4 axb4 17.Ne2 Qa4 18.Bb3 Qxa1 19.Rxa1 Rxa1+ 20.Nc1 h6 21.Ne1 Bd7 22.Qd3 Rb8 23.Be3 Ng6 24.Kh2 Nf4 25.Qc4 g5 26.f3 Kg7 27.Ned3 N4xd5 28.exd5 e4+ 29.g3 exd3 30.Nxd3 Re8 31.Qd4 Bf5 32.Nf2 Re1 33.Bd2 R1e2 34.Kg2 Bc5 35.Qxc5 Rxd2 36.Bc4 Rxb2 37.d6 Bc8 38.Qxc7 Be6 39.Bxe6 Rxe6 40.d7 Nxd7 41.Qxd7 Ree2 42.Kg1 Rxf2 43.Qd4+ Kg6 44.Qe4+ Kf6 45.Qd4+ Ke6 46.Qe4+ Kd6 47.Qd4+ Kc6 48.Qc4+ Kb6 49.Qd4+ Kb5 50.Qd5+ Ka4 51.Qa8+ Kb3 52.Qd5+ Kc3 53.Qe5+ Kc4 54.Qe4+ Kc5 55.Qe5+ Kc6 56.Qe4+ Kb6 57.Qd4+ Ka5 58.Qd5+ Ka4 59.Qa8+ Kb3 60.Qd5+ Kc3 61.Qe5+ Kd3 62.Qe4+ 1/2-1/2

      .Position after White’s 18.Bb3


      - Ragozin checks out his variant first time now

      - This is an interesting game, and an unusual one. Ragozin plays his trademark variation in the Queen's gambit, and achieves an early positional advantage. He exchanges his queen for two rooks in a position where the rooks are more powerful. The tactical stroke 27. ... N4xd5! gives Black a powerful attack. However, 34. ... Bc5 allows a simplification, after which White is able to secure a draw by perpetual check. It seems likely that Ragozin missed a win here.

      - The Ragozin Variation (ECO code D37–D39) occurs after (1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6) 4. Nf3 Bb4. An important line in this variation is the Vienna Variation where the game continues: 5. Bg5 dxc4 6. e4. White's pawns or pieces occupy the central squares in exchange for long-term pawn structure weaknesses. An instance of Vienna Variation played at the highest level was Fine vs. Euwe, AVRO 1938.

      Round 3, Sept. 10
      Flohr, Salo – Petrov, Vladimir
      A28 English, Four Knights

      1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.e3 d5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.Bb5 Nxc3 7.bxc3 Bd7 8.d4 Bd6 9.Bxc6 Bxc6 10.dxe5 Bxf3 11.Qxf3 Bxe5 12.O-O c6 13.Ba3 Qa5 14.Bb4 Qd5 15.Qxd5 cxd5 16.Rfd1 O-O-O 17.a4 Kc7 18.Kf1 h5 19.Bc5 b6 20.Bd4 Rhe8 21.a5 Bxd4 22.cxd4 Kb7 23.Rdb1 Re6 24.Rb2 Rdd6 25.g3 a6 26.axb6 Rxb6 27.Rba2 Rec6 28.h4 Rb5 29.Kg2 Rcb6 30.Kf3 Rb2 31.Rxb2 Rxb2 32.Ra5 Rb5 33.Ra2 g6 34.Kf4 f6 35.g4 hxg4 36.Kxg4 Rb1 37.Ra5 Rb5 38.Ra1 Rb2 39.Kf3 Rb6 40.Rg1 f5 41.Kf4 Re6 42.Rb1+ Ka7 43.h5 Re4+ 44.Kg5 Rg4+ 45.Kf6 gxh5 46.Kxf5 Rg2 47.Ke5 Rg5+ 48.Ke6 h4 49.Rh1 Rh5 50.f4 Kb6 51.f5 Kc7 52.f6 Kd8 53.Rf1 Rh6 54.Kf7 1-0

      - Petrov was clearly lost after 47...Rg5+. 47...Rxf2 was a better attempt to fight for a draw.

      Round 3, Sept. 10
      Keres, Paul – Fine, Reuben
      A09 Reti Accepted

      1.Nf3 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.Na3 c5 4.Nxc4 Nc6 5.Nce5 Nxe5 6.Nxe5 Nf6 7.e3 e6 8.b3 Nd7 9.Bb5 Bd6 10.Bb2 O-O 11.Nxd7 Bxd7 12.Qg4 f6 13.Bc4 Qe7 14.a4 Kh8 15.f4 Rae8 16.O-O Bc6 17.Qh5 Qf7 18.Qxf7 Rxf7 19.Rac1 Rd7 20.d4 cxd4 21.Bxd4 a5 22.Bb6 Bc7 23.Bxc7 Rxc7 24.Rfd1 h6 25.Rd6 Rce7 26.Rcd1 e5 27.Rd8 exf4 28.Rxe8+ Rxe8 29.exf4 f5 30.Rd6 Kh7 31.Kf2 Re7 32.Rd8 g6 33.g3 Kg7 34.h3 Rc7 35.Ke3 Bxa4 36.bxa4 Rxc4 37.Rd7+ Kf6 38.Rxb7 Rxa4 39.Rb6+ Kf7 40.Rb7+ Ke6 41.Rb6+ 1/2-1/2

      Round Four

      Round 4, Sept. 11
      Reshevsky, Samuel – Capablanca, Jose Raul
      D12 QGD Slav

      1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.c4 c6 4.e3 Bf5 5.cxd5 cxd5 6.Qb3 Qc7 7.Na3 Nc6 8.Bd2 e6 9.Rc1 Ne4 10.Bb5 Nxd2 11.Nxd2 Rc8 12.O-O a6 13.Bxc6+ bxc6 14.Rc3 Bd6 15.Rfc1 O-O 16.Qa4 Bxh2+ 17.Kh1 Bd6 18.Rxc6 Qe7 19.Nf3 Rxc6 20.Rxc6 1/2-1/2

      - Capablanca defends with 18... Qe7!, counterattacking. The point is that if 19.Rxc8?? then 19...Qh4+ 20.Kg1 Qh2+ 21.Kf1 Bd3+ wins.

      - I'm sure that Capa visualized this at least as early as 15....0-0, when he was seemingly ignoring the pile-up on his c6 pawn.

      Round 4, Sept. 11
      Ragozin, Viacheslav – Fine, Reuben
      D51 QGD

      1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 c6 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Qc2 Qa5 7.Bh4 c5 8.Nf3 a6 9.Be2 dxc4 10.O-O Qc7 11.Rfd1 cxd4 12.exd4 Bd6 13.d5 e5 14.a4 O-O 15.Nd2 b6 16.Nxc4 Bb7 17.Qf5 Rfe8 18.Rac1 Bc5 19.Bf3 g6 20.Qd3 Qb8 21.Bg3 Nf8 22.b4 Bxb4 23.Nxb6 Ra7 24.Nc4 N8d7 25.Rb1 a5 26.Nb5 Ra6 27.Qe3 Qd8 28.Ncd6 Bxd6 29.Nxd6 Rxd6 30.Rxb7 Qc8 31.Rb5 Qc2 32.Qa3 Rb6 33.Rc1 Qd2 34.Rd1 Qc2 35.Rc1 Qd2 36.Rxb6 Nxb6 37.d6 e4 38.Bd1 Qe1# 0-1

      - Amazing, Ragozin refuses the draw preferring to leave Fine a mate in one.

      - Yes, but we can guess that he did not prefer it wittingly....:-)
      It hurts badly to lose game in such a way.

      - Typical time trouble blunder

      - Oooof. That hurts.

      Round 4, Sept. 11
      Eliskases, Erich – Flohr, Salo
      D93 Grunfeld with Bf4

      1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Bf4 Bg7 5.e3 O-O 6.Nf3 c5 7.cxd5 Nxd5 8.Be5 Nxc3 9.bxc3 cxd4 10.Bxg7 Kxg7 11.cxd4 Qa5+ 12.Qd2 Nc6 13.Be2 Rd8 14.Qxa5 Nxa5 15.O-O Be6 16.e4 Bg4 17.Rfd1 e6 18.Kf1 Bxf3 19.Bxf3 Rac8 20.Rd2 e5 21.d5 Nc4 22.Re2 Nd6 23.Rb1 Rc4 24.g3 Rdc8 25.Bg2 Rc1+ 26.Rxc1 Rxc1+ 27.Re1 Rxe1+ 28.Kxe1 f5 29.f3 fxe4 30.fxe4 b5 31.Kd2 a5 32.Kd3 Kf6 33.Bf3 Ke7 34.h4 h6 35.Bd1 Kd8 36.a4 bxa4 37.Bxa4 Kc7 38.Bc2 Kb6 39.Kc3 Kb5 40.Kb3 Kc5 41.Ka4 Nc4 42.Bb3 Nd2 43.Bc2 Nf1 44.Kxa5 Nxg3 45.Ka4 Nh5 46.Kb3 Kd4 47.Kb4 Nf6 48.d6 g5 49.hxg5 hxg5 50.Kb5 g4 51.Bd1 g3 52.Bf3 Ke3 53.Bh1 Kf2 54.Kc6 g2 55.Bxg2 Kxg2 56.d7 Nxd7 57.Kxd7 Kf3 0-1

      - <7.cxd5> This variation do not poses much trouble for Black
      <11.cxd4> With nothing more than the immaterial advantage of the distant majority, Flohr will, from now on, drive the Game to a favorable end, increasing slowly his edge with sure manoeuvres



      <25.Bg2> The invitation for a liquidation of Rooks is welcome for Black...

      <32...Kf6>! The journey bound for 'c5' starts

      <41.Ka4> It seems that, with 41.Kc3, White could offer more resistance, but Flohr himself pointed out that, with 41...a4, he would be winning anyway

      <57...Kf3> quod erat demonstrandum

      - Very smooth positional game, although the suggestion of 36...b4 does look much better. In addition 27...Rc4, keeping the active rook, and leaving White with his passive one, might also have been worth considering.

      Round 4, Sept. 11
      Petrov, Vladimir – Keres, Paul
      E61 King’s Indian Defence

      1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.g3 d5 5.Bg2 dxc4 6.Qa4+ c6 7.Qxc4 O-O 8.Nf3 Be6 9.Qd3 Na6 10.O-O Qa5 11.Ne5 Rfd8 12.Rd1 Nc5 13.Qb1 Bf5 14.b4 Qc7 15.Qb2 Ne6 16.Be3 Nd7 17.f4 g5 18.Rac1 gxf4 19.gxf4 Ndf8 20.Ne4 f6 21.Ng3 Bg6 22.Nxg6 hxg6 23.f5 Nf4 24.Bf3 Nd5 25.Qb3 e6 26.fxe6 Qe7 27.Bf2 Bh6 28.Rb1 Nxe6 29.e4 Ndf4 30.d5 Ng5 31.dxc6+ Kg7 32.cxb7 Qxb7 33.Bg2 f5 34.Rdc1 Kh7 35.h4 Ngh3+ 36.Bxh3 Nxh3+ 37.Kg2 Nxf2 38.Kxf2 Bxc1 39.Rxc1 fxe4 40.h5 Rf8+ 41.Ke2 Qb5+ 42.Qc4 Qxc4+ 43.Rxc4 gxh5 44.Nxh5 Rae8 45.Ng3 Rf4 46.Nh5 Rf3 47.a3 Ref8 48.Rxe4 Kg6 49.Rh4 R8f5 0-1

      Final Position


      Standings after Round Four

      1-2 Flohr, Reshevsky 3
      3-4 Fine, Keres 2.5
      5 Capablanca 2
      6 Ragozin 1.5
      7 Eliskases 1
      8 Petrov 0.5

      Viacheslav Ragozin (from Wikipedia) - Born in St. Petersburg, Ragozin's chess career first came to the fore with a series of excellent results in the 1930s. Success continued into the 1940s with first prize at Sverdlovsk in 1942 and a repeat triumph at the Leningrad Championship of 1945. In 1946, he finished outright first at Helsinki and beat Bondarevsky in a match. His greatest achievement in over-the-board chess then followed at the Chigorin Memorial (Moscow) tournament of 1947, where he placed second, a half-point behind Botvinnik, but notably ahead of such luminaries as Smyslov, Boleslavsky and Keres.

      Throughout his life, he displayed an interest and talent for almost every aspect of the game of chess. For his over-the-board play, he became a grandmaster in 1950 and in 1951 he obtained the title of international arbiter. From 1956–1958, his main focus switched to correspondence chess, where he showed that he was also an expert analyst and theoretician by becoming the second ICCF World Correspondence Chess Champion in 1959 (winning 9 games, drawing 4 games, and losing 1 game). His correspondence chess grandmaster title was awarded the same year.


      • #4
        Semmering Baden 1937

        April 7, 2020

        Rounds Five and Six

        Round Five

        Round 5, Sept. 14
        Keres, Paul – Eliskases, Erich
        B50 Sicilian, Wing Gambit deferred

        1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.b4 cxb4 4.d4 Nf6 5.Bd3 d5 6.Nbd2 dxe4 7.Nxe4 Nbd7 8.Neg5 Qc7 9.c4 h6 10.Nh3 g5 11.Nhg1 Bg7 12.Ne2 e5 13.Ng3 O-O 14.O-O e4 15.Nxe4 Nxe4 16.Bxe4 Qxc4 17.Bd3 Qd5 18.Re1 g4 19.Nh4 Nb6 20.Rb1 Bd7 21.Re4 Rfe8 22.Rf4 Qd6 23.Bd2 Nd5 24.Rxg4 Bxg4 25.Qxg4 Qf6 26.Nf5 Kf8 27.Nxg7 Qxg7 28.Qh5 Nf6 29.Qh4 h5 30.Rxb4 Rac8 31.h3 Rc7 32.Rb5 Re6 33.Rxh5 1-0

        Position after Black’s 20…Bd7


        - A game that deserves to be more widely known. Keres employs the Wing Gambit and despite Black's clever defense uncorks a vicious attack with 24. Rxg4!

        - Keres was undoubtedly a very strong CC player, did he ever try out for the CC championship?

        -I'm not sure that there was a formally organized Correspondence Chess World Championship when Keres was actively playing correspondence chess. (Late 1920's to early 1930's - and remember, he was born in 1916!) He did participate in some CC tournaments though. However, once he turned to OTB chess I don't believe he ever seriously returned to correspondence.

        - ...another interesting feature of this game is that Keres' Queen's Knight makes 9 of the opening 15 moves of this game.

        - Keres control of the queen knight and insightful rook maneuvering are unpredictable and effective. Not to take away from the merit of his play by any means, but either 6. ...Bg4 or 6. ...d6 were better. The text move helps white develop and gain control of the center.

        - Keres said he played the wing gambit as a psychological ploy; feeling that Eliskases was more comfortable in quiet positions. 8 Neg5 is a similar idea to what is played in the modern 4..Nd7 Caro Kann system. If 8..h6 then 9 Ne6. I'm not sure I have ever seen a game where the queen knight is used like it is used here; 7 moves out of whites first 13 including a trip to g1! Keres did not understand why he did not just take the pawn with 21 Rb4. The idea of the exchange sacrifice on g4 crippling black on the light squares is not that hard to anticipate; maybe Eliskases could have tried to avoid it with h5. Then the rook on f4 would have been accomplishing less. After the sacrifice Keres gets a blistering attack.

        - Keres provides comments on this game in, “The Complete Games of Paul Keres.” His opening choice is, as others have pointed out, psychological. “Eliskases is well-known as a good positional player who prefers quiet positions in which strategy dominates over tactics. Therefore in this game I played from the very beginning for great tactical complications.” He further describes his opening choice at the Semmering Grandmaster Tournament, where Keres drew three games and won one in the first four. “So far my play was far from satisfactory and I became convinced that my chances would be very slim if I continued to play in the same style. My opponents were superior to me in quiet positional play, and therefore I decided to strive for much more complications. In the very next game, against Eliskases, I chose the notorious gambit against the Sicilian b4.”

        One historically analyzed point in the game is Black’s decision at move 19 to accept or not White’s offer of a pawn sacrifice.

        - After White’s 21st move Re4 Keres writes, “It is not clear to me, to this very day, why I refrained from the capture 21 Rxb4, by which White would have restored the balance of material and would certainly not have the worse position. The attempt begun by the text-move to bring about further complications is very risky and has little positional basis.” Komodo agrees with Keres.

        For a full modern analysis see the commentary:

        Round 5, Sept. 14
        Fine, Reuben – Petrov, Vladimir
        A50 Queen’s Indian Accelerated

        1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 b6 3.f3 Bb7 4.e4 e5 5.dxe5 Nxe4 6.fxe4 Qh4+ 7.Kd2 Qf4+ 8.Kc2 Bxe4+ 9.Bd3 Bxd3+ 10.Qxd3 Qf2+ 11.Nd2 Nc6 12.Qe4 O-O-O 13.a3 Re8 14.Nf3 Bd6 15.Re1 Qxg2 16.Qf4 Qg6+ 17.Kb3 Bc5 18.Ka2 Qc2 19.Nb3 g5 20.Nxg5 f6 21.Qe4 Qxe4 22.Nxe4 Rxe5 23.Bf4 Rf5 24.Rf1 Be7 25.Ng3 Rxf4 26.Rxf4 h5 27.Rh4 f5 28.Rxh5 Rf8 29.Rxf5 Rh8 30.Rh5 Rg8 31.Rd1 a5 32.Nd4 Nd8 33.Ndf5 Bd6 34.Rxd6 1-0

        - Was Petrov drunk in this game?

        - if 11...QxP 12. Qe4 forces the exchange of queens. But black is a piece down so can't afford to swap and hopes to get an attack through.

        Round 5, Sept. 14
        Flohr, Salo – Reshevsky, Samuel
        D19 QGD Slav, Dutch variation, main line

        1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 c6 3.d4 d5 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.a4 Bf5 6.e3 e6 7.Bxc4 Bb4 8.O-O O-O 9.Qe2 Bg4 10.Rd1 Qe7 11.h3 Bh5 12.e4 Nbd7 13.e5 Nd5 14.Ne4 h6 15.Ng3 Bg6 16.Ne1 f6 17.exf6 Qxf6 18.Nd3 Bd6 19.Ne4 Qe7 20.Nxd6 Qxd6 21.Bd2 Rae8 22.Bb3 e5 23.dxe5 Nxe5 24.Nxe5 Rxe5 25.Bxd5+ cxd5 26.Qb5 Be4 27.Ra3 Qc6 28.Qxc6 bxc6 29.Be3 Rf7 30.Rc3 Re6 31.Rdc1 Rb7 32.Rxc6 Rxc6 33.Rxc6 Rxb2 34.Rd6 Ra2 35.Bxa7 Rxa4 36.Be3 h5 37.f3 Bf5 38.Rxd5 g6 39.Bg5 Kf7 40.Re5 Ra7 41.g4 hxg4 42.hxg4 Be6 43.Kf2 Ra3 44.Kg3 Rd3 45.Re1 Bd5 46.Be3 Rb3 47.f4 Be6 48.Kh4 Rb2 49.Rg1 Bd5 50.Re1 Be6 51.Bd4 Rg2 52.Kh3 Rxg4 53.Rxe6 Rxf4 54.Rd6 Ke7 55.Bc5 Rc4 56.Ba3 Kf7 57.Ra6 Rf4 58.Kg3 Rf5 59.Bb2 Rb5 60.Ba1 Rf5 61.Bd4 Rd5 62.Be3 Rf5 63.Kg2 Rf6 64.Ra4 Rf5 65.Bf2 Rf6 66.Kf1 Re6 67.Ba7 Rf6+ 68.Ke2 Rf5 69.Bd4 Rh5 70.Ra6 Rh4 71.Kd3 Rf4 72.Be5 Rg4 73.Bd4 Rf4 74.Kc4 Rf5 75.Bc3 Rf3 76.Be5 g5 77.Kd5 Rf1 78.Ke4 Rf2 79.Bd4 Rf4+ 80.Ke5 Rf3 81.Rc6 Rf1 82.Be3 Re1 83.Ke4 g4 84.Rc5 Kf6 85.Rf5+ Ke6 86.Rg5 Kd6 87.Rxg4 Re2 88.Rh4 Re1 89.Rh6+ Kd7 90.Kd4 Rd1+ 91.Kc4 Re1 92.Bd2 Rd1 93.Bb4 Rg1 94.Bc5 Rc1+ 95.Kd5 Rd1+ 96.Bd4 Kd8 97.Rh7 Rd2 98.Ke5 Kc8 99.Bc5 Rd7 100.Be7 Kb7 101.Ke6 Kc6 102.Rh1 Rd2 103.Rc1+ Kb5 104.Bd6 Re2+ 105.Kd7 Re4 106.Rc5+ Ka4 107.Kc6 Kb3 108.Kd5 Re8 109.Rb5+ Kc2 110.Bc5 Kd3 111.Rb3+ Ke2 112.Bd4 Rd8+ 113.Ke4 Re8+ 114.Be5 Ke1 115.Rb2 Re7 1/2-1/2

        Position after White’s 61.Bd4


        - The rook and bishop vs. rook can be a tough one to hold, but Reshevsky did so here.

        - Yes, it looks like the Reshevsky was keeping to the general rule of keeping the king and rook on opposite sides of the board and staying alert.

        - A key defensive idea is the rook pinning the bishop (for example, the game's final position). This game is a textbook example of how black can draw this rook and bishop vs. rook endgame.

        Round 5, Sept. 14
        Capablanca, Jose Raul – Ragozin, Viacheslav
        D64 QGD, Orthodox Defence, Rubinstein Attack

        1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 Be7 5.e3 O-O 6.Nf3 Nbd7 7.Rc1 c6 8.Qc2 a6 9.a3 b5 10.c5 Nh5 11.h4 f5 12.Bd3 Nhf6 13.Ne2 Qe8 14.Bf4 Ne4 15.Ne5 Nxe5 16.Bxe5 Qg6 17.Nf4 Qh6 18.Bxe4 fxe4 19.Ke2 g6 20.g4 Bxh4 21.g5 Qxg5 22.Rcg1 Rxf4 23.exf4 Qd8 24.f3 Bf6 25.fxe4 Ra7 26.Ke3 Rg7 27.Qh2 Bxe5 28.fxe5 Qe7 29.Qh6 Bd7 30.Rf1 dxe4 31.Rf6 Be8 32.Rhf1 Bf7 33.Qf4 Qd7 34.Qxe4 h5 35.Rxf7 Rxf7 36.Qxg6+ Rg7 37.Qxh5 Rg3+ 38.Kf2 Rg7 39.Ke1 Qd8 40.Rf6 Qxd4 1/2-1/2

        - Another ending uncharacteristically butchered by Capa at this tournament! 40. Rh1 wins instantly, as 41. Qh8+ and 42. Rf1+ will either mate or win a pile of material, and even 40. Rf4 is good enough to win fairly comfortably. Instead, 40. Rf6??

        - This is the first time I have seen this game. It comes from the later Capablanca, the over-the-hill genius now prone to superficial calculations and blunders. One year later he would suffer a stroke. Five years later, Capa would be dead from a hypertensive cerebral hemorrhage.

        Yet even here he shows his class, and the game is quite instructive.

        The fact that the over-the-hill Capablanca later spoiled the game with a simple blunder does not take away its instructive value.

        - Capa's 14.Bf4 is a deep move, very characteristic of the Cuban genius.

        (to be continued)


        • #5
          Semmering Baden 1937

          April 7, 2020

          Rounds Five and Six (continued)

          Round Six

          Round 6, Sept. 16
          Ragozin, Viacheslav – Petrov, Vladimir
          A28 English, Four Knights, Capablanca variation

          1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.d3 d5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.g3 Be6 7.Bg2 Be7 8.O-O O-O 9.a3 Qd7 10.Bd2 Rad8 11.b4 Nxc3 12.Bxc3 Bf6 13.Qc2 Nd4 14.Bxd4 exd4 15.Nd2 Be7 16.Rab1 c6 17.Ne4 b6 18.Rfc1 Bd5 19.Nd2 Bxg2 20.Kxg2 Qd5+ 21.Kg1 c5 22.Qc4 Qh5 23.Nf3 Rfe8 24.Rc2 Bd6 25.a4 cxb4 26.Nxd4 Bc5 27.Nf3 Qd5 28.Kf1 Qxc4 29.Rxc4 Rd5 30.Nd2 Bf8 31.Nb3 b5 32.axb5 Rxb5 33.Ra1 Rb7 34.d4 g6 35.e3 Ra8 36.Ke2 Rb5 37.e4 g5 38.Ra6 g4 39.e5 Rb6 40.Ra5 Re6 41.Ke3 f6 42.Kf4 fxe5+ 43.dxe5 Rg6 44.Kf5 Be7 45.Ke4 a6 46.Ra2 Re8 47.Nd4 Bf6 48.Rc5 Be7 49.Rc6 Bf6 50.Re6 Rxe6 51.Nxe6 Be7 52.Nc7 b3 53.Rb2 Rc6 54.Nd5 Rc2 55.Rxb3 Bf8 56.Rb7 Re2+ 57.Kd3 1-0

          Position after White’s 47.Nd4


          Round 6, Sept. 16
          Reshevsky, Samuel – Keres, Paul
          E16 Queen’s Indian, Petrosian variation

          1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.d4 b6 4.g3 Bb7 5.Bg2 Bb4+ 6.Bd2 Bxd2+ 7.Qxd2 O-O 8.O-O d6 9.Qc2 Nbd7 10.Nc3 Qe7 11.e4 Rac8 12.Rfe1 e5 13.Rad1 c6 14.Qa4 Rc7 15.Qa3 Re8 16.b3 g6 17.dxe5 dxe5 18.Qxe7 Rxe7 19.Bh3 Bc8 20.b4 Nf8 21.Bxc8 Rxc8 22.Rd6 Ne8 23.Rd3 f6 24.Red1 Kf7 25.a4 Ke6 26.Rd8 Rec7 27.Kf1 Ke7 28.R8d3 Rd7 29.Rxd7+ Nxd7 30.Ke2 Nd6 31.Nd2 Nf8 32.Ra1 Ne6 33.a5 b5 34.cxb5 Nd4+ 35.Kd3 cxb5 36.Rc1 Ke6 37.Ne2 Nc6 38.Rb1 Rd8 39.Kc3 f5 40.exf5+ gxf5 41.f3 Rc8 42.Kd3 Ne8 43.Nc3 Nf6 44.Rb2 a6 45.g4 e4+ 46.fxe4 Ne5+ 47.Kc2 fxg4 48.Kb3 Nc4 49.Nxc4 Rxc4 50.Re2 Ke5 51.Re1 h5 52.Rd1 h4 53.Rd8 g3 54.hxg3 hxg3 55.Rd3 g2 56.Ne2 Rxe4 57.Ng1 Re1 0-1

          - This Queen's Indian transposes into a Hedgehog formation. Keres was one of the pioneers along with Fischer, and Tal of the Hedgehog.

          The Hedgehog gives Keres great counterattacking capabilities. All his pieces are very close, but are ready to attack at a moment’s notice. A great example of the hedgehog, and how it is supposed to be played in world class competition!

          - According to Kotov. At move 14, white has three possible plans.

          A:) b4 and Qb3 with queenside pawn advance
          B:) Nh4, if g6 then Qd2->Qh6, with f4 later
          C:) Double on the d file and play the bishop to f3.

          Personally I prefer plan B, playing on the kingside.

          - White's critical mistake here is 20. b4, which leaves the c4 pawn vulnerable. This becomes a problem after Black posts one knight on d6, attacking the c-pawn, and then posts the other knight on e6, aiming to occupy d4.

          - This is a really pretty endgame by Keres. It is especially a good example of the danger of over-aggressive pawn advances. 8 Nc3 is more accurate with the idea of answering 8..Ne4 with 9 Qc2..Nc3 10 Ng5. Black could have equalized with 9..Be4. The 3 plans mentioned in above post were part of Keres analysis from his best games; Kotov was just quoting them. The exchanges initiated with 17 de do not work out well for white and are the first indication that Reshevsky overestimated his position. His "control" of the d file is easily neutralised and his queenside pawns are a weakness in the endgame. 43..Nf6 is quite clever as after 44 Nb5..Nd5 black threatens 45..Ncb4+ 46 Ke2..a6 and 47..Nc3+. Rather than accept Reshevsky's pawn sacrifice with 45..fg Keres plays the pretty counter combination 45..e4+ which leads to an easy win. If 56 Rg3 then 56..Rc3+ wins.

          - Keres remarks about this in his book as a bad structure for black and offering no possibilities. But it seems to be good as a waiting structure. Not quite entirely a hedgehog proper I think.

          - So after 42.. Ne8! is Reshevsky lost?!

          - Yes 43.. Nf6 is very cute. Took me a while to see why taking on b5 is bad, and it's odd how white seems so powerless to stop all this after 44.Nb5.

          After 44..a6 White is lost I think, there is just nothing he can do apart from sit and wait, whilst Black just strengthens and invades. But it's an endgame worthy of closer study.

          Reshevsky drifted too much in the middlegame and found no decent posts for his knights. Keres' play after 29.Rd7 is world class.

          - As an afterthought instead of 45.g4 maybe 45.Na2 and then Nf1/e3 answering Nd5.. but it's all very passive and black must still be winning I think.

          - Wonderful endgame play by Keres (56. Rg3 Rxc3+! is a cute little finesse right at the end). He wrings blood out of a stone, big time.

          - Even then, Keres had the reputation as a ferocious attacker and Reshevsky's was that of a positional player, yet the firebrand produced a masterly endgame.

          Round 6, Sept. 16
          Eliskases, Erich – Fine, Reuben
          D51 QGD

          1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 c6 5.e3 Nbd7 6.cxd5 cxd5 7.Nf3 Be7 8.Bd3 O-O 9.O-O a6 10.Rc1 b5 11.Ne5 Bb7 12.f4 h6 13.Bh4 Nxe5 14.dxe5 Ne4 15.Bxe7 Qxe7 16.Bxe4 dxe4 17.Qd6 Qxd6 18.exd6 Rad8 19.Rfd1 b4 20.Na4 Bd5 21.Rd4 a5 22.Rc5 Rxd6 23.Rxa5 Rc8 24.Rc5 Rxc5 25.Nxc5 Rc6 26.Nb3 Rc2 27.Rxb4 Rxb2 28.Rb8+ Kh7 29.Rc8 Rxa2 30.Nd4 g5 31.g3 Kg6 32.Rc2 Ra3 33.Kf2 Kh5 34.Nb5 Rd3 35.Nd6 Bb3 36.Rc6 Rd2+ 37.Ke1 Rxh2 38.Nxf7 Kg4 39.fxg5 hxg5 40.Rc8 Rh7 41.Ne5+ Kf5 42.Nc6 Kf6 43.Nd4 Bd5 44.Rc2 Rh6 45.Rc5 Kg6 46.g4 Rh2 47.Rc2 Rh8 48.Kf2 Rf8+ 49.Kg2 Rf7 50.Rc5 Rd7 51.Kg3 Kf6 52.Rc8 Ra7 53.Rf8+ Kg7 54.Rc8 Ra3 55.Kf2 Ra6 56.Rc5 Kf6 57.Kg3 Ba2 58.Rc1 Rb6 59.Rc5 Rb1 60.Rc2 Bd5 61.Kg2 Bb7 62.Rc5 Ra1 63.Rc7 Bd5 64.Rc8 Ra7 65.Rf8+ Kg7 66.Rc8 Rd7 67.Rc5 Kf6 68.Rc8 Rd6 69.Rf8+ Kg7 70.Rc8 Rb6 71.Rc7+ Kf6 72.Rc8 e5 73.Nf5 Be6 74.Rc2 Bxf5 75.Rf2 1/2-1/2

          Round 6, Sept. 16
          Capablanca, Jose Raul – Flohr, Salo
          D96 Grunfeld, Russian variation

          1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Qb3 c6 6.Bf4 O-O 7.e3 dxc4 8.Bxc4 Nbd7 9.O-O Nb6 10.Be2 Be6 11.Qc2 Nbd5 12.Be5 Bf5 13.Qb3 Qb6 14.Nd2 Qxb3 15.Nxb3 Rad8 16.Bf3 Bc8 17.Na5 e6 18.a3 Nd7 19.Nxd5 exd5 20.Bc7 Bf6 21.Bxd8 Bxd8 22.Nb3 Nb6 23.Nd2 Be6 24.Rfc1 Nc8 25.Nb3 Nd6 26.Nc5 Bc8 27.b4 Be7 28.Be2 Re8 29.a4 b6 30.Nd3 Nc4 31.b5 Bd7 32.bxc6 Bxc6 33.Nf4 1-0

          - 17. ....e6 might be considered a losing move, I suppose, but black's pieces have little scope - already. 20..... Re8 still loses the exchange to 21. Bd6.

          - I suppose the game ends because at move 25, capa is two pawns up.

          - I suppose the game ends because at move 25, capa is two pawns up.> Flohr is about to lose more material.

          - Isn't the mistake 18 ..Nd7 ? Even after 19 Nxd5 black can play Nxe5 instead of exd5 to save the rook

          - Down an exchange, everything else being level, playing Capablanca? Flohr knew he couldn’t win this.

          - I don't understand why Flohr sacrificed the exchange? white was better anyway how could that be justified

          - white was better anyway how could that be justified> Actually, he didn't sacrifice the exchange sir, he had no choice but to lose (a) rook. After 20.Bc7 if 20...Re1 21.Bd6! and it is the king rook that is lost!

          Standings at the end of Round Six

          1 Keres 4.5
          2 Fine 4
          3-5 Capablanca, Flohr, Reshevsky 3.5
          6 Ragozin 3
          7 Eliskases 1.5
          8 Petrov 0.5


          • #6
            You made my day with both the Keres games (Keres-Eliskases and Reshevsky-Keres) They both are highly enjoyable for different reasons. The Wing Gambit is risky, high voltage tactics. Both games the knight play is absolutely amazing.


            • #7
              In the Reshevsky game the highlight has to be 45.g4 e4+!! but there are many cute finesses throughout the game. All in all it seems like Keres gave Reshevsky a lesson! and again the endless knight play. What an entertaining game!


              • #8
                Capa was Capa. Positional elegance even if he occasionally psyched his opponents (but that was their problem not his).


                • #9
                  Its amazing how much Ive forgotten. I would have seen both Keres games in the past but maybe I looked at too much chess. No, I probably just didnt study or try to understand those games enough.
                  It also shows that more memory loss leads to more chess enjoyment.


                  • #10
                    and that made me check out Keres rd 4 game. Lots of incredible knight play in that one!


                    • #11
                      and moves like 12...Na3 to c5 leading the play and Whites 14.b4 following. Lots of in between moves (zwischenzugs. Also 33...f5 a tickler! and the deciding Ngh3+! Love it!


                      • #12
                        Semmering Baden 1937

                        April 8, 2020

                        Rounds Seven and Eight

                        Round Seven

                        Round 7, Sept. 17
                        Flohr, Salo – Ragozin, Viacheslav
                        E09 Catalan, Closed, slow Sokolsky variation

                        1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.g3 Be7 5.Bg2 O-O 6.O-O c6 7.Nbd2 Nbd7 8.Qc2 b6 9.b3 Bb7 10.Bb2 Rc8 11.Rac1 c5 12.Qb1 Rc7 13.Qa1 Qa8 14.Rfd1 Re8 15.dxc5 Rxc5 16.Bh3 a5 17.cxd5 Bxd5 18.Ne5 Rxc1 19.Rxc1 Nxe5 20.Bxe5 Rc8 21.Rxc8+ Qxc8 22.Qb2 Qc6 23.Nb1 Qc5 24.Bd4 Qb4 25.Qc3 b5 26.Qxb4 Bxb4 27.Nc3 Bxc3 28.Bxc3 b4 29.Bxf6 gxf6 30.Bg2 Bxg2 31.Kxg2 1/2-1/2

                        Round 7, Sept. 17
                        Petrov, Vladimir – Eliskases, Erich
                        E46 Nimzo-Indian, Reshevsky variation

                        1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 O-O 5.Ne2 d5 6.a3 Be7 7.Nf4 c6 8.cxd5 Nxd5 9.Bd3 Nd7 10.O-O Nxf4 11.exf4 Nf6 12.Be3 Qc7 13.Qf3 Rd8 14.Rac1 Bd7 15.g4 Be8 16.g5 Nd5 17.Nxd5 exd5 18.f5 g6 19.h4 Bd7 20.fxg6 hxg6 21.h5 Kg7 22.Kg2 gxh5 23.Bf4 Bd6 24.Bg3 Bg4 25.Qf6+ Kg8 26.Qh6 f5 27.gxf6 Qf7 28.Be5 Bxe5 29.dxe5 Rd7 30.f3 Qe6 31.Qg5+ 1-0

                        Round 7, Sept. 17
                        Fine, Reuben – Reshevsky, Samuel
                        C79 Ruy Lopez, Steinitz Defence deferred

                        1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O d6 6.Qe2 b5 7.Bb3 Na5 8.d4 Nxb3 9.axb3 Nd7 10.Nc3 Bb7 11.dxe5 dxe5 12.Rd1 Bd6 13.Bg5 f6 14.Be3 O-O 15.Nh4 g6 16.Qg4 Kh8 17.Qg3 Qe8 18.Nd5 Qf7 19.Nf3 Nc5 20.Bxc5 Bxc5 21.Ne1 Rfd8 22.Nd3 Bf8 23.c4 c6 24.Ne3 Rd4 25.Qf3 Qe6 26.Ne1 Rad8 27.N1c2 R4d7 28.Rxd7 Rxd7 29.Rd1 Kg7 30.Qe2 Kf7 31.h3 Bc8 32.Rd2 Be7 33.Qd1 Rxd2 34.Qxd2 Qd6 35.Qc3 b4 36.Qe1 Qd3 37.Nxb4 Qxe4 38.Qc3 Bb7 39.Nbc2 c5 40.b4 cxb4 41.Nxb4 f5 42.Nd3 Ke6 43.Qb3 f4 44.c5+ Bd5 45.Nxd5 Qxd5 46.Qb6+ Kf5 47.Qxa6 e4 48.Qc8+ Kg5 49.Qg4+ Kh6 50.Qxf4+ Kg7 51.Qe5+ Qxe5 52.Nxe5 Bxc5 53.b3 Bd4 54.Nc6 Bb6 55.Nb4 Kf7 56.Nd5 Bd4 57.Kf1 Ke6 58.Ne3 Bc5 59.Ke2 h5 60.Nc2 g5 61.b4 Bd6 62.g3 Ke5 63.b5 Bc5 64.Ne3 Kd4 65.Nf5+ Ke5 66.Ng7 h4 67.g4 Bb6 68.Nf5 Bc5 69.Ne3 Kd4 70.Nf5+ Kc4 71.Nh6 Kxb5 72.Nf7 Kc4 73.Nxg5 Kd5 74.f3 exf3+ 75.Nxf3 Ke4 76.Nxh4 Kf4 77.Nf5 Bb6 78.Kd3 Bd8 79.Kd4 Bf6+ 80.Kd5 Bh8 81.Kd6 Be5+ 82.Ke6 Ba1 83.Ke7 Bb2 84.Kf7 Kg5 1/2-1/2

                        Position after White’s 60.Nc2


                        - 20 Bxc5 was forced to avoid the loss of a pawn. Reshevsky thought that he would have the advantage with 2 Bs versus 2 Ns but he misjudged the position. 35..b4 worked out badly; Reshevsky felt that 35..Be6 would have been better. He had been assuming that the opening of the position would benefit the bishops but again he misjudged the position. Again Reshevsky was critical of 39..c5 which opens up the diagonal for the bishop but gives white a passed pawn. Reshevsky provided extensive analysis that both 44..Kf6 and 44..Kd7 would have led to very unfavorable positions for black. If 46..Kf7 47 Qxa6..Bxc5 48 Qc4! is winning for white. Fine had provided analysis in Basic Chess Endings that 70 f3 would have won for white but Reshevsky felt that 70 f3..Bb6 71 Nf1..exf+ 72 Kxf3..Kd3! 73 Nh2..Be3 74 Kg2..Kc5 would have held for black. 75..Be7 76 Ke3 wins for white but after 75..Ke4! white is not able to support his two connected passed pawns and is forced to accept the draw.

                        - Just another all out Fine -- Reshevsky war.

                        - It must have been frustrating for Fine to have two connected and unopposed pawns in the endgame, but be unable to advance them due to the active positions of the Black King and Bishop.

                        - According to Shredder 6-man TB - drawn ending.

                        Round 7, Sept. 17
                        Keres, Paul – Capablanca, Jose Raul
                        B55 Sicilian, Prins variation

                        1.e4 c5 2.Ne2 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.f3 Nc6 6.c4 g6 7.Nc3 Bg7 8.Be3 O-O 9.Qd2 Qa5 10.Nb3 Qb4 11.Qc2 Nd7 12.Bd2 Nc5 13.Nxc5 Qxc5 14.Nd5 a5 15.O-O-O Nb4 16.Nxe7+ Kh8 17.Qb3 Be6 18.a3 Nc6 19.Be3 Qe5 20.Nd5 a4 21.Qc2 Bxd5 22.Rxd5 Qe6 23.Qd2 Rfc8 24.Kb1 Ne5 25.Rxd6 Nxc4 26.Bxc4 Qxc4 27.Rc1 Qxc1+ 28.Qxc1 Rxc1+ 29.Bxc1 Be5 30.Rd7 Bxh2 31.Rxf7 b5 32.f4 Re8 33.e5 g5 34.fxg5 Bxe5 35.Bd2 Rd8 36.Ba5 Rd1+ 37.Kc2 Rg1 38.Rf2 Kg8 39.Bc3 Bxc3 40.Kxc3 Re1 41.Rf5 Re3+ 42.Kc2 Re2+ 43.Kb1 b4 44.axb4 Rxg2 45.Ka2 Rg3 46.Ra5 Kf7 47.Ra7+ Kg6 48.Ra8 Kf7 49.Rxa4 Rxg5 50.Ra5 h6 51.Kb3 Ke7 52.Kc4 Kd6 53.Rc5 Rg8 54.b3 Rf8 55.Rd5+ Kc7 56.Kc5 Rg8 1/2-1/2

                        - I don't understand Keres' plan. He develops his Be3 and Qd2 and then just undevelops both pieces. Capa starts a queenside pawnstorm and only then does Keres castle on that side?? On a different note, why not 24.Rxd6

                        - I think that is exactly Keres's point. He hoped to beat Capablanca, and sought a tactically complicated position. Must have figured there was no way to beat the great Cuban with simpler play.

                        - No seriously guys, all kidding aside, 24.Rxd6 Na5 25.Rxd6 Nb3+ 26.Kd1 Nxd2 27.Rd6 Nxc4 28.Rd3 Nxb2+ is winning for black.

                        - If I'm not mistaken Capa was annoyed that Keres didn't accept the draw earlier in the game. He said it showed a lack of chess understanding on Keres's part.

                        - But Capablanca was a pawn down, which evidently shows an even greater lack of chess understanding on his part.

                        - To be honest, all I meant was that, if you get in an inferior ending, just defend the damn thing. Don't whine that your opponent played on too long. If you don't like defending inferior endings, show your superior chess understanding by avoiding them.

                        - Keres and Capablanca played two Ruy Lopezs in 1939, one in Margate on April 13 and one in Buenos Aires. If you look on the game page of the game I just cited, you will see has the correct date and location of Buenos Aires. (It was unclear on the collection of Keres-Capablanca games page.) Capablanca described in an article on 28 August 1939 the game of the day before and his exchange with Keres regarding a draw and Keres's wish to continue.

                        Round Eight

                        Round 8, Sept. 18
                        Petrov, Vladimir – Reshevsky, Samuel
                        D12 QGD Slav

                        1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e3 Bf5 5.Bd3 Bxd3 6.Qxd3 dxc4 7.Qxc4 e6 8.Nc3 Be7 9.O-O O-O 10.e4 Nbd7 11.Bg5 h6 12.Bh4 Nb6 13.Qe2 Nfd7 14.Bg3 Bb4 15.a3 Bxc3 16.bxc3 Qe7 17.a4 a5 18.Rfb1 Rfc8 19.Ne5 Ra6 20.Nc4 Nxc4 21.Qxc4 Nb6 22.Qd3 Rd8 23.c4 e5 24.d5 f6 25.Rc1 Qc5 26.Kf1 Nd7 27.f3 Qf8 28.Bf2 c5 29.Be1 b6 30.Bc3 Qd6 31.Ke2 Raa8 32.Kd2 Rf8 33.Kc2 Rf7 34.Re1 Kf8 35.Re2 Kg8 36.Rae1 Re8 37.Kb3 Kf8 38.g3 Ke7 39.f4 Kd8 40.Qf3 Ref8 41.Qg4 Re7 42.f5 Kc7 43.Qf3 Ree8 44.h4 Rh8 45.g4 Reg8 46.Bd2 Qf8 47.Ka3 Kd6 48.Rg2 Qa8 49.Reg1 Rh7 50.Rg3 Rgh8 51.Rh1 Qc8 52.Rgh3 Qg8 53.Qb3 Qd8 54.Rb1 Qa8 55.Rbh1 Qd8 56.Qb5 Qa8 57.R1h2 Qc8 58.Rd3 Qa8 59.Rh1 Rd8 60.Rdh3 Rdh8 61.Kb2 Qc8 62.Kc2 Qa8 63.Kd3 Qc8 64.Be3 Qc7 65.R3h2 Qc8 66.Qb1 Qc7 67.Qg1 Qd8 68.g5 hxg5 69.hxg5 Rxh2 70.Rxh2 Rxh2 71.Qxh2 fxg5 72.Qh5 Qg8 73.Bxg5 Nf6 74.Qh4 Kd7 75.Ke2 Ne8 76.Qh2 Qf7 77.Kd3 Kd6 78.Qb2 Qb7 79.Bd2 Nf6 80.Bxa5 Nd7 81.Qb5 Qc7 82.Bd2 Qc8 83.Bg5 Qa8 84.Kc2 Qc8 85.a5 bxa5 86.Qxa5 Qg8 87.Qd8 Qxd8 88.Bxd8 Nf8 89.Bg5 Kc7 90.Kb3 Nd7 91.Be7 Kb6 92.Bd8+ Kb7 93.Kc3 Kc8 94.Be7 Kc7 95.Kd3 Kc8 96.Ke3 Kc7 97.Kf3 Kc8 98.Kg4 Nb6 99.Bxc5 Nxc4 100.Bb4 Nb2 101.Kg5 Nd3 102.Kg6 1-0

                        - Nice patience by Petrov in this game, slowly grinding the American out.

                        Round 8, Sept. 18
                        Ragozin, Viacheslav – Eliskases, Erich
                        D66 QGD, Orthodox Defence

                        1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 Nbd7 5.Nf3 Be7 6.e3 O-O 7.Rc1 c6 8.Bd3 h6 9.Bh4 dxc4 10.Bxc4 b5 11.Bd3 a6 12.O-O c5 13.a4 c4 14.Bb1 Nd5 15.Qc2 g6 16.Bxe7 Qxe7 17.e4 Nxc3 18.Qxc3 Bb7 19.Qa5 Rfc8 20.b3 Nf6 21.bxc4 Nxe4 22.axb5 Nd6 23.bxa6 Rxa6 24.Qd2 Nxc4 25.Qxh6 Bxf3 26.gxf3 Qf6 27.Be4 Ra5 28.Rc2 Rg5+ 29.Kh1 Rh5 30.Qc1 Qh4 0-1

                        Round 8, Sept. 18
                        Fine, Reuben – Capablanca, Jose Raul
                        D17 QGD Slav, Carlsbad variation

                        1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.a4 Bf5 6.Ne5 Nbd7 7.Nxc4 Qc7 8.g3 e5 9.dxe5 Nxe5 10.Bf4 Nfd7 11.Bg2 f6 12.O-O Rd8 13.Qc1 Be6 14.Nxe5 Nxe5 15.a5 a6 16.Ne4 Bb4 17.Bd2 Bxd2 18.Nxd2 O-O 19.Qc3 Qd6 20.Ne4 Qd4 21.Nc5 Bc8 22.Qb3+ Qc4 1/2-1/2

                        Round 8, Sept. 18
                        Keres, Paul – Flohr, Salo
                        E60 King’s Indian

                        1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nf3 Bg7 4.g3 c6 5.Bg2 d5 6.cxd5 Nxd5 7.O-O O-O 8.Nc3 Nxc3 9.bxc3 c5 10.Ba3 cxd4 11.Nxd4 Qc7 12.Qb3 Bf6 13.Rfd1 Nd7 14.c4 Nc5 15.Qb4 Ne6 16.Nb5 Qe5 17.Rac1 Rd8 18.Rd5 Rxd5 19.cxd5 a6 20.Na7 Nd4 21.Rxc8+ Rxc8 22.Nxc8 Qxe2 23.h4 Nf5 24.Qe4 1-0

                        - 20 Na7! makes a pleasing answer to 19...a6

                        - Great find! That was indeed an excellent reply by Keres.

                        - Keres pointed out how illogical it was to play 4..c6 and then follow up with the recaptures 6..Nxd5 and 8..Nxc3. The result was a position similar to the exchange variation of the Gruenfeld with black a tempo down. 6..cxd would have been a more consistent response. Flohr may not have expected 11 Nxd4 but it gave white a solid lead in development. The weakness on c3 was a small price to pay for this. Keres felt that 15..Na6 was blacks only chance of obtaining a playable position. 17..Qxe2 would have been answered with 18 Nc3 with the idea of Nd5.

                        - 17... Rd8? may have been the key mistake. Without 17... Rd8? 18. Rd5 Rxd5 19. cxd5 opening the c file for the white rook, 20. Na7! would not have been possible.
                        17... Nc7!? may have offered a freeing exchange. Freeing the light-squared bishop (with a b-pawn sac) could have left black with a freer game, down a pawn rather than a piece.

                        Standings after Round Eight

                        1 Keres 6
                        2 Fine 5
                        3 Capablanca 4.5
                        4-5 Flohr, Reshevsky 4
                        6 Ragozin 3.5
                        7-8 Eliskases, Petrov 2.5


                        • #13
                          In Keres - Capablanca surely 31.Rb7 is winning for white. Not a well played endgame.


                          • #14
                            Rd8 Ragozin - Eliskases 22...Nd6!


                            • #15
                              Semmering Baden 1937

                              April 9, 2020

                              Rounds Nine and Ten

                              Round Nine

                              Round 9, Sept. 19
                              Capablanca, Jose Raul – Petrov, Vladimir
                              E34 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa variation

                              1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 d5 5.cxd5 Qxd5 6.Nf3 c5 7.Bd2 Bxc3 8.Bxc3 Nc6 9.dxc5 Qxc5 10.Rc1 O-O 11.e3 Rd8 12.Bxf6 Qxc2 13.Rxc2 gxf6 14.Rd2 Bd7 15.Bb5 Be8 16.Rxd8 Rxd8 17.Ke2 Rd5 18.Bxc6 Bxc6 19.Nd4 Bd7 20.Rc1 e5 21.Nb3 Rb5 22.Rc5 b6 23.Rxb5 Bxb5+ 24.Ke1 Kf8 25.Nd2 Ke7 26.f3 Bd3 27.Kf2 f5 28.g4 fxg4 29.fxg4 f6 30.h4 Kf7 31.Kf3 Kg6 32.Ne4 Bc4 33.h5+ Kg7 34.Nc3 Be6 35.Kg3 h6 1/2-1/2

                              Round 9, Sept. 19
                              Keres, Paul – Ragozin, Viacheslav
                              D35 QGD

                              1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 d5 4.g3 dxc4 5.Qa4+ Nc6 6.Bg2 Bd7 7.Qxc4 Nb4 8.Qb3 c5 9.Nf3 Bc6 10.O-O cxd4 11.Rd1 Qa5 12.Nxd4 Bxg2 13.Kxg2 Be7 14.a3 O-O 15.Bd2 Nc6 16.Nxc6 bxc6 17.Qc4 Qb6 18.b4 a5 19.Na4 Qb5 20.Qxb5 cxb5 21.Nb6 Ra6 22.bxa5 Bd8 23.Bb4 Re8 24.Rd6 Bc7 25.Rc6 Nd5 26.e4 Nxb4 27.axb4 Be5 28.Rd1 g6 29.Rc5 Bf6 30.Nd7 Be7 31.Rxb5 Raa8 32.Rb7 Ra6 33.Nb8 Ra8 34.Nc6 Bf8 35.b5 Rec8 36.a6 Bc5 37.Rdd7 Rf8 38.a7 h5 39.Rb8 Kg7 40.b6 1-0

                              - Keres's early development of the queen knight is unusual in the Catalan. Ragozin took advantage of this with 5..Nc6 and 7..Nb4. After 8..c5 Keres felt that black had reached an easy equality. With 9..cxd 10 Nxd4..e5 black could have maintained an equal game. 9..Bc6? gave Keres a slight advantage in development and some queenside pressure. With 15..Qb6 16 Bg5 black could have limited whites advantage. 15..Nc6? would have led to the immediate loss of a pawn with 17 Qb7 but even with Keres 17 Qc4 white had a positional advantage. Ragozin's 18..a5? apparently underestimated how strong the doubled "a" pawn would be after 22 bxa. White could have won in two ways if black had played 26..Nxb6: (1) 27 axb..Bxb6 28 Bxc5 or
                              (2) 27 Rxc7..Nc4 28 a4!.

                              - Keres has this to say about his 4th move: <If white wants to thwart his opponent's intention to transpose the game into the variation 4. Nf3 Bb,' a line exhaustively analysed by Grandmaster Ragozin and which is called after him, then 4. Bg5 would be a better method for that purpose. Transposition to the Catalan System after the knight has been developed on c3 is not to be recommended."> from Grandmaster of Chess. Volume 1 (translated by Harry Golombek).

                              Round 9, Sept. 19
                              Flohr, Salo – Fine, Reuben
                              D27 QGA, Classical, Rubinstein variation

                              1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e3 e6 5.Bxc4 c5 6.O-O a6 7.a4 Nc6 8.Qe2 Be7 9.Rd1 Qc7 10.Nc3 O-O 11.h3 Rd8 12.d5 exd5 13.Nxd5 Nxd5 14.Bxd5 Nb4 15.e4 Nxd5 16.exd5 Bf5 17.Bg5 Bxg5 18.Nxg5 Qf4 19.Qd2 Qxd2 20.Rxd2 h6 21.Nf3 Rd6 22.Rc1 Rad8 23.Rxc5 Be4 24.Rc3 Rxd5 25.Rxd5 Bxd5 26.Rd3 Kf8 27.Nd4 g6 28.f3 Ke7 29.Kf2 Bc4 30.Rd2 Be6 1/2-1/2

                              Round 9, Sept. 19
                              Reshevsky, Samuel – Eliskases, Erich
                              E19 Queen’s Indian, old main line

                              1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Bb7 5.Bg2 Be7 6.O-O O-O 7.Nc3 Ne4 8.Qc2 Nxc3 9.Qxc3 Be4 10.Rd1 d6 11.Ne1 Bxg2 12.Nxg2 Nd7 13.b3 c6 14.e4 Nf6 15.Qc2 d5 16.e5 Ne8 17.Bb2 Rc8 18.Rac1 Nc7 19.Qe2 Qd7 20.Rc2 Rfd8 21.Ne3 Qe8 22.Rdc1 dxc4 23.Qxc4 c5 24.dxc5 bxc5 25.Qe4 Na6 26.Nc4 Qf8 27.a3 Rd7 28.Bc3 Nb8 29.Na5 Qd8 30.Qe2 Rd5 31.Bd2 Nd7 32.f4 Nb6 33.Be3 Qd7 34.Rc3 Rd8 35.Kf2 g5 36.Nc4 gxf4 37.gxf4 Kh8 38.Rg1 Bh4+ 39.Kf3 f5 40.Kg2 Rg8+ 41.Kh3 Rxg1 42.Bxg1 Nxc4 43.bxc4 Rd2 44.Qh5 Be1 45.Re3 Rd3 46.Qe2 Rd1 47.Rb3 Ba5 48.Bxc5 Rd2 49.Qh5 Rd3+ 50.Rxd3 Qxd3+ 51.Kg2 Qc2+ 52.Kg3 Qd3+ 53.Qf3 Be1+ 54.Kg2 Qxc4 55.Qa8+ Kg7 56.Qf8+ 1-0

                              Round Ten

                              Round 10, Sept. 22
                              Eliskases, Erich – Capablanca, Jose Raul
                              D17 QGD Slav, Carlsbad variation

                              1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.a4 Bf5 6.Ne5 Nbd7 7.Nxc4 Qc7 8.g3 e5 9.dxe5 Nxe5 10.Bf4 Nfd7 11.Bg2 f6 12.O-O Rd8 13.Qc1 Be6 14.Nxe5 Nxe5 15.a5 a6 16.Ne4 Bb4 17.Bd2 Qe7 18.Bxb4 Qxb4 19.Qc5 Qxc5 20.Nxc5 Bc8 21.Rfd1 Ke7 22.b3 Nf7 23.e4 Rd6 24.Rxd6 Kxd6 25.b4 Kc7 26.Rd1 Rd8 27.Rxd8 Nxd8 28.f4 b6 29.axb6+ Kxb6 30.Bf1 Ne6 31.Na4+ Kc7 32.Kf2 g5 33.Ke3 gxf4+ 34.gxf4 Ng7 35.Nc5 Ne6 36.Nxe6+ Bxe6 37.Kd4 Kb6 38.Bc4 Bg4 39.e5 fxe5+ 40.fxe5 h6 41.h4 Bh5 42.e6 Be8 43.Bd3 Kc7 44.Kc5 Bh5 45.Bh7 Bg4 46.e7 Kd7 47.Be4 Kxe7 48.Bxc6 Be2 49.Bb7 Kd7 50.Kb6 Kd6 51.Bxa6 Bf3 52.Ka5 Bc6 53.Bb5 Bf3 54.Bd3 Bc6 55.Bc2 Kc7 56.Ba4 Bf3 57.b5 Kb7 58.b6 Be2 59.Bc2 Bf3 60.Bd3 Bg2 61.Ba6+ Kc6 62.Bc8 Bf1 63.Bg4 Bd3 64.Bf3+ Kd6 65.Bb7 Be2 66.Ba6 Bf3 67.Bf1 Bb7 68.Bh3 Ke7 69.Kb5 Kd6 70.Bf5 Ke7 71.Kc5 Bg2 72.Bc8 Kd8 73.Ba6 Bf3 74.Kd6 Bg2 75.Bc4 Kc8 76.Bd5 Bf1 77.Ke6 Be2 78.Kf6 Kd7 79.Kg6 h5 80.Kg5 Kd6 81.Bf7 Kc6 82.Bxh5 1-0

                              - how to lose an endgame. Most effective way? Give up the opposition. I think if he can exchange B will having the opposition he would be okay.

                              - 28...b6? was bad, breaking up the pawns, but isn't 30. Bf1 refuted by 30...a5 31. Nd3 a4 or is the passed overextended?

                              - It looks like the game was draw but capa proved it was not. It was Eliskases who excelled in this game.

                              - In the 1937 elite tournament at Semmering, although failing to reach the 50% mark, he had the personal satisfaction of not only having defeated the final winner, the then 21-year-old Paul Keres, but also having outplayed former world champion Jose Raul Capablanca in the Cuban's own field of excellence, the endgame.

                              - The system with 6..Nbd7, 7..Qc7 and 8..e5 was popular in the 30s but is rarely played now presumably because of the strength of the response 8 g3 and 10 Bf4 which is an annoying pin for black. Alekhine referred to 8 g3 as the "Capablanca System" although, as in this game, Capablanca played the black side as well. Later on in 1937 the improvement 14 Ne4 was introduced by Euwe in game 1 of his second match with Alekhine. Eliskases had an advantage in the endgame because his kingside majority was more mobile than blacks queenside one. Eliskases recommended 28..Ne6 29 Kf2..Nd4 as a better defense. Eliskases referred to 30..Ne6! as a "sly defensive move". Reshevsky pointed out that white could have tried the interesting 31 Bh3 but that black then could have drawn by sacrificing a piece: 31..a5! 32 Bxe6..Bxe6 33 Nxe6..axb 34 Nd4..Kc5
                              35 Nb3+..Kc4 36 Na5+..Kb5 37 Nb3+..Kc4
                              (38 Nd2..Kd3 is dangerous for white).

                              Capablanca thought for an hour on 32..g5. Afterwards he said that he could have drawn with 32..c5 though Eliskases was not convinced. 43 e7 followed by Ke5, Kf6 and Bf7 would have been the easiest way to win.

                              - This ending is featured in Paul Keres book, Practical Chess Endings. He also gives the following ending, composed by Troitsky in 1925, long before the invention of tablebases: White to move and win.


                              1.a6 c4 2.a7 c3 3.Bh1! Ba4+! 4.Kf7 Bc6

                              - I would like to discuss this crucial move, 32...g5? Why is it so bad? If we look at the position after move 31, we see that White has a small advantage. It is due to the better placement of the White pieces, and the fact that it is going to be more difficult for Black to obtain a passed Pawn than for White. But it is possible for Black to immediately force a drawish positon thru the temporary sac 32...c5. The main line is 32...c5 33.f5 Bd7 34.Nc3 Nd4 35.bxc5 a5 36.Bc4 Kc6 and all the Queen side Pawns will soon fall. The Black King will quickly go to his side and a draw would be on the table. The problem with 32...g5? is two-fold: it allows the White King to reach e3 right away, where it impedes the Black Knight to occupy d4, and it weakens the Black Pawn on f6, so that now White has the horrible possibility (if Black advances his c Pawn) of playing Na4-c3-d5+, with a double attack on the King and the weakened Black f6 Pawn. As a result Black's position is much more passive, and White will be able to create a passed Pawn and press on forward with it.

                              (to be continued)